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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
19/02/2009 7:20 pm  

Hi,

In reading through the many interesting posts here in this board... I have seen several topics on politics and social issues. I saw a post on an article on children and restrictions, and some other interesting topics on parenting, but I'd like to directly ask a question on parenting and sin as restriction. by this i'm not raising an idea of restricting one's beliefs, but rather how a parent protects (don't touch the stove, be home by 10pm, don't smoke.)

Here's where I'm coming from:
- If the only sin is restriction (which I think is about restricting one's true will)
- If I don't know what another's true will is

Then it seems rather difficult to be a parent, amongst other things. Most parents are daily restricting the lives of their children... telling them what not to touch, what not to watch, what not to do in public.... But this could be restricting the child's true will.... right?

Example: A parent may wish their children home before a certain time, to not use narcotics, to avoid those things the parent perceives as harmful - yet the parent doesn't know the child's true will. So is the parent commiting a sin, in the eyes of Thelema?

Thanks,

Brian


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
19/02/2009 7:26 pm  

I should mention that my post above is not to be argumentative, but to really get an idea on Thelema, from someone (me) who is quite new to a Thelemic world view.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
19/02/2009 10:17 pm  

Nice topic, Brian. IMO, there is no greater crime than the interruption of the conscious manifestation of true Will in a child, even if by the best of intentions on the part of the parents. Ignorance is no excuse, but it is a good reason to refrain from reproducing.

Again, IMO, it is the responsibility of the parents to protect the child, while at the same time observing, identifying and encouraging indications of the true Will. Equally important is being able to distinguish between these two parental functions. Example: Playing fire during infancy is not okay, but playing with oneself is fine. 😉

Do you have children of your own, Brian?


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
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19/02/2009 10:32 pm  

Playing WITH fire. Damn missing edit button.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
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20/02/2009 5:27 am  

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
As a single Thelemic parent this is a topic of much interest to myself. I am writing extemporaneously, so I apologize for a lack of references in advance.
According to what I have been taught each individual chooses their incarnation (c.f. Plato's,"The Myth of Er"), including their parents, to experience certain aspects of life. Also, a child's Will does not develop until that child reaches puberty. At that point the question of Restriction becomes an issue.
Crowley himself wrote that the job of the parent is to provide the child with as many different life experiences as possible to provide a child with as wide a range of Wills, as possible, to choose from. I want to think this is in Magick Without Tears but I was unable to find it by looking in the index. It may have been in a letter that Crowley wrote to his own child that was published in an early 1990's Magickal Link. Frankly, I like this idea.
As with all issues of Thelemism each should resolve their own issues with their own Angels with respect to their own "...system..." [AL I.50], respecting their children. Unfortunately, Crowley did not provide a great role model as a parent; but that should not deter us. The letter referred to above is interesting, to say the least, as it is Crowley's own paternal advice to his surviving child.
Love is the law, love under will.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
20/02/2009 12:03 pm  

Not strictly Thelemic, but on the subject of child-rearing, parenthood, and the Will of children, I'd highly recommend AS Neill's 'Summerhill'. A new edition is apparently in the offing, but in the meantime try for a 2nd hand copy. Very enlightened and enlightening book.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
20/02/2009 9:13 pm  
"Camlion" wrote:
Nice topic, Brian. IMO, there is no greater crime than the interruption of the conscious manifestation of true Will in a child, even if by the best of intentions on the part of the parents. Ignorance is no excuse, but it is a good reason to refrain from reproducing.

Again, IMO, it is the responsibility of the parents to protect the child, while at the same time observing, identifying and encouraging indications of the true Will. Equally important is being able to distinguish between these two parental functions. Example: Playing fire during infancy is not okay, but playing with oneself is fine. 😉

Do you have children of your own, Brian?

Thanks for the reply Camlion - I do have a daughter, who just turned 8 today.... sadly she is overseas. I suppose I was thinking about this topic as I'm reading more and more Thelemic material and trying to see how I fit with it, or it with me.

Due to the distance between myself and my daughter I don't have a lot of experience in being there to raise her.

One concrete example with my daughter, is she is quite fond of the Christian theology at her age. Praying to Jesus, etc. Which I have no issues with. It's fine by me. But I'm also a newbie to Thelema. I sit and ask myself, would I change as I got deeper into Thelema? would it make me more agressive to her choices? I dont want to be. I want her to have the freedom to worship whom she will.

Similarly my curent wife is Christian - and has always paid no attention to my previous occult work. Thelema is new to me, and here to I ask myself - will this cause a rift between my family?

On a personal level I have never felt the need to constrain, or "educate" my family (wife, kids) to believe like I do. But again, I wonder, if that would change in time... I suppose I'm looking for my viability in the system, for the long haul.

What I dearly love about Thelema is the mixture of the East into Magick... something not common (as far as I've seen) in the Western Mysteries schools. Thelema is the only order in the west that I know of that utilizes Yoga as a practice. Which I think is great. About all that was Eastern, that I found in modern golden dawn orders has been the use of Tattwa's... As being a Buddhist at one time, I love the eastern concepts and enjoy seeing them used - especially in Thelema (i.e. Raja Yoga.)

I also dearly adore the structure of the A.'.A.'. (from what I've read online by Crowley and others) in shaping discipline over one's self... again not something I've commonly seen.

But I see myself coming to a point now of wondering, will this be compatible with who I am, and those I love?


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
20/02/2009 9:40 pm  
"Petros" wrote:
Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
As a single Thelemic parent this is a topic of much interest to myself. I am writing extemporaneously, so I apologize for a lack of references in advance.
According to what I have been taught each individual chooses their incarnation (c.f. Plato's,"The Myth of Er"), including their parents, to experience certain aspects of life. Also, a child's Will does not develop until that child reaches puberty. At that point the question of Restriction becomes an issue.
Crowley himself wrote that the job of the parent is to provide the child with as many different life experiences as possible to provide a child with as wide a range of Wills, as possible, to choose from. I want to think this is in Magick Without Tears but I was unable to find it by looking in the index. It may have been in a letter that Crowley wrote to his own child that was published in an early 1990's Magickal Link. Frankly, I like this idea.
As with all issues of Thelemism each should resolve their own issues with their own Angels with respect to their own "...system..." [AL I.50], respecting their children. Unfortunately, Crowley did not provide a great role model as a parent; but that should not deter us. The letter referred to above is interesting, to say the least, as it is Crowley's own paternal advice to his surviving child.
Love is the law, love under will.

Yeah I can agree with that too, that seems a very nice way to raise a child - to offer a wide perspective.

Since you really are close to the question I posed (as you are a parent coming from a Thelemic background), may I ask: how would you feel if your child choose to believe in something quite contrary to your own Thelemic views?

I realize you are an individual and your views may not be representative of others, but I'm curious. My own parents wept when I became a Buddhist haha (they were Pentecostal ministers.) Needless to say I have never divulged my occult interest to them, to spare them further emotional torment.

My first wife was disowned by her mother when she left Islam...

...and in my journey into Thelema, I've met many wonderful people - and I've also met some who are quite aggressive to those in Orthodox religions such as Christianity... and I can't see myself wanting to be aggressive like that to my kids .... as that's like my family was with me when I diverged from their path. You know? I don't want to be to my daughter, as my mother was to me.

What's different about Thelema is the individuality - which is cool - and i guess i'm stuck in an old concept of "tell me what Thelemites do" and I'm hearing "it's up to you to decide" ... and so I thank everyone here for bearing with my questions... as they probably are burdensome to a degree.

But can a person be a Thelemite and say "I love my daughter, and I'm ok with her choice to be a Christian, grow up and raise a Christian family and send me Christmas cards every year" 🙂 Or is my question just the faulty oen and should it just be "well Brian you should decide that for yourself?" ah here I am again asking what to do.

Thanks for all the input, I reallyd o appreciate it.

Brian


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
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20/02/2009 9:50 pm  
"Petros" wrote:
According to what I have been taught each individual chooses their incarnation (c.f. Plato's,"The Myth of Er"), including their parents, to experience certain aspects of life.

Assuming that reincarnation happens at all, it need not be a conscious decision, of course. It may be determined by such factors as trajectory, momentum, resistance and so on.

I happen to like the notion that we choose our own parents, whether true or not. It lends itself to the individual taking full responsibility for himself, rather than being a victim of circumstance. It might even be as simple as taking which ever means is most convenient to assuring arrival at the necessary time and place, regardless of any negative characteristics of the means, the parents, themselves.

"Petros" wrote:
Also, a child's Will does not develop until that child reaches puberty. At that point the question of Restriction becomes an issue.

This has not been my experience with my six children, all grown now and with children of their own. Certainly great damage is possible at a much younger age, if the parent doesn't know or care any better. For example, the 'fear of god' is often put into children very early, as is the sense of guilt and shame about perfectly natural inclinations.

"Petros" wrote:
Crowley himself wrote that the job of the parent is to provide the child with as many different life experiences as possible to provide a child with as wide a range of Wills, as possible, to choose from.

Yes, a wide range of exposure and the ability to observe and encourage natural inclination in the child.

"Petros" wrote:
As with all issues of Thelemism each should resolve their own issues with their own Angels with respect to their own "...system..." [AL I.50], respecting their children.

Many parents were likely not doing their true Will in having children in the first place, but did so for other reasons. You can often identify these by the disasters that result.

"Petros" wrote:
Unfortunately, Crowley did not provide a great role model as a parent; but that should not deter us.

No, that should not deter us. I don't believe that role modeling was his intent, in that regard. Parenting is a very time consuming responsibly and his priorities were elsewhere. He did, however, provide a good beginning toward a body of information on good parenting, for those who Will be a caretaker of a Star for a time.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
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20/02/2009 10:16 pm  
"Camlion" wrote:
I happen to like the notion that we choose our own parents, whether true or not. It lends itself to the individual taking full responsibility for himself, rather than being a victim of circumstance. It might even be as simple as taking which ever means is most convenient to assuring arrival at the necessary time and place, regardless of any negative characteristics of the means, the parents, themselves.

Yeah I like that idea too. If only but the karmic actions of the one to choose their parents.... it still holds true - take responsibility.

"Camlion" wrote:
This has not been my experience with my six children, all grown now and with children of their own. Certainly great damage is possible at a much younger age, if the parent doesn't know or care any better. For example, the 'fear of god' is often put into children very early, as is the sense of guilt and shame about perfectly natural inclinations.

Wow six children. That's pretty amazing.

Camlion, as someone with a deep level of experience with family - do you have advice for those who are interested in Thelema, but their spouses, or children, are not? I'm not so much referring to open hostility, but just people into their own religions/beliefs.

Was your approach to broaden the mind of your kids, so no matter what, you felt they made the best decisions... with the greatest amount of knowledge?


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
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21/02/2009 2:16 am  

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
"All words are sacred and all prophets true; save only that they understand a little..." AL I.56
Brian,
First of all, Happy Birthday to your daughter. I am sorry that the two of you are so far apart. Hopefully, this will not always be the case.
To your question of "...how would you feel if your child choose to believe in something quite contrary to your own Thelemic views?" If my son decided that his Will would lead him to something that I had not expected, then so be it. I have not hidden my proclivities from him, and I would expect him not to do the same. In the same way as I broke from my own family traditions, I cannot expect him not to do the same with my beliefs. Obviously, I would hope that he would see the "superiority" of my beliefs, but I would be naive to think that my ideas answer all of his questions regarding the universe. At best, I hope that whatever my son decides works for him, "Success is thy proof...," AL III.42.
As for your daughter, "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." I Thessalonians 5.21, might prove a useful quote for you in this regard.
Anyway, best of luck to you,; let me know what transpires.
P.S. For Camlion: Matters of pure esoteric thought should not imply blind acceptance on the part of the initiate. Frankly, it doesn't matter whether the higher planes (and ideas) exist or not. As Crowley wrote in his "Introduction," to Magick In Theory and Practice, "Solvitur ambulando."
Love is the law, love under will.


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 Anonymous
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21/02/2009 6:06 pm  

Well, my perspective with regard to Thelema is quite entrenched, I admit. (I've been a Thelemite since my teens and am now pushing 60 years of age.) If and when the topic of deity arises with children, as it tends to eventually because they find it raised by others all around them, I suggest to them that they seek divinity within themselves before contemplating it elsewhere. To look within before looking without. I believe that looking for divinity without before looking for it within diminishes the capacity of a child to directly engage the divinity within themselves. Something not be wished upon a child, IMO. Obviously, it does not totally disable this capacity, but it diminishes it. Recovery then necessitates a longer process as an adult, one of self-rediscovery, of initiation, self-realization, and attainment to something that might easily have been within the child's grasp in the first place.


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 Anonymous
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21/02/2009 6:47 pm  
"annolumina" wrote:
Not strictly Thelemic, but on the subject of child-rearing, parenthood, and the Will of children, I'd highly recommend AS Neill's 'Summerhill'. A new edition is apparently in the offing, but in the meantime try for a 2nd hand copy. Very enlightened and enlightening book.

Quote:
For more on this: http://www.summerhillschool.co.uk/pages/about.html

I consider the development of alternative systems for the education of children to be a top priority, myself. Many of the existing systems are horrendous.


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Tiger
(@tiger)
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21/02/2009 8:09 pm  

"I believe that looking for divinity without before looking for it within diminishes the capacity of a child to directly engage the divinity within themselves."
Right On !

be fearless carve your own path

As a child of a single working parent and no extended family my HGA put me in the fortunate position of having more moments of raising myself than most others.

I've also had friends whose parents claim children happen and it is not up to the parent to organize their life around them but the opposite, let the Kids figure it out.


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Los
 Los
(@los)
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22/02/2009 7:32 pm  

Hi Brian,

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

I think that the concept of "sin" itself is a mistake -- it is at best, a silly misintepretation of reality; at worst, a dangerous misunderstanding.

Restriction, in some form, is necessary for life and can be quite good; however, one must be aware of the "uses and abuses" of everything: irrational or needless restriction interferes with the will.

In practical life, we face restrictions all the time. We're all restricted by the laws of physics, by the conditions of our environment, etc. These restrictions aren't "bad." They're nothing more than the conditions of our life within which we have to work. We restrict ourselves all the time: we curb (or sublimate) our instincts, we obey the laws we've set up to make sure that society runs well and is (potentially) fair for everyone, we subject ourselves to hard work and self-discipline so that we can achieve goals.

If you want to be a good parent, you have no choice but to set limits on your children. "Don't touch the hot stove" sounds like a really good rule to me. "Be home by such-and-such a time" sounds like a good rule, subject to modification as the child ages and/or demonstrates his or her maturity. On the other hand, "No sex until you're 21" sounds idiotic. I would much rather advise a child to "Practice safe sex" and "Be smart about choosing your partners."

Talking about his childhood experiences, George Carlin once remarked that he always respected rules that had a good reason behind them. For example: no running with the scissors. It made sense. "Wow, these scissors could go right through me. Good rule, Dad!" On the other hand, some rules were just dumb. For example: no singing at the dinner table. "Why not?" he would ask. "Because I said so," his mother would reply. "Always the sign of a bad rule!"

So, basically, my suggestion would be to determine rationally the best rules that will help your child without unnecessarily or irrationally putting a restriction on behavior, interests, hobbies, etc. And explain explicitly to your child the reasons behind your rules...if you can't think of a good reason, it is more than likely a dumb (and restrictive) rule.

With regards to religion, I would never tell a child, "Here's what you must believe!" It's the child's choice (not to mention that it's impossible to mandate belief). However, I would take a subtle approach and teach the child not about religion, but about critical thinking: how to go about analyzing claims to determine if they're true or not.

A good technique might be to do a magic trick or sleight of hand for your child; then confess that it's "just a trick." Do it again slowly and encourage your child to try to figure out how it's done. Then comes the lesson: our perceptions are very easily fooled, so how do we go about distinguishing reality from fantasy? This can lead to a great conversation about evidence and reason.

Hopefully, a child who learns how to think well will eventually come to realize that religion is bunk -- or at best, a quaint metaphor. It will probably occur around the time your child realizes that Santa isn't real.

Of course, I don't have children of my own (at least not yet), so my advise is not informed by experience. So feel free to take it with as many grains of salt as you wish.

Love is the law, love under will.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
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23/02/2009 5:29 am  

I'm not a Thelemite, but I am friends to many, and agree with alot of Thelema's teachings. I consider myself somewhat of a dark Wiccan of sorts, more of a witch than anything.

That being said, I have often wondered what I should do as a parent myself. I try to pick and choose my battles (especially with teens, LOL!). Some areas I compromise with my ex to make things consistent, but some areas I'm going to encourage my daughters to go with their own will (or I have already encouraged).

I know I do my best to be open-minded with them in regards to sex. However, because of the fact that they are under 18, and the possibility with my ex having the potential of making it difficult for me to see the kids if he didn't like what I did (he has full custody of them -- long story there) -- it makes me be very careful with what I do. I won't have books with sexual themes out.

However, I do make an exception and let them look at Pre-Raphaelite art. If my ex ever complained about that (he's one of those fundamentalist Christians), I could always say that it's fine art, very much like the statue of David, which ironically most Christians don't have a problem with.

So yeah, it's challenging to know what to do when one is a parent and believes in doing what one wills as long as it doesn't interfere with someone else's true will.


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 Anonymous
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23/02/2009 11:49 am  
"Camlion" wrote:
"annolumina" wrote:
Not strictly Thelemic, but on the subject of child-rearing, parenthood, and the Will of children, I'd highly recommend AS Neill's 'Summerhill'. A new edition is apparently in the offing, but in the meantime try for a 2nd hand copy. Very enlightened and enlightening book.

For more on this: http://www.summerhillschool.co.uk/pages/about.html

I consider the development of alternative systems for the education of children to be a top priority, myself. Many of the existing systems are horrendous.

I agree. In my late 20s I decided I wanted to be a teacher but gave up on that ambition after reading Neill's book. it made me realise the awfulness of current 'educational' methods, and I didn't want to perpetuate them in any way. I've been on the Summerhill mailing list for a while now, I'm pleased to see that the school and Neill's ideas still thrive.


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 Anonymous
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23/02/2009 3:11 pm  

The tone of several of the posts above underscores the vital importance of being judicious in one's choice of parenting partners. Sadly, we seem to mate with people with whom we have little in common, that is, have children with them. Not really always in the best interest of the children to be so indiscriminate. 🙁


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 Anonymous
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23/02/2009 10:51 pm  

'the word of sin is restriction.'
For myself all I can do is to try to be a good parent. That means trying to model good behaviour. It means encouraging good habits and discouraging bad ones. Modern life is full of stuff that kids want: tv, video games, sugar, car rides instead of walking, etc. They might want such things but most parents - even thelemites - try to restrict access. It's not _really_ their wills to be overweight and underfit in later life, we presume.

I don't want to sound like a broken record but there's no 'true will' in liber al. Even if there were, I'd still happily resist a 'will' to self injury or harm. All we can do as parents is to try not to restrict our childrens' wills unnecessarily. I've no problem steering them away from harm, or from engaging in battles of wills: that happens regularly. Sometimes they need to understand that no, they're really not going to win this one. Other times I'll give in, or negotiate.

At heart the child's will is probably to grow, learn, mature, develop: to reach adulthood functional and healthy. A bit of restriction is _necessary_ to get there. My kids can take their chances with me. I love them, I do my best. You're right, it's not easy. Hopefully they chose their parents and knew what they were in for. If not, well, it's too late now anyway 🙂


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kidneyhawk
(@kidneyhawk)
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24/02/2009 1:08 am  

Daimonos,

An absolutely wonderful post and I agree with you fully.

Cheers!

Kyle


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lashtal
(@lashtal)
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24/02/2009 1:15 am  
"daimonos" wrote:
At heart the child's will is probably to grow, learn, mature, develop: to reach adulthood functional and healthy. A bit of restriction is _necessary_ to get there. My kids can take their chances with me. I love them, I do my best.

The wisest sentiment I've read on this site in quite a while. Well said...

Owner and Editor
LAShTAL


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 Anonymous
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24/02/2009 1:55 am  

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
It seems to me that this discussion is missing the essential point of Chastity versus Restriction. One may refer to Little Essays Toward Truth "Chastity" and Liber Aleph "On Chastity" as opposed to "restriction" as referenced in the "New Comment" to Liber AL I.41, especially; the "Old Comment," also.
While I am not disagreeing with the parenting philosophies of those above (myself, I agree), nor am I encouraging others to "read ahead" into the VIIth Degree O.T.O. But, there is a difference between between the two ideas that appears to be germane here. Frankly, I personally am enjoying what I've read of late, but we seem to have moved slightly afar of the original question.
Love is the law, love under will.


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phthah
(@phthah)
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24/02/2009 1:59 am  

93,

"daimonos" wrote:
At heart the child's will is probably to grow, learn, mature, develop: to reach adulthood functional and healthy. A bit of restriction is _necessary_ to get there. My kids can take their chances with me. I love them, I do my best.

And actually this attitude sounds very similar to that of The Master Therion when he wrote in chapter 40 of Liber Aleph, "Thou mayst therefore assume that it is always an essential Part of the Will of any Child to grow to Manhood or to Womanhood in Health, and his Guardians may therefore prevent him from ignorantly acting in Opposition thereunto".

93 93/93
phthah


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FraterNuin
(@fraternuin)
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24/02/2009 4:00 am  

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

"daimonos" wrote:
At heart the child's will is probably to grow, learn, mature, develop: to reach adulthood functional and healthy. A bit of restriction is _necessary_ to get there.....

To mirror what Paul said, this is most wise. And as a parent myself I have seen this in practice (although he hasn't made it to adulthood yet).

Thinking back to my childhood, whilst I had many 'I want to be XYZ when I grow up' real expressions of Will didn't start to become really obvious until mid to late teens.

And I strongly believe the words by Daimonos exist somewhere in Crowley's writing (alas, at work, so reference material is not readily found) or in the writing of another well known Thelemite (Maybe Soror Meral.. please don't quote me on that).

As a parent (was single parent, but have partner now that is a Thelemite, so that makes some decisions much easier), I took the active approach of encouraging freedom of exploration, expression and knowledge, whilst encouraging discipline. Which so far has ended up with my son acting politely, speaking well, being calm and enjoying drawing that is well beyond my level (alas) and being a 'whizz' in mathematics.

Thinking about it, some of my approach to parenting comes from some inspiration from the Abbey of Thelema, with a distinct discouragement on any chance of smoking. But that is based on new-knowledge about its effects. As well as remembering how I was raised and all the things I enjoyed doing as a young boy, including skinned knees, being covered in mud and being able to read when I want.

As a summary, try to your child safe long enough to reach adulthood, but allow bumps, scraps, tears, laughter, and always feed that thirst for knowledge positively and constantly.

Love is the law, love under will.

N.


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FraterNuin
(@fraternuin)
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24/02/2009 4:02 am  

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

And of course, phthah found the reference I was thinking of. I knew I had read it recently, having reread Liber Alpeh a few days ago.

Thanks. I should have read all items in the thread 100% first.

Love is the law, love under will.

N.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
24/02/2009 3:59 pm  
"Petros" wrote:
Frankly, I personally am enjoying what I've read of late, but we seem to have moved slightly afar of the original question.

And deliberately so, for my part. Only so much need be said in defense of restricting one's children when it comes to playing with fire or looking both ways before they cross the street. 🙂


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manofwycombe
(@manofwycombe)
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25/02/2009 9:31 pm  

93

As Summerhill school has been mentioned a few times in this thread about parenting, it seems reasonable to relay what my mother told me about the place. She was sent there around 1930 and hated it.

I remember discussing it with her and she felt that it was unrealistic - and unfair- to expect children to behave like the intellectual adults who tended to send their children there.

93 93/93

Clive


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
26/02/2009 11:02 pm  

"True" Will is an entirely different thing to "common or garden" will. If it's my child's "will" to play with matches, that's not his "True" Will, that's just something he wants to do, and for his own good it needs to be prevented. His True Will on the other hand is, as Daimonos indicated, his innate urge to grow, develop, learn, blossom, mate etc etc... Following one's True Will is like immersing oneself in the flowing river of the Tao... It's actually quite difficult to restrict someone's True Will: even locking them in a cage may not prevent them developing their mental powers to an impressive degree. So as a parent, it's not something I'd worry about too much.


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 Anonymous
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27/02/2009 12:47 am  
"Alastrum" wrote:
"True" Will is an entirely different thing to "common or garden" will. If it's my child's "will" to play with matches, that's not his "True" Will, that's just something he wants to do, and for his own good it needs to be prevented. His True Will on the other hand is, as Daimonos indicated, his innate urge to grow, develop, learn, blossom, mate etc etc... Following one's True Will is like immersing oneself in the flowing river of the Tao... .

Agreed.

"Alastrum" wrote:
It's actually quite difficult to restrict someone's True Will: even locking them in a cage may not prevent them developing their mental powers to an impressive degree. So as a parent, it's not something I'd worry about too much.

Not to be taken literally, I assume.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
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28/02/2009 10:28 am  

93,

I feel compelled to play devil's advocate a bit and mention that injury, in and of itself, is not necessarily counter to a child's True Will. To proclaim it so, is somewhat of a slippery slope, and would seem to imply intimate knowledge, which one simply is not capable of. While it seems logical enough that a parent's True Will would involve guarding a child from undue harm and injury, to state categorically that it is a child's True Will to go uninjured seems unreasonable. I am rather certain that there are cases when bodily injury may facilitate a higher goal... Take sports, for example. If one is operating on the premise that it is a child's True Will to go through childhood without injury, I think one opens the door for the type of restriction that would indeed cause more harm than it mitigates.

In fact, philosophically, I suggest it is not only the True Will of some children to receive even life-crippling injuries, but also death, in some circumstances. To assume the True Will of every child born is to reach adulthood, either uninjured, or at all, would seem to be folly. Not at all suggesting an abdication of parental responsibility in that regard, of course, but to suggest this is not the case seems to be the result of a rather dangerous bias... Though, completely understandable when one is speaking of children, especially one's own.

93 93/93


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
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28/02/2009 3:15 pm  

93

An excellent topic! I have been away on business a few weeks so im sorry I missed this post until now.

I have a 13 year old daughter and raising her as a Thelemite is very dear to my heart.

Since the earliest age I have taught her to be strong. Living in America (probably the most fundamentalist Xtian society I have ever lived in) the essential first step was to make sure she understands her own value - that she is a star. I talked to her at length about Xtian teachings on women and their "place" and encouraged her to find the whole Xtian beleif system to be repugnent. I instilled in her the belief that she is strong and must never submit to anyones will but her own - and that any beleif system or culture that seeks to lable her as second class based on her gender is the enemy.

Now she is 13 I have had her read liber OZ a few times. I was overjoyed a few months back when she stood up for herself in a row with her Mother. Her mother was drunk and beligerent and was trying to make her go to bed before her usual bedtime. They had a row which culiminated in my Daughter saying "Do what they Wilt shall be the whole of the law, and I will do what I will!".

I am now working on getting her to understand the principle of applying her will. I am teaching her that its critical to consider her actions before she acts. That it is key she weighs up all the possible consequences of her actions, the risk and reward, and then acts accordingly, and having decided to act to follow through.

WE talk at length and I have got her to understand that everyone has an agenda, and she does also. If her agenda is aligned with someone elses then fine, if not then she need not submit. I have also taught her about compromise - for example if one of her freinds wants her to do something and its not her "will" to do so then she doesnt have to BUT she should consider the bigger picture and the value of her freindship and therefore if its her will to maintain the relationship because she values it then this is bigger and more important than the minor issue of not going to see a movie she doesnt really want to watch.

A couple of months back I was putting her to bed on a school night, she had been texting and talking to her freinds alot on her mobile. As I was wishing her a good night it occured to me that she might have her phone with her in bed. I said "its a school night so I hope you dont plan to use your phone any more tonight, do you?" She said "No - its off daddy". NExt second her phone beeps, I pull back the bedcolthes and she has it open in her hand. I took the phone away for a few days as punishment. The next morning we talked. I told her it wanst that she lied - everybody lies and if the end justifies the means then so be it. But its important to lie well and to consider the outcomes of her actions. In this case I told her that it was a stupid lie as it was easily found out and that she didnt weigh up the fact that she can talk to her freinds anytime - whereas if found out she might find the punishment worse than the minor benefit of idle chatter with her freinds.

93 93/93


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
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28/02/2009 5:56 pm  
"Yathaniel" wrote:
93,

I feel compelled to play devil's advocate a bit and mention that injury, in and of itself, is not necessarily counter to a child's True Will. To proclaim it so, is somewhat of a slippery slope, and would seem to imply intimate knowledge, which one simply is not capable of. While it seems logical enough that a parent's True Will would involve guarding a child from undue harm and injury, to state categorically that it is a child's True Will to go uninjured seems unreasonable. I am rather certain that there are cases when bodily injury may facilitate a higher goal... Take sports, for example. If one is operating on the premise that it is a child's True Will to go through childhood without injury, I think one opens the door for the type of restriction that would indeed cause more harm than it mitigates.

In fact, philosophically, I suggest it is not only the True Will of some children to receive even life-crippling injuries, but also death, in some circumstances. To assume the True Will of every child born is to reach adulthood, either uninjured, or at all, would seem to be folly. Not at all suggesting an abdication of parental responsibility in that regard, of course, but to suggest this is not the case seems to be the result of a rather dangerous bias... Though, completely understandable when one is speaking of children, especially one's own.

93 93/93

This is true, IMO, but the only reasonable course of action available, of course, is that such apparent 'misfortune' to the child occur despite the best efforts of the parent to prevent it. In this way, the possibility of negligence is minimized. No matter what precautions are taken, at least a certain degree of 'misfortune' will most likely occur, and in certain apparently random cases a greater degree of 'misfortune' is inevitable. Such 'unfortunate' occurrences certainly cannot be arbitrarily ruled out of the scope of true Will, I agree.


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 Anonymous
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01/03/2009 3:44 pm  
"Camlion" wrote:
This is true, IMO, but the only reasonable course of action available, of course, is that such apparent 'misfortune' to the child occur despite the best efforts of the parent to prevent it. In this way, the possibility of negligence is minimized. No matter what precautions are taken, at least a certain degree of 'misfortune' will most likely occur, and in certain apparently random cases a greater degree of 'misfortune' is inevitable. Such 'unfortunate' occurrences certainly cannot be arbitrarily ruled out of the scope of true Will, I agree.

You put it quite well. This is also my thinking on the matter. I think you've condensed it down in a way that is most useful.


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Sodeth
(@sodeth)
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29/03/2009 5:36 am  

I found this topic so interesting that I have acquired a copy of AS Neill's 'Summerhill'. I hope to learn some techniques to encourage my son to learn to find his own will.

Sodeth


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 Anonymous
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02/04/2009 9:21 am  
"Camlion" wrote:
The tone of several of the posts above underscores the vital importance of being judicious in one's choice of parenting partners. Sadly, we seem to mate with people with whom we have little in common, that is, have children with them. Not really always in the best interest of the children to be so indiscriminate. 🙁

Keep in mind, that at the time some people had kids(such as I), they may have been similar in beliefs or life goals, but later on down the road changed. When I was with my ex, we were of the same religion. I was the one who changed later on. Once divorced (and free) my eyes were opened and I left Christianity behind once and for all.

During the time we were together I had no intention or idea I would later leave Christianity behind.

So that's one example as to how that is able to happen.


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 Anonymous
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02/04/2009 6:11 pm  
"LadyofSorrows" wrote:
"Camlion" wrote:
The tone of several of the posts above underscores the vital importance of being judicious in one's choice of parenting partners. Sadly, we seem to mate with people with whom we have little in common, that is, have children with them. Not really always in the best interest of the children to be so indiscriminate. 🙁

Keep in mind, that at the time some people had kids(such as I), they may have been similar in beliefs or life goals, but later on down the road changed. When I was with my ex, we were of the same religion. I was the one who changed later on. Once divorced (and free) my eyes were opened and I left Christianity behind once and for all.

During the time we were together I had no intention or idea I would later leave Christianity behind.

So that's one example as to how that is able to happen.

93 LadyofSorrows. I look forward with determination and optimism to a time when people are encouraged from childhood to know and do their true Will, are never indoctrinated as children with ideas that interfere with that natural function, and thus set important life-goals and make important life-choices based on the criteria of true Will alone. For now, we can each contribute to achieving that eventual ideal by knowing and doing our own true Will, beginning with the circumstances in which we find ourselves presently, and by insuring that the children we Will have are raised in circumstances as conducive to that ideal as possible.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
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03/04/2009 1:59 am  
"Camlion" wrote:
"LadyofSorrows" wrote:
"Camlion" wrote:
The tone of several of the posts above underscores the vital importance of being judicious in one's choice of parenting partners. Sadly, we seem to mate with people with whom we have little in common, that is, have children with them. Not really always in the best interest of the children to be so indiscriminate. 🙁

Keep in mind, that at the time some people had kids(such as I), they may have been similar in beliefs or life goals, but later on down the road changed. When I was with my ex, we were of the same religion. I was the one who changed later on. Once divorced (and free) my eyes were opened and I left Christianity behind once and for all.

During the time we were together I had no intention or idea I would later leave Christianity behind.

So that's one example as to how that is able to happen.

93 LadyofSorrows. I look forward with determination and optimism to a time when people are encouraged from childhood to know and do their true Will, are never indoctrinated as children with ideas that interfere with that natural function, and thus set important life-goals and make important life-choices based on the criteria of true Will alone. For now, we can each contribute to achieving that eventual ideal by knowing and doing our own true Will, beginning with the circumstances in which we find ourselves presently, and by insuring that the children we Will have are raised in circumstances as conducive to that ideal as possible.

That would be awesome.

I do all I can (in the time that I have with them) teaching them to be open-minded, and be accepting of people. My hope is that I can manage to counteract any judgmentalism my ex tries to teach them.


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 Anonymous
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08/06/2009 3:16 pm  

Yesterday, after a lovely afternoon with the family, I was settling my youngest daughter down with a story and a chat. Lately, she’s shown a strong interest in Christian religion, probably because most of the Religious Education teachers are Christian and tend to misuse their position to promote Christianity at the expense of other faiths or philosophies. I tend to think that philosophy should be taught before religion but I have been reduced to teaching them side by side with both my daughters, thereby reducing the influence of the indoctrinator at her school.

Izzy is one of the brightest children in her year. Infact – ‘bright’ doesn’t do her justice. She is intelligent - and that is a fact. Therefore I was shocked to hear her call herself ‘stupid’ and claim that ‘God and Jesus’ are the cleverest and most intelligent. In some ways I think growing up with a high intellect can be difficult for a child, as it’s something they grow aware of as setting them apart from their peers. That’s a rather uncomfortable realisation for a 7 year old child, and our family has various strategies to help her accept who she is and cope with some of the feelings of inferiority that some of her friends have been displaying lately. She doesn’t like to be the cleverest girl around if that makes her friends a little unhappy sometimes. Well, she was getting a handle on it when the RE teacher gave her this idea that there was some imaginary universal ‘god’ around, like santa claus, that would always be more brillient that she was. What a relief to her! Now she could just ditch the whole uncomfortable situation at school by telling her friends ‘oh I’m stupid too really. God is the really intelligent one’. What a sneeky and underhand thing for a religious education teacher to do, eh?

It wasn’t hard to undo the damage. “What God is that?” I asked. “Our God!” she answered, “the Christian God!” (*wince*) After explaining to her that she’d never been Christened, why she had not been Christened (i.e. I trust that she is intelligent enough to decide for herself what to believe in and have given her this gift instead of deciding for her)and that I was not a Christian, she accepted it and asked “what am I then?”

Of course – she meant “what religon am I?” - seeking a label that she could identify with. At 7 years old we’re busy constructing the self image, and we don’t even realise it. Izzy thinks ‘I am Izzy ****, I live at *****, I like Pocomon games and I have 3 cats and a dog etc.’
There’s a book I’ve been trying to interest her in called ‘Sophies World’. It’s a little above her head but I like pirsigs method of teaching. You pick a chapter or even a short paragraph in a book and discuss it. Izzy likes this as long as I recognise when she’s had enough. It’s better to wait until she’s ready to come back to a subject after a little thinking, that bore her with a subject. She may be intelligent but children still have a shorter attention span than us adults. The first chapter of ‘Sophies world’ is the start of a philosophical inquery.

“Imagine...” I said to Izzy, “that one day you were alone with your sister, and the postman came. You went and got the mail and found there was a letter addressed to you, and so you open it. You take out a small piece of paper and there are three words written on it. They say ‘who are you?’ So what do you think? What do you do?” Izzy said “I’d write back ‘who are you?” So I tell her that there is no return address on the envelope and she can’t do that. “Oh” she said thinking about it, “well I suppose I couldn’t just write my name, could I? I’d have to write my address and... “ thinking about it a little harder, “write everything down about me, wouldn’t I?” ... but she’s looking uncertain now. The idea of writing down who she is seems a very big job, and the more she thinks about it the more possibilities come up. It might be a never-ending task! So I ask her “imagine you were born with the name Katrina Smith. Would you be a different person?” “Yes” she replied instantly, quickly followed by “No!” “So you’d be the same person if you had a different name or lived somewhere different?” I ask. “Yes” she says. She’s giving one worders because she’s really thinking about it. Just moments before she’s visualised a huge and impossible task of writing down who she was. The letter had asked her “who are you?” But now she’s thinking she’s the same person regardless of her name or address and a lot of other things she first thought she was, and her eyes are bright and shining through the gloom with the new idea. Abruptly she realises that “who are you” still hasn’t been answered and she wants an answer from me about that. “You’ll have to find that out for yourself”, I tell her “but in the first chapter of that book ‘Sophies World’ a girl get’s a letter asking ‘who are you?’ too. She wanted to get the book and get straight into it and learn more, but she needs her sleep for school today. Hopefully, she won’t get an RE lesson first period.


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Tiger
(@tiger)
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09/06/2009 1:35 pm  

How fortunate for the muggles to come into contact with cool chicks like Izzy .


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
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09/06/2009 2:43 pm  

What muggles are these then? Her friends that might be better at painting than her? Or music? The ones that are really good at horseriding? Those muggles? She has a lot of friends who are 'cool chicks' too. 🙂


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FraterNuin
(@fraternuin)
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09/06/2009 2:55 pm  

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law

Ultimately, I have observed two types of people, and a result, often mirrored behaviour in their children. Those that think and encourage others to think; and those that appear to choose not to think.

And I have been hopefully succeeding in encouraging my son to think over the last 10 years. Slowly but surely. Most appropriate thing I can do.

Admittedly this is primarily my own opinions, and is hardly a scientific study of the nature of thought in humanity.

Love is the law, love under will.

Fra. N.


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 Anonymous
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09/06/2009 3:23 pm  

Good on you Frater N! I think children have thier own natural learning styles, they want to learn, they enjoy learning, but sometimes school squashes thier enjoyment of learning. If you can help your child retain that innate love of learning, thier curiosity and their innocent ability to question, then you give them a gift that will be invaluable to them for the rest of thier lives. So - good on you! 🙂


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Tiger
(@tiger)
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09/06/2009 4:01 pm  

What muggles are these then?

Those that don't encourage others to think and seek to make others conform.

Just thought Harry Potter would be fun antidote for kids in a bible bubble.


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FraterNuin
(@fraternuin)
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09/06/2009 4:11 pm  

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law

"alrah" wrote:
Good on you Frater N! I think children have thier own natural learning styles, they want to learn, they enjoy learning, but sometimes school squashes thier enjoyment of learning. If you can help your child retain that innate love of learning, thier curiosity and their innocent ability to question, then you give them a gift that will be invaluable to them for the rest of thier lives. So - good on you! 🙂

The only side effects so far, is a child that asks lots of questions about everything (a good side effect) and then he is occasionally cheeky. But I can deal with that, when done politely.

Although on a more serious note, there is somewhat negative side effect I have observed. He has noted that he doesn't care much for having friends or dealing with other children, as most of them are into 'kids stuff' and are 'far too noisy'. Which is sad at times, as he should be enjoying being a child before he has to "grow up" and answer to the Taxman. However, his distaste for some frivolities has resulted in him working on drawing and painting and he puts me well and truly to shame. Now, if he can become a world renowned artist, he can keep me in a life style I prefer to live in with sales of his art 😉

Love is the law, love under will.

Fra. N.


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Tiger
(@tiger)
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09/06/2009 5:57 pm  

he should be enjoying being a child before he has to "grow up" and answer to the Taxman

For now he is living a beautiful childhood. Free of the Tax man, putting you to shame, letting you keep a life style he prefers to live. 😀


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Azidonis
(@azidonis)
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Posts: 2964
12/06/2009 12:08 am  

93,

There seems to be a difference between being a parent, and being paternal, or maternal.

For instance, you need to be able to teach your kid not to run into the street. That is parenting. You don't sit by and say it was his Will to run into the street. You might as well be saying it was the kid's Will to get hit by a truck, and the truck driver's Will to hit the kid. That's just nonsense in my opinion.

Kids have a wonderful connection with their Inner Divinity. In that light they are very beautiful bright stars, and should be treated as such; princes and princesses. However, the world we live in is coarse and sometimes unjust. Kids do need to learn basic values, like "do not lie, cheat, or steal", as well as manners and such. That is parenting as well.

All humans at some point in time have an animal self, or Ego. That Ego needs to be shaped, like any parent would shape a child's Ego. A good parent teaches a kid values and lessons that the parent sees will be relevant to the child in adulthood. The parent teaches the child how to make such decisions which will shape the child's own life. This is all very basic common knowledge, but it is part of being human and dealing with the human condition, both psychologically and sociologically.

However, there is a difference. The "because I said so" routine seems typically discouraged. Children need to be taught, not forced. Forcing someone to do something just because you don't want them doing it is absurd. You wouldn't do that to your neighbor, so why do it to your child? Some parents take to controlling every aspect of a child's life, which is not Thelemic, in my opinion.

I could litter this post with examples, but perhaps the main point is that there is parenting and "paternalling" (or forcing). The parent, even the Thelemic parent, does his or her best to teach the child how to develop his or her own Self in a manner which is best suited to the child. The controlling parent forces his or her owns ways upon the child, perhaps more often than not leading to a child having to develop in a manner which best suits the parents' whims and not the child's Will.

My two cents...

93 93/93


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
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24/12/2010 9:41 pm  

I urge my own children to do challenging things, like climb obstacles, jump from small heights unaided, and other similar activities that can cause some minor injury. As my mother told me at the birth f my first son "the first time they get hurt will be at the payground, but you still have to let them play." I also dont spank my children or yell at them or even punish them. I correct negative behaviors and reinforce pusitive ones. But if my toddler tries to run in the street, I won't hesitate to reduce him to a debilitated state of tears with the most viscious sounding yell I can muster, stopping him dead in his tracks. Another thing I think is imprtant is actually talking to your children, explaining things to them and reading them, because of this my 2 year old has the receptive language skills of most 5 year olds.
I have only boys, and I have seen a tendency in parents with girls to not urge them to crawl or walk or jump or run and explore the same as they would with a boy. I find that outright sad. On the flip side, nurturing isn't encouraged in boys as it is in girls and that is equally is sad. I was recently at the grocery store with my 2 year old boy and I handed him a butternut squash and he asked "what is it?" I told him and he held it as if it were an infant, kissed it and said "awwww, I love you butternut squash."

As Thelemic parents, we have a responsibility to raise our children in a manner that will facilitate their growth in to self empowered and well balanced individuals. This means enforcing limitations while teaching them to overcome obstacles.


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 Anonymous
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24/12/2010 9:49 pm  

I've met supposed Thelemic types who let their kids run around and act like complete bastards, talking foul to adults, being violent to other children and generally act like total shits without intervention. This is NOT Thelemic parenting, in fact, it isn't even parenting.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
24/12/2010 11:30 pm  
"AEternitas" wrote:
As Thelemic parents, we have a responsibility to raise our children in a manner that will facilitate their growth in to self empowered and well balanced individuals.

I believe that we agree on this. I would elaborate only a bit by adding that we have a responsibly to encourage our children to be what they were meant to be and to do what they were meant to do (true Will) as the unique individuals that they are; that we should observe, recognize and then encourage these things inherent to each child's nature, while refraining from imposing ideas foreign or artificial to those natures.

"AEternitas" wrote:
But if my toddler tries to run in the street, I won't hesitate to reduce him to a debilitated state of tears with the most viscious sounding yell I can muster, stopping him dead in his tracks.

Agreed. In no way does what I wrote above contradict the responsibility of parents to protect their children and to correct dangerous behavior, as is age and life-stage appropriate.

"AEternitas" wrote:
I've met supposed Thelemic types who let their kids run around and act like complete bastards, talking foul to adults, being violent to other children and generally act like total shits without intervention. This is NOT Thelemic parenting, in fact, it isn't even parenting.

I've met the same sort. But then, I've met supposed Thelemic types of all sorts over many years. I always look, especially as it relates to this subject of parenting and children, for signs of understanding of and emphasis on the concept of true Will. Were I do not find this, I cannot acknowledge something or someone as Thelemic. Without this understanding and emphasis, for example, most parents will almost always pass on artificial life goals to their children, and when these children fail to find personal fulfillment upon attaining these artificial life goals, yet another lifetime is well on its way to being wasted.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
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25/12/2010 12:46 am  

I think a person raised to be a self empowered individual is all the encouragement they need to find their true will, aside from that, you can only sew the seeds, they have to grow on their own.


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