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The authority of the Prophet versus the authority of the scholar

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 Anonymous
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While there are many Thelemites for whom the authority of the prophet and a pledge not to change anything in the Book of the Law is merely something to be pondered over pipes in freedom's bliss, there are also a sufficiently great number (even within the Frater Superior's own order) who have pledged themselves with the full fervor of their hearts to accept the Book of the Law without the desire to make any changes to it. To say that they should now accept changes to it is undestandably confusing and distressing. Is the very tradition they have pledged to keep now changing underneath their feet? Does their Frater Superior keep his own pledge? Does he share their values? Should they oppose this change? The question goes directly to the authority - the very literal "power to author" - of the Prophet of the New Aeon.

Class “A” consists of books of which may be changed not so much as the style of a letter: that is, they represent the utterance of an Adept entirely beyond the criticism of even the Visible Head of the Organization.

Class “B” consists of books or essays which are the result of ordinary scholarship, enlightened and earnest.

I quote the classification definitions here to make a very specific point. There has been drawn a very distinct line between Class A "utterances of an Adept" and Class B "scholarship, enlightened and earnest."

At no point in the Frater Superior's presentation of his argument does he ever transcend a Class B-level, scholarly criticism of the Class A text. In every presentation of the material, he suggests that the Adept's utterance is not what the Adept himself actually intended, based on scholarly opinion, not certain fact. Further, he suggests the reason for this supposedly unfulfilled intention of the Prophet was primarily laziness in editing. How is this not precisely the kind of criticism, literary and scholarly criticism though it is, that is directly prohibited by the Class A designation? One simply cannot make a change in the name of the Adept who finalized the Class A text without taking their authority upon oneself, thus diminishing the authority of the original Prophet - in this case, because of the Prophet's laziness. It basically says that because of the Prophet's laziness, his authority - again, very literally, his "power to author" the final form of his own Adept's utterance - must be second-guessed.

The Adept's intentions may be guessed at, but they may never be known with certainty. I repeat: his true intentions may never be known with certainty. And as a result, there will now be precisely the kind of division in the tradition of the A.'.A.'. that the Class A designation was expressly designed to prevent. Why? Because one or more well-respected scholars has deemed it necessary to change the text exactly as expressly forbidden by the original Adept and order.

The great irony of this debate as it continually plays out is that the debaters seem to agree with one another that scholarship should take primary importance here. However, no amount of additional scholarship will make this less of a breach of the Class A designation. In fact, the opposite is true, the more scholarly opinion that is presented, the more evidence is presented that this is precisely the kind of scholarly criticism and redaction that the Class A designation was intended to prevent. Please review the wording of it: ". . . they represent the utterance of an Adept entirely beyond the criticism of even the Visible Head of the Organization."

I do not question the Frater Superior's scholarship nor his sincerity; however, I do very logically designate them as Class B criticisms, not Class A.

For the ideal of unity between orders, for the sake of authoritative precedents, I plead that he forbear.


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Los
 Los
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"Sardonyx" wrote:
While there are many Thelemites for whom the authority of the prophet and a pledge not to change anything in the Book of the Law is merely something to be pondered over pipes in freedom's bliss, there are also a sufficiently great number (even within the Frater Superior's own order) who have pledged themselves with the full fervor of their hearts to accept the Book of the Law without the desire to make any changes to it. To say that they should now accept changes to it is undestandably confusing and distressing. Is the very tradition they have pledged to keep now changing underneath their feet? Does their Frater Superior keep his own pledge?

The argument that HB has been making is that the presence of "fill" in the text all these years was a mistake, so that "fill" is actually a *change* from what it should have been (i.e. "kill," which might have been the word in the poem that Aiwass supposedly ordered Crowley "wordless[ly]" to insert into the Book).

In other words, HB's position is that the Book of the Law *was* changed (accidentally, by Crowley) and that it has had a *change* in it all these years -- and, of course, the Book orders that it not be changed, so (this argument runs) altering "fill" to "kill" actually fixes a change to the Book. If one accepts HB's argument, then altering "fill" to "kill" fulfills the command not to change the Book.

Of course, I'm not persuaded by HB's argument, either, but it doesn't help anyone to misrepresent his position.

One simply cannot make a change in the name of the Adept who finalized the Class A text without taking their authority upon oneself, thus diminishing the authority of the original Prophet

HB isn't trying to "take" anyone's "authority" "upon himself." He's very clear that the authority is Crowley -- he's trying to determine, by means of evidence, what *Crowley* intended for the Book.

Again, I don't agree with his argument, but I don't agree with it because the evidence isn't persuasive, not because I think he's trying to appropriate some dude's mantle of "authority."


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lashtal
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"Los" wrote:
The argument that HB has been making is that the presence of "fill" in the text all these years was a mistake, so that "fill" is actually a *change* from what it should have been (i.e. "kill," which might have been the word in the poem that Aiwass supposedly ordered Crowley "wordless[ly]" to insert into the Book). In other words, HB's position is that the Book of the Law *was* changed (accidentally, by Crowley) and that it has had a *change* in it all these years -- and, of course, the Book orders that it not be changed, so (this argument runs) altering "fill" to "kill" actually fixes a change to the Book. If one accepts HB's argument, then altering "fill" to "kill" fulfills the command not to change the Book.

An excellent summary, Los, based on the mention of 'fill' in Liber XXXI in a subsequent penciled note for a copyist. Neither 'fill' nor 'kill' - in this context - appears in XXXXI as originally written by the scribe.

Owner and Editor
LAShTAL


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 Anonymous
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What you've got there is a sophisticated argument that all boils down to a purely speculative scholarly opinion about 100 years after the fact.

Not changing, but 'unchanging.' I'm sorry, and I don't mean to offend the Frater Superior's good intentions or his personal submission to what he feels is the true authoritative intent of the Prophet, but it is pure speculation.

In my opinion, what he intends to do is in an entirely different spirit than what he is practically doing.

What did everyone expect that the "criticism of even the Visible Head of the Organization" would look like? Open defiance? Petulant disagreement? Simple preference mixed with personal inflation?

Of course he's sincere. Of course he doesn't intend to contradict the authority of the Prophet.

But in practice and in precedent, this occurs anyway, due to the nature of the Class A designation.

There will either be the unity that stems from submission to that designation by "scholarship, enlightened and earnest," or there will not be.

In my opinion, there is simply nothing else to the argument.


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Los
 Los
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"Sardonyx" wrote:
What you've got there is a sophisticated argument that all boils down to a purely speculative scholarly opinion about 100 years after the fact.

Not changing, but 'unchanging.' I'm sorry, and I don't mean to offend the Frater Superior's good intentions or his personal submission to what he feels is the true authoritative intent of the Prophet, but it is pure speculation.

Well, it's an argument, based on evidence. Now, I'm of the position that the evidence is insufficient to support HB's conclusions, but that's the purpose of talking about it, which is being done quite openly and rather interestingly.

To dismiss his argument as "speculation" is to fail to engage with the evidence that he's presented. It's far better -- and far more persuasive, for the sake of the position that you and I both hold -- to address his argument as an argument and to demonstrate, with appeals to the evidence, where it is insufficient.

Of course he's sincere. Of course he doesn't intend to contradict the authority of the Prophet.

But in practice and in precedent, this occurs anyway, due to the nature of the Class A designation.

You're going to defend your case here a little better, because I sure don't see your argument. It's in no way a violation of the "Class A designation" to think that there is an honest-to-goodness mistake in one Class A text (one that is a transcription of another Class A text) and to try to fix it.

Now, perhaps the evidence isn't persuasive enough to demonstrate that there actually was a mistake, but that's a separate question.

Are you arguing that, by definition, there can never be any mistake in any printing of any Class A document? Apparently, Crowley did not agree with you because he flagged typographical mistakes in copies of CCXX....


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 Anonymous
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We have the final corrected version of the Book of the Law given in Class A.

That's all we have that we can say with any certainty was actually stamped with the approval of the very Adept who wrote it.

The rest will always only be speculation.

It's what we have received under the Prophet's authority. Anything else, no matter the intention, subverts that final authority.

Postulating what I may or may not believe about the nature of Class A texts is irrelevant to the fact of what may be said with the greatest amount of concrete certainty possible was actually approved by the Adept who wrote it.

Anything else is less concrete, less certain.


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Palamedes
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Although I have nothing substantial to add to Los' summary to the original post in this thread, I will nevertheless make a comment that yes, in this case we have the authority of the Prophet who made a clear correction in his personal copy of Liber AL and by implementing this correction, HB is obeying the Prophet and, as Sardonyx states it so eloquently, we should not question the authority of the Prophet. To be even more precise, we have two evidential cases where a) while making editorial corrections the Prophet corrected fill to kill, and b) while making editorial corrections he did not change "kill" but left it there as a clear sign that this reading is correct (I have in mind The Giant's Tomb).


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⛄
 
(@jg)
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Although not absolutely to the point, I think the essay by Elliot Wolfson, Sage Is Preferable to Prophet, bears upon the topic of the thread.  It is not exactly to the point by the simple fact that William does not, to the best of my knowledge, claim to be a sage, but only an editor.  Further, in regards to the editing of works which are hallowed as being inspired, the work by the ex-President of the University of Amsterdam, Scribal Culture and the Making of the Hebrew Bible may also be of value.

John


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Philip Harris-Smith
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Whether it is "fill" or "kill" is clearly identified as being for each person to decide individually and privately.  Any pontificating by 'authorities' has less value then that of the Zimbabwean dollar.


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Michael Staley
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"Philip Harris-Smith" wrote:
Whether it is "fill" or "kill" is clearly identified as being for each person to decide individually and privately.  Any pontificating by 'authorities' has less value then that of the Zimbabwean dollar.

Some might consider that they have a damn sight more value than your own pontifications across a variety of subjects on this website over the months and years.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
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I think you must always give the prophet that last word.
But Like we cannot ask Jesus about the New Testament.
We cannot ask Crowley about AL
Or Mohammed about the Koran
I am not trying to be clever or pragmatic, whatever that means.
But once the Prophet is dead, all that he/ she may have said
is just a debate about personal preferences.
If I take upon myself to live my life in accordance to the Book of the Law
As produced by Crowley, divinely inspired or not.
Then surely I must do as is prescribed by the Prophet.
If I begin to doubt the Prophet then I am sawing away at the branch upon which I sit.
If I take upon myself to live my life in accordance to the Book of the Law
Then Crowley is my Guru.
And as all perfect disciples must know.
It is devotion to absolute perfect word of the guru that produces the absolute flowering of perfection.


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Azidonis
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"The study of this Book is forbidden. It is wise to destroy this copy after the first reading."

Should have obeyed the prophet...


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abn53
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"The study of this Book is forbidden..." — this statement first appears in the brochure part of the Tunis Edition.
So when published it referred only to the manuscript. Crowley apparently never published specifically as "Class A". The earliest reference to Class A I am familiar with is in Motta's Commentaries of AL 1975.
I don't know to what category it should be referred.


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 Anonymous
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It's in no way a violation of the "Class A designation" to think that there is an honest-to-goodness mistake in one Class A text (one that is a transcription of another Class A text) and to try to fix it.

Actually, that's precisely the kind of "criticism" of a Class A text that is rejected by the designation Class A. Only the Adept who wrote the Class A text has the authority to edit it. That's the whole point of the Class A designation.

Anything else is scholarly speculation as to the appropriate level of Prophetic authority that should be given to a marginal note that was never officially and formally acted upon by the Adept (see also the recent discussion of the comment "The study of this Book is forbidden"). Such speculation which will never rise above Class B scholarship, enlightened and earnest. Please again note the distinction between Class A and Class B documents. Scholarship, however enlightened and earnest it may be, is distinctly set apart as "second class" to the final, formally authorized choices of the Adept.


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William Thirteen
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on a side note regarding the "Tunis Edition" - are any of these 11 still extant?


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jamie barter
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I am slowly reading through & digesting HB’s most recent communication, and I agree with Los that so far he (HB) is presenting a fairly well written and cogent argument from an editorial standpoint and that any opposition to the measure (i.e., of replacing or “re-correcting” 'fill' with 'kill') has to be addressed along these lines, at least in The Debate.

I think I have already stated all what I had to say there and “rested my case” so far, and to a certain extent the below is a recapitulation of outstanding questions which myself and others had brought out earlier, that:

Re. the “c.1909” Thelema we have still to determine

(a) beyond question or at least reasonable doubt, that the alteration “k” was written by Crowley himself.  We do not know this for sure yet, I believe? (=Not established.)

(b) however given that (a) can be so proved to be Crowley’s handwriting, we then still do not know whether it was a suggestion/ command as ‘teacher’ to Windram for him personally to interpret the word as ‘kill’ here instead of ‘fill’, for his own ritual requirement(s). (Also not yet established.)

(c) that given (a), although A.C. may have decided in a proofing context that ‘fill’ was incorrect at the time of writing in Windram’s Thelema (c. 1912), he (AC) may have changed his mind yet again a (little) while afterwards, and certainly before he authorised the publication of all further printed editions of CCXX which did not incorporate this apparently desired change (Again, not established.)

A side issue, but of relevance nonetheless, is that it may also be useful to find out and address - assuming it is ever possible - precisely when “---fill me” was added to the manuscript of XXXI under III.37.  Was it just minutes after (the “where’s my pen”, or “use a different writing instrument” scenario) or was it days later in conjunction with the typist, as HB appears to be suggesting.

"Sardonyx" wrote:
What you've got there is a sophisticated argument that all boils down to a purely speculative scholarly opinion about 100 years after the fact.

Not changing, but 'unchanging.' I'm sorry, and I don't mean to offend the Frater Superior's good intentions or his personal submission to what he feels is the true authoritative intent of the Prophet, but it is pure speculation.

In my opinion, what he intends to do is in an entirely different spirit than what he is practically doing.

What did everyone expect that the "criticism of even the Visible Head of the Organization" would look like? Open defiance? Petulant disagreement? Simple preference mixed with personal inflation?

Of course he's sincere. Of course he doesn't intend to contradict the authority of the Prophet.

Leaving aside whether HB has or has not the authority to speak as Head of the, or a, A.’. A.’. (“”the Visible Head of the Organization” being the O.T.O. is irrelevant), the question here is whether there is sufficient prof to justify and warrant his (or anyone’s) making such a drastic change as has been set in motion: a more careful & biding-of-one’s-time full footnote incorporating all of the known facts (as originally sensibly proposed by belmurru) would make the most ideal holding measure at least, and surely be the most acceptable measure for all parties.

"MichaelStaley" wrote:
"Philip Harris-Smith" wrote:
Whether it is "fill" or "kill" is clearly identified as being for each person to decide individually and privately.  Any pontificating by 'authorities' has less value then that of the Zimbabwean dollar.

Some might consider that they have a damn sight more value than your own pontifications across a variety of subjects on this website over the months and years.

Saucer of milk over there for Mr Staley!

And all this without any single mention of “Godwin’s Law”!
Norma N. Joy Conquest


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 Anonymous
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Please forgive me if I point out that according to the argument of authority any and all considerations given to scholary evidence never reach above Class B. They simply cannot. The Class A document becomes unalterable at the time of the death of the Adept who wrote it and has the sole power to officially edit it.

According to the issue of the authority to alter an officially documented and designated Class A text, scholarly considerations are irrelevant as they by definition fall into Class B discussions and their divisions.

Any attempt to alter the formally authorized Class A text by anyone except the original Adept is a breach of the Class A designation and makes the whole classification system irrelevant, placing the decisions of personal intellect, sincerity, and scholarship above all other considerations. It makes the intended protections of Class A irrelevant and, in practice, places the functions of Class B above the functions of Class A.

I do not find it within my ability to make a clearer case for the intended unalterability of Class A documents.

Unless a course-correction is made, the change will occur, and the precedent will be set for the future. This will very likely result in a division not only between the legitimate A.'.A.'. lineages but also between the OTO and other lesser-known Thelemic orders on an unprecedentedly fundamental level - that of the authority of the Prophet himself and of the most basic, primary Thelemic holy text.

In my opinion, room for diversity was intended, but not at this most fundamental level, as indicated by the strict wording of the Class A designation. I've tried to present that argument to the best of my ability.

And with that, I'll tip my hat and bid you all adieu.


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Shiva
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"Palamedes" wrote:
... HB is obeying the Prophet and, as Sardonyx states it so eloquently, we should not question the authority of the Prophet.

Regardless of who stated what, there was an universal injunction (raised during the 60's?) that simply said. "Question Authority!"

Even AC/Therion said, "Let him further remember that he must in no wise rely upon, or believe in, that master. He must rely entirely upon himself, and credit nothing whatever but that which lies within his own knowledge and experience."

The concept of authority in spiritual matters is ridiculous. The concept of authority in mundane matters was stated by Mao: ""Political power [authority] grows out of the barrel of a gun."


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 Anonymous
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It seems to be well established that Crowley swung both ways at various times with regards to it being "fill" or "kill", and fiddled around with his other writings as the years went by. If we consider that Aiwass might have had more than a passing familiarity with the man and his habits, perhaps this is precisely the reason why he told Crowley not to change so much as the style of a letter in the Book, cause he knew that given carte blanche he would re-write the whole thing!


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Palamedes
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"Shiva" wrote:
"Palamedes" wrote:
... HB is obeying the Prophet and, as Sardonyx states it so eloquently, we should not question the authority of the Prophet.

Regardless of who stated what, there was an universal injunction (raised during the 60's?) that simply said. "Question Authority!"

Even AC/Therion said, "Let him further remember that he must in no wise rely upon, or believe in, that master. He must rely entirely upon himself, and credit nothing whatever but that which lies within his own knowledge and experience."

The concept of authority in spiritual matters is ridiculous. The concept of authority in mundane matters was stated by Mao: ""Political power [authority] grows out of the barrel of a gun."

It seems that my irony was not universally obvious. I am all for questioning authority in political matters but whether the authority in spiritual matters is ridiculous or not is a subject that could be argued about at great lengths, which I will not do here. Sardonyx states that the authority of the prophet supersedes the authority of scholars and, in a later post, that only the prophet had the right to edit Liber AL. I have attempted to show the obvious: that prophet did edit the text; he clearly corrected fill to kill; he clearly did not correct kill to fill while making editorial interventions into The Giant's Thumb; and he clearly incorporated the paraphrase from the Stele with the "kill" reading when composing Liber Cadaveris, by which I do not simply mean that he retained the "kill" but that it was used in a sense that was ritually and symbolically meaningful. As Los summarizes neatly, the argument of HB is that by reverting back to "kill" we are in fact following the injunction not to change the Book, and the prophet clearly indicated that fill is incorrect: "f" is crossed out and replaced with "k". That is the crux of the issue.   


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Los
 Los
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"Palamedes" wrote:
I have attempted to show the obvious: that prophet did edit the text; he clearly corrected fill to kill

Yeah, in one instance, but he left "fill" in the text of CCXX through multiple printings and even wrote his New Commentary on that verse with a "fill" reading, writing about it in a way that more strongly resonates with "fill" than "kill," never commenting on any discrepancy or mistake.

How is it that you think one single annotation made in one copy of the Book rises to the level of sufficient evidence for supposing that Crowley intended for a change to be made in published editions of CCXX?


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 Anonymous
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I have attempted to show the obvious: that prophet did edit the text; he clearly corrected fill to kill; he clearly did not correct kill to fill while making editorial interventions into The Giant's Thumb; and he clearly incorporated the paraphrase from the Stele with the "kill" reading when composing Liber Cadaveris, by which I do not simply mean that he retained the "kill" but that it was used in a sense that was ritually and symbolically meaningful.

This is a relatively strong scholarly argument, in Class B.

Final answer.


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OKontrair
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Is there no one besides Palamedes to speak for the K faction? By repeatedly referring to the preferred outcome as 'obvious' and saying 'clearly' over and again he is just begging the question.

For all anyone knows Crowley gave the book away because he couldn't stand looking at that K anymore. That's not my opinion, I'm just trying to fathom the reach of academic conclusions and meditate on the nature of proof.

I think the repeated conflation of the Paraphrase (nearly always 'kill') with Liber Al (absolutely always 'fill') is not improved by just multiplying instances. The conclusion came first and the justifying research followed on behind. The notion that there is no changing going on just unchanging an unconscious pre-existing wrong change would make a Jesuit blush. 

OK


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belmurru
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"Palamedes" wrote:
As Los summarizes neatly, the argument of HB is that by reverting back to "kill" we are in fact following the injunction not to change the Book, and the prophet clearly indicated that fill is incorrect: "f" is crossed out and replaced with "k". That is the crux of the issue.   

This is indeed the crux of the issue.

Note that the Paraphrase is not "the Book", however. It was Crowley's work, and he could change it however he wanted. The closest evidence for what was in the original Paraphrase is in Liber XXXI, and in the typescript made from it. So the most reasonable supposition is that Crowley did change the Paraphrase - his own work - after writing Liber XXXI.

HB makes it clear in all of his defenses of the change that he presumes there is only one possible correct reading of Crowley's Paraphrase, and that differences must be attributed to Crowley's mistakes. The latest statement is the strongest: "But none of this [contextual interpretation], however interesting, explains the textual divergence, and this approach goes against the presumption - which I believe to be true - that there is one correct reading, and only one." (legis3.pdf, p. 2). Why this presumption must be preferred, I don't know.

The earliest instance of "kill me" is in the "The Great Invocation", which HB presents as plausibly dated to 1906 (legis3.pdf, p. 11). In both this and the Cadaveris ritual, the phrase "kill me" in this place occurs just at the place where the human suppliant assumes the place or identity of the God. This is itself the explanation for why there may be two readings of this line, as Crowley used the text in a different context. In XXXI, the Paraphrase had not yet been worked into a ritual. In any case, it is Crowley's work, as neither "Aum! Let it fill me" nor "Aum! Let it kill me" has any precise basis in the Egyptian text.

The issue is really how we interpret Crowley's intention in the margin - was he really "correcting" it to the lost original, or was he "changing" the reading to accord with a later version he momentarily preferred? Both arguments rely entirely on speculation about Crowley's intentions.

My preferred explanation is that the original Paraphrase did say "fill me", which Crowley wrote correctly in Liber XXXI and the typist made in the transcript, and that he later altered it for ritual purposes to "kill me", which was the form that ended up in the stand-alone Paraphrase of 1912 and later. Since it was fresh in his mind in the editorial and ritual work of 1912, he wanted to change CCXX to read "kill me", at that moment. But he thought better of it, and never again seems to have thought about changing it, leaving both versions of this line of the Paraphrase in their contextual places.


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belmurru
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I forgot to mention that how we interpret Crowley's intention - correction or whimsical change? - with the marginal "K" is indeed the crux of the issue because HB presumably knew all of the other evidence before he got Windram's copy, and it was sufficient for him to change the Paraphrase itself to read "fill me" (this was also done the in 1983 Holy Books of Thelema (p. 250), presumably by Hymenaeus Alpha (but I have been chided for that assumption on this forum)).

The change of the Paraphrase to "fill me" is based on HB's strongly-stated basic presumption that there is one, and only one, correct reading of the Paraphrase. For him, the Windram "K" proves that it was "kill me", whereas all the evidence known prior to the Windram volume tended to "fill me".


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Los
 Los
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"belmurru" wrote:
The issue is really how we interpret Crowley's intention in the margin - was he really "correcting" it to the lost original, or was he "changing" the reading to accord with a later version he momentarily preferred? Both arguments rely entirely on speculation about Crowley's intentions.

And, as a supplement to belmurru's point, I would remind everyone that the claim under discussion is the claim that Crowley's intention was that an alteration should be made to the Book of the Law in publications.

That claim, hung on this rather flimsy evidence, is insufficiently supported. Whether or not a case can be made for Crowley clearly intending "fill" is a separate issue. On the basis of the evidence we have, the claim that "Crowley intended the Book to be printed with 'kill'" is insufficiently supported and should not be accepted.

I would be very interested in hearing a supporter of the "kill" camp argue for the sufficiency of the evidence, careful not to conflate (as OK points out the tendency of that camp to do) the paraphrases with the verses in the text of CCXX, which appear to be distinct (or, at least, a supporter would have to make a compelling argument as to why the two should not be treated as distinct).


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the_real_simon_iff
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93!

Okay, here is a "kill" supporter (although I have to add, that's really not a big and important issue to me).

Here is my line of resoning:

1. I believe that the paraphrase always said "kill". From the beginning, pre-dictation. I don't think he ever changed his mind about this "poem", like he admittedly did with other poems.

2. For whatever reason AC gave "fill" as the end-mark of the portion of the paraphrase that should be inserted after the dictation. He also wrote this after the dictation. During the dictation he wrote a completely different reminder of what to insert.

3. Now there is "fill" in XXXI and also in the typescript that became CCXX. The damage is done.

4. Crowley never changed it publically, probably because he had assigned the books Class A or a similar status (Class A was not invented in 1904).

5. He told Windram it should have been "kill", but he thinks he can't change it.

6. Now I think it is absolutely legitimate to discuss what parts of Liber AL are really Class A. And I think it is also legitimate to say that AC was wrong when he considered the stele paraphrases also Class A and so never corrected his mistake.

7. I think that parts of CCXX (and also XXXI) can be called Class B: the verse numbers in the first chapter, the grid, the stain etc. A possible exception would be Rose's additions because these were also "received".

8. On rethinking that, I think that CCXX should be Class B in total. It's a willful and intellectual examination of XXXI, and nothing more. And yes, I know that Crowley had a different opinion.

9. I also think that Crowley's correction in the Windram copy is a really strong indication of what he would have liked to see, although he never dared to do so.

10. So to me the crux is not if "fill" or "kill" were there first, but if the stele paraphrase is Class A. What's wrong with a Class A text mixed with Class B (or even lower) material? And in my humble opinion the paraphrase is NOT Class A, and therefore can be corrected.

BUT YES! It would be quite nice if more proof shows up to back up that "kill" always belonged into the paraphrase.

To all you Class A followers: Anyone here ever saw another Class A text in manuscript? Anyone here knows if there was never ever even a change in the style of a letter in them? If I would really take Class A serious, in my more than humble opinion again, ANY type-set and printed version of a handwritten Class A document can be nothing more than Class B, because it is always an interpretion of a work of art.

Back to the first line of this post: This is really not big deal to me. I think it would be nice to get rid of the discrepancy of the stele paraphrase and the stele paraphrase quoted in CCXX, but that's more or less all. I would never risk a friendship or ruin a nice evening over that matter. The message of Liber AL is what's important (and I ruined quite some nice evenings over that!)

Love=Law
Lutz


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Azidonis
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"the_real_simon_iff" wrote:
(Class A was not invented in 1904).

Did Liber L not establish itself as the originating Class A document? Isn't the injunction in Class A to not change even a style of a letter? Did this injunction not incur initially in Liber L?

For all intents and purposes (and IMO ofc) Class A was invented in 1904, although not technically called such until later.


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the_real_simon_iff
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"Azidonis" wrote:
For all intents and purposes (and IMO ofc) Class A was invented in 1904, although not technically called such until later.

Yep! I was only talking about the term Class A. I have no idea when exactly the Classes idea was formulated.

Love=Law
Lutz


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 Anonymous
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"the_real_simon_iff" wrote:
To all you Class A followers: Anyone here ever saw another Class A text in manuscript? Anyone here knows if there was never ever even a change in the style of a letter in them? If I would really take Class A serious, in my more than humble opinion again, ANY type-set and printed version of a handwritten Class A document can be nothing more than Class B, because it is always an interpretion of a work of art.

Nah, it's only AL where he's told to always publish with the original in his handwriting. The others he's just expected to publish competently.

Actually, we could take your argument further. How about this - it's only class A when it is formulated in Crowley's mind. By the time he starts writing it, due to the vagaries of the human brain, tennis elbow and various distractions that could be around him, it becomes Class B, and the typo-ridden printed edition at best Class C.  ;D

Alternatively, we could re-assess all of the Class A's and award them an A-, A or A+ with points lost for typos, grammatical errors etc. And the stuff we really can't make head or tail of gets an F.  😮

When all is said and done, at the end of the day, and in the final analysis, can anything in it's manifest form in the world of Assiah really be Class A?  :-*


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 Anonymous
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Listen to the Intellect rage against what stands in authority over it. Class A isn't about the pristine spiritual perfection of documents. Class A is about who has the authority to edit them. The answer is no one but the Adept who wrote it. Anything else is a taking of that Adept's authority into one's own hands in order to take an authoritative action the Adept himself or herself never took.Why is it so difficult to make such a simple, obvious point? It's as if your minds would prefer to look anywhere but to simple obedience to the rule of the order, which in this one place puts reason below the precise preservation of its holy texts as formally received by its Prophet.


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the_real_simon_iff
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Very funny, nashimiron!

Actually it is a big argument for some that the "kill" change is forbidden because of Class A. If you think that "change not even the style of a letter" equals "publish competently", you are of course welcome, but I doubt that it is the actual definition of Class A. If Class A means not to change even the style of a letter, I conclude the type-set version cannot be Class A. Therefore it could be changed, whenever an error is detected. Sounds quite logical to me.

On the other hand, I personally like the "publish competently" definition better, but of course it would allow corrections. And CCXX with corrections would have to be published together with XXXI without additions.

Love=Law
Lutz


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the_real_simon_iff
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"Sardonyx" wrote:
holy texts as formally received by its Prophet.

Adding later (maybe even incorrectly) some private poetry = formally received?

Also I thought that even the Adept was forbidden to "change even the style of a letter"?

I am sorry, but I am not into this Class thing. It sounds quite orthodox to me. If a mistake is found, it should be corrected in my opinion.

Love=Law
Lutz


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Azidonis
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Change not so much as the style of a letter" in the text saved me from Crowley-fying the wholde Book, and spoiling everything."

"The versified paraphrase of the hieroglyphs on the Stele being ready, Aiwaz allowed me to insert these later, so as to save time."

Seems pretty simple. The stele paraphrases ARE a part of the Book. The stele was translated and the paraphrases were made, specifically for the Book and the rite necessary to receive it. Therefore, the stele, as it is in Liber L/CCXX, is Class A, and that's why Crowley never changed "f" to "k", no matter how badly his monkey-mind wanted him to.

I also agree with Sardonyx that no one has the 'authority' to change the Book except for Crowley. And the fact is that in every publication of Liber XXXI and CCXX made by Crowley during his lifetime, and therefore approved by him in some way, the word "fill" is used.

This entire debacle should not even be a discussion.


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 Anonymous
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...holy texts as formally received by its Prophet.

Adding later (maybe even incorrectly) some private poetry = formally received?

I refer to the holy texts of Thelema as received by posterity from its Prophet, presented with his own final authority.

What is an "unchange" but a criticism of the text as it is currently, formally, authoritatively presented to posterity and an attempt to alter it to fit with one's personal criticisms?

I have no concern about the opinions of Thelemites who have not submitted themselves to the authority of the Class A designation. They are, of course, free not to do so, even as they still benefit from the efforts of those who do seek to preserve the tradition of the A.'.A.'. as received by them intact and uncorrupted.

The issue, however, should be of extreme importance to those who have pledged themselves not to alter the tradition which they have received from the very authority to which they have pledged themselves. 

The transmission of this tradition is now corrupted by the Frater Superior of the very order whose primary pledge is to accept the Book of the Law without desiring to change it.

These are simple facts, uncorrupted by complex sophistries.

From my perspective, as it regards the Class A designation by the A.'.A.'., one may either accept that authority for themselves, or formally disaffiliate themselves from any group requires one to do so. Either action may be performed in perfect freedom, without consequence.

But you can't have your cake and eat it too.


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 Anonymous
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I am sorry, but I am not into this Class thing. It sounds quite orthodox to me. If a mistake is found, it should be corrected in my opinion.

Orthodoxy refers to conformity of belief.

It is different from orthopraxy, "correct practice"  - in this case, specifically dealing with the rules for consistent transmission of tradition within an order committed to the consistent transmission of a specific tradition.

Class “A” consists of books of which may be changed not so much as the style of a letter: that is, they represent the utterance of an Adept entirely beyond the criticism of even the Visible Head of the Organization.


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the_real_simon_iff
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"Sardonyx" wrote:
Orthodoxy refers to conformity of belief.

It is different from orthopraxy, "correct practice"  - in this case, specifically dealing with the rules for consistent transmission of tradition within an order committed to the consistent transmission of a specific tradition.

Thanks for the correction. It wasn't my intention to insult anyone who strictly adheres to the A.:.A.:. classification of books system. Sorry if I sounded differently. And yes, I really value the work of this order in helping keeping the Thelemic "tradition" alive. But if ...

Class “A” consists of books of which may be changed not so much as the style of a letter: that is, they represent the utterance of an Adept entirely beyond the criticism of even the Visible Head of the Organization.

... is really taken seriously, nothing but the handwritten documents can be Class A, or can it?

Love=Law
Lutz


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(@jg)
Frosty the Snowman
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I mentioned this before, & I hate to be a stickler, but I do not think the primary work which assigns the meanings of the Classes is even in a Class!

http://astrum-obscurum.org/Library/LibraryBase/OTO&Thelema/The_Official_Instructions_of_the_A.A._for_the_student_Liber_Complete.pdf

Perhaps someone can clear this point up?  If it is not in a Class, or AC characterized elsewhere in his Class B "scholarship, enlightened & earnest" the meaning of Class A, is there not a bit of a paradox here?

I did not realize that the above link is such a big file.  Who-ever compiled it had a sense of humor, and evidently made the identical observation.  The gathered all the official instructions, placed Liber 207 first, prefaced it with the Seal of the A∴A∴, and with the publication authority

A∴A∴
Publication in Class ? ? ?
Issued by Order
of no-one as such[/align:2fwekz1b]

Perhaps AC or whoever issued Liber 207 is teaching the student an imporant lesson?  No?


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threefold31
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Dwtw

I think John has touched on something that has been overlooked in this whole debate, and that is, whence comes the authority to redetermine the parameters of changing a Class A document?

Let me try to explain this with an example:

You have a handwritten document X, that is 'received' and cannot be changed because it's been declared by the A.'.A.'. to be Class A.
You go to make a typeset version of document X, call it X2, and also give it the status of Class A.
Later, you find a typo in X2, when compared to the original. So you change the word in X2 to match X, because the purpose of X2 was to make an exact replica (inasmuch as that is possible) of document X.
Surely no one will disagree that this type of change is legitimate? It fulfills the idea to 'not change as much as a letter' by insuring that no letter got changed when X2 was created. So far, so good.

Now a new scenario. You have handwritten document X, in Class A, which requires insertion of other material, parts of which are written out to indicate what must be inserted.
This other material is duly inserted, all of it is typed up, and it becomes document X2, published in Class A.
Later you find a possible reference to a typo in the insertions of X2, but there is no original to compare it to. How then do you determine if document X2 can be changed?

Now the rule followed in example 1 cannot be followed. There is no original to compare to, and in fact, the written instructions for insertion contradict what you claim is a typo in those insertions. So a new rule has to be created to allow a change under these conditions.

The question is: who decides this new rule?

The originator of the Class A distinction did not foresee this possibility, and left no provision for its accommodation. In fact, the default position is that the Class A document cannot be changed. Even changing it with good reason (i.e., indisputable evidence of a typo) is technically breaking the letter of this law, but keeping the spirit of it intact. Now a new rule needs to be implemented that circumvents even this well-intentioned and justifiable sort of change.

What the Editor Mr. Breeze is doing is creating a whole new rule. Class A can be changed if one shows (with reasonable but ambiguous evidence) that Crowley wanted it changed, even though he never got around to it himself. Where does he get the authority to do this? He has expressly said he is not acting as an officer of the A.'.A.'. or the OTO.

I hope I'm making myself clear on this meta-discussion.
It's a stretch to say Crowley wanted something changed, so we'll do it for him 100 years later.
It's an impossibility that Crowley ALSO approved changing the rules about changing Class A.

Since there is no written evidence, pencil note, marginal correction or otherwise, that AC handed over this authority to redefine changes to Class A (a class where the words are not supposed to be changed in the first place), then making such a change to the rules is beyond the purview of the Editor, and is therefore illegitimate.

Class A cannot be changed beyond fixing some obvious typo that is not in the original. This has most certainly not been done in the case of Kill/Fill. The Editor is "doing Crowley's thinking for him", and since the correction does not fall under the only allowable type of change, the Editor tries the maneuver of saying that it's Crowley changing it, (which no one would argue Crowley is entitled to do). But that maneuver is only legitimate in the case of an absolute error. We just don't know if this was an error, a preference, or a note of instruction for a ritual. or something else. There is no smoking gun, so it is not proven that fill is an error. It is only speculated.

Litlluw
RLG


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(@jg)
Frosty the Snowman
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If you add up Nu to the second Abrahadabra excluding verse numbers it equals 418093


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Azidonis
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"threefold31" wrote:
The question is: who decides this new rule?

No one... except maybe the "child", and Thelema would do itself well not to pine for a Maitreya.

"threefold31" wrote:
What the Editor Mr. Breeze is doing is creating a whole new rule. Where does he get the authority to do this?

He doesn't have that authority.

"threefold31" wrote:
Since there is no written evidence, pencil note, marginal correction or otherwise, that AC handed over this authority to redefine changes to Class A (a class where the words are not supposed to be changed in the first place), then making such a change to the rules is beyond the purview of the Editor, and is therefore illegitimate.

I agree. Changing the wording of the Class A description in order to make changes in Class A documents is not allowed.

"threefold31" wrote:
Class A cannot be changed beyond fixing some obvious typo that is not in the original. This has most certainly not been done in the case of Kill/Fill. The Editor is "doing Crowley's thinking for him", and since the correction does not fall under the only allowable type of change, the Editor tries the maneuver of saying that it's Crowley changing it, (which no one would argue Crowley is entitled to do). But that maneuver is only legitimate in the case of an absolute error. We just don't know if this was an error, a preference, or a note of instruction for a ritual. or something else. There is no smoking gun, so it is not proven that fill is an error. It is only speculated.

Right. And its balderdash.

If it were up to me, I would leave it "Fill", write a book about it, publish it, and make a reference to that book in every subsequent publication of L/AL. Not only that, I would make it clear that the letter is not to be changed, ever, and declare that the book, with "Fill" in it, is complete in and of itself. That would wrap the whole mess up, and save future generations the pain of having to deal with the meddling that has occurred thus far, as well as prevent this mess from happening in the future.


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jamie barter
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"Azidonis" wrote:
I also agree with Sardonyx that no one has the 'authority' to change the Book except for Crowley.
"threefold31" wrote:
I think John has touched on something that has been overlooked in this whole debate, and that is, whence comes the authority to redetermine the parameters of changing a Class A document? ...

What the Editor Mr. Breeze is doing is creating a whole new rule. Class A can be changed if one shows (with reasonable but ambiguous evidence) that Crowley wanted it changed, even though he never got around to it himself. Where does he get the authority to do this? He has expressly said he is not acting as an officer of the A.'.A.'. or the OTO. ...

Since there is no written evidence, pencil note, marginal correction or otherwise, that AC handed over this authority to redefine changes to Class A (a class where the words are not supposed to be changed in the first place), then making such a change to the rules is beyond the purview of the Editor, and is therefore illegitimate. ...

I just wanted to make it clear, in case there was any ambiguity (heaven forbid!) that my understanding is that Class A texts can only be altered by the Adept Author (or Magisterial, Mage Author) him or her self.  However, at some later time, in the event of the death of the Adept Author (& maybe generations later) the only person conceivable who might then have the sufficient Authority required to do so, would be the current Præmonstrator (as Head of the A.’. A.’. itself) who presumably would also have the necessary ‘Authority’ to be able to classify subsequent text and Libri, and therefore also to demote/ promote previous designations.  This is a tentative proposition, and I am only advancing it in the sense of, for the sake of debate, saying: “If somebody – anybody – is in a position to make a ‘change’, who would that person be?”  This question becomes moot, though, in the absence of a clear & unsullied succession from To Mega Therion through Saturnus (Karl Germer) onwards, which has patently not happened.  Therefore, like with the O.T.O., there are now several contenders to the A.’. A.’. (rather also like with the ‘Alphabet Boys’, the groupings who organise World Heavyweight Boxing) but with no clear overall ‘champion’.  Ergo, no one now has the clear right to change the Classes. Q.E.D.

(There was of course dear old Marcelo Motta, who acting as the Head of the A.’. A.’. introduced new Classifications but did not change the existing order of things.  He may have introduced Class A with regard to the Tunis Comment, but I have an idea I saw A.C. refer to it himself in those terms somewhere; don’t quote me though!)

"Sardonyx" wrote:
What is an "unchange" but a criticism of the text as it is currently, formally, authoritatively presented to posterity and an attempt to alter it to fit with one's personal criticisms? ...

The issue, however, should be of extreme importance to those who have pledged themselves not to alter the tradition which they have received from the very authority to which they have pledged themselves. 

The transmission of this tradition is now corrupted by the Frater Superior of the very order whose primary pledge is to accept the Book of the Law without desiring to change it.

Let’s not forget, incidentally, that H.B. when he joined the (Caliphornian) O.T.O. would have had to swear to “accept” The Book of the Law “without wishing to make changes in it.”  To call it an “unchanged” or whatever is just playing around with the language & tricksy semantic footwork: it still has a resultant action (even if as a reversion to what it “should be”) & so therefore a physical “change” has occurred.

"Azidonis" wrote:
"threefold31" wrote:
The question is: who decides this new rule?

No one... except maybe the "child", and Thelema would do itself well not to pine for a Maitreya.

A child who would also be in the position as Head of the A.’. A.’. almost by definition (? I suppose it would be bound to be also a 9[sup:1javbr12]o[/sup:1javbr12]=2[sup:1javbr12]□[/sup:1javbr12], it almost goes without saying!) – more than one contender here, too: the child of "thy bowels" (I.55), "it shall be his child and that strangely" (III.47), the "child of the Prophet" (II.39) and the child bred from the Scarlet Woman (III.45) [also, maybe if not the same as I.55: the one "from no expected house" (I. 56).]  Then there is also the "one to follow" (II.76) and "one cometh after... whence I say not" (III.47) – these may all be different ‘children’, or the same one.  But Maitreya or not, there ain’t such a critter yet in sight.

"Azidonis" wrote:
I agree. Changing the wording of the Class A description in order to make changes in Class A documents is not allowed.

Amid all this recent talk and praising of H.B.’s ‘scholastic”, “editorial” and “publishing” prowess, hasn’t the issue of message/s from (The) Secret Chiefs gone remarkably quiet for some reason?  I thought that was the original main incentive?!

"Azidonis" wrote:
"threefold31" wrote:
Since there is no written evidence, pencil note, marginal correction or otherwise, that AC handed over this authority to redefine changes to Class A (a class where the words are not supposed to be changed in the first place), then making such a change to the rules is beyond the purview of the Editor, and is therefore illegitimate.

I agree. Changing the wording of the Class A description in order to make changes in Class A documents is not allowed.

No: as any child would then inform you in accusing tones: “- That’s cheating!!”

"Azidonis" wrote:
Right. And its balderdash.

Balderdash – what a lovely old English word.  I haven’t heard it for a while (I think a Government minister used it about a year ago.  Or was it Boris Johnson? [Mayor of London, for benefit of overseas readers])

"Azidonis" wrote:
If it were up to me, I would leave it "Fill", write a book about it, publish it, and make a reference to that book in every subsequent publication of L/AL. Not only that, I would make it clear that the letter is not to be changed, ever, and declare that the book, with "Fill" in it, is complete in and of itself. That would wrap the whole mess up, and save future generations the pain of having to deal with the meddling that has occurred thus far, as well as prevent this mess from happening in the future.

But is that really what The Secret Chiefs *want*, do you think?!!

“Yea! deem not of change…”
N.Joy 


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jamie barter
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"jamie barter" wrote:
I just wanted to make it clear, in case there was any ambiguity (heaven forbid!) that my understanding is that Class A texts can only be altered by the Adept Author (or Magisterial, Mage Author) him or her self.  However, at some later time, in the event of the death of the Adept Author (& maybe generations later) the only person conceivable who might then have the sufficient Authority required to do so, would be the current Præmonstrator (as Head of the A.’. A.’. itself) who presumably would also have the necessary ‘Authority’ to be able to classify subsequent text and Libri, and therefore also to demote/ promote previous designations.  This is a tentative proposition, and I am only advancing it in the sense of, for the sake of debate, saying: “If somebody – anybody – is in a position to make a ‘change’, who would that person be?”  This question becomes moot, though, in the absence of a clear & unsullied succession from To Mega Therion through Saturnus (Karl Germer) onwards, which has patently not happened.  Therefore, like with the O.T.O., there are now several contenders to the A.’. A.’. (rather also like with the ‘Alphabet Boys’, the groupings who organise World Heavyweight Boxing) but with no clear overall ‘champion’.  Ergo, no one now has the clear right to change the Classes. Q.E.D.

(There was of course dear old Marcelo Motta, who acting as the Head of the A.’. A.’. introduced new Classifications but did not change the existing order of things.  He may have introduced Class A with regard to the Tunis Comment, but I have an idea I saw A.C. refer to it himself in those terms somewhere; don’t quote me though!)

I just thought I’d briefly add that there is otherwise a slight hint of ossification about the ‘stuck’ nature of the A.’. A.’. with regard to this – and the feeling that hundreds of years down the line we may be lumbered with a rigid, unchanging, static ‘tradition’ incapable by its own inbound, self-bound structure of evolution on those terms during the Æon of Horus– which is rather uninspiring to contemplate, though!  Accepting the status quo about not being able to make A.'. A.'. changes is one thing; being hidebound by it for up to two thousand years at the outside is quite another.  I anticipate & hope for instead some sort of quantum "bolt from the blue” – currently unknown or unthought of – which would answer this dilemma.

N Joy


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Candide
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I don't consider observing Class A designation that is designed to prevent sectarian quarrels to be a sign of the A.'.A.'. being hidebound to be honest... Whether or not the A.'.A.'. is ossifying would depend on your lineage I suppose, but personally I haven't found that to be the case; quite the opposite in fact.


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Azidonis
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"jamie barter" wrote:
I just wanted to make it clear, in case there was any ambiguity (heaven forbid!) that my understanding is that Class A texts can only be altered by the Adept Author (or Magisterial, Mage Author) him or her self.  However, at some later time, in the event of the death of the Adept Author (& maybe generations later) the only person conceivable who might then have the sufficient Authority required to do so, would be the current Præmonstrator (as Head of the A.’. A.’. itself) who presumably would also have the necessary ‘Authority’ to be able to classify subsequent text and Libri, and therefore also to demote/ promote previous designations.  This is a tentative proposition, and I am only advancing it in the sense of, for the sake of debate, saying: “If somebody – anybody – is in a position to make a ‘change’, who would that person be?”

There is no Visible Head of A:.A:. at the moment. Not that this needs stating or anything. 🙂

"jamie barter" wrote:
This question becomes moot, though, in the absence of a clear & unsullied succession from To Mega Therion through Saturnus (Karl Germer) onwards, which has patently not happened.

"Let my servants be few & secret: they shall rule the many & the known."

The tree has many branches now, as intended. Seems like it will have to trim a dead limb off itself soon, but other than that, the A:.A:. is fine.

"jamie barter" wrote:
Therefore, like with the O.T.O., there are now several contenders to the A.’. A.’. (rather also like with the ‘Alphabet Boys’, the groupings who organise World Heavyweight Boxing) but with no clear overall ‘champion’.  Ergo, no one now has the clear right to change the Classes. Q.E.D.

Any would-be "contender" to A:.A:. is not real A:.A:., in my opinion.

"jamie barter" wrote:
(There was of course dear old Marcelo Motta, who acting as the Head of the A.’. A.’. introduced new Classifications but did not change the existing order of things.  He may have introduced Class A with regard to the Tunis Comment, but I have an idea I saw A.C. refer to it himself in those terms somewhere; don’t quote me though!)

Motta was not the highest ranking member in good standing at the time of Germer's death.

"jamie barter" wrote:
just playing around with the language & tricksy semantic footwork:

Yes, basically.

"jamie barter" wrote:
But Maitreya or not, there ain’t such a critter yet in sight.

Are you sure?

"jamie barter" wrote:
"Azidonis" wrote:
I agree. Changing the wording of the Class A description in order to make changes in Class A documents is not allowed.

Amid all this recent talk and praising of H.B.’s ‘scholastic”, “editorial” and “publishing” prowess, hasn’t the issue of message/s from (The) Secret Chiefs gone remarkably quiet for some reason?  I thought that was the original main incentive?!

People seem hesitant to address it on this forum. Just as some of my other questions along these lines have been conveniently side-stepped.

"jamie barter" wrote:
"Azidonis" wrote:
If it were up to me, I would leave it "Fill", write a book about it, publish it, and make a reference to that book in every subsequent publication of L/AL. Not only that, I would make it clear that the letter is not to be changed, ever, and declare that the book, with "Fill" in it, is complete in and of itself. That would wrap the whole mess up, and save future generations the pain of having to deal with the meddling that has occurred thus far, as well as prevent this mess from happening in the future.

But is that really what The Secret Chiefs *want*, do you think?!!

Who cares what the "Secret Chiefs want" - they don't exist.


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jamie barter
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"Candide" wrote:
I don't consider observing Class A designation that is designed to prevent sectarian quarrels to be a sign of the A.'.A.'. being hidebound to be honest... Whether or not the A.'.A.'. is ossifying would depend on your lineage I suppose, but personally I haven't found that to be the case; quite the opposite in fact.

I wasn’t referring so much to this rule “preventing sectarian quarrels”, which is quite a valid reason for its existence, as to the fact that the A.’. A.’.’s in-built complete inability to change over time means that it is virtually impossible to either reclassify existing texts from one Class to another (should that ever be desired, for whatever reason, rightly or wrongly) - e.g., from B to C; nor would it be possible to introduce new texts and libri to the canon, which effectively stops with A.C.’s death in 1947.  This is a difficulty which concerns the “legacy" of Gurdjieff also & in fact any ‘tradition’ where it (the legacy) involves a fundamentalist sticking to the letter of the law laid down when the initiator of the current was still alive.  There is a danger of things turning to stone – which was what I meant by “ossification”, but giving it a slightly more organic spin - and would apply whatever “lineage” is being considered.  For along with the “change not a letter…” debate, one should also not completely ignore the relevance of its corollary from consideration: that “Change is Stability”….

"Azidonis" wrote:
"jamie barter" wrote:
But Maitreya or not, there ain’t such a critter yet in sight.

Are you sure?

Well are you sure?  For your previous quote agrees that no one (nemo?!!) can make a decision for any new A.’. A.’. rule except for maybe “the "child", and "Thelema would do itself well not to pine for a Maitreya”…  Or do you know something “we” don’t?

"Azidonis" wrote:
"jamie barter" wrote:
"Azidonis" wrote:
I agree. Changing the wording of the Class A description in order to make changes in Class A documents is not allowed.

Amid all this recent talk and praising of H.B.’s ‘scholastic”, “editorial” and “publishing” prowess, hasn’t the issue of message/s from (The) Secret Chiefs gone remarkably quiet for some reason?  I thought that was the original main incentive?!

People seem hesitant to address it on this forum. Just as some of my other questions along these lines have been conveniently side-stepped.

I wonder why, as it seemed to get quite a bit of coverage at the start.  Maybe the Chiefs have withdrawn into a period of silence, or are a bit piqued that their chosen messenger has managed to ‘lose something in translation’ & get his wires a bit crossed?

"Azidonis" wrote:
"jamie barter" wrote:
"Azidonis" wrote:
If it were up to me, I would leave it "Fill", write a book about it, publish it, and make a reference to that book in every subsequent publication of L/AL. Not only that, I would make it clear that the letter is not to be changed, ever, and declare that the book, with "Fill" in it, is complete in and of itself. That would wrap the whole mess up, and save future generations the pain of having to deal with the meddling that has occurred thus far, as well as prevent this mess from happening in the future.

But is that really what The Secret Chiefs *want*, do you think?!!

Who cares what the "Secret Chiefs want" - they don't exist.

Hmm, that seems a very “final” statement.  You’d know that for certain, would you?!  And the fact that A.C. wholeheartedly believed in them, that doesn’t come in for consideration?

The Secret Squirrel (in cahoots with Morocco Mole)
N Joy


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Azidonis
(@azidonis)
Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 2964
 
"jamie barter" wrote:
"Candide" wrote:
I don't consider observing Class A designation that is designed to prevent sectarian quarrels to be a sign of the A.'.A.'. being hidebound to be honest... Whether or not the A.'.A.'. is ossifying would depend on your lineage I suppose, but personally I haven't found that to be the case; quite the opposite in fact.

I wasn’t referring so much to this rule “preventing sectarian quarrels”, which is quite a valid reason for its existence, as to the fact that the A.’. A.’.’s in-built complete inability to change over time

Surely you are talking about the System as set forth by Crowley, and not the A:.A:. Proper (which is not bound only to Crowley's system), which is constantly changing.

"jamie barter" wrote:
means that it is virtually impossible to either reclassify existing texts from one Class to another (should that ever be desired, for whatever reason, rightly or wrongly) - e.g., from B to C;

I see no reason to change the prophet's designation of his own works, or works which he has designated in any class, seeing how he created the class system in the first place.

"jamie barter" wrote:
nor would it be possible to introduce new texts and libri to the canon, which effectively stops with A.C.’s death in 1947.

Simply not true. Eshelman's 'Mystical and Magical System' is worthy of Class B, in my opinion.

And Gunther's 'Initiation in the Aeon of the Child' was designated Class B. I definitely disagree with this designation, although I may have been for it in the past (can't remember).

It will end up as star and star, etc. with no one star ever having to agree with the classification made by another star (or star clusters, aka 'ineages'), as no complete agreement can ever be reached anyway.

"jamie barter" wrote:
This is a difficulty which concerns the “legacy" of Gurdjieff also & in fact any ‘tradition’ where it (the legacy) involves a fundamentalist sticking to the letter of the law laid down when the initiator of the current was still alive.  There is a danger of things turning to stone – which was what I meant by “ossification”, but giving it a slightly more organic spin - and would apply whatever “lineage” is being considered.  For along with the “change not a letter…” debate, one should also not completely ignore the relevance of its corollary from consideration: that “Change is Stability”….

In the particular case in question ("f" v "k"), change does not = stability.

As for the A:.A:. System itself, I tend to see it as both completely rigid and completely flexible. It's cool like that. 🙂

"jamie barter" wrote:
"Azidonis" wrote:
"jamie barter" wrote:
But Maitreya or not, there ain’t such a critter yet in sight.

Are you sure?

Well are you sure?  For your previous quote agrees that no one (nemo?!!) can make a decision for any new A.’. A.’. rule except for maybe “the "child", and "Thelema would do itself well not to pine for a Maitreya”…  Or do you know something “we” don’t?

Before we all go jumping for a Maitreya, let us consider the context of your original statements, below:

"jamie barter" wrote:
A child who would also be in the position as Head of the A.’. A.’. almost by definition (? I suppose it would be bound to be also a 9o=2□, it almost goes without saying!) – more than one contender here, too: the child of "thy bowels" (I.55), "it shall be his child and that strangely" (III.47), the "child of the Prophet" (II.39) and the child bred from the Scarlet Woman (III.45) [also, maybe if not the same as I.55: the one "from no expected house" (I. 56).]  Then there is also the "one to follow" (II.76) and "one cometh after... whence I say not" (III.47) – these may all be different ‘children’, or the same one.  But Maitreya or not, there ain’t such a critter yet in sight.

So now, I have to ask, if you were specifically talking about the idea of a Maitreya, or if you were referring to just 'any ol' 9=2'?

"jamie barter" wrote:
"Azidonis" wrote:
"jamie barter" wrote:
"Azidonis" wrote:
I agree. Changing the wording of the Class A description in order to make changes in Class A documents is not allowed.

Amid all this recent talk and praising of H.B.’s ‘scholastic”, “editorial” and “publishing” prowess, hasn’t the issue of message/s from (The) Secret Chiefs gone remarkably quiet for some reason?  I thought that was the original main incentive?!

People seem hesitant to address it on this forum. Just as some of my other questions along these lines have been conveniently side-stepped.

I wonder why, as it seemed to get quite a bit of coverage at the start.  Maybe the Chiefs have withdrawn into a period of silence, or are a bit piqued that their chosen messenger has managed to ‘lose something in translation’ & get his wires a bit crossed?

Really, speaking of the Secret Chiefs in such a manner so as to anthropomorphize "them" is, well, I won't give it an adjective, but please consider what you are inferring.

"jamie barter" wrote:
"Azidonis" wrote:
"jamie barter" wrote:
"Azidonis" wrote:
If it were up to me, I would leave it "Fill", write a book about it, publish it, and make a reference to that book in every subsequent publication of L/AL. Not only that, I would make it clear that the letter is not to be changed, ever, and declare that the book, with "Fill" in it, is complete in and of itself. That would wrap the whole mess up, and save future generations the pain of having to deal with the meddling that has occurred thus far, as well as prevent this mess from happening in the future.

But is that really what The Secret Chiefs *want*, do you think?!!

Who cares what the "Secret Chiefs want" - they don't exist.

Hmm, that seems a very “final” statement.  You’d know that for certain, would you?!  And the fact that A.C. wholeheartedly believed in them, that doesn’t come in for consideration?

The Secret Squirrel (in cahoots with Morocco Mole)
N Joy

To quote a post I made in another forum:

As for the Secret Chiefs... consider that the Holy Guardian Angel is not necessarily a real angel with mighty sweeping wings, that is constantly watching over you and keeping you safe, as in traditional Western stories. Those are all metaphors. The term Secret Chiefs is likewise a type of metaphor. There is no group of old wise men sitting in the clouds managing human affairs. The term, "Secret Chiefs", implies a personage, doesn't it? This is not so.

In comparison, consider the Hindu master that apparently died and continues to travel the aethyr assisting the affairs of those who would seek enlightenment. His name escapes me at the moment, but it starts with an "N" [Narada].

Also consider such personages as Avalokitesvara, the Buddha of Compassion. There is a legend or two as to the actual existence of Avalokitesvara, but that part doesn't matter. That Avalokitesvara is viewed as a bodhisattva, who continues to live on "other planes" as a continual beacon of compassion for all beings, does not mean that this is actually true.

It may be true if we are talking about things like archetypes and collective consciousness, but both of those things are actually within the realm of thought, and not within the realm of reality, meaning that they may be true to the thinker, but they are not actually true in reality.

In short, the Secret Chiefs do not exist in reality. They do, however, exist as archetypes within the collective consciousness, much as any other type of deity or mythical, or legendary, personage. And, as they are given the appearance of life through the energy of thought (ie. the energy directed toward thought), they can be viewed as actually effecting the perceiver, though this is not actually so, as in truth, the Secret Chiefs do not exist.


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Los
 Los
(@los)
Member
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 2195
 
"Jamie barter" wrote:
Maybe the Chiefs have withdrawn into a period of silence

Yeah, sure. And maybe the Christian God created the world 6,000 years ago and just created it to look billions of years old, just to test our faith.

"Jamie barter" wrote:
"Azidonis" wrote:
Who cares what the "Secret Chiefs want" - they don't exist.

Hmm, that seems a very “final” statement.  You’d know that for certain, would you?!

While "absolute certainty" might be impossible, it's also completely irrelevant: all knowledge is based on likelihood, our determination of whether a claim is likely to be true or not.

On one level, we can definitely say that nobody has sufficient evidence to accept the claim that any supernatural beings exist (including these Secret Chief goblins). Note that I am including people who think they have "personally experienced" these goblins. Such people *especially* do not have such evidence. 

On another level, we can also definitely say that absolutely nothing about what we've discovered about the universe leaves any room for the existence of supernatural bugga-boos, and thus, as much as we can know anything, we're justified in saying that, in terms of practical knowledge of the world that we interact with and can know, we know that there are no Secret Chief goblins.

And the fact that A.C. wholeheartedly believed in them, that doesn’t come in for consideration?

And the fact that Isaac Newton wholeheartedly believed in God, that doesn't come in for consideration?

Listen to yourself.

"Azidonis" wrote:
As for the Secret Chiefs... consider that the Holy Guardian Angel is not necessarily a real angel with mighty sweeping wings, that is constantly watching over you and keeping you safe, as in traditional Western stories. Those are all metaphors. The term Secret Chiefs is likewise a type of metaphor. There is no group of old wise men sitting in the clouds managing human affairs. The term, "Secret Chiefs", implies a personage, doesn't it? This is not so.

[...]

In short, the Secret Chiefs do not exist in reality. They do, however, exist as archetypes within the collective consciousness, much as any other type of deity or mythical, or legendary, personage. And, as they are given the appearance of life through the energy of thought (ie. the energy directed toward thought), they can be viewed as actually effecting the perceiver, though this is not actually so, as in truth, the Secret Chiefs do not exist.

An unexpectedly good pair of paragraphs from you.


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jamie barter
(@jamie-barter)
Member
Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 1688
 
"Azidonis" wrote:
Surely you are talking about the System as set forth by Crowley, and not the A:.A:. Proper (which is not bound only to Crowley's system), which is constantly changing.

True, I was – but isn’t this the A.C. Society website, and is this not the context within which it is based?  And we should make a clear difference between the A.’. A.’. as a magical order and system set up by Crowley in November 1907 and the A.’. A.’. as a particular manifestation of the GWB (or whatever you want to call it).

"Azidonis" wrote:
I see no reason to change the prophet's designation of his own works, or works which he has designated in any class, seeing how he created the class system in the first place.

I’m not saying there IS a reason, I’m saying that if the situation ever came about where (for some unknown reason) it may be necessary to call a particular designation into account then the situation is hidebound & as we are experiencing now, except that nobody has the “authority” to do anything about it (assuming it were actually desirable, which I’m making no comment regarding.)

"Azidonis" wrote:
Simply not true. Eshelman's 'Mystical and Magical System' is worthy of Class B, in my opinion.

And Gunther's 'Initiation in the Aeon of the Child' was designated Class B. I definitely disagree with this designation, although I may have been for it in the past (can't remember).

It will end up as star and star, etc. with no one star ever having to agree with the classification made by another star (or star clusters, aka 'ineages'), as no complete agreement can ever be reached anyway.

“In your opinion”.  That exactly proves my point.  We are all entitled to our opinion, of course.  But you have no Authority.
Star and star” – Yes you are probably right here.

"Azidonis" wrote:
"jamie barter" wrote:
This is a difficulty which concerns the “legacy" of Gurdjieff also & in fact any ‘tradition’ where it (the legacy) involves a fundamentalist sticking to the letter of the law laid down when the initiator of the current was still alive.  There is a danger of things turning to stone – which was what I meant by “ossification”, but giving it a slightly more organic spin - and would apply whatever “lineage” is being considered.  For along with the “change not a letter…” debate, one should also not completely ignore the relevance of its corollary from consideration: that “Change is Stability”….

In the particular case in question ("f" v "k"), change does not = stability.

I was most emphatically not talking about the f>k change here, silly goose!  I just knew someone was going to take this section wrong & out of context – I was of course referring to (making changes in) the classifying system as a whole, as hopefully can be detected if you read my wording closely.

"Azidonis" wrote:
As for the A:.A:. System itself, I tend to see it as both completely rigid and completely flexible. It's cool like that. 🙂

Yes, stick your head in the sand, Az, you may find it cool and refreshing.  Wonder if you’ll still feel like that if you’re around in c. 1900 years time…

"Azidonis" wrote:
Before we all go jumping for a Maitreya, let us consider the context of your original statements, below: ...

... So now, I have to ask, if you were specifically talking about the idea of a Maitreya, or if you were referring to just 'any ol' 9=2'?

No I wasn’t, and don’t really want to wander off down this side tunnel. Others may feel free to do so, of course…

"Azidonis" wrote:
Really, speaking of the Secret Chiefs in such a manner so as to anthropomorphize "them" is, well, I won't give it an adjective, but please consider what you are inferring.

I was just trying to be funny, as usual, rather than seriously “anthropomorphizing”.  Evidently my attempt has failed here.  (Sometimes I think I can try to be too funny for my own health!)

"Azidonis" wrote:
... In short, the Secret Chiefs do not exist in reality. ...

Again, let’s not let this thread be sidetracked into a discussion on the Secret Chiefs.  I’m sure there must be another one which could be reactivated, if necessary?  I don’t regard the Secret Chiefs as a load of goblins ( Los), nor as you suggest, a bunch of old men sitting around in the clouds managing human affairs (that’s quite an amusing analogy, btw; if I were to sit around thinking of “them” at all, it would be more in terms of geometry.)  As for the remainder of your post, I don’t personally disagree with anything in it you will be delighted to learn?! (Well not enough to warrant posting & making a long drawn out debate about it anyhoo!) 🙂

"Los" wrote:
"Jamie barter" wrote:
Maybe the Chiefs have withdrawn into a period of silence

Yeah, sure. And maybe the Christian God created the world 6,000 years ago and just created it to look billions of years old, just to test our faith.

Hello there stranger!  Where have you been all year?!  Glad to see you have lost none of your robust rationalism & anti hoodoo ooky-kooky hokey-cokey hocus-pocus (or as I think you put it here “supernatural bugga-boos”).

Re. your quote above:  Aha, but how do you know my friend he didn’t?!  And how do you not know that our solar system (or even just the Earth) is all there is & that the rest is some kinda ultrahigh-tec “realistic” screen erected up there by somebody/ something?!

Unfortunately, and particularly at the moment, I don’t have the time (or the energy, if truth be told!) to engage in a lengthy debate with you or Azidonis, fun though it might be for a while, and may have to be “away” for a few days, so please don’t construe my silence as rudeness.  Do the pair of you carry on without me, though, if you feel the need!

Tata 4 neow
N. Joy


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Azidonis
(@azidonis)
Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 2964
 
"jamie barter" wrote:
"Azidonis" wrote:
I see no reason to change the prophet's designation of his own works, or works which he has designated in any class, seeing how he created the class system in the first place.

I’m not saying there IS a reason, I’m saying that if the situation ever came about where (for some unknown reason) it may be necessary to call a particular designation into account then the situation is hidebound & as we are experiencing now, except that nobody has the “authority” to do anything about it (assuming it were actually desirable, which I’m making no comment regarding.)

This is all "legal" stuff.

"jamie barter" wrote:
"Azidonis" wrote:
Simply not true. Eshelman's 'Mystical and Magical System' is worthy of Class B, in my opinion.

And Gunther's 'Initiation in the Aeon of the Child' was designated Class B. I definitely disagree with this designation, although I may have been for it in the past (can't remember).

It will end up as star and star, etc. with no one star ever having to agree with the classification made by another star (or star clusters, aka 'ineages'), as no complete agreement can ever be reached anyway.

“In your opinion”.  That exactly proves my point.  We are all entitled to our opinion, of course.  But you have no Authority.
Star and star” – Yes you are probably right here.

I need no Authority. It doesn't matter to me what anyone else thinks should be Class A or Class B, or a children's book. It's all rubbish after a certain point anyway.

"jamie barter" wrote:
I was most emphatically not talking about the f>k change here, silly goose!  I just knew someone was going to take this section wrong & out of context – I was of course referring to (making changes in) the classifying system as a whole, as hopefully can be detected if you read my wording closely.

This is assuming anything needs to be changed.

"jamie barter" wrote:
"Azidonis" wrote:
As for the A:.A:. System itself, I tend to see it as both completely rigid and completely flexible. It's cool like that. 🙂

Yes, stick your head in the sand, Az, you may find it cool and refreshing.  Wonder if you’ll still feel like that if you’re around in c. 1900 years time…

This statement proves you really don't get it.

"jamie barter" wrote:
"Azidonis" wrote:
Really, speaking of the Secret Chiefs in such a manner so as to anthropomorphize "them" is, well, I won't give it an adjective, but please consider what you are inferring.

I was just trying to be funny, as usual, rather than seriously “anthropomorphizing”.  Evidently my attempt has failed here.  (Sometimes I think I can try to be too funny for my own health!)

If you have to explain the punchline, it isn't a very good joke, or at least not very well told.

"jamie barter" wrote:
as for the remainder of your post, I don’t personally disagree with anything in it you will be delighted to learn?! (Well not enough to warrant posting & making a long drawn out debate about it anyhoo!) 🙂

As ye will...


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