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lashtal
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07/10/2007 11:29 pm  

In a recent post in another thread, 'Mirroman' wrote of his concerns about the reality, truth or significance of the Cairo Working, the most interesting of which was: "The book was received in a place where magical energies are supposed to be still strong and at work. Thus, a manifestation of Egyptian energies. As a channeling experience that is not very impressive."

My response got somewhat lost in the subsequent discussions about sun signs and the like so I thought I'd repeat it here for consideration:

That's a very interesting point and one which suggests three main possibilities (doubtless there are others):

1: The whole Cairo Working represents the deliberate creation of a fraudulent document, created with the conscious intention of providing some sort of 'mystical' justification for the delusions of someone excessively exercised by his wishes to cause the collapse of a hated religious system.

2: That Crowley, on his third (?) visit to Egypt in a matter of a year or so, had become sufficiently absorbed in Egyptology that his experimentation with "automatic writing" (which term I use here to describe the process of producing documents from the subconscious) inevitably resulted in a shadow play featuring the gods and priestcraft of that time.

The third option interests me the most:

3: That the reception of The Book Of The Law represents the genuine reception of a religious text (by which I mean the communication of the gods with man using symbols understood and experienced by the Ancient Egyptians) but that part of that process required the "discovery" or "re-discovery" of a device intended to earth the message or to provide the means by which it might be decoded. I refer, of course, to the stele.

This week my money's on option three...

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 Anonymous
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07/10/2007 11:34 pm  
"lashtal" wrote:
3: That the reception of The Book Of The Law represents the genuine reception of a religious text (by which I mean the communication of the gods with man using symbols understood and experienced by the Ancient Egyptians) but that part of that process required the "discovery" or "re-discovery" of a device intended to earth the message or to provide the means by which it might be decoded. I refer, of course, to the stele.

This week my money's on option three...

It's hard to make much sense of your option three as currently worded. What "gods" are you referring to? How do you think the stele "earth the message"? How do you think it helps to "decode" the Book of the Law?


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lashtal
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07/10/2007 11:47 pm  

I'll put you down as a "No", then, Erwin.

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 Anonymous
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07/10/2007 11:48 pm  
"lashtal" wrote:
I'll put you down as a "No", then, Erwin.

I can't answer either way until I know what you mean. That's why I asked.


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lashtal
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07/10/2007 11:53 pm  
"Erwin" wrote:
I can't answer either way until I know what you mean. That's why I asked.

Indeed. And given the enormous number and, er, "high level of granularity" of your Forum posts over recent days I remember that I'm happy to accept your first answer!

If not "No", I'll just put you down as an "Undecided". That's enough for me, honest!

😕

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 Anonymous
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07/10/2007 11:54 pm  

I'll analyse your statement. All views expressed are my own:

"lashtal" wrote:
The reception of The Book Of The Law represents the genuine reception of a religious text

How can a reception 'represent' a genuine reception? Retorical mistake.
Whether or not TBOTL is a 'religious' text depends on the definition one uses of 'religion'. I'd personally say that a 'religion' is a set of symbols and habits designed mainly for population control. Study any main religion and you will see the mechanisms of mass psychology and propaganda in place to ensure stability for the powers that be. A good book to read, in this regard, is 'Julian' by Gore Vidal which is one of the best books written about the early days of Christianity.

(by which I mean the communication of the gods with man using symbols understood and experienced by the Ancient Egyptians)

With all respect: the idea that God communicating with men through text immediately qualifies as religion is very flawed. If that were true any looney in the asylum would be the pope of a religion. Something is a religion when it is a mass movement. Until that time its called a 'sect'.

Something is a religious text when it appeals to existing structures of religion. If this is not the case usually the text is called 'spiritual'. In case of TBOTL it's hard to say what it is, since the text is kind of postmodern, mixing several main religions in one document. The overall impression is rather an anti-religious one.

but that part of that process required the "discovery" or "re-discovery" of a device intended to earth the message or to provide the means by which it might be decoded. I refer, of course, to the stele.

It is completely unclear to me what the relation is between the stele and TBOTL, other than some vague poetic references they share and the Ankh-af-na-khonsu angle. Does TBOTL actually refer to the stele? I can't seem to remember at this moment.

MM


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Patriarch156
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07/10/2007 11:58 pm  

I am tending towards a mixture of two and three. I do believe Liber AL, like any received text represents an authentic expression of the religious experience, but I think the reason it expressed itself so decidedly through the symbols and mindframe of A.C. is because that is the flesh that clothes the spirit that intoxicated him so to speak. Not sure if this makes sense. If not I will try to explain in more detail.


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 Anonymous
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07/10/2007 11:59 pm  
"lashtal" wrote:
"Erwin" wrote:
I can't answer either way until I know what you mean. That's why I asked.

Indeed. And given the enormous number and, er, "high level of granularity" of your Forum posts over recent days I remember that I'm happy to accept your first answer!

If not "No", I'll just put you down as an "Undecided". That's enough for me, honest!

OK. You posted your idea three times, the third time with an appeal for feedback, so I assumed you wanted to discuss it.


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lashtal
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08/10/2007 12:22 am  

Allow me to rephrase the statement:

The Book Of The Law consists of words written down by an Englishman using the name Aleister Crowley, in Egypt in April 1904. These words were dictated by a "spiritual being" (defined for the purposes of this discussion as a being with personality and identity but not human in any current physical sense), named Aiwass or Aiwaz. This being arrived by means unknown with the deliberate intention of dictating said text. The being considered Aleister Crowley to be the reincarnation of a Theban priest of the Third Intermediate Period, named Ankhefenkhons (or some similar interpretation of the hieroglyphs involved). In undertaking this task, Aiwass or Aiwaz was acting as the messenger of identified neteru, to whom we would ascribe certain characteristics that would result in their being described by the average person as a being of 'godlike' powers and attributes. Certain words were misheard or disliked by the 'scribe' and so were replaced at a later date by Crowley and his wife, in circumstances not currently known.

In order to receive this dictation, Crowley needed to be in some way "prepared" for it. This preparation required the discovery or re-discovery by Crowley of a stela left with this intention by the aforementioned priest. It was therefore necessary for Crowley to be physically present in Egypt at some time prior to receipt of the dictation.

The stela included text - in part drawn from what is currently referred to generally as The Book Of The Dead - that needed to be interpreted by Crowley and incorporated in the otherwise dictated text. The physical proximity of the stela to Aiwass/Aiwaz and/or Crowley was an essential part of the means by which contact was established.

Now, it seems to me that this is essentially what Crowley expected Thelemites to believe, subject to detailed definition of all terms, of course. I'm just curious to know if anyone here believes it to be an accurate description of events.

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 Anonymous
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08/10/2007 12:32 am  
"lashtal" wrote:
Allow me to rephrase the statement:

The Book Of The Law consists of words

It doesn't consist of just words. For example that RPSTOVAL bit aren't words. And then there's the grid bit with the line, etc.

The rest of the story seems a quite adequate description of the thing Crowley wanted us to believe. I don't see much value in doubting these events - as far as I'm concerned it pretty much happened the way he described it.

I find it, however, much more valuable to doubt the intentions Crolwley had with TBOTL as such. In my opinion he should have focussed on setting up a decent initatiory magickal system. Instead he constantly dabbled with ideas of being a world religion, a prophet, a poet and other delusional and unproductive fantasies.

He should have focussed on AA mainly - I don't think 2 organisations for different purposes was ever a good idea. The fact that he named Germer as a succesor says enough about his organisatory talents. Or visionary, for that matter...

MM


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Michael Staley
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08/10/2007 12:41 am  

I'm in agreement, Paul - the third option.


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lashtal
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08/10/2007 12:52 am  

Thanks for the responses, Mirrorman and Michael.

Sometimes - and I fear this site is as guilty as others - we get so wrapped up in the definitions and detail that it helps on occasions to separate the wood from the trees.

It's my personal opinion - indulge me, please, a moderator having opinions - that the Egyptology aspects of the Working have been woefully under-investigated over the years and I'm doing my best to put something together that will hopefully rectify that neglect.

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 Anonymous
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08/10/2007 1:13 am  

It was said: "...the idea that God communicating with men through text immediately qualifies as religion is very flawed." Is the writer talking about religion or philosophy?

I do know where he is coming from. As a scientist I should go with 1 because of obvious inconsistencies in AL.

I am, however, going wholeheartedly with 3, claiming that theses inconsistencies do not matter. They do not matter more or less than any other inconsistency in the Bible, the Quran, and the Baghavad Gita.

If you define a religious text as rules, given as a canonical opus to a human by a god, Liber Al is as much a genuine religious text as parts of the Genesis, the Rigveda, or the Torah are.

We know it contains rules, it was written by a human, who claimed it was dictated by a higher power. The questions remaining are:

1. What is the definition of a higher power (god), and is there such thing?

2. If there is such thing, was it really the case that this thing was communicating with Crowley in Cairo?

I don't want to lead another ontological proof of God. Let's discard the childish picture of the God of the Old Testament. Let's define God as an infinite thing, containing an infinite number of attributes. Let's say that an infinite number of attributes necessarily contains the attribute of existence, and therefore there must be a God. Let's also assume that humans exist. If they do, they must, at one point, contain a part of what we formerly defined as God.

What is that part? May be it is what the Buddhists define as self, what the Christians define as soul, the Egyptians as Ka? Subconsciousness? Über-Ich? Let's call it self.

If this exists, any expression of it is an act of God. It can be Liber Al, the 10 Commandments, or something as simple (complicated?) as a poem, for the quality of any religious text is not so much determined by its logic, but rather by it's ability to touch the soul. Al does qualify.

It seems to me that Crowley was on to this when he wrote:

"Of course I wrote them, ink on paper, in the material sense; but they are not My words, unless Aiwaz be taken to be no more than my subconscious self, or some part of it: in that case, my conscious self being ignorant of the Truth in the Book and hostile to most of the ethics and philosophy of the Book, Aiwaz is a severely suppressed part of me. Such a theory would further imply that I am, unknown to myself, possessed of all sorts of praeternatural knowledge and power. ( Equinox of the Gods, 7)

The question "do Egyptian Gods exist?" and "did they approach Crowley?" is redundant. As an expression of the inner self, the Gods of Ancient Egypt are as good or bad as any other deity, be it God, Allah, Aiwass, or whatever. In the end, all these may just be different names for one and the same phenomenon.


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 Anonymous
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08/10/2007 1:32 am  
"fraseth" wrote:
1. What is the definition of a higher power (god), and is there such thing?

2. If there is such thing, was it really the case that this thing was communicating with Crowley in Cairo?

Those two questions actually popped up in my head to when I contemplated what the thread was actually about.
Its 2 very good points you make there, and I wont try to define "God" nor will I try to determine if "God" actually worked through Crowley either.
But I was wondering if it cant be a merge of all the 3 options?

To understand the whole working I think we have to consider all the possible reasons behind "the recieving". If Crowley actually did come up with TBoL himself, was it only for the means of disrupting the Xtian religion? If so then option 3 automatically gets questioned.
Either way it is interesting and I would say that Crowleys motives really doesnt matter, and how the TBoL actually "came to him" doesnt really matter either.
We can no more prove Crowleys "recieving" of TBoL then we can prove how the other religious texts got invented in the first place either.
Anyways I would go with Option 3..


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lashtal
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08/10/2007 1:42 am  

Thanks for your post, Ninyah.

"Ninyah" wrote:
I was wondering if it cant be a merge of all the 3 options?

Well, it could be options 2 and 3 at the same time in some way, I suppose, although I don't see that it could be either of these two plus option number 1: "the whole Cairo Working represents the deliberate creation of a fraudulent document..."

Crowleys motives really doesnt matter, and how the TBoL actually "came to him" doesnt really matter either.

This is an observation made regularly on LAShTAL.COM, although I really don't understand how it could be true. The commonest suggestion is that the book should be "judged" on its own merits: whether it works, whether it is helpful as a tool, etc. I'm far more interested in knowing if there's internal evidence that the text is genuinely evidence of the communication of the neteru with mankind? Otherwise, we're just left with the mystical equivalent of a self-help manual, aren't we?

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 Anonymous
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08/10/2007 1:57 am  
"lashtal" wrote:
Otherwise, we're just left with the mystical equivalent of a self-help manual, aren't we?

What's the difference between a self-help manual, and a help manual written by a non-corporeal super-powerful being? Presumably the Book is there to help us, otherwise it's not very, well, helpful. And if it is a help manual, what difference does it make who wrote it?

Of course, the Book might not be there to help us. Imagine a herd of cows trying to establish contact with a race of beings impossibly more advanced then they are, i.e., humans. Finally they make contact, and the chief prophet cow gets a message from these super powerful beings. What message are they going to get? What super illumination will they receive from their newly-found ascended masters?

"We're going to stuff you full of grass until you're fat, then eat your flesh, and turn your skin into attractive articles of clothing. Have a really great day."

So, let's assume for a moment that we could find a way to prove the Book came from the kind of exceptionally powerful entity you are describing.

Then what?


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lashtal
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08/10/2007 2:07 am  
"Erwin" wrote:
And if it is a help manual, what difference does it make who wrote it?

I'd be more interested in a book written by a non-corporeal being, proving by the act of writing that there exist such things as the neteru, spirits, goetic demons, the Holy Guardian Angel (and other things that "may or may not exist"), etc., than one which proves there's an Anthony Robbins.

One of these options posits a world more horrifying than we could imagine!

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 Anonymous
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08/10/2007 2:10 am  
"lashtal" wrote:
"the whole Cairo Working represents the deliberate creation of a fraudulent document..."

Oh yes, right you are, kind of overlooked the first part of option 1, that just wouldnt make any sense :OI

"lashtal" wrote:
This is an observation made regularly on LAShTAL.COM, although I really don't understand how it could be true. The commonest suggestion is that the work should be "judged" on its own merits: whether it works, whether it is helpful as a tool, etc. I'm far more interested in knowing if there's internal evidence that the text is genuinely evidence of the communication of the neteru with mankind? Otherwise, we're just left with the mystical equivalent of a self-help manual, aren't we?

Well, I would agree with you that it is an interesting question in itself, if it is a "genuine evidence", that is. But if we would consider TBoL of being of the same time as the bible for example, then we would get no wiser trying to figure out where the words actually came from. Even if it is interesting I personally wouldnt say that is of any greater significance.
Anyway how could we prove if it is a genuine communication? Can we do that at all?
Btw, I wouldnt consider it as a "manual" at all, more like an inspirational text to be interpreted for the sake of ones own development. Even if it could be considered a manual I personally havent used it in that way, not yet anyways.


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 Anonymous
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08/10/2007 2:11 am  
"lashtal" wrote:
I'd be more interested in a book written by a non-corporeal being, proving by the act of writing that there exist such things as the neteru, spirits, goetic demons, the Holy Guardian Angel (and other things that "may or may not exist"),

OK, and just gaining that knowledge may justifiably be considered reason enough in its own right, but beyond that, do you consider that there might be any practical benefit in doing so?


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 Anonymous
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08/10/2007 2:16 am  
"lashtal" wrote:
I'm far more interested in knowing if there's internal evidence that the text is genuinely evidence of the communication of the neteru with mankind? Otherwise, we're just left with the mystical equivalent of a self-help manual, aren't we?

I think you need to drop the idea that there's some kind of great white brotherhood watching over mankind, which sort of lies at the root of your observation. It is a belief that is for some strange reason quite common amongst occultists but I have never been able to trace the origins of it, at least not further back than Blavatsky. In my opinion TBOTL was never meant as a message for mankind. Why on earth would it say 'ye are against the people o my chosen' if it was some sort of bible meant to redeem humanity? That just doesn't make any sense.

This does not mean that I think TBOTL is bogus or that there are no higher intelligences than men out there. I have 'met' with one such intelligence in my life once and it was a horribly frightfull experience. Useful in another way, but not pleasant at all. This is probably also why Crowley rather wanted to forget about the experience. At any rate Erwin is right about the fact that it doesn't matter one bit who or what wrote TBOTL - it's impossible to know anyhow. Just remember that reailty is far weirder than anything your mind is able to project unto it - that should be enough.

MM


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sonofthestar
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08/10/2007 2:18 am  

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

Paul!
Option 3 is the correct and truly real take on the matter. Your elaboration of it is on the mark!
I have brought up the importance of “things Egyptian” in a number of my posts; I reiterate that Thelema could indeed be considered the resurrection of the religion of Ancient Egypt, as well as certain Greek mysteries. Perhaps the reincarnation of The mystery religion of Egypt is a more accurate statement.
We are not talking about the usual stuff discovered and interpreted by the archaeologist and given to the public since the discovery of the Rosetta Stone; but no thing less than the “Timeless” mysteries known to the initiates of that ancient, but far from dead religion. I consider Thelema “The Religion of the Gods”.

And, You are especially right about the Stele of Revealing!

The Cairo Working-- happened pretty much the way AC describes it---in spite of any so called confusion or discrepancies.

And all that has been written about Aiwass after the Book of The Law , is pretty much conjecture; that all we can say with certainty is that he is The Minister of Hoor-Paar-Kraat.

If people really think about it, long and hard---How else could it have happened? Who else, other than Crowley!?!?
Of all the people that have existed on this Earth---Who other than He? could have received Liber Legis

Love is the law, love under will.


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 Anonymous
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08/10/2007 2:25 am  
"sonofthestar@Gmail.com" wrote:
Of all the people that have existed on this Earth---Who other than He? could have received Liber Legis

Once people start writing capital 'He's' and it's not at the start of a sentence you know something is very wrong.

MM


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 Anonymous
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08/10/2007 2:27 am  
"sonofthestar@Gmail.com" wrote:
Option 3 is the correct and truly real take on the matter ... The Cairo Working-- happened pretty much the way AC describes it---in spite of any so called confusion or discrepancies ... If people really think about it, long and hard---How else could it have happened?

Oh, well, if you put it that way, I'm convinced. If only someone had put together such a lucid and watertight case twenty years ago, I'd have saved an awful lot of time.


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 Anonymous
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08/10/2007 2:42 am  

The third option appeals to me in a romantic sort of way and I can imagine both an epic story of the Invisible Hand of Destiny starting with Ankh-f-n-Khonsu and ending with the Cairo Working, and an episode of Burke's "Connections" tracing the chain of events in history which brought Crowley and the Stele together.

That said, the first thing which popped in my head when I read option 3 was that movie The Gods Must Be Crazy 🙂


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herupakraath
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08/10/2007 3:37 am  

That's a very interesting point and one which suggests three main possibilities (doubtless there are others):

1: The whole Cairo Working represents the deliberate creation of a fraudulent document, created with the conscious intention of providing some sort of 'mystical' justification for the delusions of someone excessively exercised by his wishes to cause the collapse of a hated religious system.

This would appear to be the least credible of the three theories due to a lack of any evidence supporting it, and the existence of compelling evidence to the contrary.

2: That Crowley, on his third (?) visit to Egypt in a matter of a year or so, had become sufficiently absorbed in Egyptology that his experimentation with "automatic writing" (which term I use here to describe the process of producing documents from the subconscious) inevitably resulted in a shadow play featuring the gods and priestcraft of that time.

One of the most astonishing artifacts of the Cairo Working is the title page of the manuscript, on which Crowley recorded his conclusion that the Book of the Law is an example of automatic writing. The fact that Crowley changed his mind later on about what had actually happened when the text was received, serves as substantial evidence of the Book of the Law having been received as described by Crowley. What is also of great interest is the fact Crowley and his representatives concealed the title page from most people until the OTO posted it on their Grand Lodge website a few years ago--there would be no need to hide any part of the book if it were a carefully-crafted fraud.

When the photo of the title page surfaced, it was seized upon by certain parties as evidence that Crowley had perpetrated a fraud, but when given careful consideration, the title page serves as evidence that Crowley was unsure as to what had happened during the Cairo Working, taking the cautious position of describing the book as automatic writing, as opposed to admitting that he and his wife had both been hearing voices, and acting upon the instructions provided by them. The verbal exchanges between the Crowleys and Aiwass, or whomever else was communicating with them, also explains the uncharacteristic lack of details in Crowley's journal entries during the Cairo Working--Crowley obviously had no intention of going into great detail about the fact that his wife had been hearing voices, and that after a successful ritual performed on the Vernal Equinox, he started hearing them as well, not to mention having spent three one-hour sessions recording several Egyptian God's thoughts on life and the Universe.

Crowley's knowledge of Egypt seems to have been average, consisting of contemporary ideas that had passed to the West through Greek historians. One good example is Crowley's initial description of the Stele of Revealing, where he identifies Nuit as Isis, a goddess whose popularity was so far-reaching that her name was used to describe most Egyptian goddesses. Another bit of evidence against Crowley projecting contemporary knowledge of Egyptian culture into the Book of the Law is the use of the spellings Hoor, kraat, paar, kraath, and Nuit, which were unknown before the arrival of the Book of the Law.

3: That the reception of The Book Of The Law represents the genuine reception of a religious text (by which I mean the communication of the gods with man using symbols understood and experienced by the Ancient Egyptians) but that part of that process required the "discovery" or "re-discovery" of a device intended to earth the message or to provide the means by which it might be decoded. I refer, of course, to the stele.

I see no obvious role for the Stele of Revealing as a device for decoding the Book of the Law, serving instead as an ancient magical artifact that links the past with the present, designed originally to propel Ankh-af-na-khonsu into the future. Weighing the events that unfolded, I would say Ankh-af-na-khonsu was successful.

Whether the Book of the Law is a religious text or not, is, and will always be open to debate, but at the very least it is similar to other religious texts. Given the fact the origin of most religious texts is unknown, I would say the Book of the Law and its prophet have set a new standard for religious literature.

Tim


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 Anonymous
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08/10/2007 4:18 am  

In regards to the grid in Liber AL, I've read an article (whose source I'm unable to trace right now) which said that the grid was actually added by Crowley later on and thus not part of the original reception of the Liber Legis. I was wondering if anyone else had come across the same or similar information?


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herupakraath
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08/10/2007 4:26 am  
"Martialis" wrote:
In regards to the grid in Liber AL, I've read an article (whose source I'm unable to trace right now) which said that the grid was actually added by Crowley later on and thus not part of the original reception of the Liber Legis. I was wondering if anyone else had come across the same or similar information?

Yes, that is true. The first publication of TBOTL that included a copy of the manuscript reveals that no grid was present as of 1910.

Tim


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 Anonymous
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08/10/2007 4:50 am  

Here's the link to that site containing a small article on the Liber AL's grid.

http://www.cornelius93.com/EpistleGridLiberAl.htm l"> http://www.cornelius93.com/EpistleGridLiberAl.html

I only cite it in this discussion because I've seen folks rant and rave about the 'secret meaning' and such of the grid yet all the while not even acknowledge the fact that the grid is a post-Cairo Working alteration.[/url]


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lashtal
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08/10/2007 8:32 am  
"herupakraath" wrote:
the Stele of Revealing ... serving ... as an ancient magical artifact that links the past with the present, designed originally to propel Ankh-af-na-khonsu into the future. Weighing the events that unfolded, I would say Ankh-af-na-khonsu was successful.

Absolutely, that being the function of one of the chapters of the Book Of The Dead reproduced on the stele.

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 Anonymous
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28/02/2008 1:09 am  

..


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wulfram
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01/03/2008 3:17 pm  

I'd say I lean somewhere between two and a half and two and three quarters.


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IAO131
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01/03/2008 7:50 pm  
"lashtal" wrote:
3: That the reception of The Book Of The Law represents the genuine reception of a religious text (by which I mean the communication of the gods with man using symbols understood and experienced by the Ancient Egyptians) but that part of that process required the "discovery" or "re-discovery" of a device intended to earth the message or to provide the means by which it might be decoded. I refer, of course, to the stele.

Seeing as this definition presupposes that 'genuine receptions of religious texts' are from actual gods, I could never agree. "...Thus men forgot that All deities reside in the human breast." (William Blake) Your separation of subconscious in #2 and 'genuine reception of religious text' in #3 presupposes the ideas are mutually exclusive.

If we switched this, or simply simplified this, to say 'represents the genuine reception of a religious text' without the implications of some actual objective gods communicating with man, I would be much more likely to accept #3 as a viable option. Carl Jung did a lot of work trying to show that all religions, especially mystic sects, all have their common basis in the human psyche, specifically those unconscious parts of it. The option of Liber AL being a product of Crowley's unconscious just as all other texts were is clearly lacking. Psychologically, it makes a whole lot of sense

For the lazy: "Liber AL vel Legis sub figura CCXX was a treatise that Aleister Crowley wrote (or “received”) in Egypt in 1904. This book is the foundation of the philosophical-religious system of Thelema... Liber AL makes what appear to be many metaphysical and spiritual claims, but we will examine these in a strictly psychological light. Carl Jung wrote these carefully formulated words that characterize the attitude of this essay,

“The religious point of view always expresses and formulates the essential psychological attitude and its specific prejudices.” [1]

…and so,
“Psychology accordingly treats all metaphysical claims and assertions as mental phenomena, and regards them as statements about the mind and its structure that derive ultimately from certain unconscious dispositions. It does not consider them to be absolutely valid or even capable of establishing a metaphysical truth.” [2]

Therefore, Liber AL vel Legis’s many assertionsare now understood as describing mental phenomena, or more accurately, things that are part of the psyche, from the conscious to the deepest recesses of the unconscious. Since Liber AL will be treated as a series of psychological assertions about mental phenomenon, it might be said to be entirely subjective. This is simply not true. Just as natural scientists rely upon the uniformity of nature, the psychologist depends on the relative uniformity of the human psyche. Jung writes “It must be pointed out that just as the human body shows a common anatomy over and above all racial differences, so, too, the human psyche possesses a common substratum transcending all differences in culture and consciousness. I have called this substratum the collective unconscious. This unconscious psyche, common to all mankind does not consist merely of contents capable of becoming conscious, but of latent predispositions towards identical reactions. The collective unconscious is simply the psychic expression of the identity of brain structure irrespective of all racial differences.”[3]

Thus, we may more accurately describe Liber AL vel Legis as both a product and an expression of the collective unconscious, filtered through the peculiar and unique psyche of Aleister Crowley. We may therefore find statements of universal import explained under the figure of certain symbols that were familiar to Crowley’s consciousness and therefore reproduced by the unconscious in this text. If we can understand the meaning of various terms and symbols in Liber AL vel Legis as they are used – hopefully as Crowley understood them - the meaning or purpose in their appearance from the unconscious in the text can be understood. Then we can see that Thelema essentially puts forward a new psychological point-of-view of life."

- References -

[1] Jung, Carl. “Psychological Commentary on The Tibetan Book of the Great Liberation” extracted from Collected Works of C.G. Jung Volume 11, Psychology and Religion: West and East, par. 771
[2] Jung, Carl. “Psychological Commentary on The Tibetan Book of the Great Liberation,”par. 760
[3] Jung, Carl. “Psychological Commentary on ‘The Secret of the Golden Flower’” extracted from Collected Works of C.G. Jung Volume 13, Alchemical Studies, par. 11

IAO131


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 Anonymous
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01/03/2008 9:17 pm  
"IAO131" wrote:
Carl Jung did a lot of work trying to show that all religions, especially mystic sects, all have their common basis in the human psyche, specifically those unconscious parts of it. ...Carl Jung wrote these carefully formulated words that characterize the attitude of this essay... Thus, we may more accurately describe Liber AL vel Legis as both a product and an expression of the collective unconscious, filtered through the peculiar and unique psyche of Aleister Crowley.

Right! And Carl Jung also did this same song-and-dance when he examined the works of "The Tibetan" (Djwhal Khul) as "channeled" through the human being, Alice A. Bailey. Jung essentially said that the works were wonderful, but that they probably came to Bailey from the Great Archetypal Unconscious through her "Higher Self," and not from some (imagined) Tibetan Lama.

To which Bailey replied, "Perhaps Dr. Jung can explain how my "Higher self" sends me packages of incense from India!"


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IAO131
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01/03/2008 9:20 pm  
"Nataraj418" wrote:
"IAO131" wrote:
Carl Jung did a lot of work trying to show that all religions, especially mystic sects, all have their common basis in the human psyche, specifically those unconscious parts of it. ...Carl Jung wrote these carefully formulated words that characterize the attitude of this essay... Thus, we may more accurately describe Liber AL vel Legis as both a product and an expression of the collective unconscious, filtered through the peculiar and unique psyche of Aleister Crowley.

Right! And Carl Jung also did this same song-and-dance when he examined the works of "The Tibetan" (Djwhal Khul) as "channeled" through the human being, Alice A. Bailey. Jung essentially said that the works were wonderful, but that they probably came to Bailey from the Great Archetypal Unconscious through her "Higher Self," and not from some (imagined) Tibetan Lama.

To which Bailey replied, "Perhaps Dr. Jung can explain how my "Higher self" sends me packages of incense from India!"

Her anecdotal quotation is not even beginning to be proof to the contrary (that it was her unconscious).

Besides, this is a different story. Alice Bailey isn't penning religious texts like Liber AL, the Tao teh Ching, the Gita, etc. Also, I could admit its possible that there existed a physical Tibetan person at the time of Alice Bailey that potentially communicated to her. Again, this seems like a bit of a straw man in that its describing a different situation. If we want to examine Liber AL as if it was received by a powerful physical adept who just communicated to Crowley (an opinion I believe he expressed at least once), it would be on par. On another level, I always wondered by a Tibetan lama would communicate in such technical, complex, and convoluted occult language...

By the way, I really do not like the term 'higher self;' its bordering on misleading in my opinion.

IAO131


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 Anonymous
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02/03/2008 2:33 am  
"wulfram" wrote:
I'd say I lean somewhere between two and a half and two and three quarters.

Aha! A continuum of possibilities! Just what my Aiwassometer was designed for! 😀 See the old forum thread about The Book of the Law as a 'received text'. I suggested and laid out just such a continuum there.

IAO131 pinged me on the relative unoriginality of the various ideas in that continuum list. A fair cop (though I did write it prior to that thread on lashtal.com), but the main point was that I found it fruitful to arrange the possibilities in a kind of order and explore the "spaces in between" the different options.

Steve


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IAO131
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02/03/2008 3:00 am  
"SteveCranmer" wrote:
"wulfram" wrote:
I'd say I lean somewhere between two and a half and two and three quarters.

Aha! A continuum of possibilities! Just what my Aiwassometer was designed for! 😀 See the old forum thread about The Book of the Law as a 'received text'. I suggested and laid out just such a continuum there.

IAO131 pinged me on the relative unoriginality of the various ideas in that continuum list. A fair cop (though I did write it prior to that thread on lashtal.com), but the main point was that I found it fruitful to arrange the possibilities in a kind of order and explore the "spaces in between" the different options.

Steve

93 Cranny,

I think it would be smarter to outline the various 'hypotheses' in terms of overlapping/shared characteristics, perhaps some kind of Venn diagram.

IAO131


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 Anonymous
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02/03/2008 9:13 pm  

..


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IAO131
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02/03/2008 9:25 pm  
"h2h" wrote:
Focusing on the reception of TBOTL strikes me as a distraction and not nearly as interesting as questioning what Crowley personally gained by releasing this document to the world. Considering this forum is the home of the Aleister Crowley Society, little attention seems to be paid to the central question of the Man, namely what was (and still is) Crowley’s True Will?

These are two separate questions: what does he gain and what was his true will? I think the second question is absolutely silly in that you think you can somehow say "Person A's Will is X." It seems like a simplistic, digital view of the Will.

according to Crowley, indicates “a certain continuity or identity of myself with Ankh-f-n-khonsu, whose Stele is the Link with Antiquity of this Revelation”.

Identifying with someone does not mean you ARE that person. How many people here have identified with Crowley to an extent? How many prophets have identified with past prophets?

One the Conditions Prevailing at the Time of Writing:
I now incline to believe that Aiwass is not only the God or Demon or Devil once held holy in Sumer, and mine own Guardian Angel, but also a man as I am, insofar as He uses a human body to make His magickal link with Mankind, whom he loves, and that He is thus an Ipsissimus, the Head of the A.A. Even I can do in a much feebler way, this Work of being a God and a Beast, etc., etc., all at the same time, with equal fullness of life.
(Book 4, p. 433)

Your selective perception of not underlining "God and a Beast" might want to be reconsidered. Still, you are brazenly conflating Aiwass and Ankh-af-na-khonsu here.

On the Method of Receiving Liber Legis:
For these reasons and many more I am certain, I the Beast, whose number is Six Hundred and Sixty Six, that this Third Chapter of the Book of the Law is nothing less than the authentic Word, the Word of the Aeon, the Truth about Nature at this time and on the planet. I wrote it, hating it and sneering at it, secretly glad that I could use it to revolt against this Task most terrible that the Gods have thrust remorselessly upon my shoulders, their Cross of burning steel that I must carry even to my Calvary, the place of a skull, there to be eased of its weight only that I be crucified thereon. But, being lifted up, I will draw the whole world unto me; and men shall worship me the Beast, Six Hundred and Three-score and Six, celebrating Me their Midnight Mass every time soever when they do that they will, and on Mine alter slaying to Me that victim I most relish, their Selves; when Love designs and Will executes the Rite whereby (and they know it or know not) their God in man is offered to me The Beast, their God, the Rite whose virtue, making their God of their throned Beast, leaves nothing, howso bestial, undivine.
(Book 4, p. 421)

What exactly is your point of quoting this? He is asserting his natural authority and this has nothing to do with the method of receiving AL or Ankh-af-na-khonsu

The function of TBOTL appears to be two-fold. On the one hand, it is a liberating mandate for humanity to follow their True Wills but, if it was as simple as that, why does Nuit’s exhortations in Chapter I sound remarkably similar to Crowley’s lifestyle of wine, women and song?

As simple as that? Are you sure you understand what this all entails? Did you miss all the parts about wine, women, and song where it says "but always unto Me?" Did you miss ch.2 and 3 which are not like that and, according to Crowley, offended his sensibilities at the time of writing?

Clearly the TBOTL and rituals of Thelema were a magickal link with humanity whereby the astral form of Crowley revisits earth to take his pleasure among the living, ensuring that his lifestyle continues on..

CLEARLY... 🙄

Astral form of Crowley? Or Ankh-af-na-khonsu? Or Aiwass? your HGA? God? a God? the Gods? an ancient priest? You need to separate what you are talking about.

Does Crowley really need an astral form to 'ensure that his lifestyle continues on'? Isnt that what books and organizations and Aleister Crowley Societies are for?

IAO131


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lashtal
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02/03/2008 9:44 pm  
"IAO131" wrote:
Does Crowley really need an astral form to 'ensure that his lifestyle continues on'? Isnt that what ... Aleister Crowley Societies are for?

Not this one!

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 Anonymous
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02/03/2008 11:15 pm  

..


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lashtal
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02/03/2008 11:21 pm  
"h2h" wrote:
Crowley - who is destined to become a god in the New Aeon by the worship of his followers. He states words to that effect in his commentary to Liber Legis in the New Falcon edition.

😯 Really? Crowley says he is destined to become a god by the worship of his followers?

Precise quote, please - or I'll settle for a page number...

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 Anonymous
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02/03/2008 11:30 pm  

..


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IAO131
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02/03/2008 11:34 pm  
"lashtal" wrote:
"h2h" wrote:
Crowley - who is destined to become a god in the New Aeon by the worship of his followers. He states words to that effect in his commentary to Liber Legis in the New Falcon edition.

😯 Really? Crowley says he is destined to become a god by the worship of his followers?

Precise quote, please - or I'll settle for a page number...

I'll settle for a coherent point...

I would recommend doing a bit more research into the symbolism of the 'Babe God,' and perhaps more research in general before you make claims like Crowley becoming a god. It seems like anyone with a well rounded background in his works would never make this claim

Also - you may not think it is selective perception yet it is quite clear to me (and is obviously unconscious in most people). I suggest you look up the 'Barnum effect' and 'apophenia.'

IAO131


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 Anonymous
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02/03/2008 11:50 pm  

I don't think anything I am suggesting above is so controversial.


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lashtal
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03/03/2008 12:16 am  

Let's just rewind a moment here...

"h2h" wrote:
Crowley - who is destined to become a god in the New Aeon by the worship of his followers. He states words to that effect in his commentary to Liber Legis in the New Falcon edition.

You presented this as an unequivocal statement of fact to support your argument, whatever that might be.

I asked for the page number and your response was dismissive:

"h2h" wrote:
I just read the Falcon commentary today and Crowley refers to himself as a Babe God or something to that effect. However, there is nothing specifically stating his god-status is created via "worship of his followers" . That has to be inferred from elsewhere and his above comment that "I will draw the whole world unto me and men shall worship me the Beast".

"Or something to that effect ... nothing specifically stating ... has to be inferred..."

You're a fraud and a fool, it would appear, and I can't imagine what you think you're doing here.

"h2h" wrote:
Feel free to disagree or comment on my earlier posting.

Why? What would be the bloody point?

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IAO131
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03/03/2008 12:19 am  
"h2h" wrote:
I'll be happy to accept the idea the very nature of perception is selective 🙂

That is not what I am saying and you are avoiding facing up to the reality of the situation. Look up these terms: 'selective perception,' 'Barnum effect,' and 'apophenia.' You might want to read Ash's recent post about apophenia, on that note.

Now, perhaps you can elaborate on the significance of "and a Beast" so that I can respond.

The point is that you underlined what was relevant to your point and ignored what was not; that is selective perception.

And why you think there was a "brazen" conflation of Aiwass with Ankh-f-na-khonsu.

There is a conflation in your writings between more than just Aiwass and Ankh-af-na-khonsu but you take references to 'Babe God,' 'God,' Ra Hoor Khuit, Ankh af na khonsu, and Crowley to interchangeably be referring all to the same person. Like I said, you should keep whatever you are talking about separate.

However, I don't think anything I am suggesting above is so controversial.

No its not controversial, it is just poorly substantiated.

IAO131


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 Anonymous
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03/03/2008 1:30 am  

Paul,

I qualified my “unequivocal statement of fact” in the posting beneath your request for a page number – did you see it? Further I was not being dismissive but going through my Falcon commentary looking up comments that support my general argument. Hence my comment “give me time”.

It’s curious you resort to ad hominem attacks and question why I am on this forum based on a minor point when I provided Crowley quotes earlier to back my argument (the underlined phrases). You’re interested in the Stele so why not look at the argument instead?

The general points:
1. TBOTL forms a magickal link with humanity
2. This link forms the means by which the astral form of the deceased returns to earth and enjoys his pleasure among the living.

I am happy to be proven wrong – please provide sources as I have been doing.

"lashtal" wrote:
Let's just rewind a moment here...

"h2h" wrote:
Crowley - who is destined to become a god in the New Aeon by the worship of his followers. He states words to that effect in his commentary to Liber Legis in the New Falcon edition.

You presented this as an unequivocal statement of fact to support your argument, whatever that might be.

I asked for the page number and your response was dismissive:

"h2h" wrote:
I just read the Falcon commentary today and Crowley refers to himself as a Babe God or something to that effect. However, there is nothing specifically stating his god-status is created via "worship of his followers" . That has to be inferred from elsewhere and his above comment that "I will draw the whole world unto me and men shall worship me the Beast".

"Or something to that effect ... nothing specifically stating ... has to be inferred..."

You're a fraud and a fool, it would appear, and I can't imagine what you think you're doing here.

"h2h" wrote:
Feel free to disagree or comment on my earlier posting.

Why? What would be the bloody point?


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 Anonymous
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03/03/2008 1:39 am  
"IAO131" wrote:
No its not controversial, it is just poorly substantiated.

IAO131

Ok, it's poorly substantiated. I've gone back and deleted the offending statement. And duly underlined "and a Beast".


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lashtal
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03/03/2008 2:03 am  
"h2h" wrote:
I qualified my “unequivocal statement of fact” in the posting beneath your request for a page number – did you see it?

You mean you retreated on being challenged.

I am happy to be proven wrong – please provide sources as I have been doing.

You provided statements that were unsupported in the source you supplied.

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IAO131
(@iao131)
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03/03/2008 2:11 am  
"h2h" wrote:
Paul,

I qualified my “unequivocal statement of fact” in the posting beneath your request for a page number – did you see it? Further I was not being dismissive but going through my Falcon commentary looking up comments that support my general argument. Hence my comment “give me time”.

It’s curious you resort to ad hominem attacks and question why I am on this forum based on a minor point when I provided Crowley quotes earlier to back my argument (the underlined phrases). You’re interested in the Stele so why not look at the argument instead?

The general points:
1. TBOTL forms a magickal link with humanity
2. This link forms the means by which the astral form of the deceased returns to earth and enjoys his pleasure among the living.

I am happy to be proven wrong – please provide sources as I have been doing.

The fact of the matter is that you are making un-falsifiable claims so it is literally impossible to prove you wrong completely. There is no way to prove without a shadow of a doubt that 'this link forms the means by which the astral form of the deceased returns to earth and enjoys his pleasure among the living' just like I cant prove there aren't invisible ghost babies wearing toupees.

Really, the onus of proof is on you... and you have not provided even minutely substantial proof for many of your claims.

And I still think you don't understand my point about selective perception; you don't fix is by simply underlining that part I mentioned. Selective perception permeates your whole argument, not just that one part.

IAO131


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