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The Prophet who was not a Prophet


Yeheshuah
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Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law!

It struck me that many of the world's Christs seem to have taught (and, occasionally, written) without any clear consciousness that their words would be canonized or put into print.  The two exceptions which come to mind are Baphomet and Mohammed.  Does that insight give us any clarity with regard to the value of The Book of the Law? My initial reaction is to say, Yes, it does give us insight into the value of Liber AL: Liber AL is the deliberate but tentative, fumbling first step into the New Aeon rather than a deep, developed articulation.  In order for the Aeon to come to full fruition we must wait on those Christs who will embody the New Aeon without the complications of self-awareness and forced attempts at profundity.

Yeheshuah

Love is the law, love under will.


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Shiva
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😮


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 Anonymous
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AL II,58,59 etc.

Christs may come and Christs may go but Cæsar lives forever.


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Shiva
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"ayino" wrote:
Christs may come and Christs may go ...

More than one, eh? There'll be a lotta Christians interested in that.


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Yeheshuah
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Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law!

"ayino" wrote:
AL II,58,59 etc.

Christs may come and Christs may go but Cæsar lives forever.

This is factually incorrect.  So much for that midrash.  😛

Yeheshuah

Love is the law, love under will.


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 Anonymous
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"Yeheshuah" wrote:
Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law!

"ayino" wrote:
AL II,58,59 etc.

Christs may come and Christs may go but Cæsar lives forever.

This is factually incorrect.  So much for that midrash.  😛

"BOOK OF THOTH IV. THE EMPEROR" wrote:
This card is attributed to the letter Tzaddi, and it refers to the sign of Aries in the Zodiac. This sign is ruled by Mars, and therein the Sun is exalted. The sign is thus a combination of energy in its most material form with the idea of authority. The sign TZ or TS implies this in the original, onomatopoetic form of language. It is derived from Sanskrit roots meaning Head and Age, and is found to-day in words like Cæsar, Tsar, Sirdar, Senate, Senior, Signor, Sefior, Seigneur.

The card represents a crowned male figure, with imperial vestments and regalia. He is seated upon the throne whose capitals are the heads of the Himalayan wild ram, since Aries means a Ram. At his feet, couchant, is the Lamb and Flag, to confirm this attribution on the lower plane; for the ram, by nature, is a wild and courageous animal, lonely in lonely places, whereas when tamed and made to lie down in green pastures, nothing is left but the docile, cowardly, gregarious and succulent beast.

So which one do you personally prefer Yeheshuah? Osirian, docile agnus dei or the more Thelemic "Ram of Aries?"


Christs may come and Christs may go, but Caesar is forever
Come, my son, and you shall know: Tonight we hunt together!


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Yeheshuah
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Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law!

Ayino,

Awesome challenge!  Let me pull apart a little The Book of Thoth here.

"ayino" wrote:
"Yeheshuah" wrote:
"ayino" wrote:
AL II,58,59 etc.

"BOOK OF THOTH IV. THE EMPEROR" wrote:
This card is attributed to the letter Tzaddi, and it refers to the sign of Aries in the Zodiac. This sign is ruled by Mars, and therein the Sun is exalted. The sign is thus a combination of energy in its most material form with the idea of authority. The sign TZ or TS implies this in the original, onomatopoetic form of language. It is derived from Sanskrit roots meaning Head and Age, and is found to-day in words like Cæsar, Tsar, Sirdar, Senate, Senior, Signor, Sefior, Seigneur.

The card represents a crowned male figure, with imperial vestments and regalia. He is seated upon the throne whose capitals are the heads of the Himalayan wild ram, since Aries means a Ram. At his feet, couchant, is the Lamb and Flag, to confirm this attribution on the lower plane; for the ram, by nature, is a wild and courageous animal, lonely in lonely places, whereas when tamed and made to lie down in green pastures, nothing is left but the docile, cowardly, gregarious and succulent beast.

Take the linguistic point first.  Crowley fails to grapple with other words that fit the pattern he is looking at but undermine his thesis, words such as sycophant and suck-up.  Crowley is usually very weak when it comes to more academic subjects such as linguistics and philosophy.  Is the work of Crowley still useful? Absolutely, but only as a catalog of symbols that bear no necessary relation to the world.  So his linguistic analysis of the S and Ts and Tz sounds tell us something useful about associations Crowley wants to make as well as indicating how free we are to make our own connections.

As for the ram and the lamb, let us avoid mistaking a symbol for the reality it is supposed to indicate.  The Agnus Dei of the initiate is very different from the agnus dei which became a useful tool of empire and authoritarianism.  A refusal to compromise love, a refusal unto death, is not the same as acquiescing to any and all demands.  The conquering lamb at the feet of the emperor really does "confirm this [Martial] attribution on the lower plane."  It is the symbol on our plane of what it is to conquer the powers of the world.  Only when the lamb loses the flag and ceases to conquer by love does it become "tamed and made to lie down in green pastures, [and] nothing is left but the docile, cowardly, gregarious and succulent beast."  As it is now, the Lamb sits at the feet of the emperor rather than the butcher.

Yeheshuah

Love is the law, love under will.


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 Anonymous
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"Yeheshuah" wrote:
Crowley is usually very weak when it comes to more academic subjects such as linguistics and philosophy.

Not to forget his shortcomings in Qabalah and the Taro, since Tzaddi is certainly not attributed to the Emperor!

"Yeheshuah" wrote:
As for the ram and the lamb, let us avoid mistaking a symbol for the reality it is supposed to indicate.  The Agnus Dei of the initiate is very different from the agnus dei which became a useful tool of empire and authoritarianism.  A refusal to compromise love, a refusal unto death, is not the same as acquiescing to any and all demands.  The conquering lamb at the feet of the emperor really does "confirm this [Martial] attribution on the lower plane."  It is the symbol on our plane of what it is to conquer the powers of the world.  Only when the lamb loses the flag and ceases to conquer by love does it become "tamed and made to lie down in green pastures, [and] nothing is left but the docile, cowardly, gregarious and succulent beast."  As it is now, the Lamb sits at the feet of the emperor rather than the butcher.

So you prefer the lamb?


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Los
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"ayino" wrote:
Tzaddi is certainly not attributed to the Emperor!

Attributions -- such as those on the Qabalistic Tree of Life -- are largely arbitrary. Any person could just invent a whole new system of attributions from the ground up, and it would be exactly just as valid as the traditional attributions.

It's just more convenient to use the traditional ones in order to avoid having to do a lot of unnecessary work. As a result, anyone is free to flip around some of the attributions if they want, and it will all "work" just as well.


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Yeheshuah
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Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law!

Ayino,

If we understand the lamb and the ram as I have proposed, then you are presenting me with a false dichotomy.  (We must avoid mistaking symbols for the realities they imply.  Just because two symbols are distinct does not mean there is a distinction to be made.)

As for Crowley's weakness in Qabalah and Tarot, I am not sure I see your point.  On what grounds are you arguing that Tzaddi is not attributed to the Emperor? The Book of Thoth is one catalog of symbols, one way of making sense of the Tarot.  I am not sure how we can say this is an incorrect set of attributions.  As Los points out, it may be inconvenient to use non-traditional attributions, but it is a strange claim to assert that some set of attributions is incorrect. 

Yeheshuah

Love is the law, love under will.


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Shiva
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"Yeheshuah" wrote:
... but it is a strange claim to assert that some set of attributions is incorrect.

But perhaps it is one of the most common assertations going around. And therefore not so "strange."

"My attributions are better than your attributions." "My symbolism us more correct than your silly symbols." "Even though everyone has to build their own Qabalah, my QBL is superior to your inferior QBL."

"Best Kabbalah - Amazon.com
www.amazon.com/Best-Sellers-Books-Kabba ... ooks/12573‎CachedSimilar
Discover the best Kabbalah in Best Sellers."


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 Anonymous
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"Yeheshuah" wrote:
If we understand the lamb and the ram as I have proposed, then you are presenting me with a false dichotomy.  (We must avoid mistaking symbols for the realities they imply.  Just because two symbols are distinct does not mean there is a distinction to be made.)

Again, your forgot to consider the following:

"BOOK OF THOTH IV. THE EMPEROR" wrote:
Distinguish from the Creative Energy of Aleph and Beth: this card is below the Abyss.
"Yeheshuah" wrote:
As for Crowley's weakness in Qabalah and Tarot, I am not sure I see your point.  On what grounds are you arguing that Tzaddi is not attributed to the Emperor? The Book of Thoth is one catalog of symbols, one way of making sense of the Tarot.  I am not sure how we can say this is an incorrect set of attributions.  As Los points out, it may be inconvenient to use non-traditional attributions, but it is a strange claim to assert that some set of attributions is incorrect.

I feel sorry for you and Los for missing out the obvious sarcasm in pointing out the Tzaddi-Emperor switch. I guess "My prophet shall reveal it to the wise" etc.

As for Los and his "all goes" -attitude, I will rest my case with these opening words of certain book. You either disagree or agree with the following. I'm not here to argue about such things.

I - THE CONTENTS OF THE TAROT

THE TAROT is a pack of seventy-eight cards. There are four suits, as in modern playing cards, which are derived from it. But the Court cards number four instead of three. In addition, there are twenty-two cards called “Trumps”, each of which is a symbolic picture with a title itself. At first sight one would suppose this arrangement to be arbitrary, but it is not. It is necessitated, as will appear later, by the structure of the universe, and in particular of the Solar System, as symbolized by the Holy Qabalah


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Los
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"ayino" wrote:
As for Los and his "all goes" -attitude, I will rest my case with these opening words of certain book. You either disagree or agree with the following. I'm not here to argue about such things.

"Resting one's case" -- as well as offering evidence, such as quotations from an...authority? -- is something that's done at the end of an argument. If you're not arguing, then you don't have a case to rest, and you wouldn't need to cite anything.


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Yeheshuah
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Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law!

Ayino,

Please explain what you are pointing to here, because I am truly interested:

"ayino" wrote:
"Yeheshuah" wrote:
If we understand the lamb and the ram as I have proposed, then you are presenting me with a false dichotomy.  (We must avoid mistaking symbols for the realities they imply.  Just because two symbols are distinct does not mean there is a distinction to be made.)

Again, your forgot to consider the following:

"BOOK OF THOTH IV. THE EMPEROR" wrote:
Distinguish from the Creative Energy of Aleph and Beth: this card is below the Abyss.

If I understand you right, you are suggesting that I somehow understood the card as pertaining to matters above the Abyss.  Not so.  But the discussion of the card in the Book of Thoth does indicate that the card has symbols relevant to more than one plane.  (I make no claims to have crossed the Abyss, so all of my work is here on Earth.)

Maybe what you are pointing to is the clearly Martial nature of the card which you take as difficult to reconcile with the conquering Lamb.  I did not, however, attribute any Martial powers to the Lamb, beyond conquering worldly powers (oh, is that all?), but merely suggested that the Lamb is at the feet of the Emperor.  Still, there is a sense in which the Lamb's energy gives rise to "sudden, violent, but impermanent activity."  ISIS and the Crusades are good examples of this deformation of the creative power of the Emperor, I believe. 

Anyway, I would definitely appreciate some clarity.  And as for the need for feelings of pity, no need.  Your sarcasm was suspected, but as we do not know each other very well, I chose to assume nothing and ignored the undercurrent in favor of exploring what seemed like a useful vein.

Does Crowley really intend for us to take the Book of Thoth as true across all possible worlds? You quote Crowley from Thoth: "At first sight one would suppose this arrangement to be arbitrary, but it is not. It is necessitated, as will appear later, by the structure of the universe, and in particular of the Solar System, as symbolized by the Holy Qabalah."  Given that the universe as symbolized by the Holy Qabalah is the result of a wholly personal inquiry into the nature of the universe, the necessity discussed would seem to be a relation that obtains between the inquirer and her universe rather than a relation between the objective universe, a set of symbols and all possible inquirers.

Crowley's work is full of blinds.  Why fall back on his words as a fundamentalist rather than letting the Holy Spirit, the one we invoke in Liber XV, guide us? If we are not careful in our work, we end up looking like the Plymouth Brethren.

Yeheshuah

Love is the law, love under will.


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"Los" wrote:
"Resting one's case" -- as well as offering evidence, such as quotations from an...authority? -- is something that's done at the end of an argument. If you're not arguing, then you don't have a case to rest, and you wouldn't need to cite anything.

My intention was not exactly to offer any "evidence" to you or anyone. You made a statement:

"Attributions -- such as those on the Qabalistic Tree of Life -- are largely arbitrary. Any person could just invent a whole new system of attributions from the ground up, and it would be exactly just as valid as the traditional attributions. "

It's just more convenient to use the traditional ones in order to avoid having to do a lot of unnecessary work. As a result, anyone is free to flip around some of the attributions if they want, and it will all "work" just as well.

I simply quoted Crowley to present a totally contrasting view to yours. You do not have to take Crowley as an authority on this matter, or any matter at all.

I'm not very eager to start a dialogue about the (metaphysical) reality of astrology or the possible influence of the heavenly bodies upon Earth and it's inhabitants, but I still find it more convenient not to refer The Sun as Moon, even though the attributions might be 'largely arbitrary' according to you.


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Shiva
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This thread has degenerated and gone off into the woods.

In reference to the thread Title, who is The Prophet who was not a Prophet, and why wasn't he?


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Los
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"ayino" wrote:
My intention was not exactly to offer any "evidence" to you or anyone [...] I simply quoted Crowley to present a totally contrasting view to yours.

Right, you presented evidence that a contrasting view exists. Because you disagree with me, you implicitly made a "case" for an alternate view, a case that even you admit you "rested."

I'll happily accept that you're not trying to convince anyone -- because what you've said is, in fact, utterly unconvincing.

I'm not very eager to start a dialogue about the (metaphysical) reality of astrology or the possible influence of the heavenly bodies upon Earth and it's inhabitants

You seem to have jumped topics. We were talking about attributions, assigning correspondences to certain symbols. Now you've switched to the reality of astrology, which is an entirely different subject.

Obviously, there's no evidence that any "heavenly bodies" exert influence of the kind you likely mean on the inhabitants of the planet Earth. It's a good thing you're not looking to convince anyone of this, because you'd fail miserably at it.


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"Los" wrote:
You seem to have jumped topics. We were talking about attributions, assigning correspondences to certain symbols. Now you've switched to the reality of astrology, which is an entirely different subject.

The fact that you treat them as separate and different subjects confuses me, because not any (traditional) or (hermetic) system regards them as separate or different subjects. Even playing with the word TARO should reveal this.


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Azidonis
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"Shiva" wrote:
This thread has degenerated and gone off into the woods.

In reference to the thread Title, who is The Prophet who was not a Prophet, and why wasn't he?

Idk, something about Maitreya.

"Yeheshuah" wrote:
In order for the Aeon to come to full fruition we must wait on those Christs who will embody the New Aeon without the complications of self-awareness and forced attempts at profundity.

The word choice, "wait on".


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Yeheshuah
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Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law!

Shiva and Azidonis direct our attention back to the beginning of this thread, which is helpful.

The Prophet who was not a Prophet is referring to Crowley.  He certainly does not seem to fill anything like a typical prophet's billet.  He too self-consciously adopted the position of priest, prophet and prince.  That calls into question for me the value of his teaching and writing.  Christ-figures do not generally seem to be aware of the weight of their roles vis-a-vis future generations. Paul, for instance, wrote letters, but the letters themselves give no hint at taking themselves as scripture or even of having any validity beyond the dispute of the day.  Buddha and Jesus left no written record at all. 

So, we have the emergence of a prophet relatively recently, Crowley I mean, whose prophecy seems contaminated by self-concern.  This does not place him as a pretender.  As I mentioned earlier, "In order for the Aeon to come to full fruition we must wait on those Christs who will embody the New Aeon without the complications of self-awareness and forced attempts at profundity." 

Azidonis's subtle point is well taken, however.  What are we waiting for? We have the spiritual technology in the AA and OTO to move things forward, do we not?

Yeheshuah

Love is the law, love under will.


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Tao
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It might help greatly (for my understanding, at the very least) if you were to define the terms "prophet" and "christ" as you are using them.


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Shiva
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"Yeheshuah" wrote:
We have the spiritual technology in the AA and OTO to move things forward, do we not?

Yes, we do not. ("Yes, we have no bananas - we have no bananas today") 😀  A.'.A.'. presents a curriculum for the individual aspirant. It's a bunch of practices that have been around for millenia, or so. Old wine in new bottles. OTO has one central secret, that isn't secret any more; well, it never was really secret; ancient Taoist texts describe the secret in great detail.

The "spiritual technology" we have is the same old stuff. The "technical technology" we have now is new; you know, internet, antibiotics and flying machines; but that stuff won't help us move "forward" in consciousness.

No. We're stuck with the same old deal: Country vs country; religion vs religion; man vs woman; a few folks striving to find "meaning" or "truth," but nobody getting anywhere because their techniques don't work.


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Yeheshuah
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Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law!

Shiva and Tao,

The old wine in new bottles idea triggered a response of recognition.  It strikes me as odd that we Thelemites speak in terms of unfolding aeons, aeons that evolve one into the next with some sort of implied teleology to the whole thing.  It is odd because we seem to have recast old ideas and old gods in new contexts, new roles.  That is, there is nothing new to what we are up to.  Everything moves in cycles rather than in straight lines.  And yet, I think that Thelema (and human history) offers the possibility for great spiritual maturity.  (That possibility seems to be missed by the crowd of Crowley-wannabes who lack the art of wit, but are nonetheless undeterred from trying to exercise wit as a tool "for instructing us lesser beings".)  We tread familiar paths but with a bit more consciousness of how we have done so thus far and will do so.

As to the definition of prophet and Christ, I must admit, Tao, I am still working on that one.    I will show my philosophical hand and admit to being an ordinary language philosopher of a Wittgensteinian stripe.  The prophets and Christs, it seems to me, must come first, and then we can talk about them.  (I suppose we could talk about such things prior to their existence, but the facts of their existence would ultimately change our understanding of the realities behind the words.) 

So who are my paradigmatic prophets and Christs? In the Christ camp: Jesus, Buddha, Mohammed.  Prophets: Crowley, Francis of Assissi, St. Paul, Hui Neng, Chuang Tzu, Mahatma Gandhi.  I am thinking entirely too religiously about this whole thing.  Let's add Darwin.  JS Mill ought to be in there, but no one seems to care much about his work anymore.  Is there a coherent picture here that will emerge of what constitutes a Christ figure or a prophet?

Yeheshuah

Love is the law, love under will.


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gurugeorge
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"ayino" wrote:

Christs may come and Christs may go, but Caesar is forever
Come, my son, and you shall know: Tonight we hunt together!

Haha, that picture reminds me of MiTaP (I think) where AC is talking about challenging one's convictions with the opposite thoughts (or something like that) and that our impartiality ought to be complete. 

IIRC says (something like) "we must not emulate the partial emancipation of the child who, on seeing a picture of the colosseum, complained that there was "one poor lion who hadn't got a Christian"". 

I always thought that was deliciously amusing, and typical of Crowley's subtle humour.


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Azidonis
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"Yeheshuah" wrote:
Azidonis's subtle point is well taken, however.  What are we waiting for?

My point was not so subtle. It clearly said "you". Yes, you. What's this "we" stuff?

"Yeheshuah" wrote:
We have the spiritual technology in the AA and OTO to move things forward, do we not?

Depending on the direction some of the "AAs" and "OTOs" are moving, stop might be a better idea.


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Tao
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"Yeheshuah" wrote:
Is there a coherent picture here that will emerge of what constitutes a Christ figure or a prophet?

I don't personally see one emerging but that's not to say one won't. However, it seems to me you might have a bit more luck if you flip your method on its head and determine what it is that you think justifies putting M, J, & B under the same heading (aside from the fact that all three are at least partially and possibly completely fictional characters). Krishna is often called a Christ as well. What brings him into the group? If you can figure out what it is you think they have in common, perhaps you'll arrive at what it is you mean by "Christ".

With "prophet", the etymology of the word might offer some assistance. You seem to be conflating two different (and often conflated) usages that probably shouldn't be conflated. Prophet doesn't necessarily mean future-predictor, as some of your usage above wants it to.


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Los
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"gurugeorge" wrote:
Haha, that picture reminds me of MiTaP (I think) where AC is talking about challenging one's convictions with the opposite thoughts (or something like that) and that our impartiality ought to be complete. 

IIRC says (something like) "we must not emulate the partial emancipation of the child who, on seeing a picture of the colosseum, complained that there was "one poor lion who hadn't got a Christian"". 

I always thought that was deliciously amusing, and typical of Crowley's subtle humour.

You're thinking of Book 4, Part 2 (the chapter on "The Sword"), in which Crowley is discussing the importance of learning to perceive objectively without allowing one's passions to cloud the perception:

In reading emotional books such as are inflicted on children, let him always endeavour to see the event from the standpoint opposite to that of the author. Yet let him not emulate the partially emancipated child who complained of a picture of the Colosseum that "there was one poor little lion who hadn't got any Christian," except in the first instance. Adverse criticism is the first step; the second must go further.

Having sympathized sufficiently with both the lions and the Christians, let him open his eyes to that which his sympathy had masked hitherto, that the picture is abominably conceived, abominably composed, abominably drawn, and abominably coloured, as it is pretty sure to be.

I'm particularly fond of that final clause. Deliciously amusing indeed.


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