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 Anonymous
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25/01/2010 3:44 pm  

Greetings!

I was looking at some “diagrams of the soul” according to Theosophy the other day and that made me wonder if there is any certain structure of the soul –and the inner fields in general- suggested by Thelema.

Regards
Hecate


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 Anonymous
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25/01/2010 6:57 pm  

Aside from the ideas of the khabs and the khu, I don't recall Crowley writing much on the structure of the soul. Israel Regardie and some author others have taken a psychological approach and intertwined it with the teachings of the Qabala. From what I've seen, that's the closest that you're gonna get! Personally, I will stick with what psychology teaches; "The Method of Science, the Aim of Religion" to quote a particular Beast.


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 Anonymous
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25/01/2010 7:52 pm  

Kuniggety

Not on the soul per se, but Crowley definitely writes on the constitution of subjectivity and maps it to the Tree - cf. "Man", Little Essays:

SUPERNALS
Jechidah = Kether = Point = secret stellar self
Chiah = Chokmah = Creative Impulse of Will of Jechidah = True Will
Neschamah = Binah = Understands and Receives Chiah

ABYSS TO YESOD
Ruach = from Daath to Yesod = Mind, Spirit, Intellect = Knowledge (btw characterized by its machine-like qualities)

MALKUTH
Nephesh = Malkuth = Animal Soul

If you want to know where the "soul" maps on to the above schema, it might be worth noting that Socrates' conception of the soul in Phaedrus sounds remarkably similar to Jechidah/Had.


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 Anonymous
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25/01/2010 8:41 pm  

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law,

93,
I have found that the Theosophical model of the soul, the etheric bodies, and several other components, resonate well with Crowley and Thelema. As a matter of fact, since he was well read with regards to Theosophy, you may want to consider reading between the lines of some of Crowley's pieces, and see the Theosophical influence. I have found that there is a natural synthesis between Crowley and Theosophy.

93

love is the law, love under will.


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 Anonymous
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26/01/2010 12:43 am  

I remember one stronly theosophical writer critisize "Love is the law, love under will"-thesis by stating that its only a "partial truth", `cause Atma can only join and activate with Manas from the humane viewpoint and in human life, not with Buddhi, though Buddhi works in its possession. I also remember the statement about if manas is left away, one might end up into being also sexually obsessive and insane. He talked about that one should by intellectul and ethical observation first consider the devotional feelings, which after the love can freely be as senseless as it can be, if it passes the criterias. What do you think about the statement, that it is one of the biggest mistakes in modern religion and occultism to forget the impersonal manas from the idealism and to begin straight from the love and will? (btw. it does not matter who is the writer, cause his writing concerning this topic cant be seen in english, so not many possibly have read the same writings and so on)

I don`t necessarily say this as my personal statement, interpretation and opinion, but I `d be interested to hear thoughts on this from other forumists. I rather stay more quiet at this point about this by my views and let other more experienced writers and seekers tell their opinion and interpretation.

93
Azoneris


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 Anonymous
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22/08/2012 8:12 am  

The soul is a wild thing.

like an unplanned pot roast on a freeway onramp or a rare butterfly.

I would not think to find it here in any way shape or form


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Michael Staley
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MANIO - it's all in the egg
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23/08/2012 9:58 pm  

I don't think that Paul accepts membership registrations from unplanned pot roasts or rare butterflies, so it's no great surprise that you don't find them here.


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 Anonymous
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24/08/2012 2:07 am  

Science has pretty much ruled out the possibility that a soul exists. If we can't even establish its existence, how are we going to go about identifying its parts in any verifiable way, much less talk about them?


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Los
 Los
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24/08/2012 3:39 am  
"l_c_cicero" wrote:
Science has pretty much ruled out the possibility that a soul exists. If we can't even establish its existence, how are we going to go about identifying its parts in any verifiable way, much less talk about them?

You’re right that we can’t identify parts of some undetectable thing.

But we can label parts of our experience of the actual self, and this is precisely what Crowley’s Khabs/Khu distinction does. It is a model – a system of labeling parts of the self– that Thelemites adopt specifically for the purpose of making a change.

Briefly, the Khabs is the actual individual – whose dynamic aspect appears as the genuine preferences of that individual – and the Khu is comprised of the thoughts that the mind overlays on top those inclinations.

Anyone who has any experience in meditation will recognize that there is a part of the mind (the “chattering” part) that one can “turn off” in meditation. That “chattering” part is the Khu, the part that’s commenting on everything one does during the day (“You should do X,” “You should do Y,” “Good people do X,” “Are you sure you should do Z?” etc.)

The thing that’s left over when you turn off the chattering part – the leftover thing that perceives and has preferences – is the Khabs.

All normal, healthy people live in a world constructed by their Khu, which takes up the majority of their attention.

The purpose of Thelemic practice is to shift one’s attention away from the Khu and increasingly onto the Khabs. There is no need to postulate the existence of a “soul” in any way, shape, or form to engage in this practice.

Further reading: http://thelema-and-skepticism.blogspot.com/2011/06/skeptical-of-true-will.html


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kidneyhawk
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24/08/2012 4:44 am  

"Science has pretty much ruled out the possibility that a soul exists."

Really? Please cite a single source which claims this.

But I'm being testy here. Let's define what we mean by "Soul." I've yet to see a consensus on the term. It's a rather nebulous word, yes? What do YOU understand the word "Soul" to mean-and, after you define this, where do you see "Science" ruling it out? 


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Los
 Los
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24/08/2012 5:42 am  
"kidneyhawk" wrote:
Let's define what we mean by "Soul."

Most religious believers I've heard talk about a "soul" are talking about an immaterial spirit that occupies a physical being in some fashion, that comprises the core "essence" of that being, and that continues to exist and have experiences after the physical being dies.

"Science has pretty much ruled out the possibility that a soul exists."

Really? Please cite a single source which claims this.

While there's no one single source that exhaustively proves a negative, such exhaustive proof is unnecessary because there is a massive amount of evidence that everything that we call "ourselves" is entirely physical and entirely dependent on brain functions.

Take, for instance, the numerous examples of people who suffer traumatic brain injuries and suffer changes to their personalities, such that they seem to be practically new people.

Take "split brain" experiments, in which each half of the patient's brain has a distinct personality (including one half believing in God and the other half not).

Take the extent to which causing physical changes in the brain causes changes to consciousness.

Take the mountains of evidence that demonstrate that nearly all human experience -- from dreams to memories to imagination to reasoning to emotion -- map to physical changes in the brain that actually *precede* the sensation enterting consciousness (cf. experiments in which the decision-making part of the brain "decides" which button to press before the conscious mind becomes aware of the decision).

Take the fact that everything we've ever discovered about the universe is consistent with an entirely physical universe and that nothing we have ever discovered even slightly implies that there is any world besides the physical.

Now add all of that up. Sure, it doesn't "prove to 100% certainty!" that there is no soul -- simply because it's impossible to prove anything to that degree of certainty -- but to the degree that we can know anything, it's an easy conclusion that there is insufficient reason to think that a soul exists. For ease of conversation, sometimes people abbreviate that to "There's no soul."


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Los
 Los
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24/08/2012 5:57 am  

What's interesting, from a Thelemic perspective, is that the Khu roughly corresponds to the self-image that most people think of as their "self" or the essence of their self (or "soul").

When the Book of the Law says, "The Khabs is in the Khu, not the Khu in the Khabs," it is deliberately *reversing* the traditional view that one has a soul and that soul has to go out and "attain" to something. On the contrary, the Book of the Law tells us, the goal of the Thelemic system is *inside* that thing that we normally think of as the self/soul.

This goal  isn't a "self" or "soul" at all, but a collection of preferences and inclinations ("True Will") buried underneath the crap that we call the self.

Now, we can speak poetically of this goal as the "True Self" and some sort of "essence" and "that which remains" and some such, but when we leave aside the poetry and ask "what's what" -- and if we're honest with ourselves and objectively review the evidence -- we'll see that these preferences and inclinations are themselves nothing more than the products of physical things. They are impermanent, like all things are, and they will one day pass away and be gone forever.

There's no permanent part of us and nothing that lives forever. There is only one life. This is it.

The impermanence makes it all the more grand, if you ask me. This moment is fleeting, and therefore more precious and beautiful for it. We've only got a finite number of actions to take, and each one reduces the scope of potential actions we can take in the future. Every single action is precious, an expression of Who We Are as we emerge out of the universe, live our lives, and then return to that universe.


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kidneyhawk
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24/08/2012 6:03 am  

Los-

I was, as child, baffled by Walt Whitman’s declaration that the Soul and Body are One. As an adult (another type of “child”), I can appreciate his words.

Proving a negative is, as we know, a rather vain game. Ergo, if we are to identify anything as “Soul,” I think it ought be done positively, as an exploration or foray into human experience. 

A LONG time ago, I held to fundamentalist Christian beliefs. During this time, I heard one of my high school teachers speaking to another about the need to accept Christ. His logic was Pascal’s Wager. Despite my faith, I though this logic was faulty. In fact, it was piss-poor. The best we can offer the world is a gamble, a speculation?

I was Gnostic before I even knew of that word.

Knowledge and experience are one and the same. But some of us will push experience and share the same.

There’s no condemnation or dogmatic assault in the Church of the Gnosis.  Let us simply be honest and forthright with each other. THAT is a “Sacrament.”

Despite some of our contentious words on this forum, I do very much value your input, Los. If I’m an imaginative mystic, I welcome the critique. I do think that we are working towards the same goal-which is an authentic and awakened human experience. Crowley is our “mutual language.”

In my own view, the “Soul” is a quality of consciousness manifesting VIA the flesh-form but not originating with it.

“Magick” may not be known beyond “bodily life” but it leads the bodily life beyond itself.


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 Anonymous
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24/08/2012 6:09 am  
"Los" wrote:
"l_c_cicero" wrote:
Science has pretty much ruled out the possibility that a soul exists. If we can't even establish its existence, how are we going to go about identifying its parts in any verifiable way, much less talk about them?

You’re right that we can’t identify parts of some undetectable thing.

But we can label parts of our experience of the actual self, and this is precisely what Crowley’s Khabs/Khu distinction does. It is a model – a system of labeling parts of the self– that Thelemites adopt specifically for the purpose of making a change.

I fully agree that such models and labels can be useful useful - can we call them useful fictions? - for trying to describe our subjective experience of consciousness and ourselves. As long, of course, as we remember that they say nothing verifiably or objectively true about the outside, real universe, but are the result of neurons firing without any definable "purpose" in the teleological sense.


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kidneyhawk
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24/08/2012 6:14 am  

For ease of conversation, sometimes people abbreviate that to "There's no soul."-Los

Yes. In fact, Allen Ginsberg wrote this poetically. Let me ask: if this is your view, how do you feel the human being ought function? "True Will" and so on seem to be ideas in one's  head. Tick tock...and boom! Bye bye!

Do you really think that "Doing One's Will" is anymore meaningful than NOT?

Whether the shit is well-formed or some chaotic spray, it all goes down the same toilet? Is this just a matter of preference? Does what makes YOU most happy (on some inward psychological level) justify the neo-biblical words of "The Beast?" 

Either way, it's immanently "Absorption Time" and there ya go.

Explain to me a difference between "I'm Doing My Will! Yeah, Baby-I'm a Thelemite!" and "I'm a dysfunctional unhappy pile of shit!"

Blink the eyes. Flush.

Is Crowley's "New Aeon Message" simply a matter of "whatever goes?"   


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 Anonymous
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24/08/2012 6:15 am  
"kidneyhawk" wrote:
"Science has pretty much ruled out the possibility that a soul exists."

Really? Please cite a single source which claims this.

But I'm being testy here. Let's define what we mean by "Soul." I've yet to see a consensus on the term. It's a rather nebulous word, yes? What do YOU understand the word "Soul" to mean-and, after you define this, where do you see "Science" ruling it out? 

I was referring to "Soul" in the sense of a non-physical "thing" which is believed to inhabit, as it were, the physical body for a period of time. It is the true essense of the person, the origin and source of consciousness, personality, memory, etc., though there are different views on what exactly belongs to the soul and what to the brain.

Why does science show that it does not exist? Because nothing non-physical has ever been found to exist. There's not been one single piece of evidence found that would support the idea that we have a soul. Neuroscience still has a long way to go in understanding consciousness, but what's already crystal clear is that all conscious and unconscious experience, memory, personality, etc. resides in the physical brain.

Interestingly, there's lots of evidence that the ancients viewed the soul as a very much physical phenomenon. It's only as knowledge advanced that it was pushed more and more into the realm of the metaphysical until it came to be viewed as something non-physical which interacts with the physical body. Which creates another problem - if something non-physical did exist, how would it be able to interact with something physical, in other words the brain?


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Los
 Los
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24/08/2012 6:20 am  
"kidneyhawk" wrote:
Proving a negative is, as we know, a rather vain game. Ergo, if we are to identify anything as “Soul,” I think it ought be done positively, as an exploration or foray into human experience.

I don't think it's useful at all to run around trying to find something to slap the label "soul" onto.

Words come with baggage, and "soul" has a ton of baggage. The way that the word "soul" is used, in these kinds of "spiritual" contexts, in the vast, vast, vast majority of cases, means an immaterial spirit.

If you're not talking about an immaterial spirit, then using the word "soul" is just going to confuse people (including possibly yourself). If you're just trying to label an experience you've had, I suggest that there are better terms to convey what you seem to be trying to say. 

Knowledge and experience are one and the same.

You're in danger of equivocating here. "Knowledge," in the sense of Gnosis, is indeed just a synonym for experience. It's "knowledge of your wife," "knowledge of the tase of apples," etc.

But "knowledge," the way the word is normally used in conversation, consists of conclusions that our reason draws on the basis of our experience. There is no simple one-to-one correspondence between this kind of knowledge and experience.

So, for example, I have experience of seeing the sun travel around the earth, but it would be a mistake to draw the rational conclusion, on the basis of nothing more than these subjective experiences, that the sun actually does travel around the earth. We might say I have "knowledge" (definition 1, above) of the sun moving around the earth, but if I therefore concluded that I have knowledge (definition 2) that the sun travels around the earth, I would be in error. In point of fact, I have knowledge that this is an illusion created by the rotation of the earth.

In a similar way, many people have the experience of "a quality of consciousness" they call "soul," but it would be a mistake to draw the rational conclusion, on the basis of nothing more than such subjective experiences, "This quality of consciousness is somthing that doesn't originate with the flesh!"

In other words, I have no doubt that you have "knowledge" (definition 1) of a "soul," but I think the knowledge (definition 2) you claim about it has been improperly formed by your reason.

If I’m an imaginative mystic, I welcome the critique.

The best critique I can give you is that your articulation of your ideas is very imprecise and prone to equivocation fallacies. No one is trying to deny your (obviously very powerful and transformative) experiences and no one is trying to stop you from engaging in any kind of practice. My entire critique -- as always -- is aimed at the (rational) conclusions that your reason draws on the basis of these experiences.


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 Anonymous
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24/08/2012 6:24 am  
"kidneyhawk" wrote:
For ease of conversation, sometimes people abbreviate that to "There's no soul."-Los

Yes. In fact, Allen Ginsberg wrote this poetically. Let me ask: if this is your view, how do you feel the human being ought function? "True Will" and so on seem to be ideas in one's  head. Tick tock...and boom! Bye bye!

Do you really think that "Doing One's Will" is anymore meaningful than NOT?

True Will has to be just some idea in the head - it certainly can't be proved to be existing out there anywhere. It's hard for us to realise the physical nature of things because introspection lies to us, quite severely, all the time. As philosopher Alex Rosenberg puts it in an interview about his book The Atheist's Guide to Reality:

The most important thing to know about reality is that science understands it well enough to rule out god, and almost everything else that provides wiggle room for theism and mystery mongering. That includes all kinds of purposes, including even ones that conscious introspection suggests we ourselves have. Conscious introspection was shaped by natural selection into tricking us about the nature of reality. We need always to be on our scientific guard against its meretricious temptations. Treating the illusions that rise to consciousness as symptoms, instead of guides to meaning and value, is crucial to enjoying life. It’s not easy, but taking science seriously is the first step, despite the difficulty consciousness puts in the way of understanding it. - http://blog.talkingphilosophy.com/?p=4209

The whole interview is worth reading actually, and the book even more so.


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Los
 Los
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24/08/2012 6:32 am  
"l_c_cicero" wrote:
True Will has to be just some idea in the head - it certainly can't be proved to be existing out there anywhere.

Just to be extra clear, the concept True Will is "just some idea in the head" because all concepts are ideas and therefore only exist in heads.

But the thing the concept refers to is not just in the head (in the sense that an idea is).

To demonstrate this to yourself, sit down and turn off your thoughts. You will immediately observe that there is something left over, something that is aware and that has preferences. That's the "thing" to which the concept "True Will" refers. You're not imagining it into being -- it's there waiting to be found by you.

It's hard for us to realise the physical nature of things because introspection lies to us, quite severely, all the time.

It does. Or, to put it another way, our Khu is the product of evolution, which produced humans not to be happy or satisfied or whatnot, but to survive. If survival entails misperceiving things about the self or environment, then evolution produces creatures prone to misperceiving the self or the environment.

However, just because introspection can lie to us, this does not mean that it is impossible to discover one's genuine preferences and inclinations, to a high degree of certainty. The methods for doing so involve, essentially, training the mind to pay attention more and more, until it can recognize the tricks of the Khu for what they are.

I direct interested readers back to my blog and also to Erwin Hessle's "Fundamentals of Thelemic Practice" for much more on this fascinating subject: http://www.erwinhessle.com/writings/thelprac.php


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 Anonymous
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 Anonymous
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24/08/2012 6:43 am  
"Los" wrote:
ust to be extra clear, the concept True Will is "just some idea in the head" because all concepts are ideas and therefore only exist in heads.

But the thing the concept refers to is not just in the head (in the sense that an idea is).

To demonstrate this to yourself, sit down and turn off your thoughts. You will immediately observe that there is something left over, something that is aware and that has preferences. That's the "thing" to which the concept "True Will" refers. You're not imagining it into being -- it's there waiting to be found by you. 

I understand what you're saying and mostly agree - my only concern is, why would we attach any objective value or meaning to what this "thing" feels or means? What I mean is, True Will sounds so grand and mystical, that we run the risk of still interpreting it in a way that is not justified by the physical facts. We can use various methods to quiet the talking brain, and then listen to what the True Will says, but to what extent is this True Will ... True? Yes, we can discover what our proclivities and inclinations are in the deeper parts of ourselves, but aren't they at the end of the day still just a function of neurons firing?

Once we understand the concept of a True Will we can work with it subjectively and work on experiencing and discovering it, but it won't tell us anything about the world out there. That's why the whole idea that if everyone followed their True Wills there'd be no problems is nonsense.

However, just because introspection can lie to us, this does not mean that it is impossible to discover one's genuine preferences and inclinations, to a high degree of certainty. The methods for doing so involve, essentially, training the mind to pay attention more and more, until it can recognize the tricks of the Khu for what they are.

Agreed. Clearing the mind of clutter and discovering one's genuine preferences and inclinations can make life much better to live. I'm just concerned about extending the significance of what we discover a bit far. It's great for us to realise these things and if it helps us live life in a more satisfying way, great, but it doesn't mean much to the rest of the world or anyone else out there.

I direct interested readers back to my blog and also to Erwin Hessle's "Fundamentals of Thelemic Practice" for much more on this fascinating subject: http://www.erwinhessle.com/writings/thelprac.php

Always enjoy your blog posts and posts here.


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Michael Staley
(@michael-staley)
MANIO - it's all in the egg
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24/08/2012 12:56 pm  
"Los" wrote:
That's the "thing" to which the concept "True Will" refers.

What evidence do you have to support this conclusion of yours?


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 Anonymous
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24/08/2012 3:00 pm  

Soul seems way down the pecking list. So do guardian angels etc.
What people really want to know, it seems to me is.
Am I something that exists beyond my body I.e. Will I survive my death.
And if so what is it that survives.
I once totally beloved I had answered this, quite simply by realising that I could not know that within me which Knew.
The knower.
Someone asked me simply. “ do you know that you know” and I answered dumbly. “Yes”
Like anyone you ask this will reply.
But time and situation forced me to think upon this question.
I guess the question was simply asking. Do you realise you are a conscious being.
Which of course. I had never thought of.
After many weeks of thought about this I realised that I could not go back into myself any further than this theoretical point of Knowledge.
I was “ Backing into consciousness”
All the book of the Law seemed clear to me then.
I was Hadit, and she nuit was arched upon me.
I was the corpse of shiva, the knower,  and she, shakti, the know,  danced upon me.
What else is there to know?
As the knower I know everything.
Not like a library that is built up of accumulative knowledge. But I know by virtue the truth of touch. All that will be will become known to me, the knower.
Not that I care. Because I am just a centre of knowledge and all I do is watch the dance of Shakti.
I lost myself in this for many years.
And of course many might say I needed a Master etc, etc, to guide me.
Believe me, you cannot get beyond this. And masters merely offers words that betray their own fall from the purity of simple Knowing devoid of illusion.
But.
This all means nothing. Because I am certain that upon the death of my brain, even were I still this knower, I will have no instrument with which to know. I will be a bit like the Gnostic God who was alone, and created another through the intense sadness of loneliness.
If you want a soul, then think why you want it. What will you do with it.
I think maybe that one day science will discover consciousness, a point of knowing. But it will not change anything. And humans will still continue their imaginary games here on this rock in space. 


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Los
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24/08/2012 3:09 pm  
"l_c_cicero" wrote:
my only concern is, why would we attach any objective value or meaning to what this "thing" feels or means?

I’m not attaching any kind of objective value or meaning to it: I’m pointing out that it has objective existence, as an actual thing that’s there and not something that one imagines (in the way that I’m imagining a rainbow-colored elephant right now).

Sure, what we call “self” or “True Self” may ultimately be just a bunch of neurons firing, but that doesn’t mean that the True Self doesn’t have objective qualities that we can learn about. In fact, making conscious inferences about the nature of the True Self is one of the ways our mind can assist the True Will in manifesting.

In other words, I’m not saying “True Will is something of objective value that runs on magical fairy dust!” I’m saying that True Will is a label for something very real within human experience (something that’s actually rather easy to experience but less easy to manifest in day-to-day matters), something that the individual discovers (even if this “something” is ultimately just a bunch of neurons operating).

I'm just concerned about extending the significance of what we discover a bit far.

I’m with you: nobody’s going to make their lives perfect or become a James Bondian hero by discovering their True Will, and in part this is why some people seem to have these lofty, mystical, unattainable ideas of attainment: if people set up True Will in their mind as something impossibly great, then it can always be just something that exists as a fantasy, and they’ll never have to deal with the fact that it’s not what they’re imagining it to be and that attainment actually involves the living of regular ol’ life, with all of its problems.

But as you say, the label can potentially be misleading, and this is a problem with all labels. As I was trying to explain to Kyle, labels have baggage. This was the problem Crowley had in labeling the experiences in his system.

When you boil it down, “Discovering the True Will” is really a kind of self-knowledge, but the phrase “self-knowledge” has all sorts of dumb baggage attached to it, too. If you go out and ask the average joe on the street if he thinks “self-knowledge” is important, he will unequivocally respond in the affirmative. Know thyself, and all that jazz. And he’ll tell you that he knows himself fairly well. True, he’s prey to mistakes at times, but he knows that he’s a relatively strong person who occasionally can get scared, but he’s a hard worker whose dedication and persistence is his greatest virtue, and….

No, no, no, no, no. NO. That’s not at all what Thelema is about.

What the “average joe” in the above example is doing is polishing up his self-image (a creation of the mind) and deluding himself into thinking that it constitutes self-knowledge.

Most people falsely think they have sufficient insight into themselves, when all they really have is a knowledge of their illusory self image.

As a result, “self-knowledge” is a pretty poor label to use for the attainment Crowley was talking about. Make no mistake: the discovery of the True Will is a life-changing, world-shattering attainment, and a label like “Union with God” would be a lot more appropriate than “self knowledge,” except for the fact that “Union with God” has a lot more baggage, much, much more ridiculous baggage too.

So what was Crowley to do? He couldn’t call it “self-knowledge” because that gives the wrong idea. He couldn’t call it “Union with God” because that gives the wrong idea. He couldn’t call it “Atman” because that gives the wrong idea…etc.

So what did he do? Why, he picked the silliest term he could find: “Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel.”

He specifically tells us that he picked it “because the theory implied in these words is so patently absurd that only simpletons would waste much time in analysing it. It would be accepted as a convention, and no one would incur the grave danger of building a philosophical system upon it.”

The label KC of the HGA significantly reduces (in theory) the risk of someone taking the label too literally and “extending the significance of it” because it’s utterly absurd and only a total wackaloo would actually think there’s some “angel” out there. 

The term indicates the significance of the attainment while simultaneously reminding us not to take labels too seriously. The attainment is what’s important, not the words we use to convey it.

Seen in this light, "True Will" as a synonym for KCHGA isn't so bad: the only trick is not to mistake the "True" part for meaning some kind of metaphysical or ideal Truth. It really just means "the stuff underneath the crap."

Always enjoy your blog posts and posts here.

Thanks for the book recommendation, and thanks for the kind words here.


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Los
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24/08/2012 3:14 pm  
"MichaelStaley" wrote:
"Los" wrote:
That's the "thing" to which the concept "True Will" refers.

What evidence do you have to support this conclusion of yours?

All of Crowley’s writings on the True Will, taken together as a whole, point very strongly to the fact that the Thelemic system uses “True Will” to label the part of the self* that remains when the mind is turned off.

I would be willing to go over the appropriate material with you, Michael, and answer any potential objections you have, but I would first like an assurance that you’re interested in having a full answer to your question and that, as any interested party would do in such a situation, you would engage in conversation about the answer (raising objections, responding to points made, and answering points of discussion).

*Technically, “True Will” refers to the dynamic portion of the True Self (its preferences and inclinations), but since we can only judge what a thing *is* by how it *acts*, the distinction makes little practical difference.


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Azidonis
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24/08/2012 7:07 pm  
"Los" wrote:
All of Crowley’s writings on the True Will, taken together as a whole, point very strongly to the fact that the Thelemic system uses “True Will” to label the part of the self* that remains when the mind is turned off.

In what sense are you using the word "self", Los?

You did say,

"Los" wrote:
*Technically, “True Will” refers to the dynamic portion of the True Self (its preferences and inclinations), but since we can only judge what a thing *is* by how it *acts*, the distinction makes little practical difference.

So the question remains. In what sense are you using the word, "self"?

You are saying, "a part of the self that remains when the mind is turned off". So, what then do you suppose is the "whole self", and what is there to know this whole if the mind is turned off?

Also, you say mind, do you mean mind, or brain? Are you making any distinction between the two?


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Los
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24/08/2012 8:14 pm  
"Azidonis" wrote:
"Los" wrote:
All of Crowley’s writings on the True Will, taken together as a whole, point very strongly to the fact that the Thelemic system uses “True Will” to label the part of the self* that remains when the mind is turned off.

In what sense are you using the word "self", Los?

You did say,

"Los" wrote:
*Technically, “True Will” refers to the dynamic portion of the True Self (its preferences and inclinations), but since we can only judge what a thing *is* by how it *acts*, the distinction makes little practical difference.

So the question remains. In what sense are you using the word, "self"?

You are saying, "a part of the self that remains when the mind is turned off". So, what then do you suppose is the "whole self", and what is there to know this whole if the mind is turned off?

Also, you say mind, do you mean mind, or brain? Are you making any distinction between the two?

Ok, these are good questions.

When I say "self" (lower-case s), I'm usually referring to the entirety of an individual, including conscious thoughts.

When I speak of the "mind," I'm referring to that aspect of the self that produces conscious thoughts and emotions that are overlayed on top of perception: opinions, reasons, estimations, conclusions, suppositions, emotions, neuroses, imaginations, etc., etc., etc. All of the things that, as Crowley observes in numerous places, distort perception.

It is possible -- not only possible, but downright easy, I contend -- to sit down and switch this mind "off" for a little while. Anyone who has ever meditated for any significant length of time knows that one can get into a state where one is aware but not thinking.

Now let's look at that: in such a state the mind is quiet, but there is something still there, something that is (1) aware and (2) has preferences. When one gets into such a state, one is observing this "something" (along with observing the rest of reality, without the distractions of the mind).

[Side note: sure, someone could object, "Hey, that's still the mind! It's created by neurons firing," but such an objection misses the point. I've already defined the mind -- as I'm using the term -- as a limited subset of neural activity that is experienced as thoughts and emotions overlayed on top of experience. When one shuts that down, there's something still left (even if that "something" is ultimately rooted in brain activity). It's that "something" that I'm talking about here]

This "something" is what is called in Thelema "The True Self," and its preferences and inclinations -- the dynamic aspects of it -- are what are called in Thelema "The True Will."

The whole trick to Thelema is getting in touch with this "something" -- this totally natural, ultimately physical and biological "something" -- because it's the *actual Self* shining underneath all the crap that we normally call "the self" (mistaking our thoughts, emotions, etc. for the True Self). Now that's pretty hard to do because the mind is a crafty instrument, but the basic idea is to train the mind to pay attention more and more until it recognizes those tricks as tricks and can perceive the True Self beneath them.

Such training may involve ritual work and meditation -- or it may not -- but the actual work of "discovering" the True Will (i.e. "to remove covering from") has to happen in the midst of day-to-day life, perceiving the tricks of the mind and correcting appropriately.


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Azidonis
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24/08/2012 8:29 pm  

Thanks for the response. I did read the entire thing, and have two observations.

"Los" wrote:
Now let's look at that: in such a state the mind is quiet, but there is something still there, something that is (1) aware and (2) has preferences. When one gets into such a state, one is observing this "something" (along with observing the rest of reality, without the distractions of the mind).

What preferences do you think its has? Generally, of course - I know it's easy to say, 'well that varies with each individual', but in general, what sort of preferences do you think it has?

"Los" wrote:
This "something" is what is called in Thelema "The True Self," and its preferences and inclinations -- the dynamic aspects of it -- are what are called in Thelema "The True Will."

The whole trick to Thelema is getting in touch with this "something" -- this totally natural, ultimately physical and biological "something" -- because it's the *actual Self* shining underneath all the crap that we normally call "the self" (mistaking our thoughts, emotions, etc. for the True Self). Now that's pretty hard to do because the mind is a crafty instrument, but the basic idea is to train the mind to pay attention more and more until it recognizes those tricks as tricks and can perceive the True Self beneath them.

Such training may involve ritual work and meditation -- or it may not -- but the actual work of "discovering" the True Will (i.e. "to remove covering from") has to happen in the midst of day-to-day life, perceiving the tricks of the mind and correcting appropriately.

Don't get me wrong here, please. I agree with that you are describing, but I do not agree that it is the "True Will". I do, however, agree that it may be called the "K&C". This is not due to any perceived faults in what you are saying. This is due to the perception that the "True Will" does not reside in Tiphareth, but in Kether (and even that only metaphorically); that which is arrived at in Tiphareth being a reflection, though a "more pure form" of the reflection than say, the one seen from Malkuth.

I do not think anything is wrong with this, which generates the following statement: The K&C can lead to the 'discovery' of the True Will (and it is a, perhaps the crucial element in doing so), but is not the True Will in and of itself.


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Los
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24/08/2012 8:59 pm  
"Azidonis" wrote:
What preferences do you think its has? Generally, of course - I know it's easy to say, 'well that varies with each individual', but in general, what sort of preferences do you think it has?

In general, it accomodates all preferences from the most basic and survival-oriented to the most elevated and intellectual pursuits.

I would bet that just about every last True Self has the preference to drink a sufficient amount of water, eat food that tastes good, and get a certain number hours of sleep a night that is probably in the 6-8 hour range. I'll also bet that a majority of these True Selves prefer to live indoors and be reasonably protected from environmental dangers. In a more elevated sense, most True Selves have a preference for forms of entertainment and recreation, and this could stretch from something as simple as collecting comic books or watching certain TV shows to something as complicated as reading Finnegans Wake and having scholarly discussions about it. True Selves also have a preference for forms of intellectual stimulation (which may overlap with recreation) and other methods of challenging the self, both physically and mentally.

Virtually any aspect of human activity could theoretically be a preference that comprises the True Self.

EDIT: And just so it's extra clear, there are True Selves whose sincere preference is to produce art, engage in ceremonial magick and other types of performance art, and to study and research "the occult."

Don't get me wrong here, please. I agree with that you are describing, but I do not agree that it is the "True Will".

On what grounds? As I will demonstrate in my discussion with Michael, if he still wants to have that discussion, Crowley's writings make it clear that this is exactly what the True Will is.

I do, however, agree that it may be called the "K&C".

[...]

The K&C can lead to the 'discovery' of the True Will (and it is a, perhaps the crucial element in doing so), but is not the True Will in and of itself.

I snipped out a bunch of stuff that doesn't make sense in order to focus on this: you're wrong according to Crolwey -- the guy who invented the Thelemic use of this terminology: he explicitly identifies KC of the HGA with discovering the True Will, in a number of places.

Take, for example, the New Comment:

"Crowley" wrote:
But the "Small Person" of Hindu mysticism, the Dwarf insane yet crafty of many legends in many lands, is also this same "Holy Ghost", or Silent Self of a man, or his Holy Guardian Angel.

He is almost the "Unconscious" of Freud, unknown, unaccountable, the silent Spirit, blowing "whither it listeth, but thou canst not tell whence it cometh or whither it goeth". It commands with absolute authority when it appears at all, despite conscious reason and judgment.

[...]

So also our own Silent Self, helpless and witless, hidden within us, will spring forth, if we have craft to loose him to the Light, spring lustily forward with his cry of Battle, the Word of our True Wills.

This is the Task of the Adept, to have the Knowledge and Conversation of His Holy Guardian Angel, to become aware of his nature and his purpose, fulfilling them.

Here, Crowley explicitly identifies the HGA with the Unconscious (note "despite conscious reason and judgment"!) and Knowledge and Conversation of the HGA with awareness of "his nature."

Do you still think KCHGA is not identical to discovering the True Will, or would you have me go through all of the other quotes spanning Crowley's entire career where he disagrees with you?


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Azidonis
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24/08/2012 11:27 pm  
"Los" wrote:
Do you still think KCHGA is not identical to discovering the True Will, or would you have me go through all of the other quotes spanning Crowley's entire career where he disagrees with you?

Edit:If I wanted Crowley's remarks, I would read Crowley's books.
I want your remarks, and thus far they are an indication that you haven't dug deep enough.


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Azidonis
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24/08/2012 11:40 pm  

Source:

"Adeptus Minor

(5°=6□): The Grade of Adeptus Minor is the main theme of the instructions of the A∴A∴ It is characterised by the Attainment of the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel. His work is to manifest the Beauty of the Order to the world, in the way that his superiors enjoin, and his genius dictates. This grade corresponds to Tiferet on the Tree of Life."

Ipsissimus

(10°=1□): Beyond the comprehension of the lower degrees. An Ipsissimus is free from limitations and necessity and lives in perfect balance with the manifest universe. Essentially, the highest mode of attainment. This grade corresponds to Kether on the Tree of Life. Ipsissimus is quite hard to translate directly from Latin to English, but it is essentially the superlative of "self", translating rather approximately to "His most Selfness," or "self-est." (c.f. generalissimo for the same superlative form in use for a grade from same Latin root.)"

Also, consider Aiwass. Crowley recognized Aiwass as his HGA, of whom he had "Knowledge and Conversation" at 5=6. But Aiwass (93) is constantly listed in publications as 10=1. So, if you want to say Aiwass is some extra-terrestrial being dictating to Crowley, go ahead. The contention here, and inference, is that Aiwass is Crowley at 10=1, "His most Selfness".


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Los
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25/08/2012 1:25 am  
"Azidonis" wrote:
If I wanted Crowley's remarks, I would read Crowley's books.
I want your remarks

We're having a discussion about what the terms "True Will" and "Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel" refer to. Of these terms, the first was invented wholesale by Crowley and the second was appropriated by Crowley from an older source and applied in an idiosyncratic way to the system he created.

We cannot discuss -- in a Thelemic context -- what these terms refer to without referencing Crowley's explicit comments.

Obviously, someone could take these terms and use them in wildly different ways from their use in the Thelemic system (and hence, we get people saying that the will is "cosmic, and not individual," in a complete reversal of Crowley's words), but we are -- here at the Home of the Aleister Crowley Society -- discussing these terms in the context of Thelemic philosophy.

How exactly do you propose to determine what a "True Will" is if you throw out the words of the guy who invented the term and explicitly explained what it was and how to discover it?


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Los
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25/08/2012 1:43 am  
"Azidonis" wrote:
Also, consider Aiwass. Crowley recognized Aiwass as his HGA, of whom he had "Knowledge and Conversation" at 5=6. But Aiwass (93) is constantly listed in publications as 10=1. So, if you want to say Aiwass is some extra-terrestrial being dictating to Crowley, go ahead. The contention here, and inference, is that Aiwass is Crowley at 10=1, "His most Selfness".

So you just finished saying, " If I wanted Crowley's remarks, I would read Crowley's books. I want your remarks," and then you turn around and -- in your very next post, no less -- appeal to Crowley's remarks.

Look, I'll address this point you just raised if you want, but before I go to the trouble, I think we need to agree on the basics of what we're even trying to do in our conversation. Here are some points I consider basic: (1) We're talking about labels that Crowley invented and appropriated, (2) These concepts -- according to Crowley -- correspond to real things, (3) Our discussion should be focused on what these real things are that Crowley was talking about (and in order to figure this out, we need to dig into his words).

There is a remarkable consistency in Crowley's published prose writings about his system in which he affirms that the HGA is a metaphor for the True Self, that the True Will is the dynamic portion of that True Self (i.e. its inclinations and preferences), and that the True Self exists "beneath" the thoughts, emotions, imagination, and other distorting impressions created by the mind.

I'll gladly go through these points slowly and carefully if you want to talk about them, but if you're seriously going to dismiss a detailed discussion of Crowley -- as if it were irrelevant to what we're talking about, instead of fundamental to it (which it actually is) -- then you're just wasting my time.


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Azidonis
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25/08/2012 2:05 am  
"Los" wrote:
So you just finished saying, " If I wanted Crowley's remarks, I would read Crowley's books. I want your remarks," and then you turn around and -- in your very next post, no less -- appeal to Crowley's remarks.

Giving you an example you can understand.

Just because Crowley coined a term does not mean he invented the concept.


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Los
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25/08/2012 2:40 am  
"Azidonis" wrote:
Just because Crowley coined a term does not mean he invented the concept.

Obviously not, I agree.

Just so we're clear, the actual thing to which the term "True Will" refers is real and people have been "attaining" to it long before Crowley.

But here, on this thread, you and I are using the terms Crowley coined, which means that -- assuming we want to have a coherent conversation -- we need to use a consistent definition, and since the term "True Will" has been clearly and consistently defined by Crowley, we ought to use that. If we don't do that and instead just start slapping the label "True Will" on absolutely anything, our conversation will descend into confusion.

That's why I made a post where I described, according to the Thelemic system created by Crowley, what the True Will is and how one discovers it. To this, you responded, "I do not agree that it is the 'True Will.'"

When you say that, either you're claiming that what I described isn't consistent with Crowley's definition of the True Will OR you're claiming that what I described isn't consistent with some concept you made up and decided to call "True Will" apparenty just to confuse the hell out of everybody.

Which is it?


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Azidonis
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25/08/2012 4:01 am  
"Los" wrote:
When you say that, either you're claiming that what I described isn't consistent with Crowley's definition of the True Will OR you're claiming that what I described isn't consistent with some concept you made up and decided to call "True Will" apparenty just to confuse the hell out of everybody.
Which is it?

You are describing Tiphareth and calling it "True Will"; I am maintaining that the full manifestation of the "True Will" is in Kether.

I am not debating that it is recognized in Tiphareth (and before even), and shows qualities similar to what you have described. I'm only saying it is not the full manifestation of it, and therefore, "not it".

I also am not asking you to accept it. It is what it is.

In fact, I'll give you one more example, using Crowley's own words. Not that I cannot explain this in my own words (as if such a thing existed), but I don't want to sit and go over and over it since we do not use a common dialect.

From Liber II: "But the phrase may also be interpreted as if it read “with purpose unassuaged”—i.e., with tireless energy. The conception is, therefore, of an eternal motion, infinite and unalterable. It is Nirvana, only dynamic instead of static—and this comes to the same thing in the end."

And that, sir, is Kether, not Tiphareth. That is all I have been saying.


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Los
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25/08/2012 5:33 am  
"Azidonis" wrote:
You are describing Tiphareth and calling it "True Will"; I am maintaining that the full manifestation of the "True Will" is in Kether.

The progress of your posts in this thread is a practical example of how you consistently work against your best interests and sabotage your chances of having instructive conversations.

I'm over here talking about the real stuff that the concept "True Will" refers to, and you're over there quibbling about where to place the concept on some imaginary Tree. Worse yet, you're quibbling about where on that Tree the concept has its "full manifestation," which is more or less the equivalent of arguing about how many angels can fit on the head of a pin: it makes absolutely no practical difference, even if it were actually a substantive argument about anything at all.

Obviously, I agree that Kether is the ultimate source of everything that manifests in Tipareth. Even an illiterate who spends a few seconds looking at a diagram of the Tree of Life could come up with something similar to that stunning "insight." It's so obvious that it's not even worth mentioning, not least because whatever place on the Tree someone decides to stick a concept makes absolutely no practical difference to the actual Work.


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Azidonis
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25/08/2012 6:27 am  
"Los" wrote:
"Azidonis" wrote:
You are describing Tiphareth and calling it "True Will"; I am maintaining that the full manifestation of the "True Will" is in Kether.

The progress of your posts in this thread is a practical example of how you consistently work against your best interests and sabotage your chances of having instructive conversations.

I'm over here talking about the real stuff that the concept "True Will" refers to, and you're over there quibbling about where to place the concept on some imaginary Tree. Worse yet, you're quibbling about where on that Tree the concept has its "full manifestation," which is more or less the equivalent of arguing about how many angels can fit on the head of a pin: it makes absolutely no practical difference, even if it were actually a substantive argument about anything at all.

Obviously, I agree that Kether is the ultimate source of everything that manifests in Tipareth. Even an illiterate who spends a few seconds looking at a diagram of the Tree of Life could come up with something similar to that stunning "insight." It's so obvious that it's not even worth mentioning, not least because whatever place on the Tree someone decides to stick a concept makes absolutely no practical difference to the actual Work.

Ad hominems from someone mistaking a grain of sand for an entire beach.


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HG
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25/08/2012 11:48 am  
"Azidonis" wrote:
"Los" wrote:
"Azidonis" wrote:
You are describing Tiphareth and calling it "True Will"; I am maintaining that the full manifestation of the "True Will" is in Kether.

The progress of your posts in this thread is a practical example of how you consistently work against your best interests and sabotage your chances of having instructive conversations.

I'm over here talking about the real stuff that the concept "True Will" refers to, and you're over there quibbling about where to place the concept on some imaginary Tree. Worse yet, you're quibbling about where on that Tree the concept has its "full manifestation," which is more or less the equivalent of arguing about how many angels can fit on the head of a pin: it makes absolutely no practical difference, even if it were actually a substantive argument about anything at all.

Obviously, I agree that Kether is the ultimate source of everything that manifests in Tipareth. Even an illiterate who spends a few seconds looking at a diagram of the Tree of Life could come up with something similar to that stunning "insight." It's so obvious that it's not even worth mentioning, not least because whatever place on the Tree someone decides to stick a concept makes absolutely no practical difference to the actual Work.

Ad hominems from someone mistaking a grain of sand for an entire beach.

Sorry, there is not a single ad hominem in Los's post.

An ad hominem attack would be something like: "You are stupid and ugly, therefore your arguments are invalid."

Saying "your arguments are stupid, and here's why" is not an ad hominem.


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Michael Staley
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25/08/2012 4:54 pm  
"Los" wrote:
That's the "thing" to which the concept "True Will" refers.
"MichaelStaley" wrote:
What evidence do you have to support this conclusion of yours?
"Los" wrote:
All of Crowley’s writings on the True Will, taken together as a whole, point very strongly to the fact that the Thelemic system uses “True Will” to label the part of the self* that remains when the mind is turned off.

So in other words, you don't have any evidence.

Let's go back to your remark above which prompted this enquiry of mine:

"Los" wrote:
To demonstrate this to yourself, sit down and turn off your thoughts. You will immediately observe that there is something left over, something that is aware and that has preferences. That's the "thing" to which the concept "True Will" refers. You're not imagining it into being -- it's there waiting to be found by you.

As anyone who's practised dharana observes, thought activity is very subtle. Thus the practitioner has initial apparent success, then realises that what he has taken for an absence of thought is just thought at a deeper, more subtle level. Additionally, psychologists such as Reich suggest that social and familial conditioning embeds itself into musculature and posture. Some people practise dharana and pratyahara for a long time in order to still the mind.

And yet, you suggest above that one has simply to sit down and "turn off" thought, when one will "immediately" observe an awareness beyond this "thought" which has been switched off, "something that is aware and has preferences". You then go on to identify this with what Crowley means by True Will.

I don't doubt that this "something that is aware and has preferences" exists, but it is in this instance surely a deeper level of thinking or conditioning, not True Will.


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Los
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25/08/2012 6:20 pm  
"MichaelStaley" wrote:
So in other words, you don't have any evidence.

Your perpetual -- and petulant -- need to "one up" me in these discussions is growing beyond tiresome.

The offer still stands to discuss what it is that the True Will – as defined by Crowley – refers to, with specific reference to what Crowley says. You know what you have to do to get me to agree to present the evidence.

As anyone who's practised dharana observes, thought activity is very subtle. Thus the practitioner has initial apparent success, then realises that what he has taken for an absence of thought is just thought at a deeper, more subtle level. Additionally, psychologists such as Reich suggest that social and familial conditioning embeds itself into musculature and posture. Some people practise dharana and pratyahara for a long time in order to still the mind.

And yet, you suggest above that one has simply to sit down and "turn off" thought, when one will "immediately" observe an awareness beyond this "thought" which has been switched off, "something that is aware and has preferences". You then go on to identify this with what Crowley means by True Will.

I don't doubt that this "something that is aware and has preferences" exists, but it is in this instance surely a deeper level of thinking or conditioning, not True Will.

Now this is an insightful and interesting comment that directly relates to the discussion at hand. It demonstrates that you’ve read and thought critically about the words of someone who holds a different opinion. So let me be the first to say: who are you, and what have you done with the real Michael Staley?

I agree with you, whoever you are, that the tricks of what I’m calling “mind” are subtle and dense, comprising both conscious and unconscious barriers. That’s why, initially at least, a great deal of effort is needed to clear away the crap.

But keep in mind that the process of discovering the True Will isn’t some sort of binary operation, where one day one is “not doing the Will” and then the next day, one flicks a switch and is all of a sudden “doing the Will!”

It’s more accurate to say that the inclinations of the True Self always try to manifest as best they can, even if they’re greatly constricted by the mind and the environment. The goal of initiation is to progressively clear away these obstacles and allow the True Will to manifest more and more fully.

The conscious thoughts – and especially the false conclusions the mind forms about reality, including especially “moral” ideas – are the first (and usually strongest) line of restrictions on the True Will, and the ones that will – when cleared away – produce some of the most obvious and glaring changes in an individual’s actual behavior.

Keep in mind also the goal of discovering the True Will: to produce actual, specific changes in the way one lives one’s life.

Even seeing through one’s moral ideas, for example, while not removing all of the obstacles from the True Will’s manifestation, will produce stark and noticeable changes in behavior and a definite reduction of inner tension, which is the hallmark of discovering the True Will. Subsequent unmaskings (“discoveries”) will allow more of the actual inclinations to pour through these veils, but each subsequent unmasking will likely result in fewer and fewer practical, tangible changes in behavior.

By the way, I say “even seeing through one’s moral ideas” as if this were somehow easy. It’s not (at least, not at first). I’d suggest a minimum of a year’s effort – and I mean an actual effort – of daily meditation and ritual work, along with consistent study of the Holy Books and Thelemic philosophy...accompanied by the real Work of identifying the tricks of the mind in "real time"...before one really starts reaping the benefits. I’m reminded of an old line Erwin once had long ago (paraphrasing): “If you think you’ve hit a milestone before six months are up, go back and start over. And do the work properly this time.”

When I say that one can turn off thought and see what’s left over, I don’t mean to say, “That’s it! You’ve done it!” I just mean that one can demonstrate that there’s something besides the conscious thoughts/emotions, of which most people are unaware. It demonstrates that there’s something to the Thelemic model of the self. But getting that something to manifest in daily life at all (nevermind “fully”) – and thus producing real changes in behavior – can be a long and somewhat arduous process that absolutely will involve “peeling back” those subtle layers of thought.


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Azidonis
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25/08/2012 6:26 pm  
"HG" wrote:
An ad hominem attack would be something like: "You are stupid and ugly, therefore your arguments are invalid."

Saying "your arguments are stupid, and here's why" is not an ad hominem.

"An ad hominem (Latin for "to the man"), short for argumentum ad hominem, is an attempt to negate the truth of a claim by pointing out a negative characteristic or belief of the person supporting it.[1] Ad hominem reasoning is normally described as a logical fallacy,[2][3][4] more precisely an informal fallacy and an irrelevance."

So, let's go back, and I'll spell it out...

"Los" wrote:
"Azidonis" wrote:
What preferences do you think its has? Generally, of course - I know it's easy to say, 'well that varies with each individual', but in general, what sort of preferences do you think it has?

In general, it accomodates all preferences from the most basic and survival-oriented to the most elevated and intellectual pursuits.

I would bet that just about every last True Self has the preference to drink a sufficient amount of water, eat food that tastes good, and get a certain number hours of sleep a night that is probably in the 6-8 hour range.

First off, this is wrong. The body has no way of knowing that food 'tastes good', it is going to get sufficient amount of water necessary for its survival if it is able to, and the amount of sleep it needs is completely dependent upon its own current needs at the time.

"You" have nothing to do with it.

"Los" wrote:
I'll also bet that a majority of these True Selves prefer to live indoors and be reasonably protected from environmental dangers.

No, the preference to live indoors is created by the protection mechanism, not by any "True Will". The body is perfectly capable of surviving out in nature. It is the sense of self, and the desire to preserve that sense of self, that has caused us to create domiciles.

"Los" wrote:
In a more elevated sense, most True Selves have a preference for forms of entertainment and recreation, and this could stretch from something as simple as collecting comic books or watching certain TV shows to something as complicated as reading Finnegans Wake and having scholarly discussions about it.

No. Trying to pin a bunch of random nuances of the so-called 'psyche' onto "True Will" is fraudulent and false. The body simply does not care whether or not you read newspaper articles or any of that other shit. It is interested in its own survival, it knows how to survive, and any of this other crap you are saying is created by you. It is part of your illusion.

"Los" wrote:
True Selves also have a preference for forms of intellectual stimulation (which may overlap with recreation) and other methods of challenging the self, both physically and mentally.

No. True Will is a response to stimulus, any stimulus, and trying to pick one sort of stimulus over the next is a set of preferences and presuppositions created by you.

"Los" wrote:
Virtually any aspect of human activity could theoretically be a preference that comprises the True Self.

You just gave a list of "do's", then said, "well any aspect of human activity". Make up your mind. Trying to pin it down and fit it into nitches, in other words capture it, is done by you, and whatever you think you are able to capture in that way is not the True Will.

"Los" wrote:
EDIT: And just so it's extra clear, there are True Selves whose sincere preference is to produce art, engage in ceremonial magick and other types of performance art, and to study and research "the occult."

There are expressions of life, and each individual expresses life in its own way.

"Los" wrote:
"Azidonis" wrote:
Don't get me wrong here, please. I agree with that you are describing, but I do not agree that it is the "True Will".

On what grounds? As I will demonstrate in my discussion with Michael, if he still wants to have that discussion, Crowley's writings make it clear that this is exactly what the True Will is.

I do, however, agree that it may be called the "K&C".

[...]

The K&C can lead to the 'discovery' of the True Will (and it is a, perhaps the crucial element in doing so), but is not the True Will in and of itself.

I snipped out a bunch of stuff that doesn't make sense in order to focus on this: you're wrong according to Crolwey -- the guy who invented the Thelemic use of this terminology: he explicitly identifies KC of the HGA with discovering the True Will, in a number of places.

Take, for example, the New Comment:

"Crowley" wrote:
But the "Small Person" of Hindu mysticism, the Dwarf insane yet crafty of many legends in many lands, is also this same "Holy Ghost", or Silent Self of a man, or his Holy Guardian Angel.

He is almost the "Unconscious" of Freud, unknown, unaccountable, the silent Spirit, blowing "whither it listeth, but thou canst not tell whence it cometh or whither it goeth". It commands with absolute authority when it appears at all, despite conscious reason and judgment.

[...]

So also our own Silent Self, helpless and witless, hidden within us, will spring forth, if we have craft to loose him to the Light, spring lustily forward with his cry of Battle, the Word of our True Wills.

This is the Task of the Adept, to have the Knowledge and Conversation of His Holy Guardian Angel, to become aware of his nature and his purpose, fulfilling them.

Here, Crowley explicitly identifies the HGA with the Unconscious (note "despite conscious reason and judgment"!) and Knowledge and Conversation of the HGA with awareness of "his nature."

Do you still think KCHGA is not identical to discovering the True Will, or would you have me go through all of the other quotes spanning Crowley's entire career where he disagrees with you?

As I pointed out, the True Will is manifest in Kether, not Tiphareth. In Tiphareth, the perception is still littered with little presuppositions like you noted above. None of these matter.

I'll give another example, one of the very few real examples of "True Will" that even exist, quoted in full for context. If you don't want to read it all, the bold is the tl;dr version.

"U.G." wrote:
"I tell you, you are not an ordinary being; you are an extraordinary being. [laughter] There is no one like you. You are "the one without a seconds" that the Upanishads talked about.

It is not because of what you do or do not do that this kind of thing happens. That is why I use the word acasual - this has no cause. The structure that is interested in establishing the casual relationship is not there any more. The only thing that is left for this is survival. And the survival is limited. It has a momentum of its own, and when that is finished it is gone. This cannot reproduce another one, either as a flower or as another human being. That is why the whole chemistry of your body changes. The hormones change, and you are neither a man nor a woman any more. Such a man is of absolutely no use to this society, and he cannot create another society. [laughter]

Perfection is a foolish thought. Speaking or playing a musical instrument can be perfected, but that's not what I mean. Through years and years of practice you want to become a perfect man, but it is not something that can be perfected. There is no guarantee; there is no answer as to why it happens. This is one thing that cannot be reproduced. They have placed before us the ideal of the perfect man, and that has put the whole thing on the wrong track. The perfect man doesn't exist at all. A man in whom, or for whom, mutation (if you want to use that word) has taken place is not a perfect being. He has all the idiosyncrasies, oddities, stupidities, and absurdities that are not associated with the perfect man. It has nothing to do with that at all. He doesn't become a super-duper genius. Tomorrow he is not going to invent something extraordinary and put man on every planet - nothing of the sort! Limitations remain limitations - this is hereditary.

Questioning my actions before and after is over for me. The moral question - "I should have acted this way, I should not have acted that way, I should not have said this" - none of that is there for me. I have no regrets, no apologies. Whatever I am doing is automatic. In a given situation I am not capable of acting in any other way. I don't have to rationalize, think logically - nothing - that is the one and only action in that particular situation. Next time the action will be different. For all practical purposes it may be a similar situation to you, but it is not to me, because there is an unknown factor, a new factor, so my action will be different. You may see it as inconsistency or contradiction. I cannot act in any other way. There's no connection between the two actions.

It is physical, not psychological. I don't remember anything that is not happening at that particular moment. There is no reaction, only response. But you are reacting all the time. There is the judgement for or against: "This is right, that is wrong." The response I am talking about is the physical response to the situation. I function in the physical plane all the time. I am not thinking of anything when I see you; my eyes are focused on you. If I turn this side, you are wiped out. The doorknob is there, not you. You are finished for me, even in the mind. (There is no mind.) If necessary, it is recalled - if you ask questions. Reaction is thinking about it: "Right, wrong, good, evil." Response is just looking without the intervention of thought. Response is physical; reaction is mental. You are all the time reacting. You are not physically responding to the things out there."

-U.G. Krishnamutri, The Mystique of Enlightenment, page 102.


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Azidonis
(@azidonis)
Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 2964
25/08/2012 7:56 pm  
"Los" wrote:
I agree with you, whoever you are, that the tricks of what I’m calling “mind” are subtle and dense, comprising both conscious and unconscious barriers. That’s why, initially at least, a great deal of effort is needed to clear away the crap.
"Los" wrote:
But keep in mind that the process of discovering the True Will isn’t some sort of binary operation, where one day one is “not doing the Will” and then the next day, one flicks a switch and is all of a sudden “doing the Will!”
"Los" wrote:
It’s more accurate to say that the inclinations of the True Self always try to manifest as best they can, even if they’re greatly constricted by the mind and the environment. The goal of initiation is to progressively clear away these obstacles and allow the True Will to manifest more and more fully.

The conscious thoughts – and especially the false conclusions the mind forms about reality, including especially “moral” ideas – are the first (and usually strongest) line of restrictions on the True Will, and the ones that will – when cleared away – produce some of the most obvious and glaring changes in an individual’s actual behavior.

Mostly agreed.

"Los" wrote:
Keep in mind also the goal of discovering the True Will: to produce actual, specific changes in the way one lives one’s life.

Even seeing through one’s moral ideas, for example, while not removing all of the obstacles from the True Will’s manifestation, will produce stark and noticeable changes in behavior and a definite reduction of inner tension, which is the hallmark of discovering the True Will. Subsequent unmaskings (“discoveries”) will allow more of the actual inclinations to pour through these veils, but each subsequent unmasking will likely result in fewer and fewer practical, tangible changes in behavior.

Somewhat agreed. As for the 'tension', it seems either overlooked or in any case under-represented.

"Los" wrote:
When I say that one can turn off thought and see what’s left over, I don’t mean to say, “That’s it! You’ve done it!” I just mean that one can demonstrate that there’s something besides the conscious thoughts/emotions, of which most people are unaware. It demonstrates that there’s something to the Thelemic model of the self. But getting that something to manifest in daily life at all (nevermind “fully”) – and thus producing real changes in behavior – can be a long and somewhat arduous process that absolutely will involve “peeling back” those subtle layers of thought.

You say turn off thought, and see what's left over. If thought is turned off, the seer is gone, so any way to see anything is gone. In order for any thought to be experienced, there must be something to experience, and something to experience it.

What we get is about thought, but not thought itself. Any attempt to perceive, or any such thing, creates two. One we call the thinker (or self), and the other thought (or not self). They do not exist independently.

So, I keep saying, that what you are describing, 'the path', is about the path, but not the path, for there is no path. All that stuff is created by thought and thinker, the duality. Don't get up in arms about it. It is what it is. Just like anything we want to say about True Will is about True Will, but it is not True Will.


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Michael Staley
(@michael-staley)
MANIO - it's all in the egg
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 3951
25/08/2012 10:19 pm  
"Los" wrote:
"MichaelStaley" wrote:
So in other words, you don't have any evidence.

Your perpetual -- and petulant -- need to "one up" me in these discussions is growing beyond tiresome.

The offer still stands to discuss what it is that the True Will – as defined by Crowley – refers to, with specific reference to what Crowley says. You know what you have to do to get me to agree to present the evidence.

As anyone who's practised dharana observes, thought activity is very subtle. Thus the practitioner has initial apparent success, then realises that what he has taken for an absence of thought is just thought at a deeper, more subtle level. Additionally, psychologists such as Reich suggest that social and familial conditioning embeds itself into musculature and posture. Some people practise dharana and pratyahara for a long time in order to still the mind.

And yet, you suggest above that one has simply to sit down and "turn off" thought, when one will "immediately" observe an awareness beyond this "thought" which has been switched off, "something that is aware and has preferences". You then go on to identify this with what Crowley means by True Will.

I don't doubt that this "something that is aware and has preferences" exists, but it is in this instance surely a deeper level of thinking or conditioning, not True Will.

Now this is an insightful and interesting comment that directly relates to the discussion at hand. It demonstrates that you’ve read and thought critically about the words of someone who holds a different opinion. So let me be the first to say: who are you, and what have you done with the real Michael Staley?

I agree with you, whoever you are, that the tricks of what I’m calling “mind” are subtle and dense, comprising both conscious and unconscious barriers. That’s why, initially at least, a great deal of effort is needed to clear away the crap.

But keep in mind that the process of discovering the True Will isn’t some sort of binary operation, where one day one is “not doing the Will” and then the next day, one flicks a switch and is all of a sudden “doing the Will!”

It’s more accurate to say that the inclinations of the True Self always try to manifest as best they can, even if they’re greatly constricted by the mind and the environment. The goal of initiation is to progressively clear away these obstacles and allow the True Will to manifest more and more fully.

The conscious thoughts – and especially the false conclusions the mind forms about reality, including especially “moral” ideas – are the first (and usually strongest) line of restrictions on the True Will, and the ones that will – when cleared away – produce some of the most obvious and glaring changes in an individual’s actual behavior.

Keep in mind also the goal of discovering the True Will: to produce actual, specific changes in the way one lives one’s life.

Even seeing through one’s moral ideas, for example, while not removing all of the obstacles from the True Will’s manifestation, will produce stark and noticeable changes in behavior and a definite reduction of inner tension, which is the hallmark of discovering the True Will. Subsequent unmaskings (“discoveries”) will allow more of the actual inclinations to pour through these veils, but each subsequent unmasking will likely result in fewer and fewer practical, tangible changes in behavior.

By the way, I say “even seeing through one’s moral ideas” as if this were somehow easy. It’s not (at least, not at first). I’d suggest a minimum of a year’s effort – and I mean an actual effort – of daily meditation and ritual work, along with consistent study of the Holy Books and Thelemic philosophy...accompanied by the real Work of identifying the tricks of the mind in "real time"...before one really starts reaping the benefits. I’m reminded of an old line Erwin once had long ago (paraphrasing): “If you think you’ve hit a milestone before six months are up, go back and start over. And do the work properly this time.”

When I say that one can turn off thought and see what’s left over, I don’t mean to say, “That’s it! You’ve done it!” I just mean that one can demonstrate that there’s something besides the conscious thoughts/emotions, of which most people are unaware. It demonstrates that there’s something to the Thelemic model of the self. But getting that something to manifest in daily life at all (nevermind “fully”) – and thus producing real changes in behavior – can be a long and somewhat arduous process that absolutely will involve “peeling back” those subtle layers of thought.

Cutting through your patronising verbiage, I am genuinely pleased that your conception of True Will is not as superficial as suggested in that part of your response to Mr Cicero. I had hoped, though, that you would be drawing on your own experiences of True Will. After all, from your posts over the years on this website, I had formed the impression that you had developed a practice broadly along the lines of pratyahara and Fourth Way techniques of reaching beyond the day-to-day babble. I'm not really interested in your ability to parrot bits here and there from Crowley where it seems to support your thesis.

The real Michael Staley? There's no such thing. We're all transient creatures - "dreams of the night-time, we're vanished by dawn".


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Los
 Los
(@los)
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Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 2195
25/08/2012 10:55 pm  
"MichaelStaley" wrote:
Cutting through your patronising verbiage, I am genuinely pleased that your conception of True Will is not as superficial as suggested in that part of your response to Mr Cicero.

Well, I tend to oversimplify occasionally in public discussions because there's so much widespread misunderstanding about what the True Will is, what with some of these posters around here trying to claim the True Will is "cosmic and not individual" and all. Then there are the people who claim the True Will is some sort of metaphysical entity, "life purpose," or "cosmic plan," spirit, etc.

The True Will is, in fact, entirely internal, individual, arising from material, physical sources, and it is -- to oversimplify vastly -- what one wants to do after one gets rid of all those thoughts about what one "should" be doing.

I don't know how people ever get their false ideas about the True Will being "cosmic" or "metaphysical." Personally, I think it's that a lot of folks have an aversion to reading a lot of Crowley and understanding what he's saying in context. Realizing that Thelema is an actual subject that one can be wrong about can tend to put the damper on some folks' enthusiasm. That's why some folks around here dismiss cogent interpretations of Crowley as "cherry-picking" (even though we can demonstrate his consistent ideas with reference to quotes that span his entire career).


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Michael Staley
(@michael-staley)
MANIO - it's all in the egg
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 3951
25/08/2012 11:32 pm  
"Los" wrote:
Well, I tend to oversimplify occasionally in public discussions because there's so much widespread misunderstanding about what the True Will is...

No, I think you have a simplistic view, and retreat when someone points out the simplicity.

"Los" wrote:
The True Will is, in fact, entirely internal, individual, arising from material, physical sources, and it is -- to oversimplify vastly -- what one wants to do after one gets rid of all those thoughts about what one "should" be doing.

As ever, you peddle your opinion as "fact".

"Los" wrote:
I don't know how people ever get their false ideas about the True Will being "cosmic" or "metaphysical." Personally, I think it's that a lot of folks have an aversion to reading a lot of Crowley and understanding what he's saying in context. Realizing that Thelema is an actual subject that one can be wrong about can tend to put the damper on some folks' enthusiasm. That's why some folks around here dismiss cogent interpretations of Crowley as "cherry-picking" (even though we can demonstrate his consistent ideas with reference to quotes that span his entire career).

Your approach strikes me as wholly intellectual, and thus in the final analysis inevitably lacking in substance.


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Los
 Los
(@los)
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Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 2195
26/08/2012 7:37 am  

So, a few other thoughts while they’re fresh in my mind:

First, I don’t think I made clear in my above posts that just sitting still and turning off thought isn’t, in and of itself, going to get an individual a jot closer to “discovering the True Will.”

Sure, it may give one an indication of what it “feels like” to perceive free of (at least the very substantial first layer) of thought, and knowledge of that feeling may later, in daily life, help one recognize thoughts (which distort impressions) – even when those thoughts are not articulated clearly as explicit thoughts, as they are usually not.  And sure, meditation may be good training for teaching the mind to pay attention (which will come in handy when observing the True Will in everyday life), but on the whole, meditation is akin to playing a video game on “easy” mode, to get a feel for what it’s like before starting the real game.

The real Work – the actual thing that will enable individuals to discover their True Will – is catching the mind playing its tricks in real time, in the midst of daily life, and adjusting behvior accordingly.

Any occult sort of “practice” – including meditating, engaging in “dharana,” peeling back whatever layers of thought there may be – is essentially just preparation for the real Work. If you’re not adjusting your behavior in real time, you’re not “attaining” anything at all.

Second, recreation is absolutely part of the True Will. If the Will is the whole of the Law, and if an individual hast no right but to do thy will, then any and all of normal human activities potentially fall within its jurisdiction. And activities don’t get any more normal than a little recreation. Sure, maybe you shouldn’t be spending so many damn hours glued to the ol’ “radiation king,” but there’s no reason that watching a TV series couldn’t be part of an individual’s True Will, any more than there’s no reason that attending a bunch of operas couldn’t be part of an individual’s True Will. To the True Will, distinctions of high and low culture do not apply. And hey, there are a lot worse things you could do with your weekend than watch an entire season of The Sopranos straight through.

Third, believe it or not, some forms of “conditioning” can be part of the True Will. I know Michael was decrying “social and familial conditioning” above – and he should, because a lot of our conditioning is, in fact, a restriction on the True Will – but not all of it is. As a (trivial) case in point, I was “conditioned” to eat with a fork and a knife and not to eat by burying my face in the food. This “conditioning” actually serves my Will: it enables me to obtain nourishment without getting so dirty that I need to wash after eating.

More broadly, we could call many of an individual’s preferences the products of environment or conditioning -- or, rather, products of latent potential being nourished by early experience in life. It’s the old nature/nurture question. Sure, I honestly have a preference of enjoying literature. Would I have this preference if I wasn’t “conditioned” from a very young age to enjoy reading? It’s hard to say. Doubtlessly, there are innate interests, but to what extent are such interests originally latent, only to be “activated” by early exposure or conditioning? It’s a difficult question at best.

One way to think of discovering the True Will is to conceive of it as the task of discerning between those kinds of conditioning that restrict the Will and those kinds of conditioning that define the Will or at least serve it. That's not quite the best way to phrase the thought I'm having, but I'm tired, so that's going to have to do.

Intelligent and cogent responses welcome.


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Azidonis
(@azidonis)
Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 2964
26/08/2012 10:53 am  
"Los" wrote:
The real Work – the actual thing that will enable individuals to discover their True Will – is catching the mind playing its tricks in real time, in the midst of daily life, and adjusting behvior accordingly.

You are under the constant assumption that "you" have to do something about it, as if the body has no idea what it is supposed to be doing. The body knows exactly what to do - it's "you" that's messing it up, always trying to control it and influence it through thinking.

In that light, catching the mind playing tricks on itself is 'child's play', to use your terminology. Not engaging in that, and allowing the body to go about its own way, completely free from any conditioning, is in a league of its own.

"Los" wrote:
Second, recreation is absolutely part of the True Will. If the Will is the whole of the Law, and if an individual hast no right but to do thy will, then any and all of normal human activities potentially fall within its jurisdiction. And activities don’t get any more normal than a little recreation. Sure, maybe you shouldn’t be spending so many damn hours glued to the ol’ “radiation king,” but there’s no reason that watching a TV series couldn’t be part of an individual’s True Will, any more than there’s no reason that attending a bunch of operas couldn’t be part of an individual’s True Will. To the True Will, distinctions of high and low culture do not apply. And hey, there are a lot worse things you could do with your weekend than watch an entire season of The Sopranos straight through.

No distinction exists. You seem to be of the mindset that you still have to control some thought, or some action, and haven't once in this thread mentioned the fact that "you" have to get the hell out of the picture. Recreation has nothing to do with it. Recreation is just a series of reactions, grouped into the very broad category of "not actively trying to maintain survival". Recreation is nothing but another subdivision of thought. True Will is a movement, not a series of "things to do". Any action, any reaction can at any time be a movement of True Will. Labels such as "recreation" are arbitrary.

"Los" wrote:
Third, believe it or not, some forms of “conditioning” can be part of the True Will. I know Michael was decrying “social and familial conditioning” above – and he should, because a lot of our conditioning is, in fact, a restriction on the True Will – but not all of it is. As a (trivial) case in point, I was “conditioned” to eat with a fork and a knife and not to eat by burying my face in the food. This “conditioning” actually serves my Will: it enables me to obtain nourishment without getting so dirty that I need to wash after eating.

If eating with a fork and knife have anything to do with it, they enable the body to more easily create sizable portions, and manage them more efficiently, creating less waste, meaning more sustenance for survival. That said, people would eat anything they could, in any manner they were able to, in order to survive. If it came to bare bones survival, a fork and knife would hardly be necessary, and therefore "necessities" like forks and knives are a moot point. "Eating" is the necessity, "how to eat" is a convention of thought.

"Los" wrote:
More broadly, we could call many of an individual’s preferences the products of environment or conditioning -- or, rather, products of latent potential being nourished by early experience in life. It’s the old nature/nurture question. Sure, I honestly have a preference of enjoying literature. Would I have this preference if I wasn’t “conditioned” from a very young age to enjoy reading? It’s hard to say. Doubtlessly, there are innate interests, but to what extent are such interests originally latent, only to be “activated” by early exposure or conditioning? It’s a difficult question at best.

The conditioning has to go.

"Los" wrote:
One way to think of discovering the True Will is to conceive of it as the task of discerning between those kinds of conditioning that restrict the Will and those kinds of conditioning that define the Will or at least serve it. That's not quite the best way to phrase the thought I'm having, but I'm tired, so that's going to have to do.

The Will is only restricted in the sense that the mind, the "you" wants to harness it and use it for some benefit. The "you" is in the way, restricting the natural expression of the living organism by constantly trying to reinforce and reaffirm its existence and perceived continuity. That is the restriction. When it finally gets out of the way, the hold that the mind has over the body is shattered, and the body is free to act of its own accord. That action, whatever it may be at any given time, is undefinable in terms of, "oh hey, it is my Will to be a fireman," or "guys, it is my Will to eat with a fork and knife instead of chopsticks".


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HG
 HG
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Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 96
26/08/2012 11:30 am  
"Azidonis" wrote:
"HG" wrote:
An ad hominem attack would be something like: "You are stupid and ugly, therefore your arguments are invalid."

Saying "your arguments are stupid, and here's why" is not an ad hominem.

"An ad hominem (Latin for "to the man"), short for argumentum ad hominem, is an attempt to negate the truth of a claim by pointing out a negative characteristic or belief of the person supporting it.[1] Ad hominem reasoning is normally described as a logical fallacy,[2][3][4] more precisely an informal fallacy and an irrelevance."

The "belief" in question means a belief not relevant to the actual subject at hand.  A "belief" as in: "He's a Jew, therefore his opinion is worthless."

It does not mean a belief about the subject that's actually discussed.  If it were so, it would be impossible, say, to argue against a Creationist - he believes evolution did not happen, if you attack his belief, you'd be "resorting to an ad hominem".  Can you see how retarded that would be?


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Azidonis
(@azidonis)
Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 2964
26/08/2012 12:49 pm  

Still on this?

"HG" wrote:
"Azidonis" wrote:
"HG" wrote:
An ad hominem attack would be something like: "You are stupid and ugly, therefore your arguments are invalid."

Saying "your arguments are stupid, and here's why" is not an ad hominem.

"An ad hominem (Latin for "to the man"), short for argumentum ad hominem, is an attempt to negate the truth of a claim by pointing out a negative characteristic or belief of the person supporting it.[1] Ad hominem reasoning is normally described as a logical fallacy,[2][3][4] more precisely an informal fallacy and an irrelevance."

The "belief" in question means a belief not relevant to the actual subject at hand.  A "belief" as in: "He's a Jew, therefore his opinion is worthless."

It does not mean a belief about the subject that's actually discussed.  If it were so, it would be impossible, say, to argue against a Creationist - he believes evolution did not happen, if you attack his belief, you'd be "resorting to an ad hominem".  Can you see how retarded that would be?

"Translated from Latin to English, "Ad Hominem" means "against the man" or "against the person." "

Ahem.

"Los" wrote:
The progress of your posts in this thread is a practical example of how you consistently work against your best interests and sabotage your chances of having instructive conversations.

What do you call that, HG?

Call it what you want, and imagine inserting an edit into the post that called it something other than what you decide to call it.

"Los" wrote:
I'm over here talking about the real stuff that the concept "True Will" refers to, and you're over there quibbling about where to place the concept on some imaginary Tree. Worse yet, you're quibbling about where on that Tree the concept has its "full manifestation," which is more or less the equivalent of arguing about how many angels can fit on the head of a pin: it makes absolutely no practical difference, even if it were actually a substantive argument about anything at all."

He tried to use this 'argument' to explain why the Kether placement is invalid as it pertains here. It most certainly is valid.

On the "full manifestation" bit, see the current conversations, posted before your interruption.

"Los" wrote:
Obviously, I agree that Kether is the ultimate source of everything that manifests in Tipareth. Even an illiterate who spends a few seconds looking at a diagram of the Tree of Life could come up with something similar to that stunning "insight." It's so obvious that it's not even worth mentioning, not least because whatever place on the Tree someone decides to stick a concept makes absolutely no practical difference to the actual Work.

If he would have spent some time thinking about what was actually said, instead of going, "waaa, I already knew that. You are stupid for pointing that out to me", then the conversation would not be at 'the conditioning has to go'. Instead, we have had a page of regurgitation, and now we are right back to what I said at the beginning.

The "True Will" is a manifestation of Kether, not Tiphareth. What he was describing, the process of Samyama (ie. dharana/dhyana) is of Tiphareth (ie. Intellect), and therefore, "not it", as in not the "True Will" proper. It is a conditioned state. Being of Kether, the "True Will" is not bound by any ideas at all, nor of any ideas concerning a self, a seer, an observer, a thinker... neither is it concerned with a not-self, a seen, an observed, or a thought. All that shit is born out of thought. Any cognizance whatsoever requires a knowledge, which depends upon the duality of the thinker and the thought (ie. Knowledge - Da'ath).

To automatically assume I said, "Kether", so I must be talking about some mystical hokum, is a product of presuppositions. I'm only using it in the sense that it is a model. By the way, the name of this thread is indeed "The Structure of the Soul". Therefore, you might go ahead and substitute the word "Ruach" for Tiphareth, and "Yechidah" for Kether. And I will further spell it out and say that I am using Ruach in the sense of "Intellect", of which MichaelStaley says, to Los:

"MichaelStaley" wrote:
Your approach strikes me as wholly intellectual, and thus in the final analysis inevitably lacking in substance.

That is, of the Ruach.

Yechidah itself is a movement. True Will is a movement. It is not a static set of things that one can look at and say, "Oh yes, that's definitely True Will". That is total bullshit. As I pointed out earlier:

"Crowley" wrote:
"It is Nirvana, only dynamic instead of static—and this comes to the same thing in the end."

The initial way it is recognized is Chokmah, which means "life". Yechidah, meaning "only one", or "the single one", cannot be touched, fathomed, or anything else of the sort. It cannot even be experienced. All that can be "experienced" of it, is the energy of life, the Expression of which is the Magus. Thus, we are all "Magi".

But none of this is conditioned. It simply is what it is, completely out of the cage. Saying that containing, or training, or conditioning it in any way is like saying you are going to try and bottle up the energy of the sun... good luck with that, sirs!

Also, before it gets said in a fit of deflection - there is nothing mystical or magickal about it. It simply is. It is life energy - it is the human being without any boundaries, completely free to act of its own accord.


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