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jamie barter
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23/04/2014 5:22 pm  
"Los" wrote:
[...] I don't expect Michael to respond to this because I have in the past posted similar lists of Crowley quotes spanning many decades and advancing a consistent position that completely contradicts Michael's position, and Michael has just ignored it.

Shucks it reet annoys when folks do dat sorta ting, I know & commiserate mos’ fully, my ole china

"Los" wrote:
[...] In a similar way, I guess my True Will is "cosmic" in that I can theoretically trace it back to the Big Bang, but so what? The term "cosmic" here is at best a useless designation, and it's at worst an excuse that some people give to justify their ideas that pretending to talk to space aliens has something to do with the True Will.

I remember from my dissolute youth in the early to mid 70s in particular drug-addled rock stars used to bandy that word around – often in connection with the ‘vibes’ for example: “wow, hey maaan, that’s so... cosmic and far out”.  Some would say we have come a long way from then, whereas in actual fact…  Shit, what was my point again?

A little brain damaged, perhaps ;D
N Joy


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William Thirteen
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23/04/2014 7:26 pm  

In a similar way, I guess my True Will is "cosmic" in that I can theoretically trace it back to the Big Bang, but so what?

i suspect the term 'cosmic' gestures more towards an ecstatic transpersonal experience and less to the idea of star stuff and is perhaps more often noticeable by its absence (those times when the 'authentic inclinations' are buried under/beneath/within the carcass of character).

'And the sign shall be my ecstasy, the consciousness of the continuity of existence, the omnipresence of my body.'

indeed, your kitchen table and my ethernet cable may be just as 'cosmic' as my 'authentic inclinations' - but it is not often that i actually experience this identity.


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Los
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23/04/2014 9:50 pm  
"WilliamThirteen" wrote:
i suspect the term 'cosmic' gestures more towards an ecstatic transpersonal experience

Yeah, I suspect that too. As far as it goes, it's fine to be all flowery and poetic, but the problems arise when people start mistaking how something feels for what something is.

Mistakes in identifying what True Will is can lead to mistakes in understanding how to access it. For example, I don't think it's at all the case that Michael Staley and I are talking about the same thing under different terms.

From what I can gather, Michael's conviction that the True Will is "cosmic" leads him to think that he can discover it by generating certain trance states through ritual. At other times, his writings suggest that there's nothing to discover at all, since we're all part of the waves of Maya, or whatever, and that "discovering the True Will" just means learning to see this and revel in the illusion. Those last two sentences can be viewed as two sides of the same coin: according to Staley's writings, "True Will" is some cosmic force or "cosmic consciousness" of which we are all parts (since he thinks "all is consciousness," apparently) and that by "attuning" ourselves to the cosmos through ritual, meditation, or maybe even reading Lovecraft stories, we can achieve a state of consciousness whereby we identify with "cosmic consciousness," enjoying the illusions thrown up on the shores of our minds by a consciousness greater than our own.

That's all well and good, but it’s not at all what Crowley means by “True Will.” If for Staley True Will is a kind of consciousness, then for Crowley True Will is that which is veiled by consciousness. We might even say that Staley is looking precisely in the wrong direction, turning more deeply into consciousness/imagination and its creations, when in fact Crowley very clearly presents the True Will as that which is accessed when one is able to pierce the veil of those imaginary creations and see the reality of one’s nature (reality being that which is veiled by the imperfect way that consciousness perceives it)

For Crowley, True Will is just not about trances or states of consciousness, even if its discovery is often accompanied by certain trances [as suggested by Crowley’s favorite metaphor for discovering True Will – “Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel,” the term Crowley says he selected because it is “absurd"]. Those trances themselves, however, are relatively unimportant. Remember, Crowley tells us in Magick in Theory and Practice, "There may come a time when Samadhi itself is no part of the business of the mystic. But the character developed by the original training remains an asset."

What the True Will is about is action; it's just not about a bunch of trances and not about a bunch of vague platitudes about how "I is an illusion." It is possible with dedication, application, and self-honesty to learn the (very) specific ways that one's individual mind distorts impressions and, armed with this knowledge, actually pierce the illusions created by consciousness and effect a real and substantial change in action. Meanwhile, pretending that your latest free write is a "transmission' from Omnicron Persei 8 just simply isn't going to do anything to help you discover that Will.

The distinction that I’m explaining above between Michael’s point of view and my own is not some minor difference in terminology: Michael and I are in fact talking about two very different things, and each of us uses the same terminology (“True Will”) to indicate it. The problem is that I’m using the term in accordance with the usage of the creator of the term, Aleister Crowley, and Michael is talking about something else but just using the label True Will, for reasons that are best explained by him.


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Los
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23/04/2014 9:51 pm  

As an aside, let me add that True Will has even less to do with Cosmic Wimpout, even though I do enjoy it from time to time.


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soz
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24/04/2014 5:11 am  
"Los" wrote:
For Crowley, True Will is just not about trances or states of consciousness, even if its discovery is often accompanied by certain trances [as suggested by Crowley’s favorite metaphor for discovering True Will – “Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel,” the term Crowley says he selected because it is “absurd"]. Those trances themselves, however, are relatively unimportant. Remember, Crowley tells us in Magick in Theory and Practice, "There may come a time when Samadhi itself is no part of the business of the mystic. But the character developed by the original training remains an asset."

Is Samadhi a trance?


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William Thirteen
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24/04/2014 5:54 am  

Ah, Cosmic Wimpout - that's a blast from the past!


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soz
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24/04/2014 6:30 am  
"Los" wrote:
What the True Will is about is action; it's just not about a bunch of trances and not about a bunch of vague platitudes about how "I is an illusion." It is possible with dedication, application, and self-honesty to learn the (very) specific ways that one's individual mind distorts impressions and, armed with this knowledge, actually pierce the illusions created by consciousness and effect a real and substantial change in action.

But this also possible through Yoga, at least to a degree, if not in all respects.


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jamie barter
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24/04/2014 12:37 pm  
"Los" wrote:
As an aside, let me add that True Will has even less to do with Cosmic Wimpout, even though I do enjoy it from time to time.
"WilliamThirteen" wrote:
Ah, Cosmic Wimpout - that's a blast from the past!

I wonder if this Cosmic Wimpout could be related, inversely or otherwise, to any idea of a Cosmic Wipeout?  I’m not personally familiar with that term – can “Wimpout” be the moving outwards of weakly interacting massive particles? Also (*strokes chin*), I don't suppose the Big Bang could really be a cosmic wipeout since it brought forth the cosmos itself into being...

But then again, perhaps… (*Thinks*: What the hell was the particular question(s) Los is meant to be answering back from his hols?!  - Anyone feel like trawling through all the back pages to check it out?!)

♪  With the oil of Afro-dytee an' the dust of the Grand Wazoo (meantime Michael assuming Harpocrates retains his inscrutable silence),
'N Joy


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Los
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24/04/2014 3:15 pm  
"soz" wrote:
Is Samadhi a trance?

Yes. Well, that's what Crowley calls it in several places, at least.

"soz" wrote:
"Los" wrote:
What the True Will is about is action; it's just not about a bunch of trances and not about a bunch of vague platitudes about how "I is an illusion." It is possible with dedication, application, and self-honesty to learn the (very) specific ways that one's individual mind distorts impressions and, armed with this knowledge, actually pierce the illusions created by consciousness and effect a real and substantial change in action.

But this also possible through Yoga, at least to a degree, if not in all respects.

Not really. Shutting off your thoughts in the comfort of your home is good training, no doubt, but discoveries about your nature (and the specific ways in which your particular mind veils that nature from you -- in contrast to the different ways that someone else's mind might perform this veiling) happen out in the midst of everyday activity and especially in your exposure to new and unfamiliar circumstances.

That's a big part of my objection to the supposed "work" that happens in the imagination, whether it's imagining tentacles, gazing into the eyes of a portrait, or just repeating the LBRP as often as you can.  A bunch of introspection in your room might be interesting or fun, but it's going to do close to zip in terms of revealing your True Will because discovering the Will happens in the midst of activity, and without a really broad exposure to a different range of activities -- and a relatively broad education providing exposure to options and avenues of activity -- you're just restricting yourself.


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jamie barter
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24/04/2014 4:10 pm  
"Los" wrote:
"soz" wrote:
Is Samadhi a trance?

Yes. Well, that's what Crowley calls it in several places, at least.

Phew, glad we all seem to have got that one sorted, then!

"soz" wrote:
[...] That's a big part of my objection to the supposed "work" that happens in the imagination, whether it's imagining tentacles, gazing into the eyes of a portrait, or just repeating the LBRP as often as you can.  A bunch of introspection in your room might be interesting or fun, but it's going to do close to zip in terms of revealing your True Will because discovering the Will happens in the midst of activity, and without a really broad exposure to a different range of activities -- and a relatively broad education providing exposure to options and avenues of activity -- you're just restricting yourself.

Imagination…hmmm… that’s a mental process the same as thinking and rationalising, isn’t it? I mean, it all involves certain synapses firing in the brain of some sort – if we take things down to the most basic physical level of processes.  Maybe different parts of the brain, f' sure, maybe in different lobes or hemispheres, but all in the same kit’n’caboodle somewhere (The “clarification” of tentacles, portrait gazing or whatever is therefore superfluous to requirements as far as this goes.)  And although the rest of the paragraph may be regarded as at least partially true, how one can absolutely assert that e.g. [some]one [else]’s introspection in their own room is definitely without fail going, or not going, to do zip would actually be beyond that asserter’s subjective ken, d'you ken?  (Zip a dee doo - don't!)

"Los" wrote:
From what I can gather, Michael's conviction that the True Will is "cosmic" leads him to think that he can discover it by generating certain trance states through ritual. At other times, his writings suggest that there's nothing to discover at all, since we're all part of the waves of Maya, or whatever, and that "discovering the True Will" just means learning to see this and revel in the illusion. Those last two sentences can be viewed as two sides of the same coin: according to Staley's writings, "True Will" is some cosmic force or "cosmic consciousness" of which we are all parts (since he thinks "all is consciousness," apparently) and that by "attuning" ourselves to the cosmos through ritual, meditation, or maybe even reading Lovecraft stories, we can achieve a state of consciousness whereby we identify with "cosmic consciousness," enjoying the illusions thrown up on the shores of our minds by a consciousness greater than our own.

That last bit was actually rather funny.  Chortle...Guffaw.  (Lol Los! :D)

(♪  “ ‘BUT I GOT A KRISTL BOL!’, he said, an' held it to the light”,)
N-Joy


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soz
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24/04/2014 9:32 pm  

Los,

You're going to great lengths to make all kinds of claims about what Michael Staley is saying. It seems to me that you are grossly misrepresenting what he has written, repeatedly and unnecessarily. Perhaps I'm wrong about that, but I would like to see some direct quotes from his writings that you think support the assertions that you've made.


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jamie barter
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25/04/2014 11:03 am  
"soz" wrote:
Los,

You're going to great lengths to make all kinds of claims about what Michael Staley is saying. It seems to me that you are grossly misrepresenting what he has written, repeatedly and unnecessarily. Perhaps I'm wrong about that, but I would like to see some direct quotes from his writings that you think support the assertions that you've made.

Yes I would second that… there’s plenty of stuff (quotations) from the Master there but nothing from Michael’s end to back up what Los is saying.  Or maybe even using Ken's quotes as a half-way house.  No doubt Los can provide the evidence but, meanwhile we’re waiting
(♪ Still waiting... )

It would be superfluous of me to point out to everybody the heavyweight irony in that Los appears to be grousing & berating Michael at some length, as Soz avers above, for not having the common decency to give him a reply when he himself (Los that is) has been carrying out exactly the same type of response in his own treatment of yours truly but for a much longer period: evading issues with ‘ostrich’ or even poultry-like behaviour; side-tracking or otherwise dodging awkward questions which he might find somewhat difficult or compromising to answer; rendering verbatim or ersatz Simpsons (or Dawkins) material as his own instead of the real thing, etc, etc.  Who’s he jivin’?

♪  Now, is that a real poncho or is that a Sears poncho?
''' N Joy


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Anonymous
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26/04/2014 4:40 am  

I'm with Los on this one. Kill me, Fill me, do whatever the fuck you want.

Will is actionable.


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jamie barter
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28/04/2014 5:37 pm  

But Magickal, would you then be saying that any “action” taking place in one’s own home/ room doesn’t then count – as Los is - even if the action here can mean introspection, use of the imagination, meditation, fantasy even?  This too is “action” of a sort, although not necessarily of a dynamic or public variety.

In order for the will to work, surely it is not a totally dependent thing that one goes out into the “real world” (?) for necessary interactions to take place?  Does it therefore mean, then, that one cannot access one’s true will if one is engaged say upon a magical retirement?

Lots (more) Questions? [Hunchbacks] - not many Answers! [Soldiers]

“Hey that’s far out, you heard him too – That weren’t no dj that was hazy cosmic jive…
(There’s a star man
[spaceman] waiting in the sky…Let all the children boogie)” - D. Jones
‘N Joy

♪  Om Shantih!


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jamie barter
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29/04/2014 12:49 pm  

♪  “Ain’t this boogie a mess?”!
‘N Joy

(Btw, Isn’t it normally at around this point that some folk (like Az, for example) usually used to start to grumble about how bored they have got with all the pages and pages of rambling and off-topic self-indulgent egotism & give the call-to-arms (or armchairs) for all quick brown (and white, and yellow) folk to come to the aid of the party; to celebrate, to praise & to pass on the glad tidings in the name of – something or nothing.  Someone else (Shiva, for example) at this point might also complain about some real or imaginary infringement of the Guidelines of this noble website on behalf of the moderator, and so save him much administrative labour therein.  Maybe somebody else (one of their own supporters, possibly) might then possibly proceed to go on about any ad hominem type attacks (again, if there are any) made towards Los or Michael or somebody else and once again, magnanimously on their behalf.)

(But they won’t be me.)

Finally, please may I enquire of you, Lutz, have you decided to give up on this thread yet?  Nobody would blame you if you had, I feel!  I was just considering, as OP, whether you had decided to throw the oar in as it were (I’ve just remembered, the phrase is throw the towel in – but I think I’ll ‘let it stand’ on this occasion.  For some reason, “oar” sounds better!) 

David – to the rescue !?!


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Anonymous
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30/04/2014 3:44 am  
"jamie barter" wrote:
But Magickal, would you then be saying that any “action” taking place in one’s own home/ room doesn’t then count – as Los is - even if the action here can mean introspection, use of the imagination, meditation, fantasy even?  This too is “action” of a sort, although not necessarily of a dynamic or public variety.

In order for the will to work, surely it is not a totally dependent thing that one goes out into the “real world” (?) for necessary interactions to take place?  Does it therefore mean, then, that one cannot access one’s true will if one is engaged say upon a magical retirement?

Lots (more) Questions? [Hunchbacks] - not many Answers! [Soldiers]

“Hey that’s far out, you heard him too – That weren’t no dj that was hazy cosmic jive…
(There’s a star man
[spaceman] waiting in the sky…Let all the children boogie)” - D. Jones
‘N Joy

♪  Om Shantih!

I think that things done in one's own space, meditation, fantasy comprise elements of the True Will, which are then manifested through actions. Example being a writer, who contemplates a story or a philosophy, and then puts pen to paper or fingers to keyboard. The physical action is a necessary component of the Will to take shape. The action does not stand by itself, it is a result, but it is the action which causes the Will to manifest, doesn't it. Speech is a form of action in this regard as well. Is the 7 Layer of OSI Model applicable here as an analogy?


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Los
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30/04/2014 4:48 am  
"Magickal" wrote:
I think that things done in one's own space, meditation, fantasy comprise elements of the True Will, which are then manifested through actions. Example being a writer, who contemplates a story or a philosophy, and then puts pen to paper or fingers to keyboard.

There seems to be some confusion about the difference between practices to discover the True Will and practices to carry out the True Will.

Indeed, fantasizing may be part of someone carrying out the True Will, but what I was talking about earlier in this thread was the discovery of that Will, and no amount of fantasizing is going to get someone even a tiny bit closer to discovering his True Will, for the reasons that I was explaining.


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mika
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13/05/2014 12:50 am  
"Michael Staley" wrote:
"mika" wrote:
"True Will" isn't "who you are", it's what you choose to do.  It's a verb, not a noun. "True Will" doesn't exist in the past or the future, it is a condition of the present.  It can't be determined or identified once and for all time, it is recognized and accessed in the moment, every moment, so that one can act accordingly, in response to both one's natural inclinations and one's environment and circumstances.

Acting according to one's "True Will" is only equivalent to "simply doing what you want" if one has practiced enough that stripping the mind of delusions, illusions and shoulds has become a simple process. Otherwise, you're simply doing what you *think* you want, which is an entirely different action.

"Jason Resh" wrote:
The clarity comes from understanding your choices, and yourself, and accepting the circumstances of life itself as part of the picture.

Sure.  So then the question is how do you obtain that clarity?  One one hand, a person can spin stories about greater purpose, angelic assistance, hidden riddles, proof of attainment and such things. On the other hand, a person can learn to distinguish between their actual lived experiences, and the stories they tell themselves about those experiences, and thus learn to see through the filters to find and recognize their essential nature. 

If one has clarity, acting according to one's will is as effortless as breathing.  Achieving that clarity is where the work/magick is.

So how did you obtain that clarity, mika?

1. In the context of this conversation, speaking of obtaining clarity in the past tense makes no sense.  It is not something one achieves and then is done, it is a condition of the present. Every moment brings new illusions, every moment requires paying attention.  It is an act that is performed repeatedly, in every conscious moment.

2. For me, obtaining clarity is a practice of learning to distinguish between actual lived experiences, and the stories I tell myself about those experiences, and thus learning to find and recognize my essential nature.  Which you'd know if you read the words I wrote in the very post that you quoted.

3. A good start for you would be to actually pay attention.  For example, read the words in the posts you quote before asking follow up questions.  Oh, wait, were you just trolling me with sarcasm?  Yeah I'm going to assume you weren't. 


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arthuremerson
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13/05/2014 3:12 am  

mika,

1. What is a "conscious moment"? I seem to experience a continuity of consciousness that I can arbitrarily subdivide into moments.

2. For me, telling myself a story is an "actual lived experience". What is an "essential nature", i.e. where is it found and how is it recognized?

3. What ground is gained when we condescend another? You did speak of achieving clarity, after all.

Sincerely,
AE


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Azidonis
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13/05/2014 4:31 am  
"arthuremerson" wrote:
1. What is a "conscious moment"? I seem to experience a continuity of consciousness that I can arbitrarily subdivide into moments.

Ah, the gaps between the notes...

"arthuremerson" wrote:
2. For me, telling myself a story is an "actual lived experience". What is an "essential nature", i.e. where is it found and how is it recognized?

Natural vs Product of Thought


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Michael Staley
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13/05/2014 9:16 am  
"mika" wrote:
Oh, wait, were you just trolling me with sarcasm?  Yeah I'm going to assume you weren't. 

No, I wasn't "trolling you with sarcasm"; I was interested in what you had to say. Shame that this clarity of which you speak leaves your hostility in place.


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jamie barter
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13/05/2014 1:07 pm  
"Azidonis" wrote:
"arthuremerson" wrote:
1. What is a "conscious moment"? I seem to experience a continuity of consciousness that I can arbitrarily subdivide into moments.

Ah, the gaps between the notes...

Gaps between the notes?  The silences, or the aftertones and the echoes?  (Say, these minimal clipped answers by way of ‘discussion’ are fun!  Perhaps we should all carry on likewise – it’ll make for a lot shorter read!)

But what separates one moment from another?  Is it just that one thinks ‘differently’?  Are experienced moments like levels of quanta between which one jumps, with no smooth transition from one state into another? (Liber Pennae Praenumbra does rather profoundly mention, I feel, that the Abyss is crossed by such minute measures, every day.)

"arthuremerson" wrote:
2. For me, telling myself a story is an "actual lived experience". What is an "essential nature"?

The same as a “quintessential” nature, except not quite so much.

"arthuremerson" wrote:
i.e. where is it found

Where is it not found is more the question (=not),

"arthuremerson" wrote:
and how is it recognized?

And it would be recognized by already held criteria or beliefs by the individual concerned.

"arthuremerson" wrote:
3. What ground is gained when we condescend another? You did speak of achieving clarity, after all.

Like everything else, it will all depend upon the circumstances.  I suppose one could look on it a bit like “Have you come for the five minute argument, or the full half hour”!  (Say, these new style - ‘rhetorical’? - answers are so simple, anyone could do ‘em!  We could start a new vogue!!)

Briefly passing through town, whilst still proceeding on down -
N Joy 😉


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Azidonis
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13/05/2014 1:17 pm  
"jamie barter" wrote:
"Azidonis" wrote:
"arthuremerson" wrote:
1. What is a "conscious moment"? I seem to experience a continuity of consciousness that I can arbitrarily subdivide into moments.

Ah, the gaps between the notes...

Gaps between the notes?  The silences, or the aftertones and the echoes?  (Say, these minimal clipped answers by way of ‘discussion’ are fun!  Perhaps we should all carry on likewise – it’ll make for a lot shorter read!)

But what separates one moment from another?  Is it just that one thinks ‘differently’?  Are experienced moments like levels of quanta between which one jumps, with no smooth transition from one state into another? (Liber Pennae Praenumbra does rather profoundly mention, I feel, that the Abyss is crossed by such minute measures, every day.)

You'll have to find out for yourself, unless you are just speaking rhetorically, in which case the words are wasted.

It does no good at all to toss around such things haphazardly. Did you not notice that we recently had a thread in which someone wanted to lay down and sleep, and call it Samadhi?


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Shiva
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13/05/2014 3:43 pm  

The "gaps" or spaces in the (illusory) "continuity" of thought were promoted as a big deal by Deepak Chopra and elucidated by various authors as follows:

[/align:1gjus9e5]

"The antidote to thinking is to stop thinking altogether.  This is the alarmingly simple prescription of Buddhist meditation and it can only be achieved by focusing on the tiny, short gaps between our thoughts, which are like brief patches of blue sky between fast-moving clouds."

"In those gaps between our thoughts is the key to the next evolutionary step in human progress."

"I just finished the 21 Day Meditation Challenge by the Deepak Chopra Center and it was amazing. How about introducing her to meditation? While it can be fleeting, it's very energizing to reach the "gaps" between our thoughts."

"The mind exists only when there are thoughts. However, our train of thoughts moves so fast that it appears to take on an existence. It is only when we meditate that our thoughts begin to slow down and we are able to experience the silence or gaps between our thoughts. Then, we can see that the mind is made up of thoughts; the fluctuations in consciousness."


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jamie barter
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13/05/2014 4:18 pm  

There is also the connection between Thought Word and Deed as a continuum.

What is commonly thought of as thoughts consist largely of verbalisations – i.e., putting things into words so that everyone (including your own self) can relate to them via the common tool and transmitter of language.  Even if the thoughts themselves may be hardwired on a sub-conscious, autonomic level (as similarly with other mind-body processes such as breathing, pulse rate, hormone secretion etc) there will still be a large amount of mentation and putting into words along the lines of “it feels a bit nippy so I’ll put a jersey on”, “I’m a bit hungry so I’ll have a hot dog etc” (or a nut roast in deference to our vegan friends).  Many people even physically talk to themselves (perhaps to keep themselves company?!) 

Arguably the longer we go without having a word pop into our heads – far less so the extension of this, the “interior monologue stream of consciousness shopping list”- the less fazed we may become by the woes and worries of the wor[l]d.  We need to do without the Word intruding into the Gap.  The word is a bit of a tyrant, given 'half' the chance, as well as expressing as it does the wonderful creativity of Tahuti the magician & advancer of civilization.

Perhaps every time our mind conceives of a word, or even the thought of it, we ought to apply the razor blade?! 

"Shiva" wrote:
"I just finished the 21 Day Meditation Challenge by the Deepak Chopra Center and it was amazing.

This reminds me of the ads you used to see at the back of self improvement magazines advertising symposia or workshops or something - next to the ones of Charles Atlas getting sand kicked into his face as a seven stone weakling - & the promise that you too can take part in a deeply amazing transformational challenge and become a NEW YOU!! (Having some moolah about your person may of course come in handy…)

Economising on the Word,
N Joy


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Shiva
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13/05/2014 8:56 pm  
"jamie barter" wrote:
... the “interior monologue stream of consciousness ...

Right!   I've always seen/heard it as the "internal dialog," which, of course, implies that we are answering the "monologe" and (thus) we are actually talking to ourselves. As long as it remains "internal/interior" it can be considered "normal." But if we tell anyone that we are hearing voices, or if we reply out loud ("he's talking to himself"), then someone is liable to call for the psychiatrist. The Buddhists call this never ending dialog/monoloque "monkey mind."

This reminds me of the ads you used to see at the back of self improvement magazines...

Yes, it does. We might well be suspicious as Chopra's tricks and techniques don't seem to actually lead to enlightenment among the folks who attend. I've attended three lectures by Deepak (The College of Oriental Medicine that I worked for used to hire him, at great expense, $10,000 per hour I think, to be the keynote speaker at it's annual symposium). I was always amazed at the man's ability to start talking, and then weave a verbal spell and tie it all together at the end - of the hour - so that one felt like enlightenment was just around the corner, and the whole audience wandered off in a state of minor bliss. I even actually heard him in person say that we "attained" (or whatever) by tuning in to the the gaps between our thoughts.

Alas!  The whole idea of many techniques is to stop the mind. Okay. But the problem is, the mind always starts up again. Anyone who seems to have freed themselves from their mind, also seems to have it done to them, and not to have succeeded because of some technique that they practiced. The exception to this concept is, of course, that any one of us have temporarily managed to "attain" to a temporary state of mind stoppage; it's called dhyana or samadhi, but then the mind starts up again.

So I guess Deepak was a big winner in the Spiritual Con scam (at $10,000 per hour)(maybe it was only $8,000 - I don't want to exaggerate here).

Maybe I'm wrong. If anyone knows of some participant who "attained" permanent, mind-stopping enlightenment by following some guru's technique or advice, please speak up ... externally, via post.

But please don't try to con us all by quoting something you read somewhere.


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Los
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15/05/2014 6:05 am  
"Shiva" wrote:
If anyone knows of some participant who "attained" permanent, mind-stopping enlightenment

The goal isn't to stop thought entirely. The goal is to avoid getting *fooled* by thoughts, which represent reality but are not, themselves, reality.


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wellreadwellbred
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15/05/2014 1:36 pm  
"Jason Resh" wrote:
Without a spiritual aspect to the True Will, it is reduced to just some "biological tendency", and the question arises, why should we just follow some inherent set of preferences? What purpose does it serve?
"Los" wrote:
It doesn't serve any purpose at all. It just is what it is.
"Los" wrote:
http://www.heruraha.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=13451&view=next --- in the thread "Liber Legis Contradiction?": "The division of the flux of reality into “self” and “not self” (composed of all kinds of “things”) is what makes experience possible in the first place. According to the Book of the Law, this is the entire purpose of manifestation, for that totality (Nuit) to produce the illusion of separateness so as to enjoy experience. That’s why experience is called “love” in Thelema: every experience is the union of an aspect of possibility with one particular point-of-view that has been draped with the illusion of separateness."

Los, you claim that according to The Book of the Law, the entire purpose of manifestation, is for the totality of the flux of reality (Nuit) to produce the illusion of separateness so as to enjoy experience. For the sake of clarity, do you Los believe that there is sufficient evidence for said purpose?


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Azidonis
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15/05/2014 2:00 pm  
"wellreadwellbred" wrote:
the totality of the flux of reality (Nuit) to produce the illusion of separateness

ie. division


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Los
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15/05/2014 3:17 pm  
"wellreadwellbred" wrote:
Los, you claim that according to The Book of the Law, the entire purpose of manifestation, is for the totality of the flux of reality (Nuit) to produce the illusion of separateness so as to enjoy experience. For the sake of clarity, do you Los believe that there is sufficient evidence for said purpose?

Well, it’s a metaphor, not a statement of literal fact. You do realize that the universe doesn’t literally “enjoy” things, right? Enjoyment is something that happens in minds, and the universe – as far as we know – doesn’t have one.

That’s why I prefaced what I said with “According to the Book of the Law.”


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the_real_simon_iff
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15/05/2014 6:42 pm  

93, Los!

I kind of lost interest in this thread - or better: I had more important stuff to do - and so far I wasn't able to find out about your fixation on materialistic ("scientific") world views or your disgust of "supernatural" world views apart from that being only your fixation, or maybe your ... True Will to do so?

The methods of discovering and carrying out your true will are not testable/repeatable/quantifiable by anyone else than yourself - and I don't think this is "bad", but I thought I might read something about "real" biological/psychological/neuro-scientific data which support your stance on the "True Will" - and not only that it (in your view) was the way Crowley understood it; for - as you know - he also said some really other-sounding stuff as well. Anyway, I might get back to this when I have the time again - there's quite a lot more happening at the moment that requires my attention.

But I just thought I kick this ball in to the game again:

"Los" wrote:
without a really broad exposure to a different range of activities -- and a relatively broad education providing exposure to options and avenues of activity -- you're just restricting yourself.

Do you want to say with this that it is your own choice ("self-restriction") when you are unable for any reason to expose yourself to different ranges of activities or to education?

Love=Law
Lutz


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wellreadwellbred
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15/05/2014 6:52 pm  
"Los" wrote:
"wellreadwellbred" wrote:
Los, you claim that according to The Book of the Law, the entire purpose of manifestation, is for the totality of the flux of reality (Nuit) to produce the illusion of separateness so as to enjoy experience. For the sake of clarity, do you Los believe that there is sufficient evidence for said purpose?

Well, it’s a metaphor, not a statement of literal fact. You do realize that the universe doesn’t literally “enjoy” things, right? Enjoyment is something that happens in minds, and the universe – as far as we know – doesn’t have one.

That’s why I prefaced what I said with “According to the Book of the Law.”

OK, so you do not believe there is sufficient evidence for said purpose: "[...] the universe – as far as we know – doesn’t have one." 

In what The Book of the Law-verse or The Book of the Law-verses, or The Book of the Law-verse-commentary by Aleister Crowley, or The Book of the Law-commentary by Aleister Crowley, do you find it to be most clearly expressed that according to The Book of the Law, the entire purpose of manifestation, is for the totality of the flux of reality (Nuit) to produce the illusion of separateness so as to enjoy experience?


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Los
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15/05/2014 7:17 pm  
"the_real_simon_iff" wrote:
I kind of lost interest in this thread - or better: I had more important stuff to do

Do whatever you want. The conversation likely wouldn't be for your benefit anyway. But if you're not willing to put effort into the conversation, I'm unlikely to be so willing in return.

"Los" wrote:
without a really broad exposure to a different range of activities -- and a relatively broad education providing exposure to options and avenues of activity -- you're just restricting yourself.

Do you want to say with this that it is your own choice ("self-restriction") when you are unable for any reason to expose yourself to different ranges of activities or to education?

I don't understand your question. Could you rephrase it and provide a concrete example of what you're talking about?


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Los
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15/05/2014 7:23 pm  
"wellreadwellbred" wrote:
OK, so you do not believe there is sufficient evidence for said purpose: "[...] the universe – as far as we know – doesn’t have one."

That's a misleading way to phrase it. Like I said, the image of Nuit creating individuality for the purpose of enjoyment is a metaphor, not a factual claim. As a result, the concept of "sufficient evidence" doesn't apply to it. You're asking the wrong question. 

In what The Book of the Law-verse or The Book of the Law-verses, or The Book of the Law-verse-commentary by Aleister Crowley, or The Book of the Law-commentary by Aleister Crowley, do you find it to be most clearly expressed that according to The Book of the Law, the entire purpose of manifestation, is for the totality of the flux of reality (Nuit) to produce the illusion of separateness so as to enjoy experience?

The most obvious ones are these:

"28. None, breathed the light, faint & faery, of the stars, and two.

29. For I am divided for love's sake, for the chance of union.

30. This is the creation of the world, that the pain of division is as nothing, and the joy of dissolution all." -- AL I:28-30

"Why are we told that the Khabs is in the Khu, not the Khu in the Khabs? Did we then suppose the converse? I think that we are warned against the idea of a Pleroma, a flame of which we are Sparks, and to which we return when we 'attain'. That would indeed be to make the whole curse of separate existence ridiculous, a senseless and inexcusable folly. It would throw us back on the dilemma of Manichaeism. The idea of incarnations "perfecting" a thing originally perfect by definition is imbecile. The only sane solution is as given previously, to suppose that the Perfect enjoys experience of (apparent) Imperfection." -- New Comment to AL I:8


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the_real_simon_iff
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16/05/2014 11:50 am  

93!

"Los" wrote:
I don't understand your question. Could you rephrase it and provide a concrete example of what you're talking about?

Well, you write:

"Los" wrote:
without a really broad exposure to a different range of activities -- and a relatively broad education providing exposure to options and avenues of activity -- you're just restricting yourself.

So, for example someone living in a very remote or secluded place, or is handicapped, or he/she (his/her family) cannot afford a relatively broad education, you think that this SOMEONE is restricting HIM/HERSELF?

Love=Law
Lutz


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the_real_simon_iff
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16/05/2014 11:58 am  

93!

"Los" wrote:
if you're not willing to put effort into the conversation, I'm unlikely to be so willing in return.

Well, I thought I mentioned that I currently don't have the time to put effort into the conversation and might get back when this changes, but if for you that means I am unwilling to do so, and moreover you already know what is beneficial to me, you seem unable to overcome your arrogant presumptions about what your discussing "opponents" think - not for the first time.

Anyway, I'll come back to this thread when time permits and then I will see who's still there...

Love=Law
Lutz


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Los
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16/05/2014 3:26 pm  
"the_real_simon_iff" wrote:
So, for example someone living in a very remote or secluded place, or is handicapped, or he/she (his/her family) cannot afford a relatively broad education, you think that this SOMEONE is restricting HIM/HERSELF?

Ok, that's much clearer.

Above, I was talking about someone who has the means of broadly educating himself or herself (and becoming exposed to a variety of circumstances) and deliberately chooses not to. Someone who makes that deliberate choice would indeed be restricting himself or herself.

Someone who is completely physically unable to do these things can still discover and carry out his or her True Will as best as he or she can in that particular circumstance, but without a good working knowledge of the terrain (in this case, the terrain of reality) -- which is gained by education and broad experience -- the individual may find it difficult to navigate that terrain in a satisfactory manner.

Individuals may want to improve their circumstances as best they can. In today's day and age, "education" does not necessarily mean a formal one. With resources of the internet, public library, educational documentaries, and tons more, a bright and dedicated individual can learn, on his or her own, more about the world than most people knew even a generation or two ago. Indeed, even students at formal colleges and universities will have to do a great deal of learning on their own. Schools and teachers point the way, but all education is ultimately self-education. Experience might be a little more tricky to come by, but most clever individuals can find ways to get "out of their comfort zone" no matter what circumstances they face.


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the_real_simon_iff
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16/05/2014 3:40 pm  

93!

"Los" wrote:
Above, I was talking about someone who has the means of broadly educating himself or herself (and becoming exposed to a variety of circumstances) and deliberately chooses not to. Someone who makes that deliberate choice would indeed be restricting himself or herself.

Well, thanks, it wasn't so clear in your original post.

In which - by the way - you critisize as usual "introspective work" in "your own room" and then go ahead to state that "discovering the true will hapens in the midst of activity". Wouldn't you call all your methods to discover the true will nothing more but "introspective work" (maybe in the midst of some obscure "activity") with all the known dangers and criticisms of introspection among psychologists and scientists? Do you think the kind of introspection you speak of is more reliable or trustworthy (because of the "brutal honesty" involved - gulp!) or would you say that your methods of self-observation, mind-stilling, veil-shifting and what not is not a form of introspection?

Love=Law
Lutz


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Los
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16/05/2014 8:15 pm  
"the_real_simon_iff" wrote:
you critisize as usual "introspective work" in "your own room" and then go ahead to state that "discovering the true will hapens in the midst of activity". Wouldn't you call all your methods to discover the true will nothing more but "introspective work"

The distinction I was drawing was the difference between, on the one hand, paying attention to oneself having fantasies and, on the other hand, paying attention to oneself doing stuff other than having fantasies.

So, as examples of the former, one can indeed pay attention to oneself while having a fantasy in which one pretends to be "communicating" with some kind of "praeterhuman intelligence." Or one can pay attention to oneself while having a fantasy in which one "projects" into the eyes of a painting of an alien and then imagines what some "other world" must look like. Or one can pay attention to oneself while pretending to be "invoking" various gods. Or one can pay attention to oneself while imagining how one would react in a number of real life scenarios.

All of the above, I would say, is close to useless in discovering the True Will, if not entirely useless. There are two reasons I say that. The first is that a lot of people in those situations don't observe themselves at all: they just pay attention to their fantasies. The second is that even those people who have trained themselves to observe the self in those situations are only learning how the self reacts to fantasies, which might be useful in some limited circumstances but really fails to give a full understanding of that person's Will. It would be like paying attention to the self while eating types of oatmeal -- and only while eating types of oatmeal -- again and again and again. Well, you'll quickly learn which oatmeal the self likes best, but that's hardly going to have a stunning impact on one's life. 

More broadly, paying attention to mental phantoms, illusions created by the mind, is kind of awful practice because the mind is *already* conditioned to pay more attention to its imaginary representations than to reality. It's valuable practice to try to break that conditioning, and you can really only do that by forcing yourself to pay attention to real stuff, by shutting off your mind and steadfastly observing, consistently bringing your attention back to the present moment.

Again, the True Will resides underneath these phantoms, underneath consciousness and its illusions. Looking into the contents of the mind -- by, for example, looking into the content of the imagination -- is looking in the wrong direction.

A better practice -- but not necessarily a whole lot better -- would be stilling the mind and observing the self in the quiet of one's own room. No fantasies, no mental creations. Just observe the self sitting there and breathing. Consistently bring the attention back to reality.

That's all well and good -- and it is a much better kind of practice in that it improves one's attention -- but that, all by itself, isn't going to cause someone to discover the True Will. Discovering the True Will is just not the sort of thing you can do by sitting in a room.

In order to discover the Will, one must practice that kind of focused attention in the midst of actual activity, including -- especially at first -- new and different kinds of activities, especially those that get one outside of one's (often incorrectly judged) "comfort zone."

You're just not going to discover your True Will by sitting around and telling yourself stories about the kind of person you are. You won't discover much of anything by learning that you like fantasies of activities X and Y and just assuming that it's probably your Will to do activities X and Y. Until you actually go out and do X and Y (along with Z, Q, R, and lots and lots of other kinds of activities) and observe how you actually do react to those situations -- as opposed to how you think you're going to react to those situations -- you haven't discovered very much at all.

Of course what I'm describing is a kind of introspection, but it's a kind of introspection that's operating on a much broader base of much, much, much better evidence.

all the known dangers and criticisms of introspection among psychologists and scientists

Anyone who tries to gain self knowledge is in danger of making mistakes, and of course someone who's actually trying to do a good job of it will try to catch and correct those mistakes wherever possible. But pretending that self knowledge can be equated with fantasies basically guarantees that one will be making mistakes, and accepting half-baked platitudes like "All existence is consciousness," or whatever, is just going to make it harder, if not impossible, to catch and correct those mistakes.


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wellreadwellbred
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17/05/2014 12:48 am  
"Los" wrote:
Anyone who tries to gain self knowledge is in danger of making mistakes, and of course someone who's actually trying to do a good job of it will try to catch and correct those mistakes wherever possible. But pretending that self knowledge can be equated with fantasies basically guarantees that one will be making mistakes, and accepting half-baked platitudes like "All existence is consciousness," or whatever, is just going to make it harder, if not impossible, to catch and correct those mistakes.

So you disagree with that the interplay of Nuit and Hadit gives rise to the Principle of Consciousness which governs existence? (Source: http://oto-usa.org/thelema/theology/)


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Los
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17/05/2014 5:06 am  
"wellreadwellbred" wrote:
So you disagree with that the interplay of Nuit and Hadit gives rise to the Principle of Consciousness which governs existence? (Source: http://oto-usa.org/thelema/theology/)

I disagree with a lot of the OTO's "theology."


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Michael Staley
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17/05/2014 7:49 am  
"Los" wrote:
"wellreadwellbred" wrote:
So you disagree with that the interplay of Nuit and Hadit gives rise to the Principle of Consciousness which governs existence? (Source: http://oto-usa.org/thelema/theology/)

I disagree with a lot of the OTO's "theology."

They must be quaking in their boots.


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the_real_simon_iff
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17/05/2014 11:52 am  

93, Los!

Well, to me, introspection is introspection, and leaving aside the 0.1 % of people who really fantasize about giant squids from space ruling the universe there seems to be no difference in fantasies about "all existence is consciousness" or fantasies about one's "actual reactions to different situations". Fantasies are fantasies, you cannot be aware of them. Your mind is the only one in charge and no outside person can verify the "truth" or "honesty" of your observations. It's all "new age" or "buddhist" methods that cannot be measured or verified on a scientific basis.

Unfortunately I gotta leave again, see ya later.

Love=Law
Lutz


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lashtal
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17/05/2014 2:31 pm  
"Los" wrote:
I disagree with a lot of the OTO's "theology."

That's as maybe, Los, but do 'you disagree with that the interplay of Nuit and Hadit gives rise to the Principle of Consciousness which governs existence'? That seems fairly fundamental to me, to be honest!

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Los
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17/05/2014 4:04 pm  
"the_real_simon_iff" wrote:
there seems to be no difference in fantasies about "all existence is consciousness" or fantasies about one's "actual reactions to different situations". Fantasies are fantasies

Exactly. Having a fantasy about going into some mystical trance where "all is one" and having a fantasy about "the kind of person I am" based on how you think you'll react to a situation are equally fantasy and equally useless for helping you discover the True Will.

It's paying attention to how you actually react in the moment that does the trick.

If you don't think there's a qualitative, detectable difference between fantasy and actual reaction, then you're suggesting that it's impossible to discover the True Will and thus impossible to practice Thelema.


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Los
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17/05/2014 4:17 pm  
"lashtal" wrote:
do 'you disagree with that the interplay of Nuit and Hadit gives rise to the Principle of Consciousness which governs existence'? That seems fairly fundamental to me, to be honest!

It depends on exactly what is meant by the "Principle of Consciousness." Wellread posed that question to me in response to my denying the belief that "all is consciousness," so I took it to mean that he thought "Principle of Consciousness" referred to that kind of belief.

I mean, obviously the interplay of Nuit and Hadit give rise to Heru-ra-ha according to the Book of the Law. The question is what exactly that means, or rather what exactly those images are symbols for. If by "Principle of Consciousness" they mean that HRH represents the True Self and that in this aeon the "principle" governing behavior is that the True Self and its inclinations should direct the individual (as opposed to, say, the principle that people should follow some kind of specific ideal of behavior, as in the previous aeon)...then sure, I agree with that. If, on the other hand, by "Principle of Consciousness" they mean that "all is consciousness," then I disagree with that.


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Los
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17/05/2014 4:19 pm  
"Michael Staley" wrote:
"Los" wrote:
"wellreadwellbred" wrote:
So you disagree with that the interplay of Nuit and Hadit gives rise to the Principle of Consciousness which governs existence? (Source: http://oto-usa.org/thelema/theology/)

I disagree with a lot of the OTO's "theology."

They must be quaking in their boots.

I see you've got a lot to add to the conversation, as usual.


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Hamal
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17/05/2014 6:34 pm  

I disagree with the laws of gravity, I find them oppressive!  😛

😀
93
Hamal


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Azidonis
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17/05/2014 6:56 pm  
"Hamal" wrote:
I disagree with the laws of gravity, I find them oppressive!  😛

Dear Hamal,

Tough shit. 😀

Love,

Gravity


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Hamal
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17/05/2014 8:26 pm  
"Azidonis" wrote:
"Hamal" wrote:
I disagree with the laws of gravity, I find them oppressive!  😛

Dear Hamal,

Tough shit. 😀

Love,

Gravity

LOL! Exactly!  😉

😀
93
Hamal


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