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Thelema-like qualities of Thelema?

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ianrons
(@ianrons)
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zardoz,

"zardoz" wrote:
"ianrons" wrote:
but that Crowley specifically denied the student the right to rationally criticize him and his doctrine.

I'm sure you can find a quote to substantiate your statement. Crowley contradicted himself quite a bit, possibly as a means for students to not blindly and unquestioningly accept everything he said, but rather to learn to think for themselves. Liber Oz clearly and unequivocally allows criticism of himself and his doctrine.

One only needs to refer to Class 'A' texts such as Liber AL and its Comment for this. Firstly, the prophet is placed above all other men and women in various places in respect of understanding and attainment: "thou hast all in the clear light", "thy stature shall surpass the stars", etc. AC also enacted this in his own life with his claim to 10=1 attainment, which effectively means he could do no wrong. You are "not so chosen" and can only "worship" the prophet, etc.

As for the doctrine, Liber AL specifically denies the value of reason in religious matters ("reason is a lie"), and this is reflected in AC's own comments about it, and the fact that AC was the only person allowed to comment on Liber AL with any authority, as stated in Liber AL and reflected in the Comment. You don't even have the right to decide for yourself "questions of the Law" except by appeal to what Crowley wrote about it: "All questions of the Law are to be decided only by appeal to my writings".

In other words, you can interpret things within very specific parameters (which "necessarily demands supreme human scholarship"), but you can't contradict or even criticize his doctrine; and consequently not him either, because that very doctrine sets him up above everyone else: you would only be criticizing your own limited notion of the prophet ("the demon Crowley"), and therefore any criticism would be fatuous.

Thelema is clearly intended to be a communication from a praeternatural intelligence which students can only hope to understand, not criticize:

63. The fool readeth this Book of the Law and its comment & he understandeth it not.
64. Let him come through the first ordeal & it will be to him as silver.
65. Through the second, gold.
66. Through the third, stones of precious water.
67. Through the fourth, ultimate sparks of the intimate fire.
68. Yet to all it shall seem beautiful. Its enemies who say not so are mere liars.

And here is part of AC's commentary on III:68:

It sounds as though the scribe had protested violently in his mind against the chapter, and was especially aggrieved at the first paragraph of this verse, which, taken at its face value, promises a phenomenon impossible in literature. The second phrase may then be a contemptuous slap at the scribe who was perhaps thinking "Well, it seems otherwise to me, for one!" and the hit was a bull's eye; for I was a mere liar when I thought it. I was so enraged at having engaged myself on such an adventure, so hated "the hand and the pen" which I pledged to transcribe sentiments so repugnant to mine, such a jargon of absurdities and vulgarities as seemed to me displayed in many parts of this third chapter, that I would have gone to almost any length, short of deliberate breach of my thoughtless promise to my wife to see it through, to discredit the Book. I did deface my diaries with senseless additions; I did carry out my orders in such a way as to ensure failure, I did lose the Manuscript more or less purposely. I did threaten to publish the Book 'to get rid of it'; and at this verse I was one of the 'mere liars'. For its Beauty already constrained even the world-infected man, the nigh-disillusioned poet, the clinker-clogged lover, the recusant mystic. And, as I know now, the thought that all these things were myself was a lie. Yet the Liar was at pains to lie to itself! Why did it so? It knew that one day this Book would shine out and dissolve it; it feared and hated the Book; and, gnashing its teeth, swore falsely, and denied the Beauty that bound it.
As for my true Self, silent abiding its hour, is not this Book to it the very incarnation of Beauty? What is Beauty but the perfect expression of one's own Truth? And is not this Book the Word of Aiwaz, and is not He mine Holy Guardian Angel, the master of my Silent Self, His virgin bride on whom His love hath wrought the mystery of Identity?

There's obviously a lot more to it than this, for anyone with the patience to go over AC's various remarks on his prophet status and so on, but I am reminded once again that – even more forcefully than for himself, and much later in life – he denied the right of others to criticize or alter Thelema, or interpret it where that interpretation differed from his own, as in the letter he wrote to Germer IIRC with his comments on Grosche's version of Thelema, saying that they weren't entitled to use a heterodox interpretation of it and that IIRC "it all comes back to me" (as prophet).

He also stated: "It is proper to obey The Beast, because His Law is pure Freedom, and He will give no command which is other than a Right Interpretation of this Freedom."

In other words, he's right and you're wrong: he has been given a charter from the Gods to deliver a certain message, and anyone who disagrees is either a fool or a liar. Obviously, plenty of people like to take DWTW and ignore the bits they don't like; but that's not "Thelema". And by the way, I'm not saying I agree with Crowley (I don't): I'm merely outlining his position as I see it, although if you follow his rules then you are entitled to disagree with me, but only by reference to AC's own interpretation of Thelema.


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Azidonis
(@azidonis)
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"wellredwellbred" wrote:
But on the other hand, Patriarch156's argument - mentioned in the quote at the bottom of this posting - about the kind of Thelema Crowley envisioned fulfilling nine out of ten factors in a research proven ten-factor model for managing to gain success, success in terms of becoming a mass movement, this argument is presented both as a congent or valid argument, and as an argument having much practical significance or relevance.

In connection with the just mentioned valid, practically significant and relevant argument, is also added as an observation - also mentioned in the quote at the bottom of this posting - that nearly all of the Thelemites Patriarch156 have met, adhers to a kind of Thelema that "filfils barely one if that" of the already mentioned research proven ten-factor model for managing to gain success, success in terms of becoming a mass movement.

If Patriach156's just mentioned observation were to through extensive research be documented, this would with a higher degree of accuracy, get closer to nailing down a lack of nearly all of the scientifically proven qualities required for a movement to succeed as a mass movement, to be an inherent quality in the kind of Thelema common or popular among the greater majority of current Thelemites and/or persons attracted to Thelema.

Thus "my"* hypothesis is, that an inherent quality in the kind of Thelema common or popular among the greater majority of current Thelemites and/or persons attracted to Thelema, is a lack of nearly all of the scientifically proven qualities required for a movement to succeed as a mass movement. A hypothesis that it should be possible to confirm through extensive research, even by researchers "carrying a clipboard" Camlion ;), and without making the respondents/sources feeling to much like "lab-rats." πŸ™‚

*By the way, such research would likely have to contain a note of thanks to Patriach156, for inspiring it.

"wellredwellbred" wrote:
The following quotes below are from a posting posted May 19, 2010 - 11:20 PM on page five in the thread, by Patriarch156, in reply to my following question:

"Are there other religions with the 'non preaching' quality of Thelema that you also mention, that - in a sociologically significant sense - are expanding fast in terms of membership numbers?."

"Patriarch156" wrote:
The findings of Rodney Stark (among others) indicates that religions manage to gain success to the extent that they adhere to a ten-factor model. Among these factors are of course missionary work of one kind or another, but the chief factor involved is making something known which generates the possibility of creating social ties with the new community. Bribing, preaching and doctrine itself has very little to do with it.
"Patriarch156" wrote:
Whether or not his adherents actually followed up on the kind of religion he envisioned (but in practice to his own constant whining lament never followed through with) is another question of course, and the answer would be no which explains to a large extent the anemic state that Thelema still exists in after nearly hundred years of existence. But the fact remains, the kind of Thelema Crowley envisioned fulfills nine out of the ten factors, even if the kind of Thelema that a nearly everyone I have met adheres to filfils barely one if that. So it is no wonder that we are met with failure, in fact the most successful model for predicting success among new religious movements predicts so.

From the above two quotes can on the one hand be derived that an inherent quality of Crowley's envisioned Thelema, is that it fulfills nine out of ten factors in a research proven ten-factor model for managing to gain success.

On the other hand can from the last of the above two quotes be derived that an inherent quality in "the kind of Thelema that a nearly everyone" Patriarch156 "have met adheres to filfils barely one if that", of the ten factors in a research proven ten-factor model for managing to gain success. In respect of this thread's title "Thelema-like qualities of Thelema?", and of what was just derived from the two quotes above, Thelema very vidly defined, seems to similarily contain among its qualities, nearly all of the qualities required for it to succeed as a mass movement, and nearly non of the qualities required for it to succeed as a mass movement.

Go figure.:idea::?:

93,

The charge:

"Camlion" wrote:
Patriarch156: As you are a widely recognized authority on Aleister Crowley, I very cordially invite you to make the same effort with respect to Crowley's own ideas regarding the political application of the Law of Thelema, should you feel so inclined. That would be very helpful, IMO.

Aside from this being an invitation, or more specifically, Camlion asking Patriarch156 very formally to join the discussion, Camlion also stated that Patriarch156 is a "widely recognized authority on Aleister Crowley".

There is a point to be made in this, being that I have known Cam since 1996 and know him to not be a bullshitter. That part is subjective. Camlion's work since 1996 can be viewed objectively with a scientific lens that will prove that he is not a bullshitter. Thus, Cam can beyond a doubt be considered qualified to say that Patriarch156 is a "widely recognized authority". That he says this, added to the fact that he asked Patriarch156 so formally, indicates a high level of respect from one non-bullshitter to another. Recognizing him as an authority is an even deeper concept, as his responses, while they may be made in the same general wording as others, hold more weight than the average joe, say myself. It is the difference between a Grad student teaching a class, and taking the same class with a teacher who has a Ph.D. The one bearing the Ph.D. is an authority, while the grad student is still working his way up the food chain.

The question:

"Camlion" wrote:
Patriarch156, I realize that this calls for some guesswork on your part, but I am wondering what percentage of the total number of people interested in Thelema view it as a religious movement in the way that Crowley did, in your 'guestimation'?

The qualification:

"Patriarch156" wrote:
After having worked as a Clinical Psychologist for over a decade my view is that the average human being is about as self-aware as the average duck (IMO of course).

A statement made in jest, but nonetheless we know that Patriarch has at least 10 years experience as a practicing Clinical Psychologist. This can be added to his, "widely recognized authority on Aleister Crowley" resume.

The answers:

"Patriarch156" wrote:
I can only speak of my own experience and I can easily say that seven out of ten people that I have spoken with do not really view Thelema as Crowley did.

In his (professional) experience, 7/10 people don't view Thelema as Crowley did. This statement can be considered in two deductive ways.

1) Deductively, 7/10 people that Patriarch156, as an authority, has interacted with about Thelema do not view it as Crowley did. This speaks for for the sample size he has worked with thus far, and we do not have that data. It could be 10 or 10,000, but we will assume at least ten.

2) Also deductively, his sample size is not the entire population of Thelemites. Therefore, while his argument may be valid, it is unsound.

(An apology for the previous "uncogent" remark. As I understand it statistical statements are dealt with deductively only, not inductively.)

Conclusion:

Statement 1 is deductive, valid, and sound, when taken to represent only those people he has interacted with on the specified level.

Statement 2 is deductive, valid, and unsound, seeing that those same numbers, which may indeed be representative of a very large or small population of Thelemites, do not represent the entire population of Thelemites.

Thus, in his own words,

"Patriarch156" wrote:
I have however neither met enough Thelemites to make claim that it is a representative group nor conducted any scientific surveys on it and as such it would be folly to attempt to make any generalisations, let alone guestimations.
"Patriarch156" wrote:
Whether or not this makes them members of a religious movement or not is entirely a different question (I am only qualifying this because of your insistance of religious, magical and secular Thelema). In fact, thpugh many of them imagine that they are not religious, my impression is that most of them are some of the most religious (and superstitious I might add) persons I have met.

This above, we have agreed is the proper way to end his assertion, acknowledging that the larger argument is unsound.

Part II:

Recruitment happens slowly over time and depends on the extent that one creates social ties with the group in question. When this happens one slowly integrates/aligns ones values and ideas with that of the group in question. This holds true for all groups, be their religious, political or even hobby-based (like comics).

Notice how Thelema recruits, and it may give an indication of the actual lack of numbers of Thelemites. Add to that the success/failure rate of some practices, and the numbers shrink even more.

"Patriarch156" wrote:
The findings of Rodney Stark (among others) indicates that religions manage to gain success to the extent that they adhere to a ten-factor model. Among these factors are of course missionary work of one kind or another, but the chief factor involved is making something known which generates the possibility of creating social ties with the new community. Bribing, preaching and doctrine itself has very little to do with it.

Notice one authority quoting another. If we need to know this "ten-factor model" we will have to inquire Rodney Stark's work. Patriarch156 says that one of the main factors is missionary work, which he has proven elsewhere in this thread that it isn't exactly going door-to-door that qualifies as missionary work. A lecture or seminar is also a form of it.

Whether or not his adherents actually followed up on the kind of religion he envisioned (but in practice to his own constant whining lament never followed through with) is another question of course, and the answer would be no which explains to a large extent the anemic state that Thelema still exists in after nearly hundred years of existence.

This is a statement saying that in Thelema is not performing one of these factors appropriately, which is missionary work. That is, the promulgation of the Law of Thelema to the world in one form or another. This goes back to my own assertion in the Petitioning the A:.A:. thread which was met with so much resistance. ie. my whole 'potato salad analogy'.

"Patriarch156" wrote:
But the fact remains, the kind of Thelema Crowley envisioned fulfills nine out of the ten factors,

This statement says that Crowley envisioned Thelema as fulfilling nine out of ten factors. What this statement seems to indicate, since Crowley clearly envisioned some form of missionary work, as Patriarch156 pointed out with reference to Liber CCC, then missionary work is possibly one of these nine of ten factors that Crowley envisioned.

Notice that Patriarch156 goes on to say:

"Patriarch156" wrote:
even if the kind of Thelema that a nearly everyone I have met adheres to filfils barely one if that.

That is, one of the nine factors, out of ten, in the model for successful religious movements.

"Patriarch156" wrote:
So it is no wonder that we are met with failure, in fact the most successful model for predicting success among new religious movements predicts so.

He states that according to the model, since the majority of Thelemites, ie. a large part of the Thelemic movement, only fulfills 1/10 of the model, it is not surprising that Thelema is not yet considered a major world religion.

93 93/93

P.S. The quote feature is win. Thank you for making me sift through 3 various pages on this thread to point out this stuff, and might I add...

"Patriarch156" wrote:
You have a history of quoting out of context in the past, but this really strains my ability to believe that you do this so innocently as you have claimed in the past.

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 Anonymous
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Here is a thought.
You are not qualified to interpret the book of the saw because, YOU DID NOT WRITE THE DAMN THING.

Crowley alone wrote the Damned thing, and thus he alone known what he meant and what he did not mean. (Especially since many of the lines are written strangely, imply mysteries, and secret codes, which if you are not a Master in cryptology you have no means to decipher, and since the code is more often than not, some idiosyncratic idea that Crowley alone understands, some complex mystical idea, not properly expressible in linear terms but knowable by direct Gnosis or Samadhi beyond words. That means only the MASTER (Author) can guide you to the proper understanding of his statements.)

As to Crowley Comment, to burn the copy or else became a center of pestilence.

It is quite clear that Crowley believed those whom the book of the Law appeals would rise up and follow him, against all other people on earth to establish an army of the chosen. Those who have any hesitation against the book are asked to burn it, rather than to accept it luke warm and in rationalize their hesitations and parts they dislike about the book by personal interpretations, against the WILL of himself as the general of that Jihad. (The GREAT BEAST who wages war against the followers of Christ)


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Azidonis
(@azidonis)
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93,

"name538" wrote:
Here is a thought.
You are not qualified to interpret the book of the saw because, YOU DID NOT WRITE THE DAMN THING.

So much yelling... so much CONVICTION. I love it. πŸ™‚

Crowley alone wrote the Damned thing, and thus he alone known what he meant and what he did not mean. (Especially since many of the lines are written strangely, imply mysteries, and secret codes, which if you are not a Master in cryptology you have no means to decipher, and since the code is more often than not, some idiosyncratic idea that Crowley alone understands, some complex mystical idea, not properly expressible in linear terms but knowable by direct Gnosis or Samadhi beyond words. That means only the MASTER (Author) can guide you to the proper understanding of his statements.)

From The Book of the Law:

Chapter I

54.Change not as much as the style of a letter; for behold! thou, o prophet, shalt not behold all these mysteries hidden therein.

55. The child of thy bowels, he shall behold them.

56. Expect him not from the East, nor from the West; for from no expected house cometh that child. Aum! All words are sacred and all prophets true; save only that they understand a little; solve the first half of the equation, leave the second unattacked. But thou hast all in the clear light, and some, though not all, in the dark.

Chapter II

55. Thou shalt obtain the order & value of the English Alphabet; thou shalt find new symbols to attribute them unto.

76. 4 6 3 8 A B K 2 4 A L G M O R 3 Y X 24 89 R P S T O V A L. What meaneth this, o prophet? Thou knowest not; nor shalt thou know ever. There cometh one to follow thee: he shall expound it. But remember, o chosen one, to be me; to follow the love of Nu in the star-lit heaven; to look forth upon men, to tell them this glad word.

Chapter III

47. This book shall be translated into all tongues: but always with the original in the writing of the Beast; for in the chance shape of the letters and their position to one another: in these are mysteries that no Beast shall divine. Let him not seek to try: but one cometh after him, whence I say not, who shall discover the Key of it all. Then this line drawn is a key: then this circle squared in its failure is a key also. And Abrahadabra. It shall be his child & that strangely. Let him not seek after this; for thereby alone can he fall from it.

As to Crowley Comment, to burn the copy or else became a center of pestilence.

It is quite clear that Crowley believed those whom the book of the Law appeals would rise up and follow him, against all other people on earth to establish an army of the chosen. Those who have any hesitation against the book are asked to burn it, rather than to accept it luke warm and in rationalize their hesitations and parts they dislike about the book by personal interpretations, against the WILL of himself as the general of that Jihad. (The GREAT BEAST who wages war against the followers of Christ)

In not so many inflammatory words, I agree. It creates a yes or no decision. Either keep the book and choose to...

Liber AL, I:32

Obey my prophet! follow out the ordeals of my knowledge! seek me only! Then the joys of my love will redeem ye from all pain. This is so: I swear it by the vault of my body; by my sacred heart and tongue; by all I can give, by all I desire of ye all.

...or burn the book and forget you ever read it.

93 93/93


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Michael Staley
(@michael-staley)
MANIO - it's all in the egg
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"name538" wrote:
Crowley alone wrote the Damned thing, and thus he alone known what he meant and what he did not mean.

Well, that's your belief. Personally, I think that the Book was written via him, not by him, and he is not the sole arbiter of what it may or may not mean.

Best wishes,

Michael.


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 Anonymous
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No it was not written VIA him, because only Children and Madmen believe in supernatural spirits.


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 Anonymous
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"Erwin" wrote:
Putting aside this rather odious and juvenile tendency some people have to say "Aiwass said" and "Aiwass meant",

I'm glad to hear this because it means that you clearly don't accept AC as the sole authority on all things Thelemic. If you did, then you'd have to unquestioningly accept his statement that Aiwass dictated Liber Al

"Erwin" wrote:
your own argument turns against you. If "Aiwass" had meant to say there are plenty of laws, but none of them are more important than "Do what thou wilt", he'd have said so, but he didn't.

Imo, he did say so. "There is no law beyond Do what thou wilt" establishes this as the most important law. That there is no law beyond Do what thou wilt implies other laws. Otherwise, it would read "There is no law except Do what thou wilt.

"Erwin" wrote:
The simple fact that a particular passage is not worded quite to your satisfaction doesn't automatically make any interpretation you choose to come out with correct.

I have no problem with how it's worded. The interpretation I make is the obvious one. I'm not trying to invent words or meanings that aren't there.

"Erwin" wrote:
The fact is that when you take:

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

and

"There is no law beyond Do what you wilt. Do that, and no other shall say nay."

and

"Thou hast no right but to do thy will"

together, along with Crowley's extensive commentaries, the only sensible reading is that there is only one law, and that law is "Do what thou wilt". Any other "interpretation" is stretching the use of language language beyond breaking point, and amounts to a statement that you're going to decide The Book of the Law means what you want it to mean regardless of what it actually says.

Actually, you're quite wrong. I hope you can learn from what you write in the last quote because it applies to you, not to me.

From p. 320 of The Law Is For All:

60. There is no law beyond Do what thou wilt

New Comment

There are of course lesser laws than this, details, particular cases of the Law. But the whole of the Law is "Do what thou wilt," and there is no law beyond it. The subject is treated fully in Liber CXI Aleph, and the student should refer thereto.

The words are Aleister Crowley's, the emphasis is mine.

"Erwin" wrote:
It's right at the end of Chapter 7, in the section that begins "I conclude by laying down the principles of Exegesis on which I have based my comment."

Thank you Erwin and wellredwellbred for the location of the quote, which is:

"I lay claim to be the sole authority competent to decide disputed points with regard to the Book of the Law"

Well, it's very straight forward, he is claiming the authority on deciding interpretations of Liber Al. That doesn't mean he is the sole authority on all things Thelemic, nor is it demanding absolute obedience to his every command. As a matter of fact, we are flagrantly disobeying his instructions given in the Tunis Comment just by having this discussion.

His reason for not allowing other comments or interpretations of Liber Al is probably to try and avoid various factions forming and fighting over different interpretations.

Ian, thank-you for clarifying your point. I'll have to wait until I have more time to respond fully.


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 Anonymous
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"name538" wrote:
No it was not written VIA him, because only Children and Madmen believe in supernatural spirits.

Then you must believe that Aleister Crowley is either a child or a madman. He's unequivocally states that Aiwass dictated the book.

As for the Tunis Comment, it's quite clear. Everyone is instructed to destroy the book after the first reading. Everyone is forbidden to study it, not just those who dislike it.


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 Anonymous
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Crowley never made any Claim as to what Aiwass is, in fact he claimed that Aiwass could be his own subconscious mind. Then if we take a look at the "initiated interpretation of ceremonial magick" which he wrote as an introduction and apology of the Goetia, he clearly makes the claim that spirits are mental phenomena that express certain combinations of external sensory input as they manifest in the mind in an unusual way. That is a fully natural explanation.

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

It does not say everyone must, destroy it. It says that "it is wise" to do so.
Which is to say, if you don't want to dedicate your life to being a "center of Pestilence"
it is best to burn your copy of the book and forget you ever saw it.


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 Anonymous
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"name538" wrote:
Crowley alone wrote the Damned thing, and thus he alone known what he meant and what he did not mean.

As has been pointed out to you, according to Crowley himself, he did not right Liber AL outright and his authority is granted to him by the actual author/s. Your perspective, name538, remains that of right wing extremist (I won't use the f-word) who is also trying to be a sober rationalist while at the same time bowing in an elite of Secret Chiefs. Quite convoluted, IMO, but rather unique and amusing.

By the way, no one used the word "supernatural" here, other than yourself.


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 Anonymous
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Crowley did not claim that a Man named Aiwass, a physical man came to his room and dictated, He claimed to hear a voice over his shoulder, while he was in an induced trance state caused by a ritual.

Since there is no supernatural, or spiritual, or other world (dreams are chemical changes in the brain, not another world of non-physical or astral entities) So no matter what it may have SEEMED like to Crowley to be in that state, the voice he heard in his head or over his shoulder was of his own brain. (And he himself kept the degree of skepticism to accept that this may be true, despite what it seemed like to him).

Ultimately the law of Thelema is the law of nature, that is the law of the natural world. That all particulars are accumulations of the whole stuff of the environment and ultimately the determined result of the whole natural universe goes into the making of every particular thing, if we trace back time all things originate directly from the singularity of the Big Bang (Dare we say Kether).

A Frog for example is physically made up of the swamp as a whole, it eats the flies, the flies eat rotting fish, the fish eat the algae, the algae eats the mud. Thus each particular element of the swamp contains the same basic elements of the whole swamp. The Frog is a hologram or fractile mirror of the swamp. As such the Frog being in complex mutual interaction with all other parts, the flies, the lilies, the water, the mud, the frog is not separate from but totally enmeshed with the swamp in which it arises, mirrors and is constructed from. An a small scale, the Frog is Hadit the swamp is Nuit. Thus the WILL of the Frog is to fit into that Niche in the pound from which it is derived, to eat the type of insects that are proper to if, to lay it's eggs in the part of the swamp that is natural to it etc.

If you take the frog from the swamp, then it has no ability to do it's WILL, it has no Niche in the new habitat, and will likely die, or like in a cage unable to fulfill it's proper role and function. even if you give it the insects that it likes, it is still not being part of the system that it is part of. It grows fat and lazy in captivity.

The same with every individual human, we have a natural place and purpose, and must be free to do that, not domesticated by modernism and liberal ideals. Not filled with the nonsense than we are individuals totally disengaged from the external environment that shapes what we are, who we are, and what our purpose in life is.

Since we KNOW for a FACT that Naturalism is true and the spiritual is only the seeming of the events of brain changes to the brains subjective self-awareness. Then We must, to discover truth, Ground every seemingly spiritual event as an event in the natural world, perfectly understandable in terms of natural sciences, without any appeal to mystery, or spooky woo woo things that we can not hope to explain or understand.


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 Anonymous
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Is it a philosophical hybrid of Evola and Hessle that influences you, name538? That is interesting.


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 Anonymous
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That is strange, since I have held these same views for 7 years or so, and I have only heard of Evola less than a year ago, and I only first heard of and spoke to Hessle about 2 months ago.

I would say that my views are more of the Atheist views of those like Dawkins and Dennet, only rather than dismiss all "spiritual and religious" experiences, I take them as evidence of some physical and natural cause, which at least in some cases, is an unlocking or revelation of encoded instinctual information or patterns that have been stored in our brains.

That this stored instinct and these higher aspirations, drive men to do things like build monuments, change behavior patterns that produce social caste behavior. That the unlocking of this information and physiological changes this can cause, can be unlocked by chemical drugs (see royal jelly). Also some animals change due to stress or changes in environment, some amphibians for example can chance gender.

This would relate to the 7th circuit DNA information in Robert Anton Wilson's 8 circuit model.


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 Anonymous
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Interesting. Well, I wouldn't assume that everyone who disagrees with you in these forums about the authorship of Liber AL necessary believes in the "supernatural." Things are really not that simple.


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 Anonymous
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You take the term WILL to mean the free WILL of Aquinas, the notion that if you are to do your WILL, it means you can do any things so ever.

Do you know anything about the Schopenhauer, definition of WILL?

"According to Schopenhauer, the Will (the great Will that is the thing-in-itself, not the individual wills of humans and animals, which are phenomena of the Will) conflicts with itself through the egoism that every human and animal is endowed with. Schopenhauer categorically denies the existence of the "freedom of the will" in the conventional sense, and only adumbrates how the will can be "released" or negated, but is not subject to change, and serves as the root of the chain of causal determinism"

That is the WILL is that of the body, which is mechanically determined and which our desires are impotent to change. That WILL is the river of causation, which we can either go along with and accept or we can continue in our fruitless and impossible desires to do other than that WILL.


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 Anonymous
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"name538" wrote:
You take the term WILL to mean the free WILL of Aquinas, the notion that if you are to do your WILL, it means you can do any things so ever.

Do you know anything about the Schopenhauer, definition of WILL?

"According to Schopenhauer, the Will (the great Will that is the thing-in-itself, not the individual wills of humans and animals, which are phenomena of the Will) conflicts with itself through the egoism that every human and animal is endowed with. Schopenhauer categorically denies the existence of the "freedom of the will" in the conventional sense, and only adumbrates how the will can be "released" or negated, but is not subject to change, and serves as the root of the chain of causal determinism"

That is the WILL is that of the body, which is mechanically determined and which our desires are impotent to change. That WILL is the river of causation, which we can either go along with and accept or we can continue in our fruitless and impossible desires to do other than that WILL.

I'm not sure why you assume that I disagree with you regarding the concept of true Will. One cannot do anything whatsoever without error, one cannot follow any alternative course successfully. One cannot. What gives you this impression of my opinion on the matter?


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Azidonis
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93,

Sigh... In a discussion about Thelema-like qualities, I hardly foresaw someone constantly attempting to force his or her view down everyone else's throat.

If Aiwass was indeed Crowley's subconscious, then the man was infinitely more brilliant than many people have ever, and will ever, give him credit for.

If Aiwass was not a part of Crowley's subconscious, does that mean a tin foil hat will prevent Aiwass from communicating with you?

Furthermore, who really cares?

93 93/93

Edit: I only actually disagree with name538 maybe half of the time, if that. It's the presentation that is the real letdown.


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ianrons
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Camlion,

I am troubled by your recent comments about "fascism" and "right wing extremism". Despite the fact that those terms are hardly interchangeable (fascism is essentially a left-wing philosophy, with adjustments to allow a degree of "free market" incentivism and – crucially – admittance to a political elite for business leaders rather than solely party members), I don't see anything in what name538 has been saying to justify such remarks: the political philosophy of Thelema, although somewhat unpalatable for a modern audience, is certainly distinct from fascism (as it is from communism), and inasmuch as you call it "right wing" this seems to be merely a glyph to sanitize a personal hatred of aristocracy. You're aware of Godwin's Law, no doubt...

name538,

dreams are chemical changes in the brain, not another world of non-physical or astral entities

A common thread in religion is that dreams can be prophetic, but almost always (in the OT, Socrates IIRC, Agrippa, Crowley and others) a distinction is made between dreams that deal with the working-out of psychological issues, and those that give real knowledge of the outside world. I find this view repeated by folks who've done enough personal "work" to get to that stage, but the existence of prophetic dreams is not something that can be "proven" easily. I can only contend that your absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, and that if you want to believe that then you're welcome to your opinion.


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 Anonymous
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"ianrons" wrote:
Camlion,

I am troubled by your recent comments about "fascism" and "right wing extremism". Despite the fact that those terms are hardly interchangeable (fascism is essentially a left-wing philosophy, with adjustments to allow a degree of "free market" incentivism and -- crucially -- admittance to a political elite for business leaders rather than solely party members), I don't see anything in what name538 has been saying to justify such remarks: the political philosophy of Thelema, although somewhat unpalatable for a modern audience, is certainly distinct from fascism, and inasmuch as you call it "right wing" this seems to be merely a glyph to sanitize a personal hatred of aristocracy. You're aware of Godwin's Law, no doubt....

Ian, I should really wait until name538 and I complete this latest exchange of posts, but I suspect that he advocates that the true Will of individuals be legislated and enforced by the state. I consider this to be a "right wing extremist" interpretation of Thelema. Capisci?


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 Anonymous
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If by prophetic, you mean that dreams can work out information we already have in symbols and mental processes different from the conscious type of thought to make predictions about events that may not be obvious to the conscious mind, that is perfectly compatible with natural science. For example, the use of Mathematics can discover information that is not intuitive or even penetrable to the mind without knowledge of such mathematical formulas. There are some autistics whose brains can discern patters that make them genius an chess or music. In fact a great deal of magick ritual is aimed using the Kabbalah and other symbolic systems to glean certain information of a holistic or hidden nature. That is where the term Occult comes from.

Look at a genius detective like Holmes, who picks up on subtle things like smudge marks and chipped tables to see connections others miss, for a real life example, talk to an expert in forensics and see how much private information the can tell you, based on your appearance.


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ianrons
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Camlion,

"Camlion" wrote:
Ian, I should really wait until name538 and I complete this latest exchange of posts, but I suspect that he advocates that the true Will of individuals be legislated and enforced by the state. I consider this to be a "right wing extremist" interpretation of Thelema. Capisci?

I understand what you're saying, but I think you've simply made the usual vulgar connection between fascism and "right wing extremism". You've chosen to call it "right wing" because you think fascism is a right wing philosophy, whereas in fact it is a form of socialism ("National Socialism") and sits very neatly in the broad scope of left wing political philosophy. And given that a communist state dictates the "will" of every individual (and has its own "aristocracy" of party members, based on personal social relationships rather than heredity or spiritual attainment), why is Thelema not an extreme left wing philosophy? What I am saying is that I think you have to be a bit more careful when throwing around political buzzwords.

name538,

"name538" wrote:
If by prophetic, you mean that dreams can work out information we already have in symbols and mental processes different from the conscious type of thought to make predictions about events that may not be obvious to the conscious mind, that is perfectly compatible with natural science.

No, that's not what I'm saying at all. When I say "prophetic" I mean "prophetic" in the normal sense. I'm not suggesting it works beyond a day or two into the future, or is particularly accurate, however. And no, I'm not talking about stuff that's so vague that it could fit any circumstance. As I've said, the truth or falsity of this proposition is not something that can be decided by a priori conceptions of the type you propose.


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 Anonymous
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What did I say about the Oar and the Rowlock?

Surely we can all figure out our own True WILL, We know what we are, our limits can be tested etc.
No one needs to tell an Acorn how to Grow up into an oak tree. And no one needs to teach a squirrel to eat nuts.
But a wise leader, it takes to see that putting oak trees and squirrels together, is to the mutual benefit of both.

Likewise, It might me wise to help millers and bakers, work together for the good of society.
If you have a community with only millers and no one to bake the flour into bread, what good is this?
The millers are doing their Will, but the excess flour goes to waste. What if you have millers and no grain farmers. Then the millers have nothing to grind.

Thus, the leadership does not FORCE anyone into any role or caste. But rather joins the Grain farmer with the Miller and the Baker, and ensures that some one who raises chickens is available to provide eggs for the baker. etc.


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 Anonymous
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PS to my last, Ian: I don't believe that name538 agrees that we, as individuals, are free "to abide in this bliss or no; it is no odds."


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ianrons
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Camlion,

To your postscript, perhaps you assume that the consequences of not choosing "to abide in this bliss" are that the person is left to his own devices? I don't think that's what Thelema says, in fact it seems that anyone not choosing to be a Thelemite is very much left out in the cold ("no odds" to the Thelemites), and subjugated somehow. But again, I'm not saying I agree with Crowley here (or anywhere, really).

As an addendum, I think it's taken as read by all Thelemites that a "Thelemic society" would be a really good one, but I think it would be nightmareish.


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 Anonymous
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"name538" wrote:
Likewise, It might me wise to help millers and bakers, work together for the good of society.
If you have a community with only millers and no one to bake the flour into bread, what good is this?

name538, I think this is an evasive rationalization on your part, but I'll play along for a moment. The miller and the baker have no trouble finding one another, each has a demand that other can supply. There is no need for direction from the state, none at all, this is a private matter between to two parties concerned.


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ianrons
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Indeed, it seems AC made the same mistake as his contemporaries in thinking the state could regulate matters better than the market. This is why Thelema is so well represented by left wing types...


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 Anonymous
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"ianrons" wrote:
I understand what you're saying, but I think you've simply made the usual vulgar connection between fascism and "right wing extremism".

Thank you for understanding, Ian. πŸ˜‰


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ianrons
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"Camlion" wrote:
Thank you for understanding, Ian. πŸ˜‰

Well, some people just have a cognitive block when it comes to talking about "fascism"... πŸ˜†


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 Anonymous
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I see no evidence beyond Anecdotes that can very well be explained by the natural means that I proposed before, or just a lucky guess that happened to beat the odds, but are perfectly within the bound of Probably chance.
I do not think Thelema has anything to do with such ESP or streaming knowledge of future events.

The sort of Prophet that Crowley claimed to be, was the sort spoken of in The Cloud Upon the Sanctuary, that re-aligns the external religious rituals and sacraments to the Inner truth.
The premonitions in the book of the law, are based on futurism and the likely development of the zeitgeist, a familiarity with the cycles of degradation of society, as is written of by Spengler whom I know for sure Crowley was familiar with, and is also found in the Traditionalist schools and perennialism, which Evola was an adherent, and was an influence on almost all western occult orders.


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ianrons
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name538,

Clearly TBOTL is interested in predicting events up to 2,000 years in the future, so your "explanation" just seems like a rationalization. As for dreams, as I say you are not taking a sceptical, but rather a prejudiced, attitude. However, I get bored talking about that subject to people who have decided already, rather than scientists...


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 Anonymous
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Have you looked into Permaculture farming at all, as I have mentioned before.

"Permaculture principles draw heavily on the practical application of ecological theory to analyze the characteristics and potential relationships between design elements.

Each element of a design is carefully analyzed in terms of its needs, outputs, and properties. For example chickens need water, moderated microclimate and food, producing meat, eggs, and feathers as well as manure which can help break up hardsoil hardpan.

Design elements are then assembled in relation to one another so that the products of one element feed the needs of adjacent elements. Synergy between design elements is achieved while minimizing waste and the demand for human labor or energy. Exemplary permaculture designs evolve over time, and can become extremely complex mosaics of conventional and inventive cultural systems that produce a high density of food and materials with minimal input." (Wikipedia)

Now, sure all those elements in an natural ecology might happen to find each other and form an ecosystem that keeps itself in checks and balances. However, this is not agriculture, and it will take decades if not centuries, that is IF the elements that fit together even happen to come together on their own.

You will most likely end up with a prairie with nothing edible or useful to humans in such a case, just same glass lands.

However when you are intentionally constructing a community, a society and a system that provides maximum integration of the natures of all elements, so that the potential of each is maximized by the interaction, as well as giving back the soil and reducing reliance on toxic elements (pesticides and fossil fuels). These principles can reduce crime, conflict, waste, pollution, promote healthy eating and labor habits, promote pride in one's work and social role, contentment in one's place, rather that resentment.

Such a system can ensure, as it develops over time via tweeks and changes to make the interactions as efficient and profitable to each individual as well as the community interests as a whole, such that everyone, is healthy, wealthy and wise, as it were.

Compare what I have written here, with Crowley's "Scientific Solution to the problem of Government"


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 Anonymous
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I've often observed, Ian, that there is no one grumpier than a former OTO member or similar who has decided to throw the baby (Thelema) out with the bath water (OTO or something else). You'll get over it, hopefully. Thelema would benefit by your participation, IMO. Sometimes it's just a matter of adjusting one's perspective over time? πŸ™‚


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 Anonymous
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"It is a violation of the Law of Thelema to abuse the natural qualities of any animal or object by diverting it from its proper function, as determined by consideration of its history and structure. Thus, to train children to perform mental operations, or to practice tasks, for which they are unfitted, is a crime against nature."

Note that it does not say that you should not train children to perform tasks they do not like or refuse to co-operate with. It says not to train them for tasks that History and structure have made them unfit to do.


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 Anonymous
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"ianrons" wrote:
Indeed, it seems AC made the same mistake as his contemporaries in thinking the state could regulate matters better than the market.

Exactly, and this sort of naivete is best forgiven and adjusted to the realities of our time, unless failure is the goal. IMO.

"ianrons" wrote:
This is why Thelema is so well represented by left wing types...

Neither most left wing types nor most right wing types completely get it, IMO.


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ianrons
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name538,

"name538" wrote:
However when you are intentionally constructing a community, a society and a system that provides maximum integration of the natures of all elements, so that the potential of each is maximized by the interaction, as well as giving back the soil and reducing reliance on toxic elements (pesticides and fossil fuels). These principles can reduce crime, conflict, waste, pollution, promote healthy eating and labor habits, promote pride in one's work and social role, contentment in one's place, rather that resentment.

Such a system can ensure, as it develops over time via tweeks and changes to make the interactions as efficient and profitable to each individual as well as the community interests as a whole, such that everyone, is healthy, wealthy and wise, as it were.

Has the entire 20th century passed you by? Do you still think the state can regulate society efficiently? This isn't exactly on point, but I'm reminded of a Friedman interview from 30 years ago which I hope gives the gist:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=76frHHpoNFs

I paraphrase: "Where are you going to find these angels to organise society for us?"

Camlion,

"Camlion" wrote:
I've often observed, Ian, that there is no one grumpier than a former OTO member or similar who has decided to throw the baby (Thelema) out with the bath water (OTO or something else). You'll get over it, hopefully. Thelema would benefit by your participation, IMO. Sometimes it's just a matter of adjusting one's perspective over time? πŸ™‚

Not at all: I am not a "Disgusted from Tonbridge Wells" or any other such character. Yes, I did leave OTO in 2008, but the reason I left had nothing to do with "Thelema" per se, and my attitude towards Thelema has evolved slowly over time (not as the result of some sudden change), and in fact it is in accordance with my broader views about magick, occultism and so on, as reflected differently in a recent announcement. To suggest that my views are anything other than considered, reflectful and respectful is frankly rather patronizing (though I am sure you mean well).

On the whole, the overwhelming response I've had from people who understand why I've changed my views has been very supportive, but I have had one or two people say they want to pray for me, or wish me back in the fold. This is not an unnatural view, and in a sense I am quite flattered, but I really do have solid views about Thelema, and whilst I am not interested in arbitrarily dismissing Crowley or what he did for occultism – anymore than I am interested in dismissing my own very valuable life-experience up to this point – at the same time I am beyond the pale.

To put it another way, whilst Crowley and Thelema have informed my life greatly, it was something that I did in my youth; and whilst I am still interested in the wider discussion, I am not a Thelemite now, and never will be in future. Jesus is not my saviour, and neither is Crowley: you can never go back to simple "belief" once it's been exploded, unless one has a very weak personality.


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 Anonymous
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"name538" wrote:
Compare what I have written here, with Crowley's "Scientific Solution to the problem of Government"

Neither your ideas nor Crowley's as given there will work in the real world of human beings today, name538. That does not mean that nothing will work, nor that we should scrap Thelema (IMO), but we cannot to be manipulated involuntarily as if "design elements," even if it is for our own good. It won't work. Only voluntary adherence by each individual to the Law of Thelema will work. (IMO)


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ianrons
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Camlion,

I might point out that any system that demands adherence, rather than providing rewards, is doomed to fail. What is the "reward" for doing one's "True Will"? It seems very vague. After all, there is no spiritual currency that can be exchanged. Perhaps a few people will "get it", but that is no basis for ordering an entire society except by decree (as Crowley proposed).


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 Anonymous
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This libertarian capitalism is just as bad as socialism.
History has shown that the best societies are not fundamentally focused on the Economic system.
The Traditional system placed values and community above personal gain. There are greater values by which to judge a man that the thickness of his wallet.

I am not in anyway saying some kind of power must use threats of violence to force people. I am saying that a council of experts can give guidance and expert opinion, that others would respect and at least try out the recommendations.

In Skinner's Walden 2, small communities are designed based on science, not the whim of the leaders nor the democratic vote of the masses. Instead, potential policies were tried out and observations made to determine the effectiveness and popularity of the policy, and full implementation was only done if the policy has a statically significant positive effect.

Where the positive effect, is taken as promoting of the better expression of individual potential and a reduction of conflicts and restrictions of each other's potential (The individual Will), in such a way that promotes the best integration of all parts to the common goal (the great work). Then these polices, judged by science of what is effective (Success is thy proof) would produce the best Thelemic society.


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ianrons
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What you say is totally fanciful and ridiculous. Firstly, when you say "History has shown that the best societies are not fundamentally focused on the Economic system." what exactly are you relying on here? As for the fictional "Walden 2", well of course anyone can construct a fictional society, but what is your point? Why shouldn't we base our society on that proposed by Aldous Huxley in Pali, or others?


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 Anonymous
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Los Horcones is a working Walden 2 system.
There are a few others, one in Virgina, etc.


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ianrons
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Small groups of people who have decided to try to make something work on a small scale are a very different proposition. I recently created a society based on sexual favours doled out to the appointed principal (me), but I wouldn't wish that on the wider society (or even myself, if I'm honest – heck, I need a private life). And no, I'm not talking about OTO, though there might be a parallel...

P.S. Actually, on reflection, I might be with Crowley on this one. Who says I don't reflect on spiritual matters?


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 Anonymous
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From the Regression of Castes by Evola:

Then a second collapse occurred as the aristocracies began to fall into decay and the monarchies to shake at the foundations; through revolutions and constitutions they became useless institutions subject to the "will of the nation," and sometimes they were even ousted by different regimes. The principle characterizing this state of affairs was: "The king reigns but he does not rule." Together with parliamentary republics the formation of the capitalist oligarchies revealed the shift of power from the second caste (the warrior) to the modern equivalent of the third caste (the mercantile class). The kings of the coal, oil, and iron industries replace the previous kings of blood and of spirit. Antiquity, too, sometimes knew this phenomenon in sporadic forms; in Rome and in Greece the "aristocracy of wealth" repeatedly forced the hand of the hierarchical structure by pursuing aristocratic positions, undermining sacred laws and traditional institutions, and infiltrating the militia, priesthood, or consulship. In later times what occurred was the rebellion of the communes and the rise of the various medieval formations of mercantile power. The solemn proclamation of the "rights of the Third Estate" in France represented the decisive stage, followed by the varieties of "bourgeois revolution" of the third caste, which employed liberal and democratic ideologies for its own purposes. Correspondingly, this era was characterized by the theory of the social contract. At this time the social bond was no longer a fides of a warrior type based on relationships of faithfulness and honor. Instead, it took on a utilitarian and economic character; it consisted of an agreement based on personal convenience and on material interest that only a merchant could have conceived. Gold became a means ad powerful tool; those who knew how to acquire it and to multiply it (capitalism, high finance, industrial trusts), behind the appearances of democracy, virtually controlled political power and the instruments employed in the art of opinion-making. Aristocracy gave way to plutocracy, the warrior, to the banker and industrialist. The economy triumphed on all fronts. Trafficking with money and charging interest, activities previously confined to the ghettos, invaded the new civilization. According to the expression of W. Sombart, in the promised land of Protestant puritanism, Americanism, capitalism, and the "distilled Jewish spirit" coexist. It is natural that given these congenial premises, the modern representatives of secularized Judaism saw the ways to achieve world domination open up before them. In this regard, Karl Marx wrote:

What are the mundane principles of Judaism? Practical necessity and the pursuit of one's own advantage. What is its earthly god? Money. The Jew has emancipated himself in a typically Jewish fashion not only in that he has taken control of the power of money, but also in that through him, money has become a world power and the practical Jewish spirit of the Christian people. The Jews have emancipated themselves insofar as the Christians have become Jews. The god of the Jews has become secularized and has become the god of the earth. The exchange is the true god of the Jews.

In reality, the codification of the traffic with gold as a loan charged with interest, to which the Jews had been previously devoted since they had no other means through which they could affirm themselves, may be said to be the very foundation of the acceptance of the aberrant development of all that is banking, high finance, and pure economy, which are spreading like a cancer in the modern world. This is the fundamental time in the "age of the merchants".


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 Anonymous
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"ianrons" wrote:
Camlion,

I might point out that any system that demands adherence, rather than providing rewards, is doomed to fail. What is the "reward" for doing one's "True Will"? It seems very vague. After all, there is no spiritual currency that can be exchanged. Perhaps a few people will "get it", but that is no basis for ordering an entire society except by decree (as Crowley proposed).

Ian, being truly oneself and behaving accordingly has personal success as its reward, and is still rather rare today - but I believe that the trend will continue to grow. "Spiritual currency" has meaning for religious Thelemites, perhaps, which probably ought to be a separate subject. As for the rest, the "slaves," they may very well destroy one another in their ongoing holy wars (much more likely than a fall of capitalism), or just continue to serve someone or something other than themselves, as they do now.


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ianrons
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The problem is that "spiritual currency" cannot be measured, hence even if there are a "few & secret" then that doesn't solve the wider problem.


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 Anonymous
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"ianrons" wrote:
The problem is that "spiritual currency" cannot be measured, hence even if there are a "few & secret" then that doesn't solve the wider problem.

Agreed, which why I believe that a broader solution to government will have no religious component other than the optional one that exists already.


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ianrons
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Sure. So why do you think I disagree with Crowley's ideas?


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 Anonymous
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"name538" wrote:
Instead, it took on a utilitarian and economic character; it consisted of an agreement based on personal convenience and on material interest that only a merchant could have conceived. Gold became a means ad powerful tool; those who knew how to acquire it and to multiply it (capitalism, high finance, industrial trusts), behind the appearances of democracy, virtually controlled political power and the instruments employed in the art of opinion-making. Aristocracy gave way to plutocracy, the warrior, to the banker and industrialist. The economy triumphed on all fronts. Trafficking with money and charging interest, activities previously confined to the ghettos, invaded the new civilization. According to the expression of W. Sombart, in the promised land of Protestant puritanism, Americanism, capitalism, and the "distilled Jewish spirit" coexist. It is natural that given these congenial premises, the modern representatives of secularized Judaism saw the ways to achieve world domination open up before them. In this regard, Karl Marx wrote:

What are the mundane principles of Judaism? Practical necessity and the pursuit of one's own advantage. What is its earthly god? Money. The Jew has emancipated himself in a typically Jewish fashion not only in that he has taken control of the power of money, but also in that through him, money has become a world power and the practical Jewish spirit of the Christian people. The Jews have emancipated themselves insofar as the Christians have become Jews. The god of the Jews has become secularized and has become the god of the earth. The exchange is the true god of the Jews. [...]

Um... No, nevermind. πŸ™„


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 Anonymous
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"ianrons" wrote:
Sure. So why do you think I disagree with Crowley's ideas?

I, too, disagree with some of them, but not with the essence and goal of them. I insist on being allowed to do that, in the interest of progress. πŸ˜‰


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ianrons
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Well, I hope at least you understand that where I'm coming from is based on facts not fantasy.


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 Anonymous
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"ianrons" wrote:
As an addendum, I think it's taken as read by all Thelemites that a "Thelemic society" would be a really good one, but I think it would be nightmareish.

I can see that the inevitable result of name538's presentation, either by covert design or through unintentional naivete, is to depict Thelemic society as such a nightmare that people will abandon the notion.

All that is really required, however, is the adaptation of Thelema's goals to the facts of modern reality. (IMO)


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