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kidneyhawk
(@kidneyhawk)
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Posts: 1838
23/01/2012 12:22 am  

I've been trying to follow the recent thread dealing with "Fear" as it continues branching out into a wide variety of topics, one of which is the work we do to provide assistance and help, in any form, to our fellow creatures. There are a lot of different perspectives on this and one can't help but regard the observation that even a small group of self-identified "Thelemites" (or simply interested parties) often end in ideological conflicts when addressing any number of basic topics. The "atmosphere" doesn't seem particularly conducive to a unified effort at realizing Thelema in the world at large. The organizations which identify with a "Thelemic" outlook are relatively small and subject to the same splinterings that any other group of "too human humans" are wont to evoke.

With this in mind, I want to look at a simple claim made in Book 52, the Manifesto of OTO (you know, the one where it is claimed that one can find the wisdom and teachings of all the great fraternities and magical groups in one three-lettered package, that everyone from Mohammed to Francis Bacon was part of the "constituent originating assemblies" and so on).

Along with claims to have "resolved all the problems of philosophy and life" and to possess the "elixir of immortality" (do we need any further selling points?), it is stated:

"Moreover, it possesses a Secret capable of realizing the world-old dream of the Brotherhood of Man." 

Now, with regard to the roll-call alluded to above, “O.T.O.” would seem to straddle a line between the “exoteric organization” which Kellner “revived” and some larger trans-organizational current flowing through all times and cultures. Regardless, it is clearly part of this structural agenda to “realize the world-old dream of the Brotherhood of Man” (and this, however, we understand it, has been determined to be in line with that “Thelema” which has “resolved all the problems of philosophy and life”).

The three questions I'd like to ask to open up a discussion here are:

1) WHAT IS THIS “SECRET?” (No need to be coy-if ever there was a time to lift the bushel from the light, it’s now…because we’re a million miles from the “world-old dream.”)

2) HOW is the “BROTHERHOOD OF MAN” to be understood in context of “Thelema?” On one hand, we’re to trample down the weak, divide up "Kings" and "Slaves"and hit "low and hard"-on the other, we’re to serve humanity, recognize True Will as inherent in all things and promulgate the “Law.” It would seem that realizing the “Brotherhood of Man” must play second fiddle (if a fiddle at all) to DWTW with its focus on individual right action at the expense of all else (and we’ve heard this argued plenty).

3) IS there any relevance of this passage to our present understanding of how a “Thelemite” is to act in the world (or is it simply a rehashing of the same old Masonic Idealism we saw plenty of ere Kellner did his “reviving?” “If you act now, you’ll not only get the Great Mystery AND the Elixir of Immortality but the SECRET of UNIVERSAL BROTHERHOOD-Free!-as our gift to YOU! Our operators are waiting for your dues...er...call.”).

Very interested in perspectives on this and I think it's a quite relevant topic with regards to both the world at large and some of the tendencies in other discussions here on the boards.


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Los
 Los
(@los)
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23/01/2012 5:54 am  
"kidneyhawk" wrote:
HOW is the “BROTHERHOOD OF MAN” to be understood in context of “Thelema?”

I’d suggest looking to Liber AL for answers:

“58. But the keen and the proud, the royal and the lofty; ye are brothers!
“59. As brothers fight ye!”

There are two readings that are immediately apparent: that “the keen and the proud, the royal and the lofty” – notice four qualities that might interestingly map to the four powers of the sphinx, the four elements, the four worlds, etc. – which is to say, those who are doing their True Will, should 1) fight each other like brothers and 2) should band together – like brothers – to fight others.

So which of those readings is “right”? As is often the case in Liber AL, both are: those of us who have brothers know that when brothers fight – and they inevitably do – it’s usually a temporary struggle that masks a deeper connection. And when push comes to shove – and when interests intersect – brothers often band together to work for a common goal.

The analogy to people who are doing their will is clear: people who are doing their will may – and indeed inevitably shall – come into conflict, but the conflict is always of the nature of playing a game. “Within the game,” one does one’s damndest to win, but one also recognizes that it’s a game that may need to be set aside when circumstances change. To get caught up in the narrative of “me against him” or “me with him” is to get caught in a narrative, rather than responding to the situation on its own terms.

So when exactly does one fight in the first sense or fight in the second sense? Luckily, Liber AL provides just such an answer for us, conveniently in the very next verse (gee, it’s almost as if there’s some kind of order to this, eh? It’s like there’s a coherent philosophy presented in the Book or something…):

“60. There is no law beyond Do what thou wilt.”

As Kyle puts it so eloquently, “It would seem that realizing the “Brotherhood of Man” must play second fiddle (if a fiddle at all) to DWTW with its focus on individual right action at the expense of all else.”

And obviously, according to Liber AL, this is more than just “seems”: it’s absolutely correct: one’s primary duty – and, in fact, one’s only duty – is to one’s True Will. If this Will inclines one to work toward some societal goal, then fine. If not, then equally fine.

It might turn out, of course, that the “brotherhood of man” doesn’t mean what some people think it does. Some people imagine a utopia where everyone joins hands and sings around a rainbow (a la the dream sequence in a Simpsons episode in which a “world without lawyers” is envisioned). If this is what a “brotherhood of man” is, then one is never going to get it, and holding on to this kind of “brotherhood” as a pipe dream is a sure-fire way to keep it unattainable so that one can spend one’s whole life dreaming about it but never have to face up to the rather unpleasant prospect of admitting that the whole thing is a crock of shit.

It could be, though, that a “brotherhood of man” might look entirely different. It could be that the brotherhood of man is spread upon the earth and men do not see it: that is to say, we are already living in a “brotherhood of man,” and the Great Work isn’t to establish it in some simple utopian sense but to realize this fact.

The Kingdom of the Crowned and Conquering Child is here upon earth (“Thy reign is come: Thy will is done” – Liber 333), but men do not see it (for men are but aspirants: “The Brothers of A.: A.: are Women; the Aspirants to A.:A.: are Men” – Liber 333).

It is in this way that the final act of the Great Work is to abandon the Great Work, that the way to achieve a “Brotherhood of Man” is to abandon the brotherhood of man, as one currently conceives it.

Until one can do that, one remains merely a “brother” (lower-case b), merely a man, merely an aspirant.


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Michael Staley
(@michael-staley)
MANIO - it's all in the egg
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 4021
23/01/2012 10:23 am  
"Los" wrote:
It could be that the brotherhood of man is spread upon the earth and men do not see it: that is to say, we are already living in a “brotherhood of man,” and the Great Work isn’t to establish it in some simple utopian sense but to realize this fact.

I agree with this interpretation. Similarly, magical and mystical attainment is fundamentally a matter of realizing, uncovering or waking to a state that already exists, rather than creating a new one by dint of one's practises.

After all, stars are only outwardly a haphazard collection of individual entities. They are each aspects of a constellation, an inter-relationship, and doubtless the myriad constellations are themselves inter-related, too.

Best wishes,

Michael.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
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23/01/2012 12:16 pm  
"kidneyhawk" wrote:
...you know, the one where it is claimed that one can find the wisdom and teachings of all the great fraternities and magical groups in one three-lettered package...

WauWauWau!
(virtual reality is not just a simulation, but whole over the world a new electric dimension)


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
23/01/2012 3:31 pm  
"moyal" wrote:
"kidneyhawk" wrote:
...you know, the one where it is claimed that one can find the wisdom and teachings of all the great fraternities and magical groups in one three-lettered package...

WauWauWau!
(virtual reality is not just a simulation, but whole over the world a new electric dimension)

Wau?

Wau?!

Whaahahaha!!  😀


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Shiva
(@shiva)
Not a Rajah
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 4920
23/01/2012 4:28 pm  

Los: "The analogy to people who are doing their will is clear: people who are doing their will may – and indeed inevitably shall – come into conflict, but the conflict is always of the nature of playing a game."
This is one of those "ultimate insights." It's only a concept, unless one can really do it - in a hostile situation. The various schools of martial arts have practitioners who do amazing things, but the highest-ranking Aikidoists demonstrate this more realistically than any other art - seemingly being better at playing the game than most magicians.

Moyal: "virtual reality is not just a simulation, but whole over the world a new electric dimension"
As Michael stated, this "new" dimension is old - it has been there all along. But man's perception and use of it - that's what is "new." The internet and "cloud computing" may conveniently be assigned to (correlated with) the third subplane of the etheric physical plane.  ... What?

OK - Matter consists of three phases (or subplanes): Solid, Liquid & Gas. Right?
The electro-magnetic "blueprint," upon which these three phases or states are built (and/or controlled), consists of four subplanes (states or phases); these are [very roughly speaking] -
(1st subplane) - Radioactive
(2nd subplane) - X-rays
(3rd subplane) - Electricity
(4th subplane) - Ultraviolet
... "Purple beyond purple - it is the light higher than eyesight"


the "etheric" web


(5th subplane) - Gas
(6th subplane) - Liquid
(7th subplane) - Solid - Rock-bottom

These seven planes, in their totality, constitute Malkuth, the Kingdom. The Matrix. Welcome to planet Earth. Humanity is now actively engaged, in full consciousness, with learning how to control a wild, raw, new dimension (subplane).

Los: "It could be that the brotherhood of man is spread upon the earth and men do not see it: that is to say, we are already living in a “brotherhood of man,” and the Great Work isn’t to establish it in some simple utopian sense but to realize this fact."
At one time, as you all may know, I lived, moved and had my being within an Order that made that very same promise. The one about the secret and the brotherhood of man. I was the Grand Secret-Keeper General. Within that lineage, so closely removed from, and related to, our ancestor the Grand Master Baphomet, I never saw, read or heard any "secret" that related to this so-called brotherhood. I consider this to be an operative secret. That is, by practicing the rules of the Order (which never really worked out and were finally "set aside" by contemporary Templars), one would come to dwell in the perceived utopia.

On the other hand, when I was within the circle of this legendary Order, I and my associates had the opportunity to enter states of consciousness wherein we perceived that there was no difference between us. We "were one," as the saying goes. Anyone who can exand out from themselves to a group consciousness, may also be able to go just a bit further and include all of humanity. Then, by direct perception, one can see and know that there is indeed a brotherhood of man, an entity known as Humanity.

But this is a matter of perception, and not a matter of talking, or reading, or hearing - or even of "figuring it out." It simply is the way things are - at a certain expanded level of consciousness.

As far as bringing this awarenes down to Malkuth, wherein everybody gets along because they are all Magisters and can see cause and effect clearly - well, that Utopia is only available if you pay your dues on time. And then guess what? It turns out it's all part of the cosmic joke.


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mika
 mika
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23/01/2012 7:18 pm  
"kidneyhawk" wrote:
1) WHAT IS THIS “SECRET?”
2) HOW is the “BROTHERHOOD OF MAN” to be understood in context of “Thelema?”
3) IS there any relevance of this passage to our present understanding of how a “Thelemite” is to act in the world (or is it simply a rehashing of the same old Masonic Idealism we saw plenty of ere Kellner did his “reviving?”

1) The Tao that can be named is not the eternal Tao.  IOW, this "secret" is learned and understood through experiential understanding, not through intellectual discourse.  You learn it through doing your Work.

2) As above, so below.  IOW, by reconciling your inner universe, you become in harmony with your outer universe.  By encouraging and supporting others as they do the same (in their own way and at their own pace, which may include choosing to do nothing at present), others achieve the same harmony.  Thus the "Brotherhood of Man" is accomplished through each individual aligning themselves with their own will.  The first step in this is to do your Work.

3) Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.  That is the only relevant "understanding of how a Thelemite is to act in the world." 


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Azidonis
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24/01/2012 1:14 am  
"kidneyhawk" wrote:
I've been trying to follow the recent thread dealing with "Fear" as it continues branching out into a wide variety of topics

Oy vey! Me too... thanks for creating a branching thread.

More response to come when less ignorance is perceived. (o.O)


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
25/01/2012 1:10 am  
"kidneyhawk" wrote:
"Moreover, it possesses a Secret capable of realizing the world-old dream of the Brotherhood of Man." 

Now, with regard to the roll-call alluded to above, “O.T.O.” would seem to straddle a line between the “exoteric organization” which Kellner “revived” and some larger trans-organizational current flowing through all times and cultures. Regardless, it is clearly part of this structural agenda to “realize the world-old dream of the Brotherhood of Man” (and this, however, we understand it, has been determined to be in line with that “Thelema” which has “resolved all the problems of philosophy and life”).

The three questions I'd like to ask to open up a discussion here are:

1) WHAT IS THIS “SECRET?” (No need to be coy-if ever there was a time to lift the bushel from the light, it’s now…because we’re a million miles from the “world-old dream.”)

2) HOW is the “BROTHERHOOD OF MAN” to be understood in context of “Thelema?” On one hand, we’re to trample down the weak, divide up "Kings" and "Slaves"and hit "low and hard"-on the other, we’re to serve humanity, recognize True Will as inherent in all things and promulgate the “Law.” It would seem that realizing the “Brotherhood of Man” must play second fiddle (if a fiddle at all) to DWTW with its focus on individual right action at the expense of all else (and we’ve heard this argued plenty).

3) IS there any relevance of this passage to our present understanding of how a “Thelemite” is to act in the world (or is it simply a rehashing of the same old Masonic Idealism we saw plenty of ere Kellner did his “reviving?” “If you act now, you’ll not only get the Great Mystery AND the Elixir of Immortality but the SECRET of UNIVERSAL BROTHERHOOD-Free!-as our gift to YOU! Our operators are waiting for your dues...er...call.”).

Very interested in perspectives on this and I think it's a quite relevant topic with regards to both the world at large and some of the tendencies in other discussions here on the boards.

I'm going to play devils advocate, Kyle, with regard to the use of the words "OTO" in the opening post.

Crowley was trying to 'Thelemize' an older system, certainly, in order to use it as a vehicle for the promulgation of the principles of Thelema. He would also thereby validate that older system by realizing its goals. But, some of the criteria to be met in doing so, so that the new system might retain some resemblance to that older system, may not actually be compatible with the principles of Thelema, or so it has been suggested by many. (Such as the hierarchical degree structure, for instance.)

Later, others took the words "OTO," stripped them further of most or all resemblance to that older system, and continued to call their organization/s "OTO." The relevant question is, are these newer systems actually compatible with the principles of Thelema? I suppose that, provided that the participants are each doing their true Will, the answer would be yes. But, the same would be true of any organization.

As for "Universal Brotherhood," that would be one of the criteria set as a goal by the older system, certainly. Perhaps it would be consistent with the the principles of Thelema, if we follow the use of the word "brother" in Liber AL to the limited extent that Los has outlined it. If one's personal experience has included that which Shiva has outlined, I would accept that, but not automatically on behalf of those who are without that experience.

The title of the opening post was fine, actually, a good idea for discussion, but what I wonder is why the premise of the OP includes the words "OTO." Can you explain that?


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 Anonymous
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25/01/2012 9:19 am  

I thought I would do a little bit of background research for this thread and was looked into the history of Guilds to find out when this goal of spreading brotherly love started.  It seems that it developed after all but 3 of the Guilds were suppressed by Henry VIII and Elizabeth I.  Henry considered that most of the Guilds were supporters of the Pope and forcibly stripped them of property, but Queen Ann Boleyn saw that it would be in her political interests (and that of the King) to keep the Freemasons (then comprised largely of heretics) covertly close to the throne.  However,  neither Henry nor Ann were the sort to push the agenda of brotherly love. 

There is a particularly interesting article suggesting that FreeMasonry was a Tudor invention here.  The article makes the proposition that it was Sir Francis Bacon (secret son of Elizabeth I), that set the course for modern masonry after being raised according to the instructions of the scholarly Queen in the mode of a Philosopher King.  The author writes "With the inauguration of the Acception Masons, Bacon settled on the most mature, complete form of his vision for the betterment of mankind. His great work, 'The Advancement of Learning', is his manifesto of what he entitled the Great Instauration, a comprehensive model for ensuring continuous progress in human knowledge which addressed every level of human activity, physical, mental and spiritual."

Within the text of 'The Advancement of Learning', Sir Francis Bacon writes this on Brotherhood; "For as the proficience of learning consisteth much in the orders and institutions of universities in the same states and kingdoms, so it would be yet more advanced, if there were more intelligence mutual between the universities of Europe than now there is.  We see there be many orders and foundations, which though they be divided under several sovereignties and territories, yet they take themselves to have a kind of contract, fraternity, and correspondence one with the other, insomuch as they have provincials and generals.  And surely as nature createth brotherhood in families, and arts mechanical contract brotherhoods in communalties, and the anointment of God superinduceth a brotherhood in kings and bishops, so in like manner there cannot but be a fraternity in learning and illumination, relating to that paternity which is attributed to God, who is called the Father of illuminations or lights."

We see in this text that the author states the existence of the fraternity of man as a fact, arising from the paternity of God, and not as a proposition to be accomplished

Although the idea of a brotherhood of man had been kicking around from the days of St. Paul, I think it can be successfully argued that it was incorporated as an ideal into Masonic fraternities, almost certainly from the works of this protomason.  It forms the backbone of his argument for the advancement of learning, in a time when it was believed by some that a learned population would tend towards atheism and rebellion against the powers of the state.

In Thelema, is it true that fraternity arises due to the paternity of God, in the sense of the Will being universal in origin?  If so - then the concept of a Brotherhood of Man is in line with Thelema.  If not... I'm not sure where that would leave us.     

 


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kidneyhawk
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25/01/2012 2:27 pm  

Camlion-

The reason I invoke the letters O, T and O is because the “Brotherhood of Man” I am alluding to is that specifically mentioned in the Manifesto of the same Order. The theme of “Brotherhood” in general is wide open and we can discuss it from any number of angles. I am specifically addressing it in context of Liber LII (hence, in context of OTO, “Thelemasized” by Crowley).

I’d like to thank everyone who has (thus far) shared their perspectives. It seems to be something of a consensus (again, thus far) that the term “Brotherhood” is to be read as a particular state of consciousness manifest in the individual as he/she apprehends a dimension of reality-and not the transformation of human relations on the planet into something we might conceive of as more harmonious on the social/political front.

The wording in the Manifesto, I believe, may have other implications.

Do we feel the advertising of a “Secret” necessary to this “Realization” is a bit of overkill? Could it not have been stated more simply “We teach a simple and sure method to gain insight into the true nature of experience and thereby know the inherent oneness and harmony of all things as they are?”

That would seem to be covered, however, in the previous allusions to O.T.O. openly teaching yoga in all its forms. After this, the whole “Brotherhood” deal is introduced with the word “Moreover.”

It may seem like I’m nit-picking but the language here is indicative of something in addition to the enlightenment/attainment in which the word “Brotherhood” is being read on this thread.

I’m not indicating that the views being expressed are wrong (I think there is already a lot of insight here) but-even if an alternate interpretation of this announcement be proven inferior to those already expressed-it does seem as if there is something else being aimed at. This, of course, will open the door to proposed social-political changes in accord with O.T.O..
My bringing up this topic was in reflection over Camilion’s recent criticism of the “not giving a fuck” attitude. This criticism has also been leveled at Michael Staley. I’m not trying to stir up a little tempest in a teapot here. Fact is, Cam, I resonate strongly with some of your expressed views on taking progressive action in the so-called “exoteric” world as a vital necessity. We aren’t going to be fighting over that. What I’m looking at is how this sits within the Thelemic philosophy in context of the organization that Crowley chose to incorporate it.

Whereas A.A. is very focused on the few who are working individually, the O.T.O. comes across as a vehicle for world-change on all levels based on the ideals of attainment in its sundry steps. Ultimately, there is a meeting between what we call the “individual” and the “universal” and O.T.O. seems designed to meet this need.

What I hear you saying is that this portion of the Manifesto may just be some left-over Masonic type stuff (alluding to a type of ideal society) which Crowley needed to bridge the gap between pre and post-Thelemic Fraternity.

If this is the case-and the “Brotherhood” is to be revealed as perceiving what is already here-then we would seem to come to the conclusion: societal change is a goal only relative to the individual’s pursuit of True Will and “not giving a fuck” may be just as viable an option as doing so.

Postscript: I wrote the above before reading Dar’s excellent post which I think opens a very interesting door. It would seem to suggest that Fraternity and Brotherhood (in that outward, exoteric, “world of people, places and things” sense) is somehow in line with the fundamental pulse of nature. If this is true, “The Brotherhood Of Man” would be addressing a basic and profound aspect of nature, one which our occluded thinking (and subsequent actions) would be working against. This reminds me straightaway of all of our discussions re: True Will and how self-deceptive and self-obstructive habits of mind and emotion bar the unfolding of True Will. Dar’s posts hints that it is just such an obstacle in the human consciousness which creates our present world conditions of strife and conflict. World affairs and societal relations seemed to be a genuine and on-going concern in Crowley’s writings, right along with his perpetual preaching of DWTW. So it seems that there is something of a double-edged sword in Thelema, at least what we may consider the “Thelema of Aleister Crowley.”

Again, I’m very appreciative of the comments and thoughts here-and I’m very interested in seeing where this discussion leads.

93, Lashtalians!

Kyle


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 Anonymous
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25/01/2012 7:52 pm  

Thank you, Kyle. You have clarified most of my initial uncertainties about the premise of the OP. I shall return to this thread, wouldn't miss it, after I've slain a couple of lesser "exoteric" dragons today. 🙂


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Azidonis
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25/01/2012 11:49 pm  

Some thoughts...

"kidneyhawk" wrote:
I've been trying to follow the recent thread dealing with "Fear" as it continues branching out into a wide variety of topics, one of which is the work we do to provide assistance and help, in any form, to our fellow creatures. There are a lot of different perspectives on this and one can't help but regard the observation that even a small group of self-identified "Thelemites" (or simply interested parties) often end in ideological conflicts when addressing any number of basic topics. The "atmosphere" doesn't seem particularly conducive to a unified effort at realizing Thelema in the world at large. The organizations which identify with a "Thelemic" outlook are relatively small and subject to the same splinterings that any other group of "too human humans" are wont to evoke.

Quite a concerning thesis.

"kidneyhawk" wrote:
With this in mind, I want to look at a simple claim made in Book 52, the Manifesto of OTO (you know, the one where it is claimed that one can find the wisdom and teachings of all the great fraternities and magical groups in one three-lettered package, that everyone from Mohammed to Francis Bacon was part of the "constituent originating assemblies" and so on).

Along with claims to have "resolved all the problems of philosophy and life" and to possess the "elixir of immortality" (do we need any further selling points?), it is stated:

"Moreover, it possesses a Secret capable of realizing the world-old dream of the Brotherhood of Man." 

Now, with regard to the roll-call alluded to above, “O.T.O.” would seem to straddle a line between the “exoteric organization” which Kellner “revived” and some larger trans-organizational current flowing through all times and cultures. Regardless, it is clearly part of this structural agenda to “realize the world-old dream of the Brotherhood of Man” (and this, however, we understand it, has been determined to be in line with that “Thelema” which has “resolved all the problems of philosophy and life”).

Interesting how it says, "resolved all the problems of philosophy and life", but that does not match your thesis (which I agree with), indicating that either these 'problems' have not been solved, or their solution has not been properly understood and implemented.

"kidneyhawk" wrote:
The three questions I'd like to ask to open up a discussion here are:

1) WHAT IS THIS “SECRET?” (No need to be coy-if ever there was a time to lift the bushel from the light, it’s now…because we’re a million miles from the “world-old dream.”)

I don't think there is one. There are "secrets", they say, but thus far I haven't seen, read, or heard anything about the O.T.O. that hasn't been already dealt with by other traditions and systems, with the possible exception of the apparent homosexual workings of the X* (going from memory on the exception, there). Everything else has been plainly out in the open for centuries, as any student of say Daoism will attest to.

"kidneyhawk" wrote:
2) HOW is the “BROTHERHOOD OF MAN” to be understood in context of “Thelema?” On one hand, we’re to trample down the weak, divide up "Kings" and "Slaves"and hit "low and hard"-on the other, we’re to serve humanity, recognize True Will as inherent in all things and promulgate the “Law.” It would seem that realizing the “Brotherhood of Man” must play second fiddle (if a fiddle at all) to DWTW with its focus on individual right action at the expense of all else (and we’ve heard this argued plenty).

From the L.A. Times... the Dalai Lama spoke about the death of Osama bin Laden:

"As a human being, Bin Laden may have deserved compassion and even forgiveness, the Dalai Lama said in answer to a question about the assassination of the Al Qaeda leader. But, he said, "Forgiveness doesn't mean forget what happened. … If something is serious and it is necessary to take counter-measures, you have to take counter-measures."

For the past few days, as I doodle in class listening to my philosophy professor rant about the "philosophy of religion", I have been trying to draw Radiance. I'm a terrible artist, but the essential idea is that I am trying to draw a bunchy of lines radiating outward in every direction. Imaginatively, those rays go on endlessly. The problem I have drawing this, is that I cannot decide what to put in the center. Either the rays radiate from a central point, and essentially form that central point in their radiation, or there is no "central point", and the rays simply radiate "from where".

I cannot make up my mind which picture I want to draw. If I draw the rays radiating without a central point, then they stop in a sort of circle, tiny as I can get it. In order for this approach to work, either this empty center serves as a focal point from which the energy radiates, which it obviously cannot do if it is truly empty, or the beginnings of the rays collectively create a sort of ring, or field, from which they all radiate, leaving an empty center.

If I draw the rays with a central point, all I have to draw are a bunch of lines on the paper. Then, I realize I don't have to draw anything at all, because to continue drawing those rays would only cover the entire universe, and when the smoke cleared I would be back at a textual reality similar to the one perceived when I began drawing the rays in the first place. Of course, this also speaks to the "emptiness" in the center, as everywhere would be the center.

These rays, I think, constitute the "Brotherhood of Man". If we all radiate such "rays", from whatever we perceive to be the focal point, or originating point of those rays, those rays still continue endlessly. They are still all inter-related. I am reminded of Liber Ararita, "And these twelve rays are one."

I don't think this is anywhere near a "secret". Recognizing and realizing the inter-connectedness of all things, leads to the creation of the "Brotherhood of Man" within one's awareness. The illusion of importance and priority is merely one of duality and division. The problem is, that it is easy to say "everyone is equally important", but difficult to live. In my opinion, Crowley chose to approach that difficulty by attempting to assert the individual sovereignty of each individual, with the logic that "if everyone thought that way" there would be no social hierarchy.

But social hierarchy does exist, whether we like it or not. So in practice, I think maybe the "Brotherhood of Man" comes into play when men (and women) regard their fellow Earth-dwellers with the same respect they give to themselves. This also is a "utopian ideal", but I think it may be the closest we have to realizing the brotherhood on Earth. It's a worthy goal, at any rate, though it may never reach some people. That being the case, I still do not think it is wise or prudent for us to create divisions amongst ourselves or one another. The day I come to the conclusion that Thelema for some reason wants us to do as some of the trolls we have had say, and "rally for war, kill all infidels, yadda yadda", I would probably decide to put "Thelema" out of my life.

"kidneyhawk" wrote:
3) IS there any relevance of this passage to our present understanding of how a “Thelemite” is to act in the world (or is it simply a rehashing of the same old Masonic Idealism we saw plenty of ere Kellner did his “reviving?” “If you act now, you’ll not only get the Great Mystery AND the Elixir of Immortality but the SECRET of UNIVERSAL BROTHERHOOD-Free!-as our gift to YOU! Our operators are waiting for your dues...er...call.”).

I think the ideal of "Universal Brotherhood" is a worthy ideal. But I think there are over 7 billion people in this world, and it would take the combined efforts of each one of them to truly put this into social practice globally. It's possible to put the view into place in one's own life, and to help others to see it in theirs if they so Will, but the view cannot be forced. One simply has to realize it on one's own eventually. 

"kidneyhawk" wrote:
Very interested in perspectives on this and I think it's a quite relevant topic with regards to both the world at large and some of the tendencies in other discussions here on the boards.

I think it's very relevant, and I'm glad you made a separate thread for it.

"kidneyhawk" wrote:
I’d like to thank everyone who has (thus far) shared their perspectives. It seems to be something of a consensus (again, thus far) that the term “Brotherhood” is to be read as a particular state of consciousness manifest in the individual as he/she apprehends a dimension of reality-and not the transformation of human relations on the planet into something we might conceive of as more harmonious on the social/political front.

I think it works both ways. One is a perception or ideal that one can use effectively in one's life and treatment of others, but it is still an ideal. The other ideal is that if human relations were already at the point, we would have realized the ideal on the global level. Neither viewpoints or situations are extremely easy to tackle in any case.

"kidneyhawk" wrote:
The wording in the Manifesto, I believe, may have other implications.

Do we feel the advertising of a “Secret” necessary to this “Realization” is a bit of overkill? Could it not have been stated more simply “We teach a simple and sure method to gain insight into the true nature of experience and thereby know the inherent oneness and harmony of all things as they are?”

The latter description sounds more accurate, but is it as marketable as having a "secret"? It makes me wonder what type of people Crowley intended to attract in the first place.

"kidneyhawk" wrote:
That would seem to be covered, however, in the previous allusions to O.T.O. openly teaching yoga in all its forms. After this, the whole “Brotherhood” deal is introduced with the word “Moreover.”

It may seem like I’m nit-picking but the language here is indicative of something in addition to the enlightenment/attainment in which the word “Brotherhood” is being read on this thread.

Maybe he was referring to the IX* and X* rites? Maybe he saw these as being the physical representation of the inner union with one's fellow man/woman? 

"kidneyhawk" wrote:
I’m not indicating that the views being expressed are wrong (I think there is already a lot of insight here) but-even if an alternate interpretation of this announcement be proven inferior to those already expressed-it does seem as if there is something else being aimed at. This, of course, will open the door to proposed social-political changes in accord with O.T.O.

An analysis of the influence of the O.T.O. on non-members would be interesting here.

"kidneyhawk" wrote:
My bringing up this topic was in reflection over Camilion’s recent criticism of the “not giving a fuck” attitude. This criticism has also been leveled at Michael Staley. I’m not trying to stir up a little tempest in a teapot here. Fact is, Cam, I resonate strongly with some of your expressed views on taking progressive action in the so-called “exoteric” world as a vital necessity. We aren’t going to be fighting over that. What I’m looking at is how this sits within the Thelemic philosophy in context of the organization that Crowley chose to incorporate it.

At the moment, I think, "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law." I think that everyone perceives a course or direction, and where Mr. Staley is concerned, his work in publishing Kenneth Grant's works is a qualifier against any arguments that say he doesn't give a fuck. When I did construction many years ago, I worked mainly as a helper. Many days, the helpers would work twice as hard as the installers. To say that the installers were the only relevant contributor to tiling the ballroom would be bullocks. Yes, the installers get paid more, as their finished product is what people value, but the helper's work and effort really carries just as much value. That Mr. Staley can pursue his own ventures while at the same taking assisting Grant in spreading his message to the world, does not say to me that he doesn't give a fuck.

"kidneyhawk" wrote:
Whereas A.A. is very focused on the few who are working individually, the O.T.O. comes across as a vehicle for world-change on all levels based on the ideals of attainment in its sundry steps. Ultimately, there is a meeting between what we call the “individual” and the “universal” and O.T.O. seems designed to meet this need.

While the A:.A:. Work is indeed individual, at first, eventually one is not supposed to keep back even one drop from the Cup of Our Lady Babalon... from selfish to selfless. In my opinion, those who would keep their attainments for themselves are Black Brothers, and unworthy of being called a member of the A:.A:.. Note, this does not effect the hermits and ascetics, who would most likely be delighted to hear of anyone's impending visit.

"kidneyhawk" wrote:
What I hear you saying is that this portion of the Manifesto may just be some left-over Masonic type stuff (alluding to a type of ideal society) which Crowley needed to bridge the gap between pre and post-Thelemic Fraternity.

Could Thelema not stand on its own? If he was using that stuff as a branch, then it was either an advertisement to attract the same people who like "secrets", or he questioned the strength of the process when not using said branches. I like to think it's an advertisement. I've also never joined the O.T.O., so it's just an outsider view.

"kidneyhawk" wrote:
If this is the case-and the “Brotherhood” is to be revealed as perceiving what is already here-then we would seem to come to the conclusion: societal change is a goal only relative to the individual’s pursuit of True Will and “not giving a fuck” may be just as viable an option as doing so.

I don't see where not giving a fuck about others is a viable approach.


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26/01/2012 11:00 am  
"kidneyhawk" wrote:
Postscript: I wrote the above before reading Dar’s excellent post which I think opens a very interesting door. It would seem to suggest that Fraternity and Brotherhood (in that outward, exoteric, “world of people, places and things” sense) is somehow in line with the fundamental pulse of nature. If this is true, “The Brotherhood Of Man” would be addressing a basic and profound aspect of nature, one which our occluded thinking (and subsequent actions) would be working against. This reminds me straightaway of all of our discussions re: True Will and how self-deceptive and self-obstructive habits of mind and emotion bar the unfolding of True Will. Dar’s posts hints that it is just such an obstacle in the human consciousness which creates our present world conditions of strife and conflict. World affairs and societal relations seemed to be a genuine and on-going concern in Crowley’s writings, right along with his perpetual preaching of DWTW. So it seems that there is something of a double-edged sword in Thelema, at least what we may consider the “Thelema of Aleister Crowley.”

This is turning into a very interesting discussion.  🙂

I'm not sure if there are any self-obstructive habits of mind and emotion working to bar the true will.  There only seems to be a spectrum of conscious states of being that the individual can find himself in at any given time, as he resonates with the outer universe.  We sometimes talk extensively about will, but say little about 'free will', or else confuse it for 'free want' because free will involves making a choice.  The mystery schools can aid a person that has chosen and committed themselves to resonate harmoniously with the universe.  The choice and aspiration alone create a brotherhood of equals, but in considering fraternity is must be remembered that the desire to grow, to learn, and to seek the light is as natural to all human beings as it is for plants.  Learning is a function of consciousness, whether we're talking about the consciousness of a yeast culture or the consciousness of a human being.  In science we can consider learning to be a natural function of the microtubules that connect us to the quantum geometry of spacetime.  And as a species overall we continue to evolve and progress.  As a social species, what else can this 'brotherhood of man' be, except that which compells us by our very nature to be social animals?

In a sense, the fraternal function of a mystery school works to affirm this realisation into our daily lives, and functions as a body of equals orientated towards inner illumination and the free expression of that light in the outer world.               


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Los
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26/01/2012 1:37 pm  
"Dar" wrote:
As a social species, what else can this 'brotherhood of man' be, except that which compells us by our very nature to be social animals?

Hang on just a minute. While it’s true that natural selection has produced our species with a certain degree of empathy toward our fellow creatures, generally these empathetic impulses and tendency to cooperate are aimed at the in group while our equally violent and competitive natural tendencies are directed toward the out group.

In other words, it’s perfectly “in line with the fundamental pulse of nature” for humans to show kindness and love and “fraternity” toward members of their own tribe while violently and brutally killing members of other tribes.

The mere fact that humans are “social animals” in no way means that Nature demands that we form a universal “brotherhood” across the planet, any more than the mere fact that we’re also a violent species means that Nature demands that we construct a perpetual world war involving every last member of the species.

It’s a mistake to start thinking that one’s particular favorite chosen goal is “somehow in line with the fundamental pulse of nature” and assume that opposite goals are somehow not equally “in line with the fundamental pulse of nature.”

Again: Nature didn’t produce us to be entirely peaceful, cooperative creatures any more than Nature produced us to be entirely violent, competitive creatures.

Azidonis:

I don't see where not giving a fuck about others is a viable approach.

“For these fools of men and their woes care not thou at all!” –The Book of the Law, I:31


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ignant666
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26/01/2012 2:31 pm  

Our biological natures may incline us to cooperation or conflict, but those acting under will are not following exclusively that biological nature.
Isn't it the most likely answer that the "secret of the brotherhood of man" possessed by the OTO is thelema; a group of stars will not clash, as per AC's explication of the Star Sponge vision in Liber II, "The message of the Master Therion" (that I keep harping on):
ΘΕΛΗΜΑ—Thelema—means Will. . .
“Thou hast no right but to do thy will. Do that and no other shall say nay. For pure will, unassuaged of purpose, delivered from the lust of result, is every way perfect.”
Take this carefully; it seems to imply a theory that if every man and every woman did his and her will—the true will—there would be no clashing. “Every man and every woman is a star,” and each star moves in an appointed path without interference. There is plenty of room for all; it is only disorder that creates confusion.
From these considerations it should be clear that “Do what thou wilt” does not mean “Do what you like.” It is the apotheosis of Freedom; but it is also the strictest possible bond.


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26/01/2012 2:34 pm  
"Los" wrote:
"Dar" wrote:
As a social species, what else can this 'brotherhood of man' be, except that which compells us by our very nature to be social animals?

Hang on just a minute. While it’s true that natural selection has produced our species with a certain degree of empathy toward our fellow creatures, generally these empathetic impulses and tendency to cooperate are aimed at the in group while our equally violent and competitive natural tendencies are directed toward the out group.

In other words, it’s perfectly “in line with the fundamental pulse of nature” for humans to show kindness and love and “fraternity” toward members of their own tribe while violently and brutally killing members of other tribes.

Is it?  I can't really imagine or appreciate the full reality of what living in a primitive tribe might be like.  In this complex and vibrant culture which I find myself in, I've never seen anyone kill anyone else, except on the TV.  What violence I have witnessed in my life, happened as a spasm; an exception to the normally violence free reality of my day to day experience of existence. 

And there doesn't seem to be any war breaking out on facebook, even though that most folks have FB friends in other countries and from other cultures.  Infact - that's one of the little things that is so charming about it. 

Dealing with the cultures of the modern world, as complex and diverse as ours requires an intelligent openness and exchange with all types of different people.  That's just part of living in a multicultural society, and in a few years time, 80% of the world population is going to be living in big cities, which are generally hubs of cultural diversity.   

These phenomena are just as natural to me as anything that goes down in the bush lands.


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26/01/2012 3:52 pm  

Los:

"Nature didn’t produce us to be entirely peaceful, cooperative creatures any more than Nature produced us to be entirely violent, competitive creatures."

Nature did not "produce" us. Nature is PRODUCING us. Status Quo not only bears relation to the past but the future as well. Ignant's citation of Crowley indicates a trajectory which the implementation of Thelemic philosophy is meant to accelerate, such accelartion also being an act of Love-Will within the Body of Nuit. 

Kyle


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Azidonis
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26/01/2012 4:18 pm  
"Los" wrote:
Azidonis:

I don't see where not giving a fuck about others is a viable approach.

“For these fools of men and their woes care not thou at all!” –The Book of the Law, I:31

I see that as a working paradigm for pre-switch mentality.

How do you think one can give all one has and is over to the employ of the universe without giving a fuck about the universe in some way?


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ignant666
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26/01/2012 4:29 pm  

Perhaps "not giving a fuck about others" is not the same as not giving a fuck about "these fools of men and their woes"?
Their "woes" may arise because they do not act under will; all "others" may not be "these fools of men" who have not realized "that the pain of division is as nothing".


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Azidonis
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26/01/2012 4:39 pm  

From Liber 156: "Thou shalt mingle thy life with the universal life. Thou shalt keep not back one drop."


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Los
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26/01/2012 4:47 pm  
"Dar" wrote:
Is it?

Yes.

I can't really imagine or appreciate the full reality of […]

You seem to be arguing that because you personally aren’t aware of -- or participating in -- the violence going on in human society, violence is somehow wrong, or not in line with Nature, or not as in line with Nature as the peaceful stuff that you happen to like.

Look, I generally like the peaceful stuff, too, but I don’t delude myself into thinking that it’s more “in line with Nature” than some other stuff.

Nature isn’t producing us – present progressive tense, this time – to be more loving and kind. It’s producing us to survive, and this includes perpetuating our aggressive instincts as well as our cooperative ones.

Again: it’s not “more in line with Nature” to be loving and peaceful, and Nature is not “producing us” to be more loving and kind with each other.
They are false ideas, and they need to be rooted out of any minds that want to see reality clearly.

Even from a practical point of view, if people want to try to establish a utopia, they had better begin by acknowledging humanity’s aggressive impulses and the fact that these impulses won’t be going away anytime soon: pretending that these impulses “aren’t in line with Nature” isn’t going to help anyone at all.

Kidneyhawk:

Ignant's citation of Crowley [i.e. the “there would be no clashing” passage] indicates a trajectory which the implementation of Thelemic philosophy is meant to accelerate, such accelartion also being an act of Love-Will within the Body of Nuit.

Except that, astronomically speaking, there are collisions between stars, as Crowley later acknowledged in that passage from the New Comment in which he apparently sanctions murder and rape when they are in line with the nature of an individual:

“Physical constraint, up to a certain point, is not so seriously wrong; for it has its roots in the original sex-conflict which we see in animals, and has often the effect of exciting Love in his highest and noblest shape. Some of the most passionate and permanent attachments have begun with rape. Rome was actually founded thereon. Similarly, murder of a faithless partner is ethically excusable, in a certain sense; for there may be some stars whose Nature is extreme violence. The collision of galaxies is a magnificent spectacle, after all.” (New Comment to AL I:41)

My point is that even Crowley acknowledges that there can be “collisions” of stars, meaning that even if everyone were doing their True Wills, there would still be acts of violence (which is exactly what we would expect, given that the True Will arises from Nature, and Nature is equipping us – present progressive tense! – with both cooperative and competitive, aggressive impulses).

Now, of course, if everyone were doing their True Wills, it might be reasonable to assume that conflict would overall decrease, but there would still be conflict, violence, aggression, and all the rest.

How do you think one can give all one has and is over to the employ of the universe without giving a fuck about the universe in some way?

Because “giv[ing] all one has and is over to the employ of the universe” means relinquishing everything that one has and is, including – your very favorite word, Azidonis – “attachments,” which I’m going to define broadly enough here to include concern of all kind for anything in particular.


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Los
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26/01/2012 4:50 pm  
"ignant666" wrote:
Perhaps "not giving a fuck about others" is not the same as not giving a fuck about "these fools of men and their woes"?
Their "woes" may arise because they do not act under will; all "others" may not be "these fools of men" who have not realized "that the pain of division is as nothing".

It's both unknowable and irrelevant whether others are acting in line with their True Will or not. A Thelemite has full sanction of the Book of the Law to "care not" about that person's so-called "woes" -- which, as you suggest, will pass and be done -- and to "strike hard" at whomever he or she wishes:

59. Beware therefore! Love all, lest perchance is a King concealed! Say you so? Fool! If he be a King, thou canst not hurt him.

60. Therefore strike hard & low, and to hell with them, master!

--The Book of the Law, Chapter II


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Los
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26/01/2012 4:54 pm  
"Azidonis" wrote:
From Liber 156: "Thou shalt mingle thy life with the universal life. Thou shalt keep not back one drop."

You have this awful habit of just quoting lines out of context and never attempting to explain them, which is probably a result of your misguided desire to let seekers find "their own answers" (see here: http://thelema-and-skepticism.blogspot.com/2011/09/finding-your-own-answer.html

In this case, you've quoted a line that has absolutely nothing to do with caring about others: "mingl[ing] [one's] life with the universal life" does not involve caring about others, being kind to others, or giving anything resembling a rat's ass about others.

What makes you think that it does? I could explain what the verse means, if you'd like....


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Azidonis
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26/01/2012 5:08 pm  
"Los" wrote:
"Azidonis" wrote:
From Liber 156: "Thou shalt mingle thy life with the universal life. Thou shalt keep not back one drop."

You have this awful habit of just quoting lines out of context and never attempting to explain them, which is probably a result of your misguided desire to let seekers find "their own answers" (see here: http://thelema-and-skepticism.blogspot.com/2011/09/finding-your-own-answer.html

In this case, you've quoted a line that has absolutely nothing to do with caring about others: "mingl[ing] [one's] life with the universal life" does not involve caring about others, being kind to others, or giving anything resembling a rat's ass about others.

What makes you think that it does? I could explain what the verse means, if you'd like....

If you can't mingle without attachment that's your problem. In one post you underline the importance of recognizing violence is as much a part of human nature as non-violence, saying that we should accept both approaches as "natural", harp on me about non-attachment, then think that I quoted 156 out of context. You probably think I wanted it to mean "be nosy".

One can mingle without attachment. It's directly related to the verse in Liber AL you tossed out here, but neither of them equate to simply not giving a fuck, unless you think that not giving a fuck is somehow non-attachment.

About seekers finding their own answers... tell me, the first person to ever achieve enlightenment... who taught that person? Tell me also, how many gurus have held the hands of their chelas as they crossed the Abyss?


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ignant666
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26/01/2012 5:36 pm  
"Los" wrote:

Ignant's citation of Crowley [i.e. the “there would be no clashing” passage] indicates a trajectory which the implementation of Thelemic philosophy is meant to accelerate, such accelartion also being an act of Love-Will within the Body of Nuit.

Except that, astronomically speaking, there are collisions between stars, as Crowley later acknowledged in that passage from the New Comment in which he apparently sanctions murder and rape when they are in line with the nature of an individual:

“Physical constraint, up to a certain point, is not so seriously wrong; for it has its roots in the original sex-conflict which we see in animals, and has often the effect of exciting Love in his highest and noblest shape. Some of the most passionate and permanent attachments have begun with rape. Rome was actually founded thereon. Similarly, murder of a faithless partner is ethically excusable, in a certain sense; for there may be some stars whose Nature is extreme violence. The collision of galaxies is a magnificent spectacle, after all.” (New Comment to AL I:41)

My point is that even Crowley acknowledges that there can be “collisions” of stars, meaning that even if everyone were doing their True Wills, there would still be acts of violence (which is exactly what we would expect, given that the True Will arises from Nature, and Nature is equipping us – present progressive tense! – with both cooperative and competitive, aggressive impulses).

Now, of course, if everyone were doing their True Wills, it might be reasonable to assume that conflict would overall decrease, but there would still be conflict, violence, aggression, and all the rest.

The language cited about the "collision of galaxies" is the commentary to I:41. I'm not certain that that verse can be read as justifying either rape or murder of a faithless lover. The overall context of the language cited is a plea for the sexual emancipation of women; again I'm not certain that many womens' notion of sexual emancipation includes being raped or murdered for being adulterous (as AC appears to realize two paragraphs later).
I also would point out that , even if we accept that these are acts of "love", that love must be under will.
Further, re harmony, will, stars, etc, the paragraph that follows the one Los cites:

However, to the mind of Law there is an Order of Going; and a machine is more beautiful, save to the Small Boy, when it works than when it smashes. Now the Machine of Matter-Motion is an explosive machine, with pyrotechnic effects; but these are only incidentals.


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Los
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26/01/2012 5:42 pm  
"Azidonis" wrote:
If you can't mingle without attachment that's your problem.

I just got finished saying that “mingling” in the sense of that verse requires non-attachment, but since “non-attachment” is kind of a vague phrase that means different things to different people, let’s drop it in favor of “Indifference,” which will hopefully make my meaning clear to you.

Mingling one’s life with the universal life requires one to be as Indifferent as the universe is, to care not at all which impressions come one’s way, to cease to let there be “difference made” between the impressions. Such Indifference is incompatible with giving a fuck about people.

Of course, lest I be misunderstood, I don't mean to say that one who has "mingled" himself in this way will become a robot or cease to treat people nicely. He may, in fact, be a very kind person -- but his kindness is just another fact about the universe to which he is Indifferent, not a quality that is necessary for, or produced by, the mingling. Another person may equally mingle himself with the universal life and be a mean S.O.B. to others.

You probably think I wanted [the verse] to mean "be nosy".

No, I think you think the verse means that an individual needs to adopt certain characteristics – like compassion, caring, and kindness. At the very least, I think you think the verse means that the one doing the “mingling” needs to care about other people in order to do it.

I’m saying that such an interpretation – if that’s what you meant – is wrong.

Don’t forget, Liber 156 tells us, as part of this mingling: “Thou hast love; tear thy mother from thine heart, and spit in the face of thy father. Let thy foot trample the belly of thy wife, and let the babe at her breast be the prey of dogs and vultures.”

This isn’t some lovey-dovey, let’s-all-be-fraternal text. A person can be wrong in the way he interprets a text, and I’m saying you’re wrong about this text.

About seekers finding their own answers... tell me, the first person to ever achieve enlightenment... who taught that person?

It’s irrelevant whether a person can “achieve enlightenment” by himself because the question here isn’t whether that is possible but whether or not lucid explanation helps or hinders the process of achieving enlightenment.

I would argue that a lucid explanation of the meanings of texts, as well as a lucid explanation of what the goal is, the practices to achieve the goal, how to tell that the practices are working, and how to tell when one has achieved the goal, can only help an individual and that such lucid explanation cannot hamper a person’s ability to achieve enlightenment one iota (unless, of course, the "seeker" is especially stupid or weak).


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Los
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26/01/2012 5:51 pm  
"ignant666" wrote:
I'm not certain that that verse can be read as justifying either rape or murder of a faithless lover.

I'm not talking about the verse: I'm talking about AC's "New Comment," the one where he says that "physical constraint" is "not so seriously wrong" and that, by implication, neither is rape because "Some of the most passionate and permanent attachments have begun with rape" and that murder is "ethically excusable" in the case where the Nature of a star is "extreme violence."

Now, keep in mind, I'm not necessarily supporting his position here, but I'm presenting it as an important qualifier to the idea that there would be "no clashing" of stars if everyone were doing their True Will.

I'm saying that it's not true that there would be no "clashing of stars" if everyone were doing their True Will, and I'm pointing out that Crowley seems to agree, at least in the passage I cited. Regardless of what he says elsewhere -- or even what he says in the remainder of that comment -- I'm saying that in this particular place, he denies that clashing will be avoided by all performing their True Will.


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Los
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26/01/2012 6:02 pm  
"Los" wrote:
I would argue that a lucid explanation of the meanings of texts, as well as a lucid explanation of what the goal is, the practices to achieve the goal, how to tell that the practices are working, and how to tell when one has achieved the goal, can only help an individual and that such lucid explanation cannot hamper a person’s ability to achieve enlightenment one iota (unless, of course, the "seeker" is especially stupid or weak).

While I'm thinking of it, I might as well add the perfectly obvious corollary: that someone ignoring lucid, correct explanations of texts, goals, and practices, in favor of some random shit he just makes up out of whole cloth and then clings to on the basis that it's "his own [super duper special] answer" is very likely going to severely hamper that person's ability to achieve enlightenment.


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ignant666
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26/01/2012 6:14 pm  
"Los" wrote:
"ignant666" wrote:
I'm not certain that that verse can be read as justifying either rape or murder of a faithless lover.

I'm not talking about the verse: I'm talking about AC's "New Comment," the one where he says that "physical constraint" is "not so seriously wrong" and that, by implication, neither is rape because "Some of the most passionate and permanent attachments have begun with rape" and that murder is "ethically excusable" in the case where the Nature of a star is "extreme violence."

Well, you may not be talking about that verse, but the language from the "New Comment" you quote is, and probably can most reasonably be understood in that context, as well as in the context of the language that surrounds it, a point you appear to understand above, as you chide Azidonis for what you say is his "awful habit of just quoting lines out of context and never attempting to explain them".

Regardless of what he says elsewhere -- or even what he says in the remainder of that comment -- I'm saying that in this particular place, he denies that clashing will be avoided by all performing their True Will.

It is unquestionable that you have accurately quoted some sentences from the middle of a long commentary. I'm not sure that carries the point, or supersedes a point AC said constituted his "inmost apprehension of the universe from [a few weeks after assuming the grade of magus] forward." (Confessions, end of ch. 82)
Here is another accurate quotation from that same comment (to I:51):

Such acts as rape, and the assault or seduction of infants, may therefore be justly regarded as offences against the Law of Liberty, and repressed in the interests of that Law.


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Azidonis
(@azidonis)
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26/01/2012 7:39 pm  
"Los" wrote:
"Azidonis" wrote:
If you can't mingle without attachment that's your problem.

I just got finished saying that “mingling” in the sense of that verse requires non-attachment, but since “non-attachment” is kind of a vague phrase that means different things to different people, let’s drop it in favor of “Indifference,” which will hopefully make my meaning clear to you.

Non-attachment, indifference, and not giving a fuck are three different things. The practice of non-attachment is a "touch & go" practice. It is engaging in an event without "affectionate regard". If you watch a sports match between two teams, you can get engaged in the match-up itself without being attached to any one player, play, or even the outcome of the match. Indifference is the "absence of compulsion toward one thing or another". Indifference is a product of practicing non-attachment. Not giving a fuck is just simply not giving a fuck.

My neighbor has a dog, pitbull. When the dog simply walks outside, I don't give a fuck. The dog going outside two houses down doesn't matter to me one bit. Then, the dog passes through my yard on his way to relieve his bowels. I observe the phenomenon tentatively, obviously giving a fuck whether or not he decides to piss on my truck tires or shit in my front yard. But, I am unattached to the phenomenon, in that I do not hinder his process, and he decides whether or not he wants to do either of those things. If he shits in my yard, I simply engage in the act of letting my neighbor know he has shit in my yard, and she comes and picks it up with a bag. I can recognize that the event has occurred and react to it without being necessarily attached to it. I can interact with her without being attached to her, without affectionate regard to her or her dog. I can also choose to be indifferent about the entire thing, having no compulsion towards the dog, his shit, or my neighbor. In this last case, I could end up with a yard full of dog shit.

"Los" wrote:
Mingling one’s life with the universal life requires one to be as Indifferent as the universe is, to care not at all which impressions come one’s way, to cease to let there be “difference made” between the impressions. Such Indifference is incompatible with giving a fuck about people.

You are crossing the planes.

Say you have three identical sets of keys. You keep one in your pocket, your wife has a set, and there's one in a safe place.

You stash that one spare set of keys, and then don't give a fuck about them until either yours or your wife's set goes missing, gets stolen, broken, etc.

The set of keys in your pocket, you can use without attachment, knowing that if for some reason they become lost or damaged, you have two other sets. So when you do lose your keys, you don't get all worked up in a frenzy over the keys. You can use this set of keys to do everything a set of keys needs to do, without necessarily being attached to having keys. However, to use those keys, you have to differentiate between them, and decide which key works best for which lock. Using your house key on your car ignition won't work unless you have consciously set it up that way.

To be indifferent just says there are keys. It says nothing about the quality of the keys, or their purpose, or their individuality, only that there are items which can be identified as keys. Keys exist. However, if you want to use those keys, you have to make a difference, or distinction between which key fits which hole. Not being able to make that difference, or distinction, would leave you standing in the parking lot by "vehicle" (any vehicle) with "keys" to "unlock door". In order to act on the physical plane, distinctions between things have to occur, as we live in a dualistic reality.

"Los" wrote:
Of course, lest I be misunderstood, I don't mean to say that one who has "mingled" himself in this way will become a robot or cease to treat people nicely. He may, in fact, be a very kind person -- but his kindness is just another fact about the universe to which he is Indifferent, not a quality that is necessary for, or produced by, the mingling. Another person may equally mingle himself with the universal life and be a mean S.O.B. to others.

Again, we live in a dualistic reality. In order to interact with that reality, we have to make distinctions between things. We do not necessarily have to become attached to those distinctions, though. In our minds, "on higher planes" we can lose such distinctions, and that is part of the Beauty that is Freedom of the Mind. But Freedom of the Mind won't open your car door.

Likewise, we can mingle with people, and hold in our minds that people exist, and that we are talking to a person. This is still a distinction, a difference made between self and not-self, but in order to interact with that person, a distinction has to be made. The Brotherhood of Man comes when people make those distinctions but remain unattached to them, reminding themselves that "there is no difference" between one's own self and any other.

Any mingling or interaction between people or objects creates karma. Even if one is so dense to only think of karma as cause and effect, karma is still created. Non-attachment allows us to see that karma for what it is, and react accordingly. Indifference allows us to dissolve karma. Not giving a fuck creates inconsiderate people, who become part of the pack called "dogs of reason".

"Los" wrote:

You probably think I wanted [the verse] to mean "be nosy".

No, I think you think the verse means that an individual needs to adopt certain characteristics – like compassion, caring, and kindness. At the very least, I think you think the verse means that the one doing the “mingling” needs to care about other people in order to do it.

I’m saying that such an interpretation – if that’s what you meant – is wrong.

I agree with you, but that's not what was getting at. Two verses:

“For these fools of men and their woes care not thou at all!”

In my opinion (in before all the "he's trying to patronize us by telling us what he thinks these verses mean and expecting us to agree with him nonsense), this verse is a call to non-attachment, when applied to interacting with reality. I do not think that it is a call to not give a fuck about anyone else.

"Thou shalt mingle thy life with the universal life. Thou shalt keep not back one drop."

Another in my opinion, this verse calls us to mingle with the universal life. That is, not to be shy about the world, and not to exclude anyone or anything in our mingling, including "the fools of men and their woes". To "not keep back one drop" is, in my opinion (do I have to continually say "in my opinion"?)

- This just in. As I'm typing this, I heard my neighbor outside, yelling "Come here!". He was obviously talking to the dog mentioned above. I can simply not give a fuck about him yelling that, in which case I wouldn't be typing it here, I can be unattached to it but "mingle" and maybe see what he's yelling on about, or I can be indifferent and think "male yelling", which would be all the information necessarily known about that which was heard. -

Anyway, LVX is not something that starts and stops. LVX is constant, effervescent. Realization of LVX allows us the vision necessary to overcome sorrow. That does not mean sorrow has ceased to exist. Mingling and not holding back one drop, in this case, is to see everything in the Light of LVX. Compassion allows us to see suffering in the Light. Compassion is defined as (and I know you hate this, but bear with me), "sympathetic consciousness of others' distress together with a desire to alleviate it". That doesn't mean anyone has to run around "saving" people. It simply means that when one is able to see the world in the Light of LVX, one can see how the suffering of others casts a veil upon them. Helping someone to rend that veil may be as simple as talking to them "god to god" instead of "god to man" or "god to dog". There are many people who have enjoyed even a momentary release from suffering just by simple interaction with "holy men", and this is the source of Veneration. This Veneration in any case is a side effect, when ones interaction with another allows even a momentary glimpse of the Light, a momentary relief from sorrow. This is a part of the meaning behind the verse, "Compassion is the vice of kings."

As I'm sure psychology will show, the better people are treated, the better people act. My mother used to have a copy of this hanging on the refrigerator at home when I was younger:

Children Learn What They Live

"If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn.
If children live with hostility, they learn to fight.
If children live with fear, they learn to be apprehensive.
If children live with pity, they learn to feel sorry for themselves.
If children live with ridicule, they learn to feel shy.
If children live with jealousy, they learn to feel envy.
If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty.
If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence.
If children live with tolerance, they learn patience.
If children live with praise, they learn appreciation.
If children live with acceptance, they learn to love.
If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves.
If children live with recognition, they learn it is good to have a goal.
If children live with sharing, they learn generosity.
If children live with honesty, they learn truthfulness.
If children live with fairness, they learn justice.
If children live with kindness and consideration, they learn respect.
If children live with security, they learn to have faith in themselves and in those about them.
If children live with friendliness, they learn the world is a nice place in which to live."

If one has resolved inner conflicts to the point in which LVX is able to flourish in one's mind, then one may necessarily view others in this same LVX. Those who do not, who continue to make that separation between "myself and everything else", are Black Brothers.

"Los" wrote:
Don’t forget, Liber 156 tells us, as part of this mingling: “Thou hast love; tear thy mother from thine heart, and spit in the face of thy father. Let thy foot trample the belly of thy wife, and let the babe at her breast be the prey of dogs and vultures.”

This is an exercise in non-attachment, which leads to exercises in indifference. One is not expected to walk up to one's father and literally spit in his face. One is to examine those things which one has received and will receive from one's father, take them into account, and then treat them with non-attachment, so that one can "break lose" from that parental bondage, and Go One's Own Way. Eventually, this turns into a practice of indifference, when the point of "father's influence", "personal preference", and "influence/ personal preference" are dissolved in samadhi. But, in order to interact with one's father, the differences have to be made and understood, as one mingles without attachment. Else, one would not be able to interact with one's father after the dissolution.

"Los" wrote:
This isn’t some lovey-dovey, let’s-all-be-fraternal text. A person can be wrong in the way he interprets a text, and I’m saying you’re wrong about this text.

You were also going off an imagined premise.

Furthermore, even though you were going off an imagined premise, you are here trying to make a point that there is a "right interpretation" to any of these texts. In such a case, we shouldn't be talking about it at all, and simply (slavishly?) referring to Crowley's Comment to Liber AL. If there was only one "right interpretation" there would only be one school of thought. That is not the case.

"Los" wrote:
I would argue that a lucid explanation of the meanings of texts, as well as a lucid explanation of what the goal is, the practices to achieve the goal, how to tell that the practices are working, and how to tell when one has achieved the goal, can only help an individual and that such lucid explanation cannot hamper a person’s ability to achieve enlightenment one iota (unless, of course, the "seeker" is especially stupid or weak).

Oh, bullshit. Explain to me how cases of insanity in which people "were enlightened but not prepared", and also the concept of the "Black Brothers" even exists if those statements hold true. Enlightenment happens. People reach enlightened states all the time. Sometimes, it happens as a natural occurrence, and they have no training for it whatsoever, and they simply cannot handle the series of events, which drive them to insanity. That is not a case of weakness or stupidity, as weakness and stupidity are controllable. As for the Black Brothers... stupid, yea maybe, but not in their eyes. Either way, it is a judgement call based on what you think to be qualities necessary for enlightenment, ie. "not stupid or weak". Not only that, but those two qualities are largely subjective.


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 Anonymous
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26/01/2012 7:54 pm  
"Dar" wrote:
This is turning into a very interesting discussion.  🙂     

Not really. I just got caught up on the thread. This discussion has gone rapidly into a small cluster-fuck of incompatible paradigms.

Az is looking at it from the A.'.A.'. perspective, which contrasts the OTO perspective (supposed to under discussion here, sort of); this contrast was recently discussed by Gunther and the Australia OTO X* in Japan, I believe, mentioned elsewhere on this site. This contrast might be worth a review by anyone interested.

Los' 'inevitability of conflict' position is quite true, although a significant percentage of conflict between individuals would be reduced if the Law of Thelema were in full effect. One could examine this hypothetically on case by case basis and prove it beyond a reasonable doubt, not that I care to spend the time required to do this. Relations between nations would reflect the same result.

I'd like to hear more from Kyle concerning the evolutionary course of our kind, because to say that any species has stopped evolving and has arrived at it's final destination is usually mistaken, with exception of total extinction. 😉


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ignant666
(@ignant666)
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26/01/2012 8:15 pm  
"Camlion" wrote:
"Dar" wrote:
This is turning into a very interesting discussion.  🙂     

Not really.

Funniest comment yet; I am not the sort of person who would ever "LOL", but this did produce laughter audible by others.

This discussion has gone rapidly into a small cluster-fuck of incompatible paradigms.

That's the best kind!


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 Anonymous
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26/01/2012 9:00 pm  

Regarding A.·.A.·. and Thelema: "The O.T.O. has nothing to do with this, except that The Book of the Law and the Word of the Aeon are essential principles of membership. In all other respects, it stands by itself as a body similar to Freemasonry, but involving acceptance of a social and economic system which is intended to put the world on its feet. There is also, of course, the secret of the IX° which is to say, the weapon which they may use to further these purposes."

Full article here: 
http://www.book-of-thoth.com/archives-article-1580-page3.html


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amadan-De
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26/01/2012 10:31 pm  
"Camlion" wrote:
Los' 'inevitability of conflict' position is quite true,

Oh gods, you two are going to channel the blood-spattered shades of Raymond Dart and Robert Ardrey, alleged osteodontokeratic culture and all aren't you?
The 'inevitablity of conflict' in the human species seems, from the evidence currently available, to be more directly related to the density of population relative to resource than any internal red-eyed ape (sorry Kubrick fans).  There is very little concrete evidence for homo on homo violence prior to the beginnings of medium scale permanent settlements which in terms of the biography of the species is really very, very recent. (Geologists refer to archaeology/palaeontology as 'gardening', this stuff I'd place as giving the lawn a 'top-cut' at best).  Not that this will make any sort of difference to the paradigms clung to in the heat of the (inevitable) cluster-fuck...

Oh yes, before it gets said,
1) the presence of good evidence for excarnation (defleshing) and possible cannibalism in earlier periods does not automatically equate to 'violence'.  Defleshing doesn't mean the meat is eaten (Christopher Columbus was for example in line with the custom of the day for people of his social rank) and it is quite possible to eat your relatives without having to murder them and for reasons other than the purely dietary.
2) Yes, I know right now we have dense populations and shortages of resources so right now violence may well be 'inevitable' but that has more to do with a specific context and less with any over generalised 'nature' of the species.

Right, think I'll go see if I can attack someone in the park.


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Azidonis
(@azidonis)
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26/01/2012 10:52 pm  
"Camlion" wrote:
Az is looking at it from the A.'.A.'. perspective, which contrasts the OTO perspective (supposed to under discussion here, sort of); this contrast was recently discussed by Gunther and the Australia OTO X* in Japan, I believe, mentioned elsewhere on this site. This contrast might be worth a review by anyone interested.

I remember the announcement of the lecture, but I do not recall any mention of the contents of that lecture being released to the public. If there is an online printing of it, would you please link a copy to this thread? Since the A:.A:., O.T.O., and the concept of Thelema within those two are apparently so different, it would be nice if that information was available here.

I'm going to go mingle with amadan-De in the park...

...oh, before I go, I recall that Crowley mentioned how someone with proper training and preparation could indeed become a Black Brother simply with bad timing. Another interesting thought when considering the "weak and stupid".

"666tsaeb" wrote:
Regarding A.·.A.·. and Thelema: "The O.T.O. has nothing to do with this, except that The Book of the Law and the Word of the Aeon are essential principles of membership. In all other respects, it stands by itself as a body similar to Freemasonry, but involving acceptance of a social and economic system which is intended to put the world on its feet. There is also, of course, the secret of the IX° which is to say, the weapon which they may use to further these purposes."

Full article here: 
http://www.book-of-thoth.com/archives-article-1580-page3.html

Thanks for the link.


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 Anonymous
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26/01/2012 11:07 pm  
"amadan-De" wrote:
There is very little concrete evidence for homo on homo violence prior to the beginnings of medium scale permanent settlements which in terms of the biography of the species is really very, very recent.

No, there wouldn't be much of such evidence, would there? 😉

Fact is, occasional conflict occurs throughout nature. It is not of the sort that presently plagues our kind, both internal to the individual and externally with others - much of the later being a result of the former. Why not aim a bit lower than 'zero conflict,' is all that am saying. Much less conflict would be a great start.

(When you talk 'zero conflict,' frankly, it just invites Los put his gloves on.)


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 Anonymous
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26/01/2012 11:14 pm  
"Azidonis" wrote:
"Camlion" wrote:
Az is looking at it from the A.'.A.'. perspective, which contrasts the OTO perspective (supposed to under discussion here, sort of); this contrast was recently discussed by Gunther and the Australia OTO X* in Japan, I believe, mentioned elsewhere on this site. This contrast might be worth a review by anyone interested.

I remember the announcement of the lecture, but I do not recall any mention of the contents of that lecture being released to the public. If there is an online printing of it, would you please link a copy to this thread? Since the A:.A:., O.T.O., and the concept of Thelema within those two are apparently so different, it would be nice if that information was available here.

The search function is not at its best here at present, but I will look elsewhere while you're in the park. The gist of it was "The Path of the Great Return [A.'.A.'.]" and "The Path through Eternity [OTO]," I believe.


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 Anonymous
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26/01/2012 11:30 pm  

I actually went and checked how many people get murdered in the UK each year, and out of 60 million people, 600 are murdered each year.  It's at an all time record low for 12 years now, apparently.  There's probably more chance of someone winning the lottery than getting murdered.


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Azidonis
(@azidonis)
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26/01/2012 11:31 pm  
"Camlion" wrote:
"Azidonis" wrote:
"Camlion" wrote:
Az is looking at it from the A.'.A.'. perspective, which contrasts the OTO perspective (supposed to under discussion here, sort of); this contrast was recently discussed by Gunther and the Australia OTO X* in Japan, I believe, mentioned elsewhere on this site. This contrast might be worth a review by anyone interested.

I remember the announcement of the lecture, but I do not recall any mention of the contents of that lecture being released to the public. If there is an online printing of it, would you please link a copy to this thread? Since the A:.A:., O.T.O., and the concept of Thelema within those two are apparently so different, it would be nice if that information was available here.

The search function is not at its best here at present, but I will look elsewhere while you're in the park. The gist of it was "The Path of the Great Return [A.'.A.'.]" and "The Path through Eternity [OTO]," I believe.

Here I am trying to find amadan-De, and instead I found The Path of the Great Return & The Path In Eternity: The A.'.A.'. & The O.T.O., and the subsequent review, but have been unable to find minutes of the conference. Maybe I'm just not "privileged" enough? lol 😛

Bleh, back to trying to find my way through this park.


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mika
 mika
(@mika)
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26/01/2012 11:52 pm  
"amadan-De" wrote:
The 'inevitablity of conflict' in the human species seems, from the evidence currently available, to be more directly related to the density of population relative to resource than any internal red-eyed ape (sorry Kubrick fans).  There is very little concrete evidence for homo on homo violence prior to ...etc

Since when does conflict = violence?  Obviously, it's possible to have conflict without violence.  Conflating the two makes the rest of your comments meaningless re: the subject of this thread.  Same goes for everyone else here who is treating any mention of conflict between people as if we were discussing violence between people.  Straw man, red herring, false analogy, take your pick.


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amadan-De
(@amadan-de)
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27/01/2012 12:29 am  

Very disappointing, had to vent my atavistic urges on a small bush and a tree as no humans would play...

"Camlion" wrote:
"amadan-De" wrote:
There is very little concrete evidence for homo on homo violence prior to the beginnings of medium scale permanent settlements which in terms of the biography of the species is really very, very recent.

No, there wouldn't be much of such evidence, would there? 😉

Maybe not much but potentially some if the killer-ape was so close to the surface (as indeed Dart and Ardrey claimed for very old remains though it now seems more likely that the punctures caused by sharp teeth in hominid skulls were the result of being bitten by carnivores rather than the weilding of jaw-bones by other hominids...who'd have thought it?).  We do on the other hand have mass-graves from the early Neolithic which raises questions about the claims from those like Gimbutas that there was a lovely pacifist matrifocal culture until the nasty violent patrifocal tribes moved in and invented weapons (position exaggerated for comedic effect but only slightly and not to diminish the importance of Gimbutas' work).

"Camlion" wrote:
Why not aim a bit lower than 'zero conflict,' is all that am saying. Much less conflict would be a great start.

(When you talk 'zero conflict,' frankly, it just invites Los put his gloves on.)

Couldn't agree more, less is always better and 'zero' is very likely unattainable without mass anesthesia of a more efficient form than the current versions of 'bread and circuses'. 😉
I wouldn't suggest 'zero conflict' as a viable goal and certainly not as a 'natural state' (hell you should hear my family when we get together, though luckily we were raised to understand that a strongly held Opinion is never Absolute Truth so it gets heated but never rancorous or physical) I'd just question Los' presentation of the ratio of violent tendancy to social co-operation in the species.  Though as he has made it clear that he "does not give a fuck" for his fellows I suppose the right thing to do would be to return the favour and leave him to it.

Incidentally, you have no idea how tempted I am to use your "a small cluster-fuck of incompatible paradigms" as a signature.....nail/head and applicable in so many situations.

Mika - I was riffing on the discussion of 'human nature' (whatever that is) and how much potential for 'conflict' it might contain and referencing work which suggested that humans are inherently violent due to our ancestral heritage as a murderous ape and like that.....
"Spare me the ghostly procession of your conceptual categories" - Berdyaev.

Hey Az which park are you in?  I'm heading back out, possibly pemanently.


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 Anonymous
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27/01/2012 12:54 am  

While you guys are in the park, you might notice some conflict among the birds in the trees. It's all good. 🙂


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amadan-De
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27/01/2012 1:03 am  

I'm in your park eatin' your birds.


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Azidonis
(@azidonis)
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27/01/2012 4:52 am  
"Camlion" wrote:
While you guys are in the park, you might notice some conflict among the birds in the trees. It's all good. 🙂

And they call me patronizing...

"amadan-De" wrote:
Hey Az which park are you in?  I'm heading back out, possibly pemanently.

I have to go to the "you're not O.T.O. enough" park. Apparently that's where they have all the cool stuff I'm missing out on. What with all the talk of war and vengeance, who wouldn't want to go?


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 Anonymous
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27/01/2012 10:18 am  
"amadan-De" wrote:
Oh yes, before it gets said,
1) the presence of good evidence for excarnation (defleshing) and possible cannibalism in earlier periods does not automatically equate to 'violence'.  Defleshing doesn't mean the meat is eaten (Christopher Columbus was for example in line with the custom of the day for people of his social rank) and it is quite possible to eat your relatives without having to murder them and for reasons other than the purely dietary.

Right, think I'll go see if I can attack someone in the park.

There was a great BBC programme about this, just a few months ago.  As I recall - Homo Erectus was a cannibal and the evidence suggests he liked his flesh raw.  Neanderthals cooked their food.  Although our species wiped them out, as there are some Neanderthal genes floating around the modern European Homo Sapien, then some of our forebears must have taken a "make love, not war" approach.  On the other hand, there is a gene implicated in cannibalism - it acts as a sort of ancestral cannibal tracer, and about 50% of people in the UK have it - meaning that at least half of our ancestors at one time were engaged in eating each other.  If Evolution had a page on facebook, I'd go and 'like it'.

I do think it's a problem when people get the idea that they are living in a violent society.  In a country of 60 million people then it's inevitable that violent conflict will be happening on a daily basis, but in all but extreme cases it usually has a non lethal outcome.  Even when there is a killing, then the other 60 million people were just getting on with their day.  However - it's a regrettably common perception by people, especially in the older generations, that we are living in a violent society; that murder is a common thing and that we should be fearful of our safety as we walk through parks at night teaming with you atavistic gentlemen.  😉

At this point I'd usually blame the media, especially the TV, but this is only true of someone who watches TV while being ignorant of the overall picture.  I feel a responsible media should be working to represent the overall picture as well as the hotspots of trouble.  For instance; there were 42 robberies at knife-point yesterday, and although that's highly regrettable, another 60 million folks were doing other things with their time.

The fact that these things occur does not affect the thesis that as social animals, we are evolving new and more complex social systems, while people get their atavistic urges satisfied by a Nintendo.

When I look at the news these days, and watch all the posturing of politicians as they try and justify yet another war agenda to the public, that too seems to be an atavistic feature.  It's all very old aeon.  The people in Iran don't want to be at war.  The people in the UK don't want to be at war.  What each country really needs is a public veto, so the people can muzzle the dogs of state when they get out of hand.  We need an open door, public peace conference with Iran where people work together to resolve difficulties in relations.  The United Nations is founded on the principle of transparency of negotiations and diplomacy, but it's looking a little opaque at the moment.  Iran has a rich, vibrant and complex culture.  I just don't know how we can conceive of doing violence to it.


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amadan-De
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27/01/2012 3:52 pm  

Hi Dar,
Nice post but I'm afraid that your first paragraph is far too definitive with regards to current archaeological theory - which no doubt reflects the way TV always presents the ideas of which ever researcher a programme is built around as established unshakeable fact.  TV doesn't like things to be simply 'todays possible explanation'.  I was amused a few years ago when in the space of a month the BBC and Channel 4 both presented programmes on the function of Stonehenge with completely different theoretical models both presented as 'fact' and with no reference to the others ideas..

The idea that there is a 'cannibal gene' is anything but certain see here for example.  I'm guessing that the programme was based around the work done at UCL (local to the BBC) and the idea that Erectus ate raw human flesh would allow for easier transmission of the alleged prion disease.  Both Erectus and Neanderthals had fire and could have cooked food.  The idea that Neanderthals were agressively wiped out by the early anatomically moderns is a very old one with no hard evidence so far to support it and it is likely that lots of factors played a part, see this for another idea.  The idea of interbreeding comes and goes regularly and though it currently looks pretty damn likely that could change.  The study of DNA and genetics at this level is far too young a science for us to think that any results are unshakeable and new evidence keeps arriving - last time I was involved in looking for Neanderthal remains we had no knowledge that the Denisovians existed.
To demonstrate how fluid these ideas really are look here and start with the oldest story and move forward, several quite different ideas get suggested relating to the nature of Neanderthals and possible reasons for their disappearance, sometimes in the same story, and that's just over the last year.
An honest archaeologist will have no problem admitting that interpretation is largely composed of multiple competing paradigms, a good one will avoid getting overly attached to any specific one exclusively.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
27/01/2012 4:04 pm  

amadan-de,

Now I come to think of it, the show was a historical re-enactment based on the evidence available, of what might have happened.  'Planet of the Apemen' it was called.  It was fun, but I shall remember not to rely on it for facts from now on.  It's quite nice to hear we didn't go around eating each other regularly in the prehistoric past.    Cheers.  😀 


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
27/01/2012 7:20 pm  
"Azidonis" wrote:
I have to go to the "you're not O.T.O. enough" park. Apparently that's where they have all the cool stuff I'm missing out on.

Huh?


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Los
 Los
(@los)
Member
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 2195
27/01/2012 8:04 pm  

Reordering your points....

"Azidonis" wrote:
The Brotherhood of Man comes when people make those distinctions but remain unattached to them, reminding themselves that "there is no difference" between one's own self and any other.

I’m going to disagree that this is when “The Brotherhood of Man” comes, or at least I’m going to disagree with the wording: this sounds too vague.

I’m going to argue that one realizes the Brotherhood of Man when one gives up one’s ideas about everyone getting along and sees human relations for what they are – sometimes cooperative, sometimes competitive – and doesn’t allow ideas of how human relations “should be” to color the impressions.

Incidentally, this is a practical example of not letting a difference be made. Cooperation is not “better” than competition, nor is competition “better” than cooperation. Each situation demands what it demands, and we are not to let our ideas color our approach to human relations.

So, again, maybe I’ve just rephrased what you said in more precise terms, but I think not. I have a sneaking suspicion that you actually think compassion and kindness are somehow “better” than other means of relating to others.

I can also choose to be indifferent about the entire thing, having no compulsion towards the dog, his shit, or my neighbor. In this last case, I could end up with a yard full of dog shit.

You seem to think that Indifference – in the sense that I’ve been using the word – means not acting, or remaining in some kind of flight-of-fancy trance wherein one cannot distinguish things.

To the contrary, one is perfectly capable of being Indifferent to the sight of a dog walking across one’s lawn and preparing to take a dump; one is equally capable of being Indifferent to one’s own anger at the sight and desire to chase the dog off one’s property; one is equally capable of being Indifferent to one’s decision to chase the dog off, and one is equally capable of being Indifferent to one’s own  actions in chasing the dog off.

It’s the very fact that one is Indifferent to one’s own anger, for example, that enables one to keep it in its proper place, and not let the mind make that anger more important than it really is and follow it into some rash act, like shooting the dog.

However, one is equally capable of being Indifferent to one’s own inconsiderate actions, too. There’s no a priori reason to avoid being inconsiderate.

This connects back to the point I was making above: one has to be Indifferent to one’s own ideas about how human society should be if one is to live in a Brotherhood of Man.

Not giving a fuck creates inconsiderate people, who become part of the pack called "dogs of reason".

You’re wrong. That verse of the Book of the Law has nothing to do with behaving in inconsiderate ways: it has to do with, among other things, the dangers of being misled by one’s reason to act in ways contrary to one’s own True Will. Sometimes, acting in ways that others label “inconsiderate” will be perfectly in line with one’s True Will.

Compassion is defined as (and I know you hate this, but bear with me), "sympathetic consciousness of others' distress together with a desire to alleviate it". That doesn't mean anyone has to run around "saving" people. It simply means that when one is able to see the world in the Light of LVX, one can see how the suffering of others casts a veil upon them. Helping someone to rend that veil may be as simple as talking to them "god to god" instead of "god to man" or "god to dog". There are many people who have enjoyed even a momentary release from suffering just by simple interaction with "holy men", and this is the source of Veneration. This Veneration in any case is a side effect, when ones interaction with another allows even a momentary glimpse of the Light, a momentary relief from sorrow. This is a part of the meaning behind the verse, "Compassion is the vice of kings."

Yikes. For the record, I don’t “hate” compassion, but I do try to avoid incorrect interpretations when possible.

AL II:21 simply does not mean “let’s go, compassion!” and it takes a perversion of interpretation to twist the words to mean the opposite of what they actually say. That verse is about – among other things – the simple fact that those following their True Will have full sanction to crush anyone who gets in their way, if they need to so in order to follow their True Will.

Of course, by the same token, “kings” are forbidden to use any more force than is necessary – and forbidden to do anything else that is unnecessary – to accomplish their True Will.

One is not expected to walk up to one's father and literally spit in his face. One is to examine those things which one has received and will receive from one's father, take them into account, and then treat them with non-attachment, so that one can "break lose" from that parental bondage, and Go One's Own Way.

But, in order to interact with one's father, the differences have to be made and understood, as one mingles without attachment. Else, one would not be able to interact with one's father after the dissolution.

Here’s the first cogent and intelligent interpretation you’ve advanced (at least that I’ve seen recently): that verse is about breaking the (imaginary) connections of Self with others. It’s about differentiation of oneself from one’s family and about not being entangled and enmeshed in (dare we say…attached to) the human relations known as family.

We might say it’s a verse about Indifference to those familial bonds.

And again, this isn’t describing anything like a call to compassion: it’s a call to understand one’s actual relationship with others – not the relationship one fondly images oneself to have with them.


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