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Shiva
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"Gnosomai Emauton" wrote:
Anyone interested in talking about actual practice rather than a somewhat narrow analysis of practice and how it does or doesn't fit a particular framework will be most welcome to share their thoughts.

Practice(s), or exercises, or rituals, or disciplines, (allee samee - same time same thing) are things that we do (or don't do in certain cases) that supposedly lead to certain results. It has been my experience that, sometimes, these results actually do occur. Then we're supposed to move on to the next practice(s) ... ad infinitum, until we arrive at some sort of a plateau wherein "practice" is merely daily living.

Oh, there's still more to go ...

"NKB" wrote:
The real question for me is; how does one have time for any "Thelemic practice" when most of one's time seems to be spent typing on internet?

Google is the Borg, and the Internet is the Spider's Web. The Keyboard is a Magick Sword.

The whole digital age (taken as a holy concept) is the New Veil of Paroketh, closed for a large portion of humanity. Addiction to digits (pixels, megabytes) precludes "inner" work, although if one can hold the contradictions simultaneously, then "enlightenment" can take place. So we're all going to be saved by our ISP, which has praeterhuman intelligence, and even though you're right in your observations, your not thinking logically 😉 when you fail to realize that some people 😮 are illumined typists ;D


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NKB
 NKB
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"Shiva" wrote:
Addiction...

I agree with that part.;)


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jamie barter
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Reply #531 by david on: Yesterday at 1239 pm:

Quote from: ignant666 on Yesterday at 1137 am
"The truly comical part here is that...... "

....you propose that Los is wrong but you fail to point out exactly why and how?  This sort of indicates that you are unable to do so and are therefore not contributing to a discussion here but are merely venting frustration..much like Michael Staley's last post here....again...and again.

My, things move fast on this thread!  One turns one's back for a couple of days and there's another three or four pages liable to crop up...

I thought ignant666 made a valid post in question (Reply # 530), but this is rank hypocrisy of the first order here, david.  I have regularly pointed out in posts here & in other threads exactly why and how Los’ way of looking at certain things is flawed and faulty in certain respects, only to be routinely ignored.  The same with yourself, also “unable to do so” and slavishly following his lead - and particularly I might add with regard to your definition of (that "cistern-like efficacy" of) the Khu. I suppose you think you are being very clever disregarding my pertinent remarks to your flawed perceptions but it just makes you (both) look a bit silly and as if you’re bankrupt of viable things to say.  To say nothing further of Los’ additional bleating and blathering on about mythical $500 transactions etc. 

N~Joy

(By the way, Shiva, I thought your brace of posts in Replies #532 and #533 were particularly comical also and had me chuckling in amusement all the way over to the coffee maker.  Just thought I’d let you know that :D)


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Michael Staley
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"david" wrote:
....you propose that Los is wrong but you fail to point out exactly why and how?  This sort of indicates that you are unable to do so and are therefore not contributing to a discussion here but are merely venting frustration..much like Michael Staley's last post here....again...and again.

You thought my post was venting frustration? Presumably because I had been utterly trounced by the penetrating intellect and razor-sharp rhetoric of your hero? Oddly enough, I don't see it that way; it was, to borrow a phrase from my old friend Denis Healy, like being savaged by a dead sheep.

Contrary to what you say to ignant666, there's no discussion going on here. Los simply lays down the law, and is offensive towards anyone who has the temerity not to see things the way he does. That's clearly your idea of a discussion, but it's certainly not mine.


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jamie barter
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Say, isn’t it around this time that Los (perhaps sensing that the direction of the wind might be turning) makes his customary sudden disappearance on these forums with his tail tucked between his legs for another couple of weeks or so?  This before he yet once again – and by so doing proving that his idea of “Practice” does not make perfect - attempts to convert us lesser mortals with some other tack on the same skeptical merrie-go-round, no further forwards than before and $500 the poorer but actually no wiser or better off at all?  (The question was rhetorical, but not without application …) 

And david – if this happened to be so, would you by any chance intend following Los’s lead there?  (And by lead, I am thinking of the collar-and-chain variety, of course… ;D)

N Joy


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Shiva
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"jamie barter" wrote:
Say, isn’t it around this time that ...

Okay, you've described the common scenario, the usual occurance, the reflection of things past. But this one is drawing out longer than usual. Just because a sudden influx of additional joiners to the octagon, and the casual revelation of some of the posters actually being [s:jd3ibyqg]secret chiefs[/s:jd3ibyqg], er, [s:jd3ibyqg]suprarational entities[/s:jd3ibyqg] [Magisters or higher], um no, let's stick with the 42 Judges, it's still interesting watching two distinct stars battling for superiority on the mental plane, along with their fanboys and cheer leaders (on both, each, side).

Now, personally speaking, I see both sides.  Y.'. is sincere and attempting to fit a transcendental practice into some rational, mental example or agreement or icon. But, since the transcendentalism is "going above" the mental plane, even in it's manifestation up to the first subplane of the higher mental (causal) plane. Welcome to Abyssinia. May your stay with us be complicated and maddening, should you keep on trying to solve any transcendental concepts with your mind (mentat).

[/align:jd3ibyqg]

In the other corner, weighing in at 93Tb of computable logic, we have The King of the Universe, who is avoiding the offered transcendal logic, and rightly so because there is no such thing.

... and $500 the poorer but actually no wiser or better off at all?

But everyone (and I speak for you all here ... because if I don't, you'd better see a doctor! ... everyone knows that Los is presenting a hypothetical absurdity for our consideration. Besides, the $500 should be sent to me - not as King of the Universe, but as one of the 42 Judges who can be bribed ;D just like in modern politics.


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Anonymous
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Did someone say let's talk about Thelemic Practices and analysing how and why they are effective for perceiving True Will?  I think that's  a good idea.


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jamie barter
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"Gnosomai Emauton" wrote:
In order to effectively practice bhakti on Mickey, one must take this as fact, despite the fact that there is no convincing evidence -- archaeological or otherwise -- that Mickey ever objectively existed as a dog-owning mouse. Without it, the practitioner will rob himself of a facet of the character of the venerable Mouse as dog-lover and all-around mensch.

Mice don't have dogs as pets.
Mickey Mouse has Pluto as a pet.
Mickey Mouse never objectively existed.
More people believe in the reality of Mickey and his faithful Pluto than do in Jesus and his resurrection.

Four facts that establish a paradox if all taken to be true simultaneously. Four facts that must be taken on their own terms within their own categories in order to integrate them. Four facts that (likely) won't arouse the same anti-religionist fear in our trusty anti-fundamentalists yet parallel the current case study precisely.

I know it isn’t really part of the main topic and all, but you have a point, GnosomaiEmauton.  And the church of Disney is a broad one.

I’m not that familiar with all the menagerie, though, and didn’t know pluto was mickey’s pet dog – I thought he was a free agent, the same as donald (duck) and Goofy (what the hell kind of animal is he anyway? ??? ) are meant to be.  And are they all supposed to live together – in some sort of super-kennel, or house, I mean?  And who I wonder pays the rent/ mortgage (Sorry, I was getting carried away by all the anthropomorphism of it for a while. :D)

"Gnosomai Emauton" wrote:
Since it appears that I have landed myself on both Los and david's "ignore list", this does limit my abilities to influence this present discussion, seeing as my previously posted answers to both their ridiculous demands haven't registered.

Join the ever-growing club!  I wouldn’t let this worry anyone in the least.  But I think it smacks of the height – or depths – of rudeness to openly invite and encourage discussion and dialogue and virtually promise feedback to all questions raised, and then to snub all the respondee’s efforts and labour.  It does speak of a certain something though, in that you obviously must be writing something which they do not wish to, or can not find themselves able to, respond.  If you can’t get a serious answer, poking fun at their stance is often the only ‘reasonable’ recourse to anyone of sanity left, I have empirically found.

"Gnosomai Emauton" wrote:
It does, however, put me in the somewhat enviable position of being able to create discussions which have a high likelihood of their absence. Once I've collected my thoughts, I'm going to attempt this in a new topic. Anyone interested in talking about actual practice rather than a somewhat narrow analysis of practice and how it does or doesn't fit a particular framework will be most welcome to share their thoughts.

Is this rebellion?  Mutiny!!  Why not?  Yeah, this thread is long enough already isn’t it - I certainly don’t envy anyone attempting to start through it from the beginning! 😮 :'(

"Los" wrote:
[...] The fact that you won't do this shows that you know on some level that your line of argumentation is bullshit. You apply this line of argumentation selectively, only when you're looking at claims that you like or want to hold on to some "validity" for.

This has got a sort of familiar ring to it, hasn’t it?  In psychological circles, it’s a line of defence called “projection” or “transference”.

"Los" wrote:
The most important practice is the carrying out of the Will.

For those who know what their true will is, of course.  “The most important practice” for those who don’t though is surely to find out what it is that is their Will, and then do it?

First steps first.  Carts must not be placed in front of horses, and all that.  So you’re talking complete bullshit and yadda-yadda, there – only complete idiots and morons would fail to recognize that basic reality which I’m straightforwardly pointing out to you.  Let me ask you, How the hell do you sleep at night?  (- & How does that feel to be lectured down to you, Los old pip?! ::))

"david" wrote:
Did someone say let's talk about Thelemic Practices and analysing how and why they are effective for perceiving True Will?  I think that's  a good idea.

Well get on with it then, david!  Let’s read your Thelemic Practices – oh no, of course you’re worried you might be vampirised if you shared all about them with us, isn’t that right?

Witty Simpsons or South Park reference unfortunately lacking
N Joy


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

Shiva,

Your summary is quite fair, but I would ask the judges to reconsider your judgment that there is no transcendental logic.  I think the beginnings of one can be grasped if we are patient in our task and try not to expect more from logic than it has to offer.  For instance, Los, as far as I can tell, thinks of logic as justifying conclusions.  But logic is really just a system of transformations; it tells us how to say in other words what has already been said.  So it is understandable why Los was worried about justifications for beliefs, but really the expectation was based on a flawed grasp of what logic is and does. 

With that said it may make more sense, now, where I begin our inquiry into the possibility of a transcendental logic.  I first inquire into what sorts of statements we hope to make sense of, which is, by the way, the same procedure that we use in ordinary logic.  We first grab hold of some set of statements we wish to analyze, and then proceed.  One cannot begin in a vacuum, even with logic.  So in beginning I note that there are statements such as "Jerry is 6 feet tall" which are either true or false, and then there are statements such as "It is possible in a fictional setting to make 2+2 equal 5" which are arguably true or false, but best deemed indeterminate.  And we go on classifying statements until we get to some statement such as "The All, thus interwoven of These, is Bliss.  Naught is beyond Bliss," or "the ultimate reason of things lies in a realm beyond manifestation and intellect."  These sorts of statements allow a wide variety of interpretation.  Some among us, myself, obviously, included, take them as referring to transcendental objects.  That is, there is a use in play that makes work of transcendental objects.  We cannot deny the transcendental, as a category only, without denying people talk in a certain mystical sort of manner.  (They may be talking about nothing at all, but we cannot deny that they do so.)

Insofar as logic is an empirical project, working from meanings as they are found in the world, we must include transcendental meanings.

Now, as to truth-values, insofar as transcendental objects are in a "realm beyond manifestation and intellect", we can see that truth will not apply to such matters in any clear cut way, for to do so would be to reduce such matters to the realm of manifestation and intellect.  Therefore, avoiding the traditional true/false dichotomy, we might assign some third value such as "transcendental" to hold the truth-value position for such propositions, at least until we find a better way to speak of such things. 

The hard work is in clarifying the rules of inference which would apply to such mystical talk.  But let me leave it all there for now, as I am sure there are some difficulties on getting clear, for instance, with the distinction between a mere category and asserting the existence of some object.

Yeheshuah

Love is the law, love under will.


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

Shiva,

Think of what I am saying in these terms: to cut out mystical categories from our language is akin to cutting out all religious terms from our vocabulary.  The move may do away with what we dislike, but doing so also prevents us from talking about religion at all.  So we must develop a set of categories for transcendental talk if we are to have a system of logic which discusses religion, even if only to dismiss religion.

Yeheshuah

Love is the law, love under will.


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Los
 Los
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"Yeheshuah" wrote:
With that said it may make more sense, now, where I begin our inquiry into the possibility of a transcendental logic.  I first inquire into what sorts of statements we hope to make sense of, which is, by the way, the same procedure that we use in ordinary logic.  We first grab hold of some set of statements we wish to analyze, and then proceed.  One cannot begin in a vacuum, even with logic.  So in beginning I note that there are statements such as "Jerry is 6 feet tall" which are either true or false, and then there are statements such as "It is possible in a fictional setting to make 2+2 equal 5" which are arguably true or false, but best deemed indeterminate.  And we go on classifying statements until we get to some statement such as "The All, thus interwoven of These, is Bliss.  Naught is beyond Bliss," or "the ultimate reason of things lies in a realm beyond manifestation and intellect."  These sorts of statements allow a wide variety of interpretation.

Right. Those kinds of statements allow a wide variety of interpretation: there are a number of different things that those statements could mean.

Depending on exactly what is meant by a given statement, the statement might be a factual claim about reality that we could analyze to determine whether there are grounds for thinking that it's true. Or a given statement might not be a factual claim at all. It might be, for example, a way to describe a subjective feeling or a way to describe a frame of reference (not a fact).

Let's use the sentence "Naught is beyond Bliss" as an example. Here are a few things that this sentence could potentially mean:
1) There's no feeling that's better than the feeling I call "bliss."
2) There is a subjective feeling (which I call "Naught" and attribute to the Negative Veils on the Tree of Life) that I consider to be greater than the state I call "bliss."
3) I call a particular joyful mental experience "bliss," and I acknowledge that it is possible to step "outside" of one's mental experiences. The process of stepping outside of mental experiences is something I call "Naught," and it is thus "beyond" bliss in this sense.
4) A state of selflessness ("Naught") surpasses even the most blissful feelings I have as my "self."

There are many more meanings possible, but just these four should demonstrate that very, very different things can be intended by the same words. Each of these meanings has to be evaluated differently. The first of them is not a factual claim but an expression of preference: it's saying, basically, I prefer one thing to another. The next three are also not factual claims but are the labeling, explication of, and (in the case of 2 and 4) ranking of subjective experiences.

Let's say, for the sake of argument, that what you mean by this sentence is "There is a transcendental object called 'Naught.'" That meaning may actually be a factual claim about reality, depending on what you mean exactly. You would have to explain what a "transcendental object" is and why you think there are transcendental objects in the first place.

Maybe you mean the phrase to refer to a transcendental object, but the mere fact that you have the notion of a transcendental object in mind does not mean that there are transcendental objects, does not mean that "transcendental object" is a well-defined and coherent concept, and does not mean that anybody is justified in presuming that "transcendental object" is a valid category to use in order to evaluate a claim.

You don't get to define things into existence. If you think that there are "transcendental objects," then explain what you mean. Depending on what you mean by it, I might even agree with you that there are such objects, but until such time as you get specific about what the hell you're talking about, you're just playing with words to your detriment.

This is why I was asking you earlier in the thread to explain exactly what you mean by "Jesus rose from the dead." The word "Jesus" refers to a person. The word "rose" denotes an action, and the phrase "from the dead" refers to a state from which the action takes place. If you mean something other than that a corpse reanimated, then you have to explain what you mean because you would appear to be using words to obscure, rather than to clarify, your meaning.


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Los
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"Yeheshuah" wrote:
to cut out mystical categories from our language is akin to cutting out all religious terms from our vocabulary.

No one's cutting them out. I'm asking you to justify them. You can use the category "transcendental," but you have to explain what you mean by it and why you think that there are things that actually are transcendental. 

If you can't give a definition, and if you can't give reasons for thinking that transcendent things actually exist, then nobody -- including you -- has any reason to think that there are transcendent things.

The move may do away with what we dislike, but doing so also prevents us from talking about religion at all.

This has nothing to do with like or dislike. We can talk about the idea of transcendence, but you need to explain what you mean by it and why you think that there are such things.


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

Los,

It may not seem to be the case, but it looks as if we are very close to some sort of agreement on transcendental categories.  Most of what you wrote, I think I could probably grant.  Here is where we diverge:

Maybe you mean the phrase to refer to a transcendental object, but the mere fact that you have the notion of a transcendental object in mind does not mean that there are transcendental objects, does not mean that "transcendental object" is a well-defined and coherent concept, and does not mean that anybody is justified in presuming that "transcendental object" is a valid category to use in order to evaluate a claim.

You don't get to define things into existence.

It has been repeated several times now that I am not proposing that you accept the existence of transcendental objects.  In fact, I said that the category could be as empty as the category of square circles.  Similarly, the category of transcendental objects may be as incoherent as the category of square circles.  The only thing I have proposed thus far is that some mystics speak of ways of being not properly characterized by the quotidian set of categories we operate under.  That is all.  Nothing hidden up my sleave. 

On your worry about valid categories, I must admit I do not know what those would be.  If you mean to question whether a category can be used to describe a real object, then you are right, that is something we need to worry about.  But we can't worry about such things without having the categories in place, valid or otherwise.

Finally, on definitions, we do want to start to sort out what sorts of things we are talking about.  To get at a definition or group of definitions, we must first get a group of statements together which we think have been construed in a way that demands a transcendental categorization.  Statements such as "the ultimate reason of things lies in a realm beyond manifestation and intellect," point us in the direction of a definition, but do not define anything until we have more examples to work with.  (How could we need more than one definition? It seems to me that the problem of how I hold the resurrection of Jesus is different in character from the contradiction at the heart of the doctrine of the Trinity.  But what can be said of such things without a set of appropriate categories? We may ultimately choose to reject all the religious talk as the mind being misled by language, etc.  That would be a very different position than one that refuses to here out the Trinitarian with all of her talk of subsistent relations and divine personhood and being beyond number.)

Yeheshuah

Love is the law, love under will.


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Los
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"Yeheshuah" wrote:
It has been repeated several times now that I am not proposing that you accept the existence of transcendental objects.

And I don't care what you want me to accept or not. You accept the existence of transcendental objects, do you not?

So then fine. What does "transcendental" mean precisely? What's something that you think is "transcendental," and what makes you think so? Depending on what your answers are, I might even agree with you. Or I might conclude that you don't have sufficient grounds for what you accept: if so, I'll explain why I think that is, and you can respond.

Note to Michael Staley: I know that my last sentence lays out a process that you must find strange and unnerving. People call that process "conversation." Con. Ver. Sation. Say it with me now.


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jamie barter
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Oh, so this thread’s still going on then, in some sort of frankensteinian-type fashion?! 😮 

Take note readers: Our next word for today is: TRANSCENDENTAL.  Yes, Tran – Scen - Den – Tal.  You will now all debate – I mean discuss – I mean “converse”, real friendly like, about the semantics of it in an approximately circular fashion.  Do you hear me now?!  (Loz The Omnipotent has spoken…)

"Los" wrote:
Note to Michael Staley: I know that my last sentence lays out a process that you must find strange and unnerving. People call that process "conversation." Con. Ver. Sation. Say it with me now.

Exactly what category of “Thelemic Practice” might this ‘process’ of - not con.ver.sation but mewling and puking - fall into then?

(If you are really a bot, Los, I suggest you do a maintenance check check for faulty wiring as you're just not firing on all of your cylinders as you once used to.  Dig out the old oil can, maybe?)

N Joy!


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Shiva
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"Los" wrote:
Con. Ver. Sation. Say it with me now.

Can I say, "Con" "versa" "tion?"
It means "the process of versing with" [someone].


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

Los,

In fact, I do accept the existence of transcendental objects.  But I am not sure what that gets us to, since you have made no attempts at coming to grips with language that would be about such matters.  You haven't even granted that people meaningfully speak of such things, although, presumably, you think people do speak of such things. 

It may come as something of a shock to you to briefly review our "conversation" thus far and realize that while you have been busy trying to get me to make metaphysical commitments, undermine faith, etc, I have focused on one simple issue, the linguistic point that people have and do speak about the transcendent.  That is all.

So when you do decide to speak about the transcendent, maybe we can start here with what "lies in a realm beyond manifestation and intellect."  How would such an entity present itself to us? How would such an encounter be experienced? How have such encounters been imagined to date? These are the sorts of things we must wonder.

Yeheshuah

Love is the law, love under will.


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Los
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"Yeheshuah" wrote:
In fact, I do accept the existence of transcendental objects.

Okay. So what's a "transcendental object"? Are you defining it as "that which exists in a realm beyond manifestation and thought"? Or do you use a different definition?

Just state your definition, and I'll have follow up questions.


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

Los,

Yes, let us start with that which "lies in a realm beyond manifestation and intellect."  (I noted that you tweaked my definition in your last post.  An interesting change.) 

To be honest, I do not see how you can engage in a real inquiry into the transcendent if you have not yet even developed the capacity to appreciate the language of the transcendent, but maybe I will be surprised.  The place to begin the inquiry, it seems to me, is not with existence questions, but questions of possibility: how would such an object present itself? What would it be like to encounter such an object? Only then can we ask if any have, in fact, had experiences of such objects.

Yeheshuah

Love is the law, love under will.


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Los
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"Yeheshuah" wrote:
(I noted that you tweaked my definition in your last post.  An interesting change.)

What do you mean? I copied your words verbatim: "that which 'lies in a realm beyond manifestation and intellect.'"

If that's not the definition you use, then you need to correct me. 

Yes, let us start with that which "lies in a realm beyond manifestation and intellect."

Okay, so what does it mean for something to exist "beyond manifestation"? To rephrase this question, let's say that there's an object that exists but that does not manifest in any way: how would people ever discover that it exists?

Wouldn't such an object be, from the perspective of human beings, completely indistinguishable from something that doesn't exist? For example, let's say that I have twenty million dollars, but they are twenty million dollars that do not manifest in any way. How is that different than not having twenty million dollars?

Just so we're very clear, there's one question I want you to answer: how would a person discover that such an object actually exists? Please answer this question. Start a sentence with "A person could discover that such an object actually exists by _____________." Fill in the blank and explain your answer.


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Los
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"Los" wrote:
Okay, so what does it mean for something to exist "beyond manifestation"? To rephrase this question, let's say that there's an object that exists but that does not manifest in any way: how would people ever discover that it exists?

While I'm thinking of it, there's a really excellent demonstration that Tracie Harris presented on the show The Atheist Experience: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2oZfpM2bdBA

If you don't have time to watch the whole thing, the first twenty minutes or so will give you the gist. Tracie brings in three jars. The first has existent dice in it; the second has no dice in it (empty jar or "non-existent dice"); and the third has supernatural, transcendent dice in it.

She then goes through a number of exercises: what are some of the ways we can tell that dice are in the jars? How would we go about telling the jar with transcendent dice from the jar with no dice? While we can estimate how many dice are in the first jar, how would we estimate how many transcendent dice are in the third jar?

There are several conclusions she comes to, including that the transcendent dice are indistinguishable from the non-existent dice. The video is well worth a watch.


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

Los,

The dice demonstration is quite appropriate for reasons beyond those you seem to have conceived of.  As I mentioned earlier: The place to begin the inquiry, it seems to me, is not with existence questions, but questions of possibility: how would such an object present itself? What would it be like to encounter such an object? Only then can we ask if any have, in fact, had experiences of such objects.  So long as your language continues to lead you to conceive of transcendent objects as ordinary physical objects, you won't be able to conceive of alternative ways of being relevant to the discussion.

If you can't conceive of such alternatives, that is fair enough.  But as the master said, "Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must remain silent."

Yeheshuah

Love is the law, love under will.


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Los
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"Yeheshuah" wrote:
The place to begin the inquiry, it seems to me, is not with existence questions, but questions of possibility: how would such an object present itself? What would it be like to encounter such an object?

Okay, so how would such an object present itself? If it doesn't manifest, how could it present itself such that a person could know that it exists?

So long as your language continues to lead you to conceive of transcendent objects as ordinary physical objects, you won't be able to conceive of alternative ways of being relevant to the discussion.

Look, I'm willing to hear you out, and I'll let you explain what alternate ideas you have, but at its most basic level, humans recognize that a given "thing" exists by detecting it in some way, don't we? What does it mean that say that something exists but doesn't manifest (which suggests that it can't be detected)?

Again, I'm not starting from the presumption that such transcendent things can't exist: I'm asking you what makes you think that they exist and how you tell that they exist. You still haven't answered the question I bolded before, and I ask again that you do.


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

Los,

Let me address the issue of your bold-type question first.  Such proofs cannot be given objectively, so far as I am aware.  To do so would be, it seems, to point to some sort of manifestation or to derive some truth via the intellect. 

So how does a transcendent object present itself if not by means of manifestation? If we agree to treat manifestation in objective terms, that leaves room for a subjective presentation.  The difficulty with a purely subjective presentation is that it is subjective.  The practitioner must grapple with her own experience in light of what she has read of the experience of others and try to make her own informed judgment as to the meaning of her experience.  This is why I have not offered up my own experience.  If the analysis is to be effective as a means of your own inquiry, given your earlier positions regarding the meaninglessness of religious language and clear distaste for such matters, I don't see how my own experience could be anything but a cause for skewing the analysis.

This is surely not what you were looking for, but you are still trying to cram everything into a vision of the way things are that only has room for declarative, objectively verifiable claims.  Anything other than objectivity is bound to be disappointing.

Yeheshuah

Love is the law, love under will.


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Los
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"Yeheshuah" wrote:
Let me address the issue of your bold-type question first.  Such proofs cannot be given objectively, so far as I am aware.  To do so would be, it seems, to point to some sort of manifestation or to derive some truth via the intellect.

I'm not asking how you'd prove it to someone else. I'm asking how you demonstrate to yourself that you've "encountered" an object that is "beyond manifestation."

I don't doubt that you've had certain experiences. But I question your conclusion that your experience actually disclosed the existence of something that is "beyond manifestation." One reason I question this is that, by definition, something you experience isn't "beyond manifestation" at all. If you experience an object, then the object manifests in some way.

Another reason I question your conclusion is that an inner experience of the kind you're talking about is not sufficient grounds -- even "to you" -- for demonstrating that your experience disclosed the existence of an "object" separate from you. How did you rule out that the experience wasn't simply a vivid daydream or hallucination?

Once again, this is not an issue of you proving it to another person. I'm asking how you demonstrate to yourself that you've encountered a transcendent object--  because it really looks like you don't have sufficient grounds for drawing that conclusion.

Please be mindful that I'm open to alternate ways of looking at this issue: but if your "alternate way" is nothing more than "it's transcendent 'cause I feel it's transcendent, so there," then that's obviously not going to be very compelling, and -- my point is -- it shouldn't be compelling to you, either.


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

Los,

You have posed an interesting question.  My struggle is this: you are asking for very intimate details of my inner life.  But to date your respect for others is not all that great.  You seem to be sincere in your questioning, but it is difficult to trust you with such personal material.  Let me think over how to field your question. 

In the meantime, let me ask you this: what is the point of trying to assess my religious experience? How does this connect to assessing thelemic practice? (I ask these for my own concern, not as a bargaining maneuver.  I will find a way to answer your question regardless of whether you answer mine.)

Yeheshuah

Love is the law, love under will.


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Los
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"Yeheshuah" wrote:
you are asking for very intimate details of my inner life.  [...] it is difficult to trust you with such personal material.

Well, it should hopefully be obvious that you're not obligated to disclose personal information just because someone asks you. If you don't feel comfortable responding, then feel free not to.

But the point I was making was that if you are convinced that you have encountered an object that is "beyond manifestation," then you must think that you've demonstrated this to yourself. Well, either that or you're just randomly guessing. But I got the impression that you think you actually have sufficient grounds for concluding that you have encountered something "beyond manifestation."

I'll lay my cards on the table: I am unconvinced that you actually have such sufficient grounds. I explained why above, and you should review that post before answering.

I'm not asking you for my sake. You're under no obligation to "prove it to Los." But you should want to prove it to you. You presumably do care about whether you've really encountered a "transcendent object" or whether you're just fooling yourself, right? If you're not fooling yourself, then you must have a way of demonstrating it to yourself, and if you have a way of demonstrating it to yourself, then you can explain your process to someone else. But if you're actually incapable of explaining how you demonstrate it to yourself, then that strongly suggests that you actually haven't demonstrated it to yourself at all. In that case, you'd have good reason to suspect that you might be fooling yourself.

Obviously, your experience is yours alone, but the thought process about your experience -- the thought process that led you to the conclusion that you actually did encounter a "transcendent object" -- is something that you can share and that can be evaluated. You're under no obligation to share: if you do, you should be warned that I will closely scrutinize your thought process and probably tell you that I think you're wrong. And not just tell you that I think you're wrong: I will dissect what you say and show you exactly where your thinking is in error. But intellectually honest people should welcome this kind of treatment of their ideas: you ought to be the harshest critic of your own ideas, if you're serious about not fooling yourself.

People who aren't fooling themselves have nothing to fear from an impartial investigation into their ideas. Personally, there's nothing I like more than discovering that I was wrong about something.

In the meantime, let me ask you this: what is the point of trying to assess my religious experience?

As I said above: the point is that you should be interested in assessing your own religious experience. If you can -- and if you actually have demonstrated to yourself that you're not fooling yourself -- then you should be able to explain how you arrived at your conclusion that you encountered a "transcendent object."

If you are incapable of doing that, it should be a huge red flag for you.

How does this connect to assessing thelemic practice?

Our discussion has been meandering for a while now, but it does all link back up to Thelemic practice: at its core, Thelemic practice has as a goal the carrying out of the True Will, which is aided by having as accurate a mental image of reality as possible. The more inaccurate a person's model of the world is, the harder it is for that person to work his Will in the world (in the same way that the more inaccurate a map I have, the tougher it is to get where I want to go).

In this sub-thread, we've been talking about a particular aspect of your mental map of reality: you're convinced that there are objects "outside of manifestation." As I've been explaining, I think you're incorrect. Don't you think that it would be useful to figure out whether you have valid grounds for accepting the claim that you do?


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wellreadwellbred
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All emphasis and underlining added by me:

"Crowley" wrote:
"...as to the classification, off we jog to the Divine Pymander, who saw, and stated, the quiddity of our query [= WHAT IS CERTAINTY] with his accustomed lucidity. He discerns three degrees of Truth; and he distinguishes accordingly: --- 1. True 2. Certain without error 3. Of all truth.

"... a truth which is "of all Truth" should mean any proposition which forms an essential part of this Khu --- this "Magical Identity" of a man." [...] "The test of admission to this ["of all Truth"] class ought to be that, if one were to accept the contradictory of the proposition, the entire structure of the Mind would be knocked to pieces, as is not at all the case with the Astronomer's determination, which may turn out to be wrong for a dozen different reasons without anybody getting seriously wounded in his tenderest feelings. [...]

"... to understand them [= these conceptions]; [...] it is really very necessary to have grasped firmly the doctrine that "a thing is only true insofar as it contains its contradiction in itself." [...] The repeated butting of the head against a brick wall is bound in the long run to shake up the little grey cells [as Poirot might say], teach you to distrust any train of argument, however apparently impeccable the syllogisms, and to seek ever more eagerly the dawn of that Neschamic consciousness where all these things are clearly understood, although impossible to express in rational language.)

The prime function of intellect is differentiation; it deals with marks, with limits, with the relations of what is not identical; in Neschamah all this work has been carried out so perfectly that the "rough working" has passed clean out of mind; just so, you say "I" as if it were an indivisible Unity, unconscious of the inconceivably intricate machinery of anatomical, physiological, psychological construction which issues in this idea of "I".

We may then with some confidence reaffirm that our certainties do assert our limitations; but this kind of limitation is not necessarily harmful, provided that we view the situation in its proper perspective, that we understand that membership of the of-all-Truth class does not (as one is apt to think at first sight) deepen the gulfs which separate mind from mind, but on the contrary put us in a position to ignore them.

Our acts of "love under will," which express our devotion to Nuit, which multiply the fulfillments of our possibilities, become continually more efficacious, and more closely bound up with our Formula of Initiation; and we progressively become aware of deeper and vaster Images of the of-all-Truth class, which reconcile, by including within themselves, all apparent antinomies." Source: Magic Without Tears, CHAPTER XXIX, WHAT IS CERTAINTY

"Crowley" wrote:
"There is a highly popular school of "occultists" which is 99 % an escape-mechanism. The fear of death is one of the bogeys; but far deeper is the root-fear --- fear of being alone, of being oneself, of life itself. With this there goes the sense of guilt.

The Book of the Law cuts directly at the root of all this calamitous, this infamous tissue of falsehood.

What is the meaning of Initiation?  It is the Path to the realisation of your Self as the sole, the supreme, the absolute of all Truth, Beauty, Purity, Perfection!" Source: Magic Without Tears, CHAPTER LXXI MORALITY (2)

"Crowley" wrote:
"... Truth abides above and aloof from intellectual expression, and consequently those books which bear the Magic Keys of the Portal of the Intelligible by dint of inspiration and suggestion come more nearly to grips with Reality than those whose appeal is only to the Intellect." Source: Magick without tears, CHAPTER LXXII, EDUCATION.
"Los" wrote:
"Yeheshuah" wrote:
... what is the point of trying to assess my religious experience?

As I said above: the point is that you should be interested in assessing your own religious experience. If you can -- and if you actually have demonstrated to yourself that you're not fooling yourself -- then you should be able to explain how you arrived at your conclusion that you encountered a "transcendent object."

If you are incapable of doing that, it should be a huge red flag for you.

The three quotes from Crowley at the beginning of this post, demonstrates him operating with a concept of an individual and personal truth, which is ultimately beyond intellectual expression, and a concept of truth which in his words "put us in a position to ignore" "the gulfs which separate mind from mind ..."

It might be difficult for Yeheshuah to assess a personal experience, if it corresponds to Crowley's concept of an individual and personal truth, which is ultimately beyond intellectual expression, a concept of truth which in his words "put us in a position to ignore" "the gulfs which separate mind from mind ..."       


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wellreadwellbred
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My point is that it on a purely rational level, or on a purely intellectual level, might be difficult for Yeheshuah to assess a personal experience, if this personal experience corresponds to Crowley's concept of an individual and personal truth, which is ultimately beyond intellectual expression, a concept of truth which in the latter's words "put us in a position to ignore" "the gulfs which separate mind from mind ..."


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Los
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"wellreadwellbred" wrote:
on a purely rational level, or on a purely intellectual level, might be difficult for Yeheshuah to assess a personal experience

Then he's got no grounds for drawing a conclusion about that experience, such as the conclusion that he experienced an object "beyond manifestation."


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

Los,

A few thoughts come to mind.  First, you are still thinking in terms of proof and objectivity.  Insofar as you want to conceive of the experience as some sort of demonstration of the existence of a transcendental object, that seems to me to miss the point that such experiences are not objective and are beyond the intellect's grasp. 

So what do such experiences come to? As I am still reluctant to share the most intimate parts of my experience, let me try to do so in somewhat abstract terms.  I passed through what might be called an abyssal experience, or a dark night of the soul.  Everything lost meaning, the sorrow of everything became palpable and overwhelming.  I had come unglued from all attachments to people.  As the experience of loss healed, I realized that I was not on the opposite shore but on the shore I had begun from, only with a different awareness of how to be. 

The awareness of presences slowly emerged, not as voices or visions but simple appreciation of presence.  As healing deepened, so did my appreciation of presence.  That is, there is a sense of encounter but no collection of facts to substantiate that such an encounter occurred.  The meaning of such an experience can be assessed objectively as imagination, which is to speculate about the metaphysics of the experience, or as an experience of presence about which nothing more can be said.

Emotional depth is a means of detecting presence in this field of experience, emotion being a means of awareness that sidesteps the intellect.

Let us leave it there for now and see where it takes us.

Yeheshuah

Love is the law, love under will.


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Los
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"Yeheshuah" wrote:
such experiences [...] are beyond the intellect's grasp.

Then you can't conclude anything about these experiences, including the conclusion that they disclose objects "beyond manifestation."

Look, I am in no way trying to diminish the value of your experiences or take anything away from them. I'm just pointing out that you don't seem to have the grounds to claim that they are "beyond manifestation."

there is a sense of encounter but no collection of facts to substantiate that such an encounter occurred.

There is indeed a fact: your sense of encounter is fact. That is, we can say that it is a fact that you underwent an experience that you label as an "encounter" of some sort. Whether that's the best label for what you're talking about is a separate question.

What you appear to be indicating is that there is nothing that you can conclude from this experience, aside from the fact that you had an experience. 

The meaning of such an experience can be assessed objectively as imagination

Well, maybe. It sounds like you underwent an inner experience of some kind, and there's more than one kind of inner experience. Take the experience of "deja vu," for instance, which is a real feeling -- not imagined -- produced by a tiny mistake in brain waves. It could be that your experience was some kind of inner experience akin to this. I don't have enough information to say, and my point is that you don't have enough information to say either.

You definitely don't have enough information to say that you experienced something "beyond manifestation" -- especially since the fact that you had an experience shows that it was a manifestation of some sort.

Emotional depth is a means of detecting presence in this field of experience, emotion being a means of awareness that sidesteps the intellect.

Emotions aren't a "means of awareness." You can be aware of an emotion, but emotions aren't the vehicles of perception.


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Anonymous
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"Yeheshuah" wrote:
Emotions aren't a "means of awareness." You can be aware of an emotion, but emotions aren't the vehicles of perception.

Yes.  Emotions/desires/thoughts can cloud our True Nature.  That's what real meditation achieves ; a temporary suspension of these factors and an unveiling of True Will.  Yeheshuah I would've thought you were working on this during your "zazen" session you mentioned.  Crowley discusses this subject and how emotions distort and veil True Will here from Book 4, Part II;


It is a notorious fact that it is practically impossible to get a reliable description of what occurs at a spiritualistic "seance;" the emotions cloud the vision...Only in the absolute calm of the laboratory, where the observer is perfectly indifferent to what may happen, only concerned to observe exactly what that happening is, to measure and to weigh it by means of instruments incapable of emotion, can one even begin to hope for a truthful record of events. Even the common physical bases of emotion, the senses of pleasure and pain, lead the observer infallibly to err. This though they be not sufficiently excited to disturb his mind.


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Michael Staley
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"david" wrote:
"Yeheshuah" wrote:
Emotions aren't a "means of awareness." You can be aware of an emotion, but emotions aren't the vehicles of perception.

Yes.  Emotions/desires/thoughts can cloud our True Nature.  That's what real meditation achieves ; a temporary suspension of these factors and an unveiling of True Will.  Yeheshuah I would've thought you were working on this during your "zazen" session you mentioned.  Crowley discusses this subject and how emotions distort and veil True Will here from Book 4, Part II;


It is a notorious fact that it is practically impossible to get a reliable description of what occurs at a spiritualistic "seance;" the emotions cloud the vision...Only in the absolute calm of the laboratory, where the observer is perfectly indifferent to what may happen, only concerned to observe exactly what that happening is, to measure and to weigh it by means of instruments incapable of emotion, can one even begin to hope for a truthful record of events. Even the common physical bases of emotion, the senses of pleasure and pain, lead the observer infallibly to err. This though they be not sufficiently excited to disturb his mind.

The quote is by Los, not Yeheshuah. Shome mishtake, shurely?


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christibrany
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"NKB" wrote:
"Yeheshuah" wrote:
You talk too much.

The most accurate statement in all 22 pages of this discussion so far. Well stated. The real question for me is; how does one have time for any "Thelemic practice" when most of one's time seems to be spent typing on internet?

Exactly.... unless thelemic practise is posting on message boards. Liber Forumae.


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Anonymous
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"Michael Staley" wrote:
The quote is by Los, not Yeheshuah. Shome mishtake, shurely?

You have my attention.  Yes thanks.


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

Los,

You wrote:

Emotions aren't a "means of awareness." You can be aware of an emotion, but emotions aren't the vehicles of perception.

But as far as I can tell emotions function based on similar machinery to the senses.  There is no reason, I am aware of, that emotions can not be a vehicle of perception.

Yeheshuah

Love is the law, love under will.


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Los
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"Yeheshuah" wrote:
But as far as I can tell emotions function based on similar machinery to the senses.  There is no reason, I am aware of, that emotions can not be a vehicle of perception.

Huh? I don't follow you. We could discuss this further, but this point strikes me as a huge detour from the main point of our conversation.

My point was that if you're claiming that one particular experience is outside of reason's ability to grasp, then you have no grounds for drawing any conclusions about this experience, including your conclusion that the experience is of something "beyond manifestation." Indeed, your experience of X is, on some level, a manifestation of X, so it would seem that your conclusion cannot be valid on the face of it.

I'm still waiting for you to respond to this point.


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Michael Staley
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"Los" wrote:
My point was that if you're claiming that one particular experience is outside of reason's ability to grasp, then you have no grounds for drawing any conclusions about this experience

Why should Yeheshuah assess or interpret his experience on the basis of your criteria rather than his own?


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

Los,

Earlier I noted:

If we agree to treat manifestation in objective terms, that leaves room for a subjective presentation.

So your reductio does not apply to the use I am making of the language of manifestation.  You may wonder, though, why I would use the language as I do.  Insofar as a presentation fails to achieve something like a lasting stability or fails to leave any traces of its occurrence (beyond the memory of it), I will call it a subjective presentation. 

On your question regarding the place of intellect, it seems to me similar moves to the moves made with regard to manifestation can be made.  Intellect considered as a rule-governed, evidence-gathering mechanism is transcended.  Imagination and emotion become faculties of sense, as Levi points out in his Transcendental Magic.  Another way to think of the issue is that while intellect tries to grasp the subjective presentation, it cannot do so as it wishes to, because the experience does not fall under the rules of reasoning and evidence.  The emotions play a heavy role. 

We should be careful of trying to be too systematic in our use of language, however.  Natural language typically buckles under pressure, giving birth to speculations totally ungrounded from experience. 

Yeheshuah

Love is the law, love under will.


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Los
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"Michael Staley" wrote:
"Los" wrote:
My point was that if you're claiming that one particular experience is outside of reason's ability to grasp, then you have no grounds for drawing any conclusions about this experience

Why should Yeheshuah assess or interpret his experience on the basis of your criteria rather than his own?

I'm not asking that he use "my criteria."

I'm pointing out that by his own argument, he has no grounds for drawing conclusions about the experience. Again: he says that this experience is outside of reason's ability to grasp. Since forming conclusions is the function of reason, something that is outside reason's grasp is something that one cannot form a conclusion about (including, ironically, the conclusion that it is outside of reason's grasp, along with the conclusion that it is "beyond manifestation").

This has nothing to do with anybody's criteria. It has everything to do with what Yeheshuah actually says.


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Los
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"Yeheshuah" wrote:
I will call it a subjective presentation.

Call it whatever you like. What I'm saying is that earlier you said that whatever you're talking about is "beyond manifestation," but you're saying that you've experienced it. Something that is experienced is not something "beyond manifestation."

I don't know what you experienced, but I know that if you actually experienced it, then it isn't "beyond manifestation."

It sounds like what you're trying to say is that you experienced something that does not manifest in any way outside of your mind, which is a statement with which I would definitely agree.

Intellect considered as a rule-governed, evidence-gathering mechanism is transcended.  Imagination and emotion become faculties of sense

No. "Transcending intellect" is what happens when the individual stops paying attention to his mind and starts paying attention to his Will. At no point do the imagination or the emotions become means of perception. Again, the individual can perceive his emotions or perceive the contents of his imagination, but the emotions and the imagination do not *do* the perceiving.


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

Los,

This last argument you offered is strange.  I have offered definitions of manifestation and intellect, which, apparently, do not accord with your own.  The argument that my claims do not work under your definitions is a straw man at best.

Yeheshuah

Love is the law, love under will.


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Los
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"Yeheshuah" wrote:
I have offered definitions of manifestation and intellect

Did you? I missed them, then. Could you please define them in sentences beginning "I define 'manifestation' as _____________," and "I define 'intellect' as _______________"?

I'm trying to figure out what it means for you to experience something that doesn't manifest. Apparently you're using some idiosyncratic definitions here, so it would be useful to state your meanings explicitly.


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

Los,

Earlier I referred to intellect in this way:  a rule-governed, evidence-gathering mechanism.

As for manifestation, it is better to define its contradictory state which is what I have been calling subjective presentation: Insofar as a presentation fails to achieve something like a lasting stability or fails to leave any traces of its occurrence (beyond the memory of it), I will call it a subjective presentation.

These notes, by the way, are simply taken from what I wrote earlier, so there is no bait-and-switch happening.

Yeheshuah

Love is the law, love under will.


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Los
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"Yeheshuah" wrote:
As for manifestation, it is better to define its contradictory state which is what I have been calling subjective presentation: Insofar as a presentation fails to achieve something like a lasting stability or fails to leave any traces of its occurrence (beyond the memory of it), I will call it a subjective presentation.

Right. So you experienced something-- let's call it X -- and you have the memory of experiencing it. By virtue of the fact that you have experienced it, we can conclude that X manifests in some way. This means that X is not "beyond manifestation."

I fear that we're losing the thread of the conversation here. In this part of the conversation, we're examining your claim that there are "transcendent objects," where "transcendent" means "beyond manifestation." You seem to think that there are such objects "beyond manifestation" because you have experienced them, but as I've been pointing out, your experience of an object demonstrates that it does indeed manifest (even if it only manifests to you).

You're not addressing this point I'm raising.


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

Los,

No, I do grasp your point, but it only works under a particular understanding of subjective presentations as forms of manifestation.  But I had remarked earlier that what I was calling manifestation was to be taken in terms of objective presentations, leaving the realm of subjective presentations to that which is beyond manifestation. 

You have a problem with my language use.  I think my use actually captures what is meant by manifestation.  It doesn't really matter which language we choose, it seems to me.  We would just have to make the appropriate adjustments.  If you prefer to call all presentations, manifestation, fine and good.  But the change in the language demands a change in how my assertions are understood.  If you choose not to share my language, okay, but then the claims I have made need to be interpreted back into your own language usages.  So that which is beyond manifestation and intellect would become that which is beyond objective presentation and intellect.  It doesn't really matter how we articulate the position as long as we are not engaged in some polemical need to reduce the opponents position to an absurdity.

Insisting on a particular usage, by the way, proves nothing except a lack of intellectual flexibility as far as I am concerned.  Better to understand where someone is coming from than to reject their position as ludicrous based on an inability to see from the other's point of view.

Yeheshuah

Love is the law, love under will.


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Los
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"Yeheshuah" wrote:
No, I do grasp your point, but it only works under a particular understanding of subjective presentations as forms of manifestation.  But I had remarked earlier that what I was calling manifestation was to be taken in terms of objective presentations, leaving the realm of subjective presentations to that which is beyond manifestation.

So am I correct when I interpret you as claiming, essentially, that you had an experience of something that does not manifest outside of your mind, in the external world, in any way?

If that's what you're saying, then I agree with you, and I'm curious why you wouldn't just say that to begin with. I see no reason to call something like that "transcendent."

I find your usage of language incredibly obfuscatory and confusing. For example: earlier today, I experienced hunger. This hunger presents itself entirely subjectively. So does that mean, under your use of language, that my experience of hunger was the experience of something "beyond manifestation"? Do you consider my hunger to be "transcendent," simply because it's not an external object? If that's how you're using words, then I find that usage incredibly dumb and not suited at all to convey what you actually mean.


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soz
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In qabalistic terms "manifest" suggests manifestation in Assiah, and "beyond intellect and manifestation" suggests beyond Yetzirah and Assiah. Looked at in this way, it's not confusing and dumb but straightforward. Why not use the qabalistic model as your shared model for discussion, it's perfect for that role.


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Tao
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"Los" wrote:
I find your usage of language incredibly obfuscatory and confusing. For example: earlier today, I experienced hunger. This hunger presents itself entirely subjectively. So does that mean, under your use of language, that my experience of hunger was the experience of something "beyond manifestation"? Do you consider my hunger to be "transcendent," simply because it's not an external object? If that's how you're using words, then I find that usage incredibly dumb and not suited at all to convey what you actually mean.

Actually, hunger is motivated by fluctuations in the hormones leptin and ghrelin. Your sense of hunger is your mind's perception of these chemical changes and, insofar as it's often considered to be an emotion, presents a viable counter-example to your previous declaration that emotions don't perceive. Though our "feeling of hunger" might seem subjective, our hormone levels may be objectively measured to provide empirical data that correlates.

If you're going to attack others for a confusing use of words, best make sure you're not confusing categories yourself.


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