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jamie barter
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30/04/2015 10:32 am  

Reply #576 by Los on: April 25, 2015, 03:31:53 am:

[…] 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. […]

Something just doesn’t quite ring right about this claim.  It all sounds very good, of course, and looks very broad-minded and open to suggestion as printed words on the screen, but unfortunately it’s not worth the proverbial tinker’s cuss in consideration. 

Personally, there’s nothing Los likes better than growling and sounding off like a terrier with a bone between its teeth; going round and round the houses churning away on the same old merry-go-round arguments; illustrating points at great length over and over when a tight sentence or two would be infinitely preferable, etc., etc.  But all good Lashtalians of discrimination and a certain longevity will naturally know these facts already.

"Los" wrote:
I'm still waiting for you to respond to this point.

Hur, hur – why yes, of course you are, Los!  So you do know how it feels then?! ;D Just like neither am I by any means alone in still waiting for you to respond on several points which are too tricky for you to roll out a standard pat smooth answer to in usual know-it-all fashion.

♫ Still waiting …
И ~ ∫ºλ


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Yeheshuah
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30/04/2015 1:18 pm  

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

Los, soz and Tao,

The suggestion that we use the Qabalah is a wonderful thought, although talks would likely breakdown over how each of us reads the metaphysics of the different worlds.  Part of the problem, it seems to me, is that Los takes what he doesn't understand right away for some sort of flaw in anything but himself.  Which is why I linked to that wikipedia article on the Dunning-Kruger effect.  (Here it is again: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger_effect .)  People that think along the lines of Los tend to be blind to their intellectual weaknesses and read the effects of those weaknesses as the result of external forces.

Tao's point about hunger is well made.  I was thinking along similar lines: everything for the observer can be said to take place in the mind.  The machinery of the senses is the brain.  Insofar as the mind is equivalent to the brain, all sensation (or observation) is in the mind.  So all manifestations, in Los's sense of the term, take place in the mind. 

It occurs to me that talk of something being "in the mind" is to confuse grammar for metaphysics.  If I have it in mind to go to the store for eggs, I am not positing a distinct, immaterial entity we call the mind.  Rather, I am summarizing my plans.

For the sake of progress, let me try to clarify a mistake I think Los has made in his last post.  A subjective presentation which points us to something unable to be categorized coherently in our language is transcendent.  So hunger would not be transcendent.  Maybe there are some caveats, but I think that can get us going in the right direction. 

So is what I am describing all in the mind? Sure, why not.  I accept that as long as "in the mind" is not treated metaphysically as a space where objects called thoughts are held.  If "in the mind" simply means something along the lines of being accessible to the observer alone, I have no problem with the phrase. 

Yeheshuah

Love is the law, love under will.


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Los
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01/05/2015 9:25 pm  
"Yeheshuah" wrote:
For the sake of progress, let me try to clarify a mistake I think Los has made in his last post.  A subjective presentation which points us to something unable to be categorized coherently in our language is transcendent.  So hunger would not be transcendent.  Maybe there are some caveats, but I think that can get us going in the right direction.

It sounds like you are now defining "transcendent" more specifically. Earlier, you said that a "transcendent object" is "that which lies beyond manifestation and thought," and I have been explaining how vague this is. After being pressed for a number of posts, you have finally decided to make your definition more specific and are now claiming that a transcendent object is "something experienced subjectively that the individual cannot categorize coherently."

Do I have that more or less correct? If so, then you haven't identified a mistake I've made: you've amended your definition to avoid the problems that I pointed out to you.

I think the new definition you've offered is much better than the one you were giving earlier. I personally disagree that "transcendent" is a very useful word for what you're talking about. You seem to be describing something "ineffable," which is the word I would probably use.

So anyway, I agree that people have these kinds of ineffable experiences. I've had quite a few myself. I don't see any grounds for calling these experiences "transcendent" or for suggesting that some alternate kind of logic is required for discussing them (indeed, if such experiences are actually ineffable, then nothing can be said about them and no logic of any kind can be applied to them).


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jamie barter
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02/05/2015 2:37 pm  

Adapted from Reply #564 on April 22, 2015, 06:39:34 pm:

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: INEFFABLE.  Yes, In – Eff - A – Bull.  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 …]

(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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Azidonis
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02/05/2015 8:16 pm  
"Los" wrote:
if such experiences are actually ineffable, then nothing can be said about them and no logic of any kind can be applied to them

Always worth taking a look at the word ineffable, as an adjective (ie. a descriptive term) which indicates that something is beyond description. Thus, the term 'ineffable' cannot be a description of whatever is beyond description. It can only be a sign post.

In other words, its a term placed 'afar'. For one to say, "That right there, is ineffable", is placing a description of "cannot be accurately described" onto a noun - person/place/thing/idea which cannot actually bear a description, which breaks the intended meaning of the term down to mulch. Much of what may be termed 'ineffable' already has words anyway, and already has descriptions. If it is a 'something', then it can be described as a 'something', even if it is described as a 'something for which one cannot give an accurate description', which is still a description.

It's like calling samadhi an experience, but it really is not an experience, as there is no experiencer during samadhi. To say one experienced samadhi is thus a complete misnomer, even though there aren't really too many other ways to talk about it, as speech is meaningless in regard to it.


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Yeheshuah
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02/05/2015 11:36 pm  

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

Los,

You continue down your path of seeking to play a game of one-upmanship rather than pursuing understanding.  Never have I offered anything like an exhaustive definition.  Such things are generally lost causes when pressing at the edges of language.  In fact, in at least one post I warned against the danger of pressing language to do more than it can do.  Rigor is not the duty of a natural language.  So your complaint that I added to the conversation is more of a complaint against your own expectations than against how I have approached our debate.  You have a very childish vision of how debate and conversation takes place, and so you continue to return to saying things such as "But you said that..."

The words ineffable and transcendent can both be used to describe what I am pointing to without problem, as far as I am concerned.  I think where you see a problem is where the need for logic becomes apparent: the desire to talk about the unspeakable does not have to be a lost endeavor. 

Yeheshuah

Love is the law, love under will.


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Los
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03/05/2015 2:08 am  
"Azidonis" wrote:
Always worth taking a look at the word ineffable, as an adjective (ie. a descriptive term) which indicates that something is beyond description. Thus, the term 'ineffable' cannot be a description of whatever is beyond description. It can only be a sign post.

I would agree. This entire post of yours is one of the rare times that you make good and coherent points.

In other words, its a term placed 'afar'. For one to say, "That right there, is ineffable", is placing a description of "cannot be accurately described" onto a noun - person/place/thing/idea which cannot actually bear a description, which breaks the intended meaning of the term down to mulch. Much of what may be termed 'ineffable' already has words anyway, and already has descriptions. If it is a 'something', then it can be described as a 'something', even if it is described as a 'something for which one cannot give an accurate description', which is still a description.

Yes. To elaborate a little, "ineffable" is a sort of placeholder used to label things that the person doing the labeling can't really adequately describe in any other way. That doesn't mean that it's impossible to describe it...someone else might have a similar experience and very much be able to describe it. We might, for example, classify these kinds of experiences as vivid daydreams or momentary hallucinations, the contents of which appear confusing and mismatched enough (as dreams often are) that adequate description of their contents is sometimes beyond the person who has the experience.

It seems to me that many people take these experiences as deeply significant, and while these experiences may have a powerful impact on the individual, I tend to regard most such visions as playthings of the Khu: such a vision is perhaps useful in reorienting the perspective of the individual, but is little more than a distraction if it is regarded as important in and of itself or for its specific content.


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christibrany
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03/05/2015 2:24 am  

this whole thread is a joke.  OR to put it one way. It's the Los show. like loss. we are all losing because we don't measure up to his mighty standards and I am very tired of it.  Just my 3 cents.  Inflation you see.


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Los
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03/05/2015 2:31 am  
"christibrany" wrote:
Los [...] like loss

Yes, that was Blake's pun.

we are all losing because we don't measure up to his mighty standards

This says a lot more about you than it does about anything else.

I am very tired of it.

Then go away. Nobody's making you read the thread.


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christibrany
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03/05/2015 3:02 am  

Lol. For someone who feels themselves the lord of rationality and the end all be all of what is right, when you say "Go away" it's very ironic.  It's like you don't really want to discuss anything, you just like typing a lot and you just want your own hill.  Cue "Fool on the Hill"


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Los
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03/05/2015 3:10 am  
"christibrany" wrote:
For someone who feels themselves the lord of rationality and the end all be all of what is right

Again, this says a lot more about you than about anything else. These fantasies you have about me are very strange.

when you say "Go away" it's very ironic.  It's like you don't really want to discuss anything

Leaving aside your misuse of the word "ironic," you're again misreading the situation. It should be obvious that I'm interested in actual discussion, which I've done a lot of on this thread. When I told you to "go away," it was specifically in response to you saying that you were tired of this thread. I was pointing out that nobody is forcing you to read or respond to it. If you really are tired of the thread, then "go away" is very sound advice.

You'd have a much easier time of things if you respond to what's actually going on, rather than to the stories that you tell yourself about what's going on.

Incidentally, learning how to do this is what comprises the bulk of actual Thelemic practice.


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christibrany
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03/05/2015 4:58 am  

You are not interested in actual discussion. You are interested in being right, in your mind, all of the time.  So have fun. And you telling me what Thelemic practise really 'is' is hilarious.  I don't usually stoop down to your level but I felt like I would engage for the sake of venting my spleen.  So please spit on me.


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Anonymous
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03/05/2015 9:27 am  
"christibrany" wrote:
.  So please spit on me.

This is getting surreal. 

"christibrany" wrote:
this whole thread is a joke.

The whole thread?  You mean the sub thread which has ran for a month or so?  I don't see either as "a joke."  By my estimation the sub thread has now turned into Yehesh's attempt to try to bend himself up and out of the stratosphere of the limits of language to justify his sympathy with Christ and established Christian institutions.  It isn't working for him.  It's laudable as, imo this probably stems from an engrained fear of the possibilities of terrible social disorder which would occur if all of the Christian (and or Abrahamic) churches were to become rubble.  Personally, I would leave them standing but make strip bars out of them.

I watched a recent lecture which dealt with Dosteovsky who observed the demise of the church (and faith) in his time and he concluded that it is socially vital as an organ of general ethical maintenance.  This is relevant to Thelema/Thelemic  practice isn't it?  What remains in the aftermath of Christianity in western civilization?  Could you/we genuinely handle it?  If yes,why?  Which Thelemic  practices genuinely unveil our True Wills?  Why?  How?  Which practices are obsolete?  Do we need to stand in temples wearing masks of Egyptian gods?  Do we need to sit in agony until we can only hobble about?  Why even keep a magical diary?  So on.       


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jamie barter
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03/05/2015 12:48 pm  

It appears that, whilst we are all in the hiatus waiting with bated breath for all the results to come in (regarding opinions on the contents of RTC’s Liber Bogus book, not the forthcoming UK general election), The Logician’s Apprentice otherwise known as david is coming to the rescue of his guru once again.

"david" wrote:
[...] The whole thread?  You mean the sub thread which has ran for a month or so?  I don't see either as "a joke."[...]

Still, you make a valid point about the sub thread”, david, although like chris I do see the whole thing as a joke.  Must be my sense of humour at work, don‘t you know - that or the only recourse left to anybody with sanity.  By the way, how many Veils of Paroketh are there again?  You previously stated these to be in the plural (vide. Reply #227), so it couldn’t have been just the case of a simple typographical error.  Please indicate where these may be drawn/ unveiled on the Tree of Life, would you, or otherwise explain the matter to your fellow Lashtalians?

"Los" wrote:
[...] I would agree. This entire post of yours is one of the rare times that you make good and coherent points.

I love the way that, even when he is apparently trying to be “nice”, Los still manages to “damn with faint praise” and/or come out with the old back-handed compliment.  He raises this almost to the level of an art form, wouldn’t you say?

"Los" wrote:
It seems to me that many people take these experiences as deeply significant, and while these experiences may have a powerful impact on the individual, I tend to regard most such visions as playthings of the Khu: such a vision is perhaps useful in reorienting the perspective of the individual, but is little more than a distraction if it is regarded as important in and of itself or for its specific content.

A general question: don’t you hate people who bandy about terms like these without ever bothering to define what they understand them to mean?

N Joy


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Tao
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03/05/2015 3:51 pm  
"david" wrote:
By my estimation the sub thread has now turned into Yehesh's attempt to try to bend himself up and out of the stratosphere of the limits of language to justify his sympathy with Christ and established Christian institutions.

What are you yammering on about now? Christian institutions? Last I checked, Y choose JC as the object (subject?) of his Bhakti specifically because of his antipathy toward xtianity and its institutions and has engaged in his practice in a personal, rather than institutionalised, way.


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Los
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03/05/2015 3:55 pm  
"christibrany" wrote:
So please spit on me.

Please refrain from making so explicit the homoerotic nature of your fantasies about me.

"david" wrote:
By my estimation the sub thread has now turned into Yehesh's attempt to try to bend himself up and out of the stratosphere of the limits of language to justify his sympathy with Christ and established Christian institutions.  It isn't working for him.

Well, I think it's even simpler than that. It seems to me that Yeheshuah has had an authentic and significant (to him) inner experience that he's not able to describe or explain adequately. The problem is that he doesn't seem to have thought very rigorously about it and that his discussion of it make dubious claims in a sloppy way.

For example, he earlier boldly claimed that "transcendent objects" exist. Wow, what a claim! But after I asked some basic questions to figure out what he meant by that claim -- questions that took probably a dozen posts of conversation -- it turns out that all he meant was "I've had some experiences that I can't adequately describe or explain." Well, shit. If he had said that to begin with, I wouldn't have challenged him at all. What an incredibly mundane claim. I don't know anyone who hasn't had some experiences that they can't adequately describe or explain.

And this does connect back to the theme of the thread, because the sloppy way that people evaluate their experiences can be -- and, I would suggest, often is -- detrimental to their ability to navigate reality and work their True Will. 

What remains in the aftermath of Christianity in western civilization?  Could you/we genuinely handle it?  If yes,why?

Personally, I'm not convinced that Christianity (or, more generally, religious "morality") is what keeps people in line to begin with. I would suggest that even people who think that they would harm others if it were not for their belief in God are probably lying to themselves. There are plenty of practical reasons not to go around harming people, and there's little reason to suppose that supernatural threats are necessary to keep most people in line. Put another way, I might argue that the reason most people don't go around murdering and raping is not that they have been taught that these things are "wrong"; in fact, it may be quite the opposite: part of the reason that people consider murdering and raping to be "wrong" might well be that most people don't do it and have no actual inclination to do it.

This too fits in with the topic of Thelemic practice because a great deal of people act from their sense of right or wrong (which exists in the mind) without bothering to evaluate their actual inclinations in a given situation (which would be the Will). Of course, I don't think that we need "Thelema" specifically -- or anything, really -- to "replace" Christianity or even secular morality. People will get along just fine without any specific system of beliefs (and in fact probably would get along better without one). To the extent that secular morality can be thought of as a series of strategies for evaluating certain kinds of situations, it might make for a useful rule of thumb, but every situation needs to be evaluated on its own merits.


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christibrany
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04/05/2015 2:16 pm  

Lol homoerotic. At least you made me laugh for once 😀


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jamie barter
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05/05/2015 10:45 am  
"david" wrote:
[...] an engrained fear of the possibilities of terrible social disorder which would occur if all of the Christian (and or Abrahamic) churches were to become rubble.  Personally, I would leave them standing but make strip bars out of them.

david, you naughty devil you! (what might this achieve, incidentally?)

I watched a recent lecture which dealt with Dosteovsky who observed the demise of the church (and faith) in his time and he concluded that it is socially vital as an organ of general ethical maintenance.

Yes, church organs do need general maintenance.  And like holes in the chapel roof, not only with ethics: both are subject to collection box appeals as well.

What remains in the aftermath of Christianity in western civilization?

Are we in the aftermath yet?  There are still many thousands of Xians to every ‘Thelemite’ on the planet.

This is relevant to Thelema/Thelemic practice isn't it? ...  Could you/we genuinely handle it?

Is this a rhetorical flourish, or are you asking us or telling us?

If yes,why?  Which Thelemic practices genuinely unveil our True Wills?  Why?  How?  Which practices are obsolete?

Haven’t we all been discussing these over the last, what, six hundred odd (and some have been very odd) posts?

Do we need to stand in temples wearing masks of Egyptian gods?

I don’t know – do we?  Does anybody “need” to?

Do we need to sit in agony until we can only hobble about?

Maybe only if you happen to be unfortunate enough to place your testicles in an awkward position during asana?

Why even keep a magical diary?  So on.

I have instituted a whole thread on this very subject (currently on page 4 of the “Magick” board).  Maybe you’d like to necromantically jolt it going again in your usual renowned style david – but you may find it difficult as it’s locked 🙁 due to some people’s silliness (mentioning no names)

Confident you will no longer reply to “conversation” à la Los,
N Joy


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christibrany
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07/05/2015 12:26 am  

Sometimes I think that Los and Well-Head may be the same people.  Just depending on how their split personality is going/how drunk they are/ etc. They both talk too much, say little, quote much, and find some sort of pseudo-sexual-religious ecstasy in what they call facts and logic. Then when you ask them a question they just get nasty. Or call you a gay. Which I don't mind because I am happily straight and makes me chuckle.

Mr Loss:

". People will get along just fine without any specific system of beliefs (and in fact probably would get along better without one). To the extent that secular morality can be thought of as a series of strategies for evaluating certain kinds of situations, it might make for a useful rule of thumb, but every situation needs to be evaluated on its own merits."

Well in my own humble thoughts, we all have belief systems; starting from childhood 'there is a monster under my bed I have to jump up quick' to 'I better not get her pregnant because kids suck' and those are both beliefs because they are not the same for everyone and only based on my own thoughts.

So in other words, what kind of world would you envision to be the world you would like to live in?
What do you think are mankind's greatest failings?
You seem to think that just because people use religion or spirituality or even metaphysics and praeterhuman entities to better their thinking, to help them improve (even in their own minds) , or even just to help them cope, that they are somehow lesser than you.
Is this true?
If it is true, can you explain why you think that?
And I am going to be myself, and be nice and not ask you to provide evidence.


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Los
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07/05/2015 4:51 pm  
"christibrany" wrote:
You seem to think that just because people use religion or spirituality or even metaphysics and praeterhuman entities to better their thinking, to help them improve (even in their own minds) , or even just to help them cope, that they are somehow lesser than you.
Is this true?

No, it's not true. I don't think any person is inherently better or worse than any other person. Each person is unique, and there's no way to draw ultimate comparisons between entirely unique things. "Better" and "worse" don't make sense in this context (and incidentally, "equal" and "unequal" also don't make sense). Consult Liber AL I:3-4 for a further explication of this idea.

Now, an entirely different question is whether I think "religion or spirituality" is something that actually does improve the thinking of people, improve their lives, and help them cope. Obviously, plenty of people think that religion -- and I'm using "religion" very broadly here to encompass all spiritual/metaphysical/supernatural beliefs -- has had positive effects on their lives, but I'm awfully skeptical that religion's got much to do with the benefits in most cases.

Take, for example, someone who finds Jesus and then gets themselves off of drugs (feel free to plug in any other spiritual thing for "Jesus" in this example...let's say someone starts meditating on Lam and then gets themselves off of drugs). A lot of times, these people draw a causal link: "Jesus got me off drugs," they say. But is that an accurate assessment? I tend to think not. In examples like these, the person in question got himself off of drugs. Maybe he was helped or motivated by a particular psychological crutch (his idea of "Jesus," in this case), but that's not to say that an entirely secular, "mundane" approach to self-improvement (shall we call it?) wouldn't possibly be more effective and less likely to contain drawbacks.

In other cases, I don't think the "benefits" supposedly gained from religion are actually benefits at all. Take someone who "copes" with death by deluding themselves into thinking that their loved ones are in an afterlife of some kind and that one day they'll all be reunited. I don't begrudge people their little fantasies, and certainly I'm not going to go up to people at funerals and start listing the many reasons to think that consciousness ends with death, but I tend to think that in the long run, such fantasies do more harm to people than good. For one thing, they guard people from having to deal with reality on reality's terms, which trains the mind to be *less* capable of handling reality in the long run. I also think the afterlife fantasies in particular largely devalue this life -- which is the one and only life that we know of -- and the delusion that a person will one day be reunited with his loved ones might easily lead someone to take other people for granted and become complacent about relationships that exist now.

Essentially, spiritual beliefs are crutches for dealing with actual problems. Crutches can indeed be handy things when you have a busted leg, but the idea is to heal to the point that you don't need the crutch any more. If "religion" was nothing more than a few psychological crutches people occasionally leaned on privately and then discarded, that would be one thing, but people often fetishize their particular crutch, and these crutches come with a lot of baggage, including promoting credulity and errors in thinking that can -- and do -- lead to much more dangerous errors in thinking.

I generally do think the world would be a much more pleasant place to live in if people stopped leaning on and fetishizing these spiritual delusions. Any actual "benefits" that come out of them can be accomplished by entirely secular means, just as effectively (or often more effectively). If you disagree with that, I'd be interested in hearing why.


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wellreadwellbred
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07/05/2015 9:12 pm  
"Los" wrote:
... What is the practitioner trying to accomplish?: The discovery of the True Will, defined as the individual’s nature (authentic inclinations and preferences) in contrast to the false ideas the individual has about his nature [...] the True Self (“Khabs”) [...] [The] Khabs/True Will ...

"Los" wrote:
... the self’s actual inclinations [...] The True Will is what it is. It is a set of dynamic inclinations that doesn’t have a “purpose” for its existence beyond being there. [...] we’re talking about how to attain the True Will – i.e. implying the person trying to attain to it *hasn’t* yet achieved the True Will ...

"the_real_simon_iff" wrote:
Los, 93! [...] my views on Thelema differ from yours (like on the True Will, Guardian Angels or Secret Chiefs - you name it). ...

"the_real_simon_iff" wrote:
... I am hoping for you (and the like) that the claim that a True Will exists can soon be proven to be right. [...]  I think the man [Crowley] had more to deliver than a method to find out when you feel good and if you like coffee or not. ...

"the_real_simon_iff" wrote:
... there is the concept of the True Will as Los and Erwin et al understand it, which has been brought to us over and over again. But that's just their concept of course. [...] While this approach obviously uses the scientific method, it is still nothing more than what exists in an individual's mind. [...] But is Thelema all about feeling good? [...] The True Will is just a word, a symbol, a philosophy and nothing more. No, of course you cannot prove it that it exists. It requires a kind of belief in its existence, and then it requires an interpretion what it means: a mass of personal preferences or something more? ...

"Los" wrote:
... If you’re interested in discussing methods and practice, then respond to my post giving more details about the practices. If you’re only interested in trying to one-up me or quibble about the meaning of Thelema, start a new thread devoted to that purpose.

the_real_simon_iff, are you’re interested in discussing methods and practice, giving more details on the aforesaid matters, on the basis of your understanding of the concept of the 'True Will', on the basis of your views on 'Thelema', 'Guardian Angels', or 'Secret Chiefs', or 'you name it', and on the basis of your thought that Crowley "had more to deliver than a method to find out when you feel good and if you like coffee or not."?


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christibrany
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07/05/2015 10:01 pm  

Los,

Very nice post thank you.  So basically you are viewing spirituality as a crutch.
I have to disagree, and because I am not in the mood to post very much I have to say, what of the fact that perfectly healthy, rational, well balanced, emotionally happy people, still are spiritual, because it enriches their lives, it makes them happy and they feel that this life is a preparation for a new life? 

In other words, why would these other-wise functional, happy people, need any kind of 'crutch' at all? I don't really think it's about death. Myself, I am not afraid to die at all, I know it is just a changing of my clothes so to speak.  I know you don't think that, but how does that apply to your theory/opinion?
Just curious,

Chris


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Los
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08/05/2015 12:06 am  
"christibrany" wrote:
So basically you are viewing spirituality as a crutch.

It's a crutch in those situations you specifically asked me about: where people think it's helping them cope or improving them. But more generally, religion is for a lot of people a tradition that they cling to or a series of assumptions that they don't think very hard about. In a lot of cases, religion itself discourages its adherents from thinking too hard about it. Martin Luther famously decried reason as the enemy of faith; many religions admire "mystery," doctrines that cannot be grasped by the rational mind; many alternative forms of spirituality prize intuition and suggest that reason is "insufficient" for truly understanding the universe.

And it's obvious why religions often vilify reason: because religious/spiritual claims do not stand up to serious, honest inquiry.

So I wouldn't characterize religion merely as a crutch in all situations. I think that it's also a series of thinking errors that people don't spend much time critically evaluating (and which they are encouraged not to evaluate with any rigor).

what of the fact that perfectly healthy, rational, well balanced, emotionally happy people, still are spiritual, because it enriches their lives, it makes them happy and they feel that this life is a preparation for a new life? 

In other words, why would these other-wise functional, happy people, need any kind of 'crutch' at all?

Well, as I said above, it's mainly a crutch in those instances you specifically asked me about. Many people, who are quite functional, are "religious" more like a hobby or like a family tradition than anything else. There are lots of reasons that different people are religious, but there are several common threads to most religious belief: there's no good reason to think that spiritual beliefs are true, spiritual beliefs don't seem to provide any actual benefits that cannot be achieved through secular means, in many cases the supposed benefits of spiritual beliefs aren't actually benefits at all, and there are plenty of drawbacks that come along with a lot of forms of spiritual belief.

I don't really think it's about death. Myself, I am not afraid to die at all, I know it is just a changing of my clothes so to speak.

Well, no, you don't know that at all. You think that's the case, based on insufficient evidence (if the evidence you've discussed publicly on these forums is any indication).

I would submit that fear of death is natural in all living creatures and is part of the way that all normal, healthy minds work. People try to assuage these fears and compensate for them in all sorts of ways. My guess -- if I had to guess -- is that your reincarnation belief is a kind of shield to guard your mind from having to face up to the likely truth that you will cease to exist entirely someday. And I don't blame you for wanting to avoid facing that fact. But I think if you seriously are of the opinion that you have no fear of death (*because* you think you "know" that reincarnation is true), then you probably have some deep anxieties that would be painful to contemplate. Your beliefs -- like a lot of religious beliefs, in my estimation -- would seem to be a kind of defense mechanism against those anxieties. In this context, your beliefs/fantasies are an obstacle to self-knowledge.

Actual enlightenment is not the process of feeding those fantasies. Actual enlightenment is the process of breaking those pleasant fantasies down and seeing through them.


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Anonymous
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08/05/2015 9:04 am  

Studies show that the 20 % of society ie healthiest of people, usually have a transcendental value system in their family.  This may be religious or some other value system.  It  provides a sense of stability as all kinds of sudden or inevitable painful changes take place throughout the entire course of our lives.

Yes insane people can be very "religious" or "spiritual" eg Ivan the Terrible and so on. 


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William Thirteen
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08/05/2015 9:26 am  

Studies show

citation?

related: more doctors smoke Camels than any other cigarette


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Anonymous
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08/05/2015 12:59 pm  

Citation from Dr Robert Skynner's "Life and how to survive it."


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William Thirteen
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08/05/2015 2:03 pm  

hi david,

try this:

Skynner, A. C. Robin, and John Cleese. Life and How to Survive It. New York: Norton, 1994. Print.

*****

bookmark this for future reference to amaze your friends and family

http://www.citationmachine.net/mla/cite-a-book


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Los
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08/05/2015 2:20 pm  
"david" wrote:
Studies show that the 20 % of society ie healthiest of people, usually have a transcendental value system in their family.

I'm unfamiliar with that one, but there have been studies that have shown that there is a negative correlation between a society's religiosity and its societal health.

Paul, Gregory S. "Cross-National Correlations of Quantifiable Societal Health with Popular Religiosity and Secularism in the Prosperous Democracies." Journal of Religion & Society 7 (2005).

Now, the mere fact that there's a negative correlation between religiosity and societal health doesn't mean that religion *causes* a decrease in societal health, but it is evidence that religion doesn't *improve* societal health.


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the_real_simon_iff
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08/05/2015 3:48 pm  

93!

"wellreadwellbred" wrote:
the_real_simon_iff, are you’re interested in discussing methods and practice, giving more details on the aforesaid matters, on the basis of your understanding of the concept of the 'True Will', on the basis of your views on 'Thelema', 'Guardian Angels', or 'Secret Chiefs', or 'you name it', and on the basis of your thought that Crowley "had more to deliver than a method to find out when you feel good and if you like coffee or not."?

No, I am not.

Feel good, like coffee, whatever...

Love=Law
Lutz


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Anonymous
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08/05/2015 5:45 pm  
"Los" wrote:
I'm unfamiliar with that one, but there have been studies that have shown that there is a negative correlation between a society's religiosity and its societal health.

It was called the Timberlawn study.  Dr Skynner claims that the book written about this research was called NO SINGLE THREAD: PSYCHOLOGICAL HEALTH IN FAMILY SYSTEMS By Jerry M. Lewis, W. Robert Beavers, John T. Gossett & Virginia A. Phillips Brunner Mazel, New York, 1976.  Also , bear in mind that Dr Skynner was talking from experience of decades of his own psychiatric work. 

The "transcendental value system" of the exceptionally healthy 20% of society, Skynner says is not necessarily being a committed member of a church but it often is.  It can be  a broader humanitarian cause and/or something that provides a sense or meaning and purpose through all types of loss and change.  He goes on to cite Dr. Viktor Frankl's  (Aushwitz and Dachau survivor) studies which say the same about the concentration camp survivors per se.  Incicdentaly, I'd say that these few camp survivors fit the bill of Nietzsche's ubermensch with an ability to overcome such suffering.  Ironic that but that's another thread.   

Can one have a sense of meaning from life and also maintain one's atheism (anti-metaphysical stance)?  Friedrich Nietzsche seemed to think so;

Meaning and morality of One's life come from within oneself. Healthy, strong individuals seek self expansion by experimenting and by living dangerously. Life consists of an infinite number of possibilities and the healthy person explores as many of them as posible. Religions that teach pity, self-contempt, humility, self-restraint and guilt are incorrect. The good life is ever changing, challenging, devoid of regret, intense, creative and risky.”

― Friedrich Nietzsche
 

"WilliamThirteen" wrote:
hi david,

try this:
bookmark this for future reference to amaze your friends and family

http://www.citationmachine.net/mla/cite-a-book

Thanks.


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Michael Staley
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08/05/2015 8:02 pm  
"david" wrote:
Can one have a sense of meaning from life and also maintain one's atheism (anti-metaphysical stance)?  Friedrich Nietzsche seemed to think so;

Could you furnish a few examples, david, of how you personally "seek self-expansion by experimenting and by living dangerously". How are you exploring as many as possible of these "infinite number of possibilities"? Or might you be adopting a theoretical position here, as the actress said to Bishop Berkeley?


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Anonymous
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08/05/2015 8:56 pm  
"Michael Staley" wrote:
"david" wrote:
Can one have a sense of meaning from life and also maintain one's atheism (anti-metaphysical stance)?  Friedrich Nietzsche seemed to think so;

Could you furnish a few examples, david, of how you personally "seek self-expansion by experimenting and by living dangerously". How are you exploring as many as possible of these "infinite number of possibilities"? Or might you be adopting a theoretical position here, as the actress said to Bishop Berkeley?

We were discussing transcendental value systems and religiosity.  The point was that that quote from Nietzsche, a philosopher known for his anti metaphysical view and a man that Crowley described as "almost an avatar of Thoth" was holding meaning as more valuable than faith in angels, fairies and praeter human intelligences. Why we need to go into the details of my personal life is beyond me. 


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arthuremerson
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08/05/2015 8:59 pm  

David,

Could you please direct us to which of Nietzsche's works this quote is from.

-ae


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Anonymous
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08/05/2015 9:01 pm  
"arthuremerson" wrote:
David,

Could you please direct us to which of Nietzsche's works this quote is from.

-ae

No but I'm sure you're about to tell me. 


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arthuremerson
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08/05/2015 9:04 pm  

It's not a Nietzsche quote, David.


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Anonymous
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08/05/2015 9:13 pm  
"arthuremerson" wrote:
It's not a Nietzsche quote, David.

Oh, ok. It is according to a lot of websites I googled.  Thanks.  No matter, how about  "To live is to suffer, to survive is to find some meaning in the suffering."?  Are we agreed that Nietzsche was anti metaphysical (I have a quote from The Gay Science about that) and put meaning before metaphysical recourse and religious involvements? 


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Tao
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08/05/2015 10:09 pm  
"david" wrote:
Citation from Dr Robert Skynner's "Life and how to survive it."

Well... better late than never, I suppose. A good thing I wasn't waiting on a kidney.

"Tao" wrote:
"david" wrote:
On the subject of health, studies show that the most mentally healthy families have a "transcendental" value system.  This is not necessarily a metaphysical belief but it may include being e.g. a member of a church or the like.

Citation, please.

"david" wrote:
We were discussing transcendental value systems and religiosity.  The point was that that quote from Nietzsche, a philosopher known for his anti metaphysical view and a man that Crowley described as "almost an avatar of Thoth" was holding meaning as more valuable than faith in angels, fairies and praeter human intelligences. Why we need to go into the details of my personal life is beyond me. 

Perhaps because that was specifically what was requested by Los as the guiding principle of this thread... 2.67 years ago(!)

"Los" wrote:
It is in the interest of opening a serious Thelemic dialogue about goals and practices that I start this thread. We cannot claim to adopt “the method of science” if we are uninterested in objectively evaluating our practices and subjecting them to the closest possible scrutiny. To the contrary, we should welcome the opportunity to do so and rejoice if someone is able to demonstrate to us a flaw in our thinking, to demolish an illusion we hold dear.

I propose we use this thread as a space to present various practices and our answers to the critical questions about them that we have determined for ourselves. The purpose will not be to simply talk “at” each other in some nebulous vacuum where the only purpose is to hear one another speak and to nod our heads approvingly in one giant group hug of the “everybody’s great” variety. The purpose will be to present critical arguments – in the spirit of the method of science – for our practices and (importantly) to talk “to” each other. To challenge, affirm, query, and dissect our answers with the goal of locating as many flaws as we can in others’ thinking and, ultimately, our own.

So if you want to bring into the discussion transcendental value systems, religiosity, and pseudo-Nietzsche (and it seems apparent that you do have that particular bee in your bonnet at the moment), it is kind of incumbent on you to demonstrate how these things either stem from or influence your practice.

PS - Michael... I believe this was what you were getting at and probably could have handled the response yourself but, in the interest of getting citation-request frustration off my chest, I decided to jump into the fray. However, as demonstrated by the citation request, david has recently taken to childishly ignoring my posts (no doubt, in some petulant attempt to emulate his guru) so, if you are actually interested in his justifications, I wouldn't expect him to reply to this particular post. It'll likely require another one, similarly worded or directly lifted, from some other poster to motivate a reply from the children's table.  ::)


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arthuremerson
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08/05/2015 10:28 pm  

David,

Forgive my brief and likely wanting response, but I am now embroiled in a project I have little time to be away from. I could use a bit of a break, however. Firstly, I would dispense with the word metaphysical if I were you, particularly when you introduce philosophers to the discussion. When speaking about philosophy that word does not have the farcical character you take it to have. In philosophy it merely denotes the study of being or reality as such. Secondly, Nietzsche certainly had his resistances to religious moral structures, but his position is not nearly as simple as the common understanding of his atheism would lead one to believe; his atheism is of a different character than that proffered by Dawkins, say. Nietzsche scholar, Julian Young, for instance, has made the claim that Nietzsche is "above all a religious thinker."

I understand that you are interested in Nietzsche, and this is good, but I would caution you to speak about these things from your own experience and knowledge, rather than trying to shoehorn your immediate pet interests into the conversation. Nietzsche is a very difficult philosopher for a number of reasons. Not least of which his highly uncharacteristic philosophical idiom. It is worthwhile to have a strong background in the history of philosophy and religion up to and including Nietzsche's day, as well as a thorough knowledge of the bible, to begin to comb through the density of his work. This is particularly true of Thus Spoke Zarathustra, which is dense with biblical allusions. It is not necessary to have this background to enjoy and take something away from his work, of course, and I still recommend that you just sit down and read one of his works. There's a very cheap and highly available penguin edition of The Anti-Christ and Twilight of the Idols bound together available. These are entertaining works and the two of them comprise only some 200 pages. Cherry-picking misattributed quotes from the internet to bolster your argument is unconvincing and tiresome.

-ae


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Anonymous
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08/05/2015 10:38 pm  

Amazon is a good route as follows;

I am aware that FMN is complex and that the term, "metaphysics" has multiple meanings.  I want to stay on topic.  Ok let's leave Nietzsche out of this for the time being.  I don't want to go off on a tangent.  We were discussing Skynner's "transcendental value systems" (of the  exceptionally healthy 20%.)  This is not necessarily religious and  Frankl's emphasis on the importance of meaning for Dachau survivors will suffice for now.  I was responding to Los's points as follows;

"Los" wrote:
Essentially, spiritual beliefs are crutches for dealing with actual problems. Crutches can indeed be handy things when you have a busted leg, but the idea is to heal to the point that you don't need the crutch any more. If "religion" was nothing more than a few psychological crutches people occasionally leaned on privately and then discarded, that would be one thing, but people often fetishize their particular crutch, and these crutches come with a lot of baggage, including promoting credulity and errors in thinking that can -- and do -- lead to much more dangerous errors in thinking.

I generally do think the world would be a much more pleasant place to live in if people stopped leaning on and fetishizing these spiritual delusions. Any actual "benefits" that come out of them can be accomplished by entirely secular means, just as effectively (or often more effectively). If you disagree with that, I'd be interested in hearing why.


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ignant666
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09/05/2015 2:52 am  

arthuremerson makes some good points about the importance of adequate background in the history of philosophy and religion, and knowledge of the Bible, in approaching Nietzsche.
I wonder if there are any other notoriously perverse and difficult writers who reveled in paradoxes that one might have difficulty appreciating without a thorough grounding in philosophy and religion, and the Bible?


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arthuremerson
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09/05/2015 5:22 am  
"ignant666" wrote:
I wonder if there are any other notoriously perverse and difficult writers who reveled in paradoxes that one might have difficulty appreciating without a thorough grounding in philosophy and religion, and the Bible?

The mind reels.


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christibrany
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10/05/2015 2:30 pm  

The mind jigs harhar 😛

Los I disagree that a belief in reincarnation is a defence mechanism, as even if I didn't feel it were true, dying from your point of view (a complete end) sounds like a nice break. But that's a tangent.


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Anonymous
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10/05/2015 9:02 pm  
"christibrany" wrote:
The mind jigs harhar 😛

Los I disagree that a belief in reincarnation is a defence mechanism, as even if I didn't feel it were true, dying from your point of view (a complete end) sounds like a nice break. But that's a tangent.

Your holy book says it is "rest" and that's true as all biological activity stops at that time, hence it literally is "rest".  We know that much for sure.  Anyway I don't think we need another sub-thread here. 

 

"arthuremerson" wrote:
"ignant666" wrote:
I wonder if there are any other notoriously perverse and difficult writers who reveled in paradoxes that one might have difficulty appreciating without a thorough grounding in philosophy and religion, and the Bible?

The mind reels.

There's nothing in Nietzsche that is beyond the grasp of your average intelligent person.  It's not rocket science, but that is for another thread.

Back on topic I'd say that the concept of "True Will" can be classed as a transcendental value system as discussed earlier but "transcendental" is probably an inappropriate term.


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Michael Staley
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10/05/2015 9:07 pm  
"david" wrote:
"arthuremerson" wrote:
"ignant666" wrote:
I wonder if there are any other notoriously perverse and difficult writers who reveled in paradoxes that one might have difficulty appreciating without a thorough grounding in philosophy and religion, and the Bible?

The mind reels.

There's nothing in Nietzsche that is beyond the grasp of your average intelligent person.  It's not rocket science, but that is for another thread.

Whoosh!

The sound of this exchange going straight over david's head.


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Anonymous
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10/05/2015 9:35 pm  
"Michael Staley" wrote:
Whoosh!

The sound of this exchange going straight over david's head.


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Azidonis
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11/05/2015 2:08 am  
"david" wrote:
Back on topic I'd say that the concept of "True Will" can be classed as a transcendental value system as discussed earlier but "transcendental" is probably an inappropriate term.

Speculations.


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jamie barter
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11/05/2015 10:51 am  

Reply #622 by Los on: May 08, 2015, 12:06:08 am:

I would submit that fear of death is natural in all living creatures and is part of the way that all normal, healthy minds work. People try to assuage these fears and compensate for them in all sorts of ways. My guess -- if I had to guess -- is that your reincarnation belief is a kind of shield to guard your mind from having to face up to the likely truth that you will cease to exist entirely someday. And I don't blame you for wanting to avoid facing that fact. But I think if you seriously are of the opinion that you have no fear of death (*because* you think you "know" that reincarnation is true), then you probably have some deep anxieties that would be painful to contemplate. Your beliefs -- like a lot of religious beliefs, in my estimation -- would seem to be a kind of defense mechanism against those anxieties. In this context, your beliefs/fantasies are an obstacle to self-knowledge.

Actual enlightenment is not the process of feeding those fantasies. Actual enlightenment is the process of breaking those pleasant fantasies down and seeing through them.

A curious cocktail combination of the conditional (“would”) and the compulsively assertive (“is”, “to be” etc).  To ape Los’s vernacular, Korzybski would not have been uncritical here.

Reply #623 by david on: May 08, 2015, 09:04:49 am:

Yes insane people can be very "religious" or "spiritual" eg Ivan the Terrible and so on.

To throw the word “insane” across as an attempt to convey any consensus meaning is ridiculous.  What does insane mean to you, david?  That these sort of people don’t think or behave in the way they should do to be considered “normal”?

Reply #623 by david on: May 08, 2015, 09:04:49 am:

Studies show that the 20 % of society ie healthiest of people, usually have a transcendental value system in their family.  This may be religious or some other value system.  It  provides a sense of stability as all kinds of sudden or inevitable painful changes take place throughout the entire course of our lives.

You say the 20% is an indication of health; Los though contrariwise says it is a negative indication of such.  A disagreement in the skeptics’ camp! 😮  This should be interesting  if you were to maybe pursue it to its conclusion rather than prematurely and cravenly give way to his wordy persuasion.  Hopefully you can come out and across with an independent “voice” we can all hear you with rather than an ill-substitute as the second-hand, second-rate mouthpiece of Los’s ideas.  That would be a welcome improvement and advance, as I’m sure everyone would concur!

To your corner!  Seconds – out! (oh… you are the second here!  Never mind … ;D)
N Joy


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jamie barter
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11/05/2015 11:47 am  
"arthuremerson" wrote:
[...] Cherry-picking misattributed quotes from the internet to bolster your argument is unconvincing and tiresome.

So I’m not the only one to have noticed this.  Yes, you do rather seem to do this david.  Where would you be without Wiki I wonder?  Perhaps relying upon the old “Bluffer’s Guide”, maybe?  They did a good one on Nietzsche, as I recall (although don’t take just my word for it – I may be wrong!)

"Tao" wrote:
"david" wrote:
[...] Why we need to go into the details of my personal life is beyond me.

Perhaps because that was specifically what was requested by Los as the guiding principle of this thread... 2.67 years ago(!)

Yes, david seems very shy about personal details, although not so shy about asking others theirs, curiously.  He appears to have the notion in mind that in responding to personal requests about his previous experiences he will then somehow allow himself to be ‘vampirised’ by “laying himself open”.  I don’t know if he realises it but such an attitude will get in the way of his full functioning.  In all seriousness that would be unfortunate for him.

"Tao" wrote:
[...] However, as demonstrated by the citation request, david has recently taken to childishly ignoring my posts (no doubt, in some petulant attempt to emulate his guru) so, if you are actually interested in his justifications, I wouldn't expect him to reply to this particular post. It'll likely require another one, similarly worded or directly lifted, from some other poster to motivate a reply from the children's table.  ::)

Join the club, tao, join the ever growing club!  One of the more tangible benefits of membership is that you know your points must be getting through and tellingly near the mark too, and perhaps in direct inverse proportionality to their importance will they be answered.

Soon Los will only answer those already in the “fan club”; new posters he is attempting to bully with wordplay and wearing-down, and potential waverers he hopes to sway and ‘convert’ round to his p-o-v; just leaving those like us he doesn’t want to deal (dialogue) with.

N Joy


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Anonymous
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11/05/2015 1:25 pm  

@ J. Barter. 

This is why I can't engage in conversations with you. A lot of your posts are spent just seeking attention by excessive nitpicking, misrepresentation and zany provocation.  As I pointed out and it was cleared up by arthur, I had actually watched an hour long lecture on Nietzsche before I made that post.

Not responding to you and Tao-Gnosomai means more peace of mind in my life.  It's good.  Why would I want to shove my hand in a hornet's nest and shake it around?  Until you two (or three?) undergo a radical life-change/attitude shift, I won't be playing with you in the nursery.  I'm doing you a favour.  Did you see that episode of Supernanny U.S where she advised the mother to actively ignore the unruly attention-seeking child?

Anyway back OT;


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jamie barter
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11/05/2015 2:22 pm  

Do you mean Tao and Gnosomai Emauton?  They are two different people, just in case you didn’t realize?  Or maybe it’s just another example of your sometimes clumsy and/or inefficient typing.

A nice try, but not terribly convincing.  As for Supernanny and playing in the nursery, wasn’t it Tao who suggested that the children’s table was where you were coming from, so even your put-downs couldn’t be described as exactly original!  See david, whilst not wanting to deprive you of more peace of mind in your life, when people aren’t polite enough to answer quite straightforward and ‘serious’ enquiries – having first, in the case of yourself and Los, often started a thread or asked for feedback to begin with – I like to have a little fun and occasionally ‘poke’ them: or as you seem to prefer, “zany provocation”.  I don’t think I am anywhere near alone in this (as regards yourself.)  But - at least I got you to answer; Los is managing to hold out! (= picture an expression of childish glee upon my face as you read this. ;D)

“Excessive nitpicking”? This is all a relative issue regarding your own perception.

”Misrepresentation”?  Please indicate where I may have misrepresented anything.

“Back OT” – so you really think there’s much more proper mileage left in this one here, then?  I applaud your optimism!

N Joy


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