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Anonymous
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19/05/2015 4:36 pm  
"david" wrote:
You're probably going to be joining Tao and JB on the no-go zone soon. Its difficult to discuss things with the intolerable.

that is ..........the intolerable outbursts of the intolerant.  Damn, I am, a grammar Nazi after all.

Is there any Thelemic practice that allows us to strip away identification with the lower aspects of our Self (the physical, the feelings, the desires and the thoughts, opinions and memories)?   


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Shiva
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19/05/2015 4:42 pm  
"jamie" wrote:
– you also seem to be a little outnumbered (however doesn’t that tell you something?)

"Ye are against the people, O my chosen!" 😀

from: david on Today at 06:30:51 am
"Is there any Thelemic practice that allows us to strip away identification with the lower aspects of our Self?"

There are a lot of practices, and they lead to assorted results. But ... wherever you go, there you are 😮


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Anonymous
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19/05/2015 4:45 pm  
"the_real_simon_iff" wrote:
93, david!

Why not declare yourself a Thelemite at any scientific convention and see who's the laughing stock?

You are joking I take it?  I, X am a Thelemite.  No, I've never done that.  That would look insane, imo.

 

"the_real_simon_iff" wrote:
93, david!
But seriously, Thelema is NOT about skepticism but about True Will (the existence of which you seem to accept without questions).

I accept without question that there is a pure centre of awareness we all have which seems to be pretty consistent throughout our lives and which is generally hidden under layers of (false) identification.  Crowley agreed also;

"But the 'Small Person' of Hindu mysticism, the Dwarf insane yet crafty of many legends in many lands, is also this same 'Holy Ghost', or Silent Self of a man, or his Holy Guardian Angel. He is almost the 'Unconscious' of Freud, unknown, unaccountable, the silent Spirit, blowing 'whither it listeth, but thou canst not tell which it cometh or whither it goeth'....So also our own Silent Self, helpless and witless, hidden within us, will spring forth, if we have craft to loose him to the Light, spring lustily forward with his cry of Battle, the Word of our True Wills. This is the Task of the Adept, to have the Knowledge and Conversation of His Holy Guardian Angel, to become aware of his nature and his purpose, fulfilling them." - New Comment to AL I, 7

 

"the_real_simon_iff" wrote:
Now, there are obviously some who think Thelema requires rigorous skepticism and there are some (maybe in larger quantities, including Mr. Crowley himself) who don't share this view. Hopefully both parties will manage to find this legendary True Will.

Well, the situation we have is, many mistake the map for the territory.  They just have to hang onto that HGA praeter human intelligence fantasy-crutch (or more to the point, veil or layer of false-identification.) 


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Tao
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19/05/2015 5:23 pm  
"NKB" wrote:
"Do what Tao Te shall be the whole of the Law."

😀


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NKB
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19/05/2015 9:10 pm  
"david" wrote:
Well, the situation we have is, many mistake the map for the territory.  They just have to hang onto that HGA praeter human intelligence fantasy-crutch (or more to the point, veil or layer of false-identification.)

OK, now you might be getting somewhere but given the nature of several of your previous posts I wonder at how far you can or are willing to go with this or how much you understand the implications.

Earlier you had said the following to me but I didn't address it because I couldn't figure out how you were coming to it from what I said. I still don't know but since you said it I feel that it might be a good starting point for this issue you brought up presently. Bold emphasis mine.

"david" wrote:
Scepticism does not say that there is no place for feel-good trance-states (where judgement is suspended.)

I don't want to be presumptuous so I will start by asking, what do you mean with "feel-good trance states" and/or why did you mention it?

Actually this may be better addressed in a separate discussion (something that LAShTALians don't seem to do often :P). I actually came in on one of the many seemingly off-topic tangents of this discussion even though I did try to relate what I said to "Thelemic Practice". If you choose to just address this here that's fine but I do feel it's not really the topic here. I can start another thread if you'd prefer.


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Anonymous
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19/05/2015 9:25 pm  
"NKB" wrote:
I know what it seems to be based on my own use of it as a gauge to ground my own flights of fancy but I have my doubts about what you seem to be peddling, and I feel I have an inkling of an idea of the spirit of what those ancient skeptics had in mind which strikes me as more relevant than any modern re(mis)interpretation of it. But since trying to dig down to the root of an idea is "ludicrous" to you then I feel that discussing anything much further with you may be a bit fruitless

Yes, trying to pull the Crowleyan Pyrronic Zoroastrianism card ie philosophical science is, basically laughable.  It is not science.  It is fallacious to try and force "scepticism of scepticism" into some sort of equivalence with scepticism.  To classify it as an even more rigorous form of scepticism is frankly, schizophrenic.  In fact you will find a lot of meta-sceptics in your local asylum. 

Philosophical scientists will say that there no facts, only hypotheses that are not yet proven.  For example, the hypothesis that the world is round and not flat. There comes a point though, where common sense needs to come into play and where non acceptance becomes perverse.

The problem is that the concept of "theory" has been so misunderstood so the word "fact" is used by real scientists to help the layman to get a hold on the explanations.  The word "fact" then is used in the same way that an intimidating  lawyer would use it in a court room.  If he wagged his finger at you and asked you if you were at such a location last Thursday night, he would demand a fact (you either were or you weren't) and not some bumbling waffle about hypothetical meaning.   

By the way I do not hold Kenneth Grant to be any kind of authority on Thelema.


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NKB
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19/05/2015 9:41 pm  

You seem very quick to assume that a point I attempted to make is totally reflective of who I am or what I do in practice. I suggest taming some of that down as it doesn't show good form for discussing any of this with you in a meaningful way. Skepticism is simply another tool in an arsenal of tools for me. As I said, I use it in practice "as a gauge to ground my own flights of fancy". The "skeptic" is another mask that is worn when it is needed.

And what does Kenneth Grant have to do with this? But since you mentioned it, I don't think many will be holding you as any kind of authority on Thelema either so you and Kenny may have more in common than you would like to admit. Who does have authority on Thelema?


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Anonymous
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19/05/2015 9:47 pm  
"NKB" wrote:
. Skepticism is simply another tool in an arsenal of tools for me. As I said, I use it in practice "as a gauge to ground my own flights of fancy". The "skeptic" is another mask that is worn when it is needed.

I disagree as I explained above. 


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christibrany
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19/05/2015 10:03 pm  

Do what Tao Te, shall be the whole of the Jing?
sorry,,,,
I love Crowley's Tao Te Jing , Dao De Ching, Tao Teh Ching. I hate romanising Asian Languages.  Chinese makes korean look easy...
Ok.. "Carry on!"


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NKB
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19/05/2015 10:08 pm  
"david" wrote:
I disagree as I explained above.

I find it strange (and laughable as you might say) that you would even bother disagreeing with what I said there. So are you trying to tell me that skepticism is in fact not simply another tool for me? So you know me better than I know myself?


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Anonymous
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19/05/2015 10:14 pm  
"NKB" wrote:
I find it strange that you would even bother disagreeing with what I said there. So are you trying to tell me that skepticism is in fact not simply another tool for me? So you know me better than I know myself?

Well, unfortunately for you, yes I do. Remember this? ;

"NKB" wrote:
And how did you come to suppose that skepticism leads to atheism and naturalism/materialism? Skepticism usually just leads to more skepticism until one just decides for oneself to stop and determine what is useful and not useful. Skepticism is questioning and investigating. Atheism and naturalism/materialism constitute types of belief systems to further be skeptical of. Why stop there?

Richard Dawkins was asked if he was an atheist.  A direct question to which he answered, "For all practical purposes, yes.  Nobody can say for certain anything does not exist, but I am an atheist in the same way that I am an aleprechaunist or an afairyist" 

Do you get that? 


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Azidonis
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19/05/2015 10:40 pm  
"david" wrote:
Yes, this may be a "consensus" on this forum but at an evolutionist convention (or any scientific meeting) the sceptical-naysayers would in fact be the minority (or, to be frank, the laughing stock).

In case you've missed it, not too many people seem to care about the skepticism bit. People are generally as skeptical as they feel they need to be. It's not the skepticism bit... it's you, and those whose curtails you ride.

It's the posters, not the posts.

"david" wrote:
Scepticism is open-mindedness.

Skepticism is skepticism. Open-mindedness is open-mindedness. Didn't Los ever tell you that A is not B?

Also, skepticism can be quite stagnant. Just look at your idol Los' posts over the last 10 years up until now, and you will see him repeating himself over and over...

The dog wagging its tail barks when the wind changes and makes the tail wag in a different direction. This does not make neither the dog, nor the tail, nor the bark, open-minded or progressive. Nor does it make questioning why the dog barks, or why the tail moves, or why the wind changed the movement, some sign of how open-minded or progressive you think yourself to be.

"NKB" wrote:
I find it strange (and laughable as you might say) that you would even bother disagreeing with what I said there. So are you trying to tell me that skepticism is in fact not simply another tool for me? So you know me better than I know myself?

Of course he thinks he does! The sprout who can't even pass a Probationer Exam is now telling you what your Will is, and what is right for you!


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Anonymous
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19/05/2015 10:46 pm  
"Azidonis" wrote:
Also, skepticism can be quite stagnant. Just look at your idol Los' posts over the last 10 years up until now, and you will see him repeating himself over and over...

More fallacies. 

Your local maths or chemistry teacher does the same, repeating things all of the time, year after year after year e.g. Pythagorus's theorems.  Now, this is not stagnat...at all.  Some kids get it and pass and others don't get it so they have to keep attending remedial after-school lessons until hopefully... they get it. 


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NKB
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19/05/2015 11:05 pm  
"david" wrote:
"NKB" wrote:
I find it strange that you would even bother disagreeing with what I said there. So are you trying to tell me that skepticism is in fact not simply another tool for me? So you know me better than I know myself?

Well, unfortunately for you, yes I do. Remember this? ;

"NKB" wrote:
And how did you come to suppose that skepticism leads to atheism and naturalism/materialism? Skepticism usually just leads to more skepticism until one just decides for oneself to stop and determine what is useful and not useful. Skepticism is questioning and investigating. Atheism and naturalism/materialism constitute types of belief systems to further be skeptical of. Why stop there?

Richard Dawkins was asked if he was an atheist.  A direct question to which he answered, "For all practical purposes, yes.  Nobody can say for certain anything does not exist, but I am an atheist in the same way that I am an aleprechaunist or an afairyist" 

Do you get that?

No I don't get that, nor do I find it particularly worth getting. I also don't hold Richard Dawkins as an authority on anything at all. And that has nothing to do with skepticism. You seem to keep diverting one argument with another.

When Dawkins says "nobody can say for certain anything does not exist", what he seems to be actually advocating (which I feel fairly confident he himself would disagree as you probably will as well) is a kind of agnosticism, not atheism. There are a lot of atheists that seem to prefer framing their atheism closer to agnosticism because, perhaps deep down, they don't seem totally comfortable with it. I've even heard some of them refer to themselves as "soft atheists". Agnosticism and atheism are two very different perspectives. Agnosticism would be the open-minded, perhaps skeptical, perspective of "there is no way to know for sure but I'm open to the possibilities", whereas atheism is a denial of God altogether. Whether God exists or not would actually be irrelevant to an atheist. Dawkins probably prefers the term "atheist" because it can generate more controversy, sell more books and keep his name on the map. That's why he is known for that and nothing else. I actually find it quite irresponsible of him as a scientist to not remain publicly or academically agnostic about such matters. One does not have to believe in agnosticism as it remains so open as to not even be a position necessarily; a position of non-position. But an atheistic position does require that kind of passion of adherence. It's an opposition.


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Tao
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20/05/2015 12:54 am  

One more footnote from the A.'.A.'. Curriculum --

Amongst the books listed for Course I ("Books for Serious Study"), those touching on philosophy are:

    THE AGE OF REASON, by Thomas Paine.  Excellent, though elementary, as a corrective to superstition.
    THREE DIALOGUES, by Bishop Berkeley.  The Classic of subjective idealism.
    ESSAYS OF DAVID HUME.  The Classic of Academic Scepticism.
    THE ESSAYS OF THOMAS HENRY HUXLEY.  Masterpieces of philosophy, as of prose.
    FIRST PRINCIPLES; by Herbert Spencer.  The Classic of Agnosticism.
    PROLEGOMENA, by Emanuel Kant.  The best introduction to Metaphysics.

We therefore have a deist, a subjective idealist, a radical sceptic, the coiner of the term "agnostic", the expounder of agnosticism, and the foundation of modern metaphysics.

Not to claim any of these as an authority, of course. Merely to provide some context for the ideas considered to be "worth serious study" by the founder of Thelema at the time that he was a foundin'.

As you were...


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the_real_simon_iff
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20/05/2015 7:10 am  
"david" wrote:
Do you get that?

93, david.

You might not be a grammar Nazi but your preconceptions and arrogance for (what you fancy to be) THE occultist is not really  different in substance from what some people still believe to be THE jew, communist, negro or whatever. They are ludicrous presumptions of the most pathetic kind (though there might exist somewhere a few living examples of the caricature of an occultist you imagine). How in the world can you assume that anybody might take your sermons on fancy pictures and delusions serious?

You don't even seem to be able to answer the very simple question of where in Liber AL skepticism (or what you believe to be skepticism) is demanded or at least advocated.

What you at least seem to grasp is how silly your sientific and skeptic attitude looks when it is challenged by an indication of your quasi-religious belief in the existence of a mysterious True (as in "truth") Will somewhere deep inside all of us and the faith in a kind of arcane authority of a (hello?) book which was written by a famous druggie and pre-hippie and possible lunatic. As well as your (not very scientific) method of cherry-picking "facts" you fancy.

Your megalomaniac delusions of being a "better" Thelemite or being able to explain or justify your claims, together with your ideas of what an occultist REALLY is, constitute some of the most proverbial examples of a "fancy picture" that I ever encountered, one that is way more obstructive to identify what's "real" than the quite harmless belief that there might be methods of communication between minds that we know nothing about. (see? you don't need giant quids from Sirius or unicorns to entertain supernatural ideas)

This is simply pathetic and ridiculous.

No wonder most of your (and Los' and Erwin's etc.) threads usually tend to end up with you claiming how stupid occultists are and how right skeptics are. Information-wise these threads deliver absolutely zero. Sometimes I wonder if you (or Los etc.) simply have been hurt/abused/molested by an "occultist" in your childhood and this is your way to deal with and revenge it. But it is probably very much easier: religion and spirituality are uncool, science and planes and machines are cool. Too bad you have been drawn to the former...

Love=Law
Lutz


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Aleisterion
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20/05/2015 2:12 pm  

Thanks for that post, Lutz. You summed it up brilliantly. You said everything I was trying to say, but as always my verbiage got in the way.


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NKB
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20/05/2015 2:46 pm  

david, did you deliberately ignore my question to you a few posts back about those "feel-good trance-states"?


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jamie barter
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20/05/2015 2:58 pm  

Reply #748 by Tao on: Yesterday at 04:12:00 pm :

Interestingly, I was reading through The Message of the Master Therion last night as a start on the A.'.A.'. curriculum and ran across the following:

Quote from Liber II:
"The obvious practical task of the magician is then to discover what his will really is, so that he may do it in this manner, and he can best accomplish this by the practices of Liber Thisarb (see Equinox I(7), p. 105) or such others as may from one time to another be appointed."

Thou must (1) Find out what is thy Will. (2) Do that Will with a) one-pointedness, (b) detachment, (c) peace.

This is a side street, but I thought (2b) ‘detachment’ seems the wrong word here, since A.C. is writing about the matter of actively engaging with one’s will and using detachment would seem to actually contradict the earlier condition of (2a) one-pointedness.  Wouldn’t attachment have been the better choice, perhaps?

Reply #750 by david on: Yesterday at 04:36:18 pm:

Quote from david on Yesterday at 01:30:51 pm:
"You're probably going to be joining Tao and JB on the no-go zone soon. Its difficult to discuss things with the intolerable."

that is ..........the intolerable outbursts of the intolerant.  Damn, I am, a grammar Nazi after all.

I was actually going to point out that ‘intolerant’ would have been a better choice of word earlier, but I didn’t want to come across as a – what’s the phrase again? - grammar nazi (or even as an excessive nitpicker, god forfend)

Reply #754 by NKB on: Yesterday at 09:10:35 pm:

Earlier you had said the following to me but I didn't address it because I couldn't figure out how you were coming to it from what I said. I still don't know but since you said it I feel that it might be a good starting point for this issue you brought up presently. Bold emphasis mine.

Quote from david on May 18, 2015, 09:54:21 pm:
"Scepticism does not say that there is no place for feel-good trance-states (where judgement is suspended.)"

I don't want to be presumptuous so I will start by asking, what do you mean with "feel-good trance states" and/or why did you mention it?

It doesn’t look as if david wants to deal with this one, for whatever reason.

"david" wrote:
Yes, trying to pull the Crowleyan Pyrronic Zoroastrianism card ie philosophical science is, basically laughable. It is not science. 

Nor will david answer: (i) what do you understand is meant by Pyrrhonic-Zoroastrianism and (b) what is this ‘card’ exactly and where does it relate to ‘philosophical science’?

"david" wrote:
It is fallacious to try and force "scepticism of scepticism" into some sort of equivalence with scepticism.   To classify it as an even more rigorous form of scepticism is frankly, schizophrenic.  In fact you will find a lot of meta-sceptics in your local asylum.

What’s so wrong with this?  And why?  Surely skepticism itself is just a target (like any other) for the skeptic.  That the process is theoretically capable of infinite regress is incidental.

"david" wrote:
By the way I do not hold Kenneth Grant to be any kind of authority on Thelema.

Yes, where does KG suddenly come into it, david?  I think you will find in more cases than not he defers to A.C.’s ‘authority’ in the matter (he even starts all of his letters with ‘Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law’.)

"david" wrote:
Richard Dawkins was asked if he was an atheist.  A direct question to which he answered, "For all practical purposes, yes.  Nobody can say for certain anything does not exist, but I am an atheist in the same way that I am an aleprechaunist or an afairyist"

Firstly, what would be any impractical purposes, I wonder?

Secondly, yes – nobody can say anything for certain.  This is what Los et al seem to find so hard just to admit.  As I myself said earlier in this thread (I cannot be chuffed to hunt for it) everything comes down to probabilities.  There is no point in Los saying categorically there are no such things as oogity-boogity space aliens just because in his experience, there is not.  Others of a more ‘super-naturalist’ ilk (for want of a better term) may find there to be a case according to their own very satisfactory evidence in the matter.  Los can prattle on about “according to common sense” and talk about “practical experience” etc – but he cannot ultimately disprove supernaturalist existence and can only at the end of the day find it “extremely unlikely and improbable” although not actually impossible.  On the other hand, “supernaturalists” might say the possibility of oogity-boogity space aliens somewhere is “fairly likely or probable” and the large ground inbetween is occupied by most ‘occultists’.  Los and david’s sceptical position according to their much-championed practical evidence would seem to be that we live, or jolly well ought to live, in a “common sense universe”.  Unfortunately for them though we don’t live in a common sense universe, we live in a strange and unpredictable one, and one which even science is averring is becoming increasingly strange all the while. 

The question of importance to this particular thread and as it relates to all Thelemic practitioners of magick in a wider sense is, to what extent this ‘chaotic’ or random position of uncertainty might affect them with regard to ritual, observances and spells, etc if indeed “there is no certain test”.

N Joy


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Shiva
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20/05/2015 4:21 pm  
"jamie barter" wrote:
‘detachment’ seems the wrong word here, since A.C. is writing about the matter of actively engaging with one’s will and using detachment would seem to actually contradict the earlier condition of (2a) one-pointedness.  Wouldn’t attachment have been the better choice, perhaps?

People often use the concept of detachment in a confusing or incorrect manner. If a person was completely detached, they would be in an asylum in a condition termed catatonia. In terms of the "path," the correct concept would be non-attachment - when defined as non-attached to all considerations except for the task at hand and under immediate consideration. Which of course would mean that there is attachment to (only) that immediate task. And of course (again) if that task were the so-called True Will, then one would have accomplished the Great Work, and would be in a position to then abandon the Great Work and enjoy life ... all depending on whether the person falls out of non-attachment or not.

If one was to "fall out" of that state, when the phone rings, or [gasp] when one starts feeling tired and depressed, then we can only surmise that the person "experienced" that one-pointed state, but had not permanently "attained" it.

Ray Burlingame used to repeadedly define it this way: "You need to discover that one thing that you're going to do, to the exclusion of everything else" ... (pause - he always paused here) ... "And you have to be ready to change that focus at any time."


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Shiva
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20/05/2015 4:26 pm  
"Aleisterion" wrote:
You summed it up brilliantly.

David versus the Goliaths
[/align:15tklbkl]


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Tao
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20/05/2015 5:15 pm  
"jamie barter" wrote:
This is a side street, but I thought (2b) ‘detachment’ seems the wrong word here, since A.C. is writing about the matter of actively engaging with one’s will and using detachment would seem to actually contradict the earlier condition of (2a) one-pointedness.  Wouldn’t attachment have been the better choice, perhaps?

I read it as a parallel to "pure will, (a) unassuaged of purpose, (b) delivered from the lust of result, (c) is every way perfect."


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Anonymous
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20/05/2015 7:02 pm  
"the_real_simon_iff" wrote:
You don't even seem to be able to answer the very simple question of where in Liber AL skepticism (or what you believe to be skepticism) is demanded or at least advocated.

The author of the three chapter poem aforementioned was very technical and made  a great job of applying scientific method to so called spiritual science in order to counteract the "filth" (his term for unanalysed new-agey ideas)  that was being peddled by his rivals, Theosophists and mediums and the like.  He made commentaries on said poem as the author and meticulously applied scientific discernment in his advice about True Will re; Do What Thou Wilt Shall Be The Whole of the Law.

You may care to read the way he gave an account, in The Confessions, of the crap that Jane Wolfe (or other students who missed the point (ring a bell?)) had talked themselves into.  The advice he gave, mirrors exactly the line of argument I have taken here in quoting Dawkins and explaining what hypothesis is and why philosophical scepticism is silly.  Megalomania?  I think not.  The fact that you deride my straightforward thinking, displays your shortcoming about how you interpret Thelema. 

"the_real_simon_iff" wrote:
"david" wrote:
Do you get that?

What you at least seem to grasp is how silly your sientific and skeptic attitude looks when it is challenged by an indication of your quasi-religious belief in the existence of a mysterious True (as in "truth") Will somewhere deep inside all of us and the faith in a kind of arcane authority of a (hello?) book which was written by a famous druggie and pre-hippie and possible lunatic. As well as your (not very scientific) method of cherry-picking "facts" you fancy.

Well, no there's nothing "mysterious" about True Will in the same way that there's nothing mysterious about a lizard catching a fly with it's tongue-reflex.  What are you talking about??

Cherry-picking?  Well, if you interpret common sense analysis as "cherry-picking" then I can't help you. 


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Los
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20/05/2015 7:29 pm  
"NKB" wrote:
Atheism and materialism are love affairs just like all other ideological -isms.

I wouldn't describe atheism or materialism as ideologies, and I certainly wouldn't describe them as "love affairs."

They're positions on specific questions: the position of not accepting that gods exist and not accepting that worlds other than the material one exist.

"NKB" wrote:
"Los" wrote:
Atheism is the lack of belief in gods, and materialism is the lack of belief in worlds other than the physical one that we currently inhabit.

Disagree. Atheism amounts to believing there are no gods and materialism amounts to believing there exists nothing beyond the phenomenal/physical world.

No, you're incorrect on this point. Atheists and materialists are not required to believe there are no gods and no other worlds; the thing that qualifies someone as an atheist or materialist is that they lack particular beliefs.

For example, if you flipped a coin and hid it from everyone (including you) and told me, "I believe the coin is heads up!" I would respond that I don't believe you, for the reason that I don't have any reason to think you're right. The mere fact that I don't believe you doesn't automatically mean that I believe the coin is tails up, but I still am most definitely in the camp of people who don't accept that the coin is heads up. I'm an "a-heads-ist," if you like.

Atheism and materialism are no more beliefs or ideologies than being an "a-heads-ist" in that example is a belief or ideology.

they demand to be fed your love and faith as much as any other demon would.

You are insisting that the world has to work in the way that you imagine, but you're just wrong on this point.


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Los
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20/05/2015 7:33 pm  
"NKB" wrote:
Los, if you don't mind sharing, how do you feel right now?

I'm feeling pretty good right now. But I've been away for a few days taking care of real life stuff, and I see that four pages of "discussion" (and I use that term loosely) have built up in my absence. I'm going to go through now and answer as many relevant points as I can. If there's any poster who thinks I've overlooked some important point, feel free to bring it up and I'll address it (unless you're Jamie Barter...if someone thinks he's made a good point, then repost it yourself, and I'll answer you).


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the_real_simon_iff
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20/05/2015 7:39 pm  

93, david.

"david" wrote:
He made commentaries on said poem as the author and meticulously applied scientific discernment in his advice about True Will re; Do What Thou Wilt Shall Be The Whole of the Law.

Oh, I thought it was:

reality TRUMPS liber al TRUMPS ac's commentaries to liber al TRUMPS other people's commentaries to liber al

Now it's:

AC's commentaries trumps everything? Do you mean those commentaries he never published while publishing Liber AL quite a few times?

"david" wrote:
The fact that you deride my straightforward thinking, displays your shortcoming about how you interpret Thelema.

You seem to miss that I never claimed to interpret Thelema, I was just questioning your claims to interpret it. Just like a skeptic would do.

"david" wrote:
What are you talking about??

I am talking about this:

"david" wrote:
I, X am a Thelemite.  No, I've never done that.  That would look insane, imo.
"david" wrote:
Well, no there's nothing "mysterious" about True Will in the same way that there's nothing mysterious about a lizard catching a fly with it's tongue-reflex.

Oh, so there is a consensus among the scientific community that this thing exists? Isn't it unfair that nobody ever credits Crowley for his discovery? And nobody seems to advocate the weird methods he claimed make you find it... I am skeptic about this, to be honest...

"david" wrote:
Cherry-picking?  Well, if you interpret common sense analysis as "cherry-picking" then I can't help you.

Well, cherry-picking to me means that you pick those passages of AC's commentaries you like and leave out the stuff about supernatural beings "beyond any doubt"; just like one would pick ... well, cherries.

Where again is skepticism (or anti-supernaturalism) demanded in Liber AL?

Love=Law
Lutz


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Los
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20/05/2015 7:52 pm  
"Aleisterion" wrote:
Crowley wrote [...]  that materialism poses an even greater threat to the future of humanity than the outrageous superstition of the Christians, Muslims, and the like [...] Crowley believed in the existence of praeterhuman intelligence and it failed to matter to the believers of disbelief.

Well, of course it failed to matter. What Crowley thought about materialism and the existence of goblins is as relevant to Thelema as what Crowley thought about gender and race (spoiler: plenty of stupid things there, too). It's also as relevant as what he thought about chess and mountain climbing and poetry.

if the Book of the Law is not what it claims to be, i.e. the work of a praeterhuman intelligence [...] then there really is no need to embrace all that is written therein.

Of course. Nobody's required to "embrace" any particular philosophical position.

It is easy to dismiss all the paranormal elements and teachings of the book when [...]

What paranormal elements and teachings?

The extraordinary prophecies [...] some of which I see as having come to pass, for example that of 3:46

Ridiculously vague postdictions. This is like arguing that the Bible "predicted" Jesus' crucifixion or "predicted" the state of Israel.

The doctrine of the eternal existence of consciousness

Nowhere does the Book of the Law say that consciousness exists eternally. You're reading this into the text.

The importance of the formulae of the Aeons

Nowhere in the Book does Crowley's notion of the Aeons appear either. This was an idea he developed in his other writings, and it's a way of conceptualizing the passage of time.

the symbols, rituals, all the words and signs, all go out the window without the significance of the teaching as deriving from a praeterhuman source.

Not necessarily. One can find symbols and rituals meaningful without believing that they come from goblins. For example, I find many of them meaningful.

Why bother with the celebration of holy days, if they are not holy?

"A feast every day in your hearts in the joy of my rapture!" -- AL II:42

If this is the teaching not of supernal intelligence through mankind, but merely the product of the animal known as man, then why should we take seriously the injunction to "Be not animal"?

Because it expresses an idea that we agree with, based on what we actually know about reality by paying attention to reality.

Why, in fact, should we make the distinction between true will and mundane will, if all will is mundane?

You're begging the question with your phrasing. The reason that we draw a distinction between "True Will" and "false will" is that the distinction is useful in describing an actual (completely natural) psychological phenomenon that nearly all people experience.

Do you seriously think the reason to adopt this terminology is that a magic man told us to do it in a book? If so, that explains an awful lot about your posts.

Why not simply do whatever one wants to do, without pursuing the knowledge and conversation of true will at all?

Because Thelema teaches that a lot of the things people think they want to do are not actually in accord with their true natures and are not ultimately satisfying. Hence, the need to develop terminology like "True Will" in the first place.

If people were totally satisfied doing whatever they wanted, then they'd have no need for Thelema at all. In fact, if one follows the path diligently, one will come to see that there is in fact no need for Thelema at all: the final act of the Great Work is to abandon the Great Work.


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Los
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20/05/2015 8:05 pm  
"NKB" wrote:
Skepticism, in its original philosophical sense [...]

See, here's why you're having trouble holding a conversation. You keep wanting to define the terms in the way you want them to mean, even when other people are explaining to you that they're using the terms differently than you are.

I don't care what the "original philosophical sense" of the word skepticism was. I've already explained how I'm using the term. You can either address the substance of my ideas or not -- and arguing over which word is the best one to use is a way of avoiding the substance of what I'm saying.

In the context of magical practices and their results, whether Thelemic or not, all that matters is that whatever one does will result in an experience ("by doing certain things certain results will follow").

Basically, yes. "[A]ll that matters" might be overstating it, but the emphasis does fall on the experience, yes.

How that experience is interpreted or what ends up being believed about it always boils down to a final decision of the practitioner (a leap of faith for lack of a better way to put it) and, for all practical purposes, is entirely irrelevant to anyone else but the practitioner (to keep silent).

Incorrect. Even Crowley wouldn't agree with you on that point: have a look at Book 4 Part I, where he discusses how Mohammed and Christ misinterpreted the experience of Dhyana. He explains how their misinterpretations led them astray and led their followers astray.

No one is questioning that you've had certain experiences. What those experiences actually were is a separate question -- and it's not necessarily an unanswerable question, and it's certainly not a question that can only be answered by the experiencer. In many cases, the person undergoing an experience is least capable of properly evaluating the experience (one of the many reasons that eyewitness testimony is so notoriously unreliable).

I don't think you've thought your position through very rigorously.

There is entirely too much "in the head" going on in these discussions for my own personal taste.

All conversations occur "in the head," in the sense that they're all about thoughts. Thoughts point to reality, but are not reality. As long as one keeps this in mind, conversation is very useful.

Based on what you've said, I strongly suspect that your distrust of thought -- a common theme in "Typhonian" circles -- is leading you to avoid thinking through your ideas with sufficient rigor.

Obviously, nobody is going to do magick just by thinking -- in just the same way, nobody is going to build a bridge just by thinking. But if you honestly conclude that therefore magick and bridge-building are not immensely aided by thinking and discussing, then you're a dolt.


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Los
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20/05/2015 8:10 pm  
"christibrany" wrote:
I just wanted to share that I think Los's quote: '...skepticism necessarily leads to atheism and naturalism/materialism, I would argue that properly practicing Thelema inevitably leads one to the positions of atheism and naturalism/materialism. ' is one of the most ridiculously arrogant and inaccurate things I have read on this message board.

Why do you say that?

When last I graced these message boards, you wanted to discuss a passage from Crowley that you had wildly misinterpreted. I gave you a very thorough response, but no reply from you has been forthcoming. Now you merely dismiss something I've said as "arrogant and inaccurate" without even bothering to explain yourself.

You'll pardon me if I'm very skeptical that you actually want to have a real discussion.


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christibrany
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20/05/2015 8:22 pm  
"Los" wrote:
"christibrany" wrote:
I just wanted to share that I think Los's quote: '...skepticism necessarily leads to atheism and naturalism/materialism, I would argue that properly practicing Thelema inevitably leads one to the positions of atheism and naturalism/materialism. ' is one of the most ridiculously arrogant and inaccurate things I have read on this message board.

Why do you say that?

When last I graced these message boards, you wanted to discuss a passage from Crowley that you had wildly misinterpreted. I gave you a very thorough response, but no reply from you has been forthcoming. Now you merely dismiss something I've said as "arrogant and inaccurate" without even bothering to explain yourself.

You'll pardon me if I'm very skeptical that you actually want to have a real discussion.

Giggle. You? Skeptical. Sorry I lol·Ed because of your frequency of that word. I'm out right now but if I have time when home I will continue the discussion 🙂


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Los
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20/05/2015 8:28 pm  

Last post for now.

"NKB" wrote:
I also don't hold Richard Dawkins as an authority on anything at all.

As a side point, he's obviously an authority on biological science.

When Dawkins says "nobody can say for certain anything does not exist", what he seems to be actually advocating (which I feel fairly confident he himself would disagree as you probably will as well) is a kind of agnosticism, not atheism.

You're doing it again. You keep wanting to quibble over words instead of the substance of ideas.

Dawkins' point is that while it might not be possible to absolutely prove in an ultimate sense that gods don't exist -- just like it might not be possible to absolutely prove anything in an ultimate sense -- it is possible to observe that there is no good reason to think that any gods do exist.

[This point actually accords quite nicely with Crowley's distinction between absolute knowledge and practical knowledge, from that earlier post where I responded to Chris]

This is what he calls atheism -- the position of not accepting that there are gods because there isn't sufficient evidence. That's how I use the word, too, and it's how most atheists I know use the word.

You're not actually advancing the conversation when you just try to quibble over the terms. I've explained how I'm using the word "atheism." If you call it "agnosticism," then good for you. I don't care. The point is that I don't believe in gods. I lack the belief. You can call that position whatever you like, but I call it atheism.

Whatever you want to call that position, do you disagree with it? Why or why not?

I actually find it quite irresponsible of him as a scientist to not remain publicly or academically agnostic about such matters.

That's silly. The vast majority of members of the National Academy of Sciences (93%, amusingly enough) do not believe in gods. Scientists have no obligation to keep their positions to themselves simply because you don't agree with them.

Ok, I'm all done responding to the last four pages, most of which seem to be utter crap.


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the_real_simon_iff
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20/05/2015 9:06 pm  

93, Los and david!

What you don't seem to be willing to understand is this:

Nobody is (or let's say: I am not) saying that you cannot find and follow your True Will if you are an atheist skeptical naturalist, quite the contrary, of course you can and might be well-equipped to do so. I am just saying that personal experiences as well as Crowley's words clearly indicate that you also can find and follow your True Will without that strict attitude but with an open-mindedness to views you regard as "utter crap". The Law is for all. This is a discussion board on Thelema and Thelemic Practice (actually not, it's about the legacy of an infamous occultist, but this thread is not) but you want to make it into a battlefield between naturalists and supernaturalists. Why? You can very well believe in Crowley's accounts of how some unknown intelligence dictated the book and be able to find and follow your True Will and be even able to have a "real life", which you seem to be so proud of as to emphasize it. Guess what: even occultists (or what you fancy to be occultists) have a real life.

We are talking about the most intimate and personal experience and realization of our lives, unperceptable to anyone but ourselves, and you want to tell us that we are doing it wrong and you are doing it right? This attitude is "utter crap", not your philosophy.

Torn between incomprehension and yawning:

Love=Law
Lutz

Greater physiological knowledge of the brain makes the existence of a soul less possible yet more probable by the nature of the search.


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Los
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20/05/2015 9:18 pm  
"the_real_simon_iff" wrote:
Where again is skepticism (or anti-supernaturalism) demanded in Liber AL?

Well, for starters, the central point of the Book is expressed as "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law," not "Do what thou randomly guess is thy will shall be the whole of the Law."

This central message demands that the individual verify that he or she is acting in accord with his or her Will, and the only consistently reliable way to verify anything about reality is to investigate it skeptically, to use evidence to determine what is actually the case. Discovering the Will entails both paying attention to the evidence of one's authentic reactions (which one strives to perceive as free as possible from the distorting lenses of the mind) and doubting (treating skeptically) the ideas about the self and reality created by the mind.

Indeed, the Book of the Law itself recommends adopting an attitude of skepticism toward one's rational ideas, which can falsify and misinterpret reality, leading the individual astray: "Also reason is a lie; for there is a factor infinite & unknown; & all their words are skew-wise."

Many places in the Book demand that the individual adopt an attitude of skepticism, doubting the illusory creations of the rational mind. Here are just a few:

To doubt the "false self" created by the mind and its false desires:

"The Khabs is in the Khu, not the Khu in the Khabs.
"Worship then the Khabs, and behold my light shed over you!"

To be skeptical of the idea that gods exist:

"With the God & the Adorer I am nothing: they do not see me. They are as upon the earth; I am Heaven, and there is no other God than me, and my lord Hadit."

"I am in a secret fourfold word, the blasphemy against all gods of men.
"Curse them! Curse them! Curse them!"

To be skeptical of the mind's idea that one thing could be ultimately "better" than another (that is, to be skeptical of the mind's tendency to make a difference between two things):

"Bind nothing! Let there be no difference made among you between any one thing & any other thing; for thereby there cometh hurt."

To be skeptical of the mind's tendency to restrict the Will:

"The word of Sin is Restriction."

To be skeptical of the mind's sentimental ideas of "love," which are typically the veil upon actual love, which is an expression of the individual's deepest nature/Will:

"Nor let the fools mistake love; for there are love and love. There is the dove, and there is the serpent. Choose ye well!"

To be skeptical of those thoughts that produce suffering:

"Hear me, ye people of sighing!
The sorrows of pain and regret
Are left to the dead and the dying,
The folk that not know me as yet."

To be skeptical of the mind's ideas that one "ought" to be nice to others because it is a "good thing" to do so (hey, after all, compassion is often thought of as a noble, kingly virtue, right?):

"Compassion is the vice of kings:"

To be skeptical of all "Because" statements contained in the mind --especially those assumptions that are barely articulated to one's self, such as the idea that one should do such-and-such because it is the right thing to do. Such "because" statements can and do lead individuals to act in ways that run contrary to their actual inclinations:

"Now a curse upon Because and his kin!
"May Because be accursed for ever!
"If Will stops and cries Why, invoking Because, then Will stops & does nought.
"If Power asks why, then is Power weakness.
"Also reason is a lie; for there is a factor infinite & unknown; & all their words are skew-wise.
"Enough of Because! Be he damned for a dog!"

To be skeptical of the ideas of failure and defeat (which only exist as thoughts in the mind, as value judgments, not as extant "things"):

"Dost thou fail? Art thou sorry? Is fear in thine heart?
"Where I am these are not.
"Pity not the fallen! I never knew them. I am not for them. I console not: I hate the consoled & the consoler."

To be skeptical of common ideas of "virtuous" behavior -- especially sexual modesty:

"There is a veil: that veil is black. It is the veil of the modest woman; it is the veil of sorrow, & the pall of death: this is none of me. Tear down that lying spectre of the centuries: veil not your vices in virtuous words: these vices are my service; ye do well, & I will reward you here and hereafter."

"Let Mary inviolate be torn upon wheels: for her sake let all chaste women be utterly despised among you!"

To be skeptical of thoughts that one should love all people equally:

"Beware therefore! Love all, lest perchance is a King concealed! Say you so? Fool! If he be a King, thou canst not hurt him.
"Therefore strike hard & low, and to hell with them, master!"

To  be skeptical of thoughts of fear:

"Fear not at all; fear neither men nor Fates, nor gods, nor anything. Money fear not, nor laughter of the folk folly, nor any other power in heaven or upon the earth or under the earth. Nu is your refuge as Hadit your light; and I am the strength, force, vigour, of your arms."

________________

To answer your other question, Liber AL -- and Thelema per se -- does not demand anti-supernaturalism, as I've said repeatedly now for years. It demands skepticism, a skeptical attitude toward the creations of the mind.

I hold that a properly applied skepticism inevitably leads to atheism and materialism. Thus, while Thelema per se does not require atheism and materialism, its proper practice requires skepticism and the proper application of skepticism necessarily leads to atheism and materialism.


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the_real_simon_iff
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20/05/2015 9:44 pm  

93, Los!

Thanks for that, there are some good thoughts in this.

But - to me - most of these quotes don't demand skepticism towards these matters, but an unquestioning rejection of mostly Victorian moral standards and acceptance of a new aeon moral. Or do you really say that "let all chaste women be utterly despised among you!" means "be skeptical of sexual modesty"? I mean really? If that is skepticism, I am with you! Hopefully someone has the time to pick out those quotes that did not fit your world-view, but I am leaving for now (gotta get some real life sleep).

Love=Law
Lutz


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NKB
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20/05/2015 11:48 pm  

Sorry Los, wrong approach man. You have just proven to me how worthless it actually "is" to engage further in any discussion with you. You have ruined all chances of my even bothering answering your few specific questions to me. I had actually given you the benefit of the doubt when I jumped into this rubbish heap of a discussion mainly because you actually did, at the very start of the thread in the original post, make several valid points that I thought we might be able to come around to exploring further once we could establish a rapport. However, I find your total conviction and certitude in your own BS (call that whatever you want to call it) makes that an impossibility. Plus I find it just boring.

See the picture of Robert Anton Wilson above for further elaboration if needed.

I used to think old IAO131 was bad but at least I could find common ground and share a laugh with him occasionally.


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Los
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21/05/2015 3:01 am  
"the_real_simon_iff" wrote:
93, Los!

Thanks for that, there are some good thoughts in this.

But - to me - most of these quotes don't demand skepticism towards these matters, but an unquestioning rejection of mostly Victorian moral standards and acceptance of a new aeon moral. Or do you really say that "let all chaste women be utterly despised among you!" means "be skeptical of sexual modesty"?

Well, as I read the Book, it's not literally commanding the reader to do anything beside the reader's Will. If it's the Will of the reader to be friends with a woman who considers herself "chaste" in some sense, then the reader's Will takes precedence over some verse.

But what the Book is doing here and in other places -- with its powerfully worded verses thundering with Biblical cadence -- is suggesting that we ought to be suspicious of uncritically accepting our thoughts on morality. Many readers of the Book will be people who take it for granted that chastity is a "good" thing -- either because they've imbibed this idea from the dominant culture around them or because their rational minds have cooked up the idea on their own (or a little bit of both options, and probably others as well).

Now, for some (probably few) people, their random mental ideas about morality might, by blind chance, just happen to coincide with their actual nature (their "Will" in Thelemic parlance). But for the vast majority of people, these ideas are going to lead them astray from their Will.

In order to practice Thelema, a person needs to become aware of those thoughts and needs to become skeptical of those thoughts -- to doubt them. Is it really "good" to be chaste? What does "good" even mean, in the first place? Following that line of thought quickly leads to the conclusion that there is no sound basis for thinking that these thoughts about morality even point to anything real in the first place.

Hopefully someone has the time to pick out those quotes that did not fit your world-view

I'd sure be curious to see that list. It would give us quite an insight into the fantasies the list complier has about me.


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Aleisterion
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21/05/2015 3:06 am  

Los wrote: "What Crowley thought about...the existence of goblins..."

I'm not speaking of goblins. I'm discussing an intelligence existing independent of the human brain yet linked therewith. I realize that your point is that you consider this to be as fantastical a notion as, say, goblins or faeries, but from my experience it is a reality. You may call that experience into question, which is what I would expect anyone lacking the benefit of that experience to do. The problem, however, is that you assume this experience to be of the same variety as that of ordinary religious-minded folk, i.e., merely visionary, or hallucinatory, perhaps the product of a mind that is overwrought with the energized enthusiasm of religious obsession. Of course I've experienced all the ordinary effects of mystical work: trances, exalted and enlightened states of awareness, visions, and the like. And, following the wisdom passed to us by Crowley in his writings, I have always dismissed these immediately after their epiphany, not drawing any interpretation or attaching any significance thereto. No, the experiences that convince me of the reality of the existence of praeterhuman intelligence were not in the same category. I am perfectly sane and highly intelligent, but I am also highly intuitive. I have been witness to events that were every bit as real as ordinary events and experiences, the difference being that these were extraordinary in the extreme. As this is not an occult website, but one dedicated to the work of Aleister Crowley, I refuse to get into all that. I will limit myself to discussing the work of the man to whom this site is dedicated. I only mentioned my experience, as briefly as possible, in order to enable you to understand from where I'm coming.

"What paranormal elements and teachings [are to be found in Liber Legis]?"

There are numerous paranormal elements, along with associated religious (or magical, if you prefer) ideas and teachings (doctrines), as well as religious or magical instruction. You may dismiss these, which is okay with me, but it can hardly be denied that they are there. I won't list them all, but it is necessary to mention a few obvious verses with this kind of material.

Ch.I, v.5: It cannot be denied that the word "Worship" is religious. I take it to mean invocation rather than propitiation, but that is altogether beside the point.

Ch.I, v.15: The terms "priest", "apostle", and "prince-priest" are most certainly religious or magical in nature. And the Scarlet Woman being described as vested with "all power" also suggests something magical in nature.

Ch.I, v.37: The word "spells" refers to magical acts, as does "obeah". The word "wanga" refers to magical utterances or words.

Ch. I, v.54: This verse hints at something paranormal about the book itself, as does v.47 of ch.III. Verse 76 of ch. II suggests the same thing. If the book were wholly the product of a man, then why should certain of its mysteries remain forever beyond the ability of his mind to grasp?

Ch.I, v.61: Here again we find yet another paranormal exercise: the magical act of "invoking" -- with a mention of a paranatural presence at that, "the Serpent flame".

Ch. II, v.5: Here, and elsewhere throughout the book (I won't list each appearance of the word), we find "rituals". The purpose of these, of course, is to arouse subtle powers of the mind from their slumber, but I contend that they are also to align us with certain external praeterhuman intelligences, assisting our evolution to their level of realization. If this were not so, then it makes no sense to assert that certain rituals become superior to others.

Ch.II, v.7: The words "Magician " and "Exorcist" are magical in nature. They refer to the one who draws in, and expels, subtle forces.

Ch.II, vss.27-33: These verses all suggest that there exists a reality beyond that of which we are normally aware; and further, that the conclusions of reason, which lead to materialism, being rooted in limitation, are false -- hazardous even -- because the faculty of reason cannot process the "factor infinite & unknown" that leads to the gnosis of praeterhuman awareness.

Ch.II., v.52: There is mention of the "hereafter", most certainly a paranormal term.

Ch.II, v.54: As elsewhere in the book, there is a caveat not to change the book in style or value. It is a warning Crowley is expected to heed. A warning from whom? The same intelligence that demeans him earlier in the chapter, making reference to Crowley's pathetic "ill will" but making it clear that Crowley is a weakling, and that the greater will directing his mind and his hand was powerful to overcome that ill will. Crowley himself acquiesced, admitting later that he had wanted very much to edit the book ruthlessly.

There are, in addition to these references, numerous ideas and terms of a religious/magical nature sprinkled throughout chapter III of the book. It isn't necessary to list them. You asked for examples, and I provided some.

"Nowhere in the Book of the Law does it say that consciousness exists eternally."

More than once. V.58 of ch.I tells us that death results not just in peace and rest but also in ecstasy. V.44 of ch.II is even more telling, for it is made clear that such ecstasy is not fleeting, as if passing away into oblivion, but is actually eternal! Ecstasy requires awareness; and here we are told that it is experienced eternally, i.e. outside the circles of time. This verse also states that there is no dread hereafter. I would say that the cessation of the experience of joy and ecstasy would be pretty dreadful; but this verse promises no end to the experience of ecstasy, making it clear that is merely a transition, not an end.

"Nowhere in the book does [sic] Crowley's notions of the Aeons appear."

Not as Crowley later developed them, but there are elements of the idea that we evolve spiritually (or in an occult fashion, which is a preferable way of putting it in my view as I detest the term 'spiritual').  C.f. I, 49; II, 5; III, 34; and elsewhere in the book where it is hinted at that the formula of sacrifice and death as an initiatory formula has been replaced with that of love, lust, life, and the joy and rapture thereof.

I'm not even altogether certain that Crowley's later ideas in this matter were correct. The Book of the Law indicates that his ability to discern was flawed; and Crowley himself admitted to this as well, placing the blame on the fact that he had one foot in the Old Era, having been born before the Advent.

"A feast every day..."

Yes, yes, I know that we are enjoined to celebrate the joy of the rapture daily, and that we are to dedicate each night to the pleasure of uttermost delight. You're dodging my point. There is no reason for us to hold as sacred, for example, the night of the prophet and his bride, if they were not the vessels of greater powers. You would be a slavish fool for doing so, a mere puppet being played on strings by a man who told you to do so. The fact is that this is a tradition honoring not a mere man and woman, but the supernal forces inherent in all men and women.

"[We should 'Be not animal'] Because it expresses an idea that we agree with, based on what we know about reality."

No, in the purely materialistic view we are, in fact, nothing more than intelligent animals -- many not so very intelligent, and many more far more contemptible and horrible than animals. If we take the book as nothing but the work of a man of ill will rather than that of a pure, supernal will existing both above him and within him simultaneously, then there is no reason to take its injunctions seriously. If your thinking is purely materialistic, it wouldn't be logical to follow these injunctions.

"The reason that we draw a distinction between 'True Will' and 'false will' is that the distinction is useful in describing an actual (completely natural) psychological phenomenon..."

Actually the phrases are given as "pure will" and "ill will" in the book itself. Pure will is that which is not limited to the perception confined to the causality of time and space; and ill will is that which is sick with the obsession of result, because it is so limited.

I am, of course, merely sharing my views with you, Los. You are free to see the book however you like, and I would never condemn you for it. I take offense at your claim to represent "true" Thelema, however. You've no right to tell the rest of us that we are un-Thelemic. I disagree with you, and I think you're restricting yourself, but I'd never think of judging you or excommunicating you as un-Thelemic. I think that's unfair.


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Los
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Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 2195
21/05/2015 3:09 am  
"NKB" wrote:
Sorry Los, wrong approach man. You have just proven to me how worthless it actually "is" to engage further in any discussion with you.

Uh huh. That's about what I expected from you. I go to the trouble of answering your posts and explaining exactly where you're going wrong in your thinking, and instead of explaining where you disagree and why, you turn tail and get the hell out of dodge with these lame excuses.

I find your total conviction and certitude

For what it's worth, I do not consider myself to be 100% certain of anything. That was the whole point of that digression about Dawkins, remember? And it was even the whole point about that discussion of "absolute knowledge" in Crowley's work: it may not be possible to be 100% certain of anything, but that's irrelevant because practical knowledge doesn't rely on absolute certainty.

My mind is very opened to be changed -- I've changed it once before since I didn't start out as an atheist and a materialist, you know. But rather than try to change my mind by making an actual argument, you just want to run away.

Plus I find it just boring.

But interesting enough to respond to, evidently.


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NKB
 NKB
(@nkb)
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Posts: 71
21/05/2015 3:42 am  
"Los" wrote:
Uh huh. That's about what I expected from you. I go to the trouble of answering your posts and explaining exactly where you're going wrong in your thinking, and instead of explaining where you disagree and why, you turn tail and get the hell out of dodge with these lame excuses.

I'm only going to bother with responding to you this one last time unless of course you come around to showing yourself worthy of engaging further. This post from you right here is "exactly where you're going wrong in your thinking". First of all I don't need you to tell me where I'm going wrong, or even right for that matter, in anything. This kind of aggressive proving right/wrong approach doesn't speak anything to me whatsoever and feels rather outdated in our current aeon. I'm more interested in exchanging/sharing ideas not trying to win converts or prove anything either way with such religious/political fervor. Now if you want to share and exchange and see if we can open a clearer channel for communication then I will continue with no problem. If you want to just play this game of who's more right, more correct and more accurate then I will leave you to that small little world.


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Los
 Los
(@los)
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Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 2195
21/05/2015 4:17 am  
"Aleisterion" wrote:
I'm not speaking of goblins. I'm discussing an intelligence existing independent of the human brain yet linked therewith. I realize that your point is that you consider this to be as fantastical a notion as, say, goblins or faeries, but from my experience it is a reality. You may call that experience into question, which is what I would expect anyone lacking the benefit of that experience to do.

No. I do not call your experience into question.

You keep misreading me on this point, and I think it's because you insist on projecting your ideas about me onto what I'm saying. Take a deep breath and sweep aside your assumptions. Take another one. I'm serious here. Just calm and center yourself.

Read this sentence again: I do not call your experience into question.

I am perfectly aware that people *do* have experiences like the ones you've described on here. This may surprise you, but I'm no stranger to practicing "invocation" magick and receiving "messages," including some Holy Book-style inspired writings that came through over the years.

I don't think anybody -- at least not on this thread -- has ever questioned that you have had these experiences.

What I question is your interpretation of your experience. You seem to think that your experience demonstrates that there is an intelligence without a body (or, in my parlance, a "goblin"). I do not think you have sufficient evidence to draw that conclusion from your experience. In no way should this invalidate your experience or its personal significance to you.

"What paranormal elements and teachings [are to be found in Liber Legis]?"

There are numerous paranormal elements, along with associated religious (or magical, if you prefer) ideas and teachings (doctrines), as well as religious or magical instruction. You may dismiss these, which is okay with me, but it can hardly be denied that they are there. I won't list them all, but it is necessary to mention a few obvious verses with this kind of material.

Ch.I, v.5: It cannot be denied that the word "Worship" is religious. I take it to mean invocation rather than propitiation, but that is altogether beside the point.

Of course "worship" is religious. It means to revere something, an activity that is not paranormal in the slightest. It seems even less paranormal when we consider that in a Thelemic context, "worship" really means to identify oneself with the thing being invoked or worshipped.

In Nuit's case, we're talking about Qabalistic Zero (all possibility), which is a philosophical concept, but not a paranormal one.

Ch.I, v.15: The terms "priest", "apostle", and "prince-priest" are most certainly religious or magical in nature. And the Scarlet Woman being described as vested with "all power" also suggests something magical in nature.

Once again, of course these are religious terms. At no point did I deny that religious terms appear in the text. But the text also does not say that the Beast and the Scarlet Woman are paranormal entities. We might read them as psychological archetypes, akin to Jung's animus and anima.

Ch.I, v.37: The word "spells" refers to magical acts, as does "obeah". The word "wanga" refers to magical utterances or words.

Indeed it does. This is one of the very few references to something specifically occult in the text. This line of the text tells Crowley what he will "learn and teach." Once again, nothing in this line is paranormal. It's saying that a guy will learn and teach certain subjects.

Ch. I, v.54: This verse hints at something paranormal about the book itself, as does v.47 of ch.III. Verse 76 of ch. II suggests the same thing. If the book were wholly the product of a man, then why should certain of its mysteries remain forever beyond the ability of his mind to grasp?

There is nothing remotely paranormal about telling people not to change the letters of a book. The question you ask above is a specific kind of logical fallacy called an argument from ignorance.

Ch.I, v.61: Here again we find yet another paranormal exercise: the magical act of "invoking" -- with a mention of a paranatural presence at that, "the Serpent flame".

Are you kidding me? Is this seriously what you're going to do, just baldly assert that stuff is "paranormal" just because?

In the first place, this verse is describing the process of surrendering one's individuality to the universe by expanding the boundaries of self through experience. This is a psychological attainment that doesn't have the first thing to do with a "paranormal" anything.

In the second place, "Serpent flame" is not a noun phrase. The word "flame" there is the verb. It's what the Serpent [Hadit, but also kundalini] does within the individual when Nuit (all possibility) is properly "invoked" [that is, when one is enjoying manifestation fully and engaging in the fullness of love [=experience] directed by Will].

Remember, Hadit is the ubiquitous point of view that forms the basis of each individual's True Self. Every event -- every single experience -- is a union between Nuit and Hadit, and a moment in which the Serpent may "flame" inside the individual [that is, burn with the enthusiasm of experience directed by the individual's particular Will]. This is a poetic description of living a Thelemic life.

In the third place, even if this were describing the practice of kundalini yoga, there's nothing paranormal about it.

Ch. II, v.5: Here, and elsewhere throughout the book (I won't list each appearance of the word), we find "rituals". The purpose of these, of course, is to arouse subtle powers of the mind from their slumber, but I contend that they are also to align us with certain external praeterhuman intelligences, assisting our evolution to their level of realization. If this were not so, then it makes no sense to assert that certain rituals become superior to others.

Congratulations on making up your own fantasy and reading it into the Book. What a novel way to make an argument! "I can prove that the Book of the Law contains paranormal elements. My proof is that it contains rituals, and I randomly declare that these rituals do paranormal things."

You do realize that there are all sorts of rituals that human beings engage in each and every day that have purely psychological effects, right? The mere presence of rituals does not suggest anything remotely paranormal.

Ch.II, v.7: The words "Magician " and "Exorcist" are magical in nature. They refer to the one who draws in, and expels, subtle forces.

Yes, Hadit is poetically described as those things. You'll notice the Book doesn't say, "I am the Magician and Exorcist because magick is real and works through paranormal forces that you can manipulate if concentrate really hard!" That's a pretty glaring omission, wouldn't you say?

Ch.II, vss.27-33: These verses all suggest that there exists a reality beyond that of which we are normally aware

These verses neither say nor imply this. These verses are all about how one must be skeptical of one's own reason in carrying out the Will. They say nothing about the existence of any kind of "reality."

and further, that the conclusions of reason, which lead to materialism, being rooted in limitation, are false -- hazardous even -- because the faculty of reason cannot process the "factor infinite & unknown" that leads to the gnosis of praeterhuman awareness.

No, the verses don't say that the "conclusions of reason [...] are false." They say that reason obstructs the Will and that in order to discover the Will, one has to detect and ameliorate the ways in which the reason obstructs the individual's Will.

At no point does the Book say or even imply that reason is an unreliable tool for drawing factual conclusions about the world, and it definitely does not say, as you claim, that the "conclusions of reason [...] are false." I mean, reason leads me to conclude that if you paypal me every last cent you have, you will go broke. If you think the conclusions of reason are false, does that mean that you think you won't go broke if you paypal me every last cent?

If you'd like to try out this experiment, I would be most willing to give this one a shot. Let me know. If, however, you actually *do* trust the conclusions of reason on that one, I'm afraid that that reveals how silly you're being.

Ch.II., v.52: There is mention of the "hereafter", most certainly a paranormal term.

I don't even know what to say to something so ridiculous. Yeah, we all remember that scene in Ghostbusters where they talk about paranormal terms like ectoplasm, ethereo-spacial rift, and hereafter.

Ch.II, v.54: As elsewhere in the book, there is a caveat not to change the book in style or value.

Which again, is not paranormal.

Here, I'll prove it to you. I command you, Aleisterion, not to change a word of my post. Was that paranormal?

You asked for examples, and I provided some.

The only thing you provided is ample evidence that you have problems reading what the text actually says without projecting your own beliefs into it.

"Nowhere in the Book of the Law does it say that consciousness exists eternally."

More than once. V.58 of ch.I tells us that death results not just in peace and rest but also in ecstasy.

Arguably, the punctuation means that the text is not talking about death there, but since "The stops as thou wilt," that's a minor point. There are several more important points here:
1) the absence of consciousness is the only way there can *actually* be peace, rest, and ecstasy (since having a consciousness to experience it means that one is going to eventually grow restless and no longer be peaceful, restful, or ecstatic). You notice it doesn't say "you will be forever experiencing ecstasy." It says that Nuit will "give" these things, without an indirect object named. The absence of a recipient is what constitutes these particular "gifts."
2) there's an alternate way to read this line in which "death" is a code for orgasm
3) even if this verse meant what you think it means, there's nothing in it that suggests postmortem consciousness will last eternally

V.44 of ch.II is even more telling, for it is made clear that such ecstasy is not fleeting, as if passing away into oblivion, but is actually eternal! Ecstasy requires awareness

No. Once again, the absence of consciousness is the only way that there can actually be *eternal* ecstasy. If there's someone around to experience it, it won't be ecstasy for long. Even Paradise would get boring after a few million years.

The "ecstasy" spoken of here is the dissolution of the experiencer. See I:30 on the "joy of dissolution."

This verse also states that there is no dread hereafter. I would say that the cessation of the experience of joy and ecstasy would be pretty dreadful

You had no experience for billions of years before you were born. Was that dreadful?

At any rate, the phrase "lack of dread hereafter" can also mean that there's no dread hereafter because there's nothing after life (and thus nothing to dread). It could also be read as a single noun phrase, "dread hereafter" (implying that any afterlife would be a "dread hereafter").

"Nowhere in the book does [sic] Crowley's notions of the Aeons appear."

Not as Crowley later developed them, but there are elements of the idea [...]

There we go! That's the best conclusion you've reached all post long. It's not actually in the Book, but *elements* of what would eventually become Crowley's idea (that he drew from the Book) are.

"A feast every day..."

Yes, yes, I know that we are enjoined to celebrate the joy of the rapture daily, and that we are to dedicate each night to the pleasure of uttermost delight. You're dodging my point. There is no reason for us to hold as sacred, for example, the night of the prophet and his bride, if they were not the vessels of greater powers.

Oh, come on. I don't work on President's Day. Are you seriously going to say that there's no reason to celebrate Washington and Lincoln unless they were made of magic pixie dust?

The fact is that this is a tradition honoring not a mere man and woman, but the supernal forces inherent in all men and women.

You keep using this word "fact." I do not think it means what you think it means.

"[We should 'Be not animal'] Because it expresses an idea that we agree with, based on what we know about reality."

No, in the purely materialistic view we are, in fact, nothing more than intelligent animals

And that "intelligent" part means that we are capable of being more than what we commonly call "animal," that we can rise above our "animal natures" (in the base sense of the term) and pursue those avenues of activity that fulfill us.

Incidentally, you know you can read the verse the opposite way, right? "Be not, animal." It's also a commandment for the animal called humans -- the tailless monkeys -- to join with Nuit and become Not.

If your thinking is purely materialistic, it wouldn't be logical to follow these injunctions.

Well, first of all, you're wrong. But second of all, I thought you were convinced that the "conclusions of reason [...] are false." You can't have it both ways.

"The reason that we draw a distinction between 'True Will' and 'false will' is that the distinction is useful in describing an actual (completely natural) psychological phenomenon..."

Actually the phrases are given as "pure will" and "ill will" in the book itself.

Right. The term "True Will" was used by Crowley in his philosophy Thelema, which he developed from his interpretation of the Book of the Law.

I take offense at your claim to represent "true" Thelema, however.

I could care less what you take offense at. My point in this post is that there's really nothing "paranormal" in the Book of the Law itself, and as I've demonstrated, all of your attempts to locate the "paranormal" in the text are exercises in you reading stuff into the Book that's just not there.

You've no right to tell the rest of us that we are un-Thelemic.

I don't believe I've said that. Once more, with feeling: pay attention to what texts (including my posts) actually say, not to your fantasies about what you think they're saying.


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Los
 Los
(@los)
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Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 2195
21/05/2015 4:30 am  
"NKB" wrote:
First of all I don't need you to tell me where I'm going wrong, or even right for that matter, in anything.

Well since you are wrong -- and since you evidently can't see it yourself -- you apparently do need somebody to not only tell you this but to show you, as I did earlier.

You insist on repaying my kindness with animosity.

This kind of aggressive proving right/wrong approach doesn't speak anything to me whatsoever and feels rather outdated in our current aeon.

The fact that you see me as "aggressive" -- when all I did was politely explain why I think you're wrong on a number of points -- speaks volumes about how uncomfortable you must be with having your ideas challenged. The fact is that I haven't been aggressive with you at all. If I wanted to be aggressive, I would have made some snide remark about the "communications" that you think you receive.

I'm more interested in exchanging/sharing ideas not trying to win converts or prove anything either way with such religious/political fervor.

Translation: You're interested in hanging out with people who will humor your ideas instead of seeking discussions with people who will challenge your ideas.

And you want to talk to me about what's "outdated in our current aeon"?


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NKB
 NKB
(@nkb)
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Posts: 71
21/05/2015 6:50 am  

Let me demonstrate by example what I don't like about how you approach discussing things. I will do what you do from now on. Perhaps you will see how "wrong" you are if I say it enough times.

"Los" wrote:
Well since you are wrong -- and since you evidently can't see it yourself -- you apparently do need somebody to not only tell you this but to show you, as I did earlier.

No, you are wrong simply by stating your relative opinions in the fashion you do. It would be more correct for you to state your relative and inaccurate opinions as "what you have stated seems wrong to me based on my limited research and experiences".

The fact that you see me as "aggressive" -- when all I did was politely explain why I think you're wrong on a number of points -- speaks volumes about how uncomfortable you must be with having your ideas challenged. The fact is that I haven't been aggressive with you at all. If I wanted to be aggressive, I would have made some snide remark about the "communications" that you think you receive.

Actually the fact is I nowhere said I see you as aggressive. So there you are wrong again. What I labeled "aggressive" was the whole proving right/wrong nature of this entire discussion. And you are also wrong that I feel uncomfortable when my ideas are challenged. However, I don't feel that you have challenged my ideas in any fashion that interests me. If you can't accept that I find your challenges a little on the less-than-creative side then I don't know what else to tell you.

Translation: You're interested in hanging out with people who will humor your ideas instead of seeking discussions with people who will challenge your ideas.

You are almost correct on one point. I am interested in hanging out with people who have a sense of humor. Now whether they humor my ideas or challenge them is up to their own inclinations.

Now let's look at some of the other things you addressed from me.

"Los" wrote:
"NKB" wrote:
Skepticism, in its original philosophical sense [...]

See, here's why you're having trouble holding a conversation. You keep wanting to define the terms in the way you want them to mean, even when other people are explaining to you that they're using the terms differently than you are.

I did no such thing. I defined the terms based on what the terms mean at their root. It may help you to use words properly as well. I could say that you tend to define your terms in a fashion that suits your own arguments. The fact is, whether you like it or you don't, words actually do have specific meanings traditionally attached to them. A good etymological dictionary may be the best grimoire a magician can own and it may serve you better to consult one now and again.

I don't care what the "original philosophical sense" of the word skepticism was. I've already explained how I'm using the term. You can either address the substance of my ideas or not -- and arguing over which word is the best one to use is a way of avoiding the substance of what I'm saying.

Here you admit that you have re-defined a term for your own uses and that you don't care what it actually means. But you are wrong.. again (how many times are you going to be?). What it means matters more than your usage. By stating things in certain terms and then attempting to argue with others who may have a totally different understanding of a word or two or seven actually takes the substance away from your ideas in my opinion. Then it becomes too difficult to weed through your drivel trying to determine if you mean what you say or if I need to constantly ask for your unique definitions of all the fairly standard words you're using.

"Los" wrote:

How that experience is interpreted or what ends up being believed about it always boils down to a final decision of the practitioner (a leap of faith for lack of a better way to put it) and, for all practical purposes, is entirely irrelevant to anyone else but the practitioner (to keep silent).

Incorrect. Even Crowley wouldn't agree with you on that point: have a look at Book 4 Part I, where he discusses how Mohammed and Christ misinterpreted the experience of Dhyana. He explains how their misinterpretations led them astray and led their followers astray.

There is a lot more in that section that you might do well to go over again.

No one is questioning that you've had certain experiences. What those experiences actually were is a separate question -- and it's not necessarily an unanswerable question, and it's certainly not a question that can only be answered by the experiencer. In many cases, the person undergoing an experience is least capable of properly evaluating the experience (one of the many reasons that eyewitness testimony is so notoriously unreliable).

Here we can actually sort of agree but I do feel that when it comes down to it one's personal experiences remain a private matter.

I don't think you've thought your position through very rigorously.

And what position do you think that might be? I have not stated any particular position necessarily.

There is entirely too much "in the head" going on in these discussions for my own personal taste.

All conversations occur "in the head," in the sense that they're all about thoughts. Thoughts point to reality, but are not reality. As long as one keeps this in mind, conversation is very useful.

Well I won't necessarily disagree with this but I think you misunderstood what I meant by "in the head". What I was referring to was the seeming importance placed on cold, pure intellect in these discussions. That would be the aggressiveness I had mentioned.

Based on what you've said, I strongly suspect that your distrust of thought -- a common theme in "Typhonian" circles -- is leading you to avoid thinking through your ideas with sufficient rigor.

What did I say exactly that leads you to suspect that I distrust thought?

Wow, I don't see how you guys can do all that tedious line by line quoting and replying like that. I can't be bothered to sit at this computer for that length of time. I just wanted the above to resemble how Los's replies look. 😛


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Anonymous
 Anonymous
(@Anonymous)
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21/05/2015 8:55 am  

Reply #782; yes!


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ignant666
(@ignant666)
Tangin
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 3118
21/05/2015 11:33 am  
"Los" wrote:
"NKB" wrote:
Sorry Los, wrong approach man. You have just proven to me how worthless it actually "is" to engage further in any discussion with you.

Uh huh. That's about what I expected from you. I go to the trouble of answering your posts and explaining exactly where you're going wrong in your thinking, and instead of explaining where you disagree and why, you turn tail and get the hell out of dodge with these lame excuses.

Telling Los that having a "conversation" with him is like "conversing" with a particularly obstinate brick wall and ending that "conversation" is of course entirely different than Los' infantile "I CAN"T HEAR YOU!" ban list, which is not at all Los "turning tail" in the face of arguments he can't cogently answer.

"Los" wrote:
"Aleisterion" wrote:
You asked for examples, and I provided some.

The only thing you provided is ample evidence that you have problems reading what the text actually says without projecting your own beliefs into it.

As I commented above, Los seems utterly oblivious to his own pot/kettle issues in this regard, although it has been pointed out to him over and over again that his highly tendentious, cherry-picking and idiosyncratic reading of AC's work and Liber AL is not exactly widely shared by Crowley scholars past and present. Los will doubtless tell us again that this is because all these people are not as smart as he is.
Los' devotion to making the same (very) few points over and over and over again in thousands of posts is impressive.
It is, dare I say it, almost praeterhuman.


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Shiva
(@shiva)
Not a Rajah
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 4954
21/05/2015 1:42 pm  

This thread has now degenerated to the lowest common denominator of: "You are wrong." "No it's you who are wrong." "Not me, I'm right."

[/align:3hwta7x6]

What happened to Thelemic Practices?

Oh, I See. "As brothers fight ye." ;D[/align:3hwta7x6]


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Michael Staley
(@michael-staley)
MANIO - it's all in the egg
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 4021
21/05/2015 3:06 pm  
"Shiva" wrote:
This thread has now degenerated to the lowest common denominator of: "You are wrong." "No it's you who are wrong." "Not me, I'm right."

Pretty much par for the course where threads involving Los are concerned, innit?


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the_real_simon_iff
(@the_real_simon_iff)
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21/05/2015 4:04 pm  

93, Los!

Let me first say that with much of the verses you quote and interpret I am in agreement. I wouldn't dare to say that skepticism is a bad thing. But it's not the only way that leads to finding your True Will. I just don't agree that it is the "proper" way to practice Thelema.

"Los" wrote:
Well, for starters, the central point of the Book is expressed as "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law," not "Do what thou randomly guess is thy will shall be the whole of the Law."

But nowhere it says "Apply strict skepticism to find your will and then do it."

"Los" wrote:
This central message demands that the individual verify that he or she is acting in accord with his or her Will, and the only consistently reliable way to verify anything about reality is to investigate it skeptically, to use evidence to determine what is actually the case. Discovering the Will entails both paying attention to the evidence of one's authentic reactions (which one strives to perceive as free as possible from the distorting lenses of the mind) and doubting (treating skeptically) the ideas about the self and reality created by the mind.

Well, that's not in the book, it's what you believe to be the best (only?) way, but Crowley also tells of other ways to get knowledge of and conversation with your True Will also. Your method is but one way, admittedly very good for those so inclined.

"Los" wrote:
Indeed, the Book of the Law itself recommends adopting an attitude of skepticism toward one's rational ideas, which can falsify and misinterpret reality, leading the individual astray: "Also reason is a lie; for there is a factor infinite & unknown; & all their words are skew-wise."

Agreed, though skepticism only points to the problem here, and not to the solution.

"Los" wrote:
To doubt the "false self" created by the mind and its false desires: "The Khabs is in the Khu, not the Khu in the Khabs. "Worship then the Khabs, and behold my light shed over you!"

Not really anything about doubting and skepticism here in the book, but Crowley's comment supports your view here.

"Los" wrote:
To be skeptical of the idea that gods exist:
"With the God & the Adorer I am nothing: they do not see me. They are as upon the earth; I am Heaven, and there is no other God than me, and my lord Hadit."
"I am in a secret fourfold word, the blasphemy against all gods of men.
"Curse them! Curse them! Curse them!"

As with most of your quotes, in the book there is nothing about skepticism, but a lot about rejection and opposition.

"Los" wrote:
To be skeptical of the mind's idea that one thing could be ultimately "better" than another (that is, to be skeptical of the mind's tendency to make a difference between two things):
"Bind nothing! Let there be no difference made among you between any one thing & any other thing; for thereby there cometh hurt."

Again: don't be skeptical about it, the book says don't do it.

"Los" wrote:
To be skeptical of the mind's tendency to restrict the Will:
"The word of Sin is Restriction."

The following sentences do not really advocate skepticism, but commands to reject current standards: "O man! refuse not thy wife, if she will! O lover, if thou wilt, depart! There is no bond that can unite the divided but love: all else is a curse. Accursed! Accursed be it to the aeons! Hell."

"Los" wrote:
To be skeptical of the mind's sentimental ideas of "love," which are typically the veil upon actual love, which is an expression of the individual's deepest nature/Will:
"Nor let the fools mistake love; for there are love and love. There is the dove, and there is the serpent. Choose ye well!"

Agreed.

"Los" wrote:
To be skeptical of those thoughts that produce suffering:
"Hear me, ye people of sighing!
The sorrows of pain and regret
Are left to the dead and the dying,
The folk that not know me as yet."

Where is skepticism? This is a claim! One of many claims of the book.

"Los" wrote:
To be skeptical of the mind's ideas that one "ought" to be nice to others because it is a "good thing" to do so (hey, after all, compassion is often thought of as a noble, kingly virtue, right?):
"Compassion is the vice of kings:"

Fifty percent agreed. But I think this quote is connected with different ideas later in the book. But that's not the thread for that.

"Los" wrote:
To be skeptical of all "Because" statements contained in the mind --especially those assumptions that are barely articulated to one's self, such as the idea that one should do such-and-such because it is the right thing to do. Such "because" statements can and do lead individuals to act in ways that run contrary to their actual inclinations:
"Now a curse upon Because and his kin!
"May Because be accursed for ever!
"If Will stops and cries Why, invoking Because, then Will stops & does nought.
"If Power asks why, then is Power weakness.
"Also reason is a lie; for there is a factor infinite & unknown; & all their words are skew-wise.
"Enough of Because! Be he damned for a dog!"

I see nothing about skepticism here. One might say that if you are skeptic about what your will is, then it stops.

"Los" wrote:
To be skeptical of the ideas of failure and defeat (which only exist as thoughts in the mind, as value judgments, not as extant "things"):
"Dost thou fail? Art thou sorry? Is fear in thine heart?
"Where I am these are not.
"Pity not the fallen! I never knew them. I am not for them. I console not: I hate the consoled & the consoler."

This is more like a promise, and a grandios statement. Again, to me rejection of an idea is not the same as to be skeptical about this idea, especially when the acceptance of another idea is commanded.

"Los" wrote:
To be skeptical of common ideas of "virtuous" behavior -- especially sexual modesty:
"There is a veil: that veil is black. It is the veil of the modest woman; it is the veil of sorrow, & the pall of death: this is none of me. Tear down that lying spectre of the centuries: veil not your vices in virtuous words: these vices are my service; ye do well, & I will reward you here and hereafter."
"Let Mary inviolate be torn upon wheels: for her sake let all chaste women be utterly despised among you!"

This is not to be skeptical, but to totally reject and reverse moral standards. It is your interpretation, it is not in the words.

"Los" wrote:
To be skeptical of thoughts that one should love all people equally:
"Beware therefore! Love all, lest perchance is a King concealed! Say you so? Fool! If he be a King, thou canst not hurt him.
"Therefore strike hard & low, and to hell with them, master!"

Can agree with that one.

"Los" wrote:
To  be skeptical of thoughts of fear:
"Fear not at all; fear neither men nor Fates, nor gods, nor anything. Money fear not, nor laughter of the folk folly, nor any other power in heaven or upon the earth or under the earth. Nu is your refuge as Hadit your light; and I am the strength, force, vigour, of your arms."

This again is a promise of reward when following the command. Nothing about skepticism here.

"Los" wrote:
To answer your other question, Liber AL -- and Thelema per se -- does not demand anti-supernaturalism, as I've said repeatedly now for years. It demands skepticism, a skeptical attitude toward the creations of the mind.

No, it demands a complete rejection and overthrowing of the moral standards, it's an apocalyptic battle cry to free man of the chains of the Old Aeon. The book reeks much more of claims about the prophet and the superiority of its authors and weird beetle rituals and the victory of Thelemites than of skepticism. That doesn't mean that one should not be skeptical about many of ideas of the old aeon, but again: saying this is wrong and this is right, is not the same as being skeptical about what's right.

"Los" wrote:
I hold that a properly applied skepticism inevitably leads to atheism and materialism. Thus, while Thelema per se does not require atheism and materialism, its proper practice requires skepticism and the proper application of skepticism necessarily leads to atheism and materialism.

You can hold that opinion if you like, and maybe - I don't care - proper skepticism leads to atheism and materialism, but that's not what Thelema or the Book of the Law is about. It's one interpretation, and I can easily imagine worse interpretations, but Thelema to me is only about the True Will and the complete freedom for every individual.

I'm in a hurry, so my English is probably as bad as it is when I am not proofreading...

Love=Law
Lutz


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Anonymous
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21/05/2015 9:27 pm  
"Shiva" wrote:
This thread has now degenerated to the lowest common denominator of: "You are wrong." "No it's you who are wrong." "Not me, I'm right."

What happened to Thelemic Practices?

Oh, I See. "As brothers fight ye." ;D[/align:nj8lhb22]

No, on the contrary the thread was regenerated but alas, you somehow missed it. 

What happened to the Thelemic Practice topic?  Again, maybe you missed it;

"Los" wrote:
"the_real_simon_iff" wrote:
Where again is skepticism (or anti-supernaturalism) demanded in Liber AL?

Well, for starters, the central point of the Book is expressed as "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law," not "Do what thou randomly guess is thy will shall be the whole of the Law."

This central message demands that the individual verify that he or she is acting in accord with his or her Will, and the only consistently reliable way to verify anything about reality is to investigate it skeptically, to use evidence to determine what is actually the case. Discovering the Will entails both paying attention to the evidence of one's authentic reactions (which one strives to perceive as free as possible from the distorting lenses of the mind) and doubting (treating skeptically) the ideas about the self and reality created by the mind.

Reply 790 as a demonstration of the absence of paranormalism within Liber Al was very interesting.


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21/05/2015 9:59 pm  
"the_real_simon_iff" wrote:
93, Los!

Let me first say that with much of the verses you quote and interpret I am in agreement. I wouldn't dare to say that skepticism is a bad thing. But it's not the only way that leads to finding your True Will. I just don't agree that it is the "proper" way to practice Thelema.

I don't think you have  a proper understanding of the word "scepticism."  It's been spelled out clearly but you're still wayward and err, wow. 

"the_real_simon_iff" wrote:
"Los" wrote:
Indeed, the Book of the Law itself recommends adopting an attitude of skepticism toward one's rational ideas, which can falsify and misinterpret reality, leading the individual astray: "Also reason is a lie; for there is a factor infinite & unknown; & all their words are skew-wise."

Agreed, though skepticism only points to the problem here, and not to the solution.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C5rJ4g9EMUk

"Los" wrote:
To be skeptical of the mind's ideas that one "ought" to be nice to others because it is a "good thing" to do so (hey, after all, compassion is often thought of as a noble, kingly virtue, right?):

"Compassion is the vice of kings:"

To be skeptical of all "Because" statements contained in the mind --especially those assumptions that are barely articulated to one's self, such as the idea that one should do such-and-such because it is the right thing to do. Such "because" statements can and do lead individuals to act in ways that run contrary to their actual inclinations:

To be skeptical of thoughts that one should love all people equally:

"Beware therefore! Love all, lest perchance is a King concealed! Say you so? Fool! If he be a King, thou canst not hurt him.
"Therefore strike hard & low, and to hell with them, master!"

I would add 31. For these fools of men and their woes care not thou at all! to this and

18. These are dead, these fellows; they feel not. We are not for the poor and sad: the lords of the earth are our kinsfolk.

19. Is a God to live in a dog? No! but the highest are of us. They shall rejoice, our chosen: who sorroweth is not of us.

20. Beauty and strength, leaping laughter and delicious languor, force and fire, are of us.


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