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Tao
 Tao
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"Los" wrote:
So, as examples, the Christian's belief that the universe is 6,000 years old is based on faith. My belief that the universe is closer to thirteen billion years old is based on evidence and reason.

However, current experiments going on at CERN (as soon as they get it fixed again) may very possibly disprove that theory, based on evidence and reason. If they end up finding what they expect to find, it will point to a universe without beginning or end but rather an infinite continuum, something not unlike the occult theory of the universe as Ain/Tao. It will also pave the way towards demonstrating that different parts of reality are affected by universal laws differently dependent on their wavelength, something not unlike the occult theory of color and sound.

Then again, one of the physicists is quoted as saying, "The most exciting thing is we really don't know what we are going to find," so who knows what new sorts of beliefs based on evidence and reason we're going to be dealing with in a few months.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/large-hadron-collider/11489442/Big-Bang-theory-could-be-debunked-by-Large-Hadron-Collider.html

This is not to say that any of these things are "true" in an absolute sense but rather to say, as I have before, that this belief in what is "most likely" at any given moment "based on evidence and reason" is just as much a belief as any other. We may have progressed from 6000 years to 13 billion years to infinity but the only constant we can learn from this is that, as experience grows, the map changes. Basing practices on concrete dogmatic goals that one thinks, in one's present unenlightened state, one can and should accomplish ignores this. Basing practices on an ever evolving process of trial and error that deals with the individual as it currently exists, adjusting as that individual is changed by the process and as new things are discovered about it, seems to me to be the only rational method one can follow.


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

Los,

That was a wonderfully careful reading.  I am going to zero in on one or two aspects of the discussion here, although I think all of your points are well made. 

First, holding contradictions this side of the Abyss leads to logical explosion.  So talking to anyone, myself included, who attempts to maintain contradictions while allowing them to be contradictions, is a frustrating endeavor.  I do work to avoid falling back on the "everything follows" defense.  If I do so, I hope it is sui generis to the argument rather than a deus ex machina rescue effort.

Your concern to keep the senses of "faith" straight by attentive use of language is understood, although I think my point was lost regarding the affective and cognitive senses of faith.  The sense given in Hebrews is both an affective and a cognitive one.  That is, Hebrews' notion of faith blends the two senses together in a way that the two elements are inseparable.  When I say that I have faith in the resurrection, it is not that I only hope for a resurrection or that I assign a probability of 1 to the claim that there will be a resurrection.  No probability is assigned.  I recognize that the resurrection claim is different in character from the claim that the universe is 13-14 billion years old.  We might say that the language of Hebrews makes possible a distinct approach to truth claims, one not available to the atheist or to the Christian who construes dogma as scientific language. 

Let me try casting the problem in a different light.  If there is a realm "beyond the Abyss", whatever that means, wherein contradictions are reconciled, it would be a realm our language lacks the capacity to describe in a coherent fashion, as, by definition, the realm is incoherent from our perspective.  In other words, it is a realm that will be available to us only in a very vague and confused sort of way.  Very much like Christian faith.  So, if I am to explore the possibility of such realms, I must be willing to risk nonsense.  And hopefully in my travels I will have others to challenge my nonsense.  But sorting out fact from fiction in such a scenario will be a much messier project than it would be in a purely rational universe.

Part of the problem with Christianity is that nearly all of its manifestations want to present dogmas as observational claims that I would assent to if only I opened my heart.  That is pure bullshit.  I fall much more into the mystical Christian camp, which has a lot of affinities with the Gnostic movement.  That camp is in the camp of experience, but recognizes that our various conceptual frameworks make available different experiential possibilities.  The realm beyond the Abyss is only available to us dimly.  It is experiential but experiential in a wholly different sense than is the world available through science.  Science produces objective knowledge when it is properly understood.  Mysticism, at best, produces intersubjective agreement.

Finally, it may be helpful for us to look at the issue of faith and authenticity in this way: faith is a tool used to access certain kinds of experiences, experiences which look an awful lot like delusions but are meaningfully distinct from such cognitive/perceptual errors if only because of their source, the activity of faith understood as it is in Hebrews.  (And a scientifically-minded approach to inquiry defines away such experiences.  That is to say, it begs the question.)

Yeheshuah

Love is the law, love under will.


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Shiva
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"Los" wrote:
For me, "belief" simply means "accepting a position as likely to be true."

Okay. But some (many?) religious beliefs are not even likely to be true. For example, those who believe in Jesus the Christ (with all his attributes, I suppose) will be saved (resurrected) and enter into heaven, while all those unbelievers will be going to hell. Or, how about the jihadist who falls in battle (or in a suicide bombing) and is instantly transported to paradise where he enjoys the favors of 77 virgins?

That is, most "rational" beliefs in a relatively non-imprinted mind are indeed based on what is "likely." But the far-out religious beliefs, that often deal with various versions of life after death, are not even "likely" to a (hopefully) open mind. They are irrational and completely founded by, and dependent upon, religious programming instilled by parents and priests, and they continue on and on down through the generations.


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Shiva
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"Yeheshuah" wrote:
Hebrews 11:1 ... faith is defined in the following manner: "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen."

The words assurance and conviction merely mean that's what the person is "sure" of, and, unfortunately, we have all come to be "unassured" and we have lost our "conviction" about certain ideas.

Crowley's apparent conviction that Aiwass was a discarnate intelligence surely fits in with the definition of faith proposed.

Yeah. He "believed" it, but it certainly is not believed by many so-called Thelemites.

... people do not come back from the dead, a statistical fact, but that many of us believe otherwise in the case of Jesus, a sociological fact.

Right. And one possibility (a somewhat "likely" one) is that Jesus was merely in a near-death state (apparently dead) and that he revived after being taken down from the cross and placed in a tomb. Then, after a short recuperation, he was seen walking and talking.

... but is the Jesus story a historical fact? There is much evidence to the contrary, since even the scholars who do research into the historical Jesus accept that the Gospels are fabrications written decades after when they believe Jesus died.

😉


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Los
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"Yeheshuah" wrote:
I think my point was lost regarding the affective and cognitive senses of faith.  The sense given in Hebrews is both an affective and a cognitive one.  That is, Hebrews' notion of faith blends the two senses together in a way that the two elements are inseparable.

No, I understood that that was what you were saying. But I was responding by saying that I think blending these two distinct ideas is a mistake. "Belief without evidence" and "Hope for something" are different things. It's true that hope can *influence* belief, in the way I was discussing in my last post, but I think we do ourselves a disservice by conflating these concepts because we potentially blind ourselves to the ways that people can fool themselves.

If Thelema is about anything, it's about discovering the Will (it's in the name, after all). How do we discover the Will? We figure out and make ourselves increasingly aware of the ways that we fool ourselves. I don't see what's to be gained from conflating two distinct ideas under the label of "faith," and I see a lot of downsides.

I recognize that the resurrection claim is different in character from the claim that the universe is 13-14 billion years old.

Is it? It seems to me that it's either true that the universe is billions of years old, or it's not true. Similarly, it's either true that the universe is thousands of years old, or it's not true. In just the same way, it's either true that a person once rose from the dead, or it's not true.

There's an actual answer to all of these questions, and it's possible to hold beliefs on these subjects that are closer or farther from the actual answer. I'm confused as to how something like the resurrection could be "different in character." What different "character" is there about this claim, and how did you determine it has this different character?

We might say that the language of Hebrews makes possible a distinct approach to truth claims, one not available to the atheist or to the Christian who construes dogma as scientific language.

If we're discussing claims about stuff that happens in the world, then I don't see what other "approach" there is other than trying to figure out whether the stuff actually happens or not. It sounds like you maybe are trying to rescue some of this religious stuff as metaphor or that you want to take some claims as something other than literally true? If so, I think again your fuzzy use of language is impeding a more precise discussion of what you're talking about. 

If there is a realm "beyond the Abyss", whatever that means, wherein contradictions are reconciled, it would be a realm our language lacks the capacity to describe in a coherent fashion, as, by definition, the realm is incoherent from our perspective.  In other words, it is a realm that will be available to us only in a very vague and confused sort of way.  Very much like Christian faith.  So, if I am to explore the possibility of such realms, I must be willing to risk nonsense.

I think people get a little confused with this "beyond the Abyss" stuff, and I'm actually currently working on a blog post that partially addresses these issues. There's not a "realm" that's beyond the Abyss, in the sense of some kind of space. The Tree of Life is a diagram useful for classifying ideas. The space on that diagram "beyond the Abyss" represents the world of ideas (rather than the actual world) and, more specifically, the way that opposites "contain one another" (which isn't quite the same thing as being identical with one another).

Indeed, it's quite difficult to put into words exactly what that means, but it's related to the idea that identifying objects requires us to separate them out from what they're not, such that A always implies the existence of not-A. In order for me to identify my laptop, I have to distinguish it from not-being-a-laptop. And even though I can distinguish the two of them -- and think of them as separate things -- they're actually two sides of the same coin. There literally couldn't be (the idea of) one without the other.

All of this "beyond the Abyss" stuff is interesting -- and it's related to a particular kind of attainment -- but it's irrelevant to the question of what's what in the world. Conclusions to questions of fact about the world are either settled in the realm of reason, or else they are irrational conclusions that nobody has any grounds for thinking are true.

Just because talking about the Abyss may sound like "nonsense" doesn't mean that all nonsense is a virtue, nor does it mean that all nonsense is a path to wisdom.

Part of the problem with Christianity is that nearly all of its manifestations want to present dogmas as observational claims that I would assent to if only I opened my heart.  That is pure bullshit.

Well, sure, but I'm having a kind of hard time figuring out exactly what you mean in the first place by "Christianity." I mean, do you believe that there is a God who manifested in the form of Jesus Christ to suffer and die for the sins of mankind? If you don't believe that, I'm not sure it makes much sense to call yourself a "Christian," though of course no one can stop you from calling yourself that and confusing everybody.

I'm enjoying our conversation, by the way.


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

Los,

We are making real roads into understanding, I think.  I haven't really had to articulate my position since I adopted the Thelemic Christian path a while back, as I live in the sticks and rarely see my Thelemic brothers and sisters.  At most, I have had to give my parish priest a little introduction to Thelema so that he understands where I am coming from.

Again, all of your points are strong but I am going to zero in on just one.  (If you think there is a more profitable focus, let me know and we will tackle that matter instead.)  You wrote that: "I'm confused as to how something like the resurrection could be "different in character." What different "character" is there about this claim, and how did you determine it has this different character?" You are right that faith makes truth claims.  So the claim "He is risen" would be refuted if he wasn't and we showed that.  Furthermore, the claim is made ridiculous by the statistical fact that people die daily without rising from the dead.  So what does it come to when I say that such claims are "different in character" from scientific claims?

There is a long tradition in Christianity of what is called apophatic theology.  It is the theology of encounter with the incomprehensible, to put it probably too simplistically.  (This theology often cooperates with another theology, the theology of theosis or true oneness with the divine, i.e. God is man and man is God.  Often times mainstream theologians try to play down these two elements of the Christian tradition.  They are virtually unheard of in the West, but have a devoted following in Eastern Orthodoxy.)  The main force of apophaticism is that God's transcendence renders us incapable of grasping, via our conceptual framework and experience, truths regarding God.  So when we say something such as God is three persons in one being, the language fails to clearly express the truth it points us toward.  It is a sort of inarticulate groaning brought on by the Holy Spirit, a reaching toward something we know not what.  It is an attempt to articulate the contradictions which are reconciled the other side of the Abyss.  So the difference in character of Christian dogmatic claims and scientific claims is that the dogmatic claims are not clearly meaningful in the way that you want them to be.  They can't be clearly meaningful because they deal with a realm (and I don't mean that geographically) where the ordinary two-valued logic of language breaks down. 

How can I know such things about the way language functions if I have not transcended my current position? The answer is that I am not making knowledge claims in the traditional sense of justified, true belief... or something along those lines.  To be a mystic I must be a Fool.  That foolishness catches me up into a bootstrapping process: my bhakti practice led me to interpret my experiences in a certain way.  Practices and speculations based on that initial filtered set of experiences led to corroborating experiences, practices and speculations, deepening my devotion.  I imagine that if I had chosen a sufi path I would have had a similar experience that I would go on to filter through a sufi conceptual framework.  Dislodging a view such as the one I am describing is difficult because it undermines the use of reason.  Establishing such a view is equally difficult... if it is done with concern for all that reason has achieved.  (It is obviously easy enough to give oneself up to miracles and ghost stories.)  Care must be taken to keep an eye on my nonsense if I am to avoid losing myself to irrationality. 

Yeheshuah

Love is the law, love under will.


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Los
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"Yeheshuah" wrote:
encounter with the incomprehensible [...] The main force of apophaticism is that God's transcendence renders us incapable of grasping, via our conceptual framework and experience, truths regarding God.

If God is actually incomprehensible and cannot be grasped, then you cannot make any statements about God, including the claim that God is incomprehensible.

In order to make any statements at all about X, it has to be comprehensible to some extent. Otherwise, how would you know that X even exists?

And, of course, this is the flaw with all theistic positions: what makes you think that there's God? So far as I can tell, nobody has ever acquired sufficient evidence and rational argument that indicates that gods of any kind exist. I would be open to being convinced otherwise, of course.

It is an attempt to articulate the contradictions which are reconciled the other side of the Abyss.  So the difference in character of Christian dogmatic claims and scientific claims is that the dogmatic claims are not clearly meaningful in the way that you want them to be.  They can't be clearly meaningful because they deal with a realm (and I don't mean that geographically) where the ordinary two-valued logic of language breaks down.

You're misapplying the concept of "beyond the Abyss" again. The concept of "beyond the Abyss" refers to fundamental dependence of contraries, and the concept of "crossing the abyss" refers to the destruction of self by eliminating one's preference for one side of the contraries over the other. But that's it. There's no such thing as claims that "deal with" the "realm beyond the Abyss." It's just not the case that absurd and nonsense claims encapsulate Supernal thinking. After all, egg walks centerpiece side salad because fresno opens lippy lappity drink coaster, checkbook?

Arguably, an artistic nonsense project like James Joyce's Finnegans Wake -- which exists in part to illustrate the peculiar logic of dreams -- comes closest to representing on the page what it's like for opposite ideas to "contain" each other, but it's also not an example of "Supernal thought." Certainly, an absurd claim like "Jesus rose from the dead" comes nowhere near Supernal thought.

It sounds to me kind of like what you're saying is that by professing contradictory beliefs, which cannot simultaneously be true, you're trying to "trick" your mind into thinking in a Supernal fashion. You're trying to get yourself to perceive both "sides" of a thought at once so that you might start to perceive like this during everyday life. In other words, it sounds like what you're really talking about is praxis, not metaphysical theory.

If so, then it might be interesting to discuss how useful a practice like this might be, but we would need to be clear that we're not seriously proposing the dogmatic wackiness of Christianity as actually true. We would, instead, be using the claims of Christianity, unsupported as they are, as a springboard for a particular kind of practice.

You are right that faith makes truth claims.  So the claim "He is risen" would be refuted if he wasn't and we showed that. [...] I am not making knowledge claims in the traditional sense of justified, true belief

You can't have your cake and eat it too. Either you're making factual claims about reality or you're not. It sounds to me like what you're saying is that the Jesus talk is really some kind of metaphor or is a sort of word game you're playing to try to induce Supernal thinking. If I'm right, then you're not asserting the Christian claims as factual, you're just using them for a certain purpose.


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Shiva
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"Los" wrote:
So far as I can tell, nobody has ever acquired sufficient evidence and rational argument that indicates that gods of any kind exist. I would be open to being convinced otherwise, of course.

Don't hold your breath ... except for short terms in pranayama. Many people have said that God spoke to them - or Angels, or whatever. Some of them ended up in asylums, while others founded religions. But nobody has come forth with any proof ... not even of the "likely to be true" variety.


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

Los and Shiva,

Of course, you are both right that there is no evidence for the existence of gods and angels, etc... not in the objective sense of that concept.  Which is part of the reason why evangelism is so unpalatable and dangerous.  If we place something other than objectivity at the heart of public discourse, what is there left to check our thought?

Los, at the heart of our disagreement is, in part, a difference in the sort of logic we are using.  You are committed to the traditional two-valued logic, which undergirds statements such as: "Either you're making factual claims about reality or you're not."  In fact, much work has been done on multi-valued logics, most famously quantum logic.  If we assume a two-valued logic, then we have defined away a world of contradictions.  But that is not to consider evidence for or against such a world, but merely to ignore it as a possibility.  To take the possibility of contradictions seriously, we would need to abandon the two-valued logic, at least provisionally, to consider what such a reality would imply.

As to the wisdom of my project, that is a very good question to raise.  Let me point again to Liber Agape: "In our Lord Jesus Christ is the Great Work accomplished."  I don't think citing Baphomet is a good way to end a conversation, but a great way to begin one.  Maybe we ought to turn to Liber Agape and grapple with the Beast's love of Jesus Christ to see where that takes us?

Yeheshuah

Love is the law, love under will. 


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Los
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"Yeheshuah" wrote:
there is no evidence for the existence of gods and angels, etc... not in the objective sense of that concept.  Which is part of the reason why evangelism is so unpalatable and dangerous.  If we place something other than objectivity at the heart of public discourse, what is there left to check our thought?

Agreed. I would also expand this to argue that people who accept ideas that are unsupported by evidence (such as the existence of spirits) are doing themselves a great disservice, even if they never try to evangelize others. The more unsupported things an individual believes, the more their internal map of reality diverges from the actual reality, to their detriment. That's one of the reasons I think that actually believing in Christianity (or any other supernaturalist religion) is a terrible idea, though I'm still not sure exactly what your beliefs entail.

Los, at the heart of our disagreement is, in part, a difference in the sort of logic we are using.  You are committed to the traditional two-valued logic, which undergirds statements such as: "Either you're making factual claims about reality or you're not."

So what's the third option?

 

In fact, much work has been done on multi-valued logics, most famously quantum logic.

This is another topic I've been addressing in the blog post I'm working on. Basically, quantum mechanics -- although it works in ways that strike us as counterintuitive -- doesn't violate any of the normal laws of logic.

Take the famous example of Schrödinger's cat, a thought experiment in which a cat is said to exist in a state of quantum superposition and can be described as both alive and dead at once. This example does not violate the normal laws of logic. These laws tell us that things are what they are (A=A), things are not what they are not (A is not = to not-A), and things cannot be both A and not-A simultaneously. I could see how it might *seem* like something like quantum mechanics violates these laws, but it does not: in Schrödinger's thought experiment, the cat is in a state of quantum superposition, and it's not not-in-a-state-of-quantum-superposition. Or we could phrase it like this: the cat is both alive and dead, and it's not not-both-alive-and-dead. Whatever it is, that's what it is, and it's not what it's not. The laws of logic hold true.

This is not to say that quantum mechanics isn't strange and fascinating and counterintuitive, but that just goes to show how our intuitions are often wrong.

If we assume a two-valued logic, then we have defined away a world of contradictions.

I again assert that you're misusing this idea of a "world of contradictions." See my above posts for details.

As to the wisdom of my project, that is a very good question to raise.  Let me point again to Liber Agape: "In our Lord Jesus Christ is the Great Work accomplished."  I don't think citing Baphomet is a good way to end a conversation, but a great way to begin one.  Maybe we ought to turn to Liber Agape and grapple with the Beast's love of Jesus Christ to see where that takes us?

Well, Crowley's opinions on Jesus aren't terribly important to me. As others have tried to point out to you, Crowley was capable of using Christian symbolism in a metaphorical sense, and he was willing to work with the Christian symbolism bound up in the OTO system before he got a hold of it. I feel very confident in saying that Crowley did not believe that Jesus Christ literally rose from the dead and atoned for the "sins" of mankind, but even if he did believe this, it wouldn't make me think it's a smart idea to believe those things.


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Shiva
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"Yeheshuah" wrote:
I don't think citing Baphomet is a good way to end a conversation, but a great way to begin one.  Maybe we ought to turn to Liber Agape and grapple with the Beast's love of Jesus Christ to see where that takes us?

As has been pointed out, Agape was written at a time when AC was merely a Xº and he was still "under" Merlin, OHO (Reuss) and the Christian terminology was "acceptable" to Reuss.

As a IXº, I was in possession of Emblems and Mode of Use, which was/is the only document that was/is a clear language description/instruction of the IXº "secret" (note: Not secre any more). So when I turned to Agape, I found it to be useless. All of those higher-degree (VIIº, VIIIº, IXº) so-called secret docs are essentially useless. AC outlined these degrees in a simple statetement that went something like this:

The VIIº is sworn to chastity in the innermost as in the outermost. My notes in italics: That is, for some reason, the initiate was supposed to become celibate. This is probably based on the so-called sublimation of sexual energy in order to attain/obtain some spiritual insight/benefit, before being introduced to the use of sexual energy for magical puposes. Many traditions follow this chastity rule. I followed it as required. It is all nonsense.

The VIIIº (epopt) is "accidentally" introduced to the (Gnostic or similar) Mass which is conducted by a priest and a priestess. AC described his own VIIIº initiation as a (supposedly) fictional accout in Energized Enthusiasm.

The VIIIº (pontiff) is the same thing, except the initiate takes the place of the priest himself, instead of merely being part of the congregation.

The IXº is the same thing, except for the addition of the elixir - the "final" secret.

There is no evidence that such rites were ever conducted, with the exception that OTOs everywhere conduct the exoteric Gnostic Mass, in which the sexual union is portrayed via symbols (like the Lance and the Cup and the Cakes of Light. This is why Frances X King, in Secret Rituals of the OTO, said, "There are no rites for the VIIth, VIIIth & IXth degrees." But he was wrong, because they were clearly described (as stated above) by AC in a short outline in a private letter (to Achad, I believe. I no longer have that letter).

But who knows if these rites were ever carried out? Surely some group has ventured into the full-blown version, but of this I have no knowledge.

The documents that go along with these higher degrees tell us nothing about these rites, including Agape.

Now if one wants to get involved in Christ as related to the White Brotherhood, one need look no further than the Works of Alice A. Bailey. She was of the Theosophical lineage. She identified the Christ as a position, the head of the Spiritual planetary hierarchy, held by Maitreya, equal to Ain Soph Aur if one uses the Tree of Life as a reference. She identified Jesus as an initiate who openly walked the path for all to see.

His birth ("The Birth of the Christ in the Cave of the Heart") was the first degree (Malkuth). His baptism ("The Baptism in the River Jordan") was the second degree (Yesod). His third degree ("The Transfiguration") was The Sermon on the Mount, typified by his statement, "I and the Father are One." At this time he was overshadowed by the Christ, who never took form except by "overshadowing" or "temporary possession" of the Jesus vehicle. His fourth degree ("The Crucifixion") is the primary scenario of Christianity. Note that Yesod, Hod & Netzach are the triad of her second degree, and Tiphereth, Geburah & Chesed are the triad of her third degree. Her fourth degree is equivalent to Magister Templi (Binah). His fifth degree ("The Ascension" at Chokmah) was (supposedly) NOT fully revealed, but only foreshadowed as a "rising up."

One amusing website is titled"Maitreya is Not Jesus Christ ... or, Alice A Bailey is a Lying Satan Worshipper!"  🙂 😀 ;D

Here's a quote from her Initiation, Human and Solar:

""The Work of the World Teacher, the Christ

"He is that Great Being whom the Christian calls the Christ; he is known also in the Orient as the Bodhisattva, and as the Lord Maitreya, and is the one looked for by the devout Mohammedan, under the name of the Iman Madhi. He it is who has presided over the destinies of life since about 600 B.C. and he it is who has come out among men before, and who is again looked for. He is the great Lord of Love and of Compassion, just as his predecessor, the Buddha, was the Lord of Wisdom. Through him flows the energy of the second aspect, reaching him direct from the heart center of the Planetary Logos ... He works by means of a meditation centered within the heart. He is the World Teacher, the Master of the Masters, and the Instructor of the Angels, and to him is committed the guidance of the spiritual destinies of men, and the development of the realization within each human being that he is a child of God and a son of the Most High."

So, yes, there is material/correlation available for involving Jesus, the Christ, and the Path of Initiation, but beyond Agape, we're not going to find much reference to Christ in Thelema. And I find Agape to be tainted and useless, so I'll not continue further in the Agape deiscussion.

Then there is Christ-consciousness. That's the state whereby the initiate (or, as some say, any person soever) "realizes" him/her self as the Son (Daughter? - how do women figure in this?) of God, The Father, the Grand Architect of the Universe - or, in other terms, as the second emmanation from the absolute or the primordial consciousness. This, of course would be a form of dhyana or samadhi. What it means is subject to the experiencer's interpretation, which can be rational or megalomanic or delusional.

Anyway, I'm just making some linkages and I don't current believe in most of what is quoted above, nor do I have any faith in what is depicted ... although I do believe in dhyana and samadhi as "states" or "experiences."


Illuminating Illuminati wisdom courtesy of The Dark Ages ©2015[/align:2yf4bdq3]


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

Los, there is a factual problem with your reading of quantum mechanics.  A superposition is a violation of classical logic as it is the conjunction of mutually exclusive states.  But it is in a very special state.  Hence the need for a multi-valued logic.  Quantum logic, by the way, does not require knowledge of quantum mechanics necessarily.  Such things can be grasped formally and without the need for the original content.  Multi-valued logics are independent of metaphysical claims.

Your treatment of the superposition is problematic for another reason.  Subsuming the set of states known as a superposition under a single symbol, A, does nothing to relieve the problem of how to make sense of superpositions.  Let S = Santa Claus exists and Santa Claus does not exist.  Having the single symbol S merely masks the contradiction.

The third option you ask for is one of these multi-valued logics.  They already exist.  The question is, do they refer to anything in the world?

Shiva, thank you for your openness about your experience.  I will think this over tonight and give it a more thorough discussion when I am able.  It is good to know that you have actually grappled with Agape. 

Yeheshuah

Love is the law, love under will.


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Los
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"Yeheshuah" wrote:
A superposition is a violation of classical logic as it is the conjunction of mutually exclusive states.

But that's not what the laws of logic are about. They tell us nothing about "states," which is a vague and poorly defined term: they tell us that an object is what it is, and it's not what it's not.* This is a tautology and is self-evidently the case. Whether a description of the object is paradoxical -- and how exactly it is paradoxical -- is a separate discussion, and paradoxes do not undermine the laws of logic.

More on this in a moment.

*Technically, they apply to *propositions*, but these laws ultimately derive from the essence of reality itself. Reality is reality, and it's not not-reality. It's a tautology, based on the nature of reality, that makes thought possible. 

Your treatment of the superposition is problematic for another reason.  Subsuming the set of states known as a superposition under a single symbol, A, does nothing to relieve the problem of how to make sense of superpositions.  Let S = Santa Claus exists and Santa Claus does not exist.  Having the single symbol S merely masks the contradiction.

Here's an example of how a paradox doesn't undermine the laws of logic. Let's say that someone says, "Santa Claus exists and Santa Claus does not exist." That statement might well be true: Santa Claus doesn't exist literally, but he does exist as a concept. Santa "exists and does not exist" in these senses, and he does not not-(exist-and-not-exist-in-these-senses). Whatever Santa is ("existent and not existent in these senses"), he's not not-that. In this case, the our description of the "that" appears to be a paradox -- and it seems even more strongly paradoxical if we play an equivocating word game -- but it's actually not contradictory at all. Our proposition about Santa is actually making two distinct claims about two distinct entities ("Santa the physical person" and "Santa the concept").

In the Santa example, we know enough to be able to discuss how the paradoxical label comes to seem paradoxical. I'm not sure that we know enough about quantum mechanics to sensibly discuss how it exactly is that the label is or seems paradoxical (and by "we," I mean both you and me *and* humanity as a whole). But our discussion of the ins-and-outs of the paradoxical label is secondary to the point that whatever the thing is, then that's what it is, and it's not not-that.

I'm afraid that, much like your invocation of a "realm beyond the abyss," what you're engaged in here is a bunch of fuzzy thinking, vague definitions, and appeals to highly theoretical areas of scientific inquiry, all in order to justify your practice of saying Christian prayers. But you don't need any of that stuff: I think it's a perfectly valid practice that can be justified without these word games.


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gnosomai
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Good luck on this, Yeheshuah. I'm enjoying your perspective so I hope you continue but it appears you've hit the Los wall. I hit almost the exact same wall about a year ago over on HeruRaHa.net. He just doesn't want to understand that 2-valued logic is only one of several options and, often, not the most useful. Our discussion centered around quantum-entanglement but the thought-pattern appears to be about the same. Considering anything but either-or contradicts his world-view so any attempt to introduce current models suddenly brings out teacher-Los to instruct you in how your thinking is wrong. In this case, it appears to be "appeals to highly theoretical areas of scientific inquiry," which, in fact, they aren't. I found it pointless to try to continue the discussion because he won't get past this hurdle and any other points that were brought into the discussion were hobbled by it.

Anyway, thanks for the attempt. It's made for a good read so far. Back to semi-lurking.


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

Los,

Avoiding more technical material is a good recommendation, although it may be difficult to avoid.  My point about quantum logic was actually a point about logic rather than physics.  There are multi-valued logics which are available to us.  Such material may count as technical, but it is surely relevant.  And there is not too much to the basic idea.  Just add the necessary entries in your truth-tables for the new truth-values and you have the beginnings of a multi-valued logic.  The struggle is in coming up with rules of inference that respect our intuitions... where, of course, they are worthy of respect.

As to the analysis of the Schrodinger paradox, again, you are factually incorrect.  Schrodinger cooked up the paradox as a means of refuting the Copenhagen interpretation.  That is to say, he intended the paradox to end in a contradictory set of states.  The cat as Schrodinger describes it in his thought experiment is both alive and dead without equivocation.  Unfortunately for Schrodinger we now have experimental evidence that such superspositions are possible, at least for small objects.  Two-valued logic is empirically false. 

Yeheshuah

Love is the law, love under will.


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Los
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"Yeheshuah" wrote:
My point about quantum logic was actually a point about logic rather than physics.  There are multi-valued logics which are available to us.

I don't doubt that people can create axiomatic systems that can justify anything they want to believe. But in my experience, people who invoke "multi-valued logics" are generally interested in coming up with a framework they can use to bullshit themselves.

Remember, this sub-conversation started when you implied that your belief in Jesus' resurrection was both a factual claim about reality and not a factual claim about reality. What's the third option? If you're going to try to claim that you're somehow making a claim that is at once factual and figurative,  then what you're describing is a kind of claim that falls into the "not a factual claim" category. [If we define a "factual claim" as a claim that is only a factual claim, and nothing more, then a statement that is both factual and figurative would be considered "not a factual claim"].

Regardless of how we conceptualize what you're saying, it's the substance of your ideas that is of interest to me. Can you be specific about what you mean? Are you, in fact, saying that you believe Christ's resurrection is simultaneously an historical event and a metaphor of some kind? Or are you saying something else? If that is what you're saying, then your claim in no way undermines the laws of logic and is nothing more than a bafflingly phrased version of standard Christian doctrine. If you mean something different, then you'll have to explain what you mean.

The cat as Schrodinger describes it in his thought experiment is both alive and dead without equivocation [...] Two-valued logic is empirically false.

Exploring this issue in more depth would lead us far afield, so perhaps we had best table it for now, but it is my understanding -- told to me by people who have spent considerably more time studying the issue -- that superposition is in no way a subversion of the laws of logic. My understanding is that saying the cat is "both alive and dead" is a kind of linguistic shorthand for the fact that we cannot tell whether it is alive or dead until we look, at which point our looking influences the outcome.

That may be a topic for another thread in the future.


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

The issue is tabled! ;D  You do us good by bringing us back to the rough ground.

So, how do I conceptualize my Jesus project? The first thing I would say is that Christianity is not a monolithic organization with a single set of doctrines, but is a family of institutions, much like Thelema in that respect.  AAs, OTOs, solitary Thelemites, they all have their own spin on what makes a project Thelemic.  I avoid disputes over what constitutes Thelema as I do not believe there is a single, clear definition of Thelema.  In fact, I find such attempts artificial and distasteful.  My approach to Christianity is the same.  I mine the traditions for elements that satisfy my take on the universe.

Christians, at least the more thoughtful ones, tend to talk in terms of mysteries.  There is the Mystery of Incarnation, the Mystery of Sin, the Mystery of the Trinity, etc.  The language of mystery indicates a topic which is not made sense of but beyond the Abyss, to use Thelemic language.  (There is similar imagery in Christianity.)  The idea of a multi-valued logic helps here as it gives us a means of categorizing the truth value of such claims in accord with the way in which they are held by Christians.  That is to say, they are claims that can not be discursively grasped, and so give the appearance of nonsense from a down-to-earth rational approach, but are held to have a value and meaning which is grasped under radically different epistemological conditions. 

So why think such conditions obtain anywhere or at anytime at all? This is where the bhakti yoga comes in.  In Christianity, knowing and willing, understanding and loving, are the two primary modes of action of the mind.  As I become more and more immersed in my devotional practice I find myself face to face with an ever deepening darkness, a darkness that inspires love rather than fear, a darkness that clouds the understanding but draws the will.  In the Cloud of Unknowing the author describes this as love grasping what the mind is as yet incapable of appreciating.  It is through love that I encounter the divine, not through understanding. 

Where does that leave claims such as "He is risen"? They are not meaningful in the way that "I am drinking a cup of coffee while I write this" is meaningful.  So, from a perspective that has no values other than True and False for declarative statements, statements of faith would have to be relegated to the pile of Falsehoods.  I think the problem here is that the possibility of an alternative to the True/False dichotomy makes no sense without the experience of bhakti yoga.  One must try on an alternative means of grasping the world in order to appreciate whether or not it grasps anything at all. 

So onto the factual claims.  Did Jesus actually stand up after having died and walk out of a tomb somewhere in the vicinity of Jerusalem? I cannot claim knowledge of such events.  Some versions of Christianity would surely be shaken to the ground if Jesus died and stayed dead or turned out to be a myth.  Christian scriptures talk about the glorious body, which is, apparently, distinct from the earthly body.  So what resurrection comes to, I cannot say, but it is supposed to involve a new kind of body.

This is, I am sure, frustratingly unsatisfying. 

Yeheshuah

Love is the law, love under will.


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Shiva
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"Yeheshuah" wrote:
Christianity is not a monolithic organization with a single set of doctrines, but is a family of institutions ...

Yes, there are many offshoots and fragments. But they all seem to agree on the basic premise: Jesus was The Son of God and he was crucified and died; then he arose from the dead and walked around a bit, then rose (ascended) to heaven where he sits (on a throne ;)) awaiting the Last Judgement where all good Chistians will resurrect from their dead bodies and enter heaven to be with him and their loved ones, while all the non-believers will will go to hell and be tortured in various ways - with a third alternative wherein semi-good Christians go to purgatory (see Dante) where they can toil-off their sins and attain heaven. Note: "The Path of Initiation" is Purgatory for the living (see The Tree of Life).

All the "differences" in the various sects involve the type of proper baptism, whether the Pope is infallible or not, and the exact nature of the Trinity, etc, all of which have little or nothing to do with the essential Jesus myth.

... I do not believe there is a single, clear definition of Thelema.

Thelema means "Will." It is the primary characteristic of Chokmah. That's single and clear. Now, a few folks might want to bicker about what Will means, but it's really up to the individual to define (or attain or discover or find or do) Will.


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Shiva
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Yeheshuah PM'd me, saying: "Although you do not want to engage in a discussion of Liber Agape, I was hoping I could engage you with a few questions "offline".

No need to go offline. If I engage with you in secret, private dialog, then I'll have to charge you a hefty fee and you'll need to wrap, mail, insure the required amounts of gold and/or silver. So let's just look at your questions "online" for everyone to see - for free.

Which OTO are you a part of? SOTO, COTO, etc?

First, the tense is "past." As in "I-was." As in these quotes from Inside Solar Lodge ©2007, 2012:

"So I thought it was time to set the record straight. But who am I to be so bold? Well, I was there. I Am Shiva the destroyer. I destroy illusion. From 1965 until 1972, I was the Grand Secretary General of Solar Lodge. I started writing these True Tales of Initiation and Inner Adventure in 1970 in the city of Ensenada, Baja California during that time when we were lying low under the scanning radar of the Establishment."

"At the time when Solar Lodge was rising to its full power in the mid-1960's, no other individual in the U.S.A. was publicly claiming responsibility for the O.T.O.’s activities, and we believed ourselves to be the legitimate heirs of that Order. In 2007, the current head of the O.T.O., Hymenaeus Beta, told me that O.T.O. did not formally recognize Solar Lodge due to its lack of proper initiatory authorization."

So, why fight City Hall? Just because I was part of an Order calling itself OTO that was initiated by a ninth degree member of Agape Lodge, and from which I formally resigned in 1972, doesn't mean I have any stake in claiming, "No, we were the real deal and you excluded us from the lineage long after we had arisen, flourished financially like nobody's ever seen since the heyday of the Knights Templar, then closed up shop - before you were even first initiated."

Fine. We had no written charter from the Grand Master Baphomet, because he had been dead for 18 years. Since I had already distanced myself from OTO, I really don't care if we were legitimate or clandestine. One thing's for sure: We were! (As in "I-was").

Why did you feel that Agape was a rather useless document?

The tense is both past and present. As in "did" and "do." I just re-read Agape so as to be fresh in my approach.

Agape says, "Being the Secret Instruction of the Ninth Degree." Yeah, it's one form of a "secret instruction" of that degree, but it doesn't describe the "secret" of that degree ... it merely hints at it through the use of certain emblems (or symbols), such as:

"It is nothing but the Lion with his coagulated blood, and the gluten of the White Eagle; it is the Ocean wherein both Sun and Moon have bathed. The others: it is the Dew upon the Rose that hath concealed the Cross. Ask of the Ancients: they reply that the oldest of the Gods is Saturn. Beware lest thou also be deceived!  Blessed be He that hath discovered unto us the Arcanum Arcanorum! This is the Dissolved Stone; this is the Elixir of Life, this is the Universal Medicine, this is the Tincture, this is the Potable Gold.
Take an Athanor and Cucurbite, and prepare a flask for this Wine of the Holy Ghost. Thou needest also a flame for the distillation. In the Athanor is thy Lion, in the Cucurbite thine Eagle. Use first a gentle heat, increasing at last to full flame until the Lion passeth over. Pour immediately thy distillation into the flask prepared for it."

But this instruction (^) is for a person who has already been initiated into the ninth degree, or for anyone else who can decipher the symbolism. All later initiates of the Sanctuary of the Gnosis were given (made to make a handwritten copy of) Emblems and Mode of Use, which describes the "secret" in common language.

"Years later, in the official OTO newsletter, Grady [McMurtry] stated very clearly the OTO policy when he wrote, "We do not endorse the publication of this material [Secret Rituals of the OTO] because the so-called '9th degree section' does not include the paper (entitled IX degree Emblems and Modes of Use) which Aleister Crowley handed me at 93 Jermyn St circa 1943-44 e.v. without which the whole thing is nonsense."
- Jerry Cornelius, In The Name of the Beast, vol. II, page 104.

Grady said "nonsense"; I said "useless."

What uses did you attempt to put Agape to, if any?

How does one put "useless" material to use?  As I previously stated, I already had undergone the initiation ritual and had my own handwritten copy of Emblems when I first read Agape. I had no need of veiled, symbolic language.

Why do you think Crowley left the teaching as part of the IXº teachings?

I have absolutely no idea what you are asking here (^).

Why do you believe Crowley would have compromised his beliefs regarding Christianity so severely as to put out a fairly clear Gnostic Christian document?

To keep the OHO happy because R.C./Templar/Masonic/OTO stuff still had a hint of Christianity in it (if not a solid foundation). Once AC took over as OHO, he never again wrote anything like Agape, with all that Christian-derived lingo.


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Los
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"Yeheshuah" wrote:
The first thing I would say is that Christianity is not a monolithic organization with a single set of doctrines, but is a family of institutions, much like Thelema in that respect.

That's fair enough. I care much less what someone calls himself than I care what his specific beliefs/positions actually are.

Christians, at least the more thoughtful ones, tend to talk in terms of mysteries.

"Mystery is the enemy of truth" -- Crowley 

The idea of a multi-valued logic helps here as it gives us a means of categorizing the truth value of such claims in accord with the way in which they are held by Christians.  That is to say, they are claims that can not be discursively grasped, and so give the appearance of nonsense from a down-to-earth rational approach, but are held to have a value and meaning which is grasped under radically different epistemological conditions.

I have to admit, this sounds like absolute gobbledy gook. For a point of comparison, what's the difference between you saying this about these claims and a hypothetical follower of the Flying Spaghetti Monster saying the exact same things about claims regarding his noodly lord?

Or is it your contention that your beliefs are on exactly the same epistemological footing as the belief in the FSM?

So why think such conditions obtain anywhere or at anytime at all? This is where the bhakti yoga comes in. [...] It is through love that I encounter the divine, not through understanding.

Your experiences reveal nothing about the divine because no experiences, by themselves, reveal anything about anything. It is your rational interpretation of those experiences that results in the confused claims you've been making. 

I think the problem here is that the possibility of an alternative to the True/False dichotomy makes no sense without the experience of bhakti yoga.

You seem to assume I've never practiced bhakti yoga.

One must try on an alternative means of grasping the world in order to appreciate whether or not it grasps anything at all.

As I've been trying to explain, generating unusual experiences isn't "grasping" anything at all. It's experience. Your claims about that experience are the products of your reason operating on that experience. 

So onto the factual claims.  Did Jesus actually stand up after having died and walk out of a tomb somewhere in the vicinity of Jerusalem? I cannot claim knowledge of such events.

I'm not interested in knowledge. I'm asking if you believe it literally happened. That is, do you think it's more likely than not that it occurred as a literal, historical event. You seem awfully evasive on this point -- well, on most points, but especially on this one.


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

Los, 

You wrote that: "You seem to assume I've never practiced bhakti yoga."  A good call.  When I wrote that bhakti yoga is necessary, what I intended to say was that apart from an active bhakti practice it is difficult to make sense of an alternative to the True/False dichotomy.  I may still be assuming too much here, but my idea is that without being lost in the love of an object of devotion, love as a means of grasping the universe becomes lost to us.  Our memories are horribly short.

"Mystery is the enemy of truth" -- Crowley

We must also remember that the Gnostic Creed is written in terms of mysteries and in Liber Aleph Crowley writes of the Mystery of Evil.  The issue is not the language of mystery but the way in which mystery is employed.  My methods are being laid bare.  Nothing is hidden.  There is no mystery.

The flying spaghetti monster is an interesting problem to raise.  What it seems to show is that we are trying to approach an epistemological problem from an a priori perspective.  That is, we are neglecting real cases in favor of taking examples and wondering what we think would be going on in the mind of an FSM adherent.  But really we ought to look at specific cases and try to take them apart to see how they work.  If we wish to understand a mystic Christian perspective, we must try to analyze the position...  as you are doing, except you want to force the Christian perspective into the confines of what you call rationality.  You insist that reason glosses over our experience.  The experience must be treated on its own terms.  That is, we must ask for the logic of the experience itself rather than trying to get the experience to fit a particular picture of rationality and logic. 

So am I dodging questions? I see that my answers are construed as dodges, but really I can't answer your question any more clearly as yet, because we don't yet have a shared framework to ask questions such as whether Jesus rose from the dead.  If I say that I both believe and do not believe at one and the same time, my answer will not be recognized as meaningful because of the picture of logic and reason at work.

If the world conforms to a different picture of reason and logic, say, then your canons are the wrong instrument of measurement.  Ask, instead, if the world were one in which contradictions will be reconciled, what sort of picture am I left with?

Part of the problem here, I think, is that you are concerned with an objective analysis of practices and outcomes.  An experience stripped of its layers of interpretation ceases to be the experience, but is the cadaver of an experience. 

Yeheshuah

Love is the law, love under will.


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Los
 Los
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"Yeheshuah" wrote:
The flying spaghetti monster is an interesting problem to raise.  What it seems to show is that we are trying to approach an epistemological problem from an a priori perspective.  That is, we are neglecting real cases in favor of taking examples and wondering what we think would be going on in the mind of an FSM adherent.

Okay, then use a real world example. What if a Muslim said that he is firmly convinced that you're evil and you need to be literally attacked because his experience confirms this? And further, he explains that this claim is actually a special kind of proposition that cannot be criticized in the way that we criticize "down to earth rational" claims because it cannot be discursively grasped, so this belief may seem extreme and wild and nonsense but it's actually just something that needs to be accepted on its own terms via multi-valued logic, etc., etc.

Do you see the problem I'm getting at? What crazy position couldn't your line of argument justify? I gave the FSM example merely to draw a big circle around how ridiculous the whole thing is: plug in any other religion, and I don't see how your argument leaves you with any grounds to criticize any beliefs at all -- even downright dangerous beliefs.

we must ask for the logic of the experience itself

Experiences don't have logic. Logic is a process of the mind that we apply to our experiences.

An experience stripped of its layers of interpretation ceases to be the experience, but is the cadaver of an experience.

Here's where you've gone spectacularly wrong. "Interpretation" is something we add to experience after the fact (even if it's just a split second after the fact). For example, there are lots of people who say they've seen ghosts. I don't doubt that they've had certain experiences. I doubt their interpretations of those experiences. 

Experience cannot tell you anything, other than that you've had an experience of some kind. To draw the conclusion "I had the experience of X," you have to analyze your experience rationally. That analysis is something extra that gets added on to experience.

One of the fundamental points of Thelemic practice -- to return to the ostensible subject of this thread -- is that individuals are led astray from their direct experience of the Self by paying attention to their interpretations of themselves, their ideas of who they are and the kind of person they are. Thelemic practice is aimed at helping the individual to shift attention away from the interpretations and toward the experience -- not to make epistemological claims but to guide action.


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jamie barter
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"Los" wrote:
[...] Thelemic practice is aimed at helping the individual to shift attention away from the interpretations and toward the experience -- not to make epistemological claims but to guide action. [my highlighting, jb]

But in the previous paragraph:

"Los" wrote:
Experience cannot tell you anything, other than that you've had an experience of some kind.

So according to Los the purpose behind the thread’s title – Thelemic Practice – is for the individual to examine his/her experience, however this can not reveal any information about itself beyond the mere fact of its own existence; in other words, never mind about all the epistemology: there is nothing which can be learnt from it.  There doesn‘t even appear to be anything solid to catch hold of there, 22 or otherwise.

Analysis as clear as Mudd?
NormaN Joy


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Shiva
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"Los" wrote:
"Interpretation" is something we add to experience after the fact (even if it's just a split second after the fact).

Correct!  And it's the interpretation that leads to debates (such as seen in this forum) and misunderstandings and wars. People who share the same (or a similar) interpretation of anything tend to get along. Those who see (interpret) anything in a different light start to argue, beat or kill.

In many cases, the interpretation is based on childhood programming. In other cases, it is based on egocentric narcissism. Surely there are many other bases for interpretation, but I have merely cited what appears to me to be a couple of primary suspects.


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

Los,

You wrote that:

Experiences don't have logic. Logic is a process of the mind that we apply to our experiences.

But previously you'd remarked that:

these laws ultimately derive from the essence of reality itself

It is correct to say that logic applies to propositions, of course.  But my claim that "we must ask for the logic of the experience itself" does not conflict with that insight anymore than your claim that logic derives from the essence of reality.  These are ways of speaking that are clearly correct when understood properly.  Nitpicking on these matters only gives the appearance of making points.

Take, for example, the claim that logic derives from the essence of reality.  Prior to Einstein, space was conceived of as Euclidean.  It was so obvious, Kant wrote the Euclidean nature of space into the fundamental features of our human conceptual and experiential framework.  Logic (and its daughter mathematics) is not an a priori venture in the way that you seem to think it is.  Many logics can be cooked up, but only some will accord with the way reality is, if any do so at all.  There is no a priori reason why logic or math ought to capture the way reality works, not that I am aware of anyway.

As for experience being prior to interpretation, I object.  What you seem to have in mind for experience is something like Quine's notion of occular irradiations.  Patches of color, clips of sounds, etc, add to nothing at all.  These are the mere precursors of experience, wherein I encounter humans and apples and have interesting conversations.  There is no clear line between interpretation and experience. 

The Muslim example is interesting but still a priori.  That is, we need to interview a jihadi.  There are some interesting books on the matter: Qutb's Milestones is an instance of Jihadi rhetoric worth looking at.  What we would want to get at is what the real differences are between various kinds of mystical experience.  The rule I am familiar with in this arena is "You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles?"

Finally, you raise the issue of justification, but I am not arguing for a justification in any objective sense.  That is, I don't imagine my claims hold validity for anyone else.  The experience may be useful to someone in constructing her own practices, but the results may differ radically. 

Yeheshuah

Love is the law, love under will.


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Anonymous
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"Shiva" wrote:
"Los" wrote:
"Interpretation" is something we add to experience after the fact (even if it's just a split second after the fact).

Correct!  And it's the interpretation that leads to debates (such as seen in this forum) and misunderstandings and wars. People who share the same (or a similar) interpretation of anything tend to get along. Those who see (interpret) anything in a different light start to argue, beat or kill.

In many cases, the interpretation is based on childhood programming. In other cases, it is based on egocentric narcissism. Surely there are many other bases for interpretation, but I have merely cited what appears to me to be a couple of primary suspects.

Interpretation according to reason which is standard and universal. 


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Azidonis
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Having an experience and having knowledge of an experience are two different things.

Having knowledge of an experience, and wanting the logic of it, or the math of it, or anything else in regards to it, is related to the knowledge of the experience, which is based on memory.

The experience itself, the "present moment" is only recognized after the fact, when it is no longer the present moment, or the actual experience, but a memory of said experience.

We super-impose knowledge onto experiences, in an effort to try and understand, or otherwise make sense of experiences. We play with the knowledge of the experience, not the experience itself.


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Anonymous
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"Yeheshuah" wrote:
As to your concern for me discussing the Great Work, I did make a remark or two about it, but maybe that was not what you were looking for.  Let me try a different tack.  I find the language of "True Will" unnecessarily suggestive of a metaphysical entity which I have not been given any reason to accept as existing.  Instead, I prefer to talk in terms of authenticity.  This language gets at the psychological nature of the Great Work while allowing for the possibility of discovery of multiple layers of the self that can give rise to new ways of being authentic. 

In the A,'. A .'.  system, devotion to any god including the obsolete solar myth that is Christ (who, might I add gets his eyes pronged out by Horus in the aeonic shift), as an exercise, pertains to 4=7 bhakti work.  Although this is a valid tool it  isn't discovering the True Will.  It (bhakti) is  a recommended exercise for those who lack the capacity to induce exaltation as a means to confront the obstacle of the Veils of Paroketh which keep the True Self at bay.  In other words it appears to me that obsession with bhakti (and one god only) is indicative of being "stuck in Netzach" (as it were) and is, to use a Christ-like metaphor, falling by the wayside.

Furthermore, Crowley outlined the dangers in bhakti and I must ask, did you try bhakti devotion with any other gods?  Crowley recommends to invoke gods which we have an aversion to in order to avoid unbalance.  Where you averse to Christ before you started your bhakti?  Did you always have an affinity to Christ?

The danger of ceremonial magick (ie bhakti devotional explorations- my edit)  — the sublest and deepest danger — is this: that the magician will naturally tend to invoke that partial being which most strongly appeals to him, so that his natural excess in that direction will be still further exaggerated. Let him, before beginning his Work, endeavour to map out his own being, and arrange his invocations in such a way as to redress the balance.

Magick in Theory and Practice
CHAPTER I
THE PRINCIPLES OF RITUAL.


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Michael Staley
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MANIO - it's all in the egg
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"david" wrote:
"Yeheshuah" wrote:
As to your concern for me discussing the Great Work, I did make a remark or two about it, but maybe that was not what you were looking for.  Let me try a different tack.  I find the language of "True Will" unnecessarily suggestive of a metaphysical entity which I have not been given any reason to accept as existing.  Instead, I prefer to talk in terms of authenticity.  This language gets at the psychological nature of the Great Work while allowing for the possibility of discovery of multiple layers of the self that can give rise to new ways of being authentic. 

In the A,'. A .'.  system, devotion to any god including the obsolete solar myth that is Christ (who, might I add gets his eyes pronged out by Horus in the aeonic shift), as an exercise, pertains to 4=7 bhakti work.  Although this is a valid tool it  isn't discovering the True Will.  It (bhakti) is  a recommended exercise for those who lack the capacity to induce exaltation as a means to confront the obstacle of the Veils of Paroketh which keep the True Self at bay.  In other words it appears to me that obsession with bhakti (and one god only) is indicative of being "stuck in Netzach" (as it were) and is, to use a Christ-like metaphor, falling by the wayside.

Furthermore, Crowley outlined the dangers in bhakti and I must ask, did you try bhakti devotion with any other gods?  Crowley recommends to invoke gods which we have an aversion to in order to avoid unbalance.  Where you averse to Christ before you started your bhakti?  Did you always have an affinity to Christ?

The danger of ceremonial magick (ie bhakti devotional explorations- my edit)  — the sublest and deepest danger — is this: that the magician will naturally tend to invoke that partial being which most strongly appeals to him, so that his natural excess in that direction will be still further exaggerated. Let him, before beginning his Work, endeavour to map out his own being, and arrange his invocations in such a way as to redress the balance.

Magick in Theory and Practice
CHAPTER I
THE PRINCIPLES OF RITUAL.

Have you ever done any bhakti work, david, or is this just your intellectual analysis? To judge from a previous post of yours - when you asked a bhakti practitioner whether they had remained objective whilst pursuing their devotions - I would surmise that you haven't. In which case your pontifications are rather beside the point.

I doubt that ceremonial magick and "bhakti devotional explorations" are identical, as you seem to suggest with your remark inserted into the quote by Crowley.


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jamie barter
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To add to the many unanswered points and questions I have raised in this and other threads, to both yourself and Los:

"david" wrote:
In the A,'. A .'.  system, devotion to any god including the obsolete solar myth that is Christ

Not obsolete.  Possibly becoming obsolescent…

"david" wrote:
[...] Although this is a valid tool it  isn't discovering the True Will.  It (bhakti) is  a recommended exercise for those who lack the capacity to induce exaltation as a means to confront the obstacle of the Veils of Paroketh which keep the True Self at bay. [...]

Isn’t there only one Veil of Paroketh?

Are we to understand by your general present orientation and tone of responses that you have (at least some of) the answers now, david?

N Joy


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Michael Staley
(@michael-staley)
MANIO - it's all in the egg
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By the way, david, what is it about the phrase "falling by the wayside" that leads you to describe it as a "Christ-like metaphor"??


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Shiva
(@shiva)
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"jamie barter" wrote:
"david" wrote:
In the A,'. A .'.  system, devotion to any god including the obsolete solar myth that is Christ

Not obsolete.  Possibly becoming obsolescent…

But still running very string in some venues.


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Los
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"david" wrote:
Furthermore, Crowley outlined the dangers in bhakti

He did, but not explicitly in the passage you cite. A place where Crowley explicitly discusses the dangers is in Liber Astarte (his instruction in Bhakti yoga):

"Crowley" wrote:
Concerning a notable danger of Success. It may occur that owing to the tremendous power of the Samadhi, overcoming all other memories as it should and does do, that the mind of the devotee may be obsessed, so that he declare his particular Deity to be sole God and Lord. This error has been the foundation of all dogmatic religions, and so the cause of more misery than all other errors combined.

The Philosophus is peculiarly liable to this because from the nature of the Method he cannot remain skeptical; he must for the time believe in his particular Deity. But let him (1) consider that this belief is only a weapon in his hands, (2) affirm sufficiently that his Deity is but an emanation or reflection or eidolon of a Being beyond him, as was said in Paragraph 2. For if he fail herein, since man cannot remain permanently in Samadhi, the memorized Image in his mind will be degraded, and replaced by the corresponding Demon, to his utter ruin.

Therefore, after Success, let him not delight overmuch in his Deity, but rather busy himself with his other work, not permitting that which is but a step to become a goal.

Emphasis added.

Also:

"Crowley" wrote:
Concerning the Holy Guardian Angel. Do thou in no wise confuse this invocation with that.

The practice of bhakti yoga, as presented in Liber Astarte, is a step on the path, not the goal.


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

David and Los,

These are excellent notes.  I think I have mentioned that I had to take notes in my journal in order to remind myself of the conditions under which my bhakti project began, i.e. no faith.  The power of devotion is overwhelming... as Crowley seemed to be aware, as you all have pointed out. 

David asked the following questions: "did you try bhakti devotion with any other gods?  Crowley recommends to invoke gods which we have an aversion to in order to avoid unbalance.  Where you averse to Christ before you started your bhakti?  Did you always have an affinity to Christ?" I have not tried devotion to any other gods... except in some loose sense when it comes to Buddha... not a god, I know.  Actually, I had a deep disdain for deity altogether.  Life, it seemed to me, was testimony against such foolishness.  Often, life still seems to be so.  It seems to me that most of the time, the best thing for theists to do is to contemplate in silence.  Words just reveal foolishness.  (I see the irony, but I go on talking because I am truly interested in exploring various practices with the aid of others.)

My aversion to Christianity was, in part, why I wanted to experiment with devotion to Jesus.  It seemed to me that I had an unhealthy hatred for Christianity, as it had been the cause for the self-sabotage of friendships.  I simply could not tolerate Christians.  In many ways, I still cannot, but I think the aversion is much healthier now. 

So have I become lost in devotion? I do not "declare [my] particular Deity to be sole God and Lord," which may strike some as problematic for a Christian.  I see all gods as attempts to make sense of encounters with the divine.  I am a modified henotheist.  But I do not see myself as having achieved the completion of my work in this arena, so I have not yet taken to busying myself with other work. 

Correct me if I am wrong here, David and Los, but I think what is of primary concern to you both is the apparent loss of objectivity.  My take is that I maintain objectivity by recalling that the source of my faith is found in an experiment in bhakti yoga.  So I have no grounds for attributing objective validity to the doctrines I hold on faith.  I recognize at once the subjective nature of my experiences, or interpretations of those experiences if you prefer that alternative language.  Doing so does not lessen my commitment to my interpretation, but checks how I make use of that interpretation.  I do not, in other words, think I have the guidebook to all of human existence. 

Los has wondered before why I would go on calling myself a Christian if I think in the ways outlined above and in previous posts.  What is necessary to point out here is the great diversity of Christian traditions.  Some have suggested that there is a kernel of teaching that defines Christianity, namely that Jesus as the Son of God was punished for our sins so that we do not have to be.  That is actually a mishmash of several different traditions, all of which have alternatives in Christian history.  What people really object to, I think, is the Plymouth Brethren and their relatives.  I am not one of them, to be sure.  But I am committed to the wisdom of the Christian traditions, where I find it, as I am to the wisdom of Thelema.

Yeheshuah

Love is the law, love under will.


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Shiva
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When one attains "success" in devotional endeavors, one becomes "one with" (the same as - in another word, dhyana or samadhi, or yoga = "union") the deity or the object of worship. Once this happens, there is no need (and, indeed, no capacity) for objective analysis and/or mental fiddling.

[/align:1nqqb3np]


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Tao
 Tao
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"david" wrote:
The danger of ceremonial magick (ie bhakti devotional explorations- my edit)  — the sublest and deepest danger — is this: that the magician will naturally tend to invoke that partial being which most strongly appeals to him, so that his natural excess in that direction will be still further exaggerated. Let him, before beginning his Work, endeavour to map out his own being, and arrange his invocations in such a way as to redress the balance.

Magick in Theory and Practice
CHAPTER I
THE PRINCIPLES OF RITUAL.

It's nice to see you finally citing correctly, david, but I'm going to have to confirm what M.Staley surmised: Bhakti yoga is most definitely not ceremonial magic.  Ceremonial invocation of deity has absolutely nothing to do with the mystical devotional practice.

Magic/Mysticism: One goal - two separate paths.


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Tao
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"Los" wrote:
"Crowley" wrote:
Concerning a notable danger of Success. It may occur that owing to the tremendous power of the Samadhi, overcoming all other memories as it should and does do, that the mind of the devotee may be obsessed, so that he declare his particular Deity to be sole God and Lord. This error has been the foundation of all dogmatic religions, and so the cause of more misery than all other errors combined.

The Philosophus is peculiarly liable to this because from the nature of the Method he cannot remain skeptical; he must for the time believe in his particular Deity. But let him (1) consider that this belief is only a weapon in his hands, (2) affirm sufficiently that his Deity is but an emanation or reflection or eidolon of a Being beyond him, as was said in Paragraph 2. For if he fail herein, since man cannot remain permanently in Samadhi, the memorized Image in his mind will be degraded, and replaced by the corresponding Demon, to his utter ruin.

Therefore, after Success, let him not delight overmuch in his Deity, but rather busy himself with his other work, not permitting that which is but a step to become a goal.

Emphasis added.

Also:

"Crowley" wrote:
Concerning the Holy Guardian Angel. Do thou in no wise confuse this invocation with that.

The practice of bhakti yoga, as presented in Liber Astarte, is a step on the path, not the goal.

I'm curious what your thoughts on this as a "Thelemic Practice" are, Los. As a practice, it requires one to completely let go of a reliance on scepticism while one is in the practice, only re-establishing the rationaliser once one has achieved success. In fact, success is likely not possible if one tries to hold on to some sort of objective mind in the practice. Further, if Crowley is to be believed, it is a practice that very easily goes wrong and creates the sort of religious automatons and/or fanatics that you've said are the result of all this mystical/magical gobbledigook thinking (I believe that was the wording) that has taken over the world. However, Crowley does very clearly note that this is an error, not a symptom of the practice itself.

Do you think there is value in unreservedly giving oneself over to the devotion of a deity for the purpose of achieving samhadi? Is that necessarily "Thelemic"? What makes it so? Do the potential benefits outweigh the potential dangers caused by error, or is the fear of error a justifiable reason to stay away from the practice?


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Anonymous
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"Michael Staley" wrote:
Have you ever done any bhakti work, david,

Not to the exact instructions in Liber Astarte, no but I cannot answer you with an outright no.  Crowley, as ever, introduces flexibility into his instructions (from ASTARTE vel Liber BERYLLI sub figura CLXXV);

Concerning the period of devotion, and the hours thereof. Let a fixed period be set for the worship; and it is said that the least time is nine days by seven, and the greatest seven years by nine. And concerning the hours, let the Ceremony be performed every day thrice, or at least once, and let the sleep of the Philosophus be broken for some purpose of devotion at least once in every night.
Now to some it may seem best to appoint fixed hours for the ceremony, to others it may seem that the ceremony should be performed as the spirit moves them so to do: for this there is no rule.

"Michael Staley" wrote:
To judge from a previous post of yours - when you asked a bhakti practitioner whether they had remained objective whilst pursuing their devotions - I would surmise that you haven't.

I am beginning to wonder if he is actually following the Liber Astarte instructions with regards to his devotions to Christ.  I got the impression he wasn't and is basically a Christian who has an interest in Thelema.  Are you saying that anyone who does bhakti work should actually believe, indefinitely  that these "gods" exist?

"Michael Staley" wrote:
I doubt that ceremonial magick and "bhakti devotional explorations" are identical, as you seem to suggest with your remark inserted into the quote by Crowley.

I could argue that they are both branches of "spiritual" atonement with an imagined deity.  As Shiva said,

"Shiva" wrote:
When one attains "success" in devotional endeavors, one becomes "one with" (the same as - in another word, dhyana or samadhi, or yoga = "union") the deity or the object of worship.

but if I was to nitpick then, technically speaking I hold my hands up they are not 100% identical.


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christibrany
(@christibrany)
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Indeed, bhakti is very easy compared to ceremonial magick.

When I was in university i was a bhakta of Kali for over a year.  And I focussed on her, and I gave her flowers and I meditated on her but mostly that was it but I was rewarded with the greatest insights and visions and indeed I had days where I felt like I was floating on air because I was united with her.  I had an experience of samadhi in an astral dream state where I was submerged in the Ocean of Milk, after praying to her, and my whole body was one big bliss machine.  So bhakti is extremely powerful.

Where it doesn't compare to ceremonial magick, is that it lacks discipline and it lacks focus, it is just Love 🙂 So both are equally useful in my opinion.  OK carry on!


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Anonymous
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edited

"christibrany" wrote:
Indeed, bhakti is very easy compared to ceremonial magick.

When I was in university i was a bhakta of Kali for over a year.  And I focussed on her, and I gave her flowers and I meditated on her but mostly that was it but I was rewarded with the greatest insights and visions and indeed I had days where I felt like I was floating on air because I was united with her.  I had an experience of samadhi in an astral dream state where I was submerged in the Ocean of Milk, after praying to her, and my whole body was one big bliss machine.  So bhakti is extremely powerful.

Where it doesn't compare to ceremonial magick, is that it lacks discipline and it lacks focus, it is just Love 🙂 So both are equally useful in my opinion.  OK carry on!

Nice. I like it!  Kali is apparently a terrible goddess.


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Anonymous
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"christibrany" wrote:
, I have good friends who have PTSD, and it took them years to be proud of themselves again in some cases, but I still think they would agree with what I have said.

In regards to Liber AL I find the mentions to war and soldiers absolutely literally applicable.  In other words, I think that Thelema is a practise that wants to make kings of men, and men of boys.  It shows that we do not live in a hum drum flighty world, but that we have to adapt and be tough , and not afraid to assert ourselves, and use force and fire when necessary. 

A true 'king' knows when force is necessary and uses it only in appropriate situations. 

I hope I answered your questions sufficiently.

By the way thanks for this, very interesting. 

"Los" wrote:
He did, but not explicitly in the passage you cite. A place where Crowley explicitly discusses the dangers is in Liber Astarte (his instruction in Bhakti yoga):

Thanks for those quotes.


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christibrany
(@christibrany)
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Well she is 'terrible' in her aspect of fearsomeness but she makes a wonderful object of worship and a wonderful friend and consort. I am glad I found a woman that reminds me of her in some ways because the reason I like Kali is she cleaves ego, she provides challenge, and removes bullshit.  She makes you stand up to fearsomeness and appreciate it. 
I did one of the most powerful Kali mantras from Sri Ramakrishna's works which is said to bring extreme action extremely quickly in removing the ego and indeed, afterwards many things fell apart. But that is what I wanted, to strip things to their essences so I could see/use/build with them.  However on the emotional side it was not easy.
Ok rambling. 🙂
I reccomend the Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna.  It fell on my head literally in the library one day and led me to Kali, and she led me to Daoism and Daoism led me to Grant and Grant led me to Crowley and here I am.


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Azidonis
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Tantra

Bhakti


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Los
 Los
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Topic starter  
"Yeheshuah" wrote:
Correct me if I am wrong here, David and Los, but I think what is of primary concern to you both is the apparent loss of objectivity.

I can't speak for David, but I'm not really "concerned" about this or anything else, really. Mostly, I'm unsure of what you're talking about a lot of the time because you refuse to be clear.

On the point of "objectivity," it is obviously a condition of the practice of bhakti that you suspend skepticism for a period of time (or at least during your devotions). In a similar way, practicing a magical invocation requires the practitioner to suspend skepticism temporarily. The practice is not going to work if you don't throw yourself into it with your whole heart and stop questioning. The skepticism stuff comes before and after, when analyzing the practice and when trying to discuss the practice in a meaningful way. 

I have no grounds for attributing objective validity to the doctrines I hold on faith.

So what, exactly, does it mean to "hold" a doctrine but not attribute "objective validity" to it? I'm not sure what in blazes you're talking about. Can you illustrate with an example?

Just so we're perfectly clear: I have severe doubts about the clarity of thought you've put into your practice, and I am strongly of the opinion that you can't explain what you're talking about. Further, I think you've developed a B.S. pseudo-philosophical framework that tries to sidestep the need to explain your ideas -- a framework that, in fact, makes a virtue out of being unable to explain your ideas ("It's multi-valued logic, you see! If I start with the axiom that something can be both true and false, my beliefs can be both! What do I specifically mean when I say that a particular belief is both true and false? Uh...look over there, a decoy!")

Further, I say that there's no nutty (and even dangerous) idea that can't be "held" by someone adopting your framework, and that shows that your framework is useless.

Prove me wrong.

Los has wondered before why I would go on calling myself a Christian if I think in the ways outlined above and in previous posts.  What is necessary to point out here is the great diversity of Christian traditions.  Some have suggested that there is a kernel of teaching that defines Christianity, namely that Jesus as the Son of God was punished for our sins so that we do not have to be.  That is actually a mishmash of several different traditions, all of which have alternatives in Christian history.  What people really object to, I think, is the Plymouth Brethren and their relatives.  I am not one of them, to be sure.  But I am committed to the wisdom of the Christian traditions, where I find it, as I am to the wisdom of Thelema.

No, I don't object simply to the Plymouth Brethren, nor do I object simply to fundamentalist Christian literalists.

I object to specific beliefs and specific implementations of beliefs, and it's hard for me to say if I object to your brand of (whatever it is that you call) "Christianity" because you refuse to be clear about what you actually believe. In fact, you make an absolute virtue out of not being clear ("Why,  my beliefs are just like the realm beyond the Abyss, you see....").

I'm really not sure how many times I'm going to keep going around in circles with you. If you'd like, you can feel free to name a specific thing that you actually think is true, and we can discuss it. Otherwise, it's been nice talking to you.


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Los
 Los
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Topic starter  

I just noticed this post, which I had missed, so I'll answer it.

"Yeheshuah" wrote:
Logic (and its daughter mathematics) is not an a priori venture in the way that you seem to think it is.  Many logics can be cooked up, but only some will accord with the way reality is, if any do so at all.  There is no a priori reason why logic or math ought to capture the way reality works, not that I am aware of anyway.

This is an entirely separate discussion, but suffice it to say that I agree that "Many logics can be cooked up," but that each of those logics will be what it is and will not be what it is not.

You can't argue against the classical laws of logic because you have to invoke them to argue against them. You might as well use words to argue against using words.

As for experience being prior to interpretation, I object. ... There is no clear line between interpretation and experience.

If you're using "interpretation" broadly enough, then maybe you could argue that, but from the context, I'm clearly talking about "interpretations" like "What I just saw was X." The interpretation is extra and can be more or less accurate.

For example, I've seen a man put a sheet over an elephant and then pull the sheet away and the elephant was gone. Wouldn't you agree that "A man just made an elephant disappear into thin air by means of supernatural powers!" and "A man just did an impressive illusion/trick!" are both interpretations of that experience?

Wouldn't you also agree that one of those interpretations is closer to the actual truth of the matter?

The Muslim example is interesting but still a priori.  That is, we need to interview a jihadi.

No, we don't need to interview anyone. It doesn't matter whether there actually are any living people like the one I was suggesting: the point I was illustrating was that your line of argument could be used by someone to justify incorrect and dangerous beliefs. Whether anyone currently does this is an irrelevant point.

Again, imagine a Muslim who argues exactly in the way that you do that he holds beliefs that have a special quality that means that they cannot be evaluated in the way that we evaluate other claims. And one of these beliefs is that you -- and I mean you, the poster who goes by the name Yeheshuah -- are evil and should be violently attacked.

My point is that since your line of argument could be used to justify incorrect and dangerous beliefs -- and since your line of argument provides no mechanism for distinguishing your beliefs from the beliefs of our hypothetical Muslim -- something is deeply flawed with your line of argument. Whether or not there actually are any Muslims who use your line of argument is irrelevant because I'm making an argument against your line of argument, not specifically against Muslims (which is why I used the ridiculous example of the Flying Spaghetti Monster to begin with).


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Los
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Topic starter  
"christibrany" wrote:
I reccomend the Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna.  It fell on my head literally in the library one day and led me to Kali, and she led me to Daoism and Daoism led me to Grant and Grant led me to Crowley and here I am.

So we have Ramakrishna to blame?


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

Los,

You wrote that: "You can't argue against the classical laws of logic because you have to invoke them to argue against them. You might as well use words to argue against using words."  This is entirely false.  To begin, as we both seem to agree, such many-valued logics can be concocted.  Once they are formulated, it is just a matter of seeing how they can be applied.  For instance, some logics take a more epistemological approach, having values True, False and Indeterminate.  That is, the values which that particular many-valued logic point to are all understood in reference to proof.  So such a logic has an obvious application to making points under a lack of certainty.  Quantum logic is a many-valued logic that has an ontological twist to it.  But you don't want to discuss such things as they are too technical.  Problematically, you seem to want to dive into logic without any clear technical knowledge.  The two-valued logic you want to use is what they teach undergraduates, which is fine and good, but hardly equips you to pass judgment on the solidity of my points, especially since you are operating in the dark about the metalogic involved.

As to being unclear, I backed off of articulating my faith in favor of talking more specifically about my practice.  In large part, I did so because we do not share a common framework for understanding.  Lack of understanding is what underlies our conversation.  Appreciating both a two-valued logic and a many-valued logic allows me to engage you where possible and without frustration.  We can converse without converting the other.

Finally, on subjective and objective validity, these are technical philosophical terms.  If you want to know more, I suggest Kant, since he is the father of the concepts.  And as an aside, familiarity with Kant's concepts will help you to understand how it is not possible for the Jihadi to claim justification for a murderous rampage.

Yeheshuah

Love is the law, love under will.


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Los
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"Yeheshuah" wrote:
For instance, some logics take a more epistemological approach, having values True, False and Indeterminate.  That is, the values which that particular many-valued logic point to are all understood in reference to proof.

But even in this example, a statement is either true or not-true. False claims can be filed under the not-true category, and so can "indeterminate" claims (along with paradox, internal contradiction, nonsense statements, etc.).

I'm perfectly willing to accept that there are claims whose truth value is currently unknown. I'm even willing to accept that there are claims whose truth value could never be known (though I'm not totally sure how you'd demonstrate in many cases that the truth value could never be known). None of this changes the fact that every statement is either true or not-true.

The two-valued logic you want to use is what they teach undergraduates, which is fine and good, but hardly equips you to pass judgment on the solidity of my points, especially since you are operating in the dark about the metalogic involved.

I'm sorry, I don't think I've been clear enough. I'll try to be more direct: I think your "points," such as they are, are complete bullshit, and your yammering about "multi-valued logics" is a bunch of ridiculous hand-waving that you're doing to try to excuse your bullshit by means of special pleading. Any religionist could do the same thing with any beliefs, including very dangerous beliefs.

Essentially, what you're saying is, "Here's a handful of claims that I arbitrarily declare cannot be evaluated in the way that every other claim can be evaluated. As a result, I don't have to justify these claims with anything more than my say-so." That is not a pathway to any kind of truth, and it's kind of sad how empty it is.

We can converse without converting the other.

Of course we can. I'm not trying to "convert" you. I don't give a flying fig about convincing you. I'm asking you why you think you're correct. If your best answer is, "I randomly declare myself correct because I can construct an axiomatic system that says I don't need to demonstrate that I'm correct," then good for you, I guess, but most reasonable people are going to find that more than a little daft.

But again, I'm very willing to have a conversation about *specific* beliefs. Name something that you actually think is true, and let's discuss it.


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jamie barter
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"david" wrote:
"Michael Staley" wrote:
Have you ever done any bhakti work, david,

Not to the exact instructions in Liber Astarte, no but I cannot answer you with an outright no.  Crowley, as ever, introduces flexibility into his instructions (from ASTARTE vel Liber BERYLLI sub figura CLXXV);

Concerning the period of devotion, and the hours thereof. Let a fixed period be set for the worship; and it is said that the least time is nine days by seven, and the greatest seven years by nine. And concerning the hours, let the Ceremony be performed every day thrice, or at least once, and let the sleep of the Philosophus be broken for some purpose of devotion at least once in every night.
Now to some it may seem best to appoint fixed hours for the ceremony, to others it may seem that the ceremony should be performed as the spirit moves them so to do: for this there is no rule.

And of course, do not forget that “there is no rule” to the former either:  A.C. is formulating the time periods as a suggestion, not as a hard and fast rule.  That is only for slaves, of course david.

"christibrany" wrote:
I reccomend the Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna.  It fell on my head literally in the library one day and led me to Kali, and she led me to Daoism and Daoism led me to Grant and Grant led me to Crowley and here I am.

A most unusual route there chris.  Most people come to Grant through Aleister rather than the other way around.  Like you, I too am a greatly enamoured devotee of Kali (although stopping just short of being a thuggee) but I would be interested to know though how the terrible goddess might have led you to the tao ?

"Los" wrote:
But again, I'm very willing to have a conversation about *specific* beliefs. Name something that you actually think is true, and let's discuss it.

Of course, if you have ploughed through this thread you will already know just how far Los would be prepared to go to be “very willing to have a conversation” and “discuss it” – on his terms, etc etc. (see Reply #111 for just one example.)

He appears to have pretty much made up his mind about you already though, Y:

"Los" wrote:
I think your "points," such as they are, are complete bullshit, and your yammering about "multi-valued logics" is a bunch of ridiculous hand-waving that you're doing to try to excuse your bullshit by means of special pleading. [...]

I would be delighted to see you (or someone else) give his arguments what-for.  As can be seen in the history of this thread alone he is plainly too chicken to debate my own points but it is fairly easy for someone else to follow my arguments and ask him the same points again until he either deigns to answer them or else looks (even more) ridiculous.

N Joy


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Yeheshuah
(@yeheshuah)
Member
Joined: 7 years ago
Posts: 92
 

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

Los,

Again, you are factually incorrect about logic.  Reducing a many-valued logic such as the one that I described to a two-valued system loses information, specifically the information about what propositions are indeterminate rather than false or true.  It would seem that your objections, to my points about logic and the content of faith, come to this: your inability to understand what you have not studied is equivalent to meaninglessness.

Shall we fight as brothers or go on screaming like frightened girls?

Yeheshuah

Love is the law, love under will.


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