Thelemic Practice
 
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Shiva
(@shiva)
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"christibrany" wrote:
I am still curious about your sources about Cornelius; can you share these case studies please?

 
"ON FAILURE. Tragically, as Crowley himself has stated, seven or eight out of every ten A.’.A.’. students fail on the path and the majority fail in Netzach. But what happens to those who fail? Rarely do they ever self-reflect in an attempt to realign themselves on the Tree but often they seek out kindred souls who’ll agree with them in order to stroke their egos. Oh, if only this wasn’t true but the Gods play a mean game of chess with the fallen. Some of you may not remember Robert Flores. He is a tragic case from about six or seven years ago. At the time he admitted publically, and tragically, that he took the ‘wrong’ Oath of the Abyss while in Netzach, to get beyond his father’s reach who called him on his magickal bullshit, and he then melted down, wrote insane emails from a pit of Because and resigned from the A.’.A.’. in writing ... anyway, recently on March 18th he posted on his Facebook page – “I wrote this about 2 years ago to a friend and thought it would be a good time to re-share it with others.” Of course the ‘others’ becomes apparent by who ‘Likes’ his old post, this being Ricardo Flores who also melted down in Netzach. Another bad chess move on Ricardo’s part but I guess it’s true what they say about like minds being attracted to each other."

"ON THE PHILOSOPHUS: Besides the ordeals presented to a Philosophus through the teachings of A.'.A.'. an Adept must also have a working understanding of the seventh Sephiroth on Otz Chiim (עץ החיים) or Tree of Life which is known as Netzach (נצח). It is here where his greatest Ordeals await. Netzach refers to the fire Chakra known as the Manipura (मणिपूर). It is associated not only with digestion but with ‘Inner Sight’ (The Emperor). Herein lays the danger. ... Within the p...hysical body, problems with the Manipura due to either fear or stressful situations can easily manifest as digestive problems, abdominal pain or diarrhoea. ... On another level, the Tantras warn us that our intuition, feelings of being ‘right’, and gut-feelings in general, which originate naturally through the Manipura, can easily become distorted by strong and ‘irrational’ emotions which are out of control. The fiery nature of this Chakra can easily lead to impaired judgment based upon a more mundane, rational, intellectual point-of-view which often lacks a complete and clear vision of an inner situation. Adepts who are failing in Netzach, due to a damaged Manipura, are often unable to think clearly or express their thoughts and feelings effectively. ... In no other sphere is the phrase “By their Words you shall know them” more obvious. ... Every Adept who crashes and burns can trace their failure back to a single flaw which is found in the Manipura Chakra – clarity of inner thought. This is a great disadvantage with the ‘Fire’ in the Manipūra Chakra in that it burns up the Essence of our Jing (精) indiscriminately. Jing is believed to be pure ‘Power and Potentiality’ but this is not power in the normal sense of the word but rather in its similarities to the nature of The Fool. Jing is the very thing which is capable of slowing down the aging process, preserving our health and our youthfulness and especially our mental faculties which easily becomes wasted and destroyed before this ‘Elixir of Life’ can be utilised and transformed properly into Qi; which then radiates like Prana throughout our body. A good magician knows how to right this wrong before it’s too late; a bad magician digs their feet in and argues from a pit of Because and has their Jing consumed by the Fire."

Just because me no gwine do a social media

Well, I don't like those places either, but I think you can go to Facebook without signing up and see these (^) quotes and more at:
https://www.facebook.com/jerry.e.cornelius

My other "source," as I said is myself. My observations show me that it's sphere #7 that gets "most" of the quitters.


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Los
 Los
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"christibrany" wrote:
Call me stupid

Okay, stupid.

Sorry, I couldn't resist that one. 

it seems like they are both saying 'MY EXPERIENCE IS LIKE THIS AND THIS IS WHY IT IS RIGHT AND WHY I THINK IT.'

If that's seriously what you're getting from our posts, then I'm not sure what thread you're reading.


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Los
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"david" wrote:
are you using bhakti devotion to Jesus as a preliminary tool to find your HGA

For what it's worth, Crowley is pretty direct in Liber Astarte about the reason the practice is assigned:

"Crowley" wrote:
Further concerning the value of this Method. Certain objections arise. Firstly, in the nature of all human love is illusion, and a certain blindness. Nor is there any true love below the Veil of the Abyss. For this reason we give this method to the Philosophus, as the reflection of the Exempt Adept, who reflects the Magister Templi and the Magus. Let then the Philosophus attain this Method as a foundation of the higher Methods to be given to him when he attains those higher grades.
Another objection lies in the partiality of this Method. This is equally a defect characteristic of the Grade.

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

David, Shiva, Los, Chris, et al.,

There are some great questions out there, so let me address a few.  As I noted in an earlier post I don't like to talk in terms of the True Will, but sometimes it seems we must do so, I suppose.  I pursue what I have characterized as authenticity.  As Los noted, this concept has existentialist roots, but clear Thelemic applications. 

As to how I square my devotion to Jesus with pursuit of the HGA, it is, in part, as you suggested, David, that I see the Holy Trinity as the divine, or call it an expression of the divine.  Now I do not take Jesus as my HGA.  I have not yet attained to that experience.  So I am admittedly a bit lost in this territory.  Not that I am not in pursuit of the HGA.  I am a wanderer, in search of the HGA, which, my limited understanding suggests, is a deeply personal revelation of the divine that indwells me. 

David, I do accept that we have begun a move into a new aeon, but I don't see aeons as intrinsic features of time or a time period.  Thelema is hardly taking the world by storm, is another way of making the same point.  We have work to do.  Prophets to be.  Words to utter.  Practices to work.

So how does that relate to the obsolescence of the old Aeon and the pecking out of the eyes of Jesus? My reading of The Law is for All is that the vision of Jesus, taken as a symbol of the dominant version of Christianity at the time Crowley was writing, must be destroyed.  I am in.  That is why I mine Christian traditions for alternatives to the dominant strains.  It seems to me that if we poke around enough in many, if not most, religions, we will find elements that can be made use of in most any aeon.  (I seem to recall Crowley pointing something out along those lines in the Little Essays, but let me take a look.)

I have been thinking about Shiva's proposal that we have a case of one person working from Hod, another from Netzach.  My hope is to use both fully.  That is why I make distinctions between objective and subjective validity, for instance.  I try to recognize the realms where the imagination reigns supreme, and resist Reason's (Urizen's) attempt to demand Imagination (Los) conform.  I also try to recall that reason reigns supreme in the realm of objectivity, and so I recognize fully that the historical case for Jesus is pretty weak, to be understated.

I hope that adds some clarity.

Yeheshuah

Love is the law, love under will.


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christibrany
(@christibrany)
Yuggothian
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"Los" wrote:
"christibrany" wrote:
Call me stupid

Okay, stupid.

Sorry, I couldn't resist that one. 

it seems like they are both saying 'MY EXPERIENCE IS LIKE THIS AND THIS IS WHY IT IS RIGHT AND WHY I THINK IT.'

If that's seriously what you're getting from our posts, then I'm not sure what thread you're reading.

I'm glad you think of yourself so highly, because you really do seem that dense to most of us.  Not because of any lack of intellect, but because of a lack of flexibility and a lack of being humble. 

And furthermore, to play your own game about nit-picking specifics and never straying from the same statement over and over;  do you ever admit that you are wrong?  It doesn't seem that way.  Just an elaboration on point one (learning to admit fault and being humble) hence I have no problem being called stupid, because none of it means anything.  But I am sure instead of showing some human compassion and or fallibility, you are probably just going to say something nasty again. 
That's why I don't mind making observations bluntly, because I have no points to defend.


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Los
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"Yeheshuah" wrote:
I make distinctions between objective and subjective validity [...] reason reigns supreme in the realm of objectivity, and so I recognize fully that the historical case for Jesus is pretty weak, to be understated.

So, to go back to what I was saying the other day, if all you're claiming is that you've had a deep inner experience and you've decided to call this experience "Jesus rose from the dead," I have no problem with that (aside from the fact that I think putting that label on it is deeply misleading). I accept that you've had inner experiences that are important to you and that the symbols of Christianity are convenient, for you, to label these experiences. That's all you had to say, and I would have been in large part in agreement.


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Los
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"christibrany" wrote:
do you ever admit that you are wrong?

When I'm wrong, I do. There have been a few times on these forums when I've pointed out that I was factually incorrect on some point or another.

Is the implication that you think I was factually incorrect somewhere on this thread? If so, I'd be interested in seeing you back up that implication with a specific quote.

Or is the implication that you think that a person saying, "I'm wrong!" -- even when he's not wrong -- is somehow noble? If so, I think you have very weird ideas.

instead of showing some human compassion

I say this in all sincerity and kindness: you wouldn't know compassion if it made you look like a fool on a web forum. All joking aside, if you meditate on those words, you might find some interesting insights that will aid you in your journey.


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Tao
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"Los" wrote:
if all you're claiming is that you've had a deep inner experience and you've decided to call this experience "Jesus rose from the dead," I have no problem with that (aside from the fact that I think putting that label on it is deeply misleading).

For the love of sanity, can someone please show me where in this thread Yeheshua claimed that Jesus rose from the dead? Can someone show me where he labeled anything misleadingly? I realize that Los has decided to ignore my questions for whatever reason but I would greatly appreciate it if somebody could point out what I'm missing here. I've searched back to the beginning and I find nothing that fits Los's description anywhere in Yeheshua's writing. From everything I've read, Yeheshua has been extremely careful not to make any claims, attempting rather to share the experience of his practice. Did I miss something?


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

Los,

As Tao has observed I have made efforts to remain close to my experience.  That experience is contradictory.  I realize you want me to categorize things differently.  Beliefs can spring from different sources but overlap in content.  It would be easier to talk if we could develop an alternative logic together, and then categorize the contradictions into meaningful and non-meaningful categories, among other possibilities.  That would require much more sophisticated work on meaning, which could prove interesting.

Yeheshuah

Love is the law, love under will.


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Azidonis
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"Tao" wrote:

"Los" wrote:
if all you're claiming is that you've had a deep inner experience and you've decided to call this experience "Jesus rose from the dead," I have no problem with that (aside from the fact that I think putting that label on it is deeply misleading).

For the love of sanity, can someone please show me where in this thread Yeheshua claimed that Jesus rose from the dead? Can someone show me where he labeled anything misleadingly?

Pretty sure he didn't do either.


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Michael Staley
(@michael-staley)
MANIO - it's all in the egg
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"Tao" wrote:

"Los" wrote:
if all you're claiming is that you've had a deep inner experience and you've decided to call this experience "Jesus rose from the dead," I have no problem with that (aside from the fact that I think putting that label on it is deeply misleading).

For the love of sanity, can someone please show me where in this thread Yeheshua claimed that Jesus rose from the dead? Can someone show me where he labeled anything misleadingly? I realize that Los has decided to ignore my questions for whatever reason but I would greatly appreciate it if somebody could point out what I'm missing here. I've searched back to the beginning and I find nothing that fits Los's description anywhere in Yeheshua's writing. From everything I've read, Yeheshua has been extremely careful not to make any claims, attempting rather to share the experience of his practice. Did I miss something?

Hopefully, Los can come up with a quote to demonstrate that he wasn't putting words in Yeheshuah's mouth; if that's not the case, then doubtless he'll apologise.


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Shiva
(@shiva)
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"Tao" wrote:
For the love of sanity ...

Who is sanity? Is he/she some entity that I can bhakti?

... can someone please show me where in this thread Yeheshua claimed that Jesus rose from the dead?

I'm not going to re-read the thread, in order to protect my sanitary, But I rember where Y.'. said that he told his kid that dead people don't get up from death. I think that was some sort of answer to "Did Jesus Rise?" but at the time it seemed a slightly oblique response ... because "we" want to know what Y.'. believes, not what he told his child.

I would greatly appreciate it if somebody could point out what I'm missing here.

You are missing many (maybe a hundred) threads where this same thing happens, usually with some of the current and "usual" suspects involved. It's all a bunch of "below-the-abyss" Choronzon (choron = "head" / zone* = "zone" or "area") dialoging. It's called an arguement, and other terms. It gets lost in name-calling and other things that are hard to pin down. Each side has definite concepts that could be viwed as "sane," but when they clash, it's like Palestine and Israel. You're really not missing anything, you're simple getting involved in the drama, and as one of the 42 judges, you have to wait until somebody staggers and falls down; then you can cast your vote 😉

PS: Do as I say, not do as I do 😀

*zone = "an area or stretch of land having a particular characteristic, purpose, or use, or subject to particular restrictions."


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jamie barter
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It’s amazing just how much can go on in the easter break when one goes away for a few days.  I would like to nominate Reply #269 by Azidonis as the single funniest post on this thread so far which had me chortling merrily away, and for that perceptive & perfect digest I thank him!

Reply #269 by Azidonis on: April 05, 2015, 0532 pm:

Quote from: Los on April 05, 2015, 0502 am:
“You haven’t even explained your position.”

Quote from: Shiva on April 05, 2015, 0306 pm:
"Agreed. I am unable to determine what is being debated.
Not that I even count. I'm just a spectator."

Pretty sure it started on page 14. The actual logic discussion was interwoven with religious theories, bhakti, and (of course) the Abyss (lol).

So now Los is playing his "religious gobbledy -gook" card, and Yeheshuah is telling Los his logic doesn't meet up with traditional logic, that it basically isn't logical.

And now, Yeheshuah is refusing to explain his "religious gobbledy-gook" (even though he already somewhat has), until Los explains how his, "You are talking to me now" logic is valid enough for Yeheshuah to waste (yes, waste) the effort.

Meanwhile, Los is refusing to explain his "You are talking to me now" logic, until Yeheshuah explains his "religious gobbldey-gook".

Yeheshuah did get Los to use profanity though. I remember when Los and I used to play like that. How cute.

Enjoy the next 6 pages of the "No you explain yourself", "No, you first [expletive]" pissing match.

Another six?  Help, there’s only been four already! 😮

Reply #268 by christibrany on: April 05, 2015, 0500 pm:

Quote from: jamie barter on April 04, 2015, 0114 pm:
"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 ?"

Quote from: christibrany on April 04, 2015, 1235 am:
“I recommend 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.”

Hiya- I was at university at the time and taking Daoism courses and a friend in one invited me to his qi-gong class and that's how that started.  But I feel the energy of the bhakti was transformative in making me more open and interested in furthering my spiritual studies in all directions.

Thanks chris, though your answer was slightly tenuous and didn’t really go into what had made the exact transition for you.  Was it maybe your friend in the qi-gong class who was into Kali and then recommended her to your attention?  Or maybe you found a discarded magazine article left behind in the locker room at the class which mentioned her by name in an article about comparative religions – that was the sort of firmer connection I had in mind. 🙂

"Shiva" wrote:
[...] [A]s one of the 42 judges, you have to wait until somebody staggers and falls down; then you can cast your vote 😉

I’m confused.  Are these 42 judges meant to be seen the same as (some or all of the members of) the cabal which you labelled "the Octagon" or “the Nonagon” previously?  I think we should be told.

Aside from logic and Christ-ian eschatology, I wonder if there’s any chance getting back to the subject of recognisably Thelemic Practices – yes, I know it’s funny, me being a prime thread diverter calling for a return to topic, but specifically from my end, I’m asking why Los thinks any old bit of household furniture will do as a substitution for the daily adoration of the Sun, what he (and therefore by extension david) means by the activity of the Khu, and what his magickal signature is supposed to mean?  His absence of any answer appears to indicate he is unable to justify his thinking on the subject, which I think is a great pity 🙁 as he is a jolly splendid chap and has a fine mind when capable of using it properly.

Said he, using maximum charm and politesse:
;D N Joy


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Shiva
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"jamie barter" wrote:
I’m confused.  Are these 42 judges meant to be seen the same as (some or all of the members of) the cabal which you labelled "the Octagon"

They are found in the upper row of the Papyrus of Ani (Hall of Ma'at - Judgement scene) and they're making sure that Thoth correctly writes down the "number" on the Scales of Justice. The Hall of Ma'at is a form of the Octagon (the arena, not the 8 gods). The 42 Judges is a metaphor for the sum total of viewers who are watching this contest. "Posters," on the other hand, are the little Annubi-dogs who are leading, weghing, and holding the leash of Ammit-Los, who is trying to devour Y.'.-Jesus-Ani. Other Annubi are yelling, "Let him loose!" (the Ammit-Los).

[/align:1ib5pqmt]

... I think we should be told.

A pic is worth a million words. Consider yourself ("we") told. The 42 Judges are silent. If any of them make a post, they've descended into temporal-temporary Anubis status, like angels who appear before men.

I’m asking why Los thinks any old bit of household furniture will do as a substitution for the daily adoration of the Sun ...

Los asked about Y.'.'s claim that Jesus rose from the dead state. But, apparently, Y.'. made no such claim, nor claimed such belief.

Y.'. could stop all this by answering yes or no or saying, "I made no such claim." Instead, he says ~A=b+c/{x-y) = "Explain your logic!"

Los could stop all this by asking, "Do you believe Jesus rose?" without referring to a "claim" that apparently was not made.


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Los
 Los
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"Michael Staley" wrote:
Hopefully, Los can come up with a quote to demonstrate that he wasn't putting words in Yeheshuah's mouth [i.e. to demonstrate that he said that Jesus rose from the dead]; if that's not the case, then doubtless he'll apologise.

If you're asking me, I'll be glad to provide such a demonstration for you, Michael.

While Yeheshuah has been slippery about explicitly stating his beliefs -- a point on which I have criticized him -- he made it clear earlier in the thread that while people do not, statistically, rise from the dead, Yeheshuah is among those who "believe otherwise" in the case of Jesus and that Yeheshuah has "faith in the resurrection."

As far as I can tell, the first time he mentioned this belief was in this quotation:

"Yeheshuah" wrote:
When my daughter asked me about Jesus' crucifixion and the Easter story, my response has been to tell her that people do not come back from the dead, a statistical fact, but that many of us believe otherwise in the case of Jesus

Notice the phrase many of us who believe otherwise (in the case of Jesus) than the fact that people do not "come back from the dead." The strong implication -- justifiably inferred from the context -- is that Yeheshuah is one of the "us" who believes that Jesus actually did come back.

A little later, Yeheshuah explicitly states that he has faith in the resurrection:

"Yeheshuah" wrote:
When I say that I have faith in the resurrection, it is not that I only hope for a resurrection

He goes on from here to say that he's also not sure that the resurrection happened and that the resurrection is a special kind of claim that is "different in character" from other kinds of claims about the universe. It was at this point that I began questioning him as to exactly what he means by his "faith in the resurrection" and his belief that Jesus' case was "otherwise" than the fact that people don't rise from the dead. I asked him exactly how this claim was "different in character," and, basically, to explain himself.

Much of the rest of the thread is the result of Yeheshuah refusing to clarify his claims about the resurrection and that the case of Jesus is "otherwise" than the fact that people don't return from the dead. I characterized his position as claiming that Jesus rose from the dead, which I think is very fair, given what Yeheshuah actually said and also given that he never once objected to my saying that he was claiming Jesus rose from the dead.

If he'd like to clarify matters and make it very clear that he is in no way saying that Jesus rose from the dead, then I'd be glad to have that clarified, even though the clarification is coming quite late.

Thanks for your question, Michael. I'm always glad to stand behind things that I say. By the way, I'm happy to see that you're finally posting something other than a juvenile snide comment. You've actually graduated to trying to show me up. Keep reaching for that rainbow!


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Los
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"Yeheshuah" wrote:
I have made efforts to remain close to my experience.  That experience is contradictory.

I'm not sure that an experience itself can be "contradictory." A contradiction is when two propositions conflict. Now, you might have an experience that can only be conveyed in contradictory (or seemingly contradictory) terms. But an experience is just an experience.

Part of the problem that we're having is that you refuse to answer direct questions. In my earlier post  I said the following:

"Los" wrote:
if all you're claiming is that you've had a deep inner experience and you've decided to call this experience "Jesus rose from the dead," I have no problem with that (aside from the fact that I think putting that label on it is deeply misleading).

So can you address this? Is what you're saying, in fact, that you've had a deep, inner, subjective experience, and "the resurrection" is no more than a label you've put on your inner experience? A yes or a no will suffice here. If your answer is no, however, more elaboration will be necessary to explain what it is, in fact, that you're saying.

I realize you want me to categorize things differently.

I'm happy to have you categorize things however you want but then explain how and why you're categorizing them in that way. Apparently, you think the "resurrection" belongs in some special category. What is this category? What qualifies the "resurrection" to fall into this category (and not a claim like "The poster Yeheshuah is an evil infidel who should be attacked")?

The floor is all yours.


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

Shiva, Tao, Los, all,

It was probably a false hope that Lashtal’s admonition would restore us to sanity.  I seek truth in beauty, as, I believe, so do many of you, so let me try to do so here.  My hope is to make clear my position so that we can move away from an ugly spectacle and toward understanding.

Let us begin with a simple three-valued logic of true-false-indeterminate.  In this system, what is not classified under the three-valued semantics will be termed meaningless.  (This is just to get us started, not to argue for a particular view of meaning.)  This is not, by the way, the logic someone with faith would adopt, but it is the clearest way forward.

The case against the resurrection I think is fairly clear in most of our minds.  Lack of documentary evidence outside of communities with investment in a particular conclusion, lack of any reports from the time period to corroborate claims, multiple Jesus-like figures from the time and prior, pervasiveness of miracle stories in human cultures that lack any factual backing, and on and on.  With all of this evidence in place, the Jesus story can be said with objective validity, that is with a strength that holds good for all rational minds, to be fallacious.  In what way it is fallacious is not exactly clear: maybe Jesus is mythical, maybe he died.  But he did not rise from the dead.

Bhakti practice with Jesus taken as the object of devotion, however, brings about self-transformational experiences that convince me of the efficacy of belief in a risen Jesus.  As I have noted before, similar experiences with appropriately transformed content would almost certainly have been obtained had I chosen a Sufi path or dedicated myself to Kali.  There are enough testimonies of the transformative powers of dedication to various gods, I believe, to ground a kind of modified henotheism, wherein some one god is seen as the ultimate expression of the divine while at the same time recognizing the validity of multiple other expressions of the same divine principle.  (This should not be taken as a metaphysical claim about the ontological status of the divine.)  That efficacy is enough to create within me a subjective experience of conviction with regard to belief in a risen Jesus.  Realizing that such an experience seems to be the product of a rather arbitrary choice regarding symbolic systems, I am able to retain my objectivity with regard to that belief.  That is, the claim that Jesus is risen arises within me as a subjective response to a practice couched in particular symbols. 

The difficulty comes in at this point: objectivity seems to have no power to control the subjective.  The conviction remains.  My continued experiences of an overwhelming peace, for instance, although clearly able to be distinguished from the Jesus-framework, are married to that framework in a sort of bootstrapping sense: the deeper I enter into the practice and the belief system, the more efficacious the practice seems to become.  That is, I have no evidence with regard to the ontological status of Jesus, only the evidence of my own practice.  But the practice generates a demand for belief.  Thus I am pushed psychologically toward holding the whole thing in a state of indeterminacy, from an objective point of view.  That is, there seems to be something objective at work insofar as the practice produces results.  (From a subjective point of view, it is easy enough to give oneself over to the demands of the practice as love draws one in.)

Why is the appeal to indeterminacy so important? Because, in part, it is a means of recognizing what is inherent to bhakti practice.  If one has entered into a real relationship with the divine wherein something of the divine is revealed in love, then the real content of that relationship will be held only subjectively.  Approaching the matter from only an objective point of view loses content. 

For fear of saying too much and not enough, I will stop here and hope that some of this is sensical.

Yeheshuah

Love is the law, love under will.


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Los
 Los
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Yeheshuah,

That's a lot clearer than you've been so far. I've actually got something to respond to, and now that I have some context for your thinking, I'll be able to better explain my approach to logic in relation to yours.

"Yeheshuah" wrote:
Let us begin with a simple three-valued logic of true-false-indeterminate.  In this system, what is not classified under the three-valued semantics will be termed meaningless.  (This is just to get us started, not to argue for a particular view of meaning.)  This is not, by the way, the logic someone with faith would adopt, but it is the clearest way forward.

Okay, sure. I have no problem with using three categories to classify the truth value of claims. I tend to approach claims a little bit differently, though: when I'm evaluating claims I tend less to classify them by truth value than to determine whether I have sufficient reason and evidence to accept them as true.

Either there's currently sufficient reason and evidence to accept a claim as true or there's not. If there's not, then I simply don't accept the claim, and I don't bother trying to classify it anywhere. For example, let's say that you present me with a jar filled with gumballs and say, "I believe that there is an even number of gumballs in this jar!" I would not accept your claim because I don't have enough evidence to think it's true. And that's as far as I would go, probably. Maybe your claim is true, maybe it's false, maybe it can't be determined...but whatever the case may be, I don't believe it right now because I don't have enough evidence.

The claim "There is an odd number of gumballs in the jar" is a separate claim, and I would also not accept that claim for the same reason: not enough evidence.

The case against the resurrection I think is fairly clear in most of our minds. [...] the Jesus story can be said with objective validity, that is with a strength that holds good for all rational minds, to be fallacious.  In what way it is fallacious is not exactly clear: maybe Jesus is mythical, maybe he died.  But he did not rise from the dead.

Consistent with what I said above, my approach tends to be that there is not enough evidence for me to believe that Jesus was a real person.

Whether I can "prove" that the Jesus story is "false" is a different question. The way I would approach this would be to consider this as an entirely separate claim, in the same way that "There is an odd number of gumballs" is a separate claim. In other words, I would have to perform a separate evaluation on the claim "Jesus was not a real person" and see whether there was sufficient evidence for me to accept it as true.

Depending on the exact degree of certainty that we want to use, I may or may not accept the claim that Jesus was not a real person. For example, if I'm discussing the subject in an extremely precise, philosophical context where we're discussing absolute or close to absolute certainty, I can't absolutely prove that Jesus was not real. But if we were having a conversation in terms of practical, everyday reality, where we were judging based on a preponderance of evidence, I might argue that all of the evidence put together makes it more likely that Jesus did not exist.

But whether I accept the claim that "Jesus was not a real person" is beside the point: the main point is that I do not accept the claim that "Jesus was a real person" because the evidence is lacking (and whether it's false or indeterminate is irrelevant...I don't have enough evidence to say that it's true, so I just don't accept it).

In other words, my primary position is not "Jesus wasn't a real person" or "Jesus didn't rise from the dead." My position is "There's not enough evidence to say that Jesus existed and not enough evidence to say that he rose from the dead."

My continued experiences of an overwhelming peace, for instance, although clearly able to be distinguished from the Jesus-framework, are married to that framework in a sort of bootstrapping sense: the deeper I enter into the practice and the belief system, the more efficacious the practice seems to become.

Sure. You do a specific practice and have a specific experience as a result.

But you say that "belief in Jesus" is part of this practice and that the result of the practice strengthens this belief. What do you mean by "belief in Jesus" here? We just established above that there's not enough evidence to say that Jesus even existed, so by "belief in Jesus," you obviously don't mean thinking that Jesus existed and rose from the dead.

What is it you mean by "belief in Jesus"? When I ask this question, I'm not asking you to tell me the truth value that you assign this claim: I'm asking you to explain what it means.

Again, I'll ask the question you keep refusing to answer: are you saying that you've had a subjective, inner experience that you're just calling "Jesus rose from the dead? 

It sounds to me like this is what you're saying but that you don't want to say so explicitly because you think it will diminish the experience.


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

Los,

We creep toward understanding one another!

So I think I may have identified our inability to communicate here.  You are trying to fit my answers into a conceptual framework which does not map onto my conceptual framework.  Put another way, my map does not capture the same ground as your map.  I really am answering your question... in light of my experience and understanding of that experience.  (The sphere of the Imagination runs over into the sphere of Reason, and, maybe, not the other way around.)

Yeheshuah

Love is the law, love under will.


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Anonymous
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In terms of thelemic Practice with regards to reply 42 of this thread (on invocation/ enflaming thyself with prayer/godforms) I think that it's possible that people outside of the "magical community" already attain this sort of self-induced exaltation anyway but don't attach any kind of "magical" definition to it .  Colin Wilson said that art gets us out of ourselves and provides a focus  (sorry I forget the exact citation but that's probably irrelevant as it's an obvious observation anyone could make)  In other words it's possible that "crowleyan" bhakti and ceremonial invocations or using godforms is not necessary to attain to the True Self/True Will. 

This explains the point someone made earlier about magicians "dropping out" at "the Philosophus" stage ie in reality, they didn't know why they were actually doing the practice because they were full of the usual self-delusions about what thelemic practice is and they were actually trying to achieve.  In other words they were just doing the work for the sake of trying to be "magicians", going around the maze of their khu like trapped mice due to metaphysical entanglements and faulty world -maps/faulty self-images.


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gnosomai
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"Tao" wrote:
I realize that Los has decided to ignore my questions for whatever reason but I would greatly appreciate it if somebody could point out what I'm missing here. I've searched back to the beginning and I find nothing that fits Los's description anywhere in Yeheshua's writing. From everything I've read, Yeheshua has been extremely careful not to make any claims, attempting rather to share the experience of his practice. Did I miss something?

Don't take it personally, Tao. Ignoring those who show up his weaknesses is a common tactic with He of the Fierce Flames. Consider it a blessing that it protects you from the snare of endlessly circular reasoning that he'll throw at you to defend his straw men once he's erected them.

As you say, Yeheshua never made the claim that Los is demanding him to defend. Even in his circuitous explanation to Michael, he goes round and round, quoting out of context, and relying on "strong implication...justifiably inferred". The closest we ever got to it, refered to by you and quoted directly by Los -- but this time, within its context -- was:

"Yeheshuah" wrote:
It seems to me, as I give careful attention to the matter, that my Christian faith would be inauthentic if it were not balanced with Thelema.  When my daughter asked me about Jesus' crucifixion and the Easter story, my response has been to tell her that 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.  When I grapple with the question of resurrection myself, I admit that it is something I hope for, long for, but not that it is something I know to be in my future.  My hope is buoyed by the promise of the Jesus story, 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. Thelema allows me to admit my skepticism while maintaining my affection for the Gospel.  I long for evidence, I do not claim to have knowledge with regard to the Gospel.  I am secure both in my hope and in my knowledge.  As Wittgenstein said, "Don't be afraid of talking nonsense, [but] you must keep an eye on your nonsense."  In order to speak of my mystical experience, and even to have that experience in its full meaning as I encounter it, I must adopt an attitude of faith and risk stumbling into nonsensical territory.

At the outset, Y. seems to be making it clear that what he considers to be his faith -- defined in the previous paragraph as both cognitive and affective -- must, for him, be balanced by Thelema -- I take this to be the skepticism called for by the A.'.A.'., but Y can correct me there if I'm wrong. This is followed up by the only positive claim in this paragraph: "people do not come back from the dead." "Many of us believe otherwise..." calls back to his definition of "faith": it is, to use his words, "affective"

This is then followed up with the negative claim highlighted above: "I do not claim to have knowledge with regard to the Gospel."

Los IMMEDIATELY redefined "faith" in his terms -- "the excuse people give for accepting claims that are not sufficiently supported by evidence and reason" -- and then started creating the straw man of Y's "claim" that Jesus rose from the dead because, within L's chosen definition of "faith", that's all Y's statement could mean.

If we translate Y's statement to Los-Speak, we get: "When my daughter asked me about Jesus' crucifixion and the Easter story, my response has been to tell her that people do not come back from the dead, a statistical fact, but that many of us accept claims that are not sufficiently supported by evidence and reason in the case of Jesus."

That's where the whole thing went sideways, jumped the tracks, and tumbled down the hill to a flaming mess below. Los redefined a word and then, without skipping a breath to allow Y to deny that that new definition fit his meaning as just written, bowled on forwards to ride his "claim" hobby horse for the next 5 pages.

To give him some credit, L did explain why he didn't like Y's use of the word "faith" but when Y went on to explain why the two sides of the word were necessarily interlinked, Los bowled right on with his version. It leads to objective analysis, after all, so its really the only language he speaks.

Unsurprisingly, it appears that he's in the midst of doing the same thing again in his most recent reframe:

"Los" wrote:

The case against the resurrection I think is fairly clear in most of our minds. [...] the Jesus story can be said with objective validity, that is with a strength that holds good for all rational minds, to be fallacious.  In what way it is fallacious is not exactly clear: maybe Jesus is mythical, maybe he died.  But he did not rise from the dead.

Consistent with what I said above, my approach tends to be that there is not enough evidence for me to believe that Jesus was a real person.

...

In other words, my primary position is not "Jesus wasn't a real person" or "Jesus didn't rise from the dead." My position is "There's not enough evidence to say that Jesus existed and not enough evidence to say that he rose from the dead."

...

But you say that "belief in Jesus" is part of this practice and that the result of the practice strengthens this belief. What do you mean by "belief in Jesus" here? We just established above that there's not enough evidence to say that Jesus even existed, so by "belief in Jesus," you obviously don't mean thinking that Jesus existed and rose from the dead.

Somehow "my position" elided into "we just established" all without a second thought. It appears to my eyes that the most "we" have agreed on is that the Jesus story is indeterminate but the redefinition has snuck in, the straw man is erect, and now the demands for a defense of any contrary claim will begin.

It's a vicious cycle with this one.


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Tao
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"Los" wrote:
While Yeheshuah has been slippery about explicitly stating his beliefs

So, in other words, no... he didn't.

-- a point on which I have criticized him -- he made it clear earlier in the thread that while people do not, statistically, rise from the dead, Yeheshuah is among those who "believe otherwise" in the case of Jesus and that Yeheshuah has "faith in the resurrection."

As far as I can tell, the first time he mentioned this belief was in this quotation:

"Yeheshuah" wrote:
When my daughter asked me about Jesus' crucifixion and the Easter story, my response has been to tell her that people do not come back from the dead, a statistical fact, but that many of us believe otherwise in the case of Jesus

Notice the phrase many of us who believe otherwise (in the case of Jesus) than the fact that people do not "come back from the dead." The strong implication -- justifiably inferred from the context -- is that Yeheshuah is one of the "us" who believes that Jesus actually did come back.

You left out "a sociological fact," something that obviously mirrors his "a statistical fact" and shows that, where his first answer is of the cognitive variety, the second is of the affective.

A little later, Yeheshuah explicitly states that he has faith in the resurrection:

"Yeheshuah" wrote:
When I say that I have faith in the resurrection, it is not that I only hope for a resurrection

And, finishing that thought: "...or that I assign a probability of 1 to the claim that there will be a resurrection.  No probability is assigned." This doesn't appear to have anything to do with objectively valid historical fact. This has to do with a definition of "faith" with which you don't seem to be conversant.

And then:

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.

I still see no claim that he is asserting. All I see is a cry of bullshit on any such dogma that insists on objective acceptance of observational claims.

And I still fail to see how any of this "claim" bullshit is intrinsic to the conversation regarding practice. Bhakti requires belief. It is intrinsic to the practice. The objective truths that undergird that belief are immaterial. It doesn't matter whether Aphrodite was born of seafoam in a sea-shell or not or whether or not she actually existed. Bhakti requires you to "believe" that she did and that she was. Full stop.

Heading back to the shelf of the 42. I keep slipping off this thing.  :-X


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Tao
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"Gnosomai Emauton" wrote:
Somehow "my position" elided into "we just established" all without a second thought. It appears to my eyes that the most "we" have agreed on is that the Jesus story is indeterminate but the redefinition has snuck in, the straw man is erect, and now the demands for a defense of any contrary claim will begin.

I asked him about that "we" a few pages ago. At the time, I was honestly wondering if he was representing some group position of which I was unaware or if he was just cavalierly tossing in the royal "We" for effect. I guess it might be for more than just effect.


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

Gnosomai Emauton,

The AA tradition is precisely what keeps me honest with regard to the gospel.  In fact, as I have noted elsewhere, I have had to return to me magickal journals as a source of healing when I have lost touch with my thelemic roots. 

Hopefully this doesn't sound all too hokey, but I struggle to answer Los's queries with clarity because I have built a sort of bifurcation within myself.  I really do hold contradictory positions, as Tao notes there really must be belief for bhakti to work, but I keep an eye on where those contradictions have arisen from.  This allows me to continually question myself.

Yeheshuah

Love is the law, love under will.


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gnosomai
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"Yeheshuah" wrote:
Hopefully this doesn't sound all too hokey, but I struggle to answer Los's queries with clarity because I have built a sort of bifurcation within myself.  I really do hold contradictory positions, as Tao notes there really must be belief for bhakti to work, but I keep an eye on where those contradictions have arisen from.  This allows me to continually question myself.

Doesn't sound hokey at all. Sounds right on the money, actually, for honest self-evaluative and self-developmental work. As I said earlier, Los and I have gotten into it in the past over very similar issues. Per my experience, holding contradictory positions simultaneously is a requirement of pretty much anything beyond the basics but he simply refuses to go there. I grilled him once on his practices and how they led him to the "realization" that all this occult stuff is bunk and hit the same wall.

Practice is a very well-chosen word for what it is that we do. He only seems interested in results and he wants them to fit in with his preferred understanding of "objective reality". The rest of us are just practicing away. Testing things out to find out what they do, how they work, etc. Not taking anything as given, challenging everything and anything that appears to be "true". It just doesn't mesh with his reality-map.


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Los
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"Yeheshuah" wrote:
We creep toward understanding one another!

We do.

If you'd like to continue having a conversation with me, I have two questions for you.

1) Are you saying that you've had a subjective, inner experience that you're just calling "Jesus rose from the dead"? [Please answer this question with a yes or a no. Just one single word]

2) Fill in the blank: "When I say that I 'believe in Jesus' as part of my practice, I mean that I think _____." [Complete the blank as honestly as possible in as few words as possible]


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Los
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I initially posed a third question here, but I've decided to remove it because I think it would lead us very far afield.


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Los
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"david" wrote:
In other words it's possible that "crowleyan" bhakti and ceremonial invocations or using godforms is not necessary to attain to the True Self/True Will.

Not only is this possible, but it's true.

Anyone who thinks that the only way -- or even the best way -- to attain the True Will is to follow a bunch of goofy rituals dreamed up by Victorian-era freemasons needs to have his head examined. 

This explains the point someone made earlier about magicians "dropping out" at "the Philosophus" stage ie in reality, they didn't know why they were actually doing the practice because they were full of the usual self-delusions about what thelemic practice is and they were actually trying to achieve.

It seems entirely plausible that there are plenty of people who start on the "magical path" having absolutely no idea of what they're trying to achieve or how to recognize success if they saw it. And of the ones who have such ideas, it seems to me as if their ideas are a bunch of bizarre fluff that they've absorbed from the various bullshitters who fancy themselves "spiritual teachers" or (worse) "heads" of "orders." Such people are being done no favors by the attitude of "just do the practice and stop talking about it!" or "the results are ineffable and we can't talk about them except by being all contradictory, dude." Nobody who's actually serious about a real subject of study would ever suggest that the subject cannot be sensibly discussed or that sensibly discussing the subject might actually be detrimental to the practice of it.


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NKB
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[/align:3idu26wm]


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Michael Staley
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"Los" wrote:
Anyone who thinks that the only way -- or even the best way -- to attain the True Will is to follow a bunch of goofy rituals dreamed up by Victorian-era freemasons needs to have his head examined. 

I don't recall anyone suggesting - on this thread, on this forum, or elsewhere - that ritual magick is the only way or even the best way to attain the True Will. If my recall is amiss, then you will doubtless be able to provide a link to a source which states or even suggests that.


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Anonymous
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"Michael Staley" wrote:
"Los" wrote:
Anyone who thinks that the only way -- or even the best way -- to attain the True Will is to follow a bunch of goofy rituals dreamed up by Victorian-era freemasons needs to have his head examined. 

I don't recall anyone suggesting - on this thread, on this forum, or elsewhere - that ritual magick is the only way or even the best way to attain the True Will. If my recall is amiss, then you will doubtless be able to provide a link to a source which states or even suggests that.

But we were specifically discussing why people in orders "drop out"  at "4=7".


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Los
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"Michael Staley" wrote:
I don't recall anyone suggesting...

And I don't recall saying that anyone suggested it. Scroll up. I'm clearly responding to david's contention that Crowleyan practice is "not necessary" to discovery the True Will.

While we're at it, I also don't recall any instance of you, Michael, ever contributing anything substantive to a technical discussion of Thelemic practice. If my recall is amiss, surely you'll post a link to one of the times on these forums when you advanced a conversation about the specifics of practice rather than merely making snide remarks and playing gotcha games.

Happy First Day of the Writing, by the way.


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the_real_simon_iff
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Well, Michael, maybe he is talking about that fruitcake Crowley and some of his more ridiculous rituals like Liber Samekh or Liber Pyramidos (though these are only "quick" was, and not "best" or "only" ways), but he is probably talking about all occultists. I don't know. Though I don't think you'll get a link.

Love=Law
Lutz


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the_real_simon_iff
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93!

Looks like I am wrong. He was just applauding david on his finely observed and relevant input. So probably there was no insult intended. My bad... forgive me!

Yeah, and Happy First Day of the Writing Too!

Love=Law
Lutz


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Anonymous
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"Los" wrote:
It seems entirely plausible that there are plenty of people who start on the "magical path" having absolutely no idea of what they're trying to achieve .

Exactly.  My theory is that once someone (student, head of an Order or guru) accepts, literally without good reason, that there are other planes and an astral body then this is the door (unfortunate pun) to a long journey of self-delusion, fantasy and well, BS.  Amazingly, this is hammered home by Crowley early on in the famous "philosophic validity" quote but it still gets wilfully ignored.  Such is the human ego.     

Talking of ego, I think we need to ask whether our self-image is inextricably woven into our world-image (i.e. our map of the world)?  If it is then what does that say for someone who accepts that there are gods, spirits and planes without sufficient evidence?


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

Los,

There is the old joke: "Yes or no, have you stopped beating your wife?"

"All words are sacred and all prophets true; save only that they understand a little"

It would be a wonder if we struck some understanding by the 10th, eh? Let's avoid cutting contact just because we can't pigeon-hole the other just yet.

Yeheshuah

Love is the law, love under will.


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Los
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"Yeheshuah" wrote:
There is the old joke: "Yes or no, have you stopped beating your wife?"

Right. But taking your joke seriously for a moment: when a person is asked that question, there is an answer to it -- it's merely an answer that requires further elaboration afterwards to explain what is actually meant.

So for example, if you asked me "Have you stopped beating your wife?" the answer is "No," with the necessary elaboration "I never started."

If you want to compare the question I was asking you to this question, then I think it's fair to compare the fact that both questions do have answers that simply require elaboration and explanation.


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Los
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"david" wrote:
Talking of ego, I think we need to ask whether our self-image is inextricably woven into our world-image (i.e. our map of the world)?  If it is then what does that say for someone who accepts that there are gods, spirits and planes without sufficient evidence?

I think what you're asking here -- and correct me if I'm wrong -- is whether having a clear understanding of the world is necessary for having a clear understanding of the self.

I think my answer would be "Only in the sense that avoiding smoking is necessary for health": that is to say, it's possible to smoke and still be relatively healthy, just like it's possible to have extremely delusive ideas of the world but still have a relatively good understanding of the self. But the more someone smokes, the more likely it is that he or she will become unhealthy, and I'd say that the more someone buys into extremely delusive ideas, the more likely it is that he or she will also make mistake about the self.

The self-image and the world-image are clearly linked (both can be attributed to Yesod), the "self-image" merely being a subset of the mental model the individual has of the world. The attribution of the moon to Yesod is illustrative here because just as the moon can reflect some of the sun's light at various times, the individual's concept of self can reflect some of the True Self's nature (sun=Tipareth). Just as the moon goes through cycles, so too does a typical person's understanding of the Self tend to wax and wane over time, though in many (most?) people, it likely never rises to the level of a "full moon."

But there's another way to conceive of self-image. Rather than trying to construct a "better" self-image more "in line" with the True Self (an idea that, in practice, often ultimately just ends up meaning that the individual polishes his or her mental constructions), it's often far more useful to dispense with a "self-image" altogether. That is to say, to the extent that "self-image" is understood to comprise a bunch of stories and mental images about this concept called "self," such a "self-image" is ultimately pointless at the end of the day. Action is the only thing that matters in the practical scheme of one's life, and to aid the True Will in manifesting in the world of action, all that is really necessary is that the mind grasps certain facts about the Self.

For example, one might have discerned that the Self seems to like sausage and that the Self seems to like having a family. Those are useful facts to know about the Self -- they'll come in handy when the mind has to be used to make long-term decisions about the individual's future -- but there's no need to turn these facts into some kind of story or attach importance to any of them. The Self just likes certain things. Liking having a family is not inherently better than liking being mostly alone; it's certainly not inherently better than liking sausage. But minds are funny things, and they tend to attach significance and importance arbitrarily to some of the Self's preferences.

All of which is to say that there's really not a need to perfect the self-image at all. Just tell that little voice to shut up and actually listen to what your Self is saying in the moment. Of course, doing that is going to be tougher (though not impossible) for someone who insists on gunking up his mind with the idea that there are actually spirits and magic spells and all the rest.

Oh, and it's past midnight here. Happy Second Day of the Writing.


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Michael Staley
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So how do you distinguish between - to use the terminology used by you elsewhere - "authentic" and "inauthentic" preferences?


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

Los,

This is a good development.  If you will accept a qualified answer, I can answer your first question.  Let me quote you (without the demand for a single word answer), so we are clear what I am speaking to: "1) Are you saying that you've had a subjective, inner experience that you're just calling "Jesus rose from the dead"?"  The answer is no.  It is something I hold as objectively invalid but subjectively valid.  In other words, there is a bifurcation within myself that allows me to assess beliefs from an objective viewpoint, but, there is another aspect of the self, which, others have noted (more or less), is capable of holding on to faith for the sake of a bhakti practice. 

Onto question 2: "Fill in the blank: "When I say that I 'believe in Jesus' as part of my practice, I mean that I think _____." [Complete the blank as honestly as possible in as few words as possible]"  Since I have already addressed this question, I am not exactly sure what you are looking for.  You want an answer that isn't couched in terms of objective and subjective validities, I suspect.  That can't be done at this point... not if the description is to capture relevant details. 

Because you have honed in on the resurrection, I will say a few words on that subject, which may be helpful.  In light of what I said to question 1, it is clear that I hold the resurrection as an objectively invalid position.  But, from within the bhakti practice, I hold the resurrection within subjective validity.  Does this reduce such a position to mere symbolism? No.  Must the resurrection be held with strict literalism? No.

It is worth noting, Los, that trying to fit this way of thinking into your framework is bound to be frustrating.  I recall my inability to assign any value to talk of divinities except meaninglessness when I was sold on the logical-empiricist picture of the world.  Any meaningful claim had to be verifiable.  Then I ran across the fact that the verifiability principle is unverifiable.  The logical-empiricist position rested on the claim that its own position was inherently meaningless.  Your framework moulds how you hold propositions.

Yeheshuah

Love is the law, love under will.


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Shiva
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"Los" wrote:
"Yeheshuah" wrote:
When my daughter asked me about Jesus' crucifixion and the Easter story, my response has been to tell her that people do not come back from the dead, a statistical fact, but that many of us believe otherwise in the case of Jesus

That's good enough for me. I hereby alter my stance and see that Y.'. did make a calim of belief.


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Los
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"Michael Staley" wrote:
So how do you distinguish between - to use the terminology used by you elsewhere - "authentic" and "inauthentic" preferences?

You'll find the answer you're looking for in post #2 on this very thread.


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Los
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"Shiva" wrote:
That's good enough for me. I hereby alter my stance and see that Y.'. did make a calim of belief.

Thanks, Shiva. It's always good to see an intellectually honest person -- that is, someone who can change his stance when confronted by evidence.


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Los
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"Yeheshuah" wrote:
"1) Are you saying that you've had a subjective, inner experience that you're just calling "Jesus rose from the dead"?"  The answer is no.  It is something I hold as objectively invalid but subjectively valid.

But what's the difference between a "subjectively valid" belief and a label for an inner experience (that is, an entirely internal experience that does not correspond to anything in the world outside of your mind)?

We're going to have to engage in a meta-discussion again:

I recall my inability to assign any value to talk of divinities except meaninglessness when I was sold on the logical-empiricist picture of the world.  Any meaningful claim had to be verifiable.  Then I ran across the fact that the verifiability principle is unverifiable.  The logical-empiricist position rested on the claim that its own position was inherently meaningless.

There are a few problems with what you're saying here.

First, my position is not that an unverifiable claim is "meaningless" -- my position is that an unverifiable claim is one that nobody has any reason to think is true.

I'm not sure what you mean by "true," but I use the word to signify that a proposition is in accord with reality. One decides whether a proposition is likely in accord with reality by evaluating evidence (I call this process "evidence-based inquiry"). If there is a proposition that is "unverifiable" -- that is, if it's impossible to gather any evidence that would enable us to confirm whether it accords with reality -- then it is impossible to have sufficient grounds for thinking that it's likely true. By definition.

Second, it's true that logic can't be used to prove logic (I'll get to this in a moment), but it's not true to say that "the verifiability principle is unverifiable," or as I would phrase this objection, "evidence-based inquiry cannot be confirmed with evidence." In fact, one actually *can* use evidence-based inquiry to confirm that evidence-based inquiry is the only consistently reliable method we currently have available to discern whether there are sufficient grounds for thinking a claim is likely true.

Third, what you're really talking about is the fact that we can't use logic to prove logic. What I mean by this is that all logic rests on the ideas that what is, is what it is; what is, is not what it's not; and what is, cannot both be and not be at the same time in the same way. These are the principles that logic rests on, and we can't use logic to prove that they're true (because any proof has to begin from these assumptions, which would make the proof circular. Any act of thinking or language has to begin from these assumptions because in order to use words, a word has to have the meanings and usages assigned to that word and not not-have-those-meanings).

As I was hinting at before, these foundations are not contradicted by quantum mechanics, and they are not contradicted by the existence of multi-valued logic systems. Let's say, in quantum mechanics, we have a particle that can be described as being in two places at once. Then that is a particle that can be described as being in locations A and B simultaneously, and it's not not-a-particle-that-can-be-described-as-being-in-locations-A-and-B-simultaneously. Whatever it is, that's what it is. And it's not not-that. [Edit: This example also does not violate the law of excluded middle: something is either in position A or it's not-in-position-A, and something that is simultaneously in positions A and B falls into the "not-in-position-A" category] Similarly, one can come up with a logical system that has 50 categories in which to rank statements, and in that system a statement would fall into the category (or categories) in which it falls and it would not not-fall into that category (or categories).

These foundational principles are tautologies, and while they can't strictly be "proven," they can't be violated because even to try to argue against them requires one to invoke them. Go ahead and make an argument against these principles without assuming that each word you utter is equal to itself.

If one grants those foundational principles, then one can derive from those principles syllogistic logic and evidence-based inquiry (which can be used to show how effective evidence-based inquiry is). The only "problem" (and that word deserves to be in scare quotes) is that the foundational principles cannot strictly be shown to be true. They have to be granted or "presupposed," but those are both inadequate words to describe what we're talking about because it's not a conscious choice to accept these principles: they are the necessary preconditions of thought.

For this reason, it is entirely dishonest to try to conflate such presupposition with religious faith. The religious person becomes convinced that religious claims are true (for bad reasons); but all developed, healthy people who think and communicate have no choice but to operate their thoughts and words in ways dictated by the principles of logic. Trying to equate logic with faith is therefore a *huge* equivocation, and it's a giant mistake.

The fact is, these logical principles simply seem to just *be* the nature of reality. They apply to everything, including themselves. They apply to any alternate universe you could imagine. They would even apply if nothing existed (because nothing would be nothing and not not-nothing).

For that reason, we have to grant them as true -- we have no other choice -- and from them follow the principles of evidence-based inquiry (which can be confirmed).


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

Los,

We have indeed returned to the metadiscussion.  On the verifiability principle, it is actually a principle regarding the meaning of claims.  So, while most of what you said is not actually about meaning, you seemed to say that you do not take verifiability as a condition of meaning.  I think we can agree on that.

As to the first principles of logic, the way we establish soundness and completeness is with reference to some metalanguage.  So, we would want to show that our logical language properly characterizes the relationship between certain mathematical statements, for instance.  To characterize light as a wave is to not characterize it as a particle in mathematical language.  Hence the beginning of the problems of quantum mechanics.  In strict logical language A implies nothing but A.  But in empirical, mathematical language, propositions that are not logically equivalent can imply one another.  And so, alternative logics become important.  We need a language that characterizes the new findings of our sciences and mysticisms. 

Your arguments are not, to my mind, simply wrong.  You stand in a great tradition of thinkers, but thinkers that have time and again been refuted by the demands of reality.  We abandoned absolute space, then we abandoned euclidean geometry.  We have abandoned the notion of mutually exclusive states being incompatible.  We must still be careful in our thinking.  The question is: what does that means for us now?

I think I missed one of your questions/points regarding the meaning of subjective validity.  I will address that after we sort through this point, if that is alright.  Too many points gets us lost.

Yeheshuah

Love is the law, love under will.


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jamie barter
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"Los" wrote:
I'm not sure what you mean by "true," but I use the word to signify that a proposition is in accord with reality. One decides whether a proposition is likely in accord with reality by evaluating evidence (I call this process "evidence-based inquiry").

I’m not sure what you mean by “evidence”.  Or “reality” come to this.  And one decides whether a proposition is likely in accord with reality by subjectively evaluating the said evidence (no matter what you call it): but as The Book of the Law and quantum mechanics aver, there is no certain test..

"Los" wrote:
[...] Whatever it is, that's what it is. And it's not not-that. [Edit: This example also does not violate the law of excluded middle: something is either in position A or it's not-in-position-A, and something that is simultaneously in positions A and B falls into the "not-in-position-A" category] Similarly, one can come up with a logical system that has 50 categories in which to rank statements, and in that system a statement would fall into the category (or categories) in which it falls and it would not not-fall into that category (or categories).

An example of sublime simplicity this post ain't, and it's nicely & elegantly phrased - I don’t think!  I wonder whether Los has ever contemplated being a lawyer? :-

'N∫oy


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Los
 Los
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"Yeheshuah" wrote:
To characterize light as a wave is to not characterize it as a particle in mathematical language.  Hence the beginning of the problems of quantum mechanics.  In strict logical language A implies nothing but A.

The law of identity does not say that an object can have one and only one property. That would be stupid. The law of identity tells us that whatever properties comprise a thing, that's what the thing is, and it's not not-that.

A photon can be described as both a wave and a particle, and it doesn't not-have those properties. Whatever it is, that's what it is.

These are tautologies. When we say that something is X, we are necessarily saying that it's not not-X because "not not-X" is just another way of saying "X." But phrasing it that way allows us to make actual dichotomies, and this becomes the basis of creating syllogisms.

You seem hung up on the idea that quantum mechanics somehow disproves the laws of logic, but it doesn't. Whatever a particle is, that's what it is, with those particular properties. If it's a particle that's in two places at once, it is that, and it's not not-that. If it's a particle entangled with another particle, it is that, and it's not not-that.

Again, even trying to argue that quantum mechanics undermines logic requires you to presuppose logic: you cannot make an argument without assuming that each word is equal to itself.

Can we both agree with the foundational principles of logic, and can we both accept that these are necessary preconditions of thought (and not "faith" in the sense that religious faith is)?

alternative logics become important.  We need a language that characterizes the new findings of our sciences and mysticisms.

Well, I've already said I'm happy to say that "True" and "False" is not an actual dichotomy. The actual dichotomy (as dictated by the laws of logic) is "True" and "Not True" ("False" being one specific kind of "Not True"). I've further suggested that I don't find it very useful to rank statements in specific categories, and I've said that it's far more useful to decide whether there is sufficient evidence and reason to suppose a claim is likely true. Lacking that evidence and reason, one must (of necessity) not consider the claim likely to be true.

What sort of alternative system of logic do you have in mind? I'd be interested in hearing the categories you have and your rationale for constructing this system.


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Shiva
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"Yeheshuah" wrote:
It was probably a false hope that Lashtal’s admonition would restore us to sanity.

The "admonition" was to be more polite. If you're looking for "sanity," then we need "clear speaking" (clairverbalism).

My hope is to make clear my position so that we can move away from an ugly spectacle and toward understanding.

Aha!  🙂

Let us begin with a simple three-valued logic of true-false-indeterminate.  In this system, what is not classified under the three-valued semantics will be termed meaningless.

This (^) is not clairverbalism.

... maybe Jesus is mythical, maybe he died.  But he did not rise from the dead.

That's better 😀

Bhakti practice with Jesus taken as the object of devotion, however, brings about self-transformational experiences that convince me of the efficacy of belief in a risen Jesus.

What? ???  It sounds like you are saying that indulgence in belief in something that did not happen is going to change you (or has changed you). "Self-transformation" into what? Into a self that is based on delusion?

Thus I am pushed psychologically toward holding the whole thing in a state of indeterminacy, from an objective point of view.  That is, there seems to be something objective at work insofar as the practice produces results.

And the "results" are?

"Gnosomai Emauton" wrote:
As you say, Yeheshua never made the claim that Los is demanding him to defend.

But it appears that he did!  At least that 's the way I read the quote (that I was too lazy to re-read the (entire] thread to find. Tao re-read it (the thread), but didn't spot it (the claim).

It's a vicious cycle with this one.

Oh, it's just the old objective vs subjective syndrome. Every aspirant goes through it, especially as they progrees in the outer order. If someone is still going through this struggle, and they're posting it (the struggle) in this forum, they're not violating the title of the thread (Thelemic Practice), but they're violating a fundamental concept that says to keep it contained while it's being worked out. You know, the fourth power of the sphinx.

"Yeheshuah" wrote:
... but I struggle to answer Los's queries with clarity because I have built a sort of bifurcation within myself.  I really do hold contradictory positions ...

Uh oh, and ho ho!  Okay. You admit to a (mild?) form of schizophrenia, and you admit you've not yet had a chat with your HGA. As I see it, you are expressing a flip-flop between Hod and Netzach. Other than "seeing a doctor," your only hope is to transcend this dichotomy and get on to lighting the Magick Lamp as a Dominus Liminis.

"david" wrote:
This explains the point someone made earlier about magicians "dropping out" at "the Philosophus" stage ie in reality, they didn't know why they were actually doing the practice because they were full of the usual self-delusions about what thelemic practice is and they were actually trying to achieve.

Actually it's not about "the practice" of devotion. Devotion (bhakti) to a deity is simply the external task or practice. The terrible confusion at Netzach comes about through subconscious devotion (belief in) those thoughtforms that were imprinted in childhood by parents, grandparents, teachers and revs. As U.G. tells us, "Your whole problem is what has been imposed upon you by your culture."

Then, of course, we get what has been imprinted by gurus and revs, and archetypal encounters - after we get out of childhood and start buiding consccious cultural beliefs.

It seems entirely plausible that there are plenty of people who start on the "magical path" having absolutely no idea of what they're trying to achieve or how to recognize success if they saw it. And of the ones who have such ideas, it seems to me as if their ideas are a bunch of bizarre fluff that they've absorbed from the various bullshitters who fancy themselves "spiritual teachers" or (worse) "heads" of "orders."

Exactly!  For your word "absorbed," I suggest the word "imprinted." An imprint is like hardware. It can't be re-written with software - It has to be surgically removed from the computer and replaced with some upgraded hardware. In other words, If Netzach doesn't kill you, then Tiphereth will "resurrect" you.

By the way, all these concepts (resurrection, reincarnation, going to heaven) are hopes about surviving the grim reaper. (He can be seen upon the path that links Netzach to Tiphereth; one of the three paths that penetrate Paroketh). The prime mover in any entity (plant, animal, human) is survival. People will do anything (in terms of inventing "ways out") to convince themselves that they're gonna keep on truckin'.  After that, they need to convince other people so that they can receive donations and live comfortably in the present, pre-death state. It's called "The Holy Game."


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Los
 Los
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"Yeheshuah" wrote:
We have abandoned the notion of mutually exclusive states being incompatible.

See, here's where your thinking is kind of sloppy.

By this, you mean something like, "The cat in the thought experiment is both alive and dead!" But this in no way violates any of the foundational principles of logic. The law of excluded middle tells us that something can either be A or not-A, but not both in the same way and at the same time.

As a result, the foundations of logic do not say that "Alive" and "Dead" are mutually exclusive terms. The mutually exclusive terms would be "Alive" and "Not-Alive." Now those are mutually exclusive. "Dead" is a kind of "Not-Alive," but there can be other kinds: "Having a Near Death Experience" might fall under the "Not-Alive" category. Zombies in fiction would be classified as "Undead." And a state of superposition in which something is "Both Alive and Dead" would also fall into the "Not-Alive" category (assuming that we define "Alive" as being restricted to possessing the characteristics that we associate with being alive and nothing more than this).

It would be as if I classified everything as "In my bedroom" or "Not in my bedroom," and I specifically defined "In my bedroom" as a state where something is entirely contained within that room. Under this system, if I were to straddle the door (and thus be "Both in my bedroom and not in my bedroom at once"), then under these definitions, I would fall into the "Not in my bedroom" category (because I don't meet the criteria for the "in my bedroom" category; something either meets the criteria or it does not).

None of this undermines logic in the slightest bit. These are word games, and word games presuppose the foundations of logic. Whatever is, is what it is, no matter what we choose to call it. You can't escape from this, no matter how many word games you want to play.


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Anonymous
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"Los" wrote:
I think what you're asking here -- and correct me if I'm wrong -- is whether having a clear understanding of the world is necessary for having a clear understanding of the self.
.

Yes that's exactly what I 'm asking.  "As within so without" goes the saying.  We all form mental maps of the world and according to our ability to handle and face reality we put ourselves on our own maps.

"Los" wrote:
I think my answer would be "Only in the sense that avoiding smoking is necessary for health": that is to say, it's possible to smoke and still be relatively healthy, just like it's possible to have extremely delusive ideas of the world but still have a relatively good understanding of the self. But the more someone smokes, the more likely it is that he or she will become unhealthy, and I'd say that the more someone buys into extremely delusive ideas, the more likely it is that he or she will also make mistake about the self.

On the subject of health, studies show that the most mentally healthy families have a "transcendental" value system.  This is not necessarily a metaphysical belief but it may include being e.g. a member of a church or the like.  This could however be a coincidence, statistically speaking i.e. a lot of families go along with church activities as it is part of their social life and symbolic attempt to be part of a community.  Church clubs etc.

"Los" wrote:

The self-image and the world-image are clearly linked (both can be attributed to Yesod), the "self-image" merely being a subset of the mental model the individual has of the world.

Yes and Yesod as foundation makes a good correspondence particularly in your map of consciousness explained here;  http://thelema-and-skepticism.blogspot.co.uk/2015_02_01_archive.html

Some people cope easily with big changes.  The reason being they can quickly and effectively change and adapt their world-maps in accord with reality whereas dysfunctional folk are slow to adjust and update their maps.   

What we deny about ourselves and our limitations will mould our self-image.  Via projection any denial impacts on our map of the world.  In effect these denied parts of ourselves (of reality) are the dark side of Yesod/Moon. This denial influences thinking (Hod), emotions and desire (Netzach) and it becomes a feedback loop of illusion which is what the Khu is.  Initiation then is facing up to any of these denied limitations and bringing the Tiparethic Light of reality into the elemental sephiroth.  This is the subject matter of this thread of course.


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