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Michael Staley
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"david" wrote:
I'm with you.  The weird and intense vivid quality of these "awake dreams" is highly unusual as I recounted in my experience but......so what?  They happened whilst you were dreaming and in and of themselves they do not prove anything. 

That's your opinion.


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Anonymous
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"Michael Staley" wrote:
"david" wrote:
I'm with you.  The weird and intense vivid quality of these "awake dreams" is highly unusual as I recounted in my experience but......so what?  They happened whilst you were dreaming and in and of themselves they do not prove anything. 

That's your opinion.

It's also my opinion that someone with cancer cannot be healed if they bathe in the holy waters of Lourdes.  I would  expect the same sort of reaction as yours if I were to pull them up on their lack of evidence.  You're a believer in miracles. Belief in miracles is for Disney movies and children only.  Not adults.


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Michael Staley
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"david" wrote:
It's also my opinion that someone with cancer cannot be healed if they bathe in the holy waters of Lourdes.  I would  expect the same sort of reaction as yours if I were to pull them up on their lack of evidence.  You're a believer in miracles. Belief in miracles is for Disney movies and children only.  Not adults.

How does my opinion that I experienced astral projection make me "a believer in miracles"?

Why do you feel the need to denigrate those who do not share your opinions?


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Anonymous
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"Michael Staley" wrote:
"david" wrote:
It's also my opinion that someone with cancer cannot be healed if they bathe in the holy waters of Lourdes.  I would  expect the same sort of reaction as yours if I were to pull them up on their lack of evidence.  You're a believer in miracles. Belief in miracles is for Disney movies and children only.  Not adults.

How does my opinion that I experienced astral projection make me "a believer in miracles"?

Why do you feel the need to denigrate those who do not share your opinions?

I'm not denigrating you I'm challenging the opinion that you hold (or that holds you.)  You pulled me up on my cynicism towards awake dreams being metaphysical consciousness-detachment.

Accepting statements about metaphysics without question can cause a lot of problems for the community.  I'll give you a small example. I recently watched a True Crime episode on an Indian faith healer, Shashi Sharma Sr who murdered a woman because she walked in on him in one of his "ceremonies" where he was sexually molesting a young girl.  He had so much respect within that Canadian-Indian (Toronto) community that none of the (idiots) people would believe that he was up to no good.  They used to pay him substantial amounts of money for healing ceremonies and spiritual guidance.  He was also a bhakti practitioner.  You see where this is going?  Then we have the revered Catholic priests who get away with child abuse.  Now, don't get me wrong if these guys were materialist-atheists then they would've probably been equally twisted but..they weren't so we don't know.  People accepting strange ideas without question is a recipe for disaster.

To remind us about the OP, Thelemic practice, essentially, imo is about trying to let the "Light" of reality in.  OTOH,  believing, unquestionably, in strange things is about keeping the "Light" of reality very much out.


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lashtal
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"david" wrote:
You're a believer in miracles. Belief in miracles is for Disney movies and children only.  Not adults.

There really is no excuse for this sort of snide rudeness, 'david'. But I'll be charitable and assume you missed the reminder about politeness.

If you can't make your point without demonstrating politeness and respect for other members, then I'd rather you chose another site to make that point.

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LAShTAL


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jamie barter
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Reply #362 by david on: April 10, 2015, 0653 pm:

The question though is do people who consistently ask about these definitions genuinely want to know about Thelemic Practice and it's relation to how we deal with the Khu or are their queries the result of some other problem?

The answer is that it is important, for what should be obvious reasons, to have terms used as clearly defined or understood as possible.  This is why I have queried your use of e.g. the “cistern-like efficacy of the Khu” david, which on the face of it does not make much sense (and even with the addition of the definitions at second hand via Erwin, still does not make much sense.)

The difficulty as I see it is that if Khu is the “subtlest” veil, subtler than the mind and beyond form, it cannot really be attributable to anything beneath the Supernals, i.e. either Tiphereth or the second triad of Chesed-Geburah-Tiphereth.  If it is attributable anywhere my suggestion would be Chokmah, as it serves as a means whereby the Star (Khabs, Hadit) achieves and can experience self-recognition, realisation and consciousness.

It is interesting to see viewpoints placing it further down the Tree though, and who is to say for certain who is right and who is wrong, but if the Khu is “second only” to the Khabs, it strikes me that it would be above the level of the Ruach completely, and notably so if/since Crowley said it was beyond mind.

At the moment though - unless there happens to be strong feeling for an alternative - I will just make a mental note and reserve further discussion on the subject as it would only divert things further in a thread which is already considerably longer to read through and contains more issues under its umbrella than most of the others.

N Joy


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Aleisterion
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Los wrote: "I'm not trying to minimize the importance of these experiences to you, but I'm pointing out that you have no reason to suppose these dreams are anything other than dreams. There are no grounds for thinking that any part of you actually "left" your body."

Reason is a lie, being limited. Our awareness is at its root unlimited. The proof of which I spoke is subjective, of course, but it's proof enough for me. If you look for objective evidence that awareness exists independent of brain matter, I would point you to Liber Legis. The evidence grows with time. The true author of that little book knew things that Aleister Crowley couldn't have known.


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Los
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"Michael Staley" wrote:
I have already told you that I considered the possibility of dream or hallucination, but that my intuition told me otherwise. I'm aware that in your eyes my intuition is not a good enough reason for my assessment of my experience

Well, my point is that it's not just "in my eyes," as if my thoughts about the role of intuition in evaluating claims is some arbitrary idea that I just pulled out of my hat because I like it.

I'm convinced that it's objectively the case that there isn't sufficient evidence to think that "intuition" is anything even remotely resembling a consistently reliable method of evaluating claims. Obviously, you're free to have an opinion that the facts are otherwise -- in the same way that you're free to hold the opinion that 2 and 2 make 6 -- but you're not free to be right.


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Michael Staley
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"Los" wrote:
"Michael Staley" wrote:
I have already told you that I considered the possibility of dream or hallucination, but that my intuition told me otherwise. I'm aware that in your eyes my intuition is not a good enough reason for my assessment of my experience

Well, my point is that it's not just "in my eyes," as if my thoughts about the role of intuition in evaluating claims is some arbitrary idea that I just pulled out of my hat because I like it.

I'm convinced that it's objectively the case that there isn't sufficient evidence to think that "intuition" is anything even remotely resembling a consistently reliable method of evaluating claims. Obviously, you're free to have an opinion that the facts are otherwise -- in the same way that you're free to hold the opinion that 2 and 2 make 6 -- but you're not free to be right.

Thank you for making your position so clear, Los. I'm glad we've agreed to differ.


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Los
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"Aleisterion" wrote:
Reason is a lie, being limited.

Reason is, so far as we know, the only consistently reliable tool for evaluating claims. You're misreading and misapplying a line from The Book of the Law out of context.

It's no use to try to claim "awareness is unlimited" or whatever the heck you're saying, because "awareness" can't tell a person that he actually left his body. "Awareness," all by itself, just tells a person that he had an experience of some kind. When the person tries to figure out what that experience was, then the person is necessarily using reason to do so. Drawing a conclusion is a rational process, and such a conclusion includes "What I experienced was an instance of me actually leaving my body and not just having a dream."

It's the people who convince themselves that they don't use reason to reach these conclusions who blind themselves to the faulty way that their mind is using reason. For example, Michael Staley is clearly using reason to reach the conclusion he holds, and his reasoning probably runs roughly like this: "My intuition tells me that I left my body, and my intuition is a reliable tool for drawing factual conclusions, therefore I probably did leave my body." Michael obviously wouldn't articulate it to himself in this way, but that's more or less exactly what his mind is doing. He's using reason, but because he's convinced himself that he's not using it, he uses it ineptly. If he paid attention to the reasoning that his mind was employing, he would realize that his whole thought process hinges on a flawed second premise: it's not true that intuition is a reliable tool for drawing factual claims.

The proof of which I spoke is subjective, of course, but it's proof enough for me.

All proof about one's own experiences is subjective in the sense of happening in the person's head. But there are objective standards for deciding whether one's conclusions are correct.

For example, feeling hungry is sufficient evidence to support the claim that my body needs food. But feeling hungry is not sufficient evidence that zombies exist. It doesn't matter that the feeling of hunger is entirely internal and subjective: we can make objective evaluations about what sorts of claims the feeling actually does support.

If you look for objective evidence that awareness exists independent of brain matter, I would point you to Liber Legis. The evidence grows with time. The true author of that little book knew things that Aleister Crowley couldn't have known.

We've been over this many times on these forums: this just isn't remotely true.


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Los
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"Michael Staley" wrote:
Thank you for making your position so clear, Los. I'm glad we've agreed to differ.

Flanders: Well, it looks like we'll have to agree to disagree.
Principal Skinner: I don't agree to that!
Edna Krabappel: Neither do I!

You can disagree all you like, Michael. Until you can demonstrate what you say, as I can demonstrate what I say, your position is going to continue to look as foolish as it does now.


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Shiva
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It seems that some folks are attributing Astral Projection to a dream state, i.e., when they are "asleep," but which they remember upon "awakening." I can't argue with that because my first "astral" experience was a dream in an "asleep" state. It was of of a different quality than my previous dreams, by virtue of it's "reality," a feeling that I was there in full consciousness that lasted into my waking consciousness. The only difference between such "astral" dreams and "regular" dreams is the sensation that one is really, fully in the scenario - rather than separated or fuzzily participating. All this is subjective.

The "other" type of astral projection, that is, the conscious "separation" of consciousness from the physical body, which is the "Thelemic Practice" (there is no "dream state while asleep practice in the Class D rites, I believe :o), is when we "go out" while awake. This can be awfully hard to do, for some folks, but in any case it is greatly facilitated by the use of a [legal :D] psychedelic libation. Success, whether in a straight mode or assisted by chemicals, is accompanied by the feeling, the sensation, of actually leaving, or separating from, the dense physical body. And, since this apparent separation seems to be an actual departure, it is here that we find the opposing viewpoints expressed in this forum.

It was Jack Schwarz who said, "Now you have to realize that we don't really go anywhere."

It was Carl Jung who suggested that archetypes are universally found in everyone's [un]conscious mind, but that they appear to be independent entities or processes.

It was Crowley who warned us ... "In this book (Liber O) it is spoken of the Sephiroth and the Paths; of Spirits and Conjurations; of Gods, Spheres, Planes, and many other things which may or may not exist ... The student, if he attains any success in the following practices, will find himself confronted by things (ideas or beings) too glorious or too dreadful to be described. It is essential that he remain the master of all that he beholds, hears or conceives; otherwise he will be the slave of illusion, and the prey of madness."

AC also tells us (Book 4-III) ... "The aura of a man is called the “magical mirror of the universe”; and, so far as any one can tell, nothing exists outside of this mirror. It is at least convenient to represent the whole as if it were subjective. It leads to less confusion." ... and ... "We may consider all beings as parts of ourselves, but it is more convenient to regard them as independent." ... and ... "It is more convenient to assume the objective existence of an “Angel” who gives us new knowledge than to allege that our invocation has awakened a supernormal power in ourselves."

So, "convenience" is a magickal/mystical power - but it fails to face up to the "reality" of the matter. It simply makes things "easy."

con·ven·ient adjective - "fitting in well with a person's needs, activities, and plans."


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Los
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"david" wrote:
an Indian faith healer, Shashi Sharma Sr who murdered a woman because she walked in on him in one of his "ceremonies" where he was sexually molesting a young girl.  He had so much respect within that Canadian-Indian (Toronto) community that none of the (idiots) people would believe that he was up to no good.  They used to pay him substantial amounts of money for healing ceremonies and spiritual guidance.  He was also a bhakti practitioner.  You see where this is going?  Then we have the revered Catholic priests who get away with child abuse.  Now, don't get me wrong if these guys were materialist-atheists then they would've probably been equally twisted but..they weren't so we don't know.  People accepting strange ideas without question is a recipe for disaster.

Well, I think the important point here is not that believing wacky things necessarily makes people act in such harmful ways, but that there are a lot of harmful people who are protected by the gullibility and credulousness of the people around them, traits that are strengthened by the idea that it's good to accept beliefs uncritically.

What religious people often promote is a species of credulousness: "I felt it, so I believe it, and that's good enough for me." Michael basically said as much earlier in the thread, and so did Aleisterion. These sorts of people don't care if there are objective criteria for evaluating their claims: they've got a few special claims that they want to accept, so they do, and if someone points out the problems in their position, then they dismiss these critiques as "just an opinion."

This credulousness would be fine if each person lived in a bubble where our thoughts, words, and deeds never affected anybody else, but that's obviously not the world we live in. The problem is that credulousness is dangerous. Uncritically accepting ideas -- and promoting the uncritical acceptance of ideas -- poisons people's minds by training their brains to give assent to claims that just are not justified.

Cases like the ones you cite are just the tip of the iceberg. Let's not forget the organized movements of people who want to fight gay marriage, who oppose the teaching of science in public schools, who want to criminalize abortion, who favor government subsidies for "faith-based" organizations (regardless of the qualifications of these organizations), who want to install Ten Commandment monuments on government land in America, etc., etc.

And all of that isn't going anywhere near the climate of regressive opinions people hold about sexuality, gender, free expression, etc.

And all of that isn't going anywhere near the threat posed to civilization by maniacs who think it's their religious duty to kill others in the name of Islam.

There's a common theme tying together these serious problems: people who refuse to think critically about their beliefs and who want to just accept stuff because it "feels" right to them.

People who promote the uncritical acceptance of claims are ultimately aiding and abetting these dangerous groups.


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Los
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"Shiva" wrote:
The only difference between such "astral" dreams and "regular" dreams is the sensation that one is really, fully in the scenario - rather than separated or fuzzily participating. All this is subjective.

I'm perfectly willing to accept that people can have a kind of dream that feels different from other dreams. My point is that there's no reason to suspect that this is anything more than just another kind of dream.

Success, whether in a straight mode or assisted by chemicals, is accompanied by the feeling, the sensation, of actually leaving, or separating from, the dense physical body. And, since this apparent separation seems to be an actual departure, it is here that we find the opposing viewpoints expressed in this forum.

Right, but there actually is an objective answer to the question of whether a person has actually left his body or whether he's just dreaming he has. For example, if we got someone who claimed he could astrally project at will, we could put him in a guarded room and ask him to project into a room down the hall, where a neutral third party will have randomly selected a word and printed it on an index card. Have the astral traveler read the word, return to his body, and report the word to the people waiting with his body. Repeat this a few dozen times. If he's really leaving his body and really traveling down the hall -- and not just dreaming about it -- then he should be able to do something that he can't do in a dream: like bring back new, specific knowledge.


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Michael Staley
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"Los" wrote:
"Michael Staley" wrote:
Thank you for making your position so clear, Los. I'm glad we've agreed to differ.

Flanders: Well, it looks like we'll have to agree to disagree.
Principal Skinner: I don't agree to that!
Edna Krabappel: Neither do I!

You can disagree all you like, Michael. Until you can demonstrate what you say, as I can demonstrate what I say, your position is going to continue to look as foolish as it does now.

In case you've yet to work it out: not only do I not care about your opinion on how I evaluate my experience, I don't care if my position looks foolish to you or, indeed, to anyone else. So by all means carry on making snide and bitchy remarks about it to your heart's content; there is a certain entertainment value, I suppose.


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Los
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"Michael Staley" wrote:
I don't care

Yes, you've made it abundantly clear that you don't care whether your beliefs are true or not.

Everyone can read your posts and make up their own minds about how wise your position is.


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

Los,

I almost missed this post, so I will quote it here:

"Los" wrote:
"Yeheshuah" wrote:
there is a portion of language that has developed which does not operate under that picture.

Well, some people assert that a portion of language does not operate under that picture.

I'm asking you to justify that assertion: why do you think we should evaluate certain claims differently than the way that we evaluate all of the other claims? What's the justification for doing this? 'Cause some mystics say so?

I'm open to being persuaded that these claims need to be evaluated differently, but you have to explain why.

There is so much going on these days on the boards it is difficult to keep track of where we are at. 

So, what is the justification for taking mystical claims as having some other value besides true or false? One way to answer the question is, indeed, to say that it is so because mystics have said it is so.  That is to say, mystics, some mystics, have defined certain uses of language in such a way that proper understanding is only to be achieved using an alternative set of values to true/false.  If we don't approach that use of language in the way the mystic asks us to do, then we are artificially imposing a value system on the language. 

Another route into the same problem is this: truth talk is rarer then we seem to think.  In fact, most language is not about truth at all.  If I say, "It is sunny outside right now," I have made no truth claim because the language of truth has not been invoked.  To insist that the sentence does have a truth value is to impose a logical structure on the language that was developed late in human history.  Truth-values are artificially added on to most of language.  In other words, rarely do I say, if ever, "It is true that it is sunny outside."  This may seem like a rather useless point, but the point is important because it draws out attention back to how the language of truth is really used in practice.  Truth talk has a role in our language, and some thinkers try to artificially extend that use.  That is fine, but we ought to recognize that the extension of truth talk changes the meaning of the truth talk insofar as use reveals meaning.

Another way to look at the last point is this: your use of the language of truth demands justification where my abandonment of that language when approaching mystical claims does not.  How so? Your use of the language of truth extends the limits of the concept of truth beyond ordinary practice.  That is fine, but muddies the waters insofar as the language suggests familiarity without being the familiar old concept of truth.  My approach to mystical language doesn't require justification (in a sense, and in another sense is wholly justified) because it takes the contradictions of mystics as they are found.  It is a wholly empirical approach to language that leads us off the map. 

Yeheshuah

Love is the law, love under will.


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Los
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"Yeheshuah" wrote:
So, what is the justification for taking mystical claims as having some other value besides true or false?

No. Forget "true or false." Or "indeterminate." Or "special category that Yeheshuah refuses to describe." I am not talking about ranking every statement with a truth value. I'm talking about the system of evaluating claims (which I detailed earlier) in which one decides whether or not there's enough evidence for thinking a claim corresponds to reality. You seemed to agree with me that that system is a good and useful one, but you also seem to think that there is a group of claims that should not be evaluated with that system.

Why not?

because mystics have said it is so.

It should be obvious why that's incredibly unconvincing.

If we don't approach that use of language in the way the mystic asks us to do, then we are artificially imposing a value system on the language.

No, we're not. We're coming up with the most useful and accurate system we can and then using it to evaluate claims. The claim that "There are a bunch of claims that should be evaluated differently" is itself a claim that can be evaluated. I don't see the support for thinking that this claim corresponds with reality. You apparently do, so tell me what that support is. "Some guy said so" isn't sufficient.


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Aleisterion
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Los,

You carry on as if this is some battle of wits. I see the forum as a place to share insights and experiences in relation to the life and work of Aleister Crowley. Crowley was of the opinion that Liber Legis is evidence of the existence of praeterhuman intelligence; and from what I have gleaned, from my own studies and experiences, I am in agreement. You have made it clear that you disagree, which is fine. Thank you for sharing your views on the matter.


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Los
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"Aleisterion" wrote:
You carry on as if this is some battle of wits.

I carry on as if this is a discussion on a discussion board.

I see the forum as a place to share insights and experiences in relation to the life and work of Aleister Crowley.

Such insights would include the insight that nobody -- including Crowley -- has good reason to think that there is such a thing as "preterhuman intelligence."

Crowley was of the opinion that Liber Legis is evidence of the existence of praeterhuman intelligence; and from what I have gleaned, from my own studies and experiences, I am in agreement.

Yes, you've used your reason to draw the conclusion that he was correct. I think you've made a grave mistake in your reasoning, something that is objectively the case and that would become clear if you actually engaged in an honest discussion about your beliefs.

But having honest discussions about beliefs is the last thing that most religious folks want to do.


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Shiva
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"Los" wrote:
"Yeheshuah" wrote:
because mystics have said it is so.

It should be obvious why that's incredibly unconvincing.

Sorry Y.'. - I thought so, too. Anything "mystics" say is subject to the same scrutiny as what a "scientist" may say, or even what a "teacher" may say.


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Shiva
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"Los" wrote:
"Aleisterion" wrote:
Crowley was of the opinion that Liber Legis is evidence of the existence of praeterhuman intelligence ...

Oh ... I thought that I covered that topic above when I quoted Crowley saying, "It is more convenient to assume the objective existence of an “Angel” who gives us new knowledge than to allege that our invocation has awakened a supernormal power in ourselves."


Joeph Smith envisions Moroni and Jesus[/align:3fkupze0]

Jesus! 😮  Where does somebody get the name Moroni?


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

Los and Shiva,

It seems that you may have misunderstood my last set of points.  They were not points about metaphysics but usage.  That is an empirical matter.  That mystics make use of contradictions and talk about something that is beyond both being and nothingness, truth and falsity, is a matter of reading the mystics.  We can't characterize the "special category that Yeheshuah refuses to describe," as Los most ungraciously stated, until a proper system of meanings is in place.

Just to be clear, I am not insisting on taking the word of mystics as to the existence of supernatural entities or alternative realms of being.

On abandoning the language of true and false, that is an intriguing recommendation.  I am all in.  We can even use the language of correspondence, but we will run into the same problems, because mystics often enough speak of contradictions, and not just in terms of true and false.  So your desire to speak in terms of correspondence still defines away the mystical rather than confronting it on its own terms. 

Think of our current problem in this way: there is no relation of correspondence you can point to.  So how do you establish correspondence? Simply insisting the sentence "It is sunny outside" corresponds to when it is sunny outside demonstrates nothing.  What it does is show how you want us to use the language of correspondence.  And so it is with mystical language.  It is a way of using English, or Spanish, or German, etc.

I think what you are worried about is letting in metaphysical monstrosities.  No metaphysics has yet been proposed, at least not since we restarted our conversation a couple of posts back with a look at the semantics of a logical system.

Once we have a grasp on the different possible usages of English, then we can start down the road of characterizing those possible usages.  (Think, maybe, in these terms: what is the meaning of "arbol"? If I do not speak Spanish, I can meditate on that word without ever coming to a conclusion regarding the meaning of the term.  We cannot characterize language ahead of its use.  Practice comes first.  Mysticism and the language of mysticism are a set of practices.)

Yeheshuah

Love is the law, love under will.


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gnosomai
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"Los" wrote:
People who promote the uncritical acceptance of claims are ultimately aiding and abetting these dangerous groups.

So much fear in this one post, clouding vision and understanding. Generalizing the individual in favor of personal safety. 4 legs good, 2 legs bad.

Unfortunate. If only there were practices available to help break through that delusion.

I do recall Swami Vivekananda recommending in Raja Yoga that, until one has a direct experience of Deity, it is less hypocritical to be an atheist than a believer of the stories of others. There is, however, that "until".


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Los
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"Shiva" wrote:
Joeph Smith envisions Moroni and Jesus

Joseph Smith was called a prophet, dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb


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Shiva
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"Yeheshuah" wrote:
Just to be clear, I am not insisting on taking the word of mystics as to the existence of supernatural entities or alternative realms of being.

Oh, that's good. But, if we're interested, we should at least examine their words and run them through the reality checking machine. After all, one out of a hundred "strange" claims might be true.


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gnosomai
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Yeheshua,

While I grasp what you're saying, I'm also sympathetic to Los and Shiva in that you are describing it in technical terms that only truly make sense if you have formal grounding in linguistics or logic. It might be beneficial to the discussion as a whole if you were to construct some larger illustrations to demonstrate where you perceive Los's use of language potentially sending the discussion off the rails because of its looseness. I've already seen one in the past page or so wherein he rests on this generalized meaning of the word "you" in his demands for evidence of how people astrally travel. All of these posts on that side-discussion could be benefited if the participants were to better define their terms for each other. They might quickly realize that what one side understands by the term "you" or "me" or "I" is not identical to what the other side does and thus the foundations of divergence.

From what I've seen over the past year or so of interaction, Los and david tend to rely on "common sense" or "common usage" type definitions when entering technical discussions and maintain a big blind spot when others use them in either more specific or more specialized ways as might befit a certain topic of discussion. It's no use building a discussion if these foundations aren't solid and agreed to by all, even if that requires educating the participants where their current understanding is flawed.


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Los
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"Yeheshuah" wrote:
That mystics make use of contradictions and talk about something that is beyond both being and nothingness, truth and falsity, is a matter of reading the mystics.

Sure, they make claims like that.

Now, you and I just earlier in this thread agreed that a good and useful method is to evaluate claims and see what evidence there is to think the claims correspond with reality.

So far as I can tell, you are making a meta-claim about a set of claims that you are dubbing "mystical": "Mystical claims need to be evaluated using a different method." What's the evidence for this meta-claim? The mere fact that mystics say so doesn't support the claim -- it merely asserts it.

Just to be clear, I am not insisting on taking the word of mystics as to the existence of supernatural entities or alternative realms of being.

Right, you're insisting that we take their word about the meta-claim. Why would we blindly accept what someone says?


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Los
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"Yeheshuah" wrote:
So your desire to speak in terms of correspondence still defines away the mystical rather than confronting it on its own terms.

No. I explained earlier that the purpose of constructing the system under discussion is so that we can determine whether or not a claim most likely corresponds with reality. Such a system doesn't define anything away.

If you're saying that mystical claims don't correspond with reality, then fine. I accept that.

Personally, I'm of the opinion that a lot of mystical claims do correspond with reality: they correspond to entirely inward experiences and are attempts to describe experiences that are difficult to put into words.

I don't think my system of evaluation "defines away" these claims at all -- it allows us to see that they are true to the extent that they describe what a certain kind of internal experience feels like.


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

Gnosomai Emauton,

Your suggestion is helpful to me to see how to focus some of the ideas we are kicking around.  So let's consider the debate regarding astral travel.  We need to consider how leaving one's body could be a factual matter.  If I say that I projected through the fire tattwa and go on to describe the terrain of this alternative plane, how could I distinguish between a vivid imagination and a real projection? It is not clear to me that I could do so.  There is no clear body of facts regarding the realm of tejas to which I can appeal for support... not that I am aware of. 

What one person may describe as a projection, another may describe as imagination.  There are no clear facts to decide the matter in the tattwa case.  So, it seems to me, what side one takes is a matter of preference.  Insisting on one way of understanding such an experience over another, though, is dogmatism rather than careful thinking.

Then there is the case of projection within the realm of everyday existence.  Down here.  In Malkuth.  How would we distinguish between being somewhere and simply imagining being somewhere? Speaking for myself alone, I imagine that I would buy a projection claim if it came with knowledge regarding the area projected to.  That is, assuming I don't distrust the person giving the report. 

What is most important in the approach I am describing is not the metaphysics involved but the attention to language use.  In the case of the tattwa, my inner experience is all the evidence available regarding a plane of fire.  That may be all the evidence there will ever be.  Someone may call that imagination.  So be it.  Others may call it projection.  I am all in.  Where there are no significant differences to be pointed to, I see nothing to get worried over.

But what if someone says we have evidence for the activity of imagination but not for alternative realms of being? Attention must be given to the language used.  What would this person consider as evidence for alternative realms of being? Without some clarity in that regard, the quest for evidence is not going to go anywhere.  We are left with a question without clear meaning.  (We must be careful, though, once we demand evidence.  If we artificially fix the rules of the game by insisting, say, that anything which is only subjectively accessible is imaginary, we have changed the rules of the language to fit our own metaphysical belief system rather than grappling with the language and the world as we find it, however imprecise and unclear it may be.)

The world gives itself to us in different ways, it seems to me.  If there is some aspect of the world which can only present itself via my subjectivity, demanding objectivity is simply to ignore the world rather than investigate it.  The challenge, though, is how to distinguish between flights of fancy and true mystical experience... if there is such a difference.

(Los, while I was writing, you responded to my last post.  The above is not my response to your latest challenges.  I will give them my attention, no worries.)

Yeheshuah

Love is the law, love under will.


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Los
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Topic starter  
"Yeheshuah" wrote:
(Los, while I was writing, you responded to my last post.  The above is not my response to your latest challenges.  I will give them my attention, no worries.)

Yeah, sure thing. While I was out for a walk, I came up with a way to crystalize my objection to what you're saying.

Essentially, it seems to me that what you're saying in our discussion boils down to "If we presume that mystical claims have a special meaning, then mystical claims have a special meaning."

This is circular and pointless. It's as if I argued, "If we presume that Los is king of the universe, then Los is king of the universe."

Why should we start by presuming that to be the case?


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Los
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"Yeheshuah" wrote:
If I say that I projected through the fire tattwa and go on to describe the terrain of this alternative plane, how could I distinguish between a vivid imagination and a real projection? It is not clear to me that I could do so.

It depends on how one defines "real projection" and how the definition of "real projection" differs from imagination. If one does not define "real projection" in a detectable way that can be distinguished from an act of imagination, then there are no grounds for saying that it's anything more than an act of imagination. 

What one person may describe as a projection, another may describe as imagination.

Except that we have a term for imagination already, and if there is no way to determine that "projection" is anything more than imagination, I would suggest that it is deeply misleading to give it a new name just for the hell of it.

So, it seems to me, what side one takes is a matter of preference.  Insisting on one way of understanding such an experience over another, though, is dogmatism rather than careful thinking.

I disagree for the reasons stated above. It's not "dogmatism" to suggest that we've already got a perfectly valid term for what the person is describing and that there is no reason to think that the person has experienced something other than what we usually mean by imagination. That would be a really weird use of the word "dogmatism."

Then there is the case of projection within the realm of everyday existence.  Down here.  In Malkuth.  How would we distinguish between being somewhere and simply imagining being somewhere? Speaking for myself alone, I imagine that I would buy a projection claim if it came with knowledge regarding the area projected to.  That is, assuming I don't distrust the person giving the report.

Sure, but you have to be careful about what you're willing to call "knowledge." Someone can make a good guess as to what's in another area, and it wouldn't be knowledge but it might appear to be.

As I said earlier, if someone can really do this, then have the astral traveler project into a room where a neutral third party has printed a random word on an index card, read the word, return to his body, and report the word to the people who stay with the body. If the person really is traveling to the other room, and it's not just a dream, he should be able to tell what's written on the card over and over again.

Why do you think it is that nobody's ever done this?

In the case of the tattwa, my inner experience is all the evidence available regarding a plane of fire.  That may be all the evidence there will ever be.  Someone may call that imagination.  So be it.  Others may call it projection.  I am all in.  Where there are no significant differences to be pointed to, I see nothing to get worried over.

The only issue I see arising is someone who really becomes convinced that there's some "other realm" that's actually distinct from the material world. From what you're saying, there's absolutely no reason to draw that conclusion, so someone who does draw that conclusion is in danger of making other, more serious reasoning errors in the future.

But what if someone says we have evidence for the activity of imagination but not for alternative realms of being? Attention must be given to the language used.  What would this person consider as evidence for alternative realms of being?

I dunno, whaddya got? The person who *says* that it's an "alternate realm of being" would have to define what an "alternate realm of being" is and how it's different from a fantasy. And then he'd have to explain how he tells it's different from a fantasy.

If we artificially fix the rules of the game by insisting, say, that anything which is only subjectively accessible is imaginary

No. You're really hung up on this point.

Nobody is "artificially fix[ing] the rules of the game" by observing (1)  that we use the term "acts of imagination" to describe the images and ideas created entirely in the individual's head by the creative faculty and (2) that "acts of imagination" is therefore an accurate term for images and ideas experienced in an individual's head, so long as the individual has no mechanism for distinguishing them from acts of the imagination.

As soon as the individual proposes a mechanism for distinguishing "astral travel" from "acts of the imagination," then I'm all ears. Until then, I have no problem not only consider what he's doing to be playing make believe but telling him that.


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gnosomai
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"Yeheshuah" wrote:
Then there is the case of projection within the realm of everyday existence.  Down here.  In Malkuth.  How would we distinguish between being somewhere and simply imagining being somewhere? Speaking for myself alone, I imagine that I would buy a projection claim if it came with knowledge regarding the area projected to.  That is, assuming I don't distrust the person giving the report.

Excellent, this seems all right on the money. So, to extend the examination of the astral projection discussion, we have two claimants who have asserted subjective confidence that what they experienced was an astral projection. If I am to take you at your word, then your next step in deciding whether to buy these claims would be in asking them for a trip report with as many details as they can put in it which you could then compare to on the ground evidence from the actual mundane location to which they claim they traveled. Perhaps this will be enough to convince you, perhaps not. If they only went to their corner grocery store it would be difficult to discern a real experience from a remembered one. Further, I hear that Alesterion is a downright rascal who spends his afternoons hopping around from message board to message board spreading the most fiendish lies 😉

Regardless, you have a claim, you have a way of evaluating it for yourself, fine. Here's where the importance of clear language comes in. In Los's case, he won't be convinced until this experience is repeated at will so that he can test it out in any way he sees fit. Which is fine. It's his metric, based on a pretty common metric of science, that insists on repeatability to confirm hypotheses into theories. However, these two reports of astral projection were not presented on that basis. These are not claims of astral projection "at will". Neither of our volunteers at any point said this is something they can or do do regularly. So, for Los, no dice. Which is fine, that's his prerogative. But we must recognize that he's coming to that conclusion by virtue of the fact that he's not approaching these claims on their own terms. If he were, he'd be coming up with some metric by which he could evaluate astral projection that didn't happen at will and that isn't repeatable on command. That might require collating a large number of similar claims to see if there are consistencies between them that can't be accounted by coincidence. There might be other metrics that I don't feel like putting the effort into formulating right now. Whatever they are, they would need to address the claim as it exists, not as the evaluator wants it to exist.

This is why we must be careful with our use of language. This is why we must approach these claims on their own terms. Why we must approach mystical claims on their own terms. Why we must approach ANY claims on their own terms. It's fine if the answer is still, "I don't buy it," but it's important to see what reasoning is being used to see what personal bias, if any, is leading to that judgement.

As it stands, neither of our volunteers has said anything along the lines of: "It happened to me therefore I know it's true therefore you can't question it with logic you're just wrong." They've both been pretty clear with the: "I had an experience that was subjectively convincing enough in its reality that I take it to be a separation of consciousness from body. You are free to believe or disbelieve me on this score, it makes no difference to me."

As Shiva said:

"Shiva" wrote:
if we're interested, we should at least examine their words and run them through the reality checking machine. After all, one out of a hundred "strange" claims might be true.

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gnosomai
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"Los" wrote:
Sure, but you have to be careful about what you're willing to call "knowledge." Someone can make a good guess as to what's in another area, and it wouldn't be knowledge but it might appear to be.

You do realize that this is your example about your car being parked in front of your house, right? No matter how confident you are in the odds of it being out there, until you actually look out the window, your trust in that reality is just a good guess that appears to be knowledge. Why do you get special dispensation in this regard?


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Michael Staley
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"Los" wrote:
Except that we have a term for imagination already, and if there is no way to determine that "projection" is anything more than imagination, I would suggest that it is deeply misleading to give it a new name just for the hell of it.

It's hardly a new name, whether "for the hell of it" or not. The term "astral projection" has been around for at least a hundred years.


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Los
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"Michael Staley" wrote:
"Los" wrote:
Except that we have a term for imagination already, and if there is no way to determine that "projection" is anything more than imagination, I would suggest that it is deeply misleading to give it a new name just for the hell of it.

It's hardly a new name

I meant "new" as in "in contrast to another term that already adequately describes the phenomenon." I didn't mean "new" as in "of recent origin."

That much should have been obvious to anyone reading my post in the spirit of honest conversation. Which probably explains why it wasn't obvious to you.


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Aleisterion
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Hello again, Shiva:

As I've made clear elsewhere on this forum, praeterhuman intelligence is, in my opinion, only beyond our own up to a point and to a certain extent. It is possible, I believe, to realize its genius. Religion, to me, is merely a tool by which to achieve such realization, not to propitiate.


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Aleisterion
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Gnosomai:

I don't have the slightest clue what you're talking about when you say that I go around various message boards spreading lies. This is the only forum I've been at in years. Whatever you've heard is wrong.


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Tao
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[Deleted by user - kids playing with my phone]


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wellreadwellbred
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"Yeheshuah" wrote:
... What one person may describe as a projection, another may describe as imagination. So, it seems to me, what side one takes is a matter of preference. Insisting on one way of understanding such an experience over another, though, is dogmatism rather than careful thinking.
"Los" wrote:
... It's not "dogmatism" to suggest that we've already got a perfectly valid term for what the person is describing and that there is no reason to think that the person has experienced something other than what we usually mean by imagination. That would be a really weird use of the word "dogmatism."

dogmatism 1. dogmatic character; unfounded positiveness in matters of opinion; arrogant assertion of opinions as truths. Source: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/dogmatism

Has the person who has had an "astral" experience, no qualification and no say concerning your following claim Los, a claim which comes across to me as more than a wee bit arrogant: 

"Los" wrote:
... there is no reason to think that the person has experienced something other than what we usually mean by imagination. ...

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gnosomai
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So sorry, Alesterion. I thought the emoticon would convey my snarky tone. I was simply trying to create a concrete example of the subtle mistrust we all likely have at some level toward the claims of other anonymous avatars on a forum dedicated to a man known for his fluid use of "truth". No personal aspersion intended.


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Michael Staley
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"Los" wrote:
"Michael Staley" wrote:
"Los" wrote:
Except that we have a term for imagination already, and if there is no way to determine that "projection" is anything more than imagination, I would suggest that it is deeply misleading to give it a new name just for the hell of it.

It's hardly a new name

I meant "new" as in "in contrast to another term that already adequately describes the phenomenon." I didn't mean "new" as in "of recent origin."

That much should have been obvious to anyone reading my post in the spirit of honest conversation. Which probably explains why it wasn't obvious to you.

Thank you for the clarification; I'm glad to hear it.


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wellreadwellbred
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All within brackets in the quote from Erwin, is added by me:

"Erwin" wrote:
... direct experience has no explanatory power - only rational interpretation has explanatory power. [...] All direct experience can tell you is that something is there, and in the question of will, that's all you need to know as far as the "reality" of it goes. Anything you need to know about how it works and what benefits it might bring, you need to figure out with rational interpretation in the manner I describe in the essay [...] [True Will Source: http://www.erwinhessle.com/writings/truewill.php ]"

Is a direct experience of "astral projection" all you need to know as far as the "reality" of "astral projection" goes, and can anything you need to know about how "astral projection" works and what benefits it might bring, be figured out with rational interpretation?

"Los" wrote:
-- actual experience gives you an ability to understand a subject and explain it clearly to others. If your "experience" is something you can't speak about, then you can't use that experience to make claims.

Does an actual experience of "astral projection" give you an ability to understand "astral projection", and an ability to explain it clearly to others? And if your experience of "astral projection" is something you can speak about, can you then use that experience to make claims? 


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Los
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"wellreadwellbred" wrote:
Is a direct experience of "astral projection" all you need to know as far as the "reality" of "astral projection" goes, and can anything you need to know about how "astral projection" works and what benefits it might bring, be figured out with rational interpretation?

I have no idea what the hell you're trying to say. As usual.

Source: me reading your post.

Does an actual experience of "astral projection" give you an ability to understand "astral projection", and an ability to explain it clearly to others? And if your experience of "astral projection" is something you can speak about, can you then use that experience to make claims? 

I've already explained that having an experience where it feels like you left your body tells you that you've had an experience where it feels like you left your body. Whether you *actually did* leave your body is a different question entirely.

Source: having experiences.


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Michael Staley
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It's the scare quotes, wellreadwellbred, wot threw him into a tizzy.


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Los
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"Michael Staley" wrote:
It's the scare quotes, wellreadwellbred, wot threw him into a tizzy.

Funny story: I'm hosting a party tonight for the Game of Thrones premiere, and I've projected my laptop screen onto the TV for my guests. You'll be delighted to know that we've actually decided to play the Michael Staley drinking game, the rules for which were invented about ten minutes ago. We're going through your post history, and every time we find a post that adds nothing to a conversation, everyone has to take a drink.

It's only been a few minutes, and one of my friends is begging me to change the rules because he can't keep up. Cheers!


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Shiva
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"Los" wrote:
... I've projected my laptop screen onto the TV for my guests.

Is this a form of astral projection? Or is it laptop projection? How does it differ from digital projection and psychological projection?


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wellreadwellbred
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"Erwin" wrote:
... direct experience has no explanatory power - only rational interpretation has explanatory power. [...] All direct experience can tell you is that something is there, and in the question of will, that's all you need to know as far as the "reality" of it goes. Anything you need to know about how it works and what benefits it might bring, you need to figure out with rational interpretation in the manner I describe in the essay [...] [True Will Source: http://www.erwinhessle.com/writings/truewill.php ]"
"Los" wrote:
"wellreadwellbred" wrote:
Is a direct experience of "astral projection" all you need to know as far as the "reality" of "astral projection" goes, and can anything you need to know about how "astral projection" works and what benefits it might bring, be figured out with rational interpretation?

I have no idea what the hell you're trying to say. As usual. ...

Los, you are in much agreement with what Erwin Hessle has written about the Thelema associated with Aleister Crowley. In the quote from Erwin Hessle at the beginning of this posting, Hessle claims that direct experience is all you need to know as far as the "reality" of will goes.

What do you consider to be the major difference between all the instances where direct experience is all you need to know as far as the "reality" of something goes, and all the instances where direct experience is not all you need to know as far as the "reality" of something goes?


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Los
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"wellreadwellbred" wrote:
What do you consider to be the major difference between all the instances where direct experience is all you need to know as far as the "reality" of something goes, and all the instances where direct experience is not all you need to know as far as the "reality" of something goes?

Oh, I get what you're saying now. Thank you, that was much clearer.

You're suggesting that there's a discrepancy between saying, on the one hand, that a person can know that the True Will exists by experiencing it (which I have indeed said) and saying, on the other hand, that merely having an experience that seems like leaving the body isn't sufficient to know that the person in question actually has left the body (which I have also said).

But there's not a discrepancy because I'm not saying that the experience of the True Will reveals anything about what it is: just that it's there. In the same way, the experience of apparently leaving one's body does not reveal anything about what that experience actually is: just that one is having the experience.

If you want to talk about what the True Will actually is -- whether it's a spirit or a something rooted in the physical world, for example -- we would have to reason and discuss, just like if you want to talk about what "astral projection" actually is -- whether it's a person really leaving the body or just a dream -- we would have to reason and discuss.


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Los
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"Shiva" wrote:
"Los" wrote:
... I've projected my laptop screen onto the TV for my guests.

Is this a form of astral projection? Or is it laptop projection?

It's magic, man. Everyone here says hi. It's time for another round of the MSDG.


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