Home Forums Thelema Thelema annihilate the personality

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  • #101191

    arthuremerson
    Participant

    David,

    The text you’ve linked to is unreliable. As it happens, the Google Books preview of Liber Aleph contains the relevant chapter.

    æ

    #101201

    Jamie J Barter
    Participant

    @arthuremerson :

    I can’t possibly be alone in these forums in having grave doubts about Los attributing to a chair some sense of its being a chair, that is to say, as having a personality.  Either Los is engaging in some form of panpsychism or he’s simply being characteristically lazy in his thinking. Which of these disjuncts is the correct one must by now be obvious.
    Quite so; whether it be a chair or a couch (let’s not forget Los’s Liber Resh hash here, set out on page 6 of the other [A new resident of the City of the Pyramids: Los!] thread.)

    @dom : (quoting or rather cherry-picking, from Book 4:

    As if organization could spring from disorganization!
    This is rather a surprising comment for Therion to make, considering that is arguably how the whole universe works & came into being, whether one takes that as the evolution of the big bang, or Kether and the Supernals and thence the emanations of the ToL springing forth from the ‘disorganised’ matrix of the Negative Veils.  Does anyone disagree?

    Which one is that according to that link?
    It’s slightly dispiriting, david/dom, that you seem unable to use your intelligence & do what a resourceful five year old could do: research the correct information to enable you to get hold of the relevant chapter. Maybe try the usually reliable hermetic.com as well, for instance!? 
    (Any other backside wiping necessary?!)

    Yours helpfully
    N Joy

    #101205

    Tiger
    Participant

    “It’s slightly dispiriting, david/dom, that you seem unable to use your intelligence & do what a resourceful five year old could do: research the correct information to enable you to get hold of the relevant chapter. Maybe try the usually reliable hermetic.com as well, for instance!?
    (Any other backside wiping necessary?!)ll

    MU

    happy Equinox

    #101206

    Tiger
    Participant

    When in doubt throw out .
    How can you tell ? When you don’t know ?

    Trust your self

    #107700

    dom
    Participant

    @arthuremerson

    .

    For Los’s analogy to be “fine”, as he calls it, the chair and the personality would have to be importantly related; that is to say, there would have to be some notable similarity between the two cases that Los presents- the annihilation of the chair and the annihilation of the personality.

    Yes the implications that the chair also has some inherent equivalent ‘personality’ is of course ridiculous.

    +++++++++

    LOS IS WRONG BECAUSE SEPERATE CHAIR-PIECES CAN BE IDENTIFIED AS ‘A CHAIR’

    The chair reduction case that Los takes to be the paradigm of his analogy seems uncontroversial enough. By reducing the chair to so many chair-pieces, it’s identity as a chair has been annihilated.

    It seems Los has in mind that a chair’s functioning as a chair is importantly related to its identity as a chair, hence his insistence that no one would call unassembled chair-pieces a chair. Leaving aside the rather obvious objection to this latter notion (there are cases where one might refer to chair-pieces as a chair),

    Yes as demonstrated here prior to assemblage;

    Also if I bought a chair at a DIY furniture store, the pieces of which came separate and slotted neatly together in a box, I may be asked by a friend who I meet on the way home, what’s in the box? I doubt very much that I’d say it was components of a chair. I’d say it was ‘a chair’.

    CHAIR PIECES POST-ANNHILATION DO NOT (STILL) ‘DO THEIR THING”

    the suggestion that a chair’s identity as such is importantly related to its function seems uncontroversial enough. It’s when Los introduces the personality that things become hopelessly confused.
    But this is a “fine analogy” according to Los- presumably because, as in the chair reduction, the pieces of the personality, we seem supposed to assume like those of the chair, still perform their function, or, “do their thing,” as he puts it. This is a curious suggestion, for I fail to see in what way the pieces in each case are analogous. Surely Los isn’t suggesting that the chair-pieces go on “doing their thing”. In some weak sense I suppose they could. If I haven’t altogether splintered the chair, I could put my ass on the seat and use the arms as some haphazard support for my own, but this would hardly seem to be congruent with their prior, much more efficacious function when assembled into one sturdy unit.

    Los’s confused thinking here has ran away with itself especially when we consider the legs of a chair “doing their thing” post- annihilation. The chair legs in and of themselves whose sole function is to act as support to the arms and seat of the chair. Chair legs lying on the floor next to the chair-seat and the arm-rests are not “doing their thing” as such if I have previously assembled them together to make my chair but subsequently disassembled them in a destructive manner…. however what if these separate pieces of the chair are not damaged and can be reassembled? Maybe they can therefore still “do their thing” as fit for their original purpose? More on this below.

    And anyway, this would seem rather problematic for Los’s observation that the sarcastic person just goes on being as sarcastic as he ever was, to all outward appearance unchanged by his personality’s annihilation- quite unlike, it must be obvious, to our chair. No one, after all, would deign themselves to engage in the stupidity of continuing to refer to it as a chair after pieces have been made of it.

    Really?

    When you say “after pieces have been made of it” you do mean after it has been broken into pieces i.e. disassembled?

    If so we established earlier that “Los is wrong because separate chair-pieces can = chair but are you now saying that we would no longer refer to our newly disassembled chair as ‘a chair’?

    Let’s say that the chair I purchased and originally assembled has now become, as Los says, “annihilated” and it’s now in a state of disarray. Let’s say I now collect and place these pieces back in the box I originally bought it with, as consumers do when they intend to get a refund. The pieces can still be referred to as a chair if they were not damaged during the “annihilation” of the chair’s identity. Is this what Los means by “annihilation” of the chair’s identity? Damaged pieces beyond repair? I’m assuming not because his grammar and actual description was “to take apart”) and this implies ‘and can be put back together’;

    What does it mean to annihilate something? Literally, “reduce to nothing.” If I were to take apart the chair I’m currently sitting on, I would have annihilated its identity as a chair (since no one would call a collection of wooden pieces scattered over the floor a “chair”). However, the individual pieces don’t go away just because I’ve annihilated the chair as a chair.”

    Anyway let’s say I take the chair pieces back to the shop in the original state I purchased them but now reassembled in the box and if I once again see the same friend who asked me what was in the box I may once again tell him that yet again I am carrying the same ‘chair’ in the box. Not really solve coagula as such because we’re talking about pieces of wood.

    This latter observation engages us in the deepest and most obvious problem with Los’s supposed analogy.
    Even if the Magister Templi were, to all outward appearance, to have fundamentally changed, we would still go on calling him by his name, for his identity for others has nothing whatever to do with his functioning as some kind of instrument, as in the case of the chair.

    A man’s name is his identity yes but we also “name” objects like chairs i.e. the noun ‘chair’. If I disassembled the chair and then leave the pieces on my floor, a friend may ask me where the chair is? I would say that ‘the chair’ is there on the floor…..albeit in pieces. Would I not be correct in identifying these pieces as ‘the chair’?

    Indeed, on Los’s construal, what gets annihilated in the case of the personality is the Magister Templi’s internal disposition toward his (!) various “pieces” as constitutive of some stable center. Not only would supposing so in the latter half of his analogy render his previous comments about the chair inscrutable, I can’t possibly be alone in these forums in having grave doubts about Los attributing to a chair some sense of its being a chair, that is to say, as having a personality.

    A chair with a permanent “personality”. This is of course ridiculous as stated at the outset.

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 5 days ago by  dom.
    #107705

    ignant666
    Participant

    I can’t possibly be alone in these forums in having grave doubts about Los attributing to a chair some sense of its being a chair, that is to say, as having a personality.

    While athuremerson makes a good point here, let’s bear in mind that Los has been known to do Resh adorations to his couch four times daily, and not be too quick to dismiss the possibility that S.’. H.’. Fra. Los, 8=3, is what might be termed a furniture-animist.

    #107707

    dom
    Participant

    Hahaha yes the couch-Resh. I tried it, it’s not that effective.

    #107710

    dom
    Participant

    On the road yesterday as I was formulating my reply to Arthur’s post mentally there was a car un front with the letters MU in it’s licence plate. Significant? Damned straight it was significant.

    #107718

    arthuremerson
    Participant

    David,

    You’ve read me quite well above. And though I must admit I’m not sure what to make of your apparently recently acquired competence in comprehension, I welcome it. Good work.

    This was intended to be a joke at Los’s expense: “No one, after all, would deign themselves to engage in the stupidity of continuing to refer to it as a chair after pieces have been made of it.”

    A man’s name is his identity yes but we also “name” objects like chairs i.e. the noun ‘chair’. If I disassembled the chair and then leave the pieces on my floor, a friend may ask me where the chair is? I would say that ‘the chair’ is there on the floor…..albeit in pieces. Would I not be correct in identifying these pieces as ‘the chair’?

    Right, you quite capture one of my points here. While I don’t agree that a person’s identity is their name, we do use names in order to identify (or at least to refer to) persons. The point of my short essay, however, is to show that Los’s analogy is incoherent, not to develop a position of my own. In the section you are referring to here, I’m demonstrating how silly it is to analogize reference in the case of the chair to that of the personality on Los’s own account.

    It helps if we just spell out what the analogy is supposed to be. The annihilation of the personality is supposed to be analogous to that of the annihilation of the chair. Annihilation, Los tells us, means to literally ‘reduce to nothing’. A reduction to nothing in the case of the chair, according to Los, is to eliminate its relevant function- it no longer functions ‘chairwise,’ if you will. The relevant function, in this case, is also the referent of the term ‘chair’. On his account, after having eliminated its relevant function, we would discontinue to refer to the object/artifact as we previously had. The analogy, then, appears to have two working parts for which we would expect some relevant similarity between the annihilation cases of the chair and the personality: 1) the elimination of some relevant function; 2) a shift in referential terms subsequent the relevant elimination.

    I suggest that if you take what I’ve just said above and work out for yourself what the personality portion of the analogy is supposed to be, the paragraph of my writing that is in question will make more sense to you. What, exactly, is ‘reduced to nothing’ in the case of the personality on Los’s account? I will say that due to the ambiguity of his account, determining this is not a terribly easy task, but we have to make do with what we have and be charitable. One hint: it has two features.

    I look forward to your response.

    æ

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 4 days ago by  arthuremerson. Reason: a word
    • This reply was modified 1 week, 4 days ago by  arthuremerson. Reason: formatting/grammar
    • This reply was modified 1 week, 4 days ago by  arthuremerson. Reason: clarification
    • This reply was modified 1 week, 4 days ago by  arthuremerson. Reason: clarification
    #107739

    dom
    Participant

    @arthuremerson

    Actually yes the noun ‘man’ is different to the noun ‘chair’ because ‘chair’ is an explicit referral to an instrument built by people and with the intention of being used by people to sit on.

    I suggest that if you take what I’ve just said above and work out for yourself what the personality portion of the analogy is supposed to be, the paragraph of my writing that is in question will make more sense to you. What, exactly, is ‘reduced to nothing’ in the case of the personality on Los’s account? I will say that due to the ambiguity of his account, determining this is not a terribly easy task, but we have to make do with what we have and be charitable. One hint: it has two features.

    Yes I overanalysed the scenario because “annihilation” and “reduction to nothingness” is obliteration i.e. the chair and of course it’s specific function ; now kaput!
    .

    The relevant function, in this case, is also the referent of the term ‘chair’. On his account, after having eliminated its relevant function, we would discontinue to refer to the object/artifact as we previously had. The analogy, then, appears to have two working parts for which we would expect some relevant similarity between the annihilation cases of the chair and the personality: 1) the elimination of some relevant function; 2) a shift in referential terms subsequent the relevant eliminatio

    Yes.

    He originally ‘explained’ that What does it mean to annihilate something? Literally, “reduce to nothing.” If I were to take apart the chair I’m currently sitting on, I would have annihilated its identity as a chair (since no one would call a collection of wooden pieces scattered over the floor a “chair”). However, the individual pieces don’t go away just because I’ve annihilated the chair as a chair.
    This is a fine analogy for annihilating the personality: all of the “pieces” of the annihilated individual still exist and still do their thing

    I mean an obliterated personality which continues to e.g. crack jokes and boast and got mad at people and run the full gamut of human emotions is an appalling analogy because the chair is totally kaput and is no longer a chair and can’t do anything that it used to do. Any parallel should’ve certainly stopped dead at obliteration.

    In fact as I write this I’m pretty amazed that 1) he could’ve wrote that analogy and 2) that I missed how bad it is. The parallel between an obliterated chair and a personality and the bizarre notion that a chair, destroyed could also now, no longer have an unchanging “center” to experience, to which the pieces all refer.” What?

    In an nutshell he claims that the chair would not only had to have had an identity that held all of it’s separate components together pre-obliteration but that the elusive identity gets annihilated post-obliteration but the post-obliteration chair pieces still somehow “do their thing“. The entire analogy is a maze of nonsense and I’m amazed that he actually posted it.

    Los come on down, explain yourself on this one.

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 3 days ago by  dom. Reason: paragraph layout
    • This reply was modified 1 week, 3 days ago by  dom.
    • This reply was modified 1 week, 3 days ago by  dom. Reason: clarity
    #107748

    Shiva
    Participant

    Oh, it’s so complicated, isn’t it? The truth of the matter isw that the sense of a sparate, individual being disappears … but there is that which remains. The consciousness which arises (that’s the term used in the scriptures) is universal. That is, the man realizes that the chair is part of his being (along with everything else he or she perceives), and so he she can “make no difference between any one thing and any other thing.”

    Note: It’s called Samadhi.

    #107750

    Tiger
    Participant

    I love the way you condense things Shiva !

    #107752

    dom
    Participant

    Oh, it’s so complicated, isn’t it? The truth of the matter isw that the sense of a sparate, individual being disappears … but there is that which remains. The consciousness which arises (that’s the term used in the scriptures) is universal. That is, the man realizes that the chair is part of his being (along with everything else he or she perceives), and so he she can “make no difference between any one thing and any other thing.”
    Note: It’s called Samadhi.

    Shiva we’re not discussing what it’s like as such, we’re discussing Los’s capacity and ability to explain and present things.

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 1 day ago by  dom.
    #107754

    ignant666
    Participant

    Actually, we’re “discussing [S.’. H.’. Fra.] Los’s [8=3] capacity and ability to explain and present things” that he has never experienced, but has only read about in books.

    That is not an easy task with an ineffable state or experience. Shiva has the advantage of knowing what he’s talking about.

    Note also that The Phallus Of A Goat may be hampered in trying to describe a state the very existence of which poses deep challenges for his world-view (on which he has an unusually tight death-grip).

    #107761

    Michael Staley
    Participant

    @dom

    Shiva we’re not discussing what it’s like as such, we’re discussing Los’s capacity and ability to explain and present things.

    With all due respect, you’re mistaken. This thread may have degenerated into prattling on about “Los’s capacity and ability to explain and present things”, but it was originally about what it might mean to “annihilate the personality”. As such, Shiva is a damn sight more on-topic than you are.

    If you want to talk about “Los’s capacity and ability to explain and present things”, why don’t you start a thread on that topic?

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