Home Forums Thelemic Culture and Crowley in the Media Requests The Practice of the Magical Diary

Viewing 15 posts - 196 through 210 (of 231 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #42004

    Camlion
    Participant

    I do know where you’re coming from, thePuck, and you are not alone among Thelemites. If I may paraphrase from what I’ve said here before with regard to religion, there is ‘physicalism’ in Thelema for those that require it; and there is also freedom from ‘physicalism’ in Thelema for those that require it. In either case, “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.” Thelemites do vary in how the structure of concepts resonate with them, which is a fact that is not well tolerated by some, but it’s perfectly fine with me.

    #42005

    AEternitas
    Participant

    “Quick, cuts to the.”

    I’m afraid that went right over my daft skull.

    #42006

    AEternitas
    Participant
    "thePuck" wrote:
    If you use the physicalist model to explain mystical experiences, if you say they are the result of just neurons firing, then what is the justification for saying they are insights of any kind?

    I don’t believe in any sort of physicalist model, but realize that mystical experiences involve physiological processes. I also don’t see mystical experiences as just being some sort of “truthful insight,” as they can easily lead to obsession and megalomania.

    "thePuck" wrote:
    It’s all a question of what the explanatory framework is…a purely physicalist model will allow for mystical experiences that are of the same order as any other physical process, but they will only contain real insight accidentally. You might have true belief but it won’t be justified. In order for a mystical experience to be any kind of real insight, not a piece of glorified self-therapy or a seizure, then the mystical experience has to be predicated on a mystical reality, not on a physical reality.

    I have always found even the most physical levels of reality to be quite mystical.

    "thePuck" wrote:
    Essentially, if mystical experiences are just interesting states of consciousness that come about due to manipulating our brain chemistry, then they are not insights into any kind of truth except by accident. If this is the case, then it makes more sense to play with drugs than pursue magick or mysticism…it’s easier and (in opportunity costs if nothing else) cheaper. It’s only if these experiences give us a true insight into the nature of reality and our place in it that all of this becomes justified.

    Changes in our “brain chemistry” have a drastic affect on our state of consciousness, whether through drugs, intense emotional states or the practices of magick and mysticism. Such states can give us much more to offer than being interesting. Aside from leading to new insights and understandings, non ordinary states of consciousness also provide us with non ordinary abilities, such as astral projection, the ability to perceive and interact with “spirits” of various kinds, and super human feats of strength. It matters very little if you do this by the controlled intake of “drugs” or through mystical training exercises. Experiences are worth having for experience sake, and I can think of few experiences that don’t lead to some degree of new insight.

    After reading over this thread, I suddenly want a cheese burger.

    #42007

    Los
    Participant
    "thePuck" wrote:
    Without the notion that the meat can have a true insight into the nature of reality, there is no reason to think there is a Will for the meat to have, or that if it does there is anything particularly important about it.

    Well, Will isn’t “important” — it’s what you are and what you do, so you might as well do it better and better, which is what Thelema is about. The reason we privilege it over “whim” is that whim isn’t you — it’s what your mind fancies that you are or should be.

    To do the will better, we do need an insight into reality, but that insight involves perceiving the ways that our beliefs, assumptions, emotions, and thoughts veil reality from us. That’s enlightenment, not the generation of trances. If all you do is generate trances, and you don’t improve your perception of reality in day to day life, then you might as well be watching TV.

    Just because our minds are rooted in our physical brains doesn’t mean that there’s no such thing as paying attention and distinguishing reality from our false ideas about it.

    #42008

    Michael Staley
    Participant
    "AEternitas" wrote:
    “Quick, cuts to the.”

    I’m afraid that went right over my daft skull.

    I was expressing my appreciation of your remark, which I thought particularly succinct. Sorry to have been a bit obscure.

    Best wishes,

    Michael.

    #42009

    AEternitas
    Participant

    oh well thank you, though i’ve never heard that phrase before.

    #42010

    Camlion
    Participant
    "Los" wrote:
    "thePuck" wrote:
    Without the notion that the meat can have a true insight into the nature of reality, there is no reason to think there is a Will for the meat to have, or that if it does there is anything particularly important about it.

    Well, Will isn’t “important” — it’s what you are and what you do, so you might as well do it better and better, which is what Thelema is about. The reason we privilege it over “whim” is that whim isn’t you — it’s what your mind fancies that you are or should be.

    To do the will better, we do need an insight into reality, but that insight involves perceiving the ways that our beliefs, assumptions, emotions, and thoughts veil reality from us. That’s enlightenment, not the generation of trances. If all you do is generate trances, and you don’t improve your perception of reality in day to day life, then you might as well be watching TV.

    Just because our minds are rooted in our physical brains doesn’t mean that there’s no such thing as paying attention and distinguishing reality from our false ideas about it.

    I agree with this, Los, as expressed from your perspective as a secular Thelemite, except for the jibe at the use of trance. Occultist Thelemites and religious Thelemites do successfully employ methods other than your own to rent the veils that you speak of. Yes, these run a greater risk of distraction and delusion, perhaps, but these Thelemites might reckon that a greater risk/reward ratio is at play, and they make this decision accordingly. It is really no good to dismiss these other Thelemites wholesale as being errant, because their perspectives derive from the same source as your own, from the works and writings of Aleister Crowley. Ideally, each Thelemite will adopt the perspective best suited to their natural inclinations and personal histories, just as you have.

    #42011

    SSS
    Participant

    Modern Materialistic Philosophy is based primarily on convenience. Ocham’s Razor, which states that whenever a solution can be viewed in more than one way, the one with the least amount of assumptions is the correct one. Now from the standpoint of Absolute Truth this is obviously an error, but for the sake of convenience and practicality it is a remarkably successful tool. Some of out greatest advances in the modern world has been made possible by the use of this simple rule of thumb. Most modern scientist will attempt to explain everything Materialistically because thus far, as far as he can tell, their is not anything that can not be understood through the machinations of matter. To a very large degree I agree with these modern scientist. Why muddy the waters?

    I still think the bulk of modern science is correct and I think the newest advancement, Quantum Mechanics, will pave the way for an acceptance of the Occult and Religious views of the universe by the masses. Of course, it will be through the lens of Quantum Science. Their is much more to matter than Newton, which admittedly is where most of the world is still stuck at. However, I have great respect and admiration for Materialism when through its direct application science has come to almost validate that the subtle universe is much more occultly connected to the consciousness of the observer…

    #42012

    Michael Staley
    Participant
    "Camlion" wrote:
    It is really no good to dismiss these other Thelemites wholesale as being errant, because their perspectives derive from the same source as your own, from the works and writings of Aleister Crowley.

    Well, yes and no. Just as Los’s views derive from a rather wider perspective than the writings of Aleister Crowley (since he died in 1947, and there has been a great deal of scientific advance since then, this is perhaps fortunate), the views of myself and others – who frequently like to cross swords with Los and others of his ilk – are similarly informed by rather more than the writings of A.C.

    Still, me old mucker, your heart’s in the right place.

    Best wishes,

    Michael.

    #42013

    thePuck
    Participant
    "Los" wrote:
    "thePuck" wrote:
    Without the notion that the meat can have a true insight into the nature of reality, there is no reason to think there is a Will for the meat to have, or that if it does there is anything particularly important about it.

    Well, Will isn’t “important” — it’s what you are and what you do, so you might as well do it better and better, which is what Thelema is about. The reason we privilege it over “whim” is that whim isn’t you — it’s what your mind fancies that you are or should be.

    To do the will better, we do need an insight into reality, but that insight involves perceiving the ways that our beliefs, assumptions, emotions, and thoughts veil reality from us. That’s enlightenment, not the generation of trances. If all you do is generate trances, and you don’t improve your perception of reality in day to day life, then you might as well be watching TV.

    Just because our minds are rooted in our physical brains doesn’t mean that there’s no such thing as paying attention and distinguishing reality from our false ideas about it.

    93,

    You don’t understand my claim.

    1. The relation that allows for a proposition to be “True” is that between the proposition with a state of affairs. To whatever degree the proposition agrees with the state of affairs, the proposition is true. This is called the Correspondence Theory of Truth in epistemology.

    2. In order to know that such a relation exists, reason has to be valid. This means our reasoning has to give us real insights into the nature of the relation between our propositions and the states of affairs in the world.

    3. If reason is just the product of materialistic processes going on in the brain that came about through evolution, there is no basis for the claim that reason provides real insight into the relations between our propositions and the states of affairs they refer to. In such a universe, our reason is just another evolved and mostly deterministic feature about us, like hair color or having an itch; it is not something we do but something we have. To have a thought about the world creates no reliability that the thought represents anything about that reality at all.

    4. Additionally, the processes of reason itself, formal and informal rules of logic like Modus Ponens, Implication, Occam’s Razor, etc, rules of induction, etc, are, under the physicalist model (remember, the physicalist claim is that nothing exists except physical matter/energy, not that physical matter exists), not in any way trustworthy. There is no reason to presume that out of all the possible configurations evolution could provide, ours just magically happened to evolve “truth detectors” that allow us to have intuitions about what lines of reason “follow” and why, and which ones do not.

    Conclusion: If you wish to claim that your reasoning about the world CAN be true, then some form of philosophical idealism is necessary. The abstract reality of ideas, principles, etc. must exist and the physical reality of concrete particulars must be in some way related to it such that we have access to that abstract reality. Otherwise there is simply no reason to think our reason does anything at all related to truths about reality, rather than just feeding us a stream of behaviors that keep us alive and reproducing. You can say, “Yes, there is…we make propositions and they turn out to be true upon testing them using Science (the modern era’s monotheism)” but the very ability to test reality and to make theories about it depends on us being able to have true insights about reality based on our reasoning, so if reason is invalid you couldn’t trust the theories you come up with, your methods for collecting or analyzing data, or your logic for coming to conclusions based on that data.

    Reasoning happening in the brain is not the problem. Reason being dependent on physical processes for its validity is the problem. Reason has to be based on a real insight into the relation between a proposition and state of affairs, which means the abstract reality where ideas like logic exist has to be really real, not just the output of synapses firing. It makes no difference that the synapses mechanically provide the basis for making the judgments, so long as the basis for those judgments can be predicated on an abstract reality.

    In fact, we can simply and easily prove this. Is the proposition “2+2=4” true or false? Numbers, mathematical operations, and the rules of addition are abstract ideas. In order to have a proposition be true or false it must be able to correlate with a state of affairs. Thus there must be some state of affairs, some abstract reality, where these abstractions exist as states of affairs for propositions about them to be compared to, in order to judge their truth. You can try to claim such an idea can come from making piles of stones, but that’s not true…a stone is a stone, a pile of stones is a pile of stones, but four stones, and specifically the process of adding and the notion of equation, these are all abstract ideas and without them the pile of rocks is never four rocks, just a pile.

    So you can have physicalism be true and reason be invalid because the abstract realm is dependent on physically determined processes, which of course means the reasons you have to believe physicalism is true can’t be trusted. Or you can have some form of idealism (not necessarily strict platonism, but something like it) be true and you can rescue reason, but you can’t rescue a physicalist view. You can’t have it both ways. If all that exists is the meat, then there is no logic, there is just the twitching of meat. Abstract ideas thus have to possess ontological reality and we have to have access, even if only dimly (notice how easily our reason can be fooled), to that reality of ideas.

    93, 93/93

    #42014

    alrah
    Participant

    Lots of assumption…

    Prove it or lose it? Ok – but thine own sovereign is thy sole judge.

    Do what thou wilt.

    #42015

    thePuck
    Participant
    "alrah" wrote:
    Lots of assumption…

    Prove it or lose it? Ok – but thine own sovereign is thy sole judge.

    Do what thou wilt.

    93,

    Easy to say. What are the unwarranted assumptions?

    Ah, the retreat of postmodernism and relatavism! But those too require reason…on what is that reason predicated?

    Either you didn’t understand my argument or you like non sequiters. There is nothing that said prove it or lose it. There is a claim that you can’t have your cake and eat it, too.

    93, 93/93

    #42016

    alrah
    Participant
    "thePuck" wrote:
    "alrah" wrote:
    Lots of assumption…

    Prove it or lose it? Ok – but thine own sovereign is thy sole judge.

    Do what thou wilt.

    93,

    Easy to say. What are the unwarranted assumptions?

    Ah, the retreat of postmodernism and relatavism! But those too require reason…on what is that reason predicated?

    Either you didn’t understand my argument or you like non sequiters. There is nothing that said prove it or lose it. There is a claim that you can’t have your cake and eat it, too.

    93, 93/93

    Did I say anything about unwarranted assumptions? If you want to go off on further assumptions then that’s one way of answering a post, but you’re just talking to yourself if you do.

    #42017

    thePuck
    Participant
    "alrah" wrote:
    "thePuck" wrote:
    "alrah" wrote:
    Lots of assumption…

    Prove it or lose it? Ok – but thine own sovereign is thy sole judge.

    Do what thou wilt.

    93,

    Easy to say. What are the unwarranted assumptions?

    Ah, the retreat of postmodernism and relatavism! But those too require reason…on what is that reason predicated?

    Either you didn’t understand my argument or you like non sequiters. There is nothing that said prove it or lose it. There is a claim that you can’t have your cake and eat it, too.

    93, 93/93

    Did I say anything about unwarranted assumptions? If you want to go off on further assumptions then that’s one way of answering a post, but you’re just talking to yourself if you do.

    93,

    That’s why I asked about unwarranted assumptions. You said:

    Lots of assumption…

    Assumptions, when warranted, are just fine and dandy. When unwarranted, however, they harm a claim. To simply say there are assumptions is an observation, making no claims; to say that they are unwarranted contests the claim on that premise.

    93, 93/93

    #42018

    alrah
    Participant
    "thePuck" wrote:
    "alrah" wrote:
    "thePuck" wrote:
    "alrah" wrote:
    Lots of assumption…

    Prove it or lose it? Ok – but thine own sovereign is thy sole judge.

    Do what thou wilt.

    93,

    Easy to say. What are the unwarranted assumptions?

    Ah, the retreat of postmodernism and relatavism! But those too require reason…on what is that reason predicated?

    Either you didn’t understand my argument or you like non sequiters. There is nothing that said prove it or lose it. There is a claim that you can’t have your cake and eat it, too.

    93, 93/93

    Did I say anything about unwarranted assumptions? If you want to go off on further assumptions then that’s one way of answering a post, but you’re just talking to yourself if you do.

    93,

    That’s why I asked about unwarranted assumptions. You said:

    Lots of assumption…

    Assumptions, when warranted, are just fine and dandy. When unwarranted, however, they harm a claim. To simply say there are assumptions is an observation, making no claims; to say that they are unwarranted contests the claim on that premise.

    93, 93/93

    That’s a judgement after the fact about a reasoning process that preceeds a judgement that may or may not be warranted. Not at all fine and dandy unless you skip reality till after dinner.

    An assumption is based on judgements as well as observations. This curry I’m eating may or may not cause aggravation with my intestines; – is an observation. ‘This curry is going to give me the shits again’ is based on an assumption (based on an experience that may or may not be warrented (for instance – perhaps the curries you’ve eaten have all been Korma’s and you’re lactose intolerant but you’ll do fine on a vindaloo)). The very nature of an assumption is a claim and a judgement of some sort.

    To say assumptions are simply observations, making no claims denies the nature of the assumption. To say that an assumption is unwarranted does not contest the claim on that premise any more that the initial assumption does.

Viewing 15 posts - 196 through 210 (of 231 total)
  • You must be logged-in to reply to this topic.