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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
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03/02/2010 5:50 pm  

I'm all for student directed learning Camlion. It's a teachers job to learn about the student so that they can facillitate the childs innate learning styles. Exposure to stimulie is good, - even when there's no positive immediate response, it is something that the child may choose to revisit at a later date and explore more thoroughly through some impulse of his own will, (or not) however the case may be. Having respect for a childs learning styles means having respect for when he thinks it is the right time to pursue something, and results in a deeper and more detailed appreciation of the subject matter being studied.


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 Anonymous
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03/02/2010 5:52 pm  
"ianrons" wrote:
"Camlion" wrote:
Interesting, Ian. Personally, what I recall (it was a long time ago now) coming away from these instructions with was that I should identify an Asana wherein I could remain upright and motionless for a prolonged period of time and then proceed to combining Pranayama with this and then move into combining the mental parts of the process. I suppose that I was just too stupid to become distracted by the rest, but the results were very impressive before very long at all. 🙂

Are you talking about asana, or about pranayama & dharana, in the last sentence here?

I combined them in that sequence, yes, Asana, Pranayama and then Dharana, as simply and effectively as possible, assimilating them into a single practice as soon as possible. I would certainly say from my experience that each is dependent upon the others to be effective. Did your experience differ?


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 Anonymous
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03/02/2010 5:56 pm  
"alrah" wrote:
I'm all for student directed learning Camlion. It's a teachers job to learn about the student so that they can facillitate the childs innate learning styles. Exposure to stimulie is good, - even when there's no positive immediate response, it is something that the child may choose to revisit at a later date and explore more thoroughly through some impulse of his own will, (or not) however the case may be. Having respect for a childs learning styles means having respect for when he thinks it is the right time to pursue something, and results in a deeper and more detailed appreciation of the subject matter being studied.

I agree, Alrah, and this very interesting because many of the more liberal minded among us would conclude that what we are suggesting is to "deny equal opportunity to all." 😉


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Michael Staley
(@michael-staley)
MANIO - it's all in the egg
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 4021
03/02/2010 6:06 pm  
"ianrons" wrote:
Other useless parts of Liber E are the instructions on asana, which as far as I can tell, having spent many, many hours practicing (and having surveyed other opinions on this) are complete tosh. The pain which he describes was probably, in his case, simply muscle ache which he wouldn't have got if he were more flexible; and I am not aware of anyone having been able to replicate the "automatic rigidity", ten minutes of which is as restorative to the body as a night's sleep. What this means is that people (like myself) will waste a long time trying to achieve something that is, in fact, unattainable; and this, when they could be doing something much more useful.

I have never regarded Crowey's various instructions as some step-by-step guide that must be adhered to at pain of death, but as a framework. Over the years I have undertaken workings based on, for instance, Libers E, O, Astarte, section SSS of HHH, A'ash, Reguli, and Samekh, and have always developed my own variations based on experimentation. I've never been particularly interested in maintaining a given posture for an hour whilst balancing a saucer on my head. Similarly, I soon discovered by trial and error that pranayama is best performed with flexibility.

I do not regard Crowley as a charlatan because, for instance, his soundbite of "the method of science, the aim of religion" did not live up to the hype, or because he lied about this, that or the other. Across decades Crowley developed a diverse body of work which is inspiring, and which doesn't need to be swallowed wholesale. He had personal failings - who doesn't? - he treated people ruthlessly; he told lies - perhaps never did see the original Dee material when he said he did.:shock: Then again, I've never seen Crowley as a saint or prophet.

Best wishes,

Michael.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
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03/02/2010 6:15 pm  
"Camlion" wrote:
I agree, Alrah, and this very interesting because many of the more liberal minded among us would conclude that what we are suggesting is to "deny equal opportunity to all." 😉

😯 Really? Gosh.

I was discussing this recently with a neighbour who's a social worker actually. He was tearing his hair out at this phrase that has cropped up in his profession: 'disenfranchised'. It's the idea that all problems that any individual may encounter is a result of being disenfranched from opportunities at some point in thier lives, and we both agree it's been elevated to absurd levels of prominance, but then a liberal profession like that encourages a certain imbalance of perspective I suppose... 🙂


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ianrons
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03/02/2010 6:22 pm  
"Camlion" wrote:
I combined them in that sequence, yes, Asana, Pranayama and then Dharana, as simply and effectively as possible, assimilating them into a single practice as soon as possible. I would certainly say from my experience that each is dependent upon the others to be effective. Did your experience differ?

My experience differs in that I worked extensively with pranayama when I was using the (normal) method of hatha yoga, as taught by everyone else but Crowley; it was only later that I tried Crowley's method. Pranayama works absolutely fine with relaxed muscles.

With Crowley's asana, the only effect I noticed was that as I was developing it, for some reason -- I believe due to the tension in one's body -- I would react to stimuli (like noise from the plumbing, or a car horn outside) a couple of seconds *before* I heard it, which isn't something useful and much less interesting than the effects from pranayama.


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ianrons
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03/02/2010 6:40 pm  
"MichaelStaley" wrote:
I have never regarded Crowey's various instructions as some step-by-step guide that must be adhered to at pain of death, but as a framework.

Yes, neither have I; but it seems pretty clear that the syllabus (as based on the G.D. grades) is structured so as to be done in sequence.

"MichaelStaley" wrote:
I do not regard Crowley as a charlatan because, for instance, his soundbite of "the method of science, the aim of religion" did not live up to the hype, or because he lied about this, that or the other. Across decades Crowley developed a diverse body of work which is inspiring, and which doesn't need to be swallowed wholesale. He had personal failings - who doesn't? - he treated people ruthlessly; he told lies - perhaps never did see the original Dee material when he said he did.:shock: Then again, I've never seen Crowley as a saint or prophet.

He will always be a highly interesting and intriguing character, and his works serve as a good compilation of magickal practice and (oddly) cultural views at the end of the 19th century. As to whether or not he was a charlatan, I don't think he was, in the sense that he didn't (actually) misrepresent himself, generally speaking...


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
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03/02/2010 6:42 pm  
"MichaelStaley" wrote:
I have never regarded Crowey's various instructions as some step-by-step guide that must be adhered to at pain of death, but as a framework.

Yes, in fact, the person who introduced this material to me when I was but seventeen years old advised to the effect that I should do "what seemth right to me," as Crowley put it, and record the results. It is logical that as long as the essential elements are accounted for, one has to rely a bit more upon one's own "ingenium" (another Crowley pointer) and a bit less upon the recipe as written. I believe that it is in keeping with the spirit of Crowley's teachings, certainly, not to always blindly follow the letter of them.


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Michael Staley
(@michael-staley)
MANIO - it's all in the egg
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03/02/2010 6:55 pm  
"ianrons" wrote:
My experience differs in that I worked extensively with pranayama when I was using the (normal) method of hatha yoga, as taught by everyone else but Crowley; it was only later that I tried Crowley's method. Pranayama works absolutely fine with relaxed muscles.

I too found pranayama a very different kettle of fish when practised after thirty minutes or so of hatha yoga. I also measured the rhythms of pranayama with my heartbeat rather than the second-hand of a watch, which was a lot better.

Best wishes,

Michael.


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 Anonymous
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03/02/2010 7:04 pm  
"MichaelStaley" wrote:
"ianrons" wrote:
My experience differs in that I worked extensively with pranayama when I was using the (normal) method of hatha yoga, as taught by everyone else but Crowley; it was only later that I tried Crowley's method. Pranayama works absolutely fine with relaxed muscles.

I too found pranayama a very different kettle of fish when practised after thirty minutes or so of hatha yoga. I also measured the rhythms of pranayama with my heartbeat rather than the second-hand of a watch, which was a lot better.

Best wishes,

Michael.

And when engaged in Dharana, Ian and Michael, what becomes of your Pranayama?


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ianrons
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03/02/2010 7:04 pm  
"MichaelStaley" wrote:
I also measured the rhythms of pranayama with my heartbeat rather than the second-hand of a watch, which was a lot better.

I used to use mantras to dictate rhythm, but eventually dropped that in favour of a stopwatch. Recently I wrote a bit of software to give me audio cues for pranayama, which frees the mind to concentrate a lot more, and is I think a better solution, though I haven't used it extensively.

Pranayama is such a simple and excellent practice that I would say it should be compulsory in schools if I weren't a libertarian.


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Michael Staley
(@michael-staley)
MANIO - it's all in the egg
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03/02/2010 7:24 pm  
"Camlion" wrote:
And when engaged in Dharana, Ian and Michael, what becomes of your Pranayama?

I never used to follow pranayama with dharana, so can't answer that I'm afraid.

Best wishes,

Michael.


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ianrons
(@ianrons)
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03/02/2010 7:34 pm  
"Camlion" wrote:
And when engaged in Dharana, Ian and Michael, what becomes of your Pranayama?

I'm not sure I understand this question. Could you please elaborate? I mean really specifically...


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 Anonymous
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03/02/2010 7:48 pm  
"ianrons" wrote:
"Camlion" wrote:
And when engaged in Dharana, Ian and Michael, what becomes of your Pranayama?

I'm not sure I understand this question. Could you please elaborate? I mean really specifically...

You and Michael were discussing ways of consciously measuring your breathing during Pranayama. I asked how you monitor your breathing while engaged in Dharana.


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 Anonymous
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03/02/2010 7:51 pm  
"Camlion" wrote:
And when engaged in Dharana, Ian and Michael, what becomes of your Pranayama?

If it's the same as dhyana then that's really very funny! 🙂


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 Anonymous
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03/02/2010 7:59 pm  

And while you’re pondering your answer to Camlion please provide sources or examples to back up the following claim:

"ianrons" wrote:
the Holy Books are absolutely superb, but sadly these days I'm inclined to think that the Holy Books were simply religious propaganda pieces, that his actions were largely motivated by his own ego and that his religious instructions were recycled from other sources dishonestly and without thought.

Thanks.


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 Anonymous
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03/02/2010 8:02 pm  
"MichaelStaley" wrote:
"Camlion" wrote:
And when engaged in Dharana, Ian and Michael, what becomes of your Pranayama?

I never used to follow pranayama with dharana, so can't answer that I'm afraid.

Best wishes,

Michael.

I'm sure that individual practices do vary so much that we are unlikely to be comparing apples with apples much of the time.


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ianrons
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03/02/2010 8:08 pm  
"Camlion" wrote:
You and Michael were discussing ways of consciously measuring your breathing during Pranayama. I asked how you monitor your breathing while engaged in Dharana.

After practicing pranayama for a while, I came to the conclusion that the practice was (really) just intended to exercise the diaphragm and other muscles (the "threefold breath" of which AC was unaware) so as to make breathing easier during concentration (although it leads on its own to important results). The effect of it is that, through exercising the breathing musculature and (I suppose) removing muscle tension, one's awareness of breath simply decreases a great deal. At least, this is the effect I have observed, though I have always regarded the immediate effects of pranayama as more important than these "secondary" considerations.


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 Anonymous
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03/02/2010 8:19 pm  
"ianrons" wrote:
"Camlion" wrote:
You and Michael were discussing ways of consciously measuring your breathing during Pranayama. I asked how you monitor your breathing while engaged in Dharana.

After practicing pranayama for a while, I came to the conclusion that the practice was (really) just intended to exercise the diaphragm and other muscles (the "threefold breath" of which AC was unaware) so as to make breathing easier during concentration (although it leads on its own to important results). The effect of it is that, through exercising the breathing musculature and (I suppose) removing muscle tension, one's awareness of breath simply decreases. At least, this is the effect I have observed, though I have always regarded the immediate effects of pranayama as more important than these "secondary" considerations.

I see. My own emphasis was the opposite. I wanted the Asana and Pranayama to be 'trained' to the point where they could look after themselves, remaining steady and regularized, respectively, so that I could focus the mind and they would aid in that effort, hopefully, or at least not distract from it.


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ianrons
(@ianrons)
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03/02/2010 8:37 pm  
"tai" wrote:
And while you’re pondering your answer to Camlion please provide sources or examples to back up the following claim:

"ianrons" wrote:
the Holy Books are absolutely superb, but sadly these days I'm inclined to think that the Holy Books were simply religious propaganda pieces, that his actions were largely motivated by his own ego and that his religious instructions were recycled from other sources dishonestly and without thought.

Thanks.

Well, how about this instruction (by an Exempt Adept no less!):
"The fourth position: (The Thunderbolt). Sit; left heel pressing up anus, right foot poised on its toes, the heel covering the phallus; arms stretched out over the knees; head and back straight." (Liber E, Cap. III v.6)

(see also http://hermetic.com/crowley/equinox/i/i/images/101_029.jp g"> )

then compare with this (the original):
"Press firmly the heel of the left foot against the perineum, and the right heel above the male organ." (Hathayoga Pradipika, v.37)

Obviously Crowley was *mistaken*, in a way that Woodroffe was *not* (at least in the Dover edition). Crowley was a tourist, yet he had the nerve to take photographs of himself illustrating this position!

Secondly, how about the Enochian "system", as I previously mentioned in this context? He repeated what he had learned from Mathers (after Westcott, apparently with some corrections by Mathers) without any serious attempt to get to the bottom of it (despite dishonestly claiming otherwise, as already noted). He even went as far as to invent new "Angelic" words (in the Goetia)...

I suppose I might as well offer up the G.D. ritual corpus as a third example, though obviously Crowley did make some (very minor) contributions to that corpus later on.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
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03/02/2010 9:03 pm  
"ianrons" wrote:
Crowley's glamour was intense: the Holy Books are absolutely superb, but sadly the more I find out about Crowley, the more inclined I am to think that the Holy Books were simply religious propaganda pieces, that his actions were politically motivated and that his religious instructions were recycled from other sources dishonestly and without thought. For instance, he claimed to have examined the "Enochian record" in its original form in Oxford, despite it being in London and despite showing no knowledge of it.

I agree that Crowley's glamour was intense, in fact it is still intense and to some degree Thelema has degraded into a cult of personality. This isn't helped much when Liber Al is full of references to the "The Prophet" and the "Holy Chosen One", "The prince-priest" and so on. Books such "Liber Pennae Praenumbra" and "The book of Babalon" or "Okbish" don't speak about their "scribes" in such a manner. ( Maybe these Preater-Human intelligences played upon Crowleys big ego???)

What i do know is that the Holy Books seem to me to be utterly beyond Crowley, to me. When I read them and pepper my rituals with their phrases, idioms, prose, and themes something "magick" happens. In my mind these are the Fire which Crowley was able to steal from Heaven. His classification system of the A.A. is superb, however to me their is only Class A and Non-Class A material.

Your "for instance" throws me off when I read it. I don't see how his dishonesty about seeing the original enochian material supports claims that his Holy Books where religious propaganda or that his "actions" (which ones) where politically motivated. Maybe you did not mean it in this way, but the way it was thrown in their was almost a red herring".


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 Anonymous
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03/02/2010 9:12 pm  
"ianrons" wrote:
"tai" wrote:
And while you’re pondering your answer to Camlion please provide sources or examples to back up the following claim:

"ianrons" wrote:
the Holy Books are absolutely superb, but sadly these days I'm inclined to think that the Holy Books were simply religious propaganda pieces, that his actions were largely motivated by his own ego and that his religious instructions were recycled from other sources dishonestly and without thought.

Thanks.

Well, how about this instruction (by an Exempt Adept no less!):
"The fourth position: (The Thunderbolt). Sit; left heel pressing up anus, right foot poised on its toes, the heel covering the phallus; arms stretched out over the knees; head and back straight." (Liber E, Cap. III v.6)

(see also http://hermetic.com/crowley/equinox/i/i/images/101_029.jp g"> )

then compare with this (the original):
"Press firmly the heel of the left foot against the perineum, and the right heel above the male organ." (Hathayoga Pradipika, v.37)

Obviously Crowley was *mistaken*, in a way that Woodroffe was *not* (at least in the Dover edition). Crowley was a tourist, yet he had the nerve to take photographs of himself illustrating this position!

Secondly, how about the Enochian "system", as I previously mentioned in this context? He repeated what he had learned from Mathers (after Westcott, apparently with some corrections by Mathers) without any serious attempt to get to the bottom of it (despite dishonestly claiming otherwise, as already noted). He even went as far as to invent new "Angelic" words (in the Goetia)...

I suppose I might as well offer up the G.D. ritual corpus as a third example, though obviously Crowley did make some (very minor) contributions to that corpus later on.

Curiously - unless my eyes are deceiving me or I've forgotten where the perineum is located -those instructions from the Hathayoga Pradipika do not match the illustration of the yogin. If you look at the illustration the feet are REVERSED – the heel of the RIGHT foot is against the perineum and the LEFT heel above the male organ. If the original instructions from the Hathayoga Pradipika are correct, then Crowley got it right.. sort of.

I was hoping to you might provide examples on the Holy Books under Class A as I thought you were referring to them (I don’t believe Liber E falls under that category).


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ianrons
(@ianrons)
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03/02/2010 9:18 pm  

SSS,

"SSS" wrote:
What i do know is that the Holy Books seem to me to be utterly beyond Crowley, to me. When I read them and pepper my rituals with their phrases, idioms, prose, and themes something "magick" happens. In my mind these are the Fire which Crowley was able to steal from Heaven. His classification system of the A.A. is superb, however to me their is only Class A and Non-Class A material.

Your "for instance" throws me off when I read it. I don't see how his dishonesty about seeing the original enochian material supports claims that his Holy Books where religious propaganda or that his "actions" (which ones) where politically motivated. Maybe you did not mean it in this way, but the way it was thrown in their was almost a red herring".

I'm not going to attempt a proper reply for now; this is a book-length subject, and if I try to set it down in this form it wouldn't be at all fair. However, for the bit about the Holy Books being propaganda you need to go back to the Golden Dawn and the dispute about the Secret Chiefs. The question of whether someone was -- or was not -- in contact with the Secret Chiefs was basically a matter of whether they, as Chief Adept, were receiving more knowledge or not. This is, at least, what came out of the dispute and it is noted specifically in Liber 61. AC simply took this as read, used the Psalms for inspiration, and with his own poetic spirit produced books to suit. The effort, in pamphlet form, to induce others to "adore" after 1904 clearly didn't work, but that didn't deter him. The bottom line, however, is that there is nothing in the Holy Books that is in any sense beyond human ability or "defies rational criticism"!

As to political motives, this has come out quite clearly in Spence's treatment (though I definitely don't go along with his overly-conspiratorial interpretation). You talk about the subject as though AC may have -- once or twice -- committed an indiscretion; whereas the truth of the matter seems to be, generously, the reverse. But that doesn't mean there weren't those who, like those today, were willing to forgive him almost anything because of his wit and poetic spirit.

A balanced view of the man is that he was an incredible liar, but incredible nonetheless.


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ianrons
(@ianrons)
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03/02/2010 9:24 pm  
"tai" wrote:
Curiously - unless my eyes are deceiving me or I've forgotten where the perineum is located -those instructions from the Hathayoga Pradipika do not match the illustration of the yogin. If you look at the illustration the feet are REVERSED – the heel of the RIGHT foot is against the perineum and the LEFT heel above the male organ. If the original instructions from the Hathayoga Pradipika are correct, then Crowley got it right.. sort of.

No, my dear fellow, no. This is an example of how people make allowances for people they respect; but no.



For goodness' sake...

"tai" wrote:
I was hoping to you might provide examples on the Holy Books under Class A as I thought you were referring to them (I don’t believe Liber E falls under that category).

OK, before we go on can I ask you precisely how many examples of AC's falsehoods you require, and precisely where they must be located? Then I might consider answering... despite the fact that, seemingly, what I've said to you so far has not, apparently, engaged on any rational level.


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Horemakhet
(@horemakhet)
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03/02/2010 9:43 pm  

Sometimes there are those who do not acknowledge old Crow's competitive spirit. He continually challenged himself, when honorable opponents were not around, to facillitate a production of his Genius. As a writer, he played all of his Trump cards. The' Class A' material is his poetic masterpiece.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
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03/02/2010 9:48 pm  
"Camlion" wrote:
"ianrons" wrote:
"Camlion" wrote:
You and Michael were discussing ways of consciously measuring your breathing during Pranayama. I asked how you monitor your breathing while engaged in Dharana.

After practicing pranayama for a while, I came to the conclusion that the practice was (really) just intended to exercise the diaphragm and other muscles (the "threefold breath" of which AC was unaware) so as to make breathing easier during concentration (although it leads on its own to important results). The effect of it is that, through exercising the breathing musculature and (I suppose) removing muscle tension, one's awareness of breath simply decreases. At least, this is the effect I have observed, though I have always regarded the immediate effects of pranayama as more important than these "secondary" considerations.

I see. My own emphasis was the opposite. I wanted the Asana and Pranayama to be 'trained' to the point where they could look after themselves, remaining steady and regularized, respectively, so that I could focus the mind and they would aid in that effort, hopefully, or at least not distract from it.

I should add that I did do additional work with Pranayama later on, in connection with Liber CCVI and some other material, but I would never conclude that this was anything other than secondary to the work I did earlier, wherein Pranayama was in support of Dharana. I would be interested to know more about your contrary opinion, Ian.


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ianrons
(@ianrons)
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03/02/2010 9:50 pm  

[Sorry tai, hit the wrong button and accidentally edited your post with my Hidden Imam powers instead of creating a new reply, so had to delete it. However, I think I got all of what you said in the edits:]

"tai" wrote:
Ian - the last three illustrations you posted are "correct" postures. Compare their feet against the first illustration you posted. They don't match. So the confusion is definitely not on my side...

The asana is the same, but it can be done on both sides, just like padmasana, as you would know if you had been to a yoga class. Also, you would know if you had spent time in ashrams or monasteries -- where this asana has been taught from generation to generation for donkeys' years -- Crowley is the odd one out, because he was reading from books and had no experience whatsoever of the actual practice. Sincerely, your comments from book-learning are exactly the sort of thing that Edward Said railed against.

"tai" wrote:
I want examples from the Holy Books Class A. Just enough evidence to support your following statement:

the Holy Books are absolutely superb, but sadly these days I'm inclined to think that the Holy Books were simply religious propaganda pieces, that his actions were largely motivated by his own ego and that his religious instructions were recycled from other sources dishonestly and without thought.

To prove that the Holy Books were propaganda pieces, you want examples from within the Holy Books themselves? You've not studied history, I can see! However, some are pretty outrageous, so even without any sort of context whatsoever it's not difficult to find propagandistic elements. How about the bits going on about the Hindus, Buddhists, Mongols and "Din" (Muslims)? Or is that too bleeding obvious? How about the bits about what a great f***king PROPHET Crowley was meant to be? Eh?


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ianrons
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03/02/2010 10:10 pm  
"Camlion" wrote:
I should add that I did do additional work with Pranayama later on, in connection with Liber CCVI and some other material, but I would never conclude that this was anything other than secondary to the work I did earlier, wherein Pranayama was in support of Dharana. I would be interested to know more about your contrary opinion, Ian.

What, you mean the effects of pranayama per se? Well, for one thing after a period of doing "extreme pranayama" (ending in 7h per day of 15-10-35 rhythms) I started to dream forwards; i.e., dream of things before they happened. The effect is useless in itself (a bit like the thing I noted with asana), but definitely changes one's opinion of how the universe functions, and is a major part of my (emanationist) world-view. I never got the nadi sounds as described in the Hindu literature, but I did once get a bit of the "jumping about like a frog", which as far as I can tell was a kind of coordinated muscle spasm (akin to the table-tipping phenomenon, and entirely mundane). I still don't know how to cure all diseases and know all things though 🙁

P.S. When I say "dream of things before they happen", I mean in a kind of vague way so it's not totally clear till it actually happens, but clear enough (and consistent enough) that it's obviously neither imagination or chance (e.g., seeing a place you haven't visited before, on the night before you first visit it). FWIW I believe something akin to the grandfather paradox happens with this effect, so betting on horses won't work. My grandmother tried that once, 'cause she had something similar (though apparently never knew about pranayama -- maybe it's not connected), and she bet on the winner of the Grand National but it later got disqualified.


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 Anonymous
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03/02/2010 10:44 pm  
"ianrons" wrote:
The asana is the same, but it can be done on both sides, just like padmasana, as you would know if you had been to a yoga class. Also, you would know if you had spent time in ashrams or monasteries -- where this asana has been taught from generation to generation for donkeys' years -- Crowley is the odd one out, because he was reading from books and had no experience whatsoever of the actual practice. Sincerely, your comments from book-learning are exactly the sort of thing that Edward Said railed against.

Sorry but you’re not making any sense now. Even if the feet can be reversed to do the asana correctly, that merely negates your original objection to Crowley’s asana instructions in Liber E.

Let’s be rational and think this through.

1. As an example of Crowley’s “wrong” instructions for an asana, you cite the following line: "The fourth position: (The Thunderbolt). Sit; left heel pressing up anus, right foot poised on its toes, the heel covering the phallus; arms stretched out over the knees; head and back straight." (Liber E, Cap. III v.6)
2. Then you provide the correct instructions from the Hathayoga Pradipika, "Press firmly the heel of the left foot against the perineum, and the right heel above the male organ." (Hathayoga Pradipika, v.37) and provide an illustration to accompany.
3. Now compare Crowley’s instructions against the instructions given by the Hathayoga Pradipika. They are the same save for Crowley’s instructions on “right foot poised on its toes”. Since the point of this raised foot is to have the right heel cover the phallus, Crowley basically got it right. The only substantial difference in your example lies in the first illustration of the yogin you posted who has his feet reversed from the instructions given in the Hathayoga Pradipika (and by Crowley too, we might note).
4. When I pointed out the discrepancy between the first illustration and instructions of the Hathayoga Pradipika, you said that the feet can be reversed in this asana and still be correct.
5. Ok fine. But if so, based on the example you gave, how did Crowley get the Liber E asana instructions wrong? What is your objection to Crowley's asana instructions based on?


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ianrons
(@ianrons)
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03/02/2010 10:53 pm  
"tai" wrote:
Sorry but you’re not making any sense now. Even if the feet can be reversed to do the asana correctly, that merely negates your original objection to Crowley’s asana instructions in Liber E.

Listen, dear, you don't know what you're talking about. The correct siddhasana is as depicted in all the images I've shown, whether left-foot-over-right or the other way around. Many people on this forum know siddhasana well, and can vouch for this. You can also go along to any Buddhist monastery and be shown pictures, or see demonstrations. Also, there are a lot of yoga classes here and there, and some of those people know what they're doing. There are also a lot of examples online -- every goddam image the same.

The problem with Crowley's version is that what he's doing is an interpretation of the text (the heel over the phallus, etc.), but it could only be interpreted that way by someone who'd never seen it in real life. One leg is raised high in the air, which for some weird reason you've failed to notice. In other words, Crowley read the book and tried to figure it out, but got it completely wrong because the description is ambiguous. It's not that complicated a point, but let's see those images again:

(bottom left)

And I take it you agree with me on the other points, then 😉

P.S. Amusingly, AC claims in John St. John that this asana is the sign of a 7=4. He tried, bless 'im!


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 Anonymous
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03/02/2010 11:18 pm  

Ok - that's a much clearer illustration and, yes, I see what you're talking about now.

Regarding your comments on the Holy Books, I don't have an opinion either way. I do think Crowley's conception of the New Aeon is far more aggressive than most Thelemites are willing to concede at present. Book 3 of Liber Legis does sound like a holy war. Moreover if the war engine is driven by True Will, whether the Holy Books are mere religious propaganda or prophetic will be determined by the quality of future Thelemites.


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 Anonymous
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03/02/2010 11:21 pm  
"ianrons" wrote:
"Camlion" wrote:
I should add that I did do additional work with Pranayama later on, in connection with Liber CCVI and some other material, but I would never conclude that this was anything other than secondary to the work I did earlier, wherein Pranayama was in support of Dharana. I would be interested to know more about your contrary opinion, Ian.

What, you mean the effects of pranayama per se? Well, for one thing after a period of doing "extreme pranayama" (ending in 7h per day of 15-10-35 rhythms) I started to dream forwards; i.e., dream of things before they happened. The effect is useless in itself (a bit like the thing I noted with asana), but definitely changes one's opinion of how the universe functions, and is a major part of my (emanationist) world-view. I never got the nadi sounds as described in the Hindu literature, but I did once get a bit of the "jumping about like a frog", which as far as I can tell was a kind of coordinated muscle spasm (akin to the table-tipping phenomenon, and entirely mundane). I still don't know how to cure all diseases and know all things though 🙁

P.S. When I say "dream of things before they happen", I mean in a kind of vague way so it's not totally clear till it actually happens, but clear enough (and consistent enough) that it's obviously neither imagination or chance (e.g., seeing a place you haven't visited before, on the night before you first visit it). FWIW I believe something akin to the grandfather paradox happens with this effect, so betting on horses won't work. My grandmother tried that once, 'cause she had something similar (though apparently never knew about pranayama -- maybe it's not connected), and she bet on the winner of the Grand National but it later got disqualified.

Thanks for the elaboration in your edit, that is helpful. Yes, I've had a variety of similar experiences during Asana, Pranayama and Dharana in conjunction, these are 'breaks' under those circumstances, of course, but very interesting ones. Have you worked with Asana, Pranayama and Dharana in conjunction, Ian?


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ianrons
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03/02/2010 11:29 pm  
"Camlion" wrote:
Have you worked with Asana, Pranayama and Dharana in conjunction, Ian?

Yes, but only seriously through mantra (which is, I suppose, a form of dharana).


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ianrons
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03/02/2010 11:42 pm  

It's probably worth adding, since it speaks to the value of pranayama, that during asana-pranayama I managed to get the mental recitation time of Liber LXV down to just under 8m on a couple of occasions, whereas at other times the best I could manage was about 12m (after several months of continuous practice, beginning at around 60m per recitation, and all of which I recorded meticulously in my diary of course), so it does seem to help a good deal. Obviously I didn't have a day job at the time.


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phthah
(@phthah)
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04/02/2010 12:20 am  

93,

"MichaelStaley" wrote:
I have never regarded Crowey's various instructions as some step-by-step guide that must be adhered to at pain of death, but as a framework. Over the years I have undertaken workings based on, for instance, Libers E, O, Astarte, section SSS of HHH, A'ash, Reguli, and Samekh, and have always developed my own variations based on experimentation.

Very well put Michael and I have to agree. It is a framework and you develop it over time as you move along the Path. In fact, that is one of the great things about those instructions, IMO.

"ianrons" wrote:
the Holy Books are absolutely superb, but sadly the more I find out about Crowley, the more inclined I am to think that the Holy Books were simply religious propaganda pieces, that his actions were politically motivated and that his religious instructions were recycled from other sources dishonestly and without thought...

Sad for you perhaps because you have obviously become completely cynical. But, I think you are totally wrong about this anyway. For me, the reading and studying of the Holy Books has been an ongoing Initiatic experience resulting in amongst other things a life changing outlook. Each time I read them I reach new levels of understanding. It does not matter (to me anyway) whether Crowley (or you) considered them propaganda pieces or not. They are inspired verse and contain the Gift that keeps on giving! 😉 I for one am glad that A.C. presented them to the world.

"ianrons" wrote:
As to whether or not he was a charlatan, I don't think he was, in the sense that he didn't (actually) misrepresent himself, generally speaking...

Erm, this is coming from the same person who wrote about A.C., "that his actions were largely motivated by his own ego and that his religious instructions were recycled from other sources dishonestly and without thought". 😆 Hilarious!

93 93/93
phthah


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
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04/02/2010 12:28 am  
"ianrons" wrote:
"Camlion" wrote:
Have you worked with Asana, Pranayama and Dharana in conjunction, Ian?

Yes, but only seriously through mantra (which is, I suppose, a form of dharana).

Yes, but a mantra is a rather complex form of Dharana. The visual equivalent would be an image with multiple parts in varying degrees of motion, as compared to a single simple two dimensional geometrical object, as Crowley recommends. Not a place I'd like to start at with Dharana, myself. I had similar complaints with various 'schools' teaching meditation techniques at the time that I started, such as SRF - which I was involved with the year before, in 1968.


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 Anonymous
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04/02/2010 12:30 am  
"ianrons" wrote:
(I actually got myself an EEG machine from these people to do this sort of thing myself. It's hard to argue with an EEG reading, limited though they are. However, you need proper kit to do it well, and that I don't have.)

I am very interested in your "results" from these experiments. Understanding the "correlates of consciousness" is a desire that I share with modern experimental psychologist. I also think that doing this is "the next step" in reconstituting the "method of science" with the "aim of religion".

Do you care to share some of your results with us, either your conclusions or the raw data itself?

Also, exactly what product did you order from the website linked above? What software are you using with it, if any?

I would love to see MRI, radio isotope labelled drugs, CT scans, and EEG's used to "measure" approximately whats going on in the brain when one experiences an evocation, invocation, K&CHGA, and Divination. I am also curious if DMT is released during some of these experiences, such is recorded in "DMT: The Spirit Molecule".


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
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04/02/2010 2:06 am  

Ian,

I am also curious if you have experimented with a Sensory Deprivation Tank? I have been thinking about building one for some time now, you seem to me the kind of fellow who would have already went this route.

Thanks,
SSS


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
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04/02/2010 2:48 am  

Lately I have switched to keeping an electronic magickal record in Microsoft Word format. I resisted this notion for quite some time, but time simply demands it. I have also started to record my more interesting workings with a digital video camera and to take digital pictures of new pantacles and alter/temple set ups to past or imbed into my record. I plan on getting a digital audio recorder as well to start recording my reflections on my own record. I am even considering using this in invocations/evocations to see if any EVP's are picked up.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
Posts: 0
04/02/2010 4:23 am  
"SSS" wrote:
Lately I have switched to keeping an electronic magickal record in Microsoft Word format. I resisted this notion for quite some time, but time simply demands it. I have also started to record my more interesting workings with a digital video camera and to take digital pictures of new pantacles and alter/temple set ups to past or imbed into my record. I plan on getting a digital audio recorder as well to start recording my reflections on my own record. I am even considering using this in invocations/evocations to see if any EVP's are picked up.

93,

I used to use sketchbooks, but now I use a Mac program called Scrivener. I originally got it just for professional writing because it has screenplay and comic script macros and is oodles cheaper than Final Draft, but it is so amazingly awesome I ended up using it for just about everything. It lets you make self-formatting templates that really speed things up a lot and use formatting to separate things out in sets.

A couple of people I know use spreadsheets like Excel or Numbers, though the one person's I saw used all sorts of number codes so he could make graphs. I thought it was a neat idea, but I am too much of a writer. I am considering splitting my stuff into two, using a spreadsheet for quantifiable elements and then Scrivener for the more qualitative and descriptive entries entries. I am not nearly as into spreadsheets as my friend, though...he knows all the formulae to make the data do all sorts of neat things.

93, 93/93


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ianrons
(@ianrons)
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04/02/2010 1:37 pm  
"phthah" wrote:
"ianrons" wrote:
the Holy Books are absolutely superb, but sadly the more I find out about Crowley, the more inclined I am to think that the Holy Books were simply religious propaganda pieces, that his actions were politically motivated and that his religious instructions were recycled from other sources dishonestly and without thought...

Sad for you perhaps because you have obviously become completely cynical. But, I think you are totally wrong about this anyway. For me, the reading and studying of the Holy Books has been an ongoing Initiatic experience resulting in amongst other things a life changing outlook. Each time I read them I reach new levels of understanding. It does not matter (to me anyway) whether Crowley (or you) considered them propaganda pieces or not. They are inspired verse and contain the Gift that keeps on giving! 😉 I for one am glad that A.C. presented them to the world.

When you praise the Holy Books, you could be talking about your favourite poet, composer, author, etc. People are always willing to deify these people. Given the lack of any real evidence Crowley was as messianic as he claimed, I don't see why it's necessary to take the "Holy Books" literally, any more than I think it necessary to believe that John Lennon really was a walrus. Is that cynicism?

"phthah" wrote:
"ianrons" wrote:
As to whether or not he was a charlatan, I don't think he was, in the sense that he didn't (actually) misrepresent himself, generally speaking...

Erm, this is coming from the same person who wrote about A.C., "that his actions were largely motivated by his own ego and that his religious instructions were recycled from other sources dishonestly and without thought". 😆 Hilarious!

I knew I would regret trying to be subtle. What I meant by "he didn't misrepresent himself, generally speaking..." was that his general claim was to be The Great Beast 666, so if he we find out he was almost always lying then at least he wasn't "misrepresenting himself" as somebody who wouldn't lie, such as Jesus or Buddha. Some people are two-faced and claim to be honest; he was seven-faced and admitted it.


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ianrons
(@ianrons)
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04/02/2010 1:47 pm  
"Camlion" wrote:
Yes, but a mantra is a rather complex form of Dharana. The visual equivalent would be an image with multiple parts in varying degrees of motion, as compared to a single simple two dimensional geometrical object, as Crowley recommends. Not a place I'd like to start at with Dharana, myself. I had similar complaints with various 'schools' teaching meditation techniques at the time that I started, such as SRF - which I was involved with the year before, in 1968.

Well, mantra isn't a very effective method IMO; but then I could be critical of dharana in other ways, in that its overly cerebral nature is unhelpful.


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ianrons
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04/02/2010 2:00 pm  
"SSS" wrote:
I am very interested in your "results" from these [EEG] experiments. Understanding the "correlates of consciousness" is a desire that I share with modern experimental psychologist. I also think that doing this is "the next step" in reconstituting the "method of science" with the "aim of religion".

Do you care to share some of your results with us, either your conclusions or the raw data itself?

Also, exactly what product did you order from the website linked above? What software are you using with it, if any?

I'd rather not publish any data from my experiments, mainly because one of the problems I had with the machine I bought (which is a 2-channel machine no longer advertised on that site) was that the electrodes are unshielded and get a lot of interference, so I was never really happy with it. I've been meaning to get some shielded electrodes, but they're hard to find and for one reason or another I've never got around to it. The software I used with it was some fairly simple stuff to give varying types of audio feedback and record raw data.

"SSS" wrote:
I would love to see MRI, radio isotope labelled drugs, CT scans, and EEG's used to "measure" approximately whats going on in the brain when one experiences an evocation, invocation, K&CHGA, and Divination. I am also curious if DMT is released during some of these experiences, such is recorded in "DMT: The Spirit Molecule".

I read (or rather, skimmed) "DMT: The Spirit Molecule" some time back but don't recall there was any mention of what you describe.

"SSS" wrote:
I am also curious if you have experimented with a Sensory Deprivation Tank? I have been thinking about building one for some time now, you seem to me the kind of fellow who would have already went this route.

Not personally. Nor orgone guns or anything else like that. I've lived a sheltered life.


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Michael Staley
(@michael-staley)
MANIO - it's all in the egg
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04/02/2010 2:09 pm  
"ianrons" wrote:
Well, mantra isn't a very effective method IMO; but then I could be critical of dharana in other ways, in that its overly cerebral nature is unhelpful.

Unhelpful to what, Ian? It's simply concentration on a visualised image, and is designed to develop both visualisation and concentration.

Best wishes,

Michael.


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
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04/02/2010 2:48 pm  
"ianrons" wrote:
I read (or rather, skimmed) "DMT: The Spirit Molecule" some time back but don't recall there was any mention of what you describe.

The way I just threw that in on the tail end of the paragraph made the reference misleading. One of the main conclusions (or hypothesis) that the good doctor made in DMT: The Spirit Molecule was that DMT, as a naturally occurring psychedelic in the human spinal column was released during mystical experiences. Their was a strong inductive argument for this view, but not enough research for a sound deductive proof.

I hold, based on this and other considerations, that some magical and mystical practices facilitate the release of DMT, or other tryptamines and Phenethylamines into the human brain. I would love to see validation for these views in hard science.

SSS


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ianrons
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04/02/2010 2:51 pm  
"MichaelStaley" wrote:
Unhelpful to what, Ian?

I'd rather not go into detail, suffice to say that there is a lot besides the brain (or a small part of it) involved in spiritual attainment. Coming back to Crowley (since this is LAShTAL.com), in many ways it seems Crowley's notion of magick was that it was underpinned by yoga, and in particular dharana (after Eckartshausen, the source of that section in Liber E; but see the account in TOSK.). However, the two are really quite different, and mastery of the one in no way implies mastery of the other. I would characterise magick as a kind of dynamic form of dharana, but principally it is not cerebral in the way dharana is; that is, it requires total engagement with the real world, not just engagement with an imaginary construct. One of the lasting misapprehensions that students of Crowley seem to have is that they don't realise there is a difference, for instance between an imaginary visualisation of an angel and an angel. I could extend this to a critique of magick too, but as I say I'd rather not go into detail save to say (and I'm sure I'll regret even this) that anyone using (e.g.) Liber Samekh in the Abramelin practice has completely missed the point and failed to understand what Abraham said, which is completely plain and simple.

An analagous point is that use of DMT or LSD does not give spiritual success (though that's not to say, necessarily, that it leads in the wrong direction).


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ianrons
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04/02/2010 3:09 pm  
"SSS" wrote:
The way I just threw that in on the tail end of the paragraph made the reference misleading. One of the main conclusions (or hypothesis) that the good doctor made in DMT: The Spirit Molecule was that DMT, as a naturally occurring psychedelic in the human spinal column was released during mystical experiences. Their was a strong inductive argument for this view, but not enough research for a sound deductive proof.

This is just way out there. No evidence to support it, as far as I'm aware.


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 Anonymous
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04/02/2010 4:14 pm  
"ianrons" wrote:
This is just way out there. No evidence to support it, as far as I'm aware.

The only evidence to support it is the work done by Rick Strassman MD, and documented in his DMT: The Spirit Molecule. Here is a link to a google cache of his personal website ( his real link was broken) http://74.125.93.132/search?q=cache:08Bi4p7ecnQJ:www.rickstrassman.com/dmt/+DMT+released+during+mystical+experiences&cd=3&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

In the light of his research, where DMT consistently produced mystical experiences, I do not see why the notion is "way out there". In seems the whole notion that magick works is more incredible than a psychedelic drug produces visions of a religious kind.

What I found most interesting about his work was that at the highest doses, Alien Abductions where most commonly experienced.

I would quote directly from the source, but my copy of the book is out on loan to a friend.


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ianrons
(@ianrons)
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04/02/2010 4:20 pm  

Let me make this clear: I am saying that there is no evidence to support the notion that DMT is produced in the brain during mystical experiences. This is quite separate to the question of whether or not DMT produces mystical experiences if administered artificially, which (obviously) it does.


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 Anonymous
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04/02/2010 4:37 pm  
"ianrons" wrote:
Let me make this clear: I am saying that there is no evidence to support the notion that DMT is produced in the brain during mystical experiences. This is quite separate to the question of whether or not DMT produces mystical experiences if administered artificially, which (obviously) it does.

DMT is naturally occurring in the brain. (see TIHKAL: Alexander Shulgan) DMT also produces mystical experiences. These two facts are the basis of the notion that DMT may be involved in mystical experiences. This is an inductive argument. I agree with you that their is no proof that DMT is in fact produced during mystical experiences. However, I would hardly say that the notion is "way out there".

I really hope more research is aimed at answering this very question. Is DMT, in fact, playing a role in mystical experiences. Is it in fact, The Spirit Molecule?


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