Liber O / Body of Light questions

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Liber O / Body of Light questions

Postby sinistralkool » Sat Aug 12, 2017 4:50 pm

1) What would one expect to see and experience in using the hexagram ritual to invoke a planetary force in the Body of Light, and having done so successfully?

2) Why are the tables of 777 memorised first prior to making invocations of particular forces? If the correspondences represent facts of nature in some way, wouldn't they be able to discovered without prior memorisation? Wouldn't it be better to attempt to invoke the force/idea, observe results, and then compare them to the correspondence tables afterwards?

Apologies if I have misunderstood the nature of the exercise here. If the idea is, in testing particular aspects of a vision, to ensure that the right idea has been invoked cleanly and effectively, surely memorisation makes the exercise more one of testing the congruence of the vision to subconscious memory, rather than anything more 'objective', which might be better tested without the aid of memory prior to receiving the contents of a vision.

If each aspirant has an astral universe peculiar to them, are the correspondences an attempt at establishing a conventional, consensus set of interrelated pieces of information? Why is knowledge of a convention that has to be pre-memorised valuable?
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Re: Liber O / Body of Light questions

Postby Jim Eshelman » Sun Aug 13, 2017 10:35 pm

sinistralkool wrote:1) What would one expect to see and experience in using the hexagram ritual to invoke a planetary force in the Body of Light, and having done so successfully?

Quite a range of possibilities but, if successful, they will be substantially consonant with the nature of what is invoked.

2) Why are the tables of 777 memorised first prior to making invocations of particular forces? If the correspondences represent facts of nature in some way, wouldn't they be able to discovered without prior memorisation? Wouldn't it be better to attempt to invoke the force/idea, observe results, and then compare them to the correspondence tables afterwards?

It's not all a test. Before you can be tested, you have to learn to have the experience. A primary purpose of the training is to ensure one can access the right channel. The GD was even more explicit: Saturate your mind with the symbols immediately before he practice because this helps tune your psyche to the right "channel."

Worry about being tested after you've had a hundred or so trips. (Your question and the final paragraphs suggest that you think it's all about passing a test and that one will have the knack to get it right on the first try.)

If each aspirant has an astral universe peculiar to them, are the correspondences an attempt at establishing a conventional, consensus set of interrelated pieces of information? Why is knowledge of a convention that has to be pre-memorised valuable?

Every aspirant has their own little corner of the bay off the ocean. That's highly personalized and "local." As you build strength and experience, you eventually swim out past the refs into the full ocean. At that point the practice changes from merely exploring your own psyche to exploring more universal aspects of consciousness.
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Re: Liber O / Body of Light questions

Postby seekinghga » Mon Aug 14, 2017 2:09 am

Jim Eshelman wrote:The GD was even more explicit: Saturate your mind with the symbols immediately before he practice because this helps tune your psyche to the right "channel."

If I may be so bold as to commentate on this one portion of Jim's already excellent advice, thoughts are mental modifications governed by tendency. By saturating one's mind in the symbolism they are directing those tendencies towards a very specific endeavor. Think of the rays of the sun being concentrated by dint of a magnifying lens.
"And they that read the book and debated thereon passed into the desolate land of Barren Words. And they that sealed up the book into their blood were the chosen of Adonai, and the Thought of Adonai was a Word and a Deed; and they abode in the Land that the far-off travellers call Naught."
- LXV 5:59
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Re: Liber O / Body of Light questions

Postby sinistralkool » Mon Aug 14, 2017 2:34 am

Hi Jim, thanks for your reply.

This line of questions actually comes as a result of reading 'Rehabilitating Subconsciousness' and trying to enter into a more productive relationship with aspects of myself which I feel have been throwing up obstacles. I notice one part of my mind has a tendency towards stereotyping experience, systematising and ritualising, and another part of my mind resists the former viciously, resisting any such attempts to 'impose' a system, and is especially hostile to the idea of adopting any set of symbols that have not arisen spontaneously. The first side of my mind might find a dream dictionary interesting and informative, the other side would find it hopelessly conventional and an affront to the intimacy of mind required to interpret one's dreams and their personal symbols usefully,

This obviously brings up issues with my study of Qabalah and ceremonial magick. I can accept this conflict represents an immature stage of development, but when approaching my subconscious in dialogue, asking why it seems to find this conflict so loathsome, I got a response that had me thinking about Liber O, the testing of visions and the evaluation of knowledge more generally.

Crowley's advice on the kind of delicate agnosticism he finds important in pursuing the practices seems appropriate. But if the correspondences are natural or universal, why is it required to saturate the mind in those symbols prior to invoking the vision first? If I'd never seen the Statue of Liberty but had excellent directions and could follow them well, I could discover she was a lady for myself. If that saturation is required first, is there any certain way to know whether one is 'tuning' consciousness to a universal, public, symbol or simply recreating it in conformity to an act of subconscious memory?

Let's say Mars is invoked in the body of light, one sees a landscape that is of the correct colours, mythical creatures, smells, materials associated with Gevurah etc. Is the value in the exercise in being able to tune the mind to a natural reality or to be able to recreate an adopted convention faithfully, and ultimately, how could you tell the difference? Is it perception or recreation?

Similarly, you question a spirit and ask its name, which you calculate a value for later, finding it to be consonant with the force invoked. If the spirit is an aspect of your personal portion of the reef, what's stopping it from using aspects of your intellectual structure around gematria in a non linear fashion to simply calculate the value you'd agree was significant after a manual calculation later? Dreams seem to display all kinds of non linear ingenuity while representing portions of my subconscious, why couldn't astral visions be similarly non linear in their calculations, and still be delusory?

My sense is that there's an intuitive knack that develops after a while of practice, but if that knack can't be systematised, where is the value in the common methods of testing visions qabalistically?

It makes sense to want to be able to invoke pure forms of force, elemental or astrological, but I'm not sure why the test of the successful invocation of that force shouldn't be more peculiar to the individual.

I am particularly interested in the Sleep of Siloam, in contrast to the lunar sleep, and the perception of images fashioned by the true will. I imagine to recognise such a distinct trance requires a much more demanding, much more spontaneous intimacy of mind and self; it seems somehow absurd to think these visions' symbolic contents would never deviate from the traditional correspondences, or that at such a stage, such considerations are necessary to be 'double checked' for their veracity.

I hope these don't sound like entirely idle thoughts!
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Re: Liber O / Body of Light questions

Postby Jim Eshelman » Mon Aug 14, 2017 6:37 am

If I'm understanding you correctly (I necessarily had to read this at a rapid pace, I have about five minutes to read and answer), you are working on a specific issue - perhaps authenticity of the experience, trying to escape bullshit and get outside your own preconceptions. (If I worded that incorrectly, please forgive; as mentioned, I'm writing this quickly).

I that case, my advice would be, sure, use the tool as you see fit for your personal, individual, immediate goal - just don't confuse it with the training specific to the A.'.A.'. system, which has quite other goals.

There's a bit of psychological projection going on here: You distrust yourself and want to prove-up yourself, so you express this by distrusting the technique and turning a training exercise into a requirement that the technique prove itself to you. :) If your goal were, as you state, to enter into a more productive relationship with subconsciousness, then the most direct path is, in fact, to train your rational, verbal mind in the same language subconsciousness speaks, so that you will understand it when it speaks. Memorizing the lists increases your vocabulary of the language of subconsciousness.

sinistralkool wrote:...another part of my mind resists the former viciously, resisting any such attempts to 'impose' a system, and is especially hostile to the idea of adopting any set of symbols that have not arisen spontaneously.

That half of you is winning. Since you asked my opinion, I will give it: Why should this arise spontaneously? Where'd that crazy idea come from? Since when is communication from a suppressed, brutalized, maligned, neglected mind expected to be spontaneous and clear?

But if the correspondences are natural or universal, why is it required to saturate the mind in those symbols prior to invoking the vision first?

Natural yes; but not normal. We are distorted. Most of us are twisted messes on such things. We have (for example) habits of thought that are entirely normal to us, but not at all natural. That's kind of the whole point: The species as a whole has mostly suppressed nature, and the normal reflex of most people's intellect is to set us up to keep it that way. Ego wants to be king, and not have a competitor!

Let's say Mars is invoked in the body of light, one sees a landscape that is of the correct colours, mythical creatures, smells, materials associated with Gevurah etc. Is the value in the exercise in being able to tune the mind to a natural reality or to be able to recreate an adopted convention faithfully, and ultimately, how could you tell the difference? Is it perception or recreation?

Your question presumes that these attributes are incorrect. An "adopted convention" that is artificial - just somebody's arbitrary ego assertions - would be crap. That's not how these were obtained. - But I can't I imbue you with trust, where you plainly distrust. (PS - How you tell the difference is that, as you progress in initiation, you develop a deeper instinct or truth sense for such things, as you undergo changes yourself.)

You are so obsessed with the testing aspect. That comes later. Your obsession with it is still your intellect trying to stay in control. It's ego winning out and continuing to lord it over subconsciousness. Screw testing until later.

My sense is that there's an intuitive knack that develops after a while of practice, but if that knack can't be systematised, where is the value in the common methods of testing visions qabalistically?

If I had another half hour, I'd break down the illogic in this sentence. You actually changed topics mid-sentence, and then leapt to conclusions based on facts not in evidence. I advise struggling with this sentence a bit.

It makes sense to want to be able to invoke pure forms of force, elemental or astrological, but I'm not sure why the test of the successful invocation of that force shouldn't be more peculiar to the individual.

Again: BECAUSE IT'S NOT ABOUT AN INDIVIDUAL. IT'S NOT INDIVIDUAL. IT'S PREMATURE TO TEST UNTIL YOU'RE PAST THE PLACE OF IT BEING YOUR INDIVIDUAL CONTENT. YOUR EGO CENTER IS IRRELEVANT TO THIS. THAT'S ALMOST THE WHOLE POINT.

I am particularly interested in the Sleep of Siloam, in contrast to the lunar sleep

That's a 6=5 practice. You are still working on getting a starter skill on 1=10 practices. Nothing to stop yu from attempting, of course, and getting what success you may.
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Yours in L.V.X.,
Jim Eshelman
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Re: Liber O / Body of Light questions

Postby sinistralkool » Mon Aug 14, 2017 8:51 am

I apologise if this is frustrating; I appreciate the response nontheless.

I am not presupposing that the attributions are incorrect. I am saying I do not see how a visions concordance with pre-memorised attributes demonstrates that those attributes are natural as opposed to conventional.

I agree that this is probably something best resolved through further experience rather than speculation, but I'd just like to give an example of why I find myself thinking about this.

Mercury's colours in the 777 attributions are given as (KS) Violet Purple (QS) Orange (ES) Red-Russet (EsS) Yellow-Brown flecked white. The precious stone given is Opal / Fire Opal.

I'm happy to learn these attributions. If I was to look at how Mercury 'appears' in Tantric / Vedic systems however, he appears as Budha, who is associated with the colour green, with emerald as his precious stone, and the number 5. In some depictions, he has 8 horses, which is more consonant with the Hod attributions, but yet, the rest of these, if encountered in a vision, would suggest some bleedthrough of Netzach into the vision.

I understand that the A.A is not a Tantric or Vedic system, but if I'm looking at these two sets of attributes - what is it that is supposed to demonstrate one's accuracy, in the sense of reflecting a natural, universal, non-personal, and in some sense 'objective' facet of reality over the other?

If both are correct, and are simply different cultural overlays producing different astral manifestations, then surely both systems of correspondence are conventional, as opposed to natural? Surely both are aiming at the same Mercury on a briatic level?

If I invoke Mercury and see emerald green dominating a vision, rather than any of the colours of the four scales associated with Hod in my vision, by Liber O, this would be a poor result. And yet, I would not be able to give a good reason for why I had not successfully invoked Mercury as Hod, rather than Netzach, other than it not matching up with the 777 correspondence, despite other attributions given to Mercury existing elsewhere.

"He is tested in “the Spirit Vision” or “Astral Journeying” by giving him a symbol unknown and unintelligible to him, and he must interpret its nature by means of a vision as exactly as if he had read its name and description in the book when it was chosen."


This test can only be performed if those conducting it have an agreed consensus of symbols to draw upon. It makes absolute sense to me that this is useful, in terms of being able to direct one's visions to a definite place that others can interpret according to their convention. It does not however, at least for me, advance the idea that these attributions are in any way natural, or provide a reliable means of testing knoweldge past the synthetic aspects of the tree.

"Maximum convenience is our canon of truth!" - is one response to all this; in which case, that the attributions work well enough for ceremony and within the A.A system seems fair. To which I'd say - well, what else works? And why?

Despite growing up in London, my family is Hindu, and I see no reason to adopt the attributions given to certain forces in the associated Indian traditions over the ones given in the GD / Crowley systems. I also see no reason to assume one is more natural than the other!

After a few minutes of relaxation, I can induce visions with symbolic content that seems to modulate between mental ephemera and translations of surface personality vikalpas, to symbolic content that seems to resonate with deeper portions of myself as an individuated consciousness; much in the same way that dreams seem to appear along an axis between my everyday concerns, desires and anxieties, to those parts of me that feel ancient, pristine and towards the transpersonal. Would it be right to suppose that this is moving between the lunar - solar axis, and with repetition and practice, will lead to something like the Sleep of Siloam trance? Or is that practice entirely distinct?

Whether in dreams or trance, it seems strange to me to subordinate those symbols that the subconscious throws up fairly fluidly to a semiotic system I had to learn, and ensure visions conformed to.
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Re: Liber O / Body of Light questions

Postby sinistralkool » Mon Aug 14, 2017 9:03 am

I'll go off and work on this independently for a while before responding further. I can see how this sort of discussion could get tedious quickly, if it hasn't already :mrgreen: Thank you both for the replies!
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Re: Liber O / Body of Light questions

Postby Gnosomai Emauton » Mon Aug 14, 2017 11:36 am

Whether tedious or no, I for one am very much appreciating the discussion.

I've always found tension in working with the color scales, particularly the Prince and Princess colors, because the historical record shows them to have been originally codified via the astral visions of one person: Soror V.N.R. While it is entirely possible that she gathered these colors correctly from the greater empyrean, it's equally possible that she was deceived and they were, in actuality, gathered from her personal inlet with all of its personal psychological shadings. The counter-argument could then be made that, in the intervening century, her colors have been confirmed by countless astral travelers but, as seems to be the central thrust of this thread, how do we know that all of them weren't just seeing what their subconscious had been led to expect to see? If we are meant to learn the color scale first before journeying out into the Astral, we have necessarily tainted the experiment. How does one set up a control in this situation?

All of these are obviously questions of the rational, conscious, ego mind... but nevertheless, aren't they valid? Have a century of Western Magicians all been programming their minds to align with the subconscious patterns of Moina Mathers?
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