The Holy Guardian Angel and Disillusion

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The Holy Guardian Angel and Disillusion

Postby ThelemicMage » Wed Mar 19, 2014 12:33 pm

For sure there is a good deal of illusion to learn and learn to deal with when in knowledge and conversaion. But what is the premise and suffix in relation to disillusion from learning?

I know everything is a metaphor for everything else, and dejavu is when the brain becomes aware of itself moving something from short term memory to long term, or instinctual memory. Sometimes when going through a certain lesson, (taking days, weeks, or years,) of my Angel, there are points of extreme disillusionment. When the lesson is truly over, there is no more disillusion, however I feel a pattern of disillusion from lesson to lesson.

Might this be proof of us, at our stage, casing some sort of illusion upon the Angel itself, whereas the Angel is usually the one with power over illusion? Maybe this is how we unconsciously communicate to our future selves when we are one with the Angel?

Am I just too far out too early in the day?
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Re: The Holy Guardian Angel and Disillusion

Postby Jim Eshelman » Wed Mar 19, 2014 3:04 pm

I think you're on the right track, tending to understand this more or less correctly. And projections on the Angel last a long, long time. Before the K&C, they are a primary means of direction and communication for many people. After K&C they continue to show changes in you.

The one thing I found myself wanting to tweak was (what I read to be) the thought that these illusions are error. Even when they are factually wrong, they will, more often than not, be exactly what you need to propel you in your next small step. Over the last year, there has been frequent assertion that this path requires lucid correctness in all things. I disagree. "Wrongness" (illusion) is one of the most powerful and reliable means that the Angel uses to queue us up for a next step.
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Re: The Holy Guardian Angel and Disillusion

Postby Los » Wed Mar 19, 2014 8:16 pm

Jim Eshelman wrote:these illusions [...] Even when they are factually wrong, they will, more often than not, be exactly what you need to propel you in your next small step.

So you arbitrarily declare. Having observed your pattern of behavior over the past year, I don't expect you to try to support a statement like this. And indeed it would be unwise of you to try, since it's unclear by what standard you would judge something to be "exactly what you need," other than arbitrary declaration.

It's a little interesting to note that your observation here -- that making a mistake can sometimes lead to good things -- is trivially true, but the observation in no way undermines the notion that it's always better in the long run for an individual to try not to make mistakes in the first place (or for an individual to correct errors when he does make them).
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Re: The Holy Guardian Angel and Disillusion

Postby Jim Eshelman » Thu Mar 20, 2014 12:03 am

I agree - try not to make mistakes. But then accept whatever you stumble into. It's what the Angel put there.

It's just life.
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Re: The Holy Guardian Angel and Disillusion

Postby Frater 639 » Thu Mar 20, 2014 8:18 am

Jim Eshelman wrote:I agree - try not to make mistakes. But then accept whatever you stumble into. It's what the Angel put there. It's just life.

I agree with this. Knowledge and Conversation is the Truth that "stumbling into" a circumstance/phenomenon is no longer arbitrary, it is the Path. And the Truth of the Path is the Truth of Self.

It necessarily includes Reason, but more as a controlled analytic/perspective, and definitely not as a sole impetus/determinant.

Little Essays Towards Truth wrote:Truth is our Path, and Truth is our Goal; ay! there shall came to all a moment of great Light when the Path is seen to be itself the Goal; and in that hour every one of us shall exclaim:

"I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life!"

The Reason becomes perfectly balanced with the Cone.

(my bold below)

Liber V comment wrote:...for the True Will has no goal; its nature being To Go. Similarly, a parabola is bound by one law which fixes its relations with two straight lines at every point; yet it has no end short of infinity, and it continually changes its direction. The Initiate who is aware Who he is, can always check his conduct by reference to the determinants of his curve, and calculate his past, his future, his bearings, and his proper course at any assigned moment; he can even comprehend himself as a simple idea. He may attain to measure fellow-parabolas, ellipses that cross his path, hyperbolas that span all space with their twin wings. Perhaps he may come at long last, leaping beyond the limits of his own law, to conceive that sublimely stupendous outrage to Reason, the Cone! Utterly inscrutable to him, he is yet well aware that he exists in the nature thereof, that he is necessary thereto, that he is ordered thereby, and that therefrom he is sprung, from the loins of so fearful a Father! His own infinity becomes zero in relation to that of the least fragment of the solid. He hardly exists at all. Trillions multiplies by trillions of trillions of such as he could not cross the frontier even of breadth, the idea which he came to guess at only because he felt himself bound by some mysterious power. Yet breadth is equally a nothing in the presence of the Cone. His first conception must evidently be a frantic spasm, formless, insane, not to be classed as an articulate thought. Yet, if he develops the faculties of his mind, the more he knows of it the more he sees that its nature is identical with his own whenever comparison is possible.
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Re: The Holy Guardian Angel and Disillusion

Postby Avshalom Binyamin » Thu Mar 20, 2014 8:59 am

This topic reminds me of the psychological process called "idealization and devaluation", with "idealization" standing in for "Illusion" and "devalaution" standing in for "Disillusion".

The idealization phase seems like a natural manifestation of our love/life-energy. But then we are met with complex, sometimes contradictory data. And we can go through a phase of devaluation, because the complexity might be too much for us to reconcile at the time. But when we are able to integrate the complexity into our expression of love, we've expanded our ability to manifest love.

Just my thoughts. I could be wrong. :D
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Re: The Holy Guardian Angel and Disillusion

Postby Frater 639 » Thu Mar 20, 2014 9:03 am

Avshalom Binyamin wrote:The idealization phase seems like a natural manifestation of our love/life-energy. But then we are met with complex, sometimes contradictory data. And we can go through a phase of devaluation, because the complexity might be too much for us to reconcile at the time. But when we are able to integrate the complexity into our expression of love, we've expanded our ability to manifest love.


Hey Av, would you mind giving an example? I'm trying to apply what you're saying to a circumstance, so I can better understand...

I have something in mind: release of oxytocin in the brain can lead to unlearning "old" loves and learning "new" loves (repeated behaviors). It helps explain the phenomenon of devalution in regard to feelings for our old patterns, and idealization of our new patterns.

Specifically, what do you mean by 'the complexity might be too much for us to reconcile at the time. But when we are able to integrate the complexity into our expression of love, we've expanded our ability to manifest love.'?
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Re: The Holy Guardian Angel and Disillusion

Postby Avshalom Binyamin » Thu Mar 20, 2014 10:27 am

Sure.

Say we're young and/or immature, we have a hard time accepting that people outside of good/evil, black/white dichotomies. We meet someone new, and experience a surge of positive, projected emotions. We idealize them to the point of unrealistically imagining them to possess many positive qualities. Then we get to know them, and see some of their flaws or negative traits. So we flip and devaluate them, and choose to see them negatively where we once saw them positively.

If we're stuck on this phase, we just move on to different people and go through the process again, abandoning the relationship at the point at which we can no longer tolerate the complexity. Our ability to connect is limited by the degree we are able to handle contradiction and complexity.

As we mature, we are able to accept people as having a mix of qualities. We can handle greater complexity in people, and we can connect more deeply.

I imagine this process continues, and applies to more than just people. That the underlying emotion of love (desire for union) triggers the the idealization as a way for us to begin to integrate (unite with) a new idea. But each idea contains other ideas which we may see as negative. And again, the degree that we can tolerate complexity and contradiction, accept difficult ideas or negative implications, determines what we can integrate.

The other side of this is seeing each cycle of this phase as being an opportunity for character refinement, presented by your Angel, as already mentioned.

Is that clearer? It's just an idea that popped up, so not sure how applicable it is here.
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Re: The Holy Guardian Angel and Disillusion

Postby Los » Thu Mar 20, 2014 1:22 pm

Jim Eshelman wrote:I agree - try not to make mistakes. But then accept whatever you stumble into.


Just accepting what seems to be the case is in direct conflict with trying not to make mistakes. If you're just accepting how stuff seems -- and not bothering to challenge or question it -- then you're not trying to avoid mistakes.

It could be that we're just using words differently, though. Can you give a specific example of what you mean?
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Re: The Holy Guardian Angel and Disillusion

Postby Frater 639 » Thu Mar 20, 2014 1:26 pm

Avshalom Binyamin wrote:Say we're young and/or immature, we have a hard time accepting that people outside of good/evil, black/white dichotomies. We meet someone new, and experience a surge of positive, projected emotions. We idealize them to the point of unrealistically imagining them to possess many positive qualities. Then we get to know them, and see some of their flaws or negative traits. So we flip and devaluate them, and choose to see them negatively where we once saw them positively.


Yes. I would say this is especially true of young adults when they realize that their role models may be merely human. At least Crowley didn't hide his humanity...

Many people have a hard time with seeing that hero-worship is a projection of how they wish to be. Conversely, we can also see that when people are overly critical of someone else's behavior, they are actually not comfortable with certain perspectives or attitudes, regardless if they are exhibited by others or themselves. Another projection of disappointment of "how the world should be like I want to see it." I totally agree with you.

People either change themselves, seek to change the world around them to better suit their perspective, or they don't do (****). Either way, I like how you outlined the challenge we all face when learning how to love.

Avshalom Binyamin wrote:As we mature, we are able to accept people as having a mix of qualities. We can handle greater complexity in people, and we can connect more deeply.


Yes. And even going further, we start to handle the greater complexity in ourselves, when we can start seeing the different archetypes inside of ourselves. The complexities of different people can have something "in common," and the more that we familiarize ourselves with these categories/personalities (energies/sephirot), the more we can recognize these archetypes/elements in others. So, it's not so much the person or situation we learn to love, but the archetype or the way that they present themselves to our senses - and how we react to it. Which I think you're getting at here:

I imagine this process continues, and applies to more than just people.


I think so too. It can become the practice of having the most useful perspective (with emotional understanding) in ALL situations according to one's unique Will - when dealing with people, events, etc.

Avshalom Binyamin wrote:The other side of this is seeing each cycle of this phase as being an opportunity for character refinement, presented by your Angel, as already mentioned.

Is that clearer? It's just an idea that popped up, so not sure how applicable it is here.


Much clearer. I think it's definitely applicable: events, relationships, phenomena, etc., whether they be in accordance with projection or not (satisfaction or disillusion), are one of the ways that one's Angel communicates. It begins as the process of the irritant in the oyster becoming the relative pearl, and then it matures, as Jim outlined above...

The discovery of this relationship is like looking at a mix of colors and pixels, then being able to make out the brush strokes, until we can see the subject, and then the whole painting of fine art, and then possibly the frame...? :lol:

Thanks for taking the time to write about it! Always a pleasure. :D
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Re: The Holy Guardian Angel and Disillusion

Postby Takamba » Thu Mar 20, 2014 2:22 pm

Los, regarding what I think Jim is trying to express about "mistakes" etc - suppose for a moment that not only do you have a HGA and True Will, but the entire population has a HGA and True Will and in such, one such as Fred Phelps, who espoused so much against what current society is leaning toward, actually brought society *together* against him and his ideas. Such a mistake as Fred Phelps actually improved the world around us (in my opinion).

I'm offering that as a sort of example of what I think Jim is expressing. An individual application would be the mistake of getting yourself physically addicted to a substance and then after treatment realizing you'd never have become so in control of yourself if you hadn't learned such issues in the first place.
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Re: The Holy Guardian Angel and Disillusion

Postby Los » Thu Mar 20, 2014 8:20 pm

Takamba wrote:one such as Fred Phelps, who espoused so much against what current society is leaning toward, actually brought society *together* against him and his ideas. Such a mistake as Fred Phelps actually improved the world around us (in my opinion).


Sure, good things can come from mistakes. That’s trivially true.

But I think Phelps would be a lot better off himself if he didn’t make that mistake in the first place or if he came to see his mistake for what it is. I’m sure it seems perfectly true to him to that there is a god and that “god hates fags” or whatnot – in fact, I’m sure he thinks he’s experienced these things, much in the way that some people around here think they’ve experienced hanging out with goblin buddies – but I think that idly sitting by and just “accepting” what seems to be the case is really bad advice, as this example nicely shows.

And frankly, I think that on virtually any scale you want to use to measure societal well-being, all societies would be better off if all people stopped making the kinds of mistakes of the sort that Phelps makes: misconceiving their overactive imaginations and energized enthusiasm as evidence that supernatural critters exist.

An individual application would be the mistake of getting yourself physically addicted to a substance and then after treatment realizing you'd never have become so in control of yourself if you hadn't learned such issues in the first place.


Once again, you demonstrate something trivially true: mistakes can eventually lead to good things. Of course, in this example, the “good thing” came from the individual realizing that he has made a mistake and correcting it, not from just “accepting” his mistake.

I realize that the way you’ve structured this example is that the individual “needed” to make that mistake in order to gain self-control, but what this example shows us is that this self-control is gained by realizing the mistake, which can only be achieved by striving for “lucid correctness” in understanding the Self.

One cannot help but make mistakes, whether it’s mistaking one’s own overactive imagination for actual goblins (as in your first example) or mistaking one’s impulses for the True Will (as in your second). It’s only by striving for “lucid correctness” in perceiving the Self and the environment that one overcomes these mistakes and thereby grows or "attains."


What Jim was saying above – as a response to my participation on these forums last year – is that he thinks it's not true that “this path requires lucid correctness in all things.” I’m assuming that by “this path,” he’s referring to Thelema, but who knows.

But as your examples show, Takamba, “lucid correctness” is precisely what individuals should strive for and what would produce optimal results for themselves and for society.
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Re: The Holy Guardian Angel and Disillusion

Postby Frater 639 » Fri Mar 21, 2014 8:23 am

Los wrote:Sure, good things can come from mistakes. That’s trivially true.But I think Phelps would be a lot better off himself if he didn’t make that mistake in the first place or if he came to see his mistake for what it is. I’m sure it seems perfectly true to him to that there is a god and that “god hates fags” or whatnot – in fact, I’m sure he thinks he’s experienced these things, much in the way that some people around here think they’ve experienced hanging out with goblin buddies – but I think that idly sitting by and just “accepting” what seems to be the case is really bad advice, as this example nicely shows.

We would have to examine what we consider "bad" advice. Bad advice to you may not be bad advice to Phelps. So, here we have a cultural, moral, or, perhaps, "spiritual" preference where Phelps and you (or even perhaps the majority) do not agree.

Los wrote:And frankly, I think that on virtually any scale you want to use to measure societal well-being, all societies would be better off if all people stopped making the kinds of mistakes of the sort that Phelps makes: misconceiving their overactive imaginations and energized enthusiasm as evidence that supernatural critters exist.

We would have to consider what you mean by "better-off." Here, I believe your idea could be considered another herd-expression. Your argument is a moral argument - just as Phelps' is.

Phelps: A society would be better-off if people abstained from homosexual acts.
Los: A society would be better-off if people stopped making psychological "mistakes."

Both opinions from people what believe "things would be better" if only people believed like them. This is a value argument aka a moral argument.

What exactly is a mistake? An act that doesn't benefit society? Or perhaps, one that doesn't agree with your worldview?

Are we, as individuals, responsible for other people's well-being? Wouldn't this be considered a moral principle?

While your viewpoint is just an opinion, how does this relate with the HGA and disillusion? I think that would be worth examining and would keep your digression more on topic.

Los wrote:One cannot help but make mistakes, whether it’s mistaking one’s own overactive imagination for actual goblins (as in your first example) or mistaking one’s impulses for the True Will (as in your second). It’s only by striving for “lucid correctness” in perceiving the Self and the environment that one overcomes these mistakes and thereby grows or "attains."

Let's say this "lucid correctness" is something that you strive for by all means. How do you know it is correct? You'd need something to measure with and an already "preconcieved" set of values that this lucidity would compare to, in order to gauge accurately, right? So, then you try to objectively measure, right? Say you have the idea of action and how it measures up to this set of values - this so-called "lucid correctness."

Unfortunately, you're measuring against your own plastic set of ethics or what seems "correct" to you - which sets up the dyad or dichotomy - which are made up of pre-existing implanted value systems in EVERY SOCIETY and in EVERY PERSON (e.g. homosexuality is good/bad as an example). Unfortunately, it isn't a dichotomy...

The truth is that homosexuality simply "is." So is society. Nothing is "better-off" in any way. Only the way evolution goes in itself determines how things should go. Nature is nature. The way it evolves is the only thing that we can call "correct."

Extending this to one's consciousness, until your action is already intrisically ideal without comparison to a cloudy "lucid correctness" ideal - which is a subjective measurement - you will always be pitting your action against something that you wish you were. At least, this is true in the realm of Reason. Move it out to the Cone, and your individuality and personality and events all get integrated as correct "no matter what," e.g. you already Know your nature - which is To Go and you know that True Will has no goal. It only is Spirit Going. And it's this trance that marks the Adept. An Adept is "above" a thought like "I may be in trouble and out of line with some lucid correctness that I may be able to discover someday..."

Do you agree with this? Or maybe if you could drill down into what you mean by lucid correctness in yourself and the environment a bit more? I tend to agree with that statement, but I guess where I'm confused is "lucid correctness" - in relation to what?

One's K&C with the HGA a priori has no judgment of a "more correct" way to go for any outcome or action by its very nature and definition - an action against the True Will is an impossibility at that point by its very fabric. And True Will doesn't need to line up with society to be True Will - a person's "lucid correctness" could lead them to become Phelps, Nero, or (perhaps) Los.

Book 4 Part III Chap XXI wrote:Until the Great Work has been performed, it is presumptuous for the magician to pretend to understand the universe, and dictate its policy. Only the Master of the Temple can say whether any given act is a crime. "Slay that innocent child?" (I hear the ignorant say) "What a horror!" "Ah!" replies the Knower, with foresight of history, "but that child will become Nero. Hasten to strangle him!"

There is a third, above these, who understands that Nero was as necessary as Julius Caesar.
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Re: The Holy Guardian Angel and Disillusion

Postby Jason R » Fri Mar 21, 2014 9:45 am

93 Frater 639,

Popping in, and have to say, this is a great post! Wonderfully put! As always, I wish I was as adept at being as clear.

Extending this to one's consciousness, until your action is already intrinsically ideal without comparison to a cloudy "lucid correctness" ideal - which is a subjective measurement - you will always be pitting your action against something that you wish you were. At least, this is true in the realm of Reason. Move it out to the Cone, and your individuality and personality and events all get integrated as correct "no matter what," e.g. you already Know your nature - which is To Go and you know that True Will has no goal. It only is Spirit Going. And it's this trance that marks the Adept. An Adept is "above" a thought like "I may be in trouble and out of line with some lucid correctness that I may be able to discover someday..."


What I have been trying to say is so well put here, thank you. The bold above my own, as this is so perfectly said. I may steal it in order to make my point clearer in future, if I may!

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Re: The Holy Guardian Angel and Disillusion

Postby Gnosomai Emauton » Fri Mar 21, 2014 1:21 pm

+1. Really great post 639.

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Re: The Holy Guardian Angel and Disillusion

Postby Frater 639 » Fri Mar 21, 2014 8:14 pm

Thanks guys. I'm both appreciative and humbled. :D
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Re: The Holy Guardian Angel and Disillusion

Postby landis » Sat Mar 22, 2014 12:49 am

First, to the OP:

ThelemicMage wrote:...what is the premise and suffix in relation to disillusion from learning?

Please define "premise" and "suffix" as you mean them here.

ThelemicMage wrote:I know everything is a metaphor for everything else....
According to Kant, you can't predicate existence. Assuming he was right, this doesn't make any sense. As Crowley asked:

What is Existence? The question is so fundamental that it finds no answer. The most profound meditation only leads to an exasperating sense of impotence. There is, it seems, no simple rational idea in the mind which corresponds to the word. (III, see the next link below)


ThelemicMage wrote:...and dejavu is when the brain becomes aware of itself moving something from short term memory to long term, or instinctual memory. Sometimes when going through a certain lesson, (taking days, weeks, or years,) of my Angel, there are points of extreme disillusionment. When the lesson is truly over, there is no more disillusion, however I feel a pattern of disillusion from lesson to lesson.


Perhaps the lesson is that the Holy Guardian Angel/Higher "Self"/"True Self" concept (HGA hereafter) is not a dogma, as way too many practitioners act like it is. Perhaps a related lesson is that Crowley was human, and by definition, imperfect, and that it probably would have been better if he'd not been so emphatic about the HGA. And how can you be so sure about memory? As Crowley asked in The Soldier and the Hunchback: ! and ?:

The relation between the two ideas is unthinkable; causality is itself unthinkable; it depends, for one thing, upon experience --- and what, in God's name, is experience? Experience is impossible without memory. What is memory? The mortar of the temple of the ego, whose bricks are the impressions. And the ego? The sum of our experience, may be. (I doubt it!) Anyhow, we have got values of "y" and "z" for "x", and the values of "x" and "z" for "y" --- all our equations are indeterminate; all our knowledge is relative, even in a narrower sense than is usually implied by the statement. Under the whip of the clown God, our performing donkeys the philosophers and mn of science run round and round in the ring; they have amusing tricks: they are cleverly trained; but they get nowhere.

I don't seem to be getting anywhere myself. (I)


ThelemicMage wrote:Might this be proof of us, at our stage, casing some sort of illusion upon the Angel itself....
Perhaps it's illustrative of the deficiency of the HGA concept.

Let me explain.

This thread is a good example of why Thelema is, on the one hand, an improvement on Magick before Crowley, but, on the other hand, why his improvements need to be--if we desire the get the most out of Magick--continually improved upon. In various ways throughout his writings he acknowledged--despite his frequent outbursts of anger towards those who disagreed with him or opposed him--that Magick, like any science, is iterative, non-dogmatic, and self-correcting. This goes to what has been said in this thread about "mistakes" not only in terms of individuals but also in terms of Magick and science.

I don't find much value in concepts like True Will, the HGA, etc..., but understand why others do (Somewhere in his Confessions he speaks of us having multiple selves, echoing William James' chapters on The Self in his Principles. He would have done better to use that terminology instead of the HGA, etc... motifs which have bogged Magick down in metaphysical quagmires ever since. Cf., e.g., James' chapter in Principles: The Stream of Thought and especially The Consciousness of Self). Many threads here are mere conflicts over what the hell they even mean. I think Crowley could have found betters ways to fulfil what he believed to be his mission to spread Thelema and actualize his charge to help humanity see that "the Law is for all." Thelema itself suffers from many inadequacies, and needs improvement. This probably agitates many here. But being settled on Crowley's views about Magick was not something Crowley himself was for. The note he dictated to Mary d'Este Sturges and approved publication in Book IV of confirms as much:

May the whole Path now be plain to all!

Frater Perdurabo is the most honest of all the great religious teachers. Others have said: "Believe me!" He says: "Don't believe me!" He does not ask for followers; would despise and refuse them. He wants an independent and self-reliant body of students to follow out their own methods of research. If he can save them time and trouble by giving a few useful "tips," his work will have been done to his own satisfaction.

Those who have wished men to believe in them were absurd (my bold/underline).


This quote, as my emphases highlight, indicates that Crowley was not a proponent of what Paul K. Feyerabend calls "methodological uniformism" in science. Scientific Illuminism was in Crowley’s time neither very "scientific" nor all that illuminating, and it is even less so on both accounts now. To date, it is a failure because neither Crowley nor practitioners following his death have kept up with advancements (they are much more than mere “trends”) in the philosophy science. His early quandaries over how to formulate and implement Scientific Illuminism are still with us, especially in terms of the limitations of the taxonomic approaches of the Maudsleyan natural science he imitated. As he put it in The Herb Dangerous:

Crowley wrote:In other of my philosophical writings I have endeavoured to show that the ratiocinative faculty was in its nature unable to solve any single problem of the universe.

Its reductio ad absurdum is clear enough in the gorgeous first section of Herbert Spencer's First Principles. Kant demonstrated the Dualism and inherent Self-contradiction well enough in the Prolegomena and its four theses and their...antitheses (Section 51); and Hegel's Logic, if properly understood, would have brought the whole thing into contempt.

But unfortunately the "common sense" of mankind retorted that after all the interior angles of every triangle are together equal to two right-angles; and that a mental process which deduced this so accurately from a few simple axioms and definitions must be trustworthy; adding something uncomplimentary about Germans and Metaphysics.

Both are right, and both are wrong. In the world of common sense, reason works; in the world of philosophy, it doesn't. The metaphysical deadlock is a real and not a verbal one. The inner nature of things is not rational, at least so long as we are asked to define "rational" as "rationalistic." Why should it be? Why should the rules of golf govern the mechanics of the flight of a golf-ball?

It is this fact that has made it possible for the faith-mongers to make head against the stream of philosophy. Fichte is really and truly just as right and as wrong as Schelling; Hume is quite as impregnable as Berkeley.

Let us not try to shirk the truth of it, either by the "common-sense" folly, or the "faith" folly, or the Hegelian folly.

It may, I think, be readily conceded that the reasoning faculty is not apodeictally absolute. It represents a stage in human thought, no more.

You cannot convince a savage of the truth of the Binomial Theorem; should we then be surprised if a mystic fails to convert a philosopher?

Yet must he try....

[T]o the consideration of Scientific Illuminism[:] We have had, you may say, a poor half-pennyworth of Science to an intolerable deal of Illuminism. Well, that is what I wanted you to say. Were it not so, I would not have spent these two nights over this paper, when I want to be fresh every morning to go to the Prado and gloat over Velasquez!

Here, gentlemen, are a number of genuine mystic states; some home-grown, some imported. Please tell us what they are! (You are fond of telling us what things are.)

It is useless to label the whole lot as insane: nor are they unimportant.

In my view, most of the great men of the world have known them; themselves attributed their greatness to these experiences, and I really do not see why admittedly lesser men should contradict them. I hope to argue this point at greater length when I am better documented; but at the very least, these states are of the most extraordinary interest. Even as insanities, they would demand the strictest investigation from the light they throw upon the working of the brain. But as it is! All the sacred literature of the world is full of them; all the art and poetry of all time is inspired by them; and, by the Lord Harry! we know nothing about them. Nothing but what vague and troubled reflections the minds...of the mystics themselves, untrained in accuracy of observation, bring back from the fountains of light; nothing but what quacks exploit, and dotards drivel of.

Think of what we claim! That concentration and its results can open the Closed Palace of the King, and answer the Riddle of the Sphinx. All science only brings us up to a blind wall, the wall of Philosophy; here is your great Ram to batter a breach and let in the forlorn hope of the Children of the Curse to storm the heights of heaven.

One single trained observer with five years' work, less money than would build a bakehouse, and no more help than his dozen of volunteer students could give him, would earn himself a fame loftier than the stars, and set mankind on the royal road to the solution of the One great problem. Scientific Illuminism would have deserved its name, or mysticism would have received a blow which would save another young fool like myself from wasting his whole life on so senseless a study and enable him to engage in the nobler career of cheating and duping his fellows in the accredited spheres of commerce and politics, to say nothing of the grosser knaveries of the liberal professions.

But I have no doubts. Let the investigator study his own brain on the lines I have laid down, possibly in the first place with the aid of hashish or some better physical expedient, to overcome the dull scepticism which is begotten of idleness upon ignorance; it is useless to study the no-brain of another, on the strength of a reputation for fraud, as the spiritualist investigators seem to do. Your own brain is the best; next, the trained and vigorous brains of clever and educated men, in perfect health, honest and wary. {88}

You will get more from them than you will from some maudlin hysteric professional mountebank. All talk to the contrary is the merest froth; Mohammed was a great lawgiver and a great fighter; try your experiment with the sane, and not with the crazy!

True, you will get hallucinations more easily with the unsound; but you will never, never, never find a woman or a degenerate who is capable of any trance of type higher than Vedana. Take my word for it!

No! take my word for nothing: try all things; hold fast that which is good! (VIII, XX; my bold, underline).


Neither science nor Magick has ceased to develop. Yet in this thread, and the many others I've made similar points in, most of you act not only as if the development of Magick and his synthesis of Magick with science ceased in 1947 (when he died), but you also act as if the models of science he employed were finalizations of the relationship of Magick to science. Yet, it is a mistake to take Crowley's formulations of Magick and Thelema as special or supramundane.

Crowley wrote:From the nature of things, therefore, life is a sacrament; in other words, all our acts are magical acts. Our spiritual consciousness acts through the will and its instruments upon material objects, in order to produce changes which will result in the establishment of the new conditions of consciousness which we wish. That is the definition of Magick." (Confessions, Ch.14, my italics)


No doubt, Crowley effected a Reformation in Magick but it is a mistake to make a dogma out of any part of it or out of any of his views. For example, while bound by oaths (which he didn't always keep--see below) and his dedication to some of aspects of the esoteric, and therefore secretive, traditions of Magick, he was also deeply motivated to expose many of the aspects of those traditions he believed should be made public (despite the fact that it led to events like his his former mentor, MacGregor Mathers, suing him for revealing secrets of the R.C. in the "Equinox"--cf. Perdurabo, pp. 205-8; & cf. Dion Fortune: "Much of what was once common knowledge has been gathered up and confined under the initiate's oath of secrecy. It is Crowley's jibe at his teachers that they bound him to secrecy with terrible oaths and then confided the Hebrew alphabet to his safekeeping....' So much for secrecy!" [The Mystical Qabalah, pp. 25, 98; 1998]). Attempting to privilege Magick as special or supramundane only compounds the errors of assuming that Crowley's writings and death were the last and final words on Magical theory and practice, and that they forever carved in stone the relationship of Magick to science. But such errors are similar to if not identical with the errors involved with making a dogma out of science, like Los does ad nauseam. Dion Fortune gets at the heart of this when she says (for now, ignoring her linguistic lapses into scientific methodological uniformism):

31. It will be seen, then, that if we classify mundane affairs and phenomena in terms of the Four Elements, we shall immediately see their relationship to astrology and the Tarot. Now classification is the stage that immediately follows observation in scientific method. A very great deal of scientific work simply consists in these two processes; in fact, for the rank and file of science these represent the total range of their activities. If science is limited to these two activities, as it would be if we listened to our more pedestrian scientists, it would be no more than a compiling of lists of natural phenomena, as if the brokers were in on the universe. But the imaginative scientist, who alone is worthy of the name of research worker, uses classification not so much as a means of putting things away tidily, but to enable him to recognise relationships [compare this to William James' Radical Empiricism and what I say about his thoughts on "truth" below].

32.
From the imaginative scientist who perceives to the philosophic scientist who
interprets is but a step; and from the philosophical scientist who interprets in terms of causation to the esoteric scientist who interprets in terms of purpose, and so links science to ethics, is but another step. It is the tragedy of Esoteric Science that its exponents have nearly always been inadequately equipped upon the plane of Malkuth, and consequently unable to co-ordinate their results with those obtained by workers in other fields. As long as we rest content with this state of affairs we shall continue to have muddle-headed thinking and credulous assumptions as our inalienable lot. Esoteric Science needs to observe the rule of the yacht race, and make each magical operation round the marking-buoy of Malkuth before it is reckoned to have achieved completion. (The Mystical Qabalah, p. 256, 1998; my italics, bolds.)


Crowley was of a similar opinion:

It has been said by some that the Law of Thelema appeals only to the élite of humanity. No doubt here is this much in that assertion, that only the highest can take full advantage of the extraordinary opportunities which it offers. At the same time, "the Law is for all." Each in his degree, every man may learn to realise the nature of his own being, and to develop it in freedom (Magic Without Tears, Ch. VIII).


It follows form all this that belonging to a Magical order, the A.'. A.'. included, is not necessary for "adepthood," "attainment," etc.... And in many cases, it is less than ideal. Magick, like science, does not deserve a privileged status. Or, as Dion Fortune put it:

Life is the real initiator.... The adept has use of all things, but is dependent upon nothing. It is now becoming normal for the average man to do what only the initiates do. (The Mystical Qabalah, pp. 229, 254; my bold


And she said that in 1935! How much more true is it now, in 2014?

It is vitally important--again, if we care to make the most out of Crowley's Magical Reformation--to keep in mind Crowley's influences. For example, take the great extent to which Crowley was influenced by the pragmatism of William James. Look at James' conclusion in his Pragmatism's Conception of Truth:

It is quite evident that our obligation to acknowledge truth, so far from being unconditional, is tremendously conditioned. Truth with a big T, and in the singular, claims abstractly to be recognized, of course; but concrete truths in the plural need be recognized only when their recognition is expedient. A truth must always be preferred to a falsehood when both relate to the situation; but when neither does, truth is as little of a duty as falsehood.... With this admission that there are conditions that limit the application of the abstract imperative, the pragmatist treatment of truth sweeps back upon us in its fulness. Our duty to agree with reality is seen to be grounded in a perfect jungle of concrete expediencies. (my bold)


Now, compare this to what has been said about "truth" in this thread.

Frater 639 wrote:
Jim Eshelman wrote:I agree - try not to make mistakes. But then accept whatever you stumble into. It's what the Angel put there. It's just life.

I agree with this. Knowledge and Conversation is the Truth that "stumbling into" a circumstance/phenomenon is no longer arbitrary, it is the Path. And the Truth of the Path is the Truth of Self.

It necessarily includes Reason, but more as a controlled analytic/perspective, and definitely not as a sole impetus/determinant.

Little Essays Towards Truth wrote:Truth is our Path, and Truth is our Goal; ay! there shall came to all a moment of great Light when the Path is seen to be itself the Goal; and in that hour every one of us shall exclaim:

"I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life!"

Here we have a relating of James’ capital T "truths" to such lofty notions as Reason, The Path, The Self, and by implication, The Will. But this is justifiable neither by James’ pragmatism nor by Crowley's philosophies. If we put Frater 639's quote in greater context, we will see why.

What is Truth? It is absurd to attempt to define it, for when we say that S is P, rather than S is Q or S is R, we assume that we already know the meaning of Truth. This is really why all the discussions as to whether Truth depends on external correspondence, internal coherence, or what not, neither produce conviction, nor withstand analysis. Briefly, Truth is an idea of a supra-rational order, pertaining to Neschamah, not to Ruach. That all rational conceptions imply that we know Truth, and that Truth is in their propositions, only shows that these so-called rational ideas are not really rational at all. Truth is by no means the only idea that resists rational analysis. There are very many ideas that remain indefinable: all simple ideas do so. At the back of all our efforts is the dead wall that we must already know what we are pretending to find our....

Do we not all assume a perfectly illogical conception of Truth as an entity of "the supra-mundane order, whence a whirling flame and flying Light subsist?" Do we not instinctively assimilate these ideas of Truth and Light, though there is no rational nexus? Is it not clear, then, that we do understand each other perfectly, so far as we can understand each other at all, in a sphere such as Zoroaster calls "Intelligible," which "subsisteth beyond Mind' but which we should "seek to grasp with the Flower of Mind"...? (Little Essays Towards Truth; my bolds)


Frater 639 continues, quoting the comment on Liber V then extends his analysis of "truth" to involve "True Will" but stops short, leaving us with an inadequate impression:

Frater 639 wrote:The Reason becomes perfectly balanced with the Cone.

(my bold below)

Liber V comment wrote:...for the True Will has no goal; its nature being To Go. Similarly, a parabola is bound by one law which fixes its relations with two straight lines at every point; yet it has no end short of infinity, and it continually changes its direction. The Initiate who is aware Who he is, can always check his conduct by reference to the determinants of his curve, and calculate his past, his future, his bearings, and his proper course at any assigned moment; he can even comprehend himself as a simple idea. He may attain to measure fellow-parabolas, ellipses that cross his path, hyperbolas that span all space with their twin wings. Perhaps he may come at long last, leaping beyond the limits of his own law, to conceive that sublimely stupendous outrage to Reason, the Cone! Utterly inscrutable to him, he is yet well aware that he exists in the nature thereof, that he is necessary thereto, that he is ordered thereby, and that therefrom he is sprung, from the loins of so fearful a Father! His own infinity becomes zero in relation to that of the least fragment of the solid. He hardly exists at all. Trillions multiplies by trillions of trillions of such as he could not cross the frontier even of breadth, the idea which he came to guess at only because he felt himself bound by some mysterious power. Yet breadth is equally a nothing in the presence of the Cone. His first conception must evidently be a frantic spasm, formless, insane, not to be classed as an articulate thought. Yet, if he develops the faculties of his mind, the more he knows of it the more he sees that its nature is identical with his own whenever comparison is possible.


But Crowley goes on to qualify this:

We know one thing only. Absolute existence, absolute motion, absolute direction, absolute simultaneity, absolute truth, all such ideas: they have not, and never can have, any real meaning. If a man in delirium tremens fell into the Hudson River, he might remember the proverb and clutch at an imaginary straw. Words such as "truth" are like that straw. Confusion of thought is concealed, and its impotence denied, by the invention. This paragraph opened with "We know": yet, questioned, "we" make haste to deny the possibility of possessing, or even of defining, knowledge. (Liber V)


Crowley made a genuinely good faith attempt to make Magick more respectable and popular by attempting to, much like social scientists having been doing since their inceptions, scientificate Magick. This is laudable, but by no means perfect, and in several regards erroneous, and these attempts are one of the many ways his human imperfections are revealed. He issued hits and misses. Yet, his desires were humanitarian. His belief in himself as the prophet of the new aeon led him to a certain course of action in which he acknowledged his own mistakes repetitively (if you've read his diaries you know what I mean), but it also did us who have been inspired by his efforts much benefits.

But we diminish those benefits if we think that Crowley wanted us to stop with his views of science. For his time, he had a good starting point, but the empiricism he was partial to was rooted in the natural science of Maudsley and the radical empiricism of William James. The former is basically taxonomical, and Crowley's contributions following this method are too great to be denied. The latter involves a rejection of what James called "medical materialism" (basically, what we now call reductionism, and which, unfortunately is experiencing a revival in the mindless field of neuroscience), and he was right to use it, for it helped the Magical community avoid the criticisms that scientific materialists like Los are subject to. The problem, however, is the taxonomy has devolved to mere record keeping of "experiments" performed by individuals. Record keeping is a necessary but not sufficient condition for the practice of science. But in the case of testing personal religious/spiritual experience (scientific illuminism) it is usually overdone at the cost of actual practice. Because of his Maudsleyan influences, Crowley spent way too much time on this, as most practitioners of Thelema still do. One of the most silly things I've seen in writing from Crowley is in Magick Without Tears, Ch. XXVII, where he attributes record keeping to the Buddha, a man who in all likelihood didn't even know how to write!

As part of his definition of Magick Crowley consistently conceptualized it not only as a science but also as an art. And in Magic Without Tears, “Ch. LXVII,” he says that, "Science is co-terminous with Magick." So, by implication, science is an art. It's worth noting that Paul K. Feyerbend started his career as an artist (an opera singer, and, of course, Crowley didn’t hide his aspirations to become a famous poet) and that his "epistemological anarchism" was inspired by Dadaism. His "anything goes" rule for science is often similarly misunderstood as "Do What Thou Wilt" is, in the sense that both are assumed to be nihilistic instead of the affirmations of freedom they are. Yet, as the esteemed philosopher of science Ian Hacking put it in the Introduction to the fourth edition of Feyerabend's Against Method:

Feyerabend will forever be cursed by a statement of his own making, and for which he is fully responsible, the notorious aphorism 'anything goes'. In the Chinese preface, he says it is 'the terrified exclamation of a rationalist who takes a closer look at history.... Since the aphorism is often taken to be anti-science, a sort of New Age waffle, we must emphasize the Feyerabend never meant for one minute that anything except the scientific method (whatever that is) 'goes.' He meant that lots of ways of getting on, including the innumerable methods of the diverse sciences , 'go'. He also meant that an anti-rationalist, like himself, was perfectly entitled to discomfit the rationalists whom he opposed. What he disliked was any kind of intellectual or ideological hegemony. His favoured text was Mill's On Liberty, even if his preferred style was Dada. Single mindedness in pursuit of any goal, including truth and understanding, yields great rewards. But single vision is folly if it makes you see (or even glimpse) the truth, the one and only truth. Hence the need for the counter-irritant maxim 'anything goes'. (pp. xii-xiii; Hacking's italics, my underlines/bolds)

Sounds a lot like Crowley, doesn't it?

As I have argued in my blog post, Science Is Dumb (or, We’re All Scientists), science is the art of critical thinking, and when it fails to be so, it is dogma, or scientism. Combine this with what I've said about the ordinary status of Magick and science, and you can see why Crowley can write things like "the Law is for all" while elsewhere writing things like:
"Occult" science is the most difficult of them all. For one thing, its subject-matter includes the whole of philosophy, from ontology and metaphysics down to natural history. More, the most rarefied and recondite of these has a direct bearing upon the conduct of life in its most material details, and the simplest study of such apparently earthbound matters as botany and mineralogy leads to the most abstruse calculations of the imponderables.

With what weapons, then, are we to attack so formidable a fortress?

The first essential is clear thinking. (Magick Without Tears, Ch. XXIV; my bold/underline)


Is Crowley contradicting himself? All the damn time. After clear/critical thinking (for false sceptics [Cf. The Soldier and the Hunchback] like Los, this is the culmination of practice--recall his "trivial truth" and "lucid correctness"; for true sceptics, like myself, it is simply a necessary--but not sufficient--first step):

The nature of Knowledge, the culmination and stasis of the Intellectual faculties...implies a contradiction in terms. Understanding is the resolution of this antinomy.... The only correct and adequate mode of the Attainment of Understanding is to shut off and to inhibit the rational mind altogether, thus leaving a Tabula rasa upon which the entirely alien faculty—de novo and sui generis—can write its first word.

But then (it will surely be said) what is more unintelligent than this supposed Intelligence? than this formless, even delirious Ecstasy which sweeps away all shapes of thought? No sane man would deny this premiss: but the explanation is that this Ecstasy is (so to say) the throe of Birth of the new faculty. It is surely natural for an observer to be startled, for the moment, by the discovery of a new Universe. Ananda must be mastered manfully, not indulged as a vice in the manner of the Mystic! Samadhi must be clarified by Sila, by the stern virtue of constraint: and then appears the paradox that the new Law of the Mind has "come not to destroy but to fulfil" the old. The Understanding takes full cognizance of all that vast material which the Reason was unable to build into any coherent structure. The contradictions have disappeared by absorption; they have been accepted as essential factors in the nature of Truth, which without them were a mere congeries of Facts.

It will be clear from all these considerations that there need be no surprise at this primordial paradox: that Scepticism, absolute in every dimension, is the sole possible basis of true Attainment. (Little Essays Towards Truth, "Understanding")
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And be the Light so bright that no man seeth thee.
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Re: The Holy Guardian Angel and Disillusion

Postby Frater 639 » Sun Mar 23, 2014 10:20 am

landis wrote:Look at James' conclusion in his Pragmatism's Conception of Truth:

It is quite evident that our obligation to acknowledge truth, so far from being unconditional, is tremendously conditioned. Truth with a big T, and in the singular, claims abstractly to be recognized, of course; but concrete truths in the plural need be recognized only when their recognition is expedient. A truth must always be preferred to a falsehood when both relate to the situation; but when neither does, truth is as little of a duty as falsehood.... With this admission that there are conditions that limit the application of the abstract imperative, the pragmatist treatment of truth sweeps back upon us in its fulness. Our duty to agree with reality is seen to be grounded in a perfect jungle of concrete expediencies. (my bold)


Now, compare this to what has been said about "truth" in this thread.

Frater 639 wrote:
Jim Eshelman wrote:I agree - try not to make mistakes. But then accept whatever you stumble into. It's what the Angel put there. It's just life.

I agree with this. Knowledge and Conversation is the Truth that "stumbling into" a circumstance/phenomenon is no longer arbitrary, it is the Path. And the Truth of the Path is the Truth of Self.

It necessarily includes Reason, but more as a controlled analytic/perspective, and definitely not as a sole impetus/determinant.

Little Essays Towards Truth wrote:Truth is our Path, and Truth is our Goal; ay! there shall came to all a moment of great Light when the Path is seen to be itself the Goal; and in that hour every one of us shall exclaim:

"I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life!"

Here we have a relating of James’ capital T "truths" to such lofty notions as Reason, The Path, The Self, and by implication, The Will. But this is justifiable neither by James’ pragmatism nor by Crowley's philosophies. If we put Frater 639's quote in greater context, we will see why.

What is Truth? It is absurd to attempt to define it, for when we say that S is P, rather than S is Q or S is R, we assume that we already know the meaning of Truth. This is really why all the discussions as to whether Truth depends on external correspondence, internal coherence, or what not, neither produce conviction, nor withstand analysis. Briefly, Truth is an idea of a supra-rational order, pertaining to Neschamah, not to Ruach. That all rational conceptions imply that we know Truth, and that Truth is in their propositions, only shows that these so-called rational ideas are not really rational at all. Truth is by no means the only idea that resists rational analysis. There are very many ideas that remain indefinable: all simple ideas do so. At the back of all our efforts is the dead wall that we must already know what we are pretending to find our....

Do we not all assume a perfectly illogical conception of Truth as an entity of "the supra-mundane order, whence a whirling flame and flying Light subsist?" Do we not instinctively assimilate these ideas of Truth and Light, though there is no rational nexus? Is it not clear, then, that we do understand each other perfectly, so far as we can understand each other at all, in a sphere such as Zoroaster calls "Intelligible," which "subsisteth beyond Mind' but which we should "seek to grasp with the Flower of Mind"...? (Little Essays Towards Truth; my bolds)


Hmm. Well, first off - William James uses the capital "T" in a different way than Crowley does - I doubt James knew what Neschamah was or of its principles. I have to disagree that the way I use it is not reconcilable to Crowley's philosophies, but that would take an essay...and that isn't the topic of the thread...

Also, I wasn't even referring to Truth in my quote directly, I was referring to the K&C of the HGA necessarily involving Reason (Tiphareth is the center/balance of the Ruach) - which I think was the point you had issue with - I think you may have misunderstood me. I'll try to be more clear:

If we discuss Truth, as "supra-rational" as any mystic-monger claims It is, they are still involving reason by analyzing it the first place. However, to get close, I will say that my definition of Truth encompasses the All-in-All. This includes Reason AND reason. It includes all sorts of stuff - actually it includes more than everything I can conceive of at this present time - it the Harmonizing of the All-in-All as it Truly Is. All this "means" nothing in the realm of reason. "Meaning" is a tool to be wielded and not an uncontrollable dictator in one's mind (unless they are a slave to emotional thoughtforms). Sure, that's a tautology in the realm of reason, which is why it defies it.

Maybe another way of looking at it? FOr me, the capital "T" refers to the fact that it has reconciled what were once perceived of as "separated" opposites. I don't think that would mean anything to James. But, it would mean something to Crowley or perhaps others...

We use "reason" to get to Reason as skeptics. Truth rules over all of these since it is merely the Self Knowing Itself. I wouldn't even waste the time trying to explain what this should mean to you - everyone is different and their experiences are different. Every Star needs to learn what Truth is to them.

I will say that my perspective is not exactly the same as James' or Crowley's - nor would I ever take their definitions of Truth to be the Absolute Perspective. I am my own God and you are yours and the fun is figuring out why We are Truth - while learning how to use perspectives for benefit, according to our good pleasure!

You've already posted that everything has no real meaning anyway, so reason falls flat. That is a great point. Regardless of how many people we quote, we are no closer to an explanation of Truth (for ourselves or others) by using words. It is more experience based, wouldn't you agree?

landis wrote:Frater 639 continues, quoting the comment on Liber V then extends his analysis of "truth" to involve "True Will" but stops short, leaving us with an inadequate impression:

Frater 639 wrote:The Reason becomes perfectly balanced with the Cone.

(my bold below)

Liber V comment wrote:...for the True Will has no goal; its nature being To Go. Similarly, a parabola is bound by one law which fixes its relations with two straight lines at every point; yet it has no end short of infinity, and it continually changes its direction. The Initiate who is aware Who he is, can always check his conduct by reference to the determinants of his curve, and calculate his past, his future, his bearings, and his proper course at any assigned moment; he can even comprehend himself as a simple idea. He may attain to measure fellow-parabolas, ellipses that cross his path, hyperbolas that span all space with their twin wings. Perhaps he may come at long last, leaping beyond the limits of his own law, to conceive that sublimely stupendous outrage to Reason, the Cone! Utterly inscrutable to him, he is yet well aware that he exists in the nature thereof, that he is necessary thereto, that he is ordered thereby, and that therefrom he is sprung, from the loins of so fearful a Father! His own infinity becomes zero in relation to that of the least fragment of the solid. He hardly exists at all. Trillions multiplies by trillions of trillions of such as he could not cross the frontier even of breadth, the idea which he came to guess at only because he felt himself bound by some mysterious power. Yet breadth is equally a nothing in the presence of the Cone. His first conception must evidently be a frantic spasm, formless, insane, not to be classed as an articulate thought. Yet, if he develops the faculties of his mind, the more he knows of it the more he sees that its nature is identical with his own whenever comparison is possible.


The following portion that you posted augmented my original point. I tried to be as clear as possible...I apologize if it left you with an inadequate impression. You didn't really mention why you felt it was inadequate to open it up for possible discussion, but maybe we can save that for a different thread.

You have a lot to say in your post. MANY different topics. Why record-keeping isn't that useful to the Aspirant, why you feel the term HGA is insufficient, why you feel Systems of Attainment are not important, etc. You should post them separately - I think it would be fun to examine these points. I suggest this so the thread doesn't get locked for being OT...

Hope you are doing well, my friend! Drop me an email again sometime! :D
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Re: The Holy Guardian Angel and Disillusion

Postby Los » Sun Mar 23, 2014 9:43 pm

Gnosomai Emauton wrote:Really great post 639.


Wow.

So, I’ve pointed out before that I don’t bother any more with reading anything written by the “639” guy – ever since he demonstrated himself to be incapable of holding a conversation – but after two votes of confidence, I decided to skim his post and see what the fuss was about. Yikes.

As expected, the post conflates statements of fact (“It’s beneficial to avoid making mistakes and to correct mistakes”) with statements of morals (“Everyone ought to worship Christ and hate teh gayz”). Stunningly, the implied (loopy) conclusion is that each statement is just as much some kind of arbitrary belief.

Why does the post draw that ridiculous conclusion? Because it’s possible to phrase the two statements in a similar way (“It’s better to do X!”), and that somehow makes the ideas similar. I’m not sure if it’s worse than Eshelman’s argument that matter and consciousness are identical because we can phrase (very different) claims about them in similar ways.

For the record, that avoiding mistakes is beneficial is a simple statement of fact when speaking in the (very obviously implied) context of doing stuff (and more specifically, given the ostensible subject matter of this forum, performing one’s True Will).

If one were to build a desk, it’s beneficial (in the context of building the desk) to not make mistakes in following the steps to build it and to detect and correct any mistakes along the way. If I said to a would-be desk-builder, “Hey, it’s a smart idea to avoid making mistakes when building that desk,” it would be fairly obvious that I’m not affirming some kind of “ultimate goodness” behind the idea of not making mistakes…I’m just affirming the usefulness of avoiding mistakes in the context of doing something. In the same way, it’s always beneficial in the context of doing one’s True Will to not make mistakes along the way, such mistakes including thinking that “god” exists and wants you to “hate teh gay.”

It’s an entirely different claim to say that the world would be a “better place” if people did such-and-such.

The fact that these very different claims can be phrased in similar ways in no way suggests that the ideas are similar.

What we see here – as is quite usual on these forums – is incredibly sloppy thinking that gets applauded as some kind of fantastic insight. I have a strong suspicion that such instances are so common on these forums because many of the regulars have little experience of this subject outside of the contents of their fevered imaginations. Hence, they only have words to go on, and similarities between words therefore become treated as confirmation of the similarity of ideas.

My observation is not intended as a personal attack, nor is it directed at anyone in particular. I am making an observation about this forum, the (low) quality of discourse here, and the resistance of its denizens to refine their thinking.
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Re: The Holy Guardian Angel and Disillusion

Postby Gnosomai Emauton » Sun Mar 23, 2014 11:37 pm

Los wrote:For the record, that avoiding mistakes is beneficial is a simple statement of fact when speaking in the (very obviously implied) context of doing stuff (and more specifically, given the ostensible subject matter of this forum, performing one’s True Will).

If one were to build a desk, it’s beneficial (in the context of building the desk) to not make mistakes in following the steps to build it and to detect and correct any mistakes along the way. If I said to a would-be desk-builder, “Hey, it’s a smart idea to avoid making mistakes when building that desk,” it would be fairly obvious that I’m not affirming some kind of “ultimate goodness” behind the idea of not making mistakes…I’m just affirming the usefulness of avoiding mistakes in the context of doing something.

Perhaps at a very mundane day-to-day level. But once again you seem to be taking the narrowest, most utilitarian, least creative view of how to project oneself into the future. Give a guy an Ikea desk kit and suggest that he "try not to make any mistakes" and all you can hope to expect out of life is another cookie-cutter Ikea desk, just like the thousands that went before.

But if you were to hand that same kit to a Picasso, would you honestly suggest to him that he should ignore the genius of his Angel (or whatever de-romanticized descriptor you'd prefer to call it) and "try not to make any mistakes, Pablo"? Is that really want you want, Los? A world of drones who are able to follow instructions without screwing up?

I anticipate an answer along the lines that a Picasso constructed Ikea desk, with two legs pointed upwards and a canted drawer sticking out the side, would indeed not be an ideal surface on which to work and so it would be a failure as a desk. However, for a particular type of mind, the inspiration caused by the broken planes and mixed metaphors would be precisely what it would need to get work done. I am envisioning my good friend, a hand balancer, who would have much greater success working on a Picasso desk than a cookie cutter utilitarian box. Depending on how one defines "useful", both of these analyses are equally true.

This is the fundamental misunderstanding, illusion if you will, about how creative genius (the HGA) manifests in the world.

Even if we take it down an octave and give the desk kit back to some ordinary Joe Schmoe, it is exactly the experience of accidentally breaking one of those little wooden pin thingies that hold every piece of cookie-cutter Ikea together (a mistake, no doubt about it) that would lead to actual development on the part of the Magician. He'd have to start thinking creatively about how to fix his mistake. Do we have something in the house that could reliably stand in for the wooden pin? Could I figure out how to whittle one? Would a couple of nails jammed in there do the trick? Perhaps that extra shelf really isn't necessary after all? If I remove it, I'll have more leg room and I can use the extra pieces to construct a plant holder for the top of the desk. I really like plants. They help to calm my mind and allow me to work better. Turns out, this might've been a really good mistake to make. My desk will be a reflection of me rather than just of some guy from Sweden.

Humans don't advance by doing things right. Humans advance by f&#king up royally. It's only after the Tower has come crashing down and the dust has cleared that we realize it wasn't a mistake after all but a necessary change to the stagnating status quo. Those great women and men that we lionize throughout the annals of history? In their own day and age they were all considered royal f*&kups by the rest of their society, oftentimes dangerously so.

This process reflects through us all, whether we are one of the "greats" or just one of the "goods". Doing things "right", trying not to make mistakes? All that gets us is a life that aligns with the story that's already been written. If we want to become truly actualized individuals (True-ly, even), it is necessary for us to risk the pitfalls of illusion, chance to make mistakes along the way, force ourselves into positions where we don't know which choice is the "right one" and which is the "mistake" and write our own story in the process.

Los wrote:My observation is not intended as a personal attack, nor is it directed at anyone in particular. I am making an observation about this forum, the (low) quality of discourse here, and the resistance of its denizens to refine their thinking.

This forum does not write posts of its own digital free will. Individual people with individual thought processes write these posts and, on the whole, interact with each other as individuals. This diminution of HeruRaHa.net that you are practicing once again is, in fact, exactly a personal attack on each and every one of us. If you have a critique of an argument, make it. Your reliance on dehumanizing tactics and forum-wide generalization grows tiresome. At its core, its just plain lazy.
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Re: The Holy Guardian Angel and Disillusion

Postby ThelemicMage » Mon Mar 24, 2014 3:11 am

Might there be a point when recognizing patterns of one's mistakes becomes embedded in the intuition and one does not even recognize them as patterns of mistakes anymore? Just the free will going?
“The mushroom said to me once, ‘Nature loves courage. Nature loves courage,’ and I said, ‘What’s the payoff on that?’ And it said, ‘It shows you it loves courage because it removes obstacles.’ You make a commitment, and nature will respond to that commitment by removing impossible obstacles. Dream the impossible dream, and the world will not grind you under, it will lift you up.” -Terrence McKenna

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Re: The Holy Guardian Angel and Disillusion

Postby Frater 639 » Mon Mar 24, 2014 7:29 am

Los wrote:So, I’ve pointed out before that I don’t bother any more with reading anything written by the “639” guy – ever since he demonstrated himself to be incapable of holding a conversation – but after two votes of confidence, I decided to skim his post and see what the fuss was about. Yikes.As expected, the post conflates statements of fact (“It’s beneficial to avoid making mistakes and to correct mistakes”) with statements of morals (“Everyone ought to worship Christ and hate teh gayz”). Stunningly, the implied (loopy) conclusion is that each statement is just as much some kind of arbitrary belief.


I can hold a conversation, as I've demonstrated numerous times. I can avoid all of the ad hominem attacks and ad absurdum ones, too - the same kind you always choose over actually sticking to a discussion. All fireworks and no substance.

This behavior is sort of like a toddler that can't do something with the big boys, so he stamps his feet and points fingers. But the rich toddler's mom can't bail them out of every time they can't match up to others - so, when they get older, these types of people may eventually kick up their feet, masturbate again, and think about how women will never like them because they are just too smart for women. All this while pretending to understand Blake. They may adopt homosexual attitudes due to the coddling of their mother and then defend their moral stances to the point where they begin name calling all over again.

The above was not a personal attack. It was merely discussing how certain behaviors may lead to certain lifestyles - all with a little literary flare. :D

Yes, you and Phelps both have arbitrary moral beliefs. Read the definition before responding. You think certain things are wrong and others are right. You have yet to demonstrate how your behavior and beliefs are more correct than Phelps. I will repeat my questions, and I will also answer the ones that are posed to me, as is customary in a discussion.

Anymore ad hominem attacks, and I will respond with the same energy - so stop acting silly.

Both opinions from people what believe "things would be better" if only people believed like them. This is a value argument aka a moral argument.

I'll repeat the questions if you are actually interested in a conversation or discussion. Which is the point of the forum:

What exactly is a mistake? An act that doesn't benefit society? Or perhaps, one that doesn't agree with your worldview?

Are we, as individuals, responsible for other people's well-being? Wouldn't this be considered a moral principle?
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Re: The Holy Guardian Angel and Disillusion

Postby Avshalom Binyamin » Mon Mar 24, 2014 9:38 am

Los wrote:If one were to build a desk, it’s beneficial (in the context of building the desk) to not make mistakes in following the steps to build it and to detect and correct any mistakes along the way. If I said to a would-be desk-builder, “Hey, it’s a smart idea to avoid making mistakes when building that desk,” it would be fairly obvious that I’m not affirming some kind of “ultimate goodness” behind the idea of not making mistakes…I’m just affirming the usefulness of avoiding mistakes in the context of doing something. In the same way, it’s always beneficial in the context of doing one’s True Will to not make mistakes along the way, such mistakes including thinking that “god” exists and wants you to “hate teh gay.”

Circular reasoning.

If my goal is to build a desk correctly without making mistakes, then building the desk correctly without making mistakes is the best way to reach that goal.

If you define success in doing one's True Will as minimizing mistakes, then doing one's True Will with minimal mistakes is the most successful way to do one's True Will.

Those are both logically consistent, completely correct statements. But they're not really valid criticisms of approaches that don't posit "Doing X 'correctly'" or "avoiding mistakes" as a goal. It's not really relevant to anyone who defines success in doing their True Will as inclusive of making plenty of mistakes.
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Re: The Holy Guardian Angel and Disillusion

Postby Frater 639 » Mon Mar 24, 2014 11:06 am

ThelemicMage wrote:Might there be a point when recognizing patterns of one's mistakes becomes embedded in the intuition and one does not even recognize them as patterns of mistakes anymore? Just the free will going?


These are excellent questions. I think you have a valid assumption about the intuition - one that I think has merit, especially when it comes to how the psychology works...

I can say that responding to phenomena with energized enthusiasm will reinforce behaviors. There is no doubt. Same goes with thoughts. This is very demonstratable using the method of science - and the evidence regarding this is readily accepted by the majority of the medical community.

It stands to reason that if one enjoys the flow of life - without good/bad quality judgments - "mistakes" no longer are considered as such. Events and perspectives are merely considered to be many of the myriad ways we can view phenomenon - we, as observers, assign the arbitrary quality of the phenomenon being more correct than any other phenomenon.

Therefore, one can train their brain to view life as beautiful and correct in all things - as if there was a "divine hand" leading them - or, maybe they even believe that the "divine hand" exists. Either way, it doesn't matter to anyone but that particular individual. The Adept can view an action as something that made their lives "better-off," even actions that someone without training may view as a "mistake."

Good/bad in relation to what is the question. Eventually (hopefully), one realizes that he/she is the creator of its "own relations" to the True Will and how he/she acts, feels, etc. to these relations. The training of the A.'.A.'. prepares one for that realization and the way to go about finding this Perfect Happiness and balance between inside/outside phenomena and their True Wills.

Yes, IMO it is the Will Going. And it is the Harmonization of the POV to that True Will.

Digression:

Ego qualities seem to deter us from wanting us to die. At the root, this is why so many egos need other people to see things their way. It is a substantiation of the ego's temporal existence, which mistakenly wants its idea of "self" to last forever, and it uses this substatiation to combat its fear of death. The ego, by itself, has no Understanding of the Grail. The Adept confronts this fear of death head-on and dies, and then is "resurrected into an eternal body of glory."

Is any action, person, perspective a "mistake?" Some egos are born to be ignorant and lazy. Some are born to grow into something more - its not really determinism: it is one part luck, one part nurture, one part nature, one part unknown, one part chaos, etc. The universe doesn't make mistakes, it simply evolves - whether through mutation, adaptation, etc. - and humans are a part of this system, along with their petty ideas of ethics, morals, etc., regardless of their delusions/realizations of grandeur.

Just an opinion...
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Re: The Holy Guardian Angel and Disillusion

Postby Frater 639 » Mon Mar 24, 2014 11:30 am

Avshalom Binyamin wrote:But they're not really valid criticisms of approaches that don't posit "Doing X 'correctly'" or "avoiding mistakes" as a goal. It's not really relevant to anyone who defines success in doing their True Will as inclusive of making plenty of mistakes.


Awesome. Very well put. :D
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