One does not have to do magical practice to "get it"?

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One does not have to do magical practice to "get it"?

Postby gerry456 » Tue Mar 07, 2017 5:13 am

The sincere student will discover, behind the symbolic technicalities of his book, a practical method of making himself a Magician. The processes described will enable him to discriminate between what he actually is, and what he has fondly imagined himself to be. ~ Crowley in MITAP

Is it me or does he appear to be saying that one does not necessarily have to follow out the practices he writes about in MITAP to "get it" i.e. getting/doing one's True Will? All that is required is that you be a sincere student.


[/i]
He appears to be saying that one can become a successful adept vicariously. The fact that he includes the phrase behind the symbolic technicalities of his book seems to confirm this. In other words, performing magical ceremonies and yoga et al were his thing but they don't necessarily have to be your thing for you to do your will.

His book Duty certainly asserts this and Liber Al also appears to or does it?;

37. Also the mantras and spells; the obeah and the wanga; the work of the wand and the work of the sword; these he shall learn and teach.

38. He must teach; but he may make severe the ordeals.

39. The word of the Law is THELEMA.


These he shall learn and teach. Not he shall learn and teach and you shall practice what he teaches. Crowley even says in the Comments that he wants people to find their own methods and not to follow him rote.

What do you think? If I have the wherewithal to appreciate what magicians and yogis are trying to achieve I can be an adept without doing any of those exercises? So long as I am able to discriminate between what I actually am and what I fondly imagine myself to be then it's on. This is psychotherapy whereby my defence mechanism against reality, in this cases fantasism, is challenged, brought to light and integrated.
2.19 They shall rejoice, our chosen: who sorroweth is not of us.

2.21 We have nothing with the outcast and the unfit: let them die in their misery. For they feel not. Compassion is the vice of kings: stamp down the wretched & the weak: this is the law of the strong: this is our law and the joy of the world.
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Re: One does not have to do magical practice to "get it"?

Postby Hermitas » Tue Mar 07, 2017 8:55 am

No, one does not have to practice magick to "get it." imho

Once again my mind goes to the main male character in Diary of a Drug Fiend. At the end of the book, he has been recovering from heroin addiction at a Thelemic abbey under the tutelage of the character that seems to represent Crowley.

At the end, the main male character apologizes to the master for not being interested in all the magicky-pagicky stuff, but he must go off (and immediately) to design and build airplanes (his True Will). The master is not the least offended. In fact, he seems to view it as a perfect success.

That's the main goal, I think. To get people knowing and doing their True Will. And it can come through as mundane a method as career counseling or self-help books.

-----

Personally, I can tell you that it won't be in this lifetime that I cross the Abyss and become a master of magick and mysticism. I just know. So there's not all this desperation to call it what it's not or shortcut the program - neither is there all this pressure to master all of it right away. Maybe after I respawn. I do think I've definitely made it past a very difficult threshold for me that should come much easier next time around. So there's that. But I digress.

-----

Pretty sure my non-magical wife gets it, but it's probably that Sun in Leo and Moon in Aries. Gonna make her will happen. Doesn't care what you think. Totally gets that part. lol
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Re: One does not have to do magical practice to "get it"?

Postby Gnosomai Emauton » Tue Mar 07, 2017 12:09 pm

Yep, that's what he's saying, not just here but all over his writing. The study of practical magick is a path but it is not the one and only Path. The result he promises here, with this one particular book, is that the sincere student will make himself (or herself) a Magician.

The question this begs, then, is: How do you know when you are truly discerning what you actually are? How do you know what you think you've discovered is not just another layer of what you fondly imagine yourself to be?
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Re: One does not have to do magical practice to "get it"?

Postby gerry456 » Tue Mar 07, 2017 5:00 pm

Gnosomai Emauton wrote:The question this begs, then, is: How do you know when you are truly discerning what you actually are? How do you know what you think you've discovered is not just another layer of what you fondly imagine yourself to be?


More ease in what we do. Ironically, this will involve various crises for anyone, if you like, ordeals.
2.19 They shall rejoice, our chosen: who sorroweth is not of us.

2.21 We have nothing with the outcast and the unfit: let them die in their misery. For they feel not. Compassion is the vice of kings: stamp down the wretched & the weak: this is the law of the strong: this is our law and the joy of the world.
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Re: One does not have to do magical practice to "get it"?

Postby Avshalom Binyamin » Wed Mar 08, 2017 1:35 pm

So more ease, and less ease?
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Re: One does not have to do magical practice to "get it"?

Postby Frater 639 » Wed Mar 08, 2017 2:25 pm

gerry456 wrote:What do you think? If I have the wherewithal to appreciate what magicians and yogis are trying to achieve I can be an adept without doing any of those exercises? So long as I am able to discriminate between what I actually am and what I fondly imagine myself to be then it's on. This is psychotherapy whereby my defence mechanism against reality, in this cases fantasism, is challenged, brought to light and integrated.


I think that Crowley's definition of magick is a tautology - it is true in every possible interpretation. Blowing your nose is magick.

Not a very useful definition at all, but being adept at blowing one's nose is cool. :)

Gnosomai Emauton wrote:The question this begs, then, is: How do you know when you are truly discerning what you actually are? How do you know what you think you've discovered is not just another layer of what you fondly imagine yourself to be?


Yep. Haha.
What someone is and what they imagine themselves to be is unfalsafiable if a person is making their own assessment of themselves.

To answer the question, I think:

The subjective idea of identity beyond what one imagines themselves to be is something that defies reason.
The True Will is an assertion of identity, while at the same time, it is a desertion of identity.
Self vs. Other identifications constantly are in flux on the plane where the True Will resides.

I think that the practices work toward this. To call someone adept at magic because they've conceptualized what magick is all about is like saying a person is a master musician because he understands music theory.

Not to say that there is anything wrong with conceptualization, but sometimes it can hinder the practice.

This is also not to say that there aren't many paths - in the end, no path is correct. A binary perspective of correct v. incorrect does not apply to evolution...

All that being said, do what thou wilt!

"Is there not joy ineffable in this aimless winging? Is there not weariness and impatience for who would attain to some goal?"
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Re: One does not have to do magical practice to "get it"?

Postby gerry456 » Wed Mar 08, 2017 4:09 pm

Frater 639 wrote:To call someone adept at magic because they've conceptualized what magick is all about is like saying a person is a master musician because he understands music theory.
"


Is it? Magick is all in the mind. Musical proficiency is all in the fingers generally....or the larynx. You can pass an exam in musical proficiency. Someone else could test you for bodily tremors and steadiness in asana and it is possible for someone to test how you do in the first two Jugorum practices but mastery of magic?
2.19 They shall rejoice, our chosen: who sorroweth is not of us.

2.21 We have nothing with the outcast and the unfit: let them die in their misery. For they feel not. Compassion is the vice of kings: stamp down the wretched & the weak: this is the law of the strong: this is our law and the joy of the world.
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Re: One does not have to do magical practice to "get it"?

Postby Gnosomai Emauton » Wed Mar 08, 2017 5:01 pm

Passing an exam in musical proficiency doesn't provide any evidence that one could sing a Puccini aria with any level of mastery or emotional truth... much less compose one.

[edited to clean up typo]
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Re: One does not have to do magical practice to "get it"?

Postby Frater 639 » Wed Mar 08, 2017 8:12 pm

gerry456 wrote:
Frater 639 wrote:To call someone adept at magic because they've conceptualized what magick is all about is like saying a person is a master musician because he understands music theory.
"


Is it? Magick is all in the mind. Musical proficiency is all in the fingers generally....or the larynx. You can pass an exam in musical proficiency. Someone else could test you for bodily tremors and steadiness in asana and it is possible for someone to test how you do in the first two Jugorum practices but mastery of magic?


Are you saying the knowledge and ability to play resides in the fingers? How do the fingers learn this knowledge?
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Re: One does not have to do magical practice to "get it"?

Postby gerry456 » Thu Mar 09, 2017 4:12 am

Avshalom Binyamin wrote:So more ease, and less ease?


Yes ease as oppose to having to resort to using pathological defence mechanisms.
2.19 They shall rejoice, our chosen: who sorroweth is not of us.

2.21 We have nothing with the outcast and the unfit: let them die in their misery. For they feel not. Compassion is the vice of kings: stamp down the wretched & the weak: this is the law of the strong: this is our law and the joy of the world.
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Re: One does not have to do magical practice to "get it"?

Postby gerry456 » Thu Mar 09, 2017 4:55 am

Hermitas wrote:No, one does not have to practice magick to "get it." imho

Once again my mind goes to the main male character in Diary of a Drug Fiend. At the end of the book, he has been recovering from heroin addiction at a Thelemic abbey under the tutelage of the character that seems to represent Crowley.

At the end, the main male character apologizes to the master for not being interested in all the magicky-pagicky stuff, but he must go off (and immediately) to design and build airplanes (his True Will). The master is not the least offended. In fact, he seems to view it as a perfect success.

That's the main goal, I think. To get people knowing and doing their True Will. And it can come through as mundane a method as career counseling or self-help books.



I see. Good story.


Hermitas wrote:----

Personally, I can tell you that it won't be in this lifetime that I cross the Abyss and become a master of magick and mysticism. I just know.



You just "know" that you won't succeed? Maybe that sounds like secondary gain from failure.

Besides you'll need to ascertain what mastery is before you think you've attained it otherwise you're in the dark.
Last edited by gerry456 on Thu Mar 09, 2017 5:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
2.19 They shall rejoice, our chosen: who sorroweth is not of us.

2.21 We have nothing with the outcast and the unfit: let them die in their misery. For they feel not. Compassion is the vice of kings: stamp down the wretched & the weak: this is the law of the strong: this is our law and the joy of the world.
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Re: One does not have to do magical practice to "get it"?

Postby gerry456 » Thu Mar 09, 2017 5:00 am

Gnosomai Emauton wrote: The question this begs, then, is: How do you know when you are truly discerning what you actually are? How do you know what you think you've discovered is not just another layer of what you fondly imagine yourself to be?


My answer is that you're not capable of self-honesty then you would need advice from a therapist. What AC is referencing here is the pathological defence mechanisms known as fantasy. There is an overlap with various other defence mechanisms involving retreat into fantasy, retreat from the reality of some situation.
2.19 They shall rejoice, our chosen: who sorroweth is not of us.

2.21 We have nothing with the outcast and the unfit: let them die in their misery. For they feel not. Compassion is the vice of kings: stamp down the wretched & the weak: this is the law of the strong: this is our law and the joy of the world.
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Re: One does not have to do magical practice to "get it"?

Postby Frater 639 » Thu Mar 09, 2017 8:59 am

gerry456 wrote:
Gnosomai Emauton wrote: The question this begs, then, is: How do you know when you are truly discerning what you actually are? How do you know what you think you've discovered is not just another layer of what you fondly imagine yourself to be?


My answer is that you're not capable of self-honesty then you would need advice from a therapist. What AC is referencing here is the pathological defence mechanisms known as fantasy. There is an overlap with various other defence mechanisms involving retreat into fantasy, retreat from the reality of some situation.


He's referencing more than defense mechanisms. Reality testing/REBT/CBT techniques that you are referring to are only the tip of the iceberg.

Crowley is more so referencing the ego-identity and its constructs as a whole. This is all encompassing when it comes to the ideas of self. As you mentioned, there are many layers to that self-awareness. I'm sure you agree that this awareness doesn't happen all at once.

I think GE is saying that one's data about self will generally be tainted with confirmation bias while gaining this awareness. And he's right - there is no getting around this.

Need advice from a therapist if one has self-honesty issues? Maybe in some cases. But in many cases, therapists get paid to substantiate the patient's egos and subsequent fantasies about self. Hopefully, a good therapist can help someone get through the training of a positive feedback loop and help to eliminate some delusions. In the end, it is the PRACTICE of the patient that helps one to "get it" though.

So to bring it completely back to the OP - one DOES have to do "magical practice" to "get it." Also, they may only have intellectual apprehension of something and think they "get it." And some may have a magical practice and they still don't "get it."
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Re: One does not have to do magical practice to "get it"?

Postby Gnosomai Emauton » Thu Mar 09, 2017 11:01 am

Yeah, you're kind of missing the real Work here, 456. To take it completely out of your psychological model for a moment: It is perfectly rational for me to think of myself as trillions of atoms, organized along lines laid down by the laws of Universe (physics), interactions between them (chemistry), and the patterns dictated by my particular blend of DNA (biology). That collection of atoms runs various programs based on the dictates of my particular blend of DNA as well as interactions with the systems around it (economy). I could go further in dissecting what atoms are and how they interact, taking it all the way down to analyzing the difference (if there is one) between what we think of as elementary particles and/or charges of energy and/or fluctuations in the space/time continuum... but they all end up begging the same questions:

Is this what I actually am?
How do I know that the answer to that question is correct?
How do I know that that answer is not just another layer of what I fondly imagine myself to be?

How is advice from a therapist going to help me with any of this?
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Re: One does not have to do magical practice to "get it"?

Postby gerry456 » Thu Mar 09, 2017 11:51 am

Gnosomai Emauton wrote:Yeah, you're kind of missing the real Work here, 456. To take it completely out of your psychological model for a moment: It is perfectly rational for me to think of myself as trillions of atoms, organized along lines laid down by the laws of Universe (physics), interactions between them (chemistry), and the patterns dictated by my particular blend of DNA (biology). That collection of atoms runs various programs based on the dictates of my particular blend of DNA as well as interactions with the systems around it (economy). I could go further in dissecting what atoms are and how they interact, taking it all the way down to analyzing the difference (if there is one) between what we think of as elementary particles and/or charges of energy and/or fluctuations in the space/time continuum... but they all end up begging the same questions:

Is this what I actually am?
How do I know that the answer to that question is correct?
How do I know that that answer is not just another layer of what I fondly imagine myself to be?

How is advice from a therapist going to help me with any of this?


I appreciate that but I wasn't the one who initiated the psychological model here, Crowley did in the following passage from the OP;

The sincere student will discover, behind the symbolic technicalities of his book, a practical method of making himself a Magician. The processes described will enable him to discriminate between what he actually is, and what he has fondly imagined himself to be. ~ Crowley in MITAP

So what is "a Magician"? A vague unverifiable term. We know what a shopkeeper is, we know what a TV chat show host is but Magician? Most folk would say y'know David Copperfield or David Blane. Crowley's definition in that passage is a human being who is able to discriminate between what he actually is, and what he has fondly imagined himself to be.


That's it.

Does the following passage from AC's Confessions back that point up about not having to practice the exercises in MITAP?

I began to see that one might become a Master of the Temple without necessarily knowing any technical Magick or mysticism at all. It is merely a matter of convenience to be able to represent any expression as x + Y = 0. The equation may be solved without words. Many people may go through the ordeals and attain the degrees of the A.'. A.'. without ever hearing that such an Order exists. The universe is, in fact, busy with nothing else, for the relation of the Order to it is that of the man of science to his subject. He writes CaCl2 + H2SO4 = CaSO4 + 2HCl for his own convenience and that of others, but the operation was always in progress independently.
Last edited by gerry456 on Thu Mar 09, 2017 12:20 pm, edited 2 times in total.
2.19 They shall rejoice, our chosen: who sorroweth is not of us.

2.21 We have nothing with the outcast and the unfit: let them die in their misery. For they feel not. Compassion is the vice of kings: stamp down the wretched & the weak: this is the law of the strong: this is our law and the joy of the world.
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Re: One does not have to do magical practice to "get it"?

Postby gerry456 » Thu Mar 09, 2017 11:55 am

Frater 639 wrote:Need advice from a therapist if one has self-honesty issues? Maybe in some cases. But in many cases, therapists get paid to substantiate the patient's egos and subsequent fantasies about self. Hopefully, a good therapist can help someone get through the training of a positive feedback loop and help to eliminate some delusions. In the end, it is the PRACTICE of the patient that helps one to "get it" though.

So to bring it completely back to the OP - one DOES have to do "magical practice" to "get it." Also, they may only have intellectual apprehension of something and think they "get it." And some may have a magical practice and they still don't "get it."


I see yes, a patient involved in therapy has to work for his own recovery. Some counsellors may, in time, just shake the hand of the patient and say, "We are done" because the latter is not co-operating.
2.19 They shall rejoice, our chosen: who sorroweth is not of us.

2.21 We have nothing with the outcast and the unfit: let them die in their misery. For they feel not. Compassion is the vice of kings: stamp down the wretched & the weak: this is the law of the strong: this is our law and the joy of the world.
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Re: One does not have to do magical practice to "get it"?

Postby Frater 639 » Thu Mar 09, 2017 12:31 pm

gerry456 wrote:It depends on what you mean by "magical practice"?


Depends what you mean by "get it" also.

Can you pass through the System of the A.'.A.'. formally without going through the Tasks of each Grade? No. These involve following out the practices and passing strict tests.

Can you be a "magician" by blowing your nose? Sure. Can you "get" the act of blowing your nose? Sure. Does blowing your nose make you an Adept of yoga and ceremonial magic? Absolutely not. Does reading about yoga and ceremonial magic make you an Adept? Absolutely not. It takes magical practice to "get it."

I agree with your point that calling every act "magical" doesn't say much. And it sometimes causes these silly semantic arguments.

Crowley made his examples simple so he could show how blowing the nose COULD BE LIKE ceremonial magic in the way that we could enact our will through various methods. MTP Part III Chap. XIV shows the different degrees in which this could happen. He doesn't rule out ways that aren't based on strict "materialism" (in the sense of the philosophical term)...

The Third Class is characterized by the absence of any existing link between the Will of the Magician and that controlling the object to be affected. (The Second Class may approximate to the Third when there is no possibility of approaching the second mind by normal means, as sometimes happens).

This class of operations demands not only immense knowledge of the technique of Magick combined with tremendous vigour and skill, but a degree of Mystical attainment which is exceedingly rare, and when found is usually marked by an absolute apathy on the subject of any attempt to achieve any Magick at all. Suppose that I wish to produce a thunderstorm. This event is beyond my control or that of any other man; it is as useless to work on their minds as my own. Nature is independent of, and indifferent to, man's affairs. A storm is caused by atmospheric conditions on a scale so enormous that the united efforts of all us Earth-vermin could scarcely disperse one cloud, even if we could get at it. How then can any Magician, he who is above all things a knower of Nature, be so absurd as to attempt to throw the Hammer of Thor? Unless he be simply insane, he must be initiated in a Truth which transcends the apparent facts. He must be aware that all nature is a continuum, so that his mind and body are consubstantial with the storm, are equally expressions of One Existence, all alike of the self-same order of artifices whereby the Absolute appreciates itself. He must also have assimilated the fact that the Quantity is just as much a form as Quality; that as all things are modes of One Substance, so their measures are modes of their relation. Not only are gold and lead mere letters, meaningless in themselves yet appointed to spell the One Name; but the difference between the bulk of a mountain and that of a mouse is no more than one method of differentiating them, just as the letter "m" is not bigger than the letter "i" in any real sense of the word.


Do you think that these are just symbolic technicalities? What would lead you to believe that?

To cherry pick certain phrases out of context and use them as evidence is a rhetorical device and doesn't really point to anything substantial. He didn't devise this system to embed an agenda of strict materialism and rationalism in a riddle. Do you think he did?

Crowley thought that magick was much more than psychology, but oftentimes would use psychology as a platform to discuss results. Do you agree with that?
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Re: One does not have to do magical practice to "get it"?

Postby Gnosomai Emauton » Thu Mar 09, 2017 2:30 pm

gerry456 wrote:I appreciate that but I wasn't the one who initiated the psychological model here, Crowley did in the following passage from the OP;

The sincere student will discover, behind the symbolic technicalities of his book, a practical method of making himself a Magician. The processes described will enable him to discriminate between what he actually is, and what he has fondly imagined himself to be. ~ Crowley in MITAP

So what is "a Magician"? A vague unverifiable term. We know what a shopkeeper is, we know what a TV chat show host is but Magician? Most folk would say y'know David Copperfield or David Blane. Crowley's definition in that passage is a human being who is [i]able to discriminate between what he actually is, and what he has fondly imagined himself to be.

I fail to see anything in that quote that initiates a psychological model.

A "Magician" is one who practices "Magick". According to Crowley's definition in this book, "Magick is the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will." Therefore, a "Magician" is one who practices the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will. QED.

In the section you quote, Crowley is saying that "the processes described will enable him to discriminate between what he actually is, and what he has fondly imagined himself to be," i.e., the actual carrying out of the practices will enable him to do this discrimination. This is the surface level, as stated by 639 above.
In order to discover how to make himself a "Magician", the sincere student must look "behind the symbolic technicalities of this book," i.e., one must master the underlying Art and Science that informs the outward material presentation.

This does, of course, play out in the psychological sphere... but not exclusively. Personal psychology is just one of the many aspects of Self that must be mastered in the process of becoming a "Magician".
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Re: One does not have to do magical practice to "get it"?

Postby gerry456 » Fri Mar 10, 2017 3:10 am

Frater 639 wrote:

Do you think that these are just symbolic technicalities? What would lead you to believe that?
?


Because that passage you quoted is a flowery way of describing about knowing one's place and capacities in relation to what you think you want to achieve.


Frater 639 wrote:To cherry pick certain phrases out of context and use them as evidence is a rhetorical device and doesn't really point to anything substantial.



Cherry picking? I didn't have an agenda in choosing that passage about symbolic technicalities. He uses that, at the outset, to make a major all encompassing point about the contents of MITAP...doesn't he?


Frater 639 wrote:. He didn't devise this system to embed an agenda of strict materialism and rationalism in a riddle. Do you think he did?

?


Well I'm merely discussing what he said. I didn't say it. Behind the symbolic technicalities of this book, why would one write that?

He blatantly states that the techniques in MITAP allow one to become a magician I.e. to discriminate between what one imagines oneself to be and what one actually is. How does gathering 777 correspondences in a circle and invoking a god allow me to do that? For that matter, all of the other MITAP exercises, how do they aid me in eliminating fantasies I have about who or what I am?
2.19 They shall rejoice, our chosen: who sorroweth is not of us.

2.21 We have nothing with the outcast and the unfit: let them die in their misery. For they feel not. Compassion is the vice of kings: stamp down the wretched & the weak: this is the law of the strong: this is our law and the joy of the world.
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Re: One does not have to do magical practice to "get it"?

Postby gerry456 » Fri Mar 10, 2017 3:41 am

Gnosomai Emauton wrote:
I fail to see anything in that quote that initiates a psychological model.

A "Magician" is one who practices "Magick". According to Crowley's definition in this book, "Magick is the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will." Therefore, a "Magician" is one who practices the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will. QED.

In the section you quote, Crowley is saying that "the processes described will enable him to discriminate between what he actually is, and what he has fondly imagined himself to be," i.e., the actual carrying out of the practices will enable him to do this discrimination. This is the surface level, as stated by 639 above.
In order to discover how to make himself a "Magician", the sincere student must look "behind the symbolic technicalities of this book," i.e., one must master the underlying Art and Science that informs the outward material presentation.

This does, of course, play out in the psychological sphere... but not exclusively. Personal psychology is just one of the many aspects of Self that must be mastered in the process of becoming a "Magician".


Ok, you're convinced it's more than psychological and that becoming a Magician involves manipulating "forces of Nature" and the like but at the same time you do accept that the exercises of MITAP allow someone to discriminate between what he fondly imagines himself to be and reality. How then do these MITAP exercises allow one to discriminate between what one fondly imagines oneself to be and reality? Perhaps a fantasist has a wild imagination and tattva-dharana and/or assumption of god forms allows him to tame those flights of fantasy? Maybe the fantasist is dominated by a turbulent "nephesh" and mastering asana tames that turbulence. Maybe a fantasist closes off advice from external sources and so divination will train him to open up to other sources of information, likewise if he develops communication with astral entities?

Furthermore if the exercises of MITAP do allow one to discriminate between what one fondly imagines oneself to be and reality, does this not involve the premise that AC is there for the fantasists? He's a sort of haven for fantasists and he's going to lead these pathological types to reality with MITAP? Perhaps OTOH, he is suggesting that Joe Average is a fantasist and society is flawed and the chosen ones are the ones who have the unusual self-honesty to perceive this flaw in the human condition i.e. this latter group are the Magicians?
2.19 They shall rejoice, our chosen: who sorroweth is not of us.

2.21 We have nothing with the outcast and the unfit: let them die in their misery. For they feel not. Compassion is the vice of kings: stamp down the wretched & the weak: this is the law of the strong: this is our law and the joy of the world.
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Re: One does not have to do magical practice to "get it"?

Postby Frater 639 » Fri Mar 10, 2017 10:09 am

gerry456 wrote:Because that passage you quoted is a flowery way of describing about knowing one's place and capacities in relation to what you think you want to achieve.


That would be one perspective based on a rationalist point of view. AC is referring to a lot more than that. Following out the magical practices allow a person to "get" more than one point of view. Meaning, many perspectives could be assimilated and not just one that preserves the fantasies of the ego.

gerry456 wrote:
Frater 639 wrote:
To cherry pick certain phrases out of context and use them as evidence is a rhetorical device and doesn't really point to anything substantial.


Cherry picking? I didn't have an agenda in choosing that passage about symbolic technicalities. He uses that, at the outset, to make a major all encompassing point about the contents of MITAP...doesn't he?


You seem to be asking questions based on your interpretation of symbolic technicalities and using it to defend a position that one doesn't need to practice to "get it." The real question is how could one stretch that interpretation to defend that position, despite overwhelming evidence that AC didn't think all of the practices were merely symbolic technicalities . Defending that position would be an example of using an interpretation to preserve a fantasy.

If one submits a claim, one needs to back it up with more evidence, instead of just providing a stretched interpretation of what AC was actually saying. That's why it is considered cherry picking. Then you have called one example that doesn't support your previous claim "flowery language" while seemingly dismissing it as literary license, even though AC regularly worked that "class" of magick and believed that the operation was a viable method (a claim that I make based on evidence).

I think the question and conclusion you present is based in fantasy based on lack of knowledge. They don't seem to be rooted in reality when reviewing all of the evidence honestly.

gerry456 wrote:Well I'm merely discussing what he said. I didn't say it. Behind the symbolic technicalities of this book, why would one write that?


I could answer why AC would write that, but it would be speculation. My answer would be this: in magick, there are symbolic technicalities - we are dealing with concepts that require metaphor and symbols. These are used as a filing cabinet to do various workings. For example, I never knew what Saturn represented at all when I first started out. But now that I know, and I desire to perform a Saturnian operation, I know what symbols I need to call to get the desired result. I had to get past the symbolic technicalities to perform successful operations. To go even further, the more the ego and the rational mechanism is involved, the more that certain magical interference is created. Which is why I keep pressing the point. And, to me, it is why AC always harps on knowing what you actually are (True Will) and what you imagine yourself to be (ego).

gerry456 wrote:He blatantly states that the techniques in MITAP allow one to become a magician I.e. to discriminate between what one imagines oneself to be and what one actually is. How does gathering 777 correspondences in a circle and invoking a god allow me to do that? For that matter, all of the other MITAP exercises, how do they aid me in eliminating fantasies I have about who or what I am?


True, you didn't say it, but you interpreted what he meant by it, correct? Anyone that has seriously followed out the magical practices of invoking gods does not need to have that question answered by others. They "get it."

The G.'.D.'. Tasks of the A.'.A.'. aim toward ego-dissolution. Your questions about "who and what you are" become answered by each Aspirant individually. I can't answer these questions for anyone personally, the Aspirant needs to do the Work themselves. But, since you're asking...in my opinion, you're asking the wrong questions.

The questions I would ask:

How does my interpretation of Crowley preserve my ego?
How does my ego defend my rationalistic point of view?
Do my fantasies about magick confirm any previous biases that I may have?
How do these fantasies and biases affect myself and the outside world?
Would following out the practices help me to eliminate my fantasies and biases?
Do I know the above information based on practice or just thinking that I understand the theory behind it?
If I were to find evidence that magick goes beyond my rational explanation, would I believe it? Why or why not?
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Re: One does not have to do magical practice to "get it"?

Postby gerry456 » Fri Mar 10, 2017 1:28 pm

Frater 639 wrote:]

I could answer why AC would write that, but it would be speculation. My answer would be this: in magick, there are symbolic technicalities - we are dealing with concepts that require metaphor and symbols. These are used as a filing cabinet to do various workings. For example, I never knew what Saturn represented at all when I first started out. But now that I know, and I desire to perform a Saturnian operation, I know what symbols I need to call to get the desired result. I had to get past the symbolic technicalities to perform successful operations. To go even further, the more the ego and the rational mechanism is involved, the more that certain magical interference is created. Which is why I keep pressing the point. And, to me, it is why AC always harps on knowing what you actually are (True Will) and what you imagine yourself to be (ego).

."

The G.'.D.'. Tasks of the A.'.A.'. aim toward ego-dissolution. Your questions about "who and what you are" become answered by each Aspirant individually. I can't answer these questions for anyone personally, the Aspirant needs to do the Work themselves. But, since you're asking...in my opinion, you're asking the wrong questions.



Ok I read all of your points there and you basically perceive the "behind the symbolic technicalities" phrase, as being a reference to some sort of induction of experiential knowledge beyond metaphor and language.

Thanks for that input.
2.19 They shall rejoice, our chosen: who sorroweth is not of us.

2.21 We have nothing with the outcast and the unfit: let them die in their misery. For they feel not. Compassion is the vice of kings: stamp down the wretched & the weak: this is the law of the strong: this is our law and the joy of the world.
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Re: One does not have to do magical practice to "get it"?

Postby Frater 639 » Fri Mar 10, 2017 2:07 pm

gerry456 wrote:
Frater 639 wrote:]

I could answer why AC would write that, but it would be speculation. My answer would be this: in magick, there are symbolic technicalities - we are dealing with concepts that require metaphor and symbols. These are used as a filing cabinet to do various workings. For example, I never knew what Saturn represented at all when I first started out. But now that I know, and I desire to perform a Saturnian operation, I know what symbols I need to call to get the desired result. I had to get past the symbolic technicalities to perform successful operations. To go even further, the more the ego and the rational mechanism is involved, the more that certain magical interference is created. Which is why I keep pressing the point. And, to me, it is why AC always harps on knowing what you actually are (True Will) and what you imagine yourself to be (ego).

."

The G.'.D.'. Tasks of the A.'.A.'. aim toward ego-dissolution. Your questions about "who and what you are" become answered by each Aspirant individually. I can't answer these questions for anyone personally, the Aspirant needs to do the Work themselves. But, since you're asking...in my opinion, you're asking the wrong questions.



Ok I read all of your points there and you basically perceive the "behind the symbolic technicalities" phrase, as being a reference to some sort of induction of experiential knowledge beyond metaphor and language.

Thanks for that input.


That's a great way to put it.

No problem! :)
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Re: One does not have to do magical practice to "get it"?

Postby Gnosomai Emauton » Fri Mar 10, 2017 3:43 pm

gerry456 wrote:Ok, you're convinced it's more than psychological
yes
and that becoming a Magician involves manipulating "forces of Nature" and the like
Becoming a Magician, in the context of this particular book, involves practicing the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will. I would agree that that involves working with natural forces. I don't know what you might mean by "and the like".
but at the same time you do accept that the exercises of MITAP allow someone to discriminate between what he fondly imagines himself to be and reality.
yes
How then do these MITAP exercises allow one to discriminate between what one fondly imagines oneself to be and reality?
They each work on particular aspects of one's perceptions and one's abilities, both individually and in collaboration. Attempting to generalize some blanket answer to all of them misses the point of the Work.
Perhaps a fantasist has a wild imagination and tattva-dharana and/or assumption of god forms allows him to tame those flights of fantasy?
Perhaps.
Maybe the fantasist is dominated by a turbulent "nephesh" and mastering asana tames that turbulence.
May be.
Maybe a fantasist closes off advice from external sources and so divination will train him to open up to other sources of information, likewise if he develops communication with astral entities?
Also possible.

Furthermore if the exercises of MITAP do allow one to discriminate between what one fondly imagines oneself to be and reality, does this not involve the premise that AC is there for the fantasists?
Google defines fantasist as "a person who imagines or dreams about something desired." So... yeah, sure.
But I'd also say that he's there for the non-fantasists as well. As he puts it: "MAGICK is for ALL."
He's a sort of haven for fantasists and he's going to lead these pathological types to reality with MITAP?
"Pathological type"? I guess you're working with some other definition of fantasist. Perhaps you should define your terms and demonstrate how they relate to AC's writing in this book.
Perhaps OTOH, he is suggesting that Joe Average is a fantasist and society is flawed and the chosen ones are the ones who have the unusual self-honesty to perceive this flaw in the human condition i.e. this latter group are the Magicians?
This reads to me like pretty standard issue psychological projection, but if you'd like to actually connect these conjectures to quotes from AC and demonstrate how his words imply these conclusions, I'm all ears.

Frater 639 wrote:The questions I would ask:

How does my interpretation of Crowley preserve my ego?
How does my ego defend my rationalistic point of view?
Do my fantasies about magick confirm any previous biases that I may have?
How do these fantasies and biases affect myself and the outside world?
Would following out the practices help me to eliminate my fantasies and biases?
Do I know the above information based on practice or just thinking that I understand the theory behind it?
If I were to find evidence that magick goes beyond my rational explanation, would I believe it? Why or why not?
Or to put it another way: What are my Soldiers(!) and how can I bend them over into Hunchbacks(?)?
Go in all ways contrary to the world.
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Re: One does not have to do magical practice to "get it"?

Postby gerry456 » Sat Mar 11, 2017 4:17 am

Gnosomai Emauton wrote:
]yes


Etc.

Cool, I appreciate the feedback in all those points you made.


Gnosomai Emauton wrote:I guess you're working with some other definition of fantasist.


Yeah, apparently in psychotherapy a fantasist is someone who pretends he is popular and successful in his own fantasy-world, whilst he doesn't try to succeed at his job and he won't make efforts to make friends so the defence mechanism is a denial, a pretence. Now, I recall that AC may have held a different definition I..e in MITAP he defines the flawed person whom lacks discrimination between fantasy and reality as someone who is e.g confused about his career path or lifestyle? This won't necessarily involve pretending to be popular and succesful I guess.

From MITAP;

4) The first requisite for causing any change is thorough qualitative and quantitative understanding of the conditions.

(Illustration: The most common cause of failure in life is ignorance of one's own True Will, or of the means to fulfill that Will. A man may fancy himself a painter, and waste his life trying to become one; or he may really be a painter, and yet fail to understand and to measure the difficulties peculiar to that career.)

7
) Every man and every woman has a course, depending partly on the self, and partly on the environment which is natural and necessary for each. Anyone who is forced from his own course, either through not understanding himself, or through external opposition, comes into conflict with the order of the Universe, and suffers accordingly.

(Illustration: A man may think it is his duty to act in a certain way, through having made a fancy picture of himself, instead of investigating his actual nature. For example, a woman may make herself miserable for life by thinking that she prefers love to social consideration, or vice versa. One woman may stay with an unsympathetic husband when she would really be happy in an attic with a lover, while another may fool herself into a romantic elopement when her only pleasures are those of presiding over fashionable functions. Again, a boy's instinct may tell him to go to sea, while his parents insist on his becoming a doctor. In such a case he will be both unsuccessful and unhappy in medicine.)


So we have here examples of people who would benefit from working MITAP;

1) a man who thinks he's a painter but he isn't and so he wastes his time.
2) a man who is a painter but doesn't appreciate what he must do to succeed so he wastes his time.
3) a woman thinks she should stay with her husband when in fact she'd be happier not doing that.
4) a woman thinks she should be someone's lover but she'd actually be happier keeping things domesticated.
5) we have a sailor-wannabe but he is swayed by parents to use his intellect to go to medical school where he isn't happy.

So, we have five confused people here who are deluding themselves, are unhappy for it and need to get in touch with the reality of their true inner natures in order to reach happiness. .
2.19 They shall rejoice, our chosen: who sorroweth is not of us.

2.21 We have nothing with the outcast and the unfit: let them die in their misery. For they feel not. Compassion is the vice of kings: stamp down the wretched & the weak: this is the law of the strong: this is our law and the joy of the world.
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