Epistemology of the HGA

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Epistemology of the HGA

Postby Wilder » Fri Aug 03, 2007 9:38 pm

Wasn't entirely sure which forum to put this in; mysticism seemed to be the best fit. Quite simply put: how does one know when K&C has been achieved? Crowley is on the record as stating:

It is impossible to lay down precise rules by which a man may attain to the knowledge and conversation of His Holy Guardian Angel; for that is the particular secret of each one of us; as secret not to be told or even divined by any other, whatever his grade. It is the Holy of Holies, whereof each man is his own High Priest, and none knoweth the Name of his brother's God, or the Rite that invokes Him.
(Book 4, "One Star in Sight")


But where does the confirmation of this come into play? If it's up to one to figure out how to find his HGA, but there isn't even so much as a consistent answer on what an HGA is, how would one (save by joining an initiatory order) go about obtaining K&C and confirming the results?
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Re: Epistemology of the HGA

Postby Jim Eshelman » Fri Aug 03, 2007 10:09 pm

Wilder wrote:...how does one know when K&C has been achieved?

My answer for this is one I ran past Soror Meral in the mid-90s. It isn't a complete answer because there are special cases - tough (dense) cases on the one hand such as Germer described himself to be, and people who never had the balance and preparation to properly perceive on the other. But I think, as a general answer, it's the best (and Soror Meral concurred at the time).

The answer is: One knows. Unequivocally. The very essence of the experience is certainty which belies any alternative means of knowledge. It is entirely outside any other category or type of knowledge.

FWIW.

But where does the confirmation of this come into play? If it's up to one to figure out how to find his HGA, but there isn't even so much as a consistent answer on what an HGA is, how would one (save by joining an initiatory order) go about obtaining K&C and confirming the results?

(1) Joining an initiatory Order isn't likely to contribute any more knowledge on this particular item (though there is a great deal to get from working in the presence of genuine adepts).

(2) That aside, why would you exclude joining an initiatory order?
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Postby Rey De Lupos » Sat Aug 04, 2007 6:39 pm

93!

(1) Joining an initiatory Order isn't likely to contribute any more knowledge on this particular item (though there is a great deal to get from working in the presence of genuine adepts).

I completely agree. However, the thread of faith is fine in this age of the Kali Yuga and with so many 'would be' adepts and masters it seems wise to counsel the 'would-be' chela, probationer, etc. that the TRUTH must ultimately be acknowledge undenibly within them, as duly noted by Soror Meral above.

(2) That aside, why would you exclude joining an initiatory order?

For the very reasons one would avoid participating in an 'organized religion'. The nature of these orders are naturallly mired in dogma and doctrine. Personally, I find initiatory orders a gamble with one's own fate, but alas I am quilty of gambling!

Pax Profunda and 120.
93, 93/93

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Postby Wilder » Mon Aug 06, 2007 9:52 am

(1) Joining an initiatory Order isn't likely to contribute any more knowledge on this particular item (though there is a great deal to get from working in the presence of genuine adepts).

I was under the impression that certain grades of the A.'.A.'. focused on K&C.

(2) That aside, why would you exclude joining an initiatory order?

The reasons I have for not joining an order are not universal to the concept of initiation - if an order existed that fufilled the criteria that I needed, I would join it immediately. However, as of now I face issues of:
  • Geography: I am yet to find any lodges near where I will be living soon (Boulder, Colorado) and as a college student I lack the time and means to travel freely, easily, and at length.
  • Practice: The initiatory orders that I have found all have a large focus on occult matters that do not interest me, and I am not particularly keen on devoting time and effort to something that means nothing to me. If I were to join one, most likely I would reach a subject that, while probably pivitol to the order's path, would fail to hold my interest for a number of reasons (disbelief being key amongst them) and I would stagnate as a result of this.
  • Belief: The Thelemic initiatory orders that I have found in my research all have belief structures that are incompatable with my own.
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Postby Jim Eshelman » Mon Aug 06, 2007 1:17 pm

Wilder wrote:
(1) Joining an initiatory Order isn't likely to contribute any more knowledge on this particular item (though there is a great deal to get from working in the presence of genuine adepts).

I was under the impression that certain grades of the A.'.A.'. focused on K&C.

OK, sorry, I wsn't clear you meant A.'.A.'. per se.

Yes, nearly all grades of A.'.A.'. focus on K&C directly or indirectly, and the Adept grades in particular. - Although I still must say that 'joining' A.'.A.'. isn't likely to contribute any more knowledge on the matter since pretty much all of that sort of thing is published. OTOH working the A.'.A.'. system step-by-step is certain to unlock from inside of you what I was talking about earlier. (I'm probably twirling on semantics here.)

Belief: The Thelemic initiatory orders that I have found in my research all have belief structures that are incompatable with my own.

FWIW, Temple of Thelema expressly reserves to you absolute freedom of thought, speech, and deed in all matters of belief.
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Postby Aum418 » Tue Aug 07, 2007 9:57 am

I think the notion that "The answer is: One knows. Unequivocally. The very essence of the experience is certainty which belies any alternative means of knowledge. It is entirely outside any other category or type of knowledge." is a total cop-out. Psychotics often have unshakeable convictions of the most absurd things - how is their conviction any different from one who obtains a spasm of the mind and is introduced into a new form of consciousness? Surely one could easily say 'that was a psychotic break,' or one could say 'that was atmadarshana' or one could say 'gabriel came to me and spoke god's word.' All these explanations could result from the same experience, which you might label K&C of HGA. The fact that no one speaks about what K&C is makes it open for absolutely anyone to claim they have obtained this and there is no way to possibly criticize that. What if someone obtains preliminary sparks of Dhyana and claims they have attained to K&C of HGA? What if someone has a delusional vision while really thirsty and sees a figure which speaks to them and claims it is their HGA? What if they are convinced that this is their HGA? According to your definition then it is the K&C of HGA. To say somethign is outside the realm of knowledge therefore shouldnt be talked abotu is another cop-out. The Tao is ineffable yet the Tao Teh Ching was still written. These explanations, "fwiw," are worth next to nothing.
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Postby Jim Eshelman » Tue Aug 07, 2007 10:24 am

aum418 wrote:I think the notion that "The answer is: One knows. Unequivocally. The very essence of the experience is certainty which belies any alternative means of knowledge. It is entirely outside any other category or type of knowledge." is a total cop-out. Psychotics often have unshakeable convictions of the most absurd things

You seem to have missed my accompanying caveat, "It isn't a complete answer because there are special cases - tough (dense) cases on the one hand..., and people who never had the balance and preparation to properly perceive on the other." Like, say, psychotics.

The means of sorting through this is that mental health needs to be a prerequisite of undertaking Work of this scale.

The fact that no one speaks about what K&C is makes it open for absolutely anyone to claim they have obtained this and there is no way to possibly criticize that.

Except that those who have the experience can recognize it in others. You are making the arguement for someone undertaking this Work under the direct tutelage and monitoring of someone who has attained already.

These explanations, "fwiw," are worth next to nothing.

Thank you for sharing.
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Postby Wilder » Tue Aug 07, 2007 10:59 am

Yes, nearly all grades of A.'.A.'. focus on K&C directly or indirectly, and the Adept grades in particular. - Although I still must say that 'joining' A.'.A.'. isn't likely to contribute any more knowledge on the matter since pretty much all of that sort of thing is published. OTOH working the A.'.A.'. system step-by-step is certain to unlock from inside of you what I was talking about earlier. (I'm probably twirling on semantics here.)

Most of our disagreements seem to be rooted in semantics, not actual beliefs. The A.'.A.'. was probably first in my mind when I wrote the initiatory order comment simply because it is arguably the most famous Thelemic IO.

FWIW, Temple of Thelema expressly reserves to you absolute freedom of thought, speech, and deed in all matters of belief.

I'll admit that my knowledge of Temple of Thelema is scarce at best (I entered these forums because of a desire to go over ideas with other Thelemites) - perhaps it would fit me. However, constraints of distance still exist, as I will be living quite some distance away from the various temples (I currently have easy access to Aiwass Pronaos, being $12.50 from NYC, but will be leaving for college soon).
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Postby Aum418 » Tue Aug 07, 2007 11:22 am

Jim Eshelman wrote:
aum418 wrote:I think the notion that "The answer is: One knows. Unequivocally. The very essence of the experience is certainty which belies any alternative means of knowledge. It is entirely outside any other category or type of knowledge." is a total cop-out. Psychotics often have unshakeable convictions of the most absurd things

You seem to have missed my accompanying caveat, "It isn't a complete answer because there are special cases - tough (dense) cases on the one hand..., and people who never had the balance and preparation to properly perceive on the other." Like, say, psychotics.


That 'caveat' adds nothing ot your explanation except that it simply shows it is full of holes (i.e. 'special cases'... and who's to judge?) My point was that an experience can be called 'a psychotic break' by a person who thinks they are psychotic or 'K&C of HGA' by someone who thinks they are an adept.

The means of sorting through this is that mental health needs to be a prerequisite of undertaking Work of this scale.

Although I cannot argue that 'mental health' is needed, it confuses me to think what this has to do with the point at hand: If you cannot define what K&C of HGA is, not even in the most minute way or a metaphorical way, then you cannot claim you have obtained to such and you cannot ever verify whether another has attained to this. Like I said, people can be 'convinced' of the validity of ridiculous things, not just psychotics (who are an extreme example)... even people with good 'mental health'. And they would be especially liable to mislabel the experience of K&C of HGA if there is little to no literature on what it actually is!

The fact that no one speaks about what K&C is makes it open for absolutely anyone to claim they have obtained this and there is no way to possibly criticize that.

Except that those who have the experience can recognize it in others. You are making the arguement for someone undertaking this Work under the direct tutelage and monitoring of someone who has attained already.

What? They can recognize it in others? This presupposes already that the K&C of HGA is 1) recognizable and 2) something definable so as to be able to be recognized in the first place. Aside from the fact that it is questionable that "they can recognize it in others" this slides around the fact that one person has no idea whether theyve attained to K&C of HGA (though they may have had an experience they arbitrarily labeled as such) and can not know whether another has attained K&C of HGA, for they cannot even begin to understand what his/her experience was...

These explanations, "fwiw," are worth next to nothing.

Thank you for sharing.

Excuse the harsh tone but I honestly cannot agree with your statements. In fact, you did nothing to counter the fact that if the K&C of HGA is not defined, not understood in the least, not explained then anyone can claim K&C of HGA because of some arbitrary experience (and theres no way to 1) claim it wasnt K&C of HGA 2) claim it didnt happen 3) claim it wasnt legitimate, etc because theres no foundational definition to work off of). The cop out answer to all of htis is simply 'youll just know when you get there'
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Postby Jim Eshelman » Tue Aug 07, 2007 12:00 pm

Jim Eshelman wrote:That 'caveat' adds nothing ot your explanation except that it simply shows it is full of holes

That's exactly what it was meant to do - I never intended to give a full and definitive answer, only a best answer.

(i.e. 'special cases'... and who's to judge?)

That's the crux of it all, isn't it. And that's the reason that the historic methods, including those put in place by Crowley, call for someone to have been monitoring one's work from the beginning and to be able to assist with exactly that kind of judgment. - Although the final certainty is that of the aspirant (now the adept) alone, but others can assist in putting things in perspective.

My point was that an experience can be called 'a psychotic break' by a person who thinks they are psychotic or 'K&C of HGA' by someone who thinks they are an adept.

Agreed. But if the person is psychologically sound before and after, then that pretty much answers the matter. (I keep hoping Dr. Shoemaker will jump in here to give a clinical psychologist's view of all of this.)

You also seem to keep thinking of this with the person in isolation rather than under tutelag, and you are quite right to be suspect of self-assessment in that context.

Although I cannot argue that 'mental health' is needed, it confuses me to think what this has to do with the point at hand:

It has everything to do with the issue you raised of whether the individual is psychotic.

If you cannot define what K&C of HGA is, not even in the most minute way or a metaphorical way, then you cannot claim you have obtained to such and you cannot ever verify whether another has attained to this.

This experience is unlike any preceding it. Normal definitions usually would mislead or at least risk distorting the process. Until one reaches Dominus Liminis (or an equivalent level of development along some other path), it's not even really an issue and, at that point, the individual is well equipped to discern what comes next, at least in broad terms.

Like I said, people can be 'convinced' of the validity of ridiculous things, not just psychotics (who are an extreme example)... even people with good 'mental health'. And they would be especially liable to mislabel the experience of K&C of HGA if there is little to no literature on what it actually is!

If someone were doing this in a vacuum, unassisted by someone who has had the experience, then possibly something in writing would help if it were available - but doing it that way is a bad idea.

What? They can recognize it in others? This presupposes already that the K&C of HGA is 1) recognizable and 2) something definable so as to be able to be recognized in the first place.

Recognizable, absolutely - to one who has experienced it. Germer could tell Phyllis had experienced the K&C without being told, simply from the tone of her letters, and he wrote as much nearly a year before she actually told him. Phyllis confirmed the experience in her students who reached that point. Etc.

Eleven adepts sitting around might independently describe their K&C in entirely different words, but generally each would recognize the truth of each other's description. (There are also specific tests, more subtle, passed down mouth-to-ear by which the result is tested.)

Recognizable doesn't necessarily mean definable, though. It's closer to the fact that two people who have been to the same place and seem the same thing have a unique perspective from which to authenticate the other's experience.

Aside from the fact that it is questionable that "they can recognize it in others" this slides around the fact that one person has no idea whether theyve attained to K&C of HGA (though they may have had an experience they arbitrarily labeled as such) and can not know whether another has attained K&C of HGA, for they cannot even begin to understand what his/her experience was...

Right. They wouldn't make a very good teacher or other support resource for someone undertaking that phase of the work.

These explanations, "fwiw," are worth next to nothing.

Thank you for sharing.

Excuse the harsh tone but I honestly cannot agree with your statements.

That's fine. I don't require that you agree with them.

Meanwhile, you've just been tearing down my statements rather than offering your own. Have you a better answer for Wilder?

In fact, you did nothing to counter the fact that if the K&C of HGA is not defined, not understood in the least, not explained then anyone can claim K&C of HGA because of some arbitrary experience (and theres no way to 1) claim it wasnt K&C of HGA 2) claim it didnt happen 3) claim it wasnt legitimate, etc because theres no foundational definition to work off of). The cop out answer to all of htis is simply 'youll just know when you get there'

Again - you seem to be talking outside of the context of a system such as A.'.A.'.. As if someone were just going have an experience then go around claiming things about it. I have no interest in such scenarios and am not addressing them at all.
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Postby Marion » Tue Aug 07, 2007 6:50 pm

*heavy sigh*

Jim, why oh why do you waste your time with contentious a$$holes like aum418?

Here I come back to this forum with a resolve to engage in and enjoy community of a Thelemic setting...and I find a reason as to why I don't bother in the first place.

I have decided to keep with my commitment to myself and call it like I see it. No doubt I'll come off like an a$$hole myself, but what the hell. And leave myself open to attack, I suppose. It just gets annoying to have to read through all these idiots.
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Postby Steven Cranmer » Wed Aug 08, 2007 5:11 am

I think that aum418's points are pretty valid. If this is the same Aum418/iao131 from lashtal.com, then I'm more than satisfied that's he (if indeed it's a he) is sincere, knowledgable, and often quite insightful about Thelema. I hope readers won't let a slightly confrontational writing style be a bar to seeing someone's point of view.

To some extent, though, I agree with Jim that the two of them have been using some different assumptions (i.e., a lone student versus a chain of A.'.A.'.-like aspirants and adepts) and thus to some extent talking past one another.

Jim has implied that's he's not that interested in validating the K&C experience of a 'lone wolf,' but since many of us are indeed attempting to do much of this Work outside of a formal order such as the A.'.A.'., we wolves would appreciate any bones tossed our way... :)

For example,
Jim Eshelman wrote:This experience is unlike any preceding it. Normal definitions usually would mislead or at least risk distorting the process.

I hope this doesn't stop Adepts from ever trying to put their experiences into words, though. Let me use the example of a sunset. One may not be able to do justice to the often profound experience of viewing one, with just words, but there's great value in both: (1) metaphorical poetry that reflects how the viewer feels as well as what the viewer sees, and (2) analytic - even scientific - descriptions of the optics, colors, and atmospheric chemistry that make a sunset what it is. Sure, neither of these things can substitute for the experience itself, but the world would be less rich without such words! And people may be more inclined to seek out genuine sunset experiences if they read some particularly nice words on the topic...

If someone were doing this in a vacuum, unassisted by someone who has had the experience, then possibly something in writing would help if it were available - but doing it that way is a bad idea.

Agreed I guess, but wouldn't having more writings like this be likely to lead to more people seeking out the genuine, full-form, teacher-student relationship? One may counter this with the suggestion that it would also lead more people to try it on their own, and possibly become psychotic in the process! But since the practices are essentially already out there, would better descriptions of the end result really increase this danger?

Recognizable doesn't necessarily mean definable, though. It's closer to the fact that two people who have been to the same place and seem the same thing have a unique perspective from which to authenticate the other's experience.

Before Joyce wrote Ulysses, would anyone have believed that 1904 Dublin could have been so beautifully encapsulated in mere words on paper?

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Postby Jim Eshelman » Wed Aug 08, 2007 6:42 am

Steve,

I spent nearly five pages in Chapter 8 of The Mystical & Magical System of the A.'.A.'. giving Crowley's varied descriptions just to put this in the record. I spent much of Chapter 9 publishing previously unavailable letters from Karl Germer to give additional examples of the kind of attempt-to-express-and-discuss you articulated. I published an entire issue of Black Pearl (No. 6) devoted to almost nothing but historic records and discussions on the subject by several generations of attained Adepts.

But that's an entirely different thing than was initially requested in this present thread - and I've been answering the initial question asked (and not even pretending it was a comprehensive answer - just the best answer I could give to the specific question).

I concluded Chapter 8 with these paragraphs, and I still stand by them:

It is certainly possible that, by providing this range of commentary, we have done nothing more than confuse the sincere aspirant. Admittedly – given our view that the experience of what we call the Holy Guardian Angel is “utterly individual, utterly personal, particular, specific, and unique to each” – the only wholly consistent approach would be to say nothing about it at all. We have elected to balance this consideration against our responsibility to teach, by pointedly inviting every student to ignore any of the interpretations we have offered here unless they “strike home” as personally relevant.

Furthermore, this discussion is primarily aimed at those who are on the earlier stages of the Path. The Adeptus Minor surely already will have drawn (conscious or unconscious) conclusions about what it is that is sought, conclusions so inherent to her own nature that they may be entirely unconscious.

The real substance of this present chapter is that the Adeptus Minor has one task, the one task at which she has been aiming from her first entry onto the Path; and that now, prepared, she is pledged to undertake it.

Let, then, the Adeptus Minor undertake the Great Work and attain to the Knowledge and Conversation of her Holy Guardian Angel.
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Postby Steven Cranmer » Wed Aug 08, 2007 7:30 am

Jim Eshelman wrote:I spent nearly five pages in Chapter 8 of The Mystical & Magical System of the A.'.A.'. giving Crowley's varied descriptions just to put this in the record. I spent much of Chapter 9 publishing previously unavailable letters from Karl Germer to give additional examples of the kind of attempt-to-express-and-discuss you articulated. I published an entire issue of Black Pearl (No. 6) devoted to almost nothing but historic records and discussions on the subject by several generations of attained Adepts.

Thanks. I didn't mean to imply that you haven't been doing any of the writing that I was suggesting. Indeed, the very reason that I included "poetry" in my sunset analogy was a combination of your poems from M&MSAA and Soror Meral's poems from ITC. These, in addition to the prose, have been evocative and helpful. I just wanted to second aum418's general notion that there's room (and a desire) for more clarity on the subject, despite the stated dangers.

I don't think the Germer letters are in the 1994 1st edition of M&MSAA (the one I have). Now I've got more of a reason to seek out one of the later editions!

I think that you've said that Black Pearl is currently not in print. Are there any (not improper) means of purchasing copies?

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Postby Jim Eshelman » Wed Aug 08, 2007 7:54 am

Steven Cranmer wrote:I think that you've said that Black Pearl is currently not in print. Are there any (not improper) means of purchasing copies?

I think I may have a few No. 6 copies left. - PM Zeph, he'll push me on the point for you :)

Something I didn't put in my last post - it makes be feel too cantankerous to push the point, but it does seem relevant - is I'm the only one in this thread thus far that has attempted to answer the original question. A thread is driven by the initial question, I gave an answer, said from the beginning that it wasn't a comprehensive answer or without problems - and the remainder of the thread has been assaults on my original answer (1) as if I'd asserted it as a perfect answer, which it was never claimed to be, and (2) without doing a bloody thing for the original querent in terms of providing any other answer than my obviously unpopular one.

I don't mind contentiousness - I mind contentiousness for its own sake and contentiousness that gets placed ahead of the basic priority of helping people.
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Postby Aum418 » Wed Aug 08, 2007 8:33 am

Marion wrote:*heavy sigh*

Jim, why oh why do you waste your time with contentious a$$holes like aum418?

Here I come back to this forum with a resolve to engage in and enjoy community of a Thelemic setting...and I find a reason as to why I don't bother in the first place.

I have decided to keep with my commitment to myself and call it like I see it. No doubt I'll come off like an a$$hole myself, but what the hell. And leave myself open to attack, I suppose. It just gets annoying to have to read through all these idiots.


What the heck, Marion? I am a contentious {***hole} because I disagree with Jim Eshelman? I find his answer to be skirting around the issue? Did you come to a forum of Thelema to have people pat your back? Whats the problem with a little debate? Indeed, you do come off like 'an {***hole} yourself' but I still have no problem with you posting whatever you like. You make a post devoted entirely to ad hominem attacks and act as if 'they' (meaning me) are the enemy doing all the 'idiotic' posts? Right...

To Steve Cranmer: thank you for giving my points a chance, even if you dont agree with them. It seems people, often Thelemites ironically, react instinctively to any kind of criticism or remotely disagreeing tone. ...and yes, this is the same Aum418 & IAO131. Good ta see ya!

To Jim Eshelman: I am beginning to see your point, i.e. that an adept can be only truly recognized to have attained K&C of HGA by his superior or another in the A.'.A.'. who has monitored them.

If so, I have to say that there are probably 100x more people NOT int hte AA than are... Does this leave everyone out if they arent part of some organization? Can they simply never claim K&C of HGA because no one can verify, no one can see if they are just 'psychotic,' and no one can tell if they are just lying? If someone claims K&C of HGA in teh A.'.A.'., what kind of factors or measures are used to find out if it WAS in fact K&C of HGA? You mention collecting information on various adepts attainments - what was the common factor(s)? What exactly was it that was K&C of HGA?

What if we talked about K&C of HGA to say... a Hindu. What would we use as an analogy to help explain? Surely they would laugh at us if they thought we meant talking to an angel-like creature (they would laugh and call it an illusion, probably). If you can relate it to a Hindu term (i.e. Dhyana, Samadhi, Atmadarshana, etc.) then what is your reticence to speak of it in plain english terms as Hindus do about the aforementioned states?

Further, your answer is basically that one has to trust in the system and adepts of the A.'.A.'. to judge your own experiences. It seems theres a pitfall right there as only you can possibly even fathom what had happened to you. I am still not satisfied with your answer, as you are spekaing of K&C of HGA in the very very small circle of being a student of the A.'.A.'..

By the way, Jim. You make some kind of 'cantankerous' point that your ehte only one that has answered the original post, but THAT IS WHAT THIS WHOLE CONVERSATION IS ABOUT. You DIDNT answer the post - our debate has been over the very question raised in the first post:

How can you know whether you attain K&C of HGA?

Is there any other way, Jim, then a superior in teh A.'.A.'. going "yup, that was your HGA." Or is it simply the cop-out answer of "you'll just know when you get tehre."

Thats like saying to someone "You need to get to Bulgaria (or something." "How do I get there," he replies. "Oh, well, people have claimed to have gotten there before. You'll know when you get there." "How will I know when I get there if there are no factors to distinguish Bulgaria from Belgium or Burma?" "You will just know. There are no maps to Burma, just vague records left behind by those that supposedly traveled there. I cannot even point you in the right direction, youll just know when you get there." Cant you see the absurdity of this standpoint?

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Postby zeph » Wed Aug 08, 2007 8:43 am

aum418 wrote:If so, I have to say that there are probably 100x more people NOT int hte AA than are... Does this leave everyone out if they arent part of some organization? Can they simply never claim K&C of HGA because no one can verify, no one can see if they are just 'psychotic,' and no one can tell if they are just lying? If someone claims K&C of HGA in teh A.'.A.'., what kind of factors or measures are used to find out if it WAS in fact K&C of HGA? You mention collecting information on various adepts attainments - what was the common factor(s)? What exactly was it that was K&C of HGA?

As a side-thread, I wonder why somebody would claim to have achieved K&C of HGA, regardless of whether they've actually got the attainment? I honestly cannot imagine a single instance in which that would be useful or worthwhile.
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Postby Rey De Lupos » Wed Aug 08, 2007 9:25 am

Zeph wrote:

As a side-thread, I wonder why somebody would claim to have achieved K&C of HGA, regardless of whether they've actually got the attainment? I honestly cannot imagine a single instance in which that would be useful or worthwhile.

True enough. But, in a Guru-Chela, Mentor-Aspirant relationship it may provide some context for the chela/aspirant to know that their guide has attained to this Knowledge, Understanding and Experience.

Granted, one could fall to 'Faith', but I see no point in not conveying one's understanding, knowledge and experience if it aids in facilitating the experience for one's chela/aspirant.

And if you honestly disagree, I would like to know your position and why.

That said, it would seem inappropriate for anyone to run around with a t-shirt stating, " I attained Knowledge and Conversation of my Holy Guardian Angel...and all I got was this stupid t-shirt."
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Postby zeph » Wed Aug 08, 2007 9:43 am

The guru-chela relationship is, in fact, the only thing that I can come close to imagining — but my imagination fails because it still seems to me unnecessary. I don't care, at any particular moment, what the attainments of any particular teacher are, so long as what they teach me has practical value that bears fruit, and that they themselves embody these teachings.

You know, by their fruits and all that.
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Postby Jim Eshelman » Wed Aug 08, 2007 9:49 am

aum418 wrote:To Jim Eshelman: I am beginning to see your point, i.e. that an adept can be only truly recognized to have attained K&C of HGA by his superior or another in the A.'.A.'. who has monitored them.

If so, I have to say that there are probably 100x more people NOT int hte AA than are... Does this leave everyone out if they arent part of some organization?

Though attaining to the K&C of the HGA is "the next great step for humanity," and though I think that, within a few centuries, it will be the standard of the mature, psychologically healthy adult psyche, that doesn't mean it's for everyone. It is still, in most cases, something that one sets out to pursue and attain by specific effort, and such efforts (like, say, wanting to compete in the Olympics) benefit from working in a specific program under a specific coach.

There are others - possibly many others - who will (now and, even more so, in the future) awaken to this spontaneously. On the other hand, I don't think they'll have much concern about putting a label on it and validating it or knowing whether it is what somebody else called "the Knowledge & Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel." And since the validation process is the subject of the thread, I don't see that it really matters to them one way or the other. It seems only a question for people who want to be able to put a label on it as part of a specific systematic program of personal training.

Can they simply never claim K&C of HGA because no one can verify

If you want to claim something, and have anyone else care and believe, then you need some sort of external ratification. If the claim is the issue, then I think we're in trouble before we start.

no one can see if they are just 'psychotic,' and no one can tell if they are just lying?

Again, that refers to a claim and an egoic need for someone else's ratification. - The Adept, BTW, is usually going to appear in extremely good mental health. Reasonable, healthy people are not likely to think them psychotic at all. They may be misunderstood - but they also tend to radiate sanity.

One must also consider the role of the fourth Power of the Sphinx.

If someone claims K&C of HGA in teh A.'.A.'., what kind of factors or measures are used to find out if it WAS in fact K&C of HGA? You mention collecting information on various adepts attainments - what was the common factor(s)? What exactly was it that was K&C of HGA?

Much of it is direct perception. But there are also a couple of tests / criteria that are applied. Regrettably, they are exactly the kind of thing that would be easier to falsify if circulated, so it's only been passed down mouth-to-ear. (The first criterion I mentioned is nearly impossible to falsify.)

What if we talked about K&C of HGA to say... a Hindu. What would we use as an analogy to help explain?

Intimate communion with Ishvara.

Surely they would laugh at us if they thought we meant talking to an angel-like creature (they would laugh and call it an illusion, probably).

Probably not. Most Hindus are broadly accepting of other people's inner spiritual realities. "Just another god to worship, eh?"

If you can relate it to a Hindu term (i.e. Dhyana, Salaidh, Amerasian, etc.) then what is your reticence to speak of it in plain english terms as Hindus do about the aforementioned states?

There are no English words known to me that, if spoken, would communicate it accurately AND not stand a greater risk of misleading more people than it helped.

I could happily and easily describe it in exact and familiar Qabalistic language that likely would be fairly clear to anyone familiar with the terms. Here's the problem: That answer isn't necessarily the answer that would serve someone best! Consider that Crowley gave exactly opposite descriptions in (1) a book aimed at the complete beginner and (2) an instruction written for the use of a 5=6 of A.'.A.'.. The answer I would give, similarly, would vary significantly according to someone's grade, not out of any secrecy need but because the same words would strike them quite differently according to 'the trance of their grade.' Therefore, different words - whole different ideas, in this case - are needed.

I said way more than probably was wise in the book. For a straight answer, I only do that one-on-one in person. I've been honest throughout in my answers here, but I've only been able to stay honest by drawing boundaries on what I say.

And my first answer above is, I still think, the best.

Further, your answer irels basically that one has to trust in the system and adepts of the A.'.A.'. to judge your own experiences.

Or an equivalent system, yes.

It seems theres a pitfall right there as only you can possibly even fathom what had happened to you.

6. During the whole of this elementary study and practice, he will do wisely to seek out, and attach himself to, a master, one competent to correct him and advise him. Nor should he be discouraged by the difficulty of finding such a person.
7. Let him further remember that he must in no wise rely upon, or believe in, that master. He must rely entirely upon himself, and credit nothing whatever but that which lies within his own knowledge and experience.
(Liber E, Cap. VII)

They are not incompatible things. (There is a passage in Liber LXI - I don't have a copy with me at work - which makes the point more exactly.)

I am still not satisfied with your answer, as you are spekaing of K&C of HGA in the very very small circle of being a student of the A.'.A.'..

No - but in the small, but somewhat larger, circle of those enrolled in a systematic training program targeting the specific goal.

By the way, Jim. You make some kind of 'cantankerous' point that your ehte only one that has answered the original post, but THAT IS WHAT THIS WHOLE CONVERSATION IS ABOUT. You DIDNT answer the post - our debate has been over the very question raised in the first post:

How can you know whether you attain K&C of HGA?

So give Wilder an answer, or stop complaining about my answer - which is the only attempt here by anybody to address his question. If you don't have an alternative answer, then you're not part of the solution. You aren't in any position to say whether my answer has served him - only he can say. It's his thread.

Is there any other way, Jim, then a superior in teh A.'.A.'. going "yup, that was your HGA." Or is it simply the cop-out answer of "you'll just know when you get tehre."

My life is about preparing and delivering exact, confirmable step-by-step procedures by which one generation can reliably assist the next in its spiritual development. Outside of such frameworks, I really don't have more than idle curiosity, so the question is of no interest to me one way or the other. I think my best answer to your specific question is the one I gave before: Those who attain spontaneously, outside of "occult" frameworks, generally don't have any need for labels, confirmations, or any such thing - it's just what's happening to and in them.

Thats like saying to someone "You need to get to Bulgaria (or something." "How do I get there," he replies. "Oh, well, people have claimed to have gotten there before. You'll know when you get there." "How will I know when I get there if there are no factors to distinguish Bulgaria from Belgium or Burma?" "You will just know. There are no maps to Burma, just vague records left behind by those that supposedly traveled there. I cannot even point you in the right direction, you'll just know when you get there." Cant you see the absurdity of this standpoint?

No, it's like when the person says, "How do I get to Bulgaria," you say,"I've been there, I know the roads, I know what the main landmarks are along the way, and I have an exact map and itinerary for you to follow. Provided you go mile-by-mile, you'll end up there and will know you are there when you get there and see the 'Welcome to Bulgaria' sign. - Oh, and here's my cell number so we can stay in touch on and off along the trip."
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Postby Rey De Lupos » Wed Aug 08, 2007 10:20 am

Zeph wrote:The guru-chela relationship is, in fact, the only thing that I can come close to imagining — but my imagination fails because it still seems to me unnecessary. I don't care, at any particular moment, what the attainments of any particular teacher are, so long as what they teach me has practical value that bears fruit, and that they themselves embody these teachings.

You know, by their fruits and all that.

I agree with you. And I think that pulling that rabbit out of the hat for the would-be chela/aspirant would definitely have to be with the right intention and at the right time, otherwise there really is no point. But, that would be the only relationship where stating one's experience could possibly be fruitful. Aside from that the experience alone from the teacher should offer its own power as radiation from the Stone of the Wise.
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Postby Jim Eshelman » Wed Aug 08, 2007 10:34 am

King of the Wolves wrote:True enough. But, in a Guru-Chela, Mentor-Aspirant relationship it may provide some context for the chela/aspirant to know that their guide has attained to this Knowledge, Understanding and Experience.

Yes, but the chela/aspirant has no direct basis for drawing this conclusion. It does take some measure of faith (in the ordinary sense of "confidence). For example, if one is investing in a tradition or training system, then one's conclusion may be based on reputation, and the known ratification of the guru's guru that certain attainments have been made. - One can also simply rely on one's impression of the teacher, whether there is a "click," whether one's intuition says lone has something to get here.

When the student is ready, the teacher appears - that's proven itself to me over and over.

Soror Meral, who had attained to the K&C in the early '50s, nonetheless would tell a new student that all they needed to know was that she was a Neophyte 1=10 - and, that's true! If the confidence is in the system itself, then all a Probationer needs to know is that the 'superior' is Neophyte.
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Postby Rey De Lupos » Wed Aug 08, 2007 11:26 am

Jim wrote:Soror Meral, who had attained to the K&C in the early '50s, nonetheless would tell a new student that all they needed to know was that she was a Neophyte 1=10 - and, that's true! If the confidence is in the system itself, then all a Probationer needs to know is that the 'superior' is Neophyte.

All good points stated in your post Jim, to which I would like to add that the interaction between the teacher-student, mentor-aspirant or Guru-chela has its own language and modes of conveyance that need no use of a title of achievement [e.g., KCHGA].

It is relatively unimportant, as the dance of that relationship has already made it clear who and what one is dealing with and the level of effect that relationship is having on both parties. The powder of projection has already started the alchemical process of self-awakening within the chela/aspirant/student.

But, there are those few chelas/studentswho may require reassurance, succor or some glint at what it not self-evident through the Work they are undergoing with the teacher. At that point, depending on the teacher, the conveyance from mouth to ear of the key experiences may offer them hope and direction.
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Postby zeph » Wed Aug 08, 2007 11:32 am

King of the Wolves wrote:But, there are those few chelas/studentswho may require reassurance, succor or some glint at what it not self-evident through the Work they are undergoing with the teacher. At that point, depending on the teacher, the conveyance from mouth to ear of the key experiences may offer them hope and direction.

A distinction: We have been discussing speaking about an attainment, not an experience. If you ask if a teacher should relate experiences he or she has had to the student, I say certainly. Many or most of the experiences worth relating won't be understood unless the listener has had similar experiences, though, but they can point in the right direction nonetheless.
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Postby Jim Eshelman » Wed Aug 08, 2007 11:38 am

zeph wrote:If you ask if a teacher should relate experiences he or she has had to the student, I say certainly

Agreed, generally.

On the drive away from SF airport on my first visit to Phyllis' home in August 1979, I asked her to describe for me her first experience of the K&C of the HGA. She asked what I was looking for. I said I was working with Seven Steps as a primary practice at that time, and felt that if I could get as much information as possible on her sensory experience, it would help me.

It was a naive question, but I don't think it was a wrong one to ask - and, directly or indirectly, I think it was important to me, and her answer also opened the door to other discussions then and over the years.
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