Crowley's conception about life after death

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Crowley's conception about life after death

Postby Diogenos » Thu Mar 13, 2014 9:10 am

Hi everyone,

As far as I remember, To Mega Therion believed in reincarnation ; for instance, he explained he was in another life John Dee or Eliphas Levi, two others important occultist of western civilization.
Nevertheless, did Crowley give a true explanation about what will happen to every single person after death ? Is there something like a nirvâna, heaven and hell in his works about life after life ?

I am like the guy in Wax Fang's song "King of the kingdom of man" : "so many convictions about life after death, but you just can not believe in any single one of them".

Waiting for your knowledge, thelemites ! :D
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Re: Crowley's conception about life after death

Postby Jim Eshelman » Thu Mar 13, 2014 9:49 am

Diogenos wrote:As far as I remember, To Mega Therion believed in reincarnation

Well, at least Aleister Crowley did.

for instance, he explained he was in another life John Dee or Eliphas Levi

Edward Kelley and Eliphas Levi, yes. Also at least one other well known occult name.

Nevertheless, did Crowley give a true explanation about what will happen to every single person after death ?

Yes: In the Mass, he said it's according to their choice.
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Re: Crowley's conception about life after death

Postby Diogenos » Sun Mar 30, 2014 7:07 am

What does that exactly means ? Is there something similar to hell or heaven in Thelema ? Is there any possibility for after life to be an eternal suffering place or a land of felicity for ever ? In my own understanding, it would not be possible since To Mega Therions created a nondualistic system ; nevertheless, this conception does exists in many religions in the world.

I would be curious to know thelemite's opinion on that topic :)
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Re: Crowley's conception about life after death

Postby Jim Eshelman » Sun Mar 30, 2014 8:49 am

Diogenos wrote:What does that exactly means ? Is there something similar to hell or heaven in Thelema ?

Not a specific "something." Rather, an entire range of optional experiences: Move on to the reality you next choose.

Is there any possibility for after life to be an eternal suffering place or a land of felicity for ever ?

"Forever" is a long time. the answer is no - No such thing. No hell at all unless it is a hell a person creates for themselves. The same with 'felicity.' You create the reality into which you move, whether it is in life or outside of life. (Actually, it's all life: Sometimes with a physical body, sometimes without.) Definitely no "final reward," because existence is clearly deemed to be ever in motion, ever moving on.

I would be curious to know thelemite's opinion on that topic :)

That's opening a can of worms likely to result in nothing but argument. There are as many opinions as there are individuals. I've tried to answer from the point of view of To Mega Therion, not the point of view of self-identified Thelemites.
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Re: Crowley's conception about life after death

Postby Diogenos » Thu Jun 26, 2014 8:01 am

Just a more question related with pacts with demons : I am only a beginner in Thelema's science, but I know commiting pacts with that kind of entities does exist, but it is not recommanded according to Crowley. Many stories about pacts with demons exist in popular tales, but can you "sell" your soul to a demon ? If yes, what is its consequences ? Do you finish in an hellish state of mind according to To Mega Therion ?
I know everything is impermanent in thelemic philosophy, including life after death ; but is this a special case ? Maybe my vision of it is influenced by Faust and that kind of old stories...

Thank you by advance, sorry for my lack of documentation and culture about that topic :wink:
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Re: Crowley's conception about life after death

Postby Jim Eshelman » Thu Jun 26, 2014 8:20 am

When you sign a contract, you usually are acting on there assumption that the other party can deliver their quid for yours, and, if necessary, that they can enforce your compliance.

Neither side of this is necessarily correct, especially when you thought you were contracting with the CFO and it turns out that you were dealing with the janitor.
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Re: Crowley's conception about life after death

Postby Diogenos » Thu Jun 26, 2014 8:46 am

Nevertheless, I just read that concluding a pact with a demon could be nothing more than an illusion : nothing in exchange of nothing, to resume it...
To conclude, even if a magician wants to sell his soul to a demon, what would be the consequences for him in his life and afterlife ?
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Re: Crowley's conception about life after death

Postby Jim Eshelman » Thu Jun 26, 2014 8:54 am

Diogenos wrote:Nevertheless, I just read that concluding a pact with a demon could be nothing more than an illusion : nothing in exchange of nothing, to resume it...

That's what I said above :twisted:

To conclude, even if a magician wants to sell his soul to a demon, what would be the consequences for him in his life and afterlife ?

Is it a real demon? If so, does it have any authority? (Why a demon - a pathetic little drone - instead of a being of stature such as Belial?)

And what do you mean by "soul" in this case? There are too many vagaries.

One certainly can't bind one's post-mortem existence to a pathetic drone imp unless there is some personally profound reason, such as love or, on the other extreme, one is decorating a personal hell for one's self-humiliation for some reason. It would be quite personal with thousands of individual variations. But, to go to a variation of my prior metaphor: No matter what handshake deal you make with the shoeshine guy in your office building, he really doesn't have anything to say about where you have lunch after you leave the building and go on about your way.
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Re: Crowley's conception about life after death

Postby Diogenos » Thu Jun 26, 2014 9:03 am

Well, I do not really know the definition of "soul" in Thelema... Maybe this is the origin of my misunderstanding right above.
You mentionned only little drones as demons ; but what would happen if you deal with an higher entity such as Belial (as you named him) or Satan himself ?
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Re: Crowley's conception about life after death

Postby Jim Eshelman » Thu Jun 26, 2014 9:23 am

Diogenos wrote:You mentionned only little drones as demons ; but what would happen if you deal with an higher entity such as Belial (as you named him) or Satan himself ?

Most people wouldn't have the capacity to do so. It requires someone consciously awake to the World of Briah - an adept - to connect to the great Briatic beings such as the "Four Great Princes of the Evil of the World," Satan, Lucifer, Leviathan, and Belial. Rightly trained, an Adept at a fairly early stage would have bound these in obedience to his or her Holy Guardian Angel.

But - in your totally speculative scenario (and these are always dangerous to answer because, well, they're speculative and the answer is too narrow to generalize, but people will try to generalize),,, If an Adept did such a thing as you suggest, it would be both highly unusual and of some particular karmic implication unique to that Adept. It could be a horrible mistake - it could be an enormous act of High Magick - there are too many variables. A Major Adept at the very least should have the resources both to recognize the karmic implications instinctively and to know the magical implications; but, I suppose, if the power urge within the Major Adept exceeded the intimacy of his or her connection to the HGA, then anything is possible.

Mostly, the answer is that this isn't a realistic scenario in close to 100% of the cases. Don't worry about what the Russian President might do if he cornered you, since he isn't likely to return your phone call in the first place.
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Re: Crowley's conception about life after death

Postby Diogenos » Thu Jun 26, 2014 9:33 am

In fact, the center of my question is "Is everything impermanent in Thelema ?". You told me in a preview post that we can not be rewarded forever, but how about punishment ? If you sell your soul to a major dark entity, would that have an end ?

I guess yes since the law of karma is involved, but your advice would be welcome :)
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Re: Crowley's conception about life after death

Postby Jim Eshelman » Thu Jun 26, 2014 9:51 am

Diogenos wrote:In fact, the center of my question is "Is everything impermanent in Thelema ?". You told me in a preview post that we can not be rewarded forever, but how about punishment ? If you sell your soul to a major dark entity, would that have an end ?

No eternal reward or punishment. I'm not sure that even the ideas of reward or punishment persist very far beyond death. (There are documented cases of 'ghosts' etc. in self-punishing or other morbid states for years or decades, and even that is pitifully small in the face of eternity.)

Is it that "everything is impermanent in Thelema"? I think Buddha had it right, and everything is impermanent - at least in Assiah and Yetirah - in all of creation. The answer to your question is probably "yes," though I'd put it differently - that foreclosing possibilities doesn't fit with the idea of Nuit as a field containing all possibilities.
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Re: Crowley's conception about life after death

Postby Diogenos » Thu Jun 26, 2014 10:12 am

One question at last : are there any referenced texts by Crowley that deal with life after death ? For instance, is there any allusion to the "Everything is impermanent" notion somewhere ?
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Re: Crowley's conception about life after death

Postby Jim Eshelman » Thu Jun 26, 2014 10:28 am

Diogenos wrote:One question at last : are there any referenced texts by Crowley that deal with life after death ?

Stuff scattered there in the Commentaries, a little in Liber Aleph, Magick in Theory & Practice, other writings... I've never compiled them, the theme was pretty consistent through all of it.
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Re: Crowley's conception about life after death

Postby Diogenos » Thu Jun 26, 2014 10:36 am

Thanks Jim :)

Just a quotation by To Mega Therion to finish this interesting and very explaining conversation :

“One’s ‘immortal soul’ is a different kind of thing altogether from one’s mortal vesture. This Soul is a particular Star, with its own peculiar qualities, of course; but these qualities are all ‘eternal,’ and part of the nature of the Soul. This Soul being a monistic consciousness, it is unable to appreciate itself and its qualities, as explained in a previous entry; so it realizes itself by the device of duality, with the limitations of time, space and causality.”

... "Everything is impermanent" isn't so far.
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Re: Crowley's conception about life after death

Postby Hermitas » Thu Jun 26, 2014 10:45 am

You might better understand the distinctions Crowley is trying to make by reading the following:

http://www.amazon.com/Through-Gates-Death-Dion-Fortune/dp/0898042240
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Re: Crowley's conception about life after death

Postby Diogenos » Thu Jun 26, 2014 10:48 am

Aion wrote:You might better understand the distinctions Crowley is trying to make by reading the following:

http://www.amazon.com/Through-Gates-Death-Dion-Fortune/dp/0898042240


What do you exactly mean ?
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Crowley's conception about life after death

Postby Hermitas » Thu Jun 26, 2014 11:05 am

Exactly?

I mean it's difficult to discern your tone from your use of English, but you "sound" like you're finding what you think are inconsistencies, as when you said, "'Everything is impermanent' isn't so far."

And I'm recommending this book to you as representative of the general esoteric understanding of death and afterlife, something which Crowley seems to have been familiar with, so that you may get a better picture of it than you can by trying to piece together this or that quote about impermanence, etc., solely from his own writings.
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Re: Crowley's conception about life after death

Postby Diogenos » Thu Jun 26, 2014 11:16 am

Let's just say I'm not sure about what happens to us after death, that's it... Nevertheless, I think this book by Dion Fortune could really help me :)

Thank you both !
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Crowley's conception about life after death

Postby Hermitas » Thu Jun 26, 2014 11:21 am

If nothing else, it will give you what is generally reported as being seen by those who consider themselves clairvoyant and who have also had the experience described as past life memories.
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Re: Crowley's conception about life after death

Postby Avshalom Binyamin » Thu Jun 26, 2014 3:10 pm

kasper81 wrote:4) Where in the Book of the Law does it refer to or state that reincarnation is real or a necessary part of Thelema?

How is that relevant?

Ford Mustangs aren't in the Book of the Law, but that has no bearing on whether they're real or not. As far as "necessary part of Thelema", is someone making that claim?
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Re: Crowley's conception about life after death

Postby Jim Eshelman » Thu Jun 26, 2014 3:13 pm

kasper81 wrote:1) when does the reincarnatory, "spirit" enter the zygot in the woman's womb? Is it a few weeks after it's creation? Six months? How do we know this?

I think there are different levels. At least, there are two distinct points marked, and I reason that these mark two different levels of "investment."

The primary incarnation is at the moment of the first breath, the moment the horoscope comes into being.

But there is a level of incarnation - perhaps "local-spatial proximity lock," to make up a term? - at the start of the second trimester of pregnancy, the time historically called "the quickening." Traditions as diverse as the Tibetan and the European Christian mark this time, and there seems to be a significant shift.

2) Now I know noone's doing the stats but something confuses me. Let's say there's 7 billion people on earth. This may mean the ones who terminate and whose spirits leave their body must go somewhere and have their next new body allocated to them. What if the next generation of pregnancies fall? Where do these stay for the duration until a zygot is allocated to them? The higher- astral, purgatory- limbo Hilton?

Earth isn't the only place to incarnate. Incarnation isn't the only level of existence. And there's no race to get back. Some move on - they have grown past the need for human existence. And the opposite is true, too, that in periods when there are large sustained surges of increased population, some of the increased number comes from elemental that have grown to the point of taking shape as microcosm, I.e., being born human.

3) Who or what is doing this allocation work?

Nature - the natural course. No big judge and accountant. In most of the levels, the beings themselves (ourselves) make the choice, (Nobody is incarnated because they have to be - it's all by choice and according to capability.)

4) Where in the Book of the Law does it refer to or state that reincarnation is real or a necessary part of Thelema?

It doesn't. Neither does it say that the law of gravity or the need to breathe air is part of Thelema.

And I'm not sure any of these things are part of Thelma as such. But Thelma isn't the whole picture - it's just the current "best understanding, best practices" model, a subset of a much larger understanding of things.
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Re: Crowley's conception about life after death

Postby Diogenos » Thu Jun 26, 2014 10:37 pm

After thinking about the notion of eternal hell, I wonder if it doesn't contradicts the Law of Thelema : to me, that kind of concept sound pretty much like a "slave mentality" from the old aeon.
Nevertheless, we talked above about suffering states the human can create after his death : do you know how does that happen and in which conditions ?

According to Jim's patient answers, I guess those states of mind cannot last forever, but I think it is interesting to know how Crowley conceived that topic :)
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Re: Crowley's conception about life after death

Postby Jim Eshelman » Thu Jun 26, 2014 10:54 pm

Diogenos wrote:Nevertheless, we talked above about suffering states the human can create after his death : do you know how does that happen and in which conditions ?

Yes. It happens the same way that it happens in life: People create hell for themselves. Among other things, people buy into a reward and punishment mindset, and therefore conceive of their afterlife in hellish terms.

On the inner planes, thoughts aren't abstracted from immediate reality. Thoughts and images are the actual substance of reality, the way that physical matter serves that purpose on the material plane. People literally create this and use it (for example) to answer their own guilt.
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Re: Crowley's conception about life after death

Postby Diogenos » Fri Jun 27, 2014 3:47 am

Is this webpage relevant to you ?
http://iao131.com/2012/01/17/death-in-thelema/

I tried to translate the passages that Crowley wrote, but some of their meanings are pretty obscure for a person using a basic english. For instance, something that would need and explanation :
"For by Death is Man released only from the Gross Body, at the first, and is complete otherwise upon the Astral Plane, as he was in his Life. But this Wholeness suffereth Stress, and its Girders are loosened, the weaker first and after that the stronger."

The problem is, this vocabulary is classy and rather poetic ; so then, it is difficult to me really understanding what To Mega Therion wanted to tell us.
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