Exercises of True Will

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Exercises of True Will

Postby DavidH » Wed Dec 25, 2013 9:58 pm

93!

Are there specific exercises one can do to understand if they are doing their true will? Any action one does could either be ones true will, or an action that is caused/influenced by outside pressure, manipulation, or convincing. The media, family, culture, friends, spouses, government, all exert forces trying to shape or control us. How do we know when we are acting in our own will? Is there a battery of questions we can ask for each specific act?
In LVX,
David

"Remember all ye that existence is pure joy; that all the sorrows are but as shadows; they pass & are done; but there is that which remains."
Liber L - II, 9
93 93/93
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Re: Exercises of True Will

Postby Takamba » Thu Dec 26, 2013 2:40 am

DavidH wrote:93!

Are there specific exercises one can do to understand if they are doing their true will? Any action one does could either be ones true will, or an action that is caused/influenced by outside pressure, manipulation, or convincing. The media, family, culture, friends, spouses, government, all exert forces trying to shape or control us. How do we know when we are acting in our own will? Is there a battery of questions we can ask for each specific act?


You will know when you don't ask the question "is this my will?"
"If we are to have Beauty and Love, whether in begetting children or works of art, or what not, we must have perfect freedom to act, without fear or shame or any falsity."
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Re: Exercises of True Will

Postby Los » Thu Dec 26, 2013 9:16 am

DavidH wrote:How do we know when we are acting in our own will? Is there a battery of questions we can ask for each specific act?


Discovering the True Will is, essentially, a process of learning to perceive that Will (that is, your authentic inclinations) beneath the distorting influences of the conscious mind (basically your mind telling you what it thinks you "should" be doing).

For that reason, you cannot "reason" your way to the True Will, so a "battery of questions" is out. You can, however, train your mind to detect the ways that your thoughts distort your perceptions. So while you cannot "reason out" what your True Will is in a situation, you can rationally determine that a particular thought is "my mind telling me what would be 'moral' in this situation" or "my mind telling me what my family members expect of me in this situation," and upon detecting these distorting influences, you can set them aside and strive to perceive "beneath" them, as it were.

It's difficult to put into words quite how to do this, but the following practice is a great help: spend at least fifteen minutes each day "shutting down" your thoughts and perceiving reality without the overlay of thought, as much as you are able.

There's no need to label that a formal "meditation" practice or to assume any specific postures or anything like that. What you're doing is acclimating yourself to perceiving the world without the influence of your thoughts -- doing it regularly will teach you the practical distinction between thought and non-thought, and it will make it easier for you to detect what you're trying to "see through" when you perceive your Will in everyday life situations.

What I've just described is the Great Work. Everything else -- and I mean everything else, from ritual, to meditation, to learning correspondences, everything -- is training wheels to facilitate that Work.
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Re: Exercises of True Will

Postby Takamba » Thu Dec 26, 2013 10:25 am

Los wrote:Discovering the True Will is, essentially, a process of learning to perceive that Will (that is, your authentic inclinations) beneath the distorting influences of the conscious mind (basically your mind telling you what it thinks you "should" be doing).


Word salad.

Los wrote:For that reason, you cannot "reason" your way to the True Will, so a "battery of questions" is out. You can, however, train your mind to detect the ways that your thoughts distort your perceptions. So while you cannot "reason out" what your True Will is in a situation, you can rationally determine that a particular thought is "my mind telling me what would be 'moral' in this situation" or "my mind telling me what my family members expect of me in this situation," and upon detecting these distorting influences, you can set them aside and strive to perceive "beneath" them, as it were.


Word salad.

Los wrote:It's difficult to put into words quite how to do this, but the following practice is a great help: spend at least fifteen minutes each day "shutting down" your thoughts and perceiving reality without the overlay of thought, as much as you are able.


Word salad.

Los wrote:There's no need to label that a formal "meditation" practice or to assume any specific postures or anything like that. What you're doing is acclimating yourself to perceiving the world without the influence of your thoughts -- doing it regularly will teach you the practical distinction between thought and non-thought, and it will make it easier for you to detect what you're trying to "see through" when you perceive your Will in everyday life situations.


Word salad.

What he meant to say was that once your will is no longer "caused" by "because" then it is truly your Will to do. Or as I said earlier, You will know when you don't ask the question "is this my will?" Every exercise within the System A.'.A.'. is specifically designed to teach you how to recognize cause and not-cause in discovering your will. (For example, practicing an asana while learning raja is there to teach you to overcome your animal body's silly habit of wishing it were comfortable and its other silly habits of insisting it has your attention, neither of which are your true will in the effort to attain a mystical awareness.)

I do not recommend Los as an adviser in these matters. He's a great intellect and interesting philosopher, but he has openly admitted his thoughts come out of the thin blue nothing without chain and he's had no formal training in these matters.
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Re: Exercises of True Will

Postby Takamba » Thu Dec 26, 2013 3:23 pm

kasper81 wrote:Word salad? What is that? Is this word salad? I don't get it.


It's a phrase Los taught me that means "a lot in the bowl, but little of substance." Like for instance Iceberg letter is little more than water and fiber.
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Re: Exercises of True Will

Postby Takamba » Thu Dec 26, 2013 4:16 pm

kasper81 wrote:
Takamba wrote:
kasper81 wrote:Word salad? What is that? Is this word salad? I don't get it.


It's a phrase Los taught me that means "a lot in the bowl, but little of substance." Like for instance Iceberg letter is little more than water and fiber.


that sounds like a personal judgement but anyway you don't think that thoughts fly out of nowhere? I recently saw a psychiatrist do a talk where they were talking about our thoughts popping out of nowhere so I don't understand your problem with that assertion that Los made about origins of thought.


Psychiatrists are medical professionals who push pills. Psychologists are behaviorists who see results. Thoughts come from other thoughts, all stem from beliefs, which color perception, which informs the viewer to continue to believe or argue. Thoughts are not random (although some habit of thought may be so ingrained that the thinker is not yet aware of him or herself enough to know a thoughts origin). To say that thoughts "appear out of nothing" is to 1) not know thy self and 2) not accept responsibility. Even the clinically "insane," who's thoughts aren't their "property" (legally speaking) are rooted in the world of cause and effect (for the "insane," the "cause and effect" wiring is just a little miffed).
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Re: Exercises of True Will

Postby chris S » Thu Dec 26, 2013 5:13 pm

thoughts do not come from nothing, they are formed from the quantum wave like proliferations which abound in our subconscious mind.

you can’t create something out of nothing.. you need to persistently work on your challenges and uncritically feed quantities of thoughts, ideas, opinions and observations into your subconscious mind so it has something it can actively create for new and novel ideas.

If you spend your time and energy looking for reasons why things can’t work or can’t be done, you 'end up' with nothing.
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Re: Exercises of True Will

Postby Jim Eshelman » Thu Dec 26, 2013 5:48 pm

David, there are hints scattered through the early chapters of Pearls of Wisdom (which I happen to know you have :D ). I haven't published anything comprehensive on the "how," though, because it isn't the kind of thing you can get from an instruction manual.

You can absorb it, though, from those who know what they're talking about if you are open to it. I've long recommended a little book by Parker J. Palmer, Let Your Life Speak, as the single best thing I've ever seen in print on the subject. I also think patiently making your way through the first chapter of Pearls could ignite the same recognition, though I necessarily have a blind spot that makes that hard to judge.

Primarily, though - the most important factor - is that the seeker needs to be fundamentally transformed. It is very rare that anyone raised in Western society has retained the capacity to perceive themselves deeply and accurately. Patterns of the psyche need to be dismantled and reformed. That's the greater part of what Temple of Thelema exists to do. I'm sure there are other avenues, but I can't unequivocally vouch for any of them.

Remember, though, that you won't find the answer outside of yourself. I agree with Los that you won't ever be able to reason your way to it. However, one step that most people find useful (if not necessary) is an analytical phase of gathering objective information about yourself, and forming preliminary opinions - just as raw matter for your alchemy - and then letting go of any consideration that there is a logical solution. (It will all seem logical and obvious after the fact.) I disagree with Los that there is any need to try to find some confirmable objective truth - there's no such thing and, if there is, then it doesn't have much to do with the task you've set for yourself. (I can't think of much that can derail you more thoroughly than worrying about whether any particular thing is "right" or "true" - what matters is that it's relevant - relevant to you in your unraveling at a particular moment in time.) If there is anything such as a universal independent reality, it's not within the capacity of our individual minds or our senses to discern it. Let your life lead you, inch by inch.

The exact "errors" that your subconsciousness generates for you are not errors at all - they are bread crumbs. Therefore, rehabilitating your relationship with subconscious is fundamental to the journey.
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Re: Exercises of True Will

Postby Takamba » Thu Dec 26, 2013 5:56 pm

Jim Eshelman wrote:David, there are hints scattered through the early chapters of Pearls of Wisdom (which I happen to know you have :D ). I haven't published anything comprehensive on the "how," though, because it isn't the kind of thing you can get from an instruction manual.

You can absorb it, though, from those who know what they're talking about if you are open to it. I've long recommended a little book by Parker J. Palmer, Let Your Life Speak, as the single best thing I've ever seen in print on the subject. I also think patiently making your way through the first chapter of Pearls could ignite the same recognition, though I necessarily have a blind spot that makes that hard to judge.

Primarily, though - the most important factor - is that the seeker needs to be fundamentally transformed. It is very rare that anyone raised in Western society has retained the capacity to perceive themselves deeply and accurately. Patterns of the psyche need to be dismantled and reformed. That's the greater part of what Temple of Thelema exists to do. I'm sure there are other avenues, but I can't unequivocally vouch for any of them.

Remember, though, that you won't find the answer outside of yourself. I agree with Los that you won't ever be able to reason your way to it. However, one step that most people find useful (if not necessary) is an analytical phase of gathering objective information about yourself, and forming preliminary opinions - just as raw matter for your alchemy - and then letting go of any consideration that there is a logical solution. (It will all seem logical and obvious after the fact.) I disagree with Los that there is any need to try to find some confirmable objective truth - there's no such thing and, if there is, then it doesn't have much to do with the task you've set for yourself. (I can't think of much that can derail you more thoroughly than worrying about whether any particular thing is "right" or "true" - what matters is that it's relevant - relevant to you in your unraveling at a particular moment in time.) If there is anything such as a universal independent reality, it's not within the capacity of our individual minds or our senses to discern it. Let your life lead you, inch by inch.

The exact "errors" that your subconsciousness generates for you are not errors at all - they are bread crumbs. Therefore, rehabilitating your relationship with subconscious is fundamental to the journey.


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Re: Exercises of True Will

Postby DavidH » Thu Dec 26, 2013 9:08 pm

93. Thanks everyone for the input!

Jim Eshelman wrote:David, there are hints scattered through the early chapters of Pearls of Wisdom (which I happen to know you have :D ). I haven't published anything comprehensive on the "how," though, because it isn't the kind of thing you can get from an instruction manual.

You can absorb it, though, from those who know what they're talking about if you are open to it. I've long recommended a little book by Parker J. Palmer, Let Your Life Speak, as the single best thing I've ever seen in print on the subject.


Yes, and I'm enjoying Pearls very much! Also read Palmer years ago at your suggestion - another great one!

I think what spurred my question is recent exposure to a few things. One friend showed me his Scientology book ,Self Analysis, and I thought it had good ideas to look at one's thoughts, despite the major problems with Scientology as a whole. I also saw another friend's paper on Nightly Examination of consciousness from a Rosicrucian source. It basically is another form of self analysis to help one look at actions and thoughts in a more conscious way as opposed to being unconscious, or "asleep." I guess I was looking for a Thelemic "version" of something like that.
In LVX,
David

"Remember all ye that existence is pure joy; that all the sorrows are but as shadows; they pass & are done; but there is that which remains."
Liber L - II, 9
93 93/93
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