Thelema and Compassion

Q&A and discussion on the world view encapsulating humanity's current stage of evolution

Moderator: Moderators - Public

Re: Thelema and Compassion

Postby danica » Sun Feb 21, 2016 10:11 am

There's a difference between moral and ethics.
Moral concerns personal code of conduct: is someone acting in coherence with his/her own highest principles.
Ethics deals with inter-personal, collective (group) phenomena: the right&wrong, the just and the unjust in a social context.
There's no ethics without moral, of course.
"Write, & find ecstasy in writing! Work, & be our bed in working! Thrill with the joy of life & death! Ah! thy death shall be lovely: whoso seeth it shall be glad. Thy death shall be the seal of the promise of our age long love. Come! lift up thine heart & rejoice! We are one; we are none."
User avatar
danica
Ultimate Spark of the Intimate Fire
Ultimate Spark of the Intimate Fire
 
Posts: 638
Joined: Thu Sep 11, 2008 8:13 am
Location: Chino, CA

Re: Thelema and Compassion

Postby Luce » Sun Feb 21, 2016 10:45 am

How does differentiating the terms help you make sense of the issue? Replace amoral with aethical and the question remains, no? Whether ethics or morals guides the decision to stop a rape is irrelevant: the action of stopping a rape still implies making a difference between one thing and another, between the raper and the rapee.
Luce
Gold Member
Gold Member
 
Posts: 100
Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2014 8:35 am

Re: Thelema and Compassion

Postby Gnosomai Emauton » Sun Feb 21, 2016 12:08 pm

The simple answer is: Yes, at Kether (and even before) there are no moral absolutes. The intention with Thelema is to be completely amoral as regards societal constructs and deeply moral as regards ones own Will.

Once you discover what Will is, the question of rape (or allowing rape) falls to the wayside. Rape is a hold-out from our animal past. Will is, almost by definition, our evolutionary vector towards the future. Our Will, if it be True, is guiding us away from the animal and toward the spiritual (as we presently conceive those two polarities) and should have, as a correlative, the guidance of the human race as a whole as well.
Go in all ways contrary to the world.
User avatar
Gnosomai Emauton
Ultimate Spark of the Intimate Fire
Ultimate Spark of the Intimate Fire
 
Posts: 622
Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2011 12:28 am

Re: Thelema and Compassion

Postby Jim Eshelman » Sun Feb 21, 2016 1:33 pm

Luce wrote:Hmmm interesting.90% of me is relieved to see that even on the higher levels, thelema doesn't become amoral.

Don't confuse amorality with (1) practicality or (2) being true to yourself.

Rape and torture of children, first of all, isn't in the best interests of the species at this stage - though perhaps it was at an earlier stage of species and cultural evolution. Therefore, it tends to be stupid and counter productive. Thelema is highly pragmatic (just like the law of gravity is highly pragmatic), and it is as invested in social duty and health of society as it is invested in duty to and health of oneself.

Secondly, presuming someone is reasonably psychologically healthy (the only people that one can use for tests of "trusting oneself"), we are so constituted that torture and rape of children is likely running against the nature of who we (as individuals) are. Therefore, it is a violation of Will.

But there is no outside "rule" about it. In another cultural setting, sex with children might be as natural and harmless as playing catch with them. But that doesn't work in our culture as currently constituted.
Love is the law, love under will.
Yours in L.V.X.,
Jim Eshelman
www.jeshelman.com
"Success is thy proof: argue not; convert not; talk not overmuch!" - CCXX 3:42
User avatar
Jim Eshelman
Lost His Marbles
 
Posts: 9565
Joined: Sat Jun 04, 2005 1:41 pm
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Re: Thelema and Compassion

Postby Takamba » Sun Feb 21, 2016 3:52 pm

"Thou hast no right but to do thy will, do that and no other shall say nay."

That's pretty much it. Are you doing your will? If by doing your will you interfere with the will of another, then you must be doing more than your will. In that, you have no right. So, is stealing taking the will of another (this I guess would be an individual consideration). Say for instance, stealing state secrets from a military dictatorship that would lead to the liberation of millions of people vs stealing candy from a baby. Lying to protect the names of the spies stealing those state secrets, which may lead to your continued torture, but eventually the liberation of millions of people vs lying about having cheated on a test that gives you a license to manufacture a digestible substance eaten by babies.
"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."
User avatar
Takamba
Nothing
Nothing
 
Posts: 1310
Joined: Wed Jul 16, 2008 1:19 pm

Re: Thelema and Compassion

Postby Luce » Sun Feb 21, 2016 6:10 pm

Two things:

Firstly, I appreciate the explanation on why rape or torture of innocents might be wrong in a Thelemic framework, but I still don't understand how this fits into the whole "not making a difference between two things." Am I understanding this wrong? Jim, you mentioned that compassion is the vice of kings, not Masters, because compassion is still differentiating between subject and object (paraphrase, but I hope that's right). I can come up with many reasons why rape is wrong in this society; what I'm wondering is how rape is wrong if, for the Master, there is truly no difference between one thing and any other.

Not to be crass or insensitive, but if we were to truly see things without making a difference between one thing and any other, then humanity is one body... What's it called when I impose my will in a certain way on my body, specifically my genitals? From Kether, and maybe all the supernals, wouldn't rape be tantamount to onanism? But surely that's absurd... am I taking the whole "make no difference between two things" too literally?

I'm reminded, though, of one of Crowley's comments in "A Master of the Temple." He was getting {******} at Fr. Achad's sentimentalism and said something akin to: "What's so bad about hate anyway? From above the abyss, it looks the same as love" (I think that's a fair paraphrase, but I don't have the book in front of me). It really makes me wonder what the whole foundation of this is all about... Love is the law, Love under will. If this love looks no different than hate, the word really seems to lose its meaning. When Good becomes Evil and Evil becomes Good, both lose all meaning, Shiva sees 50% better, and 2=0.

Secondly, I'm not so sure that Thelemic ethics are as easy as they initially seem. "Do what that wilt" sounds to the bourgeoisie as a moral free-for-all. In actuality, though, Thelemic ethics (or morals, depending how you personally understand those terms) are just another ethical theory, albeit one that's quite different from conventional approaches. This thread is an example of that -- it has many ethical arguments and explications that are similar in form (if not in substance) to what one might find in a philosophical treatise of the subject. Some stuff is right, some stuff is wrong, and there are arguments, at least sometimes, to determine which is which. I'm probably not breaking any new ground here, mind you.
Luce
Gold Member
Gold Member
 
Posts: 100
Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2014 8:35 am

Re: Thelema and Compassion

Postby Jim Eshelman » Sun Feb 21, 2016 6:57 pm

Luce wrote:I can come up with many reasons why rape is wrong in this society; what I'm wondering is how rape is wrong if, for the Master, there is truly no difference between one thing and any other.

In my last post in particular, I wasn't talking about Masters. (I wasn't even necessarily talking about Adepts.) My words apply especially to a Man of Earth (and reasonably overlap to an Adept). Thgat's probably the crux of your confusion.

If I were to take on the "no difference" discussion, that would be an entirely different thread and not something I'm eager to get into because I can already anticipate the intellectual hair-splitting and arm-wrestling. But the gist of it for your immediate question is this: A Master need not value one thing over another (in any usual sense) in order to pick a right cause of action. (Masters, in fact, have an annoying habit of picking exactly the right course of action for no particular reason at all. It's by the intellectual wrangling of trying to figure out the right way to value one thing over another that there "cometh hurt.")

Not to be crass or insensitive, but if we were to truly see things without making a difference between one thing and any other, then humanity is one body... What's it called when I impose my will in a certain way on my body, specifically my genitals? From Kether, and maybe all the supernals, wouldn't rape be tantamount to onanism? But surely that's absurd... am I taking the whole "make no difference between two things" too literally?

I think, in general, you are, but perhaps not in this immediate paragraph. I think you are trying to turn it into "lose perception of distinctions." That's ludicrous and cripples your effectiveness (one can't even stand up and walk in that framework). Instead, it must be about the value placed on distinctions.

"Sexism" can be defined as drawing distinctions based on biological sex. But that's too general. It isn't sexist (for example) for a doctor or nurse to notice that a newborn is a boy or girl and fill in the correct blank on a birth record. It isn't sexism to look at someone's genitals and assess, based on visual data, whether the person is male or female. It becomes sexism in any meaningful way when different values are placed on the child because it is a boy vs. girl.

"What's so bad about hate anyway? From above the abyss, it looks the same as love" (I think that's a fair paraphrase, but I don't have the book in front of me). It really makes me wonder what the whole foundation of this is all about... Love is the law, Love under will. If this love looks no different than hate, the word really seems to lose its meaning. When Good becomes Evil and Evil becomes Good, both lose all meaning, Shiva sees 50% better, and 2=0.

I think you nailed it exactly when you said AC was going after Achad's valuation. It's a Socratic question.

A good teacher isn't going to tell you the truth about anything (especially because a good spiritual teacher knows the inherent fiction of "truth"). Rather, the teacher will tell you whatever it is that will make evident the next right choice to make.

Secondly, I'm not so sure that Thelemic ethics are as easy as they initially seem.

In one sense I agree with you. Mostly, though, I think it's all the intellectual wrangling that makes them seem tedious. You can't reduce it to a rule book - that's the most important thing to understand. They don't resemble any external code of rules, morals, etc. They are primarily visualizations that create a psychic space within which certain conditions of the human state are increasingly self-evident, from which a deeper understanding can arise. Any part of it that is intellectual necessarily fails before it gets to the truth.

"Do what that wilt" sounds to the bourgeoisie as a moral free-for-all.

Yes, and it's quite the opposite. I agree with Crowley that, rather, it is the narrowest path and requires the strictest discipline and acuteness. Its value, though, is as an advertising catch-phrase, and in that regard it works splendidly. (That is, it is a phrase that can grab people at whatever pathetic or splendid level of understanding they have, and have meaning; and that meaning places them in a situation to be exposed to deeper meaning.)

It is, however, simple - elegant - once you understand it. It just takes so much un-learning for most people to understand it. I've written thousands of words on the subject (on top of the tens of thousands AC wrote), and those are only intended to get you to the place where you don't need those words to understand it. They are the road to truth, not truth themselves.

This thread is an example of that -- it has many ethical arguments and explications that are similar in form (if not in substance) to what one might find in a philosophical treatise of the subject.

Yes, disgusting, right? But a philosophy class isn't intended to disclose truth, but to train in a discipline of going down a road that allows you to witness how the intellect behaves. As long as you don't mistake the training device for something real in the world, it's a good academic technique.

Some stuff is right, some stuff is wrong, and there are arguments, at least sometimes, to determine which is which.

In academic philosophy, it isn't true that some stuff is right and some stuff is wrong. It matters whether you followed right procedure. It's a discipline of form, intrinsically devoid of content, which, however, can leave deposits of value behind in its passing.
Love is the law, love under will.
Yours in L.V.X.,
Jim Eshelman
www.jeshelman.com
"Success is thy proof: argue not; convert not; talk not overmuch!" - CCXX 3:42
User avatar
Jim Eshelman
Lost His Marbles
 
Posts: 9565
Joined: Sat Jun 04, 2005 1:41 pm
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Re: Thelema and Compassion

Postby Hermitas » Sun Feb 21, 2016 7:22 pm

In terms of face-value reading, the "ethics" of Chapter I and II read as diametrically opposed to one another. If they were ethical systems, they would be opposed to one another.

They only make sense together in terms of doing one's Will. That's the only way they align, and it's different for each person. In this sense, I think Thelemic ethics are entirely situational ethics, with their main reference point being the Will of the individual in a particular situation.

Regarding the valuation of different Wills, there is no difference. Regarding the restriction of my individual Will in favor of anything else, damn them.

So, all things being equal, you are perfectly free to do your Will. In fact, that's the only right thing to do.

My stuttering two.
Hermitas
Nothing
Nothing
 
Posts: 1041
Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2013 1:49 am

Previous

Return to Thelema

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests