Thelema and Compassion

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Re: Thelema and Compassion

Postby Jim Eshelman » Tue May 05, 2015 11:42 am

I think it's a "vice" not because it's one kind of compassion or another etc., but for a more exacting reason: Compassion is one of those spaces where one "makes a difference between" one thing or another. Anything like that is flawed eventually.

But the Book acknowledges that of all vices, this is the distinctive one of adepts ("kings"). OTOH it is not given as characteristic of Masters, for whom "making no difference" etc. is a defining trait.
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Re: Thelema and Compassion

Postby Hermitas » Tue May 05, 2015 5:06 pm

Hmh. With that understanding, even "ruthless compassion" would be a vice.

Weird.

Makes sense.
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Re: Thelema and Compassion

Postby Jim Eshelman » Tue May 05, 2015 5:09 pm

Sardonyx wrote:Hmh. With that understanding, even "ruthless compassion" would be a vice.

Oh, absolutely.

None of this makes sense as a Thelemic ethic until you add in 2:52, where Hadit says, "veil not your vices in virtuous words: these vices are my service; ye do well, & I will reward you here and hereafter."

I think there has been some attempt here to veil the vice of compassion in "virtuous words" - words that people think are "more Thelemic," etc. What serves Hadit are our unapologetic vices.
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Re: Thelema and Compassion

Postby Takamba » Wed May 06, 2015 2:07 am

Oh, Lord, it's hard to be humble
When you're Hadit in every way
I can't wait to look in the mirror
'Cause I get better lookin' each day

To know me is to love me
I must be a hell of a man
Oh, Lord, it's hard to be humble
But I'm doin' the best that I can
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Re: Thelema and Compassion

Postby Hermitas » Wed May 06, 2015 3:25 am

Ha!

...hard to be helpful...
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Re: Thelema and Compassion

Postby Heru » Wed May 06, 2015 8:32 am

Jim Eshelman wrote:I think it's a "vice" not because it's one kind of compassion or another etc., but for a more exacting reason: Compassion is one of those spaces where one "makes a difference between" one thing or another. Anything like that is flawed eventually.

I'm trying to reconcile this view, including your comment about Adepts and Masters, with the following quote by Chogyam Trungpa:
Chogyam Trungpa wrote:When we talk about compassion, we talk in terms of being kind. But compassion is not so much being kind; it is being creative to wake a person up.

There may be no connection, but I was still intrigued by the idea that attempting to "wake a person up" could possibly be in some way flawed.

Speculation alert! Could this mean that an Adept's attempts at trying to awaken another person are, in a certain sense, futile. While the Master sees the futility in the exercise, knowing that you can't wake someone up unless they want to be woken up in the first place?
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Re: Thelema and Compassion

Postby Hermitas » Wed May 06, 2015 9:00 am

I wonder a lot about the motivation of masters to continue the work of enlightening humanity. If it's all perfect as it is, then why work to enlighten? Whether kind or ruthless, it seems like compassion.

Call it "creativity," it still has a goal to create change, doesn't it? Or what?

If I look past Binah to Chokmah, it just seems to say, well, call it evil if you want, some things exist that are just naturally aggressive/projective like that, regardless of result. They just... do. They enlighten.

"Creative" in that sense? Maybe?
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Re: Thelema and Compassion

Postby Jim Eshelman » Wed May 06, 2015 9:14 am

Heru wrote:
Chogyam Trungpa wrote:When we talk about compassion, we talk in terms of being kind. But compassion is not so much being kind; it is being creative to wake a person up.

There may be no connection, but I was still intrigued by the idea that attempting to "wake a person up" could possibly be in some way flawed.

Though I don't think it's a "big sin," it does rest on a judgment that there is something wrong with the person being asleep.

Speculation alert! Could this mean that an Adept's attempts at trying to awaken another person are, in a certain sense, futile. While the Master sees the futility in the exercise, knowing that you can't wake someone up unless they want to be woken up in the first place?

This is a main reason that both initiation and healing are only offered in response to someone actively seeking it, requesting it. - PS, it doesn't take a Master to see the last point, any Neophyte should be well equipped on this matter.
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Re: Thelema and Compassion

Postby Hermes » Thu May 21, 2015 6:11 pm

Sardonyx wrote:I wonder a lot about the motivation of masters to continue the work of enlightening humanity. If it's all perfect as it is, then why work to enlighten? Whether kind or ruthless, it seems like compassion.

Call it "creativity," it still has a goal to create change, doesn't it? Or what?


I dont think Masters have "goals", and certainly not to "create" or "change" anything.

Compassion at this level probably just consist of doing ones will according to ones nature.

The thing though, probably, is the precision of alignement is so great that even 0.0000001% compation have like billions times more effect than the Neophyte's 100% one. And this on an automatic level.

Just speculations :)

And of course everything is perfect. Effects are just a side effect. Just like the fish swims and the bird flies, and we say they do so seeing them doing so. Though, do they really do so? Ask them and see the answer. I guess there are masters at "doing" so.
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Re: Thelema and Compassion

Postby Jim Eshelman » Thu May 21, 2015 9:18 pm

Hermes wrote:I dont think Masters have "goals", and certainly not to "create" or "change" anything.

Compassion at this level probably just consist of doing ones will according to ones nature.

Doing one's will according to one's nature is hardy inconsistent with having goals and living to create or change something :D

The thing though, probably, is the precision of alignement is so great that even 0.0000001% compation have like billions times more effect than the Neophyte's 100% one. And this on an automatic level.

Insightful.
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Re: Thelema and Compassion

Postby Hermes » Fri May 22, 2015 11:56 am

Thanks for your comments...

I think i confused the nature of the higher grades in a similar way Patrick did when asking "if a Master reincarnates" in the so named topic.

Reading your answer there i find it relates with this one, at least in my understanding. :)
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Re: Thelema and Compassion

Postby gerry456 » Fri Feb 19, 2016 12:36 pm

sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others.
"the victims should be treated with compassion"
is the dictionary definition of compassion.

As I said in another thread "I don't understand (re AL) how "the consoler" is hated when in fact, consolers have a heart, they have feelings i.e they feel. On the other hand, the miserable don't feel ("for they feel not") and we are therefore told to let them die in their misery".

Therefore the contextual definition of compassion, in AL, must be divorced from this ability tofeel one's way out of misery. In fact it is even opposed to it. Crowley proclaimed in his writings that "to pity a man is to insult him" so yes there he is negating sentimentalism.
2.19 They shall rejoice, our chosen: who sorroweth is not of us.

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

Postby Hermitas » Fri Feb 19, 2016 9:38 pm

My views have been evolving a little.

In context, they "feel not" because they are "dead."

From Hadit's perspective, they don't have the essential passion to exist. That's the only feeling he's concerned with in my view.
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Re: Thelema and Compassion

Postby Luce » Fri Feb 19, 2016 11:17 pm

Okay, simplistic question here:

You walk down the road and see a woman being raped. You have the ability to help her. Do you help her? Do you have a moral obligation to help her? Does it depend? If it depends, is it only in obscure cases that you wouldn't help her? Is helping her showing compassion?
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Re: Thelema and Compassion

Postby gerry456 » Sat Feb 20, 2016 1:16 am

Luce wrote:Okay, simplistic question here:

You walk down the road and see a woman being raped. You have the ability to help her. Do you help her? Do you have a moral obligation to help her? Does it depend? If it depends, is it only in obscure cases that you wouldn't help her? Is helping her showing compassion?

Yes of course I help her. If not physically then I alert the cops. Is this compassion? I don't know but its certainly sympathy i.e. I'm feeling her pain like it says in Al.
2.19 They shall rejoice, our chosen: who sorroweth is not of us.

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

Postby Hermitas » Sat Feb 20, 2016 6:52 am

You act from your Self. You don't stop and wonder if a book approves.

Then you get home and figure out that's what the book was saying.

My two.
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Re: Thelema and Compassion

Postby gerry456 » Sat Feb 20, 2016 12:22 pm

Exactly.
2.19 They shall rejoice, our chosen: who sorroweth is not of us.

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

Postby Gnosomai Emauton » Sat Feb 20, 2016 1:19 pm

Luce wrote:Is helping her showing compassion?


No... it's showing alignment with my own Will. Just as not helping her in one of those obscure cases which contradict my Will would be doing the same.
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Re: Thelema and Compassion

Postby Takamba » Sat Feb 20, 2016 2:11 pm

Gnosomai Emauton wrote:
Luce wrote:Is helping her showing compassion?


No... it's showing alignment with my own Will. Just as not helping her in one of those obscure cases which contradict my Will would be doing the same.


Amen!

erm, I mean, Hazzah!

erm, I mean, So mote it be!

erm... uhm.... 93!
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Re: Thelema and Compassion

Postby gerry456 » Sat Feb 20, 2016 3:44 pm

The concept of having"no feelings" is repeated twice in Al and not that far apart;

Hear me, ye people of sighing!
The sorrows of pain and regret
Are left to the dead and the dying,
The folk that not know me as yet.


18. These are dead, these fellows; they feel not. We are not for the poor and sad: the lords of the earth are our kinsfolk.

19. Is a God to live in a dog? No! but the highest are of us. They shall rejoice, our chosen: who sorroweth is not of us.

20. Beauty and strength, leaping laughter and delicious languor, force and fire, are of us.

21. We have nothing with the outcast and the unfit: let them die in their misery. For they feel not.
2.19 They shall rejoice, our chosen: who sorroweth is not of us.

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

Postby Takamba » Sat Feb 20, 2016 4:43 pm

gerry456 wrote:The concept of having"no feelings" is repeated twice in Al and not that far apart;

Hear me, ye people of sighing!
The sorrows of pain and regret
Are left to the dead and the dying,
The folk that not know me as yet.


18. These are dead, these fellows; they feel not. We are not for the poor and sad: the lords of the earth are our kinsfolk.

19. Is a God to live in a dog? No! but the highest are of us. They shall rejoice, our chosen: who sorroweth is not of us.

20. Beauty and strength, leaping laughter and delicious languor, force and fire, are of us.

21. We have nothing with the outcast and the unfit: let them die in their misery. For they feel not.


Here I think is the root of your confusion (yes, I'm putting the ownership of it on you):

You are construing "pain" and "regret" and "sorrows" as "feelings" equal to the joys of languid laughter. Pain and regret, in the context of Liber AL at least, are the chains of the slave gods; it is with these shames that they shackle their sheep. But in Thelema there is no wrong, per se, because learning is a process of leaping and laughing, laughing even when we skin our knees and learn.

Does that help?

[by the by, I'm suspecting you haven't read this entire thread before appending your question which I suggested this thread would help you with. I may be wrong, but I suspect you might have some more insight if you read this entire thread]
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Re: Thelema and Compassion

Postby gerry456 » Sat Feb 20, 2016 6:04 pm

Takamba wrote:
Here I think is the root of your confusion (yes, I'm putting the ownership of it on you):

You are construing "pain" and "regret" and "sorrows" as "feelings" equal to the joys of languid laughter. Pain and regret, in the context of Liber AL at least, are the chains of the slave gods; it is with these shames that they shackle their sheep. But in Thelema there is no wrong, per se, because learning is a process of leaping and laughing, laughing even when we skin our knees and learn.

Does that help?


Yeah as was said earlier in thread; no difference. Self-judgement is of the slave-god mentality, a "stuckness" however Hadit is a wheel that just moves on i.e. goes.

Chapter 2 seems to be the most Buddhist influenced out of the 3 as it's all about the Wheel and (desire) sorrow, sighs and regret i.e. sorrow.

In fact Buddha's "Life is suffering" is directly turned on it's head ;"9. Remember all ye that existence is pure joy" so on.

We also have a literal reference to "ill will" ;

10. O prophet! thou hast ill will to learn this writing

which is also contextually bound to another of the 5 hindrances i.e. scepticism/doubt. This scepticism-hindrance is elaborated upon later with ;
27. There is great danger in me; for who doth not understand these runes shall make a great miss. He shall fall down into the pit called Because, and there he shall perish with the dogs of Reason.

28. Now a curse upon Because and his kin!

29. May Because be accursed for ever!

30. If Will stops and cries Why, invoking Because, then Will stops & does nought.

31. If Power asks why, then is Power weakness.

32. Also reason is a lie; for there is a factor infinite & unknown; & all their words are skew-wise.

33. Enough of Because! Be he damned for a dog!


...and we have a railing against the hindrance of sloth in
34. But ye, o my people, rise up & awake!

What was that Buddha said about he who meditates (i.e sits still) with his attention focussed on desires is wasting his time? It's echoed in 57. He that is righteous shall be righteous still; he that is filthy shall be filthy still if you view the stillness as asana.
2.19 They shall rejoice, our chosen: who sorroweth is not of us.

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

Postby Luce » Sun Feb 21, 2016 7:02 am

Just had a thought I wanted to ask about.

Jim said:
But the Book acknowledges that of all vices, this is the distinctive one of adepts ("kings"). OTOH it is not given as characteristic of Masters, for whom "making no difference" etc. is a defining trait.


So, with regard to my question about walking in on someone being raped... Would this mean that a Master wouldn't help them, because helping them would show "making a difference" i.e., distinguishing between the rapist and the victim?

Now, on a theoretical level, I think I could understand it... The rapist is really no different than his victim; the mystical "Bride of Christ" (all of humanity as one, or perhaps even all of creation as one, or perhaps even all of creation + creator as one without making a difference between the creation and the creator) is together being raped and is together raping. But on a practical level, there is someone who is being hurt; someone who experiences themselves as an "other" and therefore someone who feels the rape acutely and suffers thereby.

Couldn't this be brought further? Wouldn't stopping child molestation be making a difference between the man and the child? In Kether, maybe the man and the child are one... But in Malkuth, that child is suffering greatly. Surely, a Master wouldn't walk past a child being raped without lifting a finger?

It's one thing to sip Mojitos in the pyramid cabana, but not everyone else is in paradise city where the grass is green and the girls are pretty. The Master might realize that all is one and one is nothing, but the victim doesn't... How does this play into a proper understanding of justice and compassion?
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Re: Thelema and Compassion

Postby Takamba » Sun Feb 21, 2016 7:49 am

In his commentary to the Book of the Law, Crowley makes it plainly clear that "rape and assaults on children" are inherently violations of the law of Thelema, so there's no need to question stopping it.

The only question I have for you regards this is, are you actually doing your Will or just following an order?
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Re: Thelema and Compassion

Postby Luce » Sun Feb 21, 2016 8:25 am

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

But 10% of me wants to push the issue. Crowley can say what he may -- and if we're following the law of Thelema that he promulgated, it makes sense that we accept that as part of the package -- but if a Master truly does not make a difference between any one thing and another (for thereby there cometh hurt), how are these things truly wrong and how can one stop them without making a difference between two things (the offender and the child)?

Moreover, what stops this from just being a case of special pleading? If rape, why not assault? Why not theft? Why not lying? It seems that as soon as we open the door for one moral absolute, we admit at least the possibility of more. Now, below Kether, this doesn't seem like a problem: there's no need to turn Thelema into an amoral system like the profane slanderers do. But for the Master who truly doesn't differentiate between one thing and another, how can there be certain moral actions that are intrinsically wrong?

Obviously I don't want there to be no morality... In fact, it frightens me to think that the apex of humanity is someone that would be completely amoral (not immoral, mind you). "Be ye perfect, therefore, as your heavenly father is perfect." I would think a Master would be morally perfect; now, that looks completely different than we think it should, but surely that moral perfection is not amoralism.
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