compassion is the vice of kings

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Postby Michael Staley » Mon Aug 25, 2008 12:30 am

th3fall3n777 wrote:I'm seeing a little bit of a contradiction here, as far as I understood, Crowley was also influenced by the Tao Te Ching. I know that the "Book of Law" was dictated to him, and therefore free from any personal beliefs that might have swayed it, but there are at least two chapters of the "Tao Te Ching" that deal with rulers and Virtues.


I think that The Book of the Law is coloured to some extent by Crowley's views and preoccupations at the time, just as sunlight shining through tinted glass takes on some of its hues. There's some elements of the Book which suggest this.

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Postby Frater SOL » Wed Apr 22, 2009 6:17 am

This excerpt from The Vision & the Voice might help clear some things up:

"This wine is such that its virtue radiateth through the cup, and I reel under the intoxication of it. And every thought is destroyed by it. It abideth alone, and its name is Compassion. I understand by "Compassion," the sacrament of suffering, partaken by the true worshippers of the Highest. And it is an ecstasy in which there is no trace of pain. Its passivity ( = passion) is like the giving-up of the self to the beloved." - Liber CDXVIII, The Cry of the 12th Æthyr

The language here (understand, suffering [Dukkha], passivity, etc.) is highly indicative of Binah (as is the Æthyr itself), & Compassion has here been equated with Sangraal. Maybe Compassion doesn't imply compassion at all. :idea:
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Postby Modest » Wed Apr 22, 2009 9:59 am

Not maybe but yes for sure. My study of Mantak Chia's Taoist energy manipulation system made the same conclusion.
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Postby Frater SOL » Wed May 27, 2009 3:40 pm

""To destroy our enemies" is to realize the illusion of duality, to excite compassion." - An Initiated Interpretation of Ceremonial Magick

Compare the language used in the previous excerpt to that of v. 25 & 26 of Liber XC.

"these are mine enemies, and I am come to destroy them. This also is compassion"

These excerpts, paired with the one from The Cry of the 12th Æthyr, shed an interesting light on CCXX, II:21. This murderous language seems to me to be a call from Nuit to realize & abandon the illusion of duality.

729
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Postby FrAAAAAM » Wed May 27, 2009 7:08 pm

93,

This is a very interesting thread. I went through the posts quite rapidly, so I hope I'm not mentioning something that has already been touched on.

However, I'm going to touch on this subject through the Kabbalah. Yup, with a "K".

Sometimes there is confusion due to a partial understanding of Hebrew terms. I will try to clear up some of this confusion where it pertains to the topic at hand.

There are three pillars on the Tree of Life. Left, Right, and Center. This is common knowledge. Typically these pillars are named after the Sefirah that heads them (below the Supernals).

The left hand pillar is called the pillar of "Severity" because the Hebrew term "Geburah" is often translated as severity. Yet Geburah can also mean "Strength". The term "Din" (strict justice/judgement, or judicial rigor) can also be applied to the left hand pillar as a whole, as well as it can be applied to the fifth Sephirah.

The right hand pillar is called the pillar of "Mercy" because the Hebrew term "Chesed" is often translated as mercy. Gadulah (Greatness, Growth, or Maturation) can also be applied to the right hand pillar and the fourth Sephirah. However, the term "Chesed" can cause some problems. In Kabbalah it is translated as "Loving Kindness" just as often as it is translated as "Mercy". Sometimes the translation "Loving Kindness" is more accurate.

Where the translation of "Chesed" as the single word "Mercy" really becomes problematic is when we examine the Central Column or read Kabbalistic texts that utilize "Loving Kindness" for "Chesed", and "Rachamim" for "Tiphareth".

Tiphareth is usually translated as "Beauty" but the Sixth Sephirah has a second name, "Rachamim". "Rachamim" is also the title of the Central Column. "Rachamim" can be translated as "Mercy" or "Compassion".

If we utilize the term Severity (Geburah) for the left hand pillar, and Mercy or Loving Kindness (Chesed) for the right; then we may utilize Compassion (Rachamim) for the central column.

Now, we can see that compassion is the "balance" of mercy and severity. It is also the Middle Pillar and the Palace of the "Holy King".

One may be content to arrive at this place. This is the "Vice" of "Kings". A complacency with this level of attainment. This too must be poured freely into the Chalice. The blood is the Nephesch (in Kabbalah that is). The Ruach unites with Neschamah in the Heart (which pumps the Blood). Good wine "ferments". This "Lifeblood" has transmuted itself and is now that which reaches beyond the Reason and causes "Drunkenness". It is the "Blood of the Saints" since they have attained "Rachamim". Now, the opposites, their equilibrium and balance, the King/Saint, and the whole shebang needs to be destroyed. To be complacent with this level of attainment (Tiphareth) is quite definitely a "Vice" of "Kings".

Well, that is my take on things.

93 93/93

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Postby sethur » Sun May 31, 2009 5:35 am

I'm quite compassionate, but then I like my vices.
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Postby Aum418 » Sun May 31, 2009 9:25 am

Arsihsis wrote:""To destroy our enemies" is to realize the illusion of duality, to excite compassion." - An Initiated Interpretation of Ceremonial Magick

Compare the language used in the previous excerpt to that of v. 25 & 26 of Liber XC.

"these are mine enemies, and I am come to destroy them. This also is compassion"

These excerpts, paired with the one from The Cry of the 12th Æthyr, shed an interesting light on CCXX, II:21. This murderous language seems to me to be a call from Nuit to realize & abandon the illusion of duality.

729


That is the only meaningful interpretation to me, except from the obvious personal-political idea that if you want to do something, and people are standing in your way, either you stop doing that something or you destroy those standing in your way. That interpretation too is a bit silly because Love is the law, love under will - why not unite with them and bend them towards the One Aim also?

In the end There is no law beyond Do what thou wilt and the other lines are just helping hands to get us to understand Do what thou wilt in its many facets, applications, and such.

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Postby Maya93 » Sun Jun 14, 2009 4:29 pm

Perhaps it means that the King shows compassion because it gives him personal pleasure, not because he is required to, as in other systems.
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Postby Aum418 » Mon Jun 15, 2009 6:38 am

Maya93 wrote:Perhaps it means that the King shows compassion because it gives him personal pleasure, not because he is required to, as in other systems.


Why single out compassion for 'personal pleasure'? I can get personal pleasure from moving my legs around after exercising but I dont think the Law needs to tell me about that... same with 'being nice to people' and such.

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Postby Maya93 » Mon Jun 15, 2009 7:28 am

Aum418 wrote:
Maya93 wrote:Perhaps it means that the King shows compassion because it gives him personal pleasure, not because he is required to, as in other systems.

Why single out compassion for 'personal pleasure'? I can get personal pleasure from moving my legs around after exercising but I dont think the Law needs to tell me about that... same with 'being nice to people' and such.

IAO131

This is a loose interpretation of “vice” on my part, I admit. A literal reading would be that compassion is a character defect or bad habit among kings. I don’t quarrel with that. But, at the same time, a king’s vices are not the same as a peasant’s. A king’s vices are “cloaked in purple,” no? There’s no law above him. His whims are law. I only throw that out because the contrast between “king” and “vice” catches my eye. I stand by the “perhaps” above, though. I’m not confident enough in the theory to defend it too enthusiastically.
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Postby Aum418 » Mon Jun 15, 2009 9:42 am

Maya93 wrote:
Aum418 wrote:
Maya93 wrote:Perhaps it means that the King shows compassion because it gives him personal pleasure, not because he is required to, as in other systems.

Why single out compassion for 'personal pleasure'? I can get personal pleasure from moving my legs around after exercising but I dont think the Law needs to tell me about that... same with 'being nice to people' and such.

IAO131

This is a loose interpretation of “vice” on my part, I admit. A literal reading would be that compassion is a character defect or bad habit among kings. I don’t quarrel with that. But, at the same time, a king’s vices are not the same as a peasant’s. A king’s vices are “cloaked in purple,” no? There’s no law above him. His whims are law. I only throw that out because the contrast between “king” and “vice” catches my eye. I stand by the “perhaps” above, though. I’m not confident enough in the theory to defend it too enthusiastically.

A better question would be 'Do Kings still care about virtue & vice?' ...

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Re: compassion is the vice of kings

Postby Jim Eshelman » Mon Oct 29, 2012 11:55 am

And "passion" literally means "pain" - a meaning we best preserve in the word "compassion."
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Re: compassion is the vice of kings

Postby Bereshith » Tue Oct 30, 2012 8:11 am

To me, the question here is "To what shall the Will that resides within me be subservient?"

Someone once told me that the key to understanding the big stuff comes from starting with the small stuff.

So, let's say, in relationship to bacteria... It's alive. It is a life that participates in the Divine manifestation of Reality. It attacks me? Should I bow to the Divine Life within the unthinking, unfeeling bacteria and let it overcome me? No, give me poisons for it! Give me instruments for its destruction! Kill and spare not! Let's get this bathroom clean!

As one moves up the spectrum of life to more intelligent and feeling creatures, for instance, those that I kill for food, the question comes again? Who lives? Shall the Will that resides in me place itself second to the Divine Cow and die so that the less-thinking, less-feeling creature may live? Some choose that path and the experiences it offers. Personally, I kill and eat, and I survive at the expense of the animal's life.

Moving up to human/human considerations, I think one must exercise much greater care in application. But the question comes again: "To what shall the Will that resides within me be subservient?" The fellow human can be considered just as fully an expression of the Divine Life and Will as I am. In my opinion, the message of Hadit is based in survival-mentality: "This is what to do to survive." Now here, we reach a level where the survival-mentality has some choices to make as to quality and length of survival. You may attempt to kill and stamp down everyone who seems to stand in your way, but the survival-mentality of the collective will descend quickly to protect society by instead killing you. It would lead to a very ugly and very brief life that would only make sense in a very socially primitive setting where survival and dominance rule alone. As a result, in the context of survival within society, the injunctions of Hadit make more sense if they are applied more symbolically.

I guess at the end of the day, I see Hadit's message as sort of.... the father's blessing on the survival of the son: "If it all goes down bad, and you're in a foxhole wondering about the correctness of shooting other humans who are intent on killing you... Then, my son, feel the sharp, venomous blessing of the will to survive! Kill and spare not! You have my blessing to survive!"

One may, if one prefers, submit one's own life to the experience of death at another's hands. Though that would not be the perspective and advice of Hadit, it could be said to reflect the perspective and advice of his counterpart in Nuit, who is associated with the death of self-orientation for the sake of all-orientation.

Compassion is the vice of kings. It ultimately leads to the king's death. But, one must ask, what kind of death was one born to embrace?

Choose your vices appropriately.
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Re: compassion is the vice of kings

Postby gerry456 » Sat Oct 15, 2016 2:30 am

craigp wrote:i'm still having trouble with this one. can anyone offer some interpretations?

what i understand:
* everyone must be allowed to do their Will and their experiences (even pain) teach lessons, if they aren't trying to work at themselves how can anyone learn their Will.
* if you pity someone you put yourselves above them. while i understand the universe is not egalitarian and can not be forced against itself to be, every person has a Will whether or not they choose to attempt to discover it and that should be respected.

but this passage always seemed to say to me that it against Thelema to help another person. let's say a friend's home is flooded and i decide to help them out, isn't this then antiThelemic?
thank you

.
craigp wrote: * if you pity someone you put yourselves above them.


Great point. Every man and woman is a star.
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: compassion is the vice of kings

Postby Middleman » Mon Oct 24, 2016 9:38 pm

I like to think that TBOTL is addressed to die-hard seekers of truth and not the whole of humanity.
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Re: compassion is the vice of kings

Postby Avshalom Binyamin » Tue Oct 25, 2016 12:24 pm

Middleman wrote:I like to think that TBOTL is addressed to die-hard seekers of truth and not the whole of humanity.

What do you think of TBOTL saying "the Law is for all."?
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