Initiation and experiences

Q&A and discussion on the Path of Initiation

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Postby Edward Mason » Sun Jan 03, 2010 1:10 pm

Alrah, 93,

One reason I challenged you is that every couple of months, a self-professed 8=3 shows up here, posts enough times to convince everyone that he/she is ignorant, bad-mannered and the victim of self-delusion, then, in most cases, goes off to annoy people somewhere else. You just stigmatized yourself, therefore, as a fraud - and I don't think you are that.

But if you were 8=3, Munindo would be posting your videos online, not you posting his.

I attained highest dhyana *before* a MT decided to initiate me Edward.

Cool. But a lot of people have similar experiences, and that doesn't mean they've reached any particular grade. I, for example, had what I now realize was a major opening to Tiphereth when I was 21: dhyana, Light in Abundance, heart chakra bursting open, an awareness that 'God' is Love, etc.
So, do I have the K&C? Did I become 5=6 that day? No - this particular website is still under construction.

something I had seen on the lower astral. All the initiated ones as white lights. All the ones where the choice had not been made as grey but afflicted by the unspeakbale, and handful of black ones that had given themselves over and were a travesty and unredeemable.

And that's where you lose me. This type of dualistic perception would, itself, disappear by, or around, 5=6 (A.A). It sounds far more like the sort of vision that occurs in Tav. You've posted several anxious posts - about betrayals, pitfalls, dishonest teachers, and so on. An initiate starts to lose existential anxiety around such things at some point - certainly before 5=6.

These latter ones had a chance on the long path Edward, but wrongful initiation of these wrong candidates left them bereft of thier HGA and seduced by the unspeakable until they were enemies of life itself in the complete power of 'it'.

Oh, stuff and nonsense, fiddlesticks and poppycock.

Initiation is something that only takes effect with somebody ready to accept what is offered. Some people think, "Wow, that was cool - now, what's for dinner?" Others give it a go, and persist for a year or two, or three, and make some progress. Others stick it out for many, many years, and ... get where they get to, but always with a sense that the road ahead is immensely long. For anyone who somehow gets through the selection process to be initiated, but really isn't ready, there is no becoming 'bereft of their HGA' because such a person would no longer exist.

Nobody would get to 5=6 or even 1=10 unless they had first been initiated in some way. Yes, some initiations are spontaneous, but formal initiation and training is going to make the difference between a path with a lot of stumbles, and a path with helping hands to aid the stumbler. There is no fundamental risk here, even if you or someone you know has had a bad experience.

What is risked in the abyss is attachment and delusion, but what is risked in initiation is much more... and now that we have abberant initiators in the Thelemic orders and the GD ...

All right, there are egomaniacs out there who do bad things to people. As noted, I had a couple of years in a cult that royally screwed up some of its members. But for heaven's sake - I've also worked under people in day-jobs that I thought were unwitting (or witting!) agents of the Black Lodge. Now, that was really bad. Initiation is not a process that occurs in a rose-garden.

Okay, maybe it is ... but even the Roses around the Cross have sharp thorns. That's part of what is supposed to happen.

then I have plenty of cause for concern.

Part of the Oath of the Magister Templi is to accept all phemomena as a particular dealing of God with his/her soul - not get caught up in 'concern.' As a general principle, for the initiate this notion begins to come into play much, much earlier than 8=3. The Universe is not broken, but is just fine, and the process of initiation gradually unveils that truth.

From what you've put online, here and elsewhere, I'd say some cool stuff has happened to you, and you're tuned into something valid. But the paranoia's gotta go. Ask Munindo, if you don't believe me.

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Postby underabloodredsky » Sun Jan 03, 2010 1:19 pm

Alrah wrote:
Edward Mason wrote:Alrah, 93,

In ' Lineages, lineages and more lineages' in Initiation, you said:
*the plunge* lol
It's not neccessary and it's too much of a risk.

Yet crossing the Abyss wasn't a risk? Most people would find joining an order less of a plunge than the utter relinquishing of Exempt Adeptship.

Care to clarify?

93 93/93,

Edward


Ok - although I probably said more than I would usually last night. Sore neck, alcohol. *wry smile*

I assume I was talking about initiation as a neophyte being unneccessary? I attained highest dhyana *before* a MT decided to initiate me Edward. He just wanted to be sure of me. But it made clear to me something I had seen on the lower astral. All the initiated ones as white lights. All the ones where the choice had not been made as grey but afflicted by the unspeakbale, and handful of black ones that had given themselves over and were a travesty and unredeemable.

These latter ones had a chance on the long path Edward, but wrongful initiation of these wrong candidates left them bereft of thier HGA and seduced by the unspeakable until they were enemies of life itself in the complete power of 'it'.

It's my feeling that those crossing the abyss usually have some sort of evidence that they are 'once returners', and the crossing is fore-ordained rather than chosen and risked.

What is risked in the abyss is attachment and delusion, but what is risked in initiation is much more... and now that we have abberant initiators in the Thelemic orders and the GD - then I have plenty of cause for concern.

I no longer feel that the outer orders should initiate in the same way - however... I feel that the same goal of initiation can be made with other rituals now with the same benefits.

I will publish here in good time, and hope you will work with me on this experiment.


Very interesting comments; although I feel like I missed the point some where. What exactly are you trying to say? What is your conclusion? Also, could you expand a little about your astral visions you mentioned above? Thanks.
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Postby Edward Mason » Mon Jan 04, 2010 1:40 pm

93 Alrah,

The last part of your post seems muddled, so you might want to edit it.
A lot of people do have very similar experiences, although they are interpreted differently by different cultures and given different labels. Attainment to tiphareth is identical to the 'sudden enlightenment' of Zen schools.

Alhough it's very cool when the heart chakra opens up, I wouldn't associate this with an opening to tiphareth, otherwise when the crown chakra opens up for you one wonderful day then you might be in danger of thinking you've reached Kether and go nuts!

At the time, I did go nuts, which was the cool thing about it. Though I didn't know a darned thing about chakras, nor about Tiphereth. (I think you missed my point here, too, which was that an opening is one thing, but consistent access something else entirely).

I don't know that I'd assign the experience of kensho to Tiphereth, any more than I'd refuse to do so. Zen doesn't necessarily map too well on the Tree.
Do you know why the most common reaction to the 5=6 is depression? And do you think that depression could occur in someone that was beyond dualistic perception?

It does not come with long lasing rose tinted glasses. If it did there would be no need for crossing the abyss - that's just the way it is.

Who says the reaction to 5=6 is depression? Ego inflation, yes, because the vice of Tiphereth is pride. But you seem to have some odd sources for your views on Hermetic Qabalah, and I don't know if someone is feeding you all this, or whether you're getting it from an intuitive source.

There are a zillion miles of the path between the attainment of Tiphereth and the Abyss. Frankly, for myself I don't even bother thinking about the latter.
There is no formal initiation into the Zen Buddhist trad. and they seem to have been managing it quite fine for a few thousand years.

Well, there is a ceremony, though nothing like what Hermetic Qabalah has. But this isn't Zen, so we do initiate. It's part of the process, the way that zazen and koans are part of Zen. An uninitiated Qabalist is rather like a Buddhist who reads a lot of books on the dhamma: full of ideas, and most of them misleading or off-kilter.
Edward - the risk is both known and is widely acknowledged. Not publically of course. The few handful of failures are counted as accepable losses to the greater good.

Alrah, rather than constantly implying you have some secret source, could you please cite an authority for this? I've seen dozens of people get initiated, without any perceptible damage. Lack of significant progress in some cases is another issue, but actual harm from initiation? The people I've seen go through have almost always had a blast doing it.

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Postby Mephisto » Mon Jan 04, 2010 2:29 pm

Hmmm. I've been wondering about this sort of thing for some time.

Two years ago, I lived for a time in near-isolation at an Ashram. One night, after the worship of Krishna through kirtan (Hindu devotional dance), I had the experience called "sudden enlightenment." The symptoms were clear: sudden, complete, and utter dissolution of all opposites, an understanding of the nature of time and space, complete clarity of mind, etc.

Now, my question was, "were does this leave me?" I've since been sceptical about the experience, knowing that attainment in itself can be a distraction from the Great Work. It would seem that one enters a certain grade when the experience becomes permanent, unshakable. The Brahmin of the Ashram where I was staying is a perfect example: he was an expert in yoga, and had awaked the Kundalini force more than once--and yet he was still under the sway of his domineering, profane wife! It would seem that there is more to the path of initiation than the attainment of any particular Dhyana, and that it also has much to do with the acheivement of balance upon the physical plane.

I've done my best to keep to Crowley's suggestion that "the student refrain from taking his experiences as objective reality." One recalls the case of Frater Achad, who is a perfect example of what happens when one claims the grade of Magister Templi too soon--he placed much value on his acheivment alone, which is in and of itself a sign of his failure to attain that grade!

Now, I am not attempting to prove or disprove anybody's experience here. I merely offer my own experience, and my only goal is to find an objective understanding of my position.

Any thoughts?
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Postby Edward Mason » Mon Jan 04, 2010 4:49 pm

93 Alrah,

By 'going nuts,' I did not mean I needed hospitalization. I clicked, for a time anyway, with my True Will, which is close to insanity, but is not usually diagnosed as such. I didn't understand any of that stuff, so I simply went and had an adventure. Having had friends who have needed hospitalization (I once had to take someone in for it while she was having a self-destructive psychotic episode), I don't dismiss the seriousness of being 'nuts' in the clinical sense.

If you look back at the threads on this forum about Gunther's book, 'acclaimed' wasn't the universally chosen adjective. His approach is, let's say, idiosyncratic.

Israel Regardie spoke (sorry, I can't find a source for this right now, and I'm probably paraphrasing badly) about the initial stages of the approach of the HGA conveying a sense of oppression from the superego. There is usually an oppressive sense at that stage that can last a long time. It's part of the ordeal of the path of Samekh, compounded by those of Nun and Ayin. The path of Samekh is, BTW, directly comparable to the Abyss crossing, but on a lower and less intense arc, which is one reason why the Lovers and Art have similar symbolism.

But if the aspirant finds a sense of personal unworthiness depressing, then the process and the aspirant - are way off the rails. As someone with a Buddhist background, do you find loss or diminution of ego depressing? The times it's come over me, I've had the exact opposite reaction: an increase in energy and Light, and a loosening of anxiety.

Similarly, if the approach with the HGA is premature - yes, it can be disorienting. This applies at the Golden Dawn level, and not just the A.A. level. The first glimpses are often very discouraging, or scary.

There's a persistent idea, for example, that Nietzsche came too close to his own inner Sun too soon, and was correspondingly driven into a shocked silence. This - I want to stress again - is why an initiated process is so vital. The aspirant is taken through a graduated series of experiences, including all nine of the connecting paths of the Tree below Tiphereth, that prepares him/her for the eventual opening into the central sephirah.

(Edit) :
I can see that the personality level of the psyche might respond to the impact of the HGA in negative ways, especially during an adjustment period. That would be similar to the sense of anxiety and distress that comes with moving to a new home or a new job: the environment would feel all wrong for a time. I still don't think that should be depicted as depression in the sense you present it.

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Last edited by Edward Mason on Mon Jan 04, 2010 5:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Edward Mason » Mon Jan 04, 2010 5:02 pm

JPF, 93,
It would seem that one enters a certain grade when the experience becomes permanent, unshakable.

I'd agree. Grades and degrees include the various visions and realizations that happen, but the primary thing is an alchemical transformation. On a conscious level, I would say (and this is a very broad generalization) that a different kind of understanding is assumed at each stage.

It's not (the K&C being, presumably, an exception to this rule) something that involves flashings and fireworks in the brain, though such things may and do occur. It's about reaching a certain point where you can feel something has shifted; that you can embrace more of your own life and its meaning. A certain serenity and energy within you will probably be apparent to other people.

The various formal tests applied by one's teachers are, or should be, confirmations of this state having arisen.

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Postby seekinghga » Mon Jan 04, 2010 5:26 pm

Edward Mason wrote:93 Alrah,

By 'going nuts,' I did not mean I needed hospitalization. I clicked, for a time anyway, with my True Will, which is close to insanity, but is not usually diagnosed as such. I didn't understand any of that stuff, so I simply went and had an adventure. Having had friends who have needed hospitalization (I once had to take someone in for it while she was having a self-destructive psychotic episode), I don't dismiss the seriousness of being 'nuts' in the clinical sense.

If you look back at the threads on this forum about Gunther's book, 'acclaimed' wasn't the universally chosen adjective. His approach is, let's say, idiosyncratic.

Israel Regardie spoke (sorry, I can't find a source for this right now, and I'm probably paraphrasing badly) about the initial stages of the approach of the HGA conveying a sense of oppression from the superego. There is usually an oppressive sense at that stage that can last a long time. It's part of the ordeal of the path of Samekh, compounded by those of Nun and Ayin. The path of Samekh is, BTW, directly comparable to the Abyss crossing, but on a lower and less intense arc, which is one reason why the Lovers and Art have similar symbolism.

But if the aspirant finds a sense of personal unworthiness depressing, then the process and the aspirant - are way off the rails. As someone with a Buddhist background, do you find loss or diminution of ego depressing? The times it's come over me, I've had the exact opposite reaction: an increase in energy and Light, and a loosening of anxiety.

Similarly, if the approach with the HGA is premature - yes, it can be disorienting. This applies at the Golden Dawn level, and not just the A.A. level. The first glimpses are often very discouraging, or scary.

There's a persistent idea, for example, that Nietzsche came too close to his own inner Sun too soon, and was correspondingly driven into a shocked silence. This - I want to stress again - is why an initiated process is so vital. The aspirant is taken through a graduated series of experiences, including all nine of the connecting paths of the Tree below Tiphereth, that prepares him/her for the eventual opening into the central sephirah.

(Edit) :
I can see that the personality level of the psyche might respond to the impact of the HGA in negative ways, especially during an adjustment period. That would be similar to the sense of anxiety and distress that comes with moving to a new home or a new job: the environment would feel all wrong for a time. I still don't think that should be depicted as depression in the sense you present it.

93 93/93,

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Very informative post Mr. Mason. Thanks for sharing this.
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Postby Jim Eshelman » Mon Jan 04, 2010 8:04 pm

Alrah wrote:
Israel Regardie spoke (sorry, I can't find a source for this right now, and I'm probably paraphrasing badly) about the initial stages of the approach of the HGA conveying a sense of oppression from the superego. There is usually an oppressive sense at that stage that can last a long time. It's part of the ordeal of the path of Samekh, compounded by those of Nun and Ayin. The path of Samekh is, BTW, directly comparable to the Abyss crossing, but on a lower and less intense arc, which is one reason why the Lovers and Art have similar symbolism.

Regardie was a man of his time, and a Freudian. This is freudian nonesense.

Perhaps the jargon is nonsense, but the essential observation is sound. In Qabalistic terms, approach to Tiphereth leads simultaneously through Nun and A'ayin. Not everyone would experience this as "oppressive" (it depends on the personality type), but there is certainly a band of one's own shadow content and numerous personality patterns to overcome - like Zelator on steroids.

OTOH, while I see why Edward wrote that, "The path of Samekh is... directly comparable to the Abyss crossing, but on a lower and less intense arc," I nonetheless have to disagree with him. They are alike only in their threshold quality, and the approach can express as different degrees of St. John's "dark night of the soul," but the two steps are so different as to seem almost irreconcilable with each other. (Almost.)
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Postby Uni_Verse » Mon Jan 04, 2010 8:17 pm

Alrah wrote:The ego starts taking the credit for the experience, and then starts inventing excuses (usually a fictional reincarnation scenario),

Could you expand on that?

Alrah wrote:That's how the bogus teachers come about.

Is that the blame game?

Alrah wrote:That's to be expected from an outer order. Gunther is not easily understood, but he is 'solid' however.

What happens in the next order?

Alrah wrote:The HGA, finds it's wordless voice in the pre-verbal ego. The pre-verbal ego 'grows up' but is often ignored. It's not the same as the Freudian idea of the subconscious.

Could you expand on this?

Is the pre-verbal ego separate from the subconscious, or is there no subconscious in your nomenclature, perhaps some thing similar?

When you say it 'grows up' are you implying it evolves or...?

Alrah wrote: :)

What a cute smile! :D
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Postby Edward Mason » Tue Jan 05, 2010 6:30 am

Alrah, 93,
You wrote:
The men in the white coats are not the thought police. They only get involved when someone's mental state is causing them some sort of harm or they are harmful to others. You can 'go nut's' without being admitted.

And where I have stated a contrary view?
Delusions of grandeur are the main problem to the 5=6. The ego starts taking the credit for the experience, and then starts inventing excuses (usually a fictional reincarnation scenario), along with a sincere wish to be able to share the experience with others. That's how the bogus teachers come about.

Of course. One positive influence of Israel Regardie on the North Amerian scene was that a much more sophisticated appreciation of personal psychology has been built into the various systems. People have to work through these issues, under the guidance of someone who can say, "Been there, done that, said sorry afterwards."
That's to be expected from an outer order. Gunther is not easily understood, but he is 'solid' however.

Actually, the appreciation mostly came from people I took to be First Order. Second Order-level responses were far more dismissive. I think he has an interesting perspective, but I don't personally find it useful at all.
The HGA, finds it's wordless voice in the pre-verbal ego. The pre-verbal ego 'grows up' but is often ignored. It's not the same as the Freudian idea of the subconscious.

Could you please define pre-verbal ego? I don't understand your comment here. I may agree with you, but since I don't grasp your meaning, I can't tell one way or the other.
You seem to be mixing up temporary states with more lingering statees Edward. I think you know you're doing this. You've been projecting.
From a Buddhist background - complete loss of the ego is not possible.

I didn't refer to 'complete loss of ego,' which I do know is essentially impossible. I said 'loss or diminution.' Am I mixing up temporary and more lingering states? You were the one who said she was 8=3 because she had attained complete dhyana. And in answer to JPF above, I made it quite clear that I don't see the two as one and the same. Alchemical transformation and temporary exaltations are related, but far from identical, and I've stated that I know this.
Edward - what you want to believe about the path... You want to be able to walk forward with confidence and ignore any warnings. That's valid. It's good. Continue to do that.

I've not spoken about belief, Alrah - I've spoken about observation, made over a good number of years. Observation, that is, of myself and of others going through the same process. I do heed warnings, which is why I've been able to continue on this path. And when I've not heeded them, I've kept a due record of the experience that resulted, and got myself back on track.

You have made it plain you think the initiatory approach to Thelema and Hermetic Qabalah is fraught with dangers, delusions, egomaniacal Adepts and so on. I say, ya wanna ride the train, ya gotta buy a ticket, and stay with it for the whole ride. The First Order process that I have seen guides people into and through these hazards. It hasn't produced perfect people, but it has, in my experience, produced wiser people.
The 'dark night of the soul' is nothing like a little adjustment that a person might go through when they move home though. lol!

Have I indicated I think otherwise?
Optimism is good however! It's a very important character trait. You need to align it with your sense of realism, and also recognise when you're projecting your anxieties, (and that will be hard work for you) but keep at it!


I do keep at it. But if anyone is projecting anxieties here - about the dangers of this system, of the dangers of rogue Adepts, of the dangers of depression, and mental illness, depression and so on - it isn't me.

This path has its hazards, like any other, some much more severe than others. Do initiated people go through periods of depression and anxiety? Do we suffer? Do we feel at times that we're completely lost? Of course. But initiates term all this 'ordeals'. There is always some corner of the psyche where an invisible lamp keeps burning, and says "Stick to it, dude."

You mistrust this tradition, you've made that very plain. Okay: "Argue not, convert not," says the Good Book L. I've challenged what I see as your false perceptions, while you are apparently trying to save me from myself - and others who might take the terrible risk of stepping into initiation. My experience says your concern is distorted and exaggerated.

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Postby Jim Eshelman » Tue Jan 05, 2010 6:57 am

Edward Mason wrote:You were the one who said she was 8=3 because she had attained complete dhyana. And in answer to JPF above, I made it quite clear that I don't see the two as one and the same.

No, they aren't at all. (I haven't read this carefully enough to discern whether this is what she said, but am only commenting on what I just quoted.)

Dhyana is an attainment that characterizes the completion of the Dominus Liminis grade. In crude "gotta rush out the door" terms, it's the breakthrough of Yetziratic consciousness into the Briatic, which (when the advance through the Worlds is kept in pace with the movement through the Sephiroth in the particular way the A.'.A.'. does it) marks the specific pulling back of the curtain to Tiphereth in Briah: the grade of Adeptus Minor Without.
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Postby Edward Mason » Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:44 am

JAE, 93,
Edward Mason wrote:
You were the one who said she was 8=3 because she had attained complete dhyana. And in answer to JPF above, I made it quite clear that I don't see the two as one and the same.

JAE replied:
No, they aren't at all...<deletion>...Dhyana is an attainment that characterizes the completion of the Dominus Liminis grade.


My own phrasing was poor here, since I was actually responding to Alrah's point about "mixing up temporary states with more lingering states." However, the point about dhyana being part of the Dominus Liminis attainment is very relevant, because I think this thread has actually been (in part) muddled over the use of the terms Magister Templi and masters, when really, we were talking about Adepts and adeptship. Because 5=6 is "only" halfway up the Tree, it often appears to be seen as an intermediate step, rather than being understood as a major attainment in its own right.

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Postby gurugeorge » Tue Jan 05, 2010 12:42 pm

Fascinating discussion. Normally, people claiming MT grade makes my arse twitch and my balls shrivel in embarrassment for them, but Alrah seems to be pretty cool (though I doubt she's MT :) ). Edward seems quite experienced in these matters and has a rather fine-grained perspective. It's interesting to see the two conversing.

On the general subject, my understanding is that the A:.A:. is a system that's not quite comparable to Zen or anything like that. If we're comparing it to anything Eastern, it's more akin to the so-called "religious" forms of Daoism (though that's a rather out-dated categorisation now) - a complete curriculum that includes not just the mystical aspect but the magical (i.e. to put it bluntly, what the Zennie would call "makkyo" is precisely half the interest of someone devoted to this curriculum).

That being so, my understanding is that initiation is "overseen" by "spirits" or "demons" charged by the founders of the Order (AC, the chemist guy and another) with the task of proving and testing aspirants. There's a distinct magical element in this work, that's absent in a purely mystical system like Zen.

This is more or less what "initiation" is about - precisely, as Edward said, about the "ordeals". There's an element of testing, there's something to "get", and there's the possibility of not "getting" it, and of missing the mark, of failure. This is not the case with pure mysticism, in light of which all "getting" is superfluous, and "failure" meaningless.

If you got rid of the initiation aspect, you'd be creating a purely mystical system, a system that was devoted only to the path Up. The A:.A:. is about both the path Up and the path Down, about both the mystical (ascent to Home) and magical (the creation of illusion, as opposed to its dispelling) pursuits.

One other point worth mentioning, I think: Anatta doesn't mean "get rid of your ego", it means "there is no ego". There's no there there, there's nothing to get rid of. We think we are George, Alrah, Edward, etc., but the fact of the matter, the truth of it, is that there are no such things, only the seeming of such things.

To put it another way, George, Alrah, Edward, etc., are notional "centres of narrative gravity" (cf. that wonderful philosopher of mind, Daniel C. Dennett) for the bundles of events and habits of the human machinery (which makes it sound rather prosaic - of course this machinery, this patterned energy, is all there is). The ordinary person is in an analogous position to the position of someone who would drill through the Earth to find it's centre of gravity. We have the vague sense that our "selves" are (at least potentially) findable things, distinct from our bodies, brains, etc. All mystical experience is the dispelling of this illusion. When the illusion that these centres of narrative gravity have existence in their own right is seen through, then what's understood (in place of the illusion) is that there is only "God".

There is really only this one "mystical experience", but it's gone through from different angles in the course of training. What the Neophyte understands is essentially no different from what the Ipsissimus understands. But there is a deep difference in a) thoroughness (especially in the lower triads) and b) in everyday perspective, in what's "at centre stage", so to speak.

Now, in that light, I think the distinction between the Supernal Triad and everything below it was put very well by the outstanding (although for some tastes, perhaps too West Coast :) ) modern Advaita/Zen teacher, Adyashanti (I paraphrase):-

Up to a certain point (the Abyss) one's everyday sense is that one is a human being having episodes of "being God". No matter how sublime the experience, even if it is a complete enlightenment experience (loss of self-sense, concomitant presence of sense of being the Universe) one returns to being an ordinary human being, to feeling oneself as an ordinary human being, to that being one's ground state, the thing to which one returns.

Beyond that certain point (the Abyss), the everyday perspective shifts to one being "God" having episodes of being a human being. (Not having this perspective, I can't describe it, but one can sort of put the placeholder for it here.) As opposed to "glimpses", kensho, satori, etc., as opposed to experiences of any kind, this is full and final liberation, Moksha, Nirvana strictly so-called.

This Copernican shift in everyday perspective, in the sense of where the "ground state" is, is the fundamental difference. The MT/Magus/Ipsissimus (in Eastern terms, a Buddha) is clinically insane from any normal human point of view, because they "think they are God" (as the profane would say). They're not just (as the Neophyte, or anyone at any lower grade) a human being glorified by an experience of being "one with God", or even "being God", or "perceiving the Truth", etc. They ARE that Truth, that "God" - that's their everyday perspective, i.e. the sense of being an ordinary human being no longer has centre stage.

So I'd be very sceptical of any claims to that kind of perspective. It's rather a "big" thing, to my mind, rather delicate.

Anyway, yes if you're talking about a purely mystical system of attainment, the concept of initiation has no place, really (except in the loosest "passing on the robe and bowl" sense, a nod and a wink). But if you're talking about a "complete curriculum", like the A:.A:., there's a magical element that's dealing with the flora and fauna of a world behind the world, with their own definite quirks and peculiarities, that requires testing, that has standards, that has "better" and "worse", that has "failure" and "success". It's not a situation in which we all get prizes.
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Postby Middleman » Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:27 pm

I love seeing Adyashanti quotes here, I'm in the right place.
He will paraphrase Crowley often but has no occult background.

He even once said "There should be an A.A. for spirituality."
He meant support for addicts of course but it was funny.

Anyway, Regardie was more Jungian than Freudian, right?

FTR:

Though lay persons commonly assume 'subconscious' to be a psychoanalytic term, this is not in fact the case. Sigmund Freud had explicitly condemned the word as long ago as 1915: "We shall also be right in rejecting the term 'subconsciousness' as incorrect and misleading".[1]. In later publications his objections were made clear:
“ "If someone talks of subconsciousness, I cannot tell whether he means the term topographically -- to indicate something lying in the mind beneath consciousness -- or qualitatively -- to indicate another consciousness, a subterranean one, as it were. He is probably not clear about any of it. The only trustworthy antithesis is between conscious and unconscious."[2] ”

Thus, as Charles Rycroft has explained, 'subconscious' is a term "never used in psychoanalytic writings"[3]. And, in Peter Gay's words, use of 'subconscious' where 'unconscious' is meant is "a common and telling mistake"[4]; indeed, "when [the term] is employed to say something 'Freudian', it is proof that the writer has not read his Freud"[5].

Freud's own terms for mentation taking place outside conscious awareness were das Unbewusste (rendered by his translators as 'the Unconscious') and das Vorbewusste ('the Preconscious'); informal use of the term 'subconscious' in this context thus creates confusion, as it fails to make clear which (if either!) is meant. The distinction is of significance because in Freud's formulation the Unconscious is 'dynamically' unconscious, the Preconscious merely 'descriptively' so: the contents of the Unconscious require special investigative techniques for their exploration, whereas something in the Preconscious is unrepressed and can be recalled to consciousness by the simple direction of attention. The erroneous, pseudo-Freudan use of 'subconscious' and 'subconsciousness' has its precise equivalent in German, where the words inappropriately employed are Unterbewusst and Unterbewusstsein.
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Postby underabloodredsky » Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:59 pm

Alrah wrote:It's my feeling that those crossing the abyss usually have some sort of evidence that they are 'once returners', and the crossing is fore-ordained rather than chosen and risked.

What is risked in the abyss is attachment and delusion, but what is risked in initiation is much more... and now that we have abberant initiators in the Thelemic orders and the GD - then I have plenty of cause for concern.

Interesting idea. I have had similar thoughts, but I haven't been able to reconcile them with my belief that initiation is destined for all; except perhaps it's been too much too soon.

I no longer feel that the outer orders should initiate in the same way - however... I feel that the same goal of initiation can be made with other rituals now with the same benefits.

Care to expand?
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Postby Persephone » Wed Jan 06, 2010 5:16 am

underabloodredsky wrote:
Alrah wrote:It's my feeling that those crossing the abyss usually have some sort of evidence that they are 'once returners', and the crossing is fore-ordained rather than chosen and risked.
What is risked in the abyss is attachment and delusion, but what is risked in initiation is much more... and now that we have abberant initiators in the Thelemic orders and the GD - then I have plenty of cause for concern.


Alrah, what do you mean by the term 'once returner'? Haven't we all returned many times? Also, if someone's crossing the abyss is 'fore-ordained', then by who? I am trying to understand your posts but at times I am thrown by these phrases. I only have a limited amount of time to read and think about what is posted here, and to be honest, some of this seems needlessly obscure. And I agree with Edward that initiation isn't as dangerous as you describe. But this is all POV, or opinion, right? No need to prove or disprove anything as it is all subjective.
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Postby Edward Mason » Wed Jan 06, 2010 6:25 am

93,

George, nice post. Thanks.

Middleman, Regardie had Jungian training, but was also very much a Reichian.

93 93/93,

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Postby Edward Mason » Fri Jan 08, 2010 3:40 pm

93 Alrah,

Glad you fixed your keyboard.
Tell you what: - tell me in words what your imagination is? Define it. And define everything wordless that can be apprehended by your narrative consciousness while you're at it! Then try and define all the things that can not but are nevertheless comprehended on some level. Then define all the ways that consciousness can be apprehended by differently configured brains and/or minds.

Well, I could attempt all that, but maybe you could just respond to the request I made? "Pre-verbal ego" (to me) implies an embryonic form of consciousness centring around the concept of "there is a here, which is sort-of a me". The more we drag in poor Sigmund, the more off-track I think we might end up.

Re: whether we're talking about Adepts or Masters of the Temple:
Again - I'm going to take this to the east. When you look at chinese lit. then you find reference to 'young masters' - either half way through the gradual school or fully attained of the sudden school.

They do all the showy things like: spit on the buddha and then ask a crowd where the Buddha is not and he'll spit there? And also - Kill the Buddha if you come across him. Whereas the adept of gradual school will go and get the mop and bucket.


So, you're agreeing with me ... ?

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Postby Edward Mason » Fri Jan 08, 2010 5:10 pm

Alrah 93,

I don't draw - I never had the fine coordination for it. I had to learn to use words. :-)

Agreeing with Jim is cool. I thank re-defines (or re-draws) the dialogue.

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Postby Edward Mason » Fri Jan 08, 2010 7:22 pm

93,

Gotcha. Thanks - that clarifies.

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