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Re: [t93] The Boulaq Mess: is it REALLY important?

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  • Daimon Hellstrom
    ... From: [azrael] [about the whole Boulaq stuff] ... I strongly agree. It s pointless, as pointless would be debating about the
    Message 1 of 12 , Mar 15, 2004
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      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "[azrael]" <azrael@...>

      [about the whole Boulaq stuff]
      > [...] I think in the end it's just
      > chittam, as Crowley himself would have called it.
      >

      I strongly agree.
      It's pointless, as pointless would be debating about the "historical" hand
      behind the Emerald Tablet (Hermes WHO?) or the actual biology of "alien"
      beings, like LAM, for instance.

      > Is really important where, when, and how, the Master Therion received
      > the Law?

      I think that depends on: who are you asking this question to?
      Some hardcore thelemites I know would say thay yes, it's important.
      The meaning of it all just eludes me, but I digress ;-)

      I think that the message is what really matters, and debating "facts" about
      the author is, ultimately, quite trivial.
      Trivial and pointless.
      The Iliad and the Odissey are numbered among the main works in western
      culture. And Homer is almost universally known as a mythic character.
      Does this cheapen the literaty worth of these works?

      > Isn't the act of magick a creative act first of all, and
      > isn't the the imagination the fist and foremost creative tool?

      Of course it is.
      But some people could be seriously offended if you just told them the Liber
      aL is the result of a creative act, and Aiwass is just a literary joke.

      > Some of the worst debates in the whole Thelemic scene has been
      > created by the necessity to trace histories so that the egoes of
      > these researchers to feel like they were "right" in their own
      > thoughts.

      Not just in THIS scene ;-)

      > This of course stops any kind of actual magickal working, since
      > brings the focus away from Here and Now: so, it is really advisable?

      Tricky question.
      Some people would say yes, it IS advisable, because it lends more strenght
      to their paradigm (fancy word, you just gotta love it ^__^)
      Many other people prefer doing stuff, instead just talking about stuff. They
      focus in the Here and Now, and that's it.

      Funny how many thelemites can get crystalized in their own form of
      dogmatism, isn't it?

      Daimon
    • Daimon Hellstrom
      ... From: [azrael] [about the whole Boulaq stuff] ... I strongly agree. It s pointless, as pointless would be debating about the
      Message 2 of 12 , Mar 16, 2004
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        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "[azrael]" <azrael@...>

        [about the whole Boulaq stuff]
        > > [...] I think in the end it's just
        > > chittam, as Crowley himself would have called it.
        > >

        I strongly agree.
        It's pointless, as pointless would be debating about the "historical" hand
        behind the Emerald Tablet (Hermes WHO?) or the actual biology of "alien"
        beings, like LAM, for instance.
        >
        > > Is really important where, when, and how, the Master Therion received
        > > the Law?

        I think that depends on: who are you asking this question to?
        Some hardcore thelemites I know would say thay yes, it's important.
        The meaning of it all just eludes me, but I digress ;-)

        I think that the message is what really matters, and debating "facts" about
        the author is, ultimately, quite trivial.
        Trivial and pointless.
        The Iliad and the Odissey are numbered among the main works in western
        culture. And Homer is almost universally known as a mythic character.
        Does this cheapen the literaty worth of these works?

        > > Isn't the act of magick a creative act first of all, and
        > > isn't the the imagination the fist and foremost creative tool?

        Of course it is.
        But some people could be seriously offended if you just told them the Liber
        aL is the result of a creative act, and Aiwass is just a literary joke.

        > > Some of the worst debates in the whole Thelemic scene has been
        > > created by the necessity to trace histories so that the egoes of
        > > these researchers to feel like they were "right" in their own
        > > thoughts.

        Not just in THIS scene ;-)

        > > This of course stops any kind of actual magickal working, since
        > > brings the focus away from Here and Now: so, it is really advisable?

        Tricky question.
        Some people would say yes, it IS advisable, because it lends more strenght
        to their paradigm (fancy word, you just gotta love it ^__^)
        Many other people prefer doing stuff, instead just talking about stuff.
        They
        focus in the Here and Now, and that's it.

        Funny how many thelemites can get crystalized in their own form of
        dogmatism, isn't it?

        Daimon
      • 333
        50040323 kaos day!!! RE whether Crowley *really* got Liber Al in Cairo 4/8-10/1904: azrael: # chittam, as Crowley himself would have called it. Daimon
        Message 3 of 12 , Mar 23, 2004
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          50040323 kaos day!!!

          RE whether Crowley *really* got Liber Al in Cairo 4/8-10/1904:

          azrael:
          #> chittam, as Crowley himself would have called it.

          Daimon Hellstrom:
          # I strongly agree. It's pointless, as pointless would
          # be debating about the "historical" hand behind the
          # Emerald Tablet (Hermes WHO?) or the actual biology
          # of "alien" beings, like LAM, for instance.

          lies surrounding objects presented by prophets are always
          great to discover. the Emerald Tablet is beyond our ability
          to discern with clarity as to the nature of its origins.
          Crowley's scripture is fresh as dew and ready for sacrifice.

          #> Is really important where, when, and how, the Master Therion
          #> received the Law?

          you forgot the *whether* part.

          # I think that depends on: who are you asking this question to?

          all of us. your answer is valuably recorded for the Centennial.

          # Some hardcore thelemites I know would say thay yes, it's important.
          # The meaning of it all just eludes me, but I digress ;-)

          the meaning of the communication of the book? that's a very valuable
          topic to consider at this time (take your shot at these).

          What is the meaning of the communication of this book?

          it is a herald of Crowley's New Aeon
          from the successor in the skies

          What does its "acceptance" include and signify?

          presupposition of its cosmic importance
          and its relevance to securing advantage

          What is its status in terms of cosmic power and authority?

          the Night Sky provides a Message of Love;
          She holds no imperious weight to humans.

          the Inner Fire points out Imperative Will;
          He is a reflection of a reflection.

          the Lord of the Aeon exhorts the Great Work.
          Crowley's attendance to his Word is paramount.

          # I think that the message is what really matters,

          god communiques can be very important to the recipient.

          # and debating "facts" about the author is, ultimately, quite trivial.

          first diversion. the author, or the scribe? doesn't identifying
          who is responsible for its composition (e.g. did Satan write it?)
          constitute a relevant inquiry into its meaning and its message?

          # Trivial and pointless. The [Illiad] and the [Odyssey] are numbered
          # among the main works in western culture. And Homer is almost
          # universally known as a mythic character.

          strange, I thought he was a historical poet.

          # Does this cheapen the literaty worth of these works?

          perhaps Homer's work is considered mythic, yes.

          does it cheapen them to consider their stories to be myths?
          it certainly can! if we thought they were historical documents
          and reduced them to the category "myth", then we'd be talking
          about a massive shift in devaluation, unless those you have
          mentioned were scripture, which I don't think they claim to be.

          there are bunches of Thelemites who claim that Crowley's
          scripture is sacred or holy or special in some way, provided
          by Egyptian gods, heralding a New Aeon, and issuing the coda
          for the Osirian precursor in the taloned assault of his rival
          and brother Horus (Ra-Hoor-Pa-Krit or something akin to this).

          it cheapens a scripture to assign authorship to a human if it
          is supposed to be the utterance of a god or angel, or to reduce
          to a quasi-convoluted category of "myth" what is apparently an
          expression of Law (the Book thereof) in obvious mimicry of,
          and posthumous declaration of the passing of, the edifice
          of Book Religions that shaped and moulded the prophet.

          #> Isn't the act of magick a creative act first of all,

          for the simple-minded without the ability to conceive of a
          thing without boundaries, edges, or parameters, it is indeed
          reassuring to believe in creator gods, or cosmic procreation
          magic that starts at one pole (generative) rather than another
          (dessicative).

          being made of Tiamat, the first act of all was destructive.

          #> and isn't the the imagination the [first] and foremost
          #> creative tool?

          I've often identified the 'ation' in it as 'creation', such
          that it implies 'image-creation (mental thing)' referring
          not merely to visual but sonic, olfactory and other 'images'.

          # Of course it is. But some people could be seriously
          # offended if you just told them the Liber aL is the
          # result of a creative act, and Aiwass is just a literary joke.

          Mephisto makes more sense as a serious companion.

          <snippage>

          #> ...stops any kind of actual magickal working, since brings
          #> the focus away from Here and Now: so, it is really advisable?

          the here and now are relevant for mystical and engineering works.
          the thence and later are the province of magic and prophecy.
          it is unwise to a mistake mystical application of magic for magic .

          <snippage>

          # Funny how many thelemites can get crystalized in their own
          # form of dogmatism, isn't it?

          so crystallized, do they stop being Thelemites? or can their
          membership in the organization which identifies them help any?

          333
          =============================================================
          ps compare
          did Muhammad *really* get that batch of writings from an angel?
          did Joseph Smith *really* get those plates from an angel?
          did Gurdjieff *really* write tales from Beelzebub?
          did Blavatsky *really* get those letters from Mahatmas?
          did the Golden Dawn *really* get that manuscript from Sprengel?
        • jesse roberts
          The idiocy surrounding this debate is one of the primary reasons I stopped associating with Thelemites. Those who should be better educated and of finer
          Message 4 of 12 , Mar 23, 2004
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            The idiocy surrounding this debate is one of the
            primary reasons I stopped associating with Thelemites.
            Those who should be better educated and of finer
            intellect than all the rest turn out to be monkeys.

            How are the time and place of the transmission of AL
            irrelevant? If Crowley just up and lied about it's
            reception (time and place), then why is it such a leap
            to imagine that he made the whole thing up?

            Are you people so blinded by your leap of faith that
            you have abondoned all reason?

            Jesse

            __________________________________
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          • Virtue Ninety Three
            ... important. ... trivial. ... numbered ... angel? ... Sprengel? ***************************************************************** Some interesting notes on
            Message 5 of 12 , Mar 23, 2004
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              --- In thelema93-l@yahoogroups.com, 333 <nagasiva@l...> wrote:
              > 50040323 kaos day!!!
              >
              > RE whether Crowley *really* got Liber Al in Cairo 4/8-10/1904:
              >
              > azrael:
              > #> chittam, as Crowley himself would have called it.
              >
              > Daimon Hellstrom:
              > # I strongly agree. It's pointless, as pointless would
              > # be debating about the "historical" hand behind the
              > # Emerald Tablet (Hermes WHO?) or the actual biology
              > # of "alien" beings, like LAM, for instance.
              >
              > lies surrounding objects presented by prophets are always
              > great to discover. the Emerald Tablet is beyond our ability
              > to discern with clarity as to the nature of its origins.
              > Crowley's scripture is fresh as dew and ready for sacrifice.
              >
              > #> Is really important where, when, and how, the Master Therion
              > #> received the Law?
              >
              > you forgot the *whether* part.
              >
              > # I think that depends on: who are you asking this question to?
              >
              > all of us. your answer is valuably recorded for the Centennial.
              >
              > # Some hardcore thelemites I know would say thay yes, it's
              important.
              > # The meaning of it all just eludes me, but I digress ;-)
              >
              > the meaning of the communication of the book? that's a very valuable
              > topic to consider at this time (take your shot at these).
              >
              > What is the meaning of the communication of this book?
              >
              > it is a herald of Crowley's New Aeon
              > from the successor in the skies
              >
              > What does its "acceptance" include and signify?
              >
              > presupposition of its cosmic importance
              > and its relevance to securing advantage
              >
              > What is its status in terms of cosmic power and authority?
              >
              > the Night Sky provides a Message of Love;
              > She holds no imperious weight to humans.
              >
              > the Inner Fire points out Imperative Will;
              > He is a reflection of a reflection.
              >
              > the Lord of the Aeon exhorts the Great Work.
              > Crowley's attendance to his Word is paramount.
              >
              > # I think that the message is what really matters,
              >
              > god communiques can be very important to the recipient.
              >
              > # and debating "facts" about the author is, ultimately, quite
              trivial.
              >
              > first diversion. the author, or the scribe? doesn't identifying
              > who is responsible for its composition (e.g. did Satan write it?)
              > constitute a relevant inquiry into its meaning and its message?
              >
              > # Trivial and pointless. The [Illiad] and the [Odyssey] are
              numbered
              > # among the main works in western culture. And Homer is almost
              > # universally known as a mythic character.
              >
              > strange, I thought he was a historical poet.
              >
              > # Does this cheapen the literaty worth of these works?
              >
              > perhaps Homer's work is considered mythic, yes.
              >
              > does it cheapen them to consider their stories to be myths?
              > it certainly can! if we thought they were historical documents
              > and reduced them to the category "myth", then we'd be talking
              > about a massive shift in devaluation, unless those you have
              > mentioned were scripture, which I don't think they claim to be.
              >
              > there are bunches of Thelemites who claim that Crowley's
              > scripture is sacred or holy or special in some way, provided
              > by Egyptian gods, heralding a New Aeon, and issuing the coda
              > for the Osirian precursor in the taloned assault of his rival
              > and brother Horus (Ra-Hoor-Pa-Krit or something akin to this).
              >
              > it cheapens a scripture to assign authorship to a human if it
              > is supposed to be the utterance of a god or angel, or to reduce
              > to a quasi-convoluted category of "myth" what is apparently an
              > expression of Law (the Book thereof) in obvious mimicry of,
              > and posthumous declaration of the passing of, the edifice
              > of Book Religions that shaped and moulded the prophet.
              >
              > #> Isn't the act of magick a creative act first of all,
              >
              > for the simple-minded without the ability to conceive of a
              > thing without boundaries, edges, or parameters, it is indeed
              > reassuring to believe in creator gods, or cosmic procreation
              > magic that starts at one pole (generative) rather than another
              > (dessicative).
              >
              > being made of Tiamat, the first act of all was destructive.
              >
              > #> and isn't the the imagination the [first] and foremost
              > #> creative tool?
              >
              > I've often identified the 'ation' in it as 'creation', such
              > that it implies 'image-creation (mental thing)' referring
              > not merely to visual but sonic, olfactory and other 'images'.
              >
              > # Of course it is. But some people could be seriously
              > # offended if you just told them the Liber aL is the
              > # result of a creative act, and Aiwass is just a literary joke.
              >
              > Mephisto makes more sense as a serious companion.
              >
              > <snippage>
              >
              > #> ...stops any kind of actual magickal working, since brings
              > #> the focus away from Here and Now: so, it is really advisable?
              >
              > the here and now are relevant for mystical and engineering works.
              > the thence and later are the province of magic and prophecy.
              > it is unwise to a mistake mystical application of magic for magic .
              >
              > <snippage>
              >
              > # Funny how many thelemites can get crystalized in their own
              > # form of dogmatism, isn't it?
              >
              > so crystallized, do they stop being Thelemites? or can their
              > membership in the organization which identifies them help any?
              >
              > 333
              > =============================================================
              > ps compare
              > did Muhammad *really* get that batch of writings from an
              angel?
              > did Joseph Smith *really* get those plates from an angel?
              > did Gurdjieff *really* write tales from Beelzebub?
              > did Blavatsky *really* get those letters from Mahatmas?
              > did the Golden Dawn *really* get that manuscript from
              Sprengel?

              *****************************************************************

              Some interesting notes on the subject:

              http://www.antiqillum.com/texts/articles/Crowegg/crowegg001.htm
            • Cavalorn
              In article , jesse roberts writes ... The next step is for people to start saying So
              Message 6 of 12 , Mar 24, 2004
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                In article <20040323162137.7492.qmail@...>, jesse
                roberts <jrdamien@...> writes
                >How are the time and place of the transmission of AL
                >irrelevant? If Crowley just up and lied about it's
                >reception (time and place), then why is it such a leap
                >to imagine that he made the whole thing up?

                The next step is for people to start saying 'So what if he did make it
                up? Isn't making things up a Magickal Act (TM)?'

                It's really reminding me of what happened when Wicca was discovered to
                be a modern-day concoction and not a genuine ancient tradition at all.
                Exactly the same 'well it's none the less valid for all that' line came
                up.

                I don't think the case with Liber AL is anything like so conclusive -
                the jury is still well and truly out. However, I do tend to think that
                it is perfectly legitimate to investigate the account of the reception
                and test the claims made by AC.

                Isn't that what the Method of Science is all about?

                Cav
                --
                Give me a woman who's taken her knocks,
                Who's tasted both gutter and stars.
                Give me a lady with holes in her socks.
                Give me a princess with scars.
              • Alamantra
                Greetings: Cav wrote: The next step is for people to start saying So what if he did make it up? Isn t making things up a Magickal Act (TM)? Alamantra: Its
                Message 7 of 12 , Mar 24, 2004
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                  Greetings:

                  Cav wrote:
                  The next step is for people to start saying 'So what if he did make it
                  up? Isn't making things up a Magickal Act (TM)?'


                  Alamantra:
                  Its amazing that one of the most basic things that so many people overlook (and I have myself from time to time), is the fact that the most important factor of "applicability" is that a practice, philosophy or idea be suitable and useful for any given individual. If something is distorted and useless gibberish to someone then it doesn't really matter where it came from. If its not applicable or useful, it doesn't matter that it came from some ancient or some modern text. It doesn't matter what scholarly means indexed the work in question. It doesn't matter if the idea has many subscribers or not. If it doesn't improve the quality of a person's life, its useless or worse. If nothing else, "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law." (regardless of where the phrase came from) is, philosophically speaking, an accurate description of the limits of an individual's predilections and capabilities, usually found between the boundries of one's sense of humor and sense of wonder.
                  And on the other hand, if it is useful or serves to magnetize a person's interest, compels their fascination and engages their intent, it is a natural part of the process itself to know where, when and how something came about, as it helps to set the scene, as it were, for the ritual and the play. In this case, it is a part of the development of the idea itself, and by way of example, let us consider The Book of the Law...
                  Suppose one begins by buying the hawker at the doors description of "new prophetic holy book that manifests unbelievable properties" ...and then as we step in the door, the hawker takes our money and tells us to be careful of where we step ...and in this case, goes so far as to advocate the skeptical point of view and the scientific method. Over time, if we apply this point of view and this method, we can begin to examine our own incredulity, and thus actually invoke The Fool as the first of the proper steps of this Arcana, and by doing so, we gain some real insight into ourselves and who and what we are... This is the sort of enlightenment that manifests as the Magician. We begin to become informed as to the mystery of Life, what it is, how it is begotten, and we do this best through direct experience. Thus manifests: The priestess, and the natural reciprocation that follows acts, (The Empress and Emperor, The Lovers. This knowledge reaffirms the sacredness of the act, and re-energizes manifestation (The Hierophant) etc...
                  We create the symbology for ourselves as we go along and we are free to incorporate whatever elements we will in this formula, and this is what we do anyway whether we do so knowingly or not. These archetypes are already with us, and though universal in scope, they manifest in unique combinations in each individual.
                  So, suppose we find out that the old guise was a piece of fabulous meta-fiction created solely by the vehicle of the imagination of its author, who has cut its cloth to suit his own taste, sense of development and metaphors for wonder. We find out its just a piece of ordinary literature, and begin to re-evaluate and assess it by comparing it to other pieces of meta-fiction: Shakespeare, Virginia Woolf or James Joyce ...Here again, we get a chance to re-evaluate our incredulity, and we also begin to re-define what those other works of literature represent and maybe we begin to come to understand the genius of our species; the one noble thing that validates us and allows us to perpetuate our existence. So we are engaged in a process, and it becomes moot that the piece turned out to be something other than we first thought. In any event, it always does. We grow, and maybe we find out that there is no such thing as a perfectly ordinary piece of literature. "There is no part of me that is not of the gods." "All words are sacred and all prophets true..."

                  Bliss:
                  Alamantra
                  www.greaterthelema.org
                  www.alamantra.org
                  www.antiqillum.com


                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • jesse roberts
                  [edited for format -- Moderator] ... Yes, Cav, that is precisely what the aim of science is all about - investigation. As for the wiccans...take this how you
                  Message 8 of 12 , Mar 24, 2004
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                    [edited for format -- Moderator]

                    Cavalorn <cavalorn@...>:
                    > I don't think the case with Liber AL is anything
                    > like so conclusive -
                    > the jury is still well and truly out. However, I do
                    > tend to think that
                    > it is perfectly legitimate to investigate the
                    > account of the reception
                    > and test the claims made by AC.
                    >
                    > Isn't that what the Method of Science is all about?

                    Yes, Cav, that is precisely what the aim of science is
                    all about - investigation.

                    As for the wiccans...take this how you may, but I also
                    broke away from Thelema because Thelemites were too
                    much like the wiccans I had known previous to my
                    knowledge of Thelema. That is, flaky, new agey, far
                    from serious and hardly scientific.

                    Jesse
                  • eyeofhoor
                    ... The most notable difference between the Book of the Law and religious scripture like the Bible is that it contains elements that are entirely
                    Message 9 of 12 , Mar 24, 2004
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                      --- In thelema93-l@yahoogroups.com, 333 <nagasiva@l...> wrote:

                      > What is the meaning of the communication of this book?

                      "The most notable difference between the Book of the Law and
                      religious scripture like the Bible is that it contains elements that
                      are entirely mythological. The advocates of religion are bent on the
                      validation of their scriptures through the establishment of the
                      historical legitimacy of the human characters portrayed within them.
                      Egyptian myths belong to a genre of their own for the fact that those
                      myths recount interactions between the gods on a cosmic scale with
                      very few interactions between humans and gods. There is also a
                      notable absence of perceived supernatural effects in the Egyptian
                      myths. When human characters are included in myths, supernatural
                      events inevitably transpire. Those events are what attract the
                      interest of most people to religion. The Bible contains numerous
                      examples of such events, like the parting of the Red Sea, walking on
                      water, the miraculous feeding of the masses, the resurrection of the
                      dead, feats of healing, and so on.

                      With no supernatural tales to invoke awe in the reader, and no
                      historical references to cling to for the sake of reality-hugging,
                      one must ask what the core dynamic of the appeal of the Book of the
                      Law is. The author was apparently confident that power of myth alone
                      is enough to capture the imaginations of his readers--authors like
                      Joseph Campbell have demonstrated amply how redundant and intrinsic
                      myth is to human perception and life-drama. The claim that Crowley
                      forged the Book of the Law is disputed by the existence of the myths
                      utilized within its pages over 5000 years before he was born. The
                      mythological elements of ancient Egyptian culture fueled the lives
                      and minds of the Egyptians for so long that beta-testing the myths in
                      the present time-period in unnecessary.

                      Rather than have a god descend from the Heavens and interact with a
                      human mythological character, the author of the Book of the Law
                      challenges his readers to resume the practices of the ancient
                      Egyptians and become Hadit--an act that requires the reader to rise
                      up and assume the role and power of a god and interact with the gods
                      on their level."

                      A brief excerpt from my centennial surprise.......


                      Prophet of L
                    • 333
                      jesse roberts: # How are the time and place of the transmission of AL # irrelevant? they are irrelevant if we don t place any authority in the book, the
                      Message 10 of 12 , Mar 25, 2004
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                        jesse roberts:
                        #> How are the time and place of the transmission of AL
                        #> irrelevant?

                        they are irrelevant if we don't place any authority in the
                        book, the author, the scribe, or the message.

                        #> If Crowley just up and lied about it's reception (time
                        #> and place), then why is it such a leap to imagine that
                        #> he made the whole thing up?

                        it's one of the first things I hypothesized in considering
                        his scripture, of course. critical thinking regarding the
                        scripture of religions is imperative to the Thelemite of
                        any salt.

                        Cavalorn:
                        # The next step is for people to start saying 'So what if
                        # he did make it up? Isn't making things up a Magickal Act (TM)?'

                        the Magus utters a Word, why not a whole Bible full of Words?

                        # It's really reminding me of what happened when Wicca was
                        # discovered to be a modern-day concoction and not a genuine
                        # ancient tradition at all.

                        some still haven't discovered this. hiding one's proverbial
                        head in the sands of fabrication is an age-old practice.

                        # Exactly the same 'well it's none the less valid for all
                        # that' line came up.

                        nobody's talking about what *makes* some batch of texts "valid".
                        if it floats? ("It's valid! It's valid! Burn it!!!") if it is
                        said to "work"? (if it 'works' for one will it 'work' for all?
                        where does the advertizement end and the science begin?) is a
                        standard of useability, sacrality, or some other measurable
                        quality discernable outside someone's hype and propaganda?

                        # I don't think the case with Liber AL is anything like so
                        # conclusive - the jury is still well and truly out.

                        there's a case? when will the jury ever come back in?

                        # However, I do tend to think that it is perfectly legitimate
                        # to investigate the account of the reception and test the
                        # claims made by AC.

                        I hope so.

                        # Isn't that what the Method of Science is all about?

                        no, the method of science involves promoting the appearance
                        of skeptical scrutiny while *still* pulling a fast one. ;>

                        333
                      • Eric O'Dell
                        ... It might be helpful to take a step further back and question the very notion of validity, of truth and falsehood. These are all ideas about other ideas
                        Message 11 of 12 , Mar 26, 2004
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                          On Thu, 25 Mar 2004, 333 wrote:

                          > # Exactly the same 'well it's none the less valid for all
                          > # that' line came up.
                          >
                          > nobody's talking about what *makes* some batch of texts "valid".
                          > if it floats? ("It's valid! It's valid! Burn it!!!") if it is
                          > said to "work"? (if it 'works' for one will it 'work' for all?
                          > where does the advertizement end and the science begin?) is a
                          > standard of useability, sacrality, or some other measurable
                          > quality discernable outside someone's hype and propaganda?

                          It might be helpful to take a step further back and question the very
                          notion of validity, of truth and falsehood. These are all ideas about
                          other ideas and, therefore, fairly arbitrary. To say that a statement is
                          true or false is to say that it passes or fails certain tests in the
                          opinion of a person or group. We may suppose -- and of course, all of us
                          who purport to be scientific *do* suppose -- that our tests are based on
                          comparison with some standard of objective reality, and we may in so doing
                          assume that there is an objective reality with which to make comparisons,
                          and that our senses (and, in practically every scientific field except
                          Magick, our instruments) are capable of reliably measuring reality against
                          our theoretical predictions. We may further stipulate (and if we are
                          honest, we know we are stipulating) that errors in perception and judgment
                          can be eliminated by peer review, which is to say that a majority of us
                          can settle on a common set of ideas by a process of agreement untainted by
                          intellectual prejudice and base primate pack instincts.

                          In the end, though, all we can be reasonably sure about is that the
                          scientific process has led us to an agreement that, like most such
                          agreements before it, will be revised, modified, or superseded later as
                          more data becomes available. (Oh, well, to be sure, we can do a lot more
                          than that, from exchanging harsh words to exchanging high-velocity
                          projectiles, as our species is prone to do in its search for agree-- er,
                          Truth.)

                          But of course, all this is an argument for solipsism, and while solipsism
                          is the only truly unassailable position to take, it's a bit of a dead end
                          retreat into a fortress in the Abyss. So let's assume for the sake of
                          continued argument that we can have some kind of useful mapping between
                          Ideas and Things, and go forward.

                          Let's dispense, first of all, with all of the various fallacies of guilt
                          by association. Crowley may have been a pure fiction, concocted by English
                          editors anxious to compete with Madame Blavatsky's book sales. This has
                          little bearing on most of Liber AL, except for the role of the Prophet,
                          which is supposedly minimal anyway. Half or three-quarters of Liber AL
                          might be the finest imported Chinese hogshit, but that has no bearing on
                          the remaining portion.

                          In purely self-interested terms, whether ancient Egyptian Gods hijacked
                          Rose Crowley's voluntary nervous system in 1904 to dictate Liber AL to
                          Aleister Crowley and annointed him the Beast and Prince-Priest of Infinite
                          Space -- or whatever it was -- has little bearing to me. Nor, aside from
                          some characteristic rhetorical flourishes, did AC seriously suggest that I
                          or anyone else should pay any particular attention to him personally in
                          the years to come. So what's left?

                          1. Some high-level descriptions of magical practices, some of which is
                          couched in language readily admitting multiple interpretations. The value
                          of this will depend entirely on the results obtained by individual
                          operators.

                          2. A supreme moral injuction, "Do what thou wilt," accompanied by a
                          denunciation of all other moral injunctions. The purported value of this
                          Law is described in the text itself, rather ambiguously, as joy and
                          continuity of awareness. Do you suppose you have satisfied the Law? Do you
                          feel joy and continuity of awareness? If not, does the failure lie with
                          you or the Law? Or the promised reward? Is it really a moral injunction or
                          simply a description of nature, and therefore cognate with the Tao? Rinse,
                          lather, and debate endlessly.

                          3. A whole bunch of lesser moral injunctions which are presumably
                          unnecessary, since they are either invalid in the light of #2, above, or
                          follow naturally from it and therefore need not be said.

                          4. Curious textual features which are declared, mostly but not exclusively
                          outside of the text itself, to contain Qabalistic puzzles whose solution
                          will

                          A. Be of some magical value, and

                          B. prove beyond any reasonable doubt the superhuman authorship of the
                          text.

                          Various partial solutions have already been claimed, of course, but none
                          have yet been generally acclaimed. How long do you want to wait for this?
                          It will be a century in a bit over a week now. Mathematical puzzles and
                          questions of physics have sometimes taken longer than that. The Christians
                          are still tapping their fingers after twenty centuries. Ask yourself, at
                          what point do we cease to resemble patient scientists and begin to
                          resemble superstitious boobs? Does it matter? How will we know it if we
                          unravel it?

                          5. A number of obscure symbolic representations of the structure of the
                          universe through the allegory of an Egyptian trinity of dubious
                          authenticity, except in the back-handed sense that the Egyptians made up
                          new gods as necessary throughout their history, so why shouldn't we? Is
                          there some practical value here? See #1, above.

                          These, to me, are the significant questions regarding the value of the
                          text. The question of whether Crowley's tale about its reception is
                          historically true matters about as much as whether the Haynes Manual for
                          my 1980 VW Vanagon really was based on "a complete teardown and rebuild"
                          of the engine or not. (I have my doubts -- the photographs all seem to
                          have less grease and oil in them than any real working engine I've seen.)
                          It was mighty helpful with figuring out how to diagnose some electrical
                          problems and adjust the timing, and somewhat sparse on details when it
                          came to gapping the points. Is it true? Pardon me while I wash my hands.
                          It is useful? Some of it has been, some of it hasn't, but might or might
                          not become so as I learn more. (Having figured out how to adjust the
                          points gap by trial and error, the rest of that section makes more sense
                          now.) I thought Frank Herbert's _Dune_ novels and Ursula K. LeGuin's
                          _Earthsea_ novels had a number of useful ideas that were immediately
                          applicable to mundane and magical purposes, if not always in contexts the
                          authors might have anticipated.

                          Of course, Herbert never claimed to have been inspired by an incorporeal
                          Bene Gesserit witch, nor did LeGuin purport that she got her story
                          straight from Ged, so there's no controversy there. Mr. Crowley did make
                          such claims for Aiwass and other characters, and behaved quite poorly at
                          parties as well, so the question of *veracity* is endlessly rehashed at
                          the expense of time that could be better spent, um, practicing Magick,
                          keeping what works and dispensing with the rest. Carlos Castaneda's works
                          are almost certainly fabricated to a large extent, but some of the
                          techniques he describes do reliably produce some dramatic effects,
                          regardless of whether don Juan Matus and the bit about peyote and
                          mushrooms were just marketing devices or not.

                          So I have two questions to throw out for general contemplation:

                          1. What do you hope to achieve through Thelema?

                          2. What exactly hinges on Aleister Crowley's veracity?


                          Regards,
                          -e.
                        • 333
                          50040429 vii om Cavalorn: # The next step is for people to start saying So what if he did make it # up? Isn t making things up a Magickal Act (TM)?
                          Message 12 of 12 , Apr 29 2:25 PM
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                            50040429 vii om

                            Cavalorn:
                            # The next step is for people to start saying 'So what if he did make it
                            # up? Isn't making things up a Magickal Act (TM)?'

                            Alamantra:
                            # Its amazing that one of the most basic things that so many people
                            # overlook (and I have myself from time to time), is the fact that
                            # the most important factor of "applicability" is that a practice,
                            # philosophy or idea be suitable and useful for any given individual.

                            toward what end, O My Chosen?!

                            # If something is distorted and useless gibberish to someone then it
                            # doesn't really matter where it came from.

                            yes it does. the source can generate projections atop the item and it
                            will grow a novel cult about it. humans are pretty predictable.

                            # If its not applicable or useful, it doesn't matter that it came
                            # from some ancient or some modern text.

                            the ontological status of applicability or usefulness is not easy to
                            pin down. what you claim is such will be "discovered" by the creative
                            self-enSlavers to be useful toward some project or aim. its ancient
                            status will be used to prop up the novel practical employment, often
                            serving the ecclesiastic hierarchs.

                            # It doesn't matter what scholarly means indexed the
                            # work in question.

                            it matters to those projecting some usefulness upon it, O My Chosen!

                            # It doesn't matter if the idea has many subscribers or not.

                            it matters to those who so subscribe, O My Chosen!

                            # If it doesn't improve the quality of a person's life, its useless
                            # or worse.

                            the problem is that PLACEBOs "improve the quality of a person's
                            life, and if they didn't understand them, they'd attribute the
                            helpful catalyzing factor to the placebo. this is in large how
                            a number of magical and religious items function, O My Chosen!

                            # If nothing else, "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law."

                            right, like that now means something consistent or predictable.

                            # (regardless of where the phrase came from) is, philosophically
                            # speaking, an accurate description of the limits of an
                            # individual's predilections and capabilities, usually found
                            # between the boundries of one's sense of humor and sense of wonder.

                            oh so now it is a description we can use to orient. it isn't moral,
                            it isn't an aim, it isn't an edict, it isn't a Word, or a Law, or
                            a scriptural reflection of the Application of the Law. gotcha.

                            # And on the other hand, if it is useful or serves to magnetize a
                            # person's interest, compels their fascination and engages their
                            # intent, it is a natural part of the process itself to know where,
                            # when and how something came about, as it helps to set the scene,
                            # as it were, for the ritual and the play.

                            the religious make these things as part of their self-enSlavement,
                            O My Chosen! there will be no way to discern the two scriptures.

                            # In this case, it is a part of the development of the idea itself,
                            # and by way of example, let us consider The Book of the Law...

                            oh let's not. I find that the manifest universe is difficult to so
                            consider. presuming that some set of scribblings can arrive as a
                            stand-in is ridiculously simplistic and subject to manipulation.
                            far better to avoid objectification wherever possible, since it is
                            likely to prevent the build-up of decay resulting in religious Slaves.

                            333
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