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  Manifestation and Imperfection
General Thelema Posted by Martin Hettland on November 25, 2001 @ 12:54 PM
from the beast-of-all-possible-worlds dept.

In the book Magick in Theory and Practice, Chapter VII, "The Formula of the Holy Graal," section V, Crowley states:

Thelemites agree that manifested existence implies Imperfection.

Does Crowley mean by this that unmanifest existence -- before or after our lives of manifest existence -- is more perfect then manifested existence, i.e., that perfection can only be reached beyond this life of manifested existence?


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    Re: Manifestation and Imperfection
    by Mordecai on Sunday November 25, @10:15PM
    Unmanifested existence cannot be known, only inferred. What can be known is manifested existence. That it implies Imperfection I entirely agree, as would many Buddhists and Taoists as well as Thelemites. Whether or not umanifested existence implies Perfection is, as I said, unknowable, but personally I infer that it does. "The Perfect and the Perfect are one Perfect and not two; nay, are none!"

    • Re: Manifestation and Imperfection
      by Martin Hettland on Tuesday November 27, @04:23AM
      'Magick without Tears' chapter 71: Morality(2)

      "What is the meaning of Initiation? It is the Path to the realisation of your Self as the sole, the supreme, the absolute of all Truth, beauty, Purity , Perfection!"

      From this it looks like Crowley meant that one throught the process of initiation could reach Perfection in this life.

      Is the 'Perfection of initiation' in this manifest life, and the 'Perfection of unmanifest existence' refering to the same kind of perfection, and if so, do they not contradict eachother.

      If the 'Perfection of initiation' and the 'Perfection of unmanifest existence' are two different kinds of perfection, this seems to contradict yor last quote:
      "The Perfect and the Perfect are one Perfect and not two; nay, are none!"....Or is this an example of the 2=0 equation, where two opposites cancel eachother out and makes a balance?

      Martin.


      • Re: Manifestation and Imperfection
        by Omen Raine on Tuesday November 27, @01:39PM
        "From this it looks like Crowley meant that one through(t) the process of initiation could reach Perfection in this life."

        Indeed!

        "Is the 'Perfection of initiation' in this manifest life,..."

        Where does "in this manifest life" come into play, other than in your own interpretation?

        I don't think the perfection he was refering to is experienced "in this manifest life." He was refering to samadhi (or even beyond) which plays no part "in this manifest life". Read any buddhist literature and you will undoubtedly find something along the lines of "IT plays no part in the seperated delusions of 'you' nor 'I', 'this' nor 'that'". IT is what is prior to manifestation. It is reached when the faculties of manifestation and distinction have been sufficiently stilled, and One comes to rest in the unmanifest.

        Or so unfolds my distinction...

        Regards,
        Raine


        • Re: Manifestation and Imperfection
          by Martin Hettland on Tuesday December 04, @05:43AM
          In this thread Virbius has written that:"Crowley
          was not particulary consistant between "Magick in Theory and Practise"(1929) and "Magic Without Tears"(1945).
          But personaly I do find a cosistancy between these years, that is the Crowley of 1929 and and the late Crowley of 1945.
          In Crowley's "Confessions" from 1929 he states this in the chapter 'What is freemasonry?':
          "We do not have to worry about these matters, and we cannot alter them if we would; death and what follows, are equally certain, and equally able to take care of themselves. Our sole preoccupation is how best to make use of our lives."

          In the quote above Crowley outlines the main purpose of his teaching, and this is not focused on what comes before or after this lufe.

          Neither is Crowley focused what comes before or after this life in the two quotes at the bottom of this mail, both from the chapter 7, 'Three Schools of Magick'(part 2) in "Magick Without Tears".
          In the first one he writes: "Existence is pure joy." and 4 lines later he writes: "Existence is thus a sacramet."
          Crowley allso writes: "Nietzsche expresses the philosophy of this School('The White School' that Crowley claimed to belong to himself)to that extent with considerable accuracuy and vigor."
          One of the main ideas in Nietzsche´s philosophy is that everything repeats itself life after life, and that there is no permanet Hell or Heaven, remember Nietzsche´s claim that God was dead.
          Crowley seems to confirm having a similar view when he writes this at the end of the first quote from 'Magick Without Tears' at the bottom of this mail:
          "A heaven of popular concert, like the Christian; of unconscious repose, like the Buddhist; or even
          of sensual enjoyment, like the Moslem, excites his nausea and contempt. He understands that the only joy worth while is the
          joy of continual victory, and victory itself would become as tame as croquet if it were not spiced by equally continual defeat."

          --
          __At the end of the second quote from 'Magick Without Tears' Crowley writes:
          "What is necessary is not to seek after some fantastic ideal, utterly unsuited to our real needs, but to discover the
          true nature of those needs, to fulfill them, and rejoice therein.

          This process is what is really meant by initiation; that is to say, the going into oneself, and making one's peace, so to speak,
          with all the forces that one finds there."
          In the way Crowley describes what that is really meant by initiation, it seems that Crowley´s view of what that really constituted an initiation, is closer to what Mordecai in this thread describes as becomming "a fully integrated individual", than atainment of a perfection beyond/outside this life. This description of initiation is consistant
          with the message in my other quote from 'Magick Without Tears", where Crowley is covering the subject of initiation, you can find this quote at the beginning of this thread.

          As to the subject of samadhi, it is stated in the new Crowley biography "A life of Aleister Crowley", that Crowley himself felt that he never managed to reach this state.



          (First quote from MWT);"Existence is pure joy. Sorrow is caused by failure to perceive this fact; but this is not a misfortune. We have invented
          sorrow, which does not matter so much after all, in order to have the exuberant satisfaction of getting rid of it. Existence is
          thus a sacrament.

          Adepts of the White School regard their brethren of the Black very much as the aristocratic English Sahib (of the days when
          England was a nation) regarded the benighted Hindu. Nietzsche expresses the philosophy of this School to that extent with
          considerable accuracy and vigour. The man who denounces life merely defines himself as the man who is unequal to it. The
          brave man rejoices in giving and taking hard knocks, and the brave man is joyous. The Scandinavian idea of Valhalla may be
          primitive, but it is manly. A heaven of popular concert, like the Christian; of unconscious repose, like the Buddhist; or even
          of sensual enjoyment, like the Moslem, excites his nausea and contempt. He understands that the only joy worth while is the
          joy of continual victory, and victory itself would become as tame as croquet if it were not spiced by equally continual defeat."



          (Second quote from MWT):"What is true for every School is equally true for every individual. Success in life, on the basis of the Law of Thelema, implies
          severe self-discipline. Each being must progress, as biology teaches, by strict adaptation to the conditions of the organism.
          If, as the Black School continually asserts, the cause of sorrow is desire, we can still escape the conclusion by the Law of
          Thelema. What is necessary is not to seek after some fantastic ideal, utterly unsuited to our real needs, but to discover the
          true nature of those needs, to fulfill them, and rejoice therein.

          This process is what is really meant by initiation; that is to say, the going into oneself, and making one's peace, so to speak,
          with all the forces that one finds there."


          • Re: Manifestation and Imperfection
            by Martin Hettland on Wednesday December 05, @10:32AM
            In Mircea Eliade´s book "The Holy and the Profane"
            on page 108 the author writes: "...the religious human being wants to be different from what they actaually are in the natural world, that they want to shape themselves after the ideal image which is revealed in the myths. The primitive human being strives towards a religious human ideal, and this effort carries within itself the first seed to all later ethical systems."

            This is opposite of what Crowley writes in 'Magick Without Tears' in the second letter on morality, (quoted at the bottom of this mail), he is negative to the fear of being oneself.

            Crowley is also against seeking "after some fantastic ideal, utterly unsuited to our real needs", as stated in the last Crowley quote in the mail above this on in this thread.

            The teaching Croweley invented goes aginst the patern in all former systems of religion.

            Martin.



            (Quote from MWT Morality(2))"There is a highly popular school of "occultists" which is 99 % an
            escape-mechanism. The fear of death is one of the bogeys; but far
            deeper is the root-fear --- fear of being alone, of being oneself, of
            life itself. With this there goes the sense of guilt.

            The Book of the Law cuts directly at the root of all this calamitous,
            this infamous tissue of falsehood.

            What is the meaning of Initiation? It is the Path to the realisation
            of your Self as the sole, the supreme, the absolute of all Truth,
            Beauty, Purity, Perfection!"


            • Re: Manifestation and Imperfection
              by Martin Hettland on Sunday December 09, @02:23PM
              Mircea Eliade was a scientist of religion.
              As mentioned in the mail above he stated that the
              primitive human being at the start of the history of religion wanted to improve itself, and that this effort carried within itself the first seed to all later ethical systems.

              On page 225 in "Magic Without Tears" there is another statement by Crowley that showes him to regard this motivation behind a religion and an ethical system to be wrong:

              "We are all ashamed to be ourselves; and this is sheer, stark stultification. For we ARE ourselves; we cannot get away from it;..."


      • Re: Manifestation and Imperfection
        by Mordecai on Tuesday November 27, @09:45PM
        There is a seeming contradiction between the two Crowley quotes, but since manifested existence is so manifestly imperfect, I rather believe that in the second reference Crowley is using "Perfection" metaphorically to mean something like "the best possible state" or "complete fulfillment of potential" or "fully integrated individuality".


        • Re: Manifestation and Imperfection
          by Virbius on Wednesday November 28, @03:53PM
          Crowley was not particularly consistent between MTP and MWT either. Consistency, as Proudhoun said, is the hobgoblin of small minds. In my experience and opinion, uncle Al was a little more ON in some cases than others.

          I sense the jist of Hettland's socratic querying though, and agree that Unmanifest Existence is somehow "perfect" and that Manifest Existence is fraught with imperfection. I also agree that the path of initiation brings us into contact with this perfection and brings the initiate into harmony with it, and therefore, if not "perfect", at least as much so as is possible according to the essential nature of the initate.

          Since the path of initiation directly involves the "uniting of microcosm and macrocosm" it seems to me that it also very much involves the environment of the initate and the other beings, intiates or not, in said environment. Since the intiate is likely to encounter any variety of perfect or imperfect individuals anywhere except inside a vacuum, this process of "acheiving perfection" is a lifelong work, fraught with many, sometimes disturbing and highly "imperfect" circumstances and experiences.

          Just my two cents.


          • Re: Manifestation and Imperfection
            by Azag on Thursday November 29, @04:06PM
            "and (I) agree that Unmanifest Existence is somehow "perfect" and that Manifest Existence is fraught with imperfection. I also agree that the path of initiation brings us into contact with this perfection and brings the initiate into harmony with it, and therefore, if not "perfect", at least as much so as is possible according to the essential nature of the initate."

            I would argue that it is the Mind of material Ego speaking of "imperfections", even in AC's case he's simply echoing the Temporal mind, and then he confuses the matter (intended) by crossing his own staements. Clearly a Prophet, and not a Messiah. I would agree that the nature of "Initiation" works because it reveals a state of becomming, climbing backwards up the ladder of manifestation leading towrd the conclusion that all levels or stages of manifestation are required and equally Divine.


    Re: Manifestation and Imperfection
    by jcat on Sunday November 25, @10:36PM
    manifest destiny meets unmanifest chaos

    cosmic terror reigns...
    war in heaven?
    do i hear a truce?
    does it stink?
    smell to on high?

    ...( listen in on the akashic record; is it playing backwords?...did the devil do do it
    is revolution playing in endless loops
    and samples...???...in space N time

    have we been duped, hexed, vexed, what
    meschugenah is this?...ask a Q-estion
    and get a q-estion back?
    oy vey!...

    Herbrew...is random DNA..Na Na NA...big D
    scratchin dat vinyl backwards and fowards
    DJ loco ghosthole

    juz look at dat dust jacket!!~!

    da jazzjunkdna...be da shit!
    dope shit...
    manifesto'ssssssssssssssssss

    {{{terrorat}}} :){:

    Re: Manifestation and Imperfection
    by OmenRaine on Monday November 26, @12:34PM
    Once upon a time, the universal field somehow generated a circumference, and universal awareness was born (manifest). Relatively soon after this, it got tired of simply being aware of itself (knowing), and spawned consciousness. It made the distinction between this and that, I and else (knower and known). It brought focus to a point upon an object (focus being an act of exclusion), and gave it a name. To give something a name implies that there is something else besides it. What was once complete in all its paradoxical, incomprehensible glory, had become seperated (outwardly, manifestedly), and thus was limited by the parameters of the definitions of its many seperate entities (in its outward or manifest form). (The inward is still intact, still perfect, but still the inspiration of this strange undefeatable potential to continually manifest outward form).

    Limited; it becomes imperfect as it makes 'this' and 'that' manifest.

    Perfection is prior to manifestation.
    Manifested existence implies (incurs would be a better word) imperfection.

    Re: Manifestation and Imperfection
    by Azag on Wednesday November 28, @06:56PM
    "Thelemites agree that manifested existence implies Imperfection."

    Physical manifestation implies imperfection, as the "Life energy" is granted on a temporary basis (for most). Reading AC's notes in Magick Thorey and Practice, he makes mention of the Moon holding the Sun's light temporarily as Women hold "Life giving" energy for a temporary period aligning the Female essence w/matter and the Moon (Temporal mind) & Male essence with the eternal or Light (Life giving)mind and the Sun.

    This Correlates directly to "Source" granting energy on a temporal basis to matter, as the Sun is constant in its own splendor and holds no shadow, and reflects off the moon at night - seemingly eternal. When the moon is gone from sight, its gone. Opens up interesting possibilities when both the Sun and Moon are visible. Middle pillar of manifestation?
    Unity or conflict?

    Perfection would seemingly be to evolve past the material mind of manifestation (literally the "Ego" of matter) to dwell with-in the eternal mind of "light" (life) or internal Sun, casting off the constant reactive imperfections of Temporal manifestations.

    Some even say that eternal physical life would be possible if only one could operate from a higher archetypal level, as operating with-in a reactive time stream forces us to age. Indwelling with the eternal would allow physical potential to become eternal also. As in initiation, one disregards the imperfection of Temporal consciousness, and participates in the echoing eternal chain of causation leading to our physical manifestations.

    Jumbled and vague, but there we are.

    • Re: Manifestation and Imperfection
      by Omen Raine on Thursday November 29, @01:20PM
      Jumbled and vague, but intriguing all the same.

      Thank you. : )

      This is off-topic, but:

      I've thought about immortality in similar light. As we grow from a child, we have many instances of association with 'the inevitability of aging'. But I've often wondered if the aging process itself is not just a by-product of making 'the inevitability of aging' affirmation, and stabilising it, in our own minds.

      There's many documented cases of this strange principle. It's been shown that people may attain greater states of health and physical prowess just by thinking about it. It's like the act of working out is only a trap for our attention, which brings about the desired results. Who says the trap must include cumbersome plates of iron?

      Jumbled and vague, but hey...


      • Re: Manifestation and Imperfection
        by Azag on Thursday November 29, @03:54PM
        "I've thought about immortality in similar light. As we grow from a child, we have many instances of association with 'the inevitability of aging'. But I've often wondered if the aging process itself is not just a by-product of making 'the inevitability of aging' affirmation, and stabilizing it, in our own minds. "

        While were slightly off topic, this reminds me of the Gnostic idea of the Temporal God (literally the Mind of Matter) making the mistake of thinking that Matter itself is the source of Life - and not recognizing/acknowledging the previous stages of manifestation.

        As the Western industrialization of Spiritual consciousness moves ever towards mechanization, and separation from the preexisting Mind of Divinity (Sophia potentiality, and before that withdrawal of Male force) we (I) too model ourselves in the same castrated light. I remember hearing that the Japanese have no Dogmatic belief in Original sin or Initial separation from divinity (a huge blanket statement yes), whereas that is one of the most basic and obvious flaws in what I will consider typical mundane Xtianity - as it has been revealed to me (Gnostics and like Xtian Adepts excluded, as I am yet a pud...forgive).

        The real truth (as according to me :]) is revealed in the story of Lilith escaping the Garden with a Magickal word (initiation) - becoming aligned with Samael (< created from Lilith?) as the Left Hand Path reflection of the RHP duo of Adam and a controllable Eve, an Eve created of man to be controlled by man, shunning the true state of nonseperation and Material Divinity and concentrating on the engineering of the eternal as a static state of nonevolution.

        More important, is that Lilith (daughter of Sophia) refused to acknowledge or be controlled by the userping, seemingly insane Ego-mind of sterile Matter, and forced matter to model Women after Man as she (Lilith) moved on to create life outside of the insane imbalance of the Material Ego-mind of a new universe.

        At this point the "Mind of Matter" basically ignores the Female Gnosis of Reproduction and Sexual Divinity, try's to imply that truth is only inherent in eternal consciousness (hence the separation principle), has to leave the Garden in a shocking display of lack of omnipotence - while Lilith turns into a serpent (messenger of Sophia?) and initiates Adam into Living Participation on both paths - using the created Eve to push him towards Temporal realization, as without the "Serpent" or mind of initiation, there would be no Material existence and potential Life in Matter would remain barren and unrealized as Life energy stagnated in the Garden. Hence Priests that cant have sex, a Virgin Mary at the disposal of a rude and callous tyrant.

        Today we see a Western society bent of affirming that initial state of removal from Divinity, seperating Light from Matter and apparently criminalizing the ability to Create Life and Light outside of the eternal realm of static Ego.

        So then we speak of escaping the misconceptions of Matter and physcial nature v.s. Light, learning that the Material state of manifestation is just as Divine as thre Eternal Flame that fuels. Its a backtracking process where we strive to unlearn the imperfection of material manifestaion hopefully leading towards Union between the Temporal and Eternal. Once we can each achieve this, well then the Kindom of Heaven will appear all around us, and hopefully we can appreciate "Being" simultaneously in the Eternal source while enjoying the gift of Matter as the fianl chord, the last busstop and flowering of Eternal inspiration.


        The anger of God, in this sense, is simply time on Matter. The Love of God, is simply the Gift of Life spinning like a wheel.

        Hows that for vague jumblation?


        • Re: Manifestation and Imperfection
          by Azag on Thursday November 29, @03:58PM
          not to mention off-topic heh.


          • Re: Manifestation and Imperfection
            by Mordecai on Thursday November 29, @06:14PM
            I don't think it's off-topic at all. Immortality and perfection seem inextricably linked to me.


            • Re: Manifestation and Imperfection
              by Martin Hettland on Sunday December 02, @08:37AM
              According to what I have read immortality and perfection was allso linked in the oldest religious traditions.
              This link is also held to be the original state of human kind in both the Hermetic tradition(Hermtic texts from the Middleages often mentions Saturn, the king of the Golden Age, that is the beginning of time. This might be a reason behind a German O.T.O. ofshoot in 1923 choosing the name "Fraternitas Saturni"), and in the Rosicrician traditions.
              But the Hermetic tradition had its origin in between the 3. and 4. century, before the time of Christianity's total domination of European culture.
              The Hermetic texts' description of the Golden Age differ from the Rosicrucian's more Judeo-Christian description of the Golden Age, but the Hermetic tradition was eventually absorbed into the Rosicrusian traditon in the 18th century.
              The Rosicrucians described their knowledge as the, "the Light, that Adam held before the fall into sin occured."
              In this connection I will mention that Crowley in 'Magick Without Tears' describes O.T.O. as having an Rosicrucian origin, not an Hermetic origin.
              O.T.O. has been linked with the 'Hermetic brotherhood of Luxor', but this order was only trying restart the Hermetic traditon, and it claimed to have its charter of acception from a German Rosicrusian order("Order of the Golden and Rosy Cross)", it did not claim any direct lineage to any real Hermetic order.


    Re: Manifestation and Imperfection
    by Alone In The Desert on Thursday November 29, @04:05PM
    Thunder Perfect Mind
    Meets the
    Gospel of Thomas

    Divine Androgyny, Coincidata Oppisatorum, the Alpha and the Omega, Unite the Male/Female Within and transcend both at the third point of the pyramid...Baphomet, Gnostic Goat, Doctrine of the SON, God Archetype of the realized Self, Void of self.

    First and Last, Front and Back, round and round in a riddle of the sphinx, we are that moment, NOW, is the eternal rhythm, sistole,diastole of the univeral heartbeat.

    Someone once said "Time is the straight gate through which the messiah may pass at any moment." Each breath, second now is the potential dawning of the messianc age, the Messiah that is to arise in each of us if we seek it with every fiber of our body, mind, heart and soul...

    Breath, relax, sink into the void, and then pounce forward,

    Fiery Phoenix rejuevented in the Alembic Vessel of Eternity.

    There is no limit to what we might become, cocreate the New Jeruselm in your own being, and become an examplar of the NEW ADAM, perfected being realized here and now, in the New Heaven, New Earth, of CHRISTOS/LUCIFER,

    A heavenly paradox, united beyond the vale of human limitations, a totality in this grain of sand, an eternity in this spec of time...

    JIVAN MUKTI, Liberated, Realized, while alive as a perfected flaming creative vessel for the cosmic spark of I AM THAT I AM, Eheyeh Asher Eheyeh.

    Purify and perfect your Grail so that the heavenly dove of spirit might descend, and let the sweet rushing waters of divine plentitude pour forth from your being to fertilize the parched soils of this longing Eden to be.

    Then, all manifestations will Attain Perfection once again...

    • Re: Manifestation and Imperfection
      by Azag on Thursday November 29, @04:16PM
      after my first Gnostic Mass, I realized that I had never before conciously witnessed Sophia in physcial form, and that the Temporal mind wanted just as much as I did, to finally be re-united with that state of Grace, to finally see my mother...again, and acknowledge the full reign and path of Life without guilt, without seperation. I wept for myself and my assumed removal, and the material God wept with me...for the first and last time.



     
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