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  False Personality
Self Realization Posted by Xnoubis on February 11, 2002 @ 04:27 PM
from the any-more-like-you-at-home? dept.

Most esoteric schools include some notion of a false personality that is distinguished from the true self. Is this a part of Thelema? Or is it just Old Aeonic dualism?


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    Re: False Personality
    by Mordecai on Monday February 11, @05:03PM
    Clearly Crowley subscribed to it, at least to a degree, else he wouldn't have put so much emphasis on True Will (implying that one could be deceived as to the nature of one's will) even though the Book of the Law never uses that phrase, just speaking of "will" and on one occasion "pure will".

    • Re: False Personality
      by Xnoubis on Thursday February 14, @05:03PM
      It seems to me that there is a Thelemic assumption that if one persists in an aim, no matter what it is, that one will eventually be led to one's Will. But if there is a false personality, couldn't one wind up persisting in something that leads away from one's will? If so, then is there a way to discern whether or not an aim is false, in this sense?


      • Re: False Personality
        by Padre Gal McLoud on Thursday February 14, @11:33PM
        Dear Xnoubis:

        But if there is a false personality,couldn't one wind up persisting in something that leads away from one's will? If so, then is there a way to discern whether or not an aim is false, in this sense?

        You have asked the $100,000 question. I suspect that we develop our own tech as we go, and how we define our successes will color the criteria that we use. Speaking for myself, my success and failure cannot be determined by false assumption. As Mordecai pointed out, even the higher self is a mask: we are all self-created. But who is doing the creating?

        It is a philosophical paradox. And yet, I believe that in the question there must be an answer.


        • Re: False Personality
          by Mordecai on Friday February 15, @12:08AM
          >But who is doing the creating?

          If you remove all the incidental things about us, our bodies, our personalities, our environments, all you have left is the pure perceiver, the dimensionless point of awareness, Hadit. That's who we really are, the "true personality", and it isn't even a personality at all! Is maskness a mask?


          • Re: False Personality
            by J. A. on Friday February 15, @09:09AM
            I must ultimately disagree since I cannot grasp why everything must be reduced to nothing in your eyes to be something. If you really wanted to be gung ho then to follow this line of reasoning even nothing itself is incidental, as you call it. But in the end what you find is that a musician is not a musician without influences. Personless personality is non sequitur and non possumus--the contradiction of all contradictions. For to confuse personality with a divine supernature that exists where no man may live is a mistake.


            • Re: False Personality
              by Mordecai on Friday February 15, @09:51AM
              As Hadit "says": "For I am perfect, being Not"


              • Re: False Personality
                by J. A. on Friday February 15, @10:57AM
                Maybe you can explain to me one day what a personless personality might look like. But I think you've failed to understand that everything should not be compared to occult natures, which in this case does not make a whole lotta sense. For example, you can't describe a monkey's features using a tree as a model. I mean, you could but not many would be convinced that trees have brains.


                • Re: False Personality
                  by Mordecai on Friday February 15, @12:59PM
                  Of course, as I wrote, "it isn't even a personality at all!", so the issue isn't "personless personality" but rather 'personalityless persons'. In any event you aren't a personality or even a person, you are the uncreated, changeless, absolute menstruum of all appearance, including the appearance of individual personality. You observe your body, your mind, your world, but who is actually the observer?


                  • Re: False Personality
                    by J. A. on Friday February 15, @01:47PM
                    That's well. But Webster I don't think will erase the words person and personality from his dictionary, as it would make him the laughing stock of the world for many centuries to come. The topic isn't about "is there such things as personality and personhood". But since you keep insisting, Personality exists regardless of observation, therefore it doesn't matter who is observing. It stands to reason that a person can lie, cheat, manipulate, which of things insists a False Personality. A little time spent in the real world would confirm this. As for uncreated, changeless, menstruum of all appearance (I don't want to know what that means!!!) I won't even begin to tackle it.


                    • Re: False Personality
                      by Mordecai on Friday February 15, @02:28PM
                      >Personality exists regardless of observation

                      This may be the basis of our ultimate disagreement. I don't think that anything exists "regardless of observation". No observer, no observed. Though I can't "prove" this, it certainly can't be disproven. By definition (Webster's or whoever's) no example of an unobserved phenomenon can ever be given.


                      • Re: False Personality
                        by J. A. on Friday February 15, @03:40PM
                        Now it would be a matter of denial or psychosis to say a tree disappears when one stops looking at it. You really are jerking around the viewers on this board and it is NOT appreciated.


                        • Re: False Personality
                          by Mordecai on Friday February 15, @10:17PM
                          You said it, I didn't. My memory is quite up to keeping the tree in existence. My imagination can sustain Kansas, though I've never been there. It's perfectly rational of me to believe that there are even things beyond the limited horizon of my perception, memory, and imagination. It's just that I have no actual proof of the existence of anything which has never been perceived or dreamt up. On the other hand I have continual and irrefutable proof at every moment that "consciousness" exists, and that it is the very basis of being. The "objects" of perception are just appearances, "real" or "true" appearances it may well be, but appearances nonetheless. Can the same be said of perception itself?


      • Re: False Personality
        by nexist on Friday February 15, @01:26PM
        Of course there is. Liber AL answers this perfectly. If something gives you 'joy unimaginable' then you are doing your will. Doing your will is a pleasure, the will is the purpose for our very existence. To do it is to naturally fit into the very thing which we were meant to do. We will take to it like a "duck to water" and be as happy as a "pea in a pod".


        • Re: False Personality
          by Padre Gal McLoud on Monday February 18, @12:38PM
          Greetings:

          Of course there is. Liber AL answers this perfectly. If something gives you 'joy unimaginable' then you are doing your will. Doing your will is a pleasure, the will is the purpose for our very existence.

          I can get behind this interpretation dependent on a couple of things:

          1. If joy is used as a measuring stick, how does one know when they are doing their Will, as opposed to when they are fulfilling some whim?

          2. When Jesus doubted, he said he did not want to drink from the cup which was given to him, but then realized that there was little choice in the matter. One might argue that he realized his Will and accomplished it. Suffering was part of the course.

          Isn't it then possible that doing ones Will could lead to suffering? Or that the knowledge of that Will may limit some of your options, in terms of what you wanted, or expected to do?

          I am thinking that "Existence is Joy" is a way of recognizing the privlidge of earthly existence and little more.

          Pax


          • Re: False Personality
            by nexist on Tuesday February 19, @10:59AM
            If joy is used as a measuring stick, how does one know when they are doing their Will, as opposed to when they are fulfilling some whim?

            Some joys fade, some joys transmute. Joy is actualy an inadequate word -- the Joy of the Buddha, of Christ -- it is more a blissful at-one-ment (& yes I cringe to use that phrase). Proper articulation of the shadows & shades of nuance are escaping me.

            Isn't it then possible that doing ones Will could lead to suffering?

            "Remember all ye that existence is pure joy; that all the sorrows are but as shadows; they pass & are done; but there is that which remains." II:9

            Or that the knowledge of that Will may limit some of your options, in terms of what you wanted, or expected to do?

            "...So with thy all; thou hast no right but to do thy will." I:42

            Existence is the restriction of an nth dimensional being into a 3.5 dimensional reference. I do not worry about restricting myself, so long as I accomplish that which is my very purpose for being, that is accomplish my will.


          • Re: False Personality
            by The Foolish One on Tuesday February 26, @03:40AM
            Paradox.Mental health comes to those that can contain life's irony. As a child I realized that while depressed I had a weird happy feeling inside. Even during my adolescence years at times when I was not happy with my circumstances and frustrated to the point of screaming and crying I felt joy. I believe that for every profound truth there is an equally profound opposite truth. When I'm feeling hate for something I feel a little bit 'o joy in my gut. When I get hurt there's a part of me that kinda likes it. Through introspection I realize that during the easy times in my life I actually create trials. I find joy in struggling.I like pain. I don't hurt my self on purpose but everytime I get
            a bruise I keep touching it. Once while going through some emotionally hard times this stranger reached out to me and grabbed my hand. She told me that suffering makes you beautiful. I understood. Life is full of up's and down's. Love it or leave it. So if you're doing what you're wilt to do then of course there will be suffering; there will also be pleasure. So to find joy in fullfilling one's will is to find joy in happiness and suffering. So I agree that "Existence is Joy". Sacrifice and endurance makes a person stronger.
            Do what thou wilt shall be the Whole of the Law.
            ---T.F.O.


    Re: False Personality
    by Padre Gal McLoud on Tuesday February 12, @12:58AM
    Jung also subscribed to this idea of a false self, calling it a "mask." I think the concept is pretty much accepted in psychological schools. The fact is, that the "self" which we use to interface with society is completely different than the "self" that tends to come out when alone. It is a necessary component of our minds.

    The problem, from a purely philosophical-I-want-to-get-gnosis point of view is we have been wearing the mask for so long that many of us have started to believe our own bullshit. Once we become so vested in the existence and survival of this "mask" then the true self is buried under many layers of fertilizer.

    The pursuit of Gnosis must begin with a true and sincere effort to being honest with ones self.

    Having said all of this, how similar is your online persona from the regular mask you show your friends, family and coworkers, and can we resist the temptation of trying to appear smarter, more witty, and more sincere than we really are?

    --
    "I know that I am a man who does not speak to every one only that which might please him, and I am not used to give submissive answers to arrogant questions. I know my ways, and I do not wish to change them; neither could I change my nature. I am a rough man, born in a rough country. I've been brought up in pine-woods, and I may have inherited some knots. That which seems to me polite and amiable may appear unpolished to another, and what seems silk in my eyes may be but home spun to you." - Paracelsus

    • Re: False Personality
      by Mordecai on Tuesday February 12, @06:30PM
      Ultimately, even the 'true self' is revealed as a mask. As Crowley writes in the 14th Aire: "What I thought were shapes of rocks, rather felt than seen, now appear to be veiled Masters, sitting absolutely still and silent. Nor can any one be distinguished from the others. And the Angel sayeth: Behold where thine Angel hath led thee! Thou didst ask fame, power and pleasure, health and wealth and love, and strength, and length of days. Thou didst hold life with eight tentacles, like an octopus. Thou didst seek the four powers and the seven delights and the twelve emancipations and the two and twenty Privileges and the nine and forty Manifestations, and lo! thou art become as one of These. Bowed are their backs, whereon resteth the universe. Veiled are their faces, that have beheld the glory Ineffable."


      • Re: False Personality
        by Padre Gal McLoud on Tuesday February 12, @09:22PM
        Greetings Mordecai:

        But then the question becomes: Who creates that "mask" and which components were chosen to build it? And also "Why were those components any better than any other component?"

        The obvious answer to me is in the self created Gods of Egypt.

        What do you think?


      • Re: False Personality
        by Xnoubis on Thursday February 14, @05:02PM
        Ultimately, even the 'true self' is revealed as a mask.

        I wonder, though, whether this formulation tips the scales from form to emptiness... Y'know: form is none other than emptiness, sure, but emptiness is none other than form, sorta thing.


    Re: False Personality
    by J. A. on Tuesday February 12, @10:08AM
    One thing that can be certain is the personality as the major factor in determining your fate, and the successes and failures within. That should in no way imply however that one cannot/should not manage multiple sets of personalities. More importantly, as where morality fits into diversity, is knowing the right time for each set. Locker room talk is not going to win any medals on a date, or on this forum. Such is in need of "Love under will" thereby escaping captivity of one's emotions. Let the will and intellect direct action is very much a part of every successful philosophy of the New Aeon. A false or deceiving personality is quite perceived therefore as a failure in the act of uniting/becoming model. (Great topic BTW)

    • Re: False Personality
      by Padre Gal McLoud on Tuesday February 12, @01:15PM
      Greetings:

      I agree. This is a great topic. Important.

      That should in no way imply however that one cannot/should not manage multiple sets of personalities.

      This is an excellent point, provided that we know the difference. Goetia may be a good tool for managing the various personalities, but is is rather tricky trying to treat the various masks as separate, and this can lead to fragmentation of the personality... which is also useful, but not unless one is prepared.

      I have a dog. He acts like you'd expect most house dogs to behave. Once in a while, I cut him loose in the woods and observe his behavior. After a few minutes in his environment I notice that he begins to prance differently, and his attitude changes gradually over the next 15 minutes until he is a completely different animal.

      I have been thinking for some time now, that the main benefit from belonging to a magical social Order, such as the OTO for example, is to create and participate in a safe arena where one can encourage the "true self" to flower. The difficulty seems to be that the same environment fosters and nurtures the "mask" in those individuals that may have confused it with the true self. And it does create a different sort of "locker room" mentality nevertheless. Perhaps this is why Crowley created the A.A.


      • Re: False Personality
        by J. A. on Tuesday February 12, @01:53PM
        You bring up excellent points about magick and how it affects the personality, which I failed to consider during my first post. I think it's safe to say that especially with Yoga and even drug use (as I don't practice the Goetia) that those experiences indeed change our mindset. We (can) become more detached, almost to a dangerous degree, and focus too much of the faults or positives, respectively. But with a safety net, or when the brain is viewed as a muscle which needs to be thoroughly worked in several areas, then we may overcome the negative aspects. I think there is a pattern of repetition that can either work to your advantage or work against, in which case suggests balance overall is the key. Seems sort of like alcohol, which of course in moderation (1 to 3 glasses a day), helps to thwart dementia, and improve learning skills and memory, due to its promotion of the blood vessels.


        • Re: False Personality
          by Padre Gal McLoud on Tuesday February 12, @02:13PM
          Greetings:

          I think it's safe to say that especially with Yoga and even drug use (as I don't practice the Goetia) that those experiences indeed change our mindset.

          For sure. I often tell people that Magick is the Science and Art of changing ones mind according to ones Will. It all goes back to our interaction with the universe and everything in it, and how changing ones perspective can change all of that.

          We (can) become more detached, almost to a dangerous degree, and focus too much of the faults or positives, respectively.

          I hadn't even thought about that in this context, but I think you are right. The fundamentalist does seem to set himself up for a fall by eliminating those things that he thinks are "bad" and replace them with things that are "good." This only leads to the creation of another mask, and the oppression of the True Self... as opposed to elimination of those things which are not conductive to the development of the True Will and holding fast to those things that do.

          Seems sort of like alcohol, which of course in moderation (1 to 3 glasses a day), helps to thwart dementia, and improve learning skills and memory, due to its promotion of the blood vessels.

          I did not know about this either. I understood it to be good for the heart in general, but delaying dimentia? Now I have another reason to indulge in my favorite past time. :)


          • Re: False Personality
            by Mordecai on Tuesday February 12, @05:12PM
            Yes, alcohol in moderation is good for both mind and heart, but be aware that if you go over 4 drinks a day the negatives (liver damage, increased stroke risk, etc.) start to outweigh the positives.


    Re: False Personality
    by george guggenheimelars on Tuesday February 12, @11:06PM
    I am struck (by the number of times I have to re-edit this text) no.

    I am struck by the essential similarity of friends reconnected with after a huge gulf of time.

    Does this provide evidence of the soul? Sorry :)

    But perhaps humans are incapable of genuine change. I feel that I have grown and developed a fair amount over the years, but what I have gained in savvy, I have paid for with less sponteneity, and honesty. Maybe somehow the sum-total provides a deceivingly familiar package to observers.

    Funny, I have a son, and I witnessed falsifications of sorts when he reached school age. The pure innocence of a child is most easily contrasted I suppose and parents see it easily.

    I looked for the attributes in others that I admired, and adopted as many as I thought I could afford.
    Think of the class system, where 'high-class' schools can instill or dole out traits that have been 'proven in the field'. This used to work in practice for the splendid British Empire, at least.

    As a side note, I find myself increasingly interested in the gulf between 'successfull graduates' and people I admire and respect but who remain unqualified. There is no diploma in moral honesty. And this, despite the advantages in the work-place for employers. Maybe rule abiding is
    more important than I realise...umm...no.

    I guess in a way, it doesn't matter whether you are 'true' in an essential sense, but the struggles of life can be remembered in a more honourable way if decision paths taken were not eased by shirking or lying.

    Having just read previous paragraphs, I am struck by my fear of lie-telling. How un-virtuous of me.

    But I think of old 'uns alive, and dead that are unambiguously genuine or sunny, more youthfull, engaging, happy and funny. I don't know them well enough to be certain that they were taking some kind of 'true' medicine. But am suspicious.

    From somewhere it comes to me that the best way to observe, learn and create, is to be truthfull. Shit do I have some way to go. And I feel I will cause pain to others.

    "Prove all things, hold steadfast that which is true."

    Scandalous.

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