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  The Next Step
Self Realization Posted by Xnoubis on August 24, 2000 @ 10:27 AM
from the are-we-there-yet? dept.

Crowley described the work of the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel as "the Next Step." If this work really is the next step for humanity, how might it come about?


I think I see in Crowley's writings and in the models of many Thelemites a certain set of assumptions about this: that since the Secret Chiefs appointed Crowley as the Prophet of the Aeon, his teachings are the most effective means for achieving the Next Step, and that even those who achieve the Next Step through other means will come to recognize Crowley as the Prophet of the Aeon. In this way, the accomplishment of the Next Step and the spread of Crowley's teachings go hand-in-hand.

Of course, we don't really know what the future will bring. But I have a hunch about a very different scenario, one that I feel Thelemites should consider and prepare for.

What if the field of psychology were to undergo a revolution, akin to the one that occurred through the work of Sigmund Freud, so that the substance of what we refer to as the Next Step became accepted by mainstream science as a goal of human development?

Obviously, the form of this would have to differ greatly from what Thelemites are accustomed to. I'm not predicting that a doctor will prescribe, "Perform the Abramelin Operation and call me in six months." A form that seems to me to have potential for widespread acceptance is A. H. Almaas's model of the Personal Essence, as I've written elsewhere. But it needn't be that model either. In fact, the less it looks like one person's model, the greater its chances for acceptance.

So a new psychological consensus develops, no doubt with a boring, unthreatening label, like "Continuous Development" or just "Human Development." As a result, today's concept of mental health becomes only a starting point, beyond which there is the common recognition of a further stage of growth, at one time labelled by occultists as the Great Work.

What role would Thelema play in this scenario?

The greatest problem that Thelema faces in this light is the set of assumptions that I described above: that Thelema intrinsically possesses the most effective means for accomplishing the Next Step. Do we have any way of evaluating what is going on in this field outside of Thelema? Do we have much interest in doing so?

My feeling is that we should first of all cast aside these assumptions. With that in mind, I think that it becomes apparent that Crowley's works, the Holy Books, the rituals, the whole cultural heritage of Thelema remains effective as an inspiration to the Great Work even if held in conjunction with techniques originating outside of Thelema.

When the value of the Next Step becomes a consensus, it will be accomplished in a variety of settings, depending on the preferences of those undertaking it. As I see it, Thelema resonates most strongly with young people, and this could be a function that it could take on quite effectively within this future scenario. As Rock and Roll is to the arts, so could Thelema become to the field of human development, with Aleister Crowley as the Chuck Berry of the Spirit.



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    Re: The Next Step
    by Diancecht on Thursday August 24, @11:57AM
    Interesting question. If the HGA were to be accepted by psychology (and I think it already is by an elect-underground few, if so under a different name(and who perhaps are/aren't psychiatrists but have great knowledge of its study)woah) the first and foremost that would need to occur is the filtering out of any notion of the "Higher Self" from the HGA, as it clearly is conflicting with the meaning. And this is documented in MWT.

    • Re: The Next Step
      by Xnoubis on Sunday August 27, @05:25PM
      It seems that I've misplaced my copy of MWT. Can you elaborate on that further?

      I can see how there are certain connotations of "Higher Self" that one would want to distinguish the HGA from. In the case of any two terms, it's helpful to note the differences as well as the similarities. But are the two really so separate as all that?


    Re: The Next Step
    by Craig (jaznanta) jinngyp on Friday August 25, @07:02PM
    ...the fact that you replyed to me with your
    great big, "neverrr minnd" is a good illistration
    of the stratification, in society, of so-called 'secret societys'...that are really a mirror to one another, and as the saying goes 'only as strong as it's weakest link'...you mentioned Freud, well what was the up shot of his insights?...to free
    up sexuality to the light of day, and the psychopathology of everyday living, which reminds me a lot of what Crowley was at pains to get people to practice; a kind of controled chaos...
    to awaken yourself to your own psychic/psycological patterns in everyday occurance, so Jung took it
    a step further with his 'synchronicity'...to the effect that in a meeting with Frued he pointed at the bookshelf and there was a loud report, so Jung
    proved his point?...a meeting of two very powerful minds, on the next stage of development?...
    ...is it that simple?...nevertheless there are flows within flows, who knows?...i was a child of the late sixties, that is, i was seventeen in 1967
    the 'summer of love' when i was at the Grand Lodge
    i use to do filing of documents; i read a letter
    that Crowely sent to Grady that said; something
    like, 'in the sixties you will meet poeple in tents that will be smoking hashish, these will be your people'...was this a prophecy?!, it seems
    that it was an example of seeing down the time lines, Grady talked about this as i recall, the seeing down the time lines...did Frued see down the time lines?, did Jung?...i had a dream, about
    a year after i stoped going to the grand lodge, in the dream Crowley told me that, "all prophecy means NOTHING!"...i take this as a GREAT LIBERATION,...that all things ultimatly eternaly return into NUIT, see the first line of the Book of the Law, HAD! the manifestation of NUIT. it is much like the first line of Tao Teh Ching, and in the translation i have it is,"Tao, as the absolute Way of the universe, cannot be conveyed with words,...there it is , the whole universe contained in that one line like a serpent eating it's own tail, the whole text in that one line, and the rest unfolds from it like the rest of the tree of life,...it's like if you could just get IT, in that one roll of the star dice!...that would be all that you would ever need or want,...
    what else is there really?...but the word contained in the word, the eye of Horus contained in the eye of Horus, HAD!, DAD!, BAD!, SAD, MAD,
    TAD! CAD! FAD! RAD! LAD! GAD! all words that extend but are contained, yes we have been HAD!
    and it is very SAD!...but it isn't so BAD!, is it?
    please don't go MAD!...might as well say MAD! the manifestation of everything and nothing!...am i
    getting a TAD bit too RADical?...Bad! the opening of the eye of Chaos...does that trash your scene?
    SAT TAT!!!...So where iwas i, was i was?...where do you want to go?..."BUT to love me is better then all things!...To ME to ME!...to love ME is better
    then all manifestations, therefore there is only the manifestation of NUIT, do we talk of next phazes or stages of development?...or is everything as IT was?...it was, it is, it shall be
    all onto NUIT...the only question then would be
    perhaps will you be ready for the MANIFESTATION!
    of HER?...all else is a curse,...so obviously if this first line before the first time being, a
    circle whose circumferance is nowhere to be found,
    as an initiatory infinity, the line moving in and out of itself, turned around, NUIT! the manifestation of
    HAD...But if Had is what materializes, then where is NUIT?...no where to be found?...turn the line around again and there she is...SHE MANifests...
    she unveils her self to us, but only in the company(temple) of heaven...the place where the stars are....the place where it all goes in the end ABRA HAD ABRA...beginning middle beginning is
    the END...how could it be anything else?, do i dare manifest something? do i dare imagine that
    there is anything else, then what there is?!...
    is there anything other then nothing in the ultimate sense?...someting out of nothing?...
    only if there is nothing out of something?...
    you get this circular motion going, and woosh!!!
    spontanious happening, Chaos within order, co-incedence within everyday reality....never fear
    never mind, never never!!!...forever! NUit nuIT
    NU-RA-HO-KA-IT is it treason to reason, is it a crime to rime at the end of time?.......gypjaz jinn anta kia...therefore my take is this: read the Book of the Law in everday situations, read it
    on the tolit, read it while you do death and taxes, read it when you climax!!!
    die daily, and open the star gates of your never never mind...let it unwind; and the lines converge
    in as many different permutations as possible...
    don't try so hard, breath deep, die to yourself
    and reborn to your SELF, let the NU-ances mingle
    and tingel, let the jingel gangel, use the Burroughsian cut up method on the chapters, and really paste from right to left and top to bottem,and BEHOLD the living LOGOS!!!
    the secret key is in the secret key of nothing!
    and everything...it's all in how you play that game, you could do a thousand rituals and still be a beginner, or you could do one, and reveil the
    whole pandoras box of paradox, all is ever as it it was, it was, it is , it will be, so mote it be!

    • Re: The Next Step
      by Xnoubis on Saturday August 26, @10:35AM
      Um...

      Just as a clarification, my "never mind" was in reference to my own evident misunderstanding of Mordecai's comment to your article; not a reference to your article itself.


      • Re: The Next Step
        by Craig on Saturday August 26, @03:15PM
        well, you see after my um... 'experiance' in the
        O.T.O...i am perhaps a TAD bit defensive, but it
        seems to me, that it isn't juz about Me, or Meryl
        it is about the energy we channeled for the NEW AEON,
        we did not do it juz to get some paper power, and even though it is now twenty years ago, in the passage of the aeons it seens like yesterday, or
        perhaps a thousand years ago...but nevertheless our oaths were on to the new aeon, not the little scene...at any rate, i use what is ever to hand, to create my majik, and a 'never mind' is juz as good as anything else...the place were you least expect it...is were it uncommonly happens!!!

        Love, will, and all that jazz...

        jinnanta jypjaz 217


    • Re: The Next Step
      by Mordecai Shapiro on Sunday August 27, @08:24PM

      whole pandoras box of paradox>

      I hope you meant "reveal" instead of "reveil"; such an intent would make this statement perfect.


      • Re: The Next Step
        by Mordecai Shapiro on Sunday August 27, @08:29PM
        The quote above was mysteriously truncated. It's should read: "you could do a thousand rituals and still be a beginner, or you could do one, and reveil the whole pandoras box of paradox"


    Re: The Next Step
    by Tim Maroney on Sunday August 27, @12:19PM
    The idea of a particular "next step" presupposes that there is a fix set of developmental stages through which humanity will pass. But why should humanity's course be developmental at all, and if it is developmental, then why should it have a fixed course?

    Perhaps our continuing process of mutation cannot be well mapped onto a value system which would judge past stages as inferior to future stages.

    Perhaps there are no future stages, as we annihilate ourselves.

    Perhaps we will undergo a process of successive degeneration rather than progression.

    Perhaps there are a myriad of possible developmental paths, rather than a particular "next step."

    It is likely, if technology continues to develop, that humanity will change more and more of the foundations of its being through technologies such as neurology, genetic engineering, and human-computer interfacing. These techniques may or may not wind up having any common ground with traditional mysticism. If they do, then one role that systems such as Thelema could play would be to provide a source of experimental data. Techniques such as yoga and ritual may illuminate aspects of our cognitive function that are difficult to observe by other means, and so could become part of the experimental methodology of a sufficiently advanced psychology. Once they are better understood, that could lead to the creation of technologies that build upon them -- for instance, through the introduction of nerve growth factors into brain areas facilitating trance states, or governing attention.

    If we believe that "spiritual" cognitive functions are vital to humanity's worth, then we would hope they would not become lost in the shuffle as we begin to change ourselves at fundamental levels. If we change our psychology without heeding some areas that have traditionally been the domain of religion, we could turn ourselves into a species incapable of spiritual development. If we do master these areas, though, then we could become a species enlightened by nature.

    Tim Maroney

    • Re: The Next Step
      by Xnoubis on Sunday August 27, @06:24PM
      > The idea of a particular "next step" presupposes
      > that there is a fix set of developmental stages
      > through which humanity will pass.

      I agree. This article describes one scenario, but other scenarios are possible. I would summarize what I'm saying here as "What if Crowley were right about the idea of a Next Step, but wrong about being the World Teacher?" I would characterize "Orthodox Thelema" as acting on the belief that Crowley is correct on both counts. But as you point out, he could be wrong about both. (I'm not sure that it makes sense to speak of a scenario in which Crowley is World Teacher, and yet wrong about a Next Step.)

      It is true that my intuition inclines me toward the scenario I describe here. It seems to me that there is a common thread in the teachings of the Sufi and Fourth Way schools, Thelema, and certain Transpersonal Psychologists like Almaas: in the same way that there are developmental stages from infancy to maturity that are experienced by almost all of humanity, there are further stages that are experienced by very few, because our development is stunted by adverse conditions in our environment and our general ignorance of these stages. If this is true, then this ignorance could gradually be dispelled, and we could improve our conditions in order to promote these further stages.

      But yes, this could be a false model. The books in Almaas's "Diamond Mind" series, of which The Pearl Beyond Price is a part, are filled with excerpts from clinical observations that appear to support his developmental model. But we are far from having comprehensive studies that could settle this point.

      For myself, I can continue to see value in Thelema without taking Crowley as the World Teacher, but if I ever come to feel that the idea of the Next Step is mistaken, I think Thelema would become a pretty hollow affair for me: no more than an Aleister Crowley fandom.

      > Perhaps our continuing process of mutation
      > cannot be well mapped onto a value system
      > which would judge past stages as inferior
      > to future stages.

      I didn't intend to imply such a judgement. If it's a matter of a kind of maturation, it wouldn't make much sense to say that a child is inferior to an adult.

      > If we believe that "spiritual" cognitive
      > functions are vital to humanity's worth,
      > then we would hope they would not become
      > lost in the shuffle as we begin to change
      > ourselves at fundamental levels.

      Exactly. So there's a sense of urgency that accompanies this idea: develop while we still can!


      • Re: The Next Step
        by Mordecai Shapiro on Sunday August 27, @08:41PM
        > (I'm not sure that it makes sense to speak of a
        > scenario in which Crowley is World Teacher, and
        > yet wrong about a Next Step.)

        As you might expect, I think it makes perfect sense to see Crowley as a great World Teacher by virtue of his role as Prophet, and that everything he said about his revelation in his role as Aleister Crowley was based upon his own personal needs, often defined by the requirements of the fucked-up times in which he lived. I agree with Tim that the idea of a "Next Step" is a conceptual model based on pretty shaky assumptions. I see it primarily as a marketing device, a slogan, maybe the equivalent of the "Last Judgement" for early Christians.


        • Re: The Next Step
          by Xnoubis on Sunday August 27, @10:18PM
          What I meant by World Teacher is quite distinct from "a great World Teacher." I mean the idea of a teacher who is the source for the teaching held as true by the world. That's a pretty alien notion for our times, but I think that the Theosophists and Crowley really believed in it.


          • Re: The Next Step
            by Mordecai Shapiro on Monday August 28, @11:36AM
            "Not Craw! CRAW!"


        • Re: The Next Step
          by Craig (jinnanta jypjaz) on Monday August 28, @04:04AM
          ...reveal the veil
          unveil the revel-ation
          reveil...Nu! the hiding
          of Hadit.
          ...The Manifestation of Nuit is at
          an end...'let's hope not'

          or as nucle Al said "all time
          crushed back into eternity"

          ...for the sake of saying
          what it is we are intending
          to say...as if we know whence
          we speaketh we seeketh
          to clarify what it is we
          already know, supposedly
          to practice a revolution
          of revelation within the
          language as it unfolds
          itself into its nu evolution

          ...to dance around that burning
          bush, as if it were chiseled
          in the metaphore before and
          after it was, Aiwass...
          or to turn the letters over
          mass= i A=10 ..(217)

          i saw the number 33 on the left
          and the number 33 on the right
          except one facing the other
          so 33 on the left turned inward
          to face 33 on the right already
          facing that way...except they
          were seperated a space and in
          that space was something i could
          not see...i imagine a kind of
          winged disk but more elaborate
          so i make it like this: 33EE

          the Book of the Law opens
          on the City of pyrimids
          gaudi holy whores go by painted
          purple and green in a neon hell
          ritual the words dance on yr
          naked face, a junk sphinx
          in the dog head cafe
          the shadows of annihilation
          move over the porno background
          wall of illumination
          signals of fate above the tombs
          passages of Ka opens the chaos
          tube down the timespace tunnel
          a strange essence life did pass
          the holy of holys died of too
          much history or the war in heaven
          rimes with the seeing eleven 11
          so it is the mystery of HERstory
          that is covered in the veil of

          the ancient of days...
          i was floating down the blue Nile


        • Re: The Next Step
          by Xnoubis on Monday August 28, @09:58AM
          > the idea of a "Next Step" is a conceptual model
          > based on pretty shaky assumptions

          I've been formulating a response to this remark of Mordecai's overnight, and now I see that he and Tim have gone further on the subject. I think I'll write what I was going to write anyway, and then reflect on their later postings.

          I'm going to try to enumerate what I see as some of the assumptions behind this idea, so that we can see which of them seem the shakiest. But first I'd like to mention that there also seems to be a difference of aesthetics happening. Mordecai likens the Next Step to a marketing device. For me, it is more akin to the Bodhisattva Vow.

          I think also that it might be helpful to change terminology from "K&C" to "attainment," since some people define K&C as a more elementary stage than I mean to imply.

          So, assumptions:

          1. That which is referred to by mystics as "attainment" is a natural developmental stage of the human individual.

          2. The achievement of this stage has great significance to the individual's sense of identity and meaning.

          3. There are barriers to this development that are only rarely overcome. These same barriers also form a social resistance to the recognition of attainment.

          4. Those who have attained are working through a variety of channels to promote the attainment of others and to encourage conditions that would promote attainment.

          5. Although it is difficult, it is not impossible to overcome the social resistance to the recognition of attainment.

          6. There are signs that progress is being made in the overcoming of this social resistance.

          My article speculates further that it is through the field of psychology that the main breach of the social resistance is accomplished, which I think is likely, but that's not essential to the idea of the Next Step itself.

          I think that the analogy of Freud's work and the recognition of the importance of sexuality to mental health works on many levels here, though imperfect like any analogy. We might be able to speak of a "healthy spirit life" along the lines of a healthy sex life. One difference is that healthy spirit lives today are more rare than healthy sex lives before Freud. Another difference would be that the effects of a healthy spirit life are even more profound than those of a healthy sex life. What I think is genuinely comparable is the social resistance to both ideas. The recognition of the importance of sex was widely resisted because it exposed people's psychological conflicts and cultural conditioning. I suspect that the conflicts exposed by the recognition of attainment are even more intense. But our culture eventually began to assimilate the importance of sexuality, and continues to do so. I think we are generally better off for it. The Next Step, then, is the social assimilation of the importance of attainment and the benefits that will arise from it.


      • Re: The Next Step
        by Tim Maroney on Sunday August 27, @11:13PM
        >I would summarize what I'm saying here as
        >"What if Crowley were right about the idea
        >of a Next Step, but wrong about being the
        >World Teacher?"

        I'm not sure the idea of "the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel" as the "Next Step for humanity" is coherent enough for me to have an opinion about whether it is right or wrong.

        What is this "K & C of the HGA"? Does it describe anything real? Various people report that they have attained it, but from their (scanty) reports I see little to suggest that they are all talking about the same thing. I don't feel there's any more reality to the concept than there is to, say, the concept of "sainthood." It's a traditional label applied in various ways to extremely dissimilar experiences. In philosophical terms, it may not be a natural category. Psychologically, there seems to be nothing to investigate, except a group of people using the same terminology for different phenomena.

        And then what is the "Next Step" if you believe, as I do, that a myriad futures await our choosing? The question becomes one of whether this K & C of the HGA would be so significant that some future generation would think of it in retrospect as having been a fundamental turning point, in the same sense that, say, the atomic bomb or the printing press were fundamental turning points.

        Well, it might be. I don't know what it is; Crowley didn't seem to know what it was; people who tell me they know what it is don't seem to agree with each other; so how could I answer the question?

        >in the same way that there are developmental
        >stages from infancy to maturity that are
        >experienced by almost all of humanity, there
        >are further stages that are experienced by
        >very few, because our development is stunted
        >by adverse conditions in our environment and
        >our general ignorance of these stages.

        This is a standard belief among mystics, but I do not see that there is much to recommend it. What makes these stages further stages? It's some strange concept of evolutionary destiny, applying an inappropriate model from biological maturation processes. Evolution is not a developmental process -- humans are not a more developed form of primate, simply one of the forms of primate. Civilization is not a developmental process -- moderns are not more developed forms of what used to be called "savages," only people with a different way of living. The idea that we are somehow destined to discover a developmental stage beyond adulthood seems to be a category error.

        >if I ever come to feel that the idea of the
        >Next Step is mistaken, I think Thelema would
        >become a pretty hollow affair for me: no more
        >than an Aleister Crowley fandom.

        "Thelema" is a pretty hollow affair for me if it's conceived as a doctrinal or philosophical system. I'm interested in Crowley's work for a number of reasons, but among them is not the idea that he held the keys to humanity's future development.

        Spirituality is important to humanity's future, but we have not yet understood it very well. To me Crowley's system is useful in that quest for understanding only as the repository for some interesting technologies of consciousness modification. It is not a source of useful doctrine, philosophy, science, taxonomy or knowledge concerning the spiritual psychology of the human species, except in the same way that optical illusions are useful to understanding the human visual system.

        Tim Maroney


        • Re: The Next Step
          by Mordecai Shapiro on Monday August 28, @01:56AM
          >Evolution is not a developmental process --
          >humans are not a more developed form of primate,
          >simply one of the forms of primate. Civilization
          >is not a developmental process -- moderns are not
          >more developed forms of what used to be called
          >"savages," only people with a different way of living.

          This is logically quite true, but observation indicates that over the very long run of time the tendency is for life to explore as many of its possibilities as it can. At one time life on earth probably consisted only of individual unnucleated cells, now it includes many extremely multicelled creatures with cellularly-based tissues both highly differentiated and highly integrated at the same time. At one time human cultures were small, without literacy and the cultural transmission it enables, without any more energy at their disposal than that of their own physical exertions, now there are too many of us, and we're drowning in information, while using one of our ancestors' lifetime of energy on a single trip to LA.


          • Re: The Next Step
            by Craig on Monday August 28, @09:10PM
            ...I'm on a freeway to hell
            and back, in a beetle of steel
            and plastic glass, i pass you
            on the road and you call this a spheil

            in this vulger era of drive by mentality
            new age psychology, you stroke
            me and i sound bite you in lala land

            we are on our way to hollyweird clouds
            but they don't dare make a sci fi flick
            of the master Therion, people might juz
            catch on, so it was Charles Manson
            that paid a visit to the Brayton bunch
            not the Brady bunch, but I got a hunch
            the Munster's Fenster was based on Alister
            but i could be rong, but Jack Parsons
            made hellywould BABALYON before it was hip
            and now Scientology for the STARS what a rip


            on the freeway to information highway hell
            and when we get back who can tell
            but 666 is biger in hollywad then jazus GAWD
            and every rich man and woman is a hollywas
            star, and every rock an roll whore a scarlet harlot
            ready to give you the nth degree, of sex xxx
            and even Charlton Heston has a long gun
            to to protect the first amendment, and magick
            is real now we got viagra to keep us erect

            so let's advertise the next stage
            and in the sleazy tabloids
            and when everybody becomes enlightened
            in the lotus eater special effects age
            we all can take a pill to do our true will
            do that and no other can say nay, and in
            schools we never have to pray

            so lets make a home movie at history's zero
            we can forget terrorist psychotics with biologics
            and the elitist corporate illuminati looking
            for the wallstreet grail, and those snuff film
            generals with itchy fingers, it's those tiny cameras that will make us all free dunwitch
            horrors are our slavation, jerky close ups
            of the cosmic orgy as it does the chaos dance
            dangeriously close to the blade runner's edge
            'time to die' to the old aeon, and become the
            ultimate object at the end of time, take the chance to be free for the fun of it down the luminious
            hole we all go on a demon ride through a Lovecraftian Disneyland...I'm on a freeway to
            hell and this is the only ride in town so let's
            sit back and and watch the artiface of eternity go by


        • Re: The Next Step
          by Xnoubis on Monday August 28, @07:54PM
          > Various people report that they have attained
          > it, but from their (scanty) reports I see little
          > to suggest that they are all talking about the
          > same thing.

          Although I hold that attainment is real, I agree that a great deal of the talk about attainment is not in reference to that reality. Of the various paths to attainment, I think that the Western Tradition probably has the greatest noise-to-signal ratio.

          > Crowley didn't seem to know what it was

          Reading "Liber LXV" gives me a different impression. But language and reason are not particularly well-suited to elucidating this domain. For example, there are implications to the word "attainment" that directly contradict what I mean (that there is a discrete attainer, for one), but it may be sufficient for now.

          > What makes these stages further stages?

          What, for instance, makes adulthood a further stage than infancy? It seems to me, for one thing, that there are cognitive models developed in infancy that function as building blocks for adult cognition. Is this not something we agree on?

          > Evolution is not a developmental process

          I find this assertion especially surprising. Looking over the history of life on Earth, isn't there an overall development from simple to complex? It's certainly not linear, but how is it not developmental? Maybe it's not so clear that a human being is more developed than a chimpanzee, but isn't he/she more developed than (to use the well-worn example) an amoeba? Developed in both the sense of greater complexity and greater adaptability to the environment?

          > Civilization is not a developmental process

          I think that this is especially where the idea of "development" has gotten on people's nerves. Historical development was overemphasized by Hegel, Marx, and Social Darwinism. Now it's out of fashion. But I think we should keep the question open.

          > The idea that we are somehow destined to
          > discover a developmental stage beyond adulthood
          > seems to be a category error.

          I do not mean to imply that this stage can be deduced because everything works in developmental stages. I am saying that I perceive this particular immanent stage, and that it seems to be related to other stages that we already know about, such as infancy and adulthood. I wouldn't, for instance, assert that there must be some other stage beyond attainment. I have no idea.

          > "Thelema" is a pretty hollow affair for me if
          > it's conceived as a doctrinal or philosophical
          > system.

          If we limit Thelema to the works of Crowley and those who work in his tradition, I would agree. But as a doorway to the world's spiritual heritage, I find it to be much more.

          > the idea that he held the keys to humanity's
          > future development

          The point of my original article was to dispute exactly that. Thelema still has a role to play in humanity's future development, even though Crowley doesn't hold the keys!

          > To me Crowley's system is useful in that quest
          > for understanding only as the repository for
          > some interesting technologies of consciousness
          > modification.

          Ah. Whereas for me, one of the things that's becoming clearer over time is that the technologies are precisely where Crowley is most lame. He went a long way using his techniques, but he never had the patience to learn how to teach, which is why Thelema is at such a disadvantage compared to, say, Tibetan Buddhism or Sufism. What he does offer is charisma and inspiration for certain kinds of modern people who might not be reached otherwise.


          • Re: The Next Step
            by Brian Sherman on Thursday August 31, @09:15AM
            > Ah. Whereas for me, one of the things that's
            > becoming clearer over time is that the
            > technologies are precisely where Crowley is most
            > lame. He went a long way using his techniques,
            > but he never had the patience to learn how to
            > teach, which is why Thelema is at
            > such a disadvantage compared to, say, Tibetan
            > Buddhism or Sufism. What he does offer is
            > charisma and inspiration for certain kinds
            > of modern people who might not be reached
            > otherwise.

            Totally agreed. Things can be so nebulous that oft-times I ignore the shell games of uncle al and go work on buddhist ritual. I find this frustrating.


          • Re: The Next Step
            by Alobar on Tuesday September 05, @07:20PM
            > Ah. Whereas for me, one of the things that's
            > becoming clearer over time is that the
            > technologies are precisely where Crowley is
            > most lame. He went a long way using his
            > techniques, but he never had the patience to
            > learn how to teach, which is why Thelema is at
            > such a disadvantage compared to, say, Tibetan
            > Buddhism or Sufism. What he does offer is
            > charisma and inspiration for certain kinds of
            > modern people who might not be reached
            > otherwise.

            It is interesting to me how well all differ. It is precicely Crowley's lack of concrete teachings which made him accessable t me. I have (& had) no patience to learn a body of technique. I have no interest in sets of exercises and monotonous monkish tasks. Crowley gave me inspiration towards the goal of enlightenment. Now it is up to me to figure out the methods. I like that! A lot!!! I studied with the Sufis for a while. They had technique & practice up the wazoo! But boring! Oh, how boring! No sex. No drugs. No free-form pontaneous interaction!

            Alobar


    Re: The Next Step
    by none of your buisnes on Wednesday January 03, @02:07AM
    well kidies i got some bad news for you. as for the "next step" it is already hear. do a little research into a comon disease known as manic depreasion, you might find it very interesting. you all should know as people who know that the government doesnt want my kind to be here. but we are superior simple as that it is called a disease because they want to consider us as sick. but it is mearly a mutation. as the human being has mutated many times before. there is proof that we use more of are brain than you do. we are beter. we will survive your kind will selectively die out. hah hah hah well any ways have a nice day. your friend darwin

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