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  On Dispersion
Self Realization Posted by Xnoubis on March 25, 2001 @ 06:05 PM
from the magical-Mister-C-tour dept.

What is dispersion?

I would tentatively define it as losing one's Will in some momentary or partial fascination. Choronzon (restriction be unto whom in the name Babalon) is referred to as the Lord of Dispersion, and if The Vision and the Voice is any guide, the attainment of the Magister Templi grade entails victory over this Lord.

For most of us, it is too much to expect to be free of dispersion altogether, at least in our current condition. What's more, the intention to be free of dispersion can easily turn into a fascination of its own, and thus a source of further dispersion. Some would claim that this indicates that the proper approach to dispersion is to embrace it. But embracing it could mean different things.

It could mean simply accepting the role dispersion plays in our lives. This, I think, is the approach of ordinary life. "Of course I get distracted sometimes. Doesn't everybody?" But distraction is far more pervasive than most people realize.

Alternatively, one could embrace particular instances of dispersion in order to transmute them, and ultimately move beyond them. This could be what is meant by "Choronzon (restriction be unto whom in the name Babalon)." For fascination is an act of partial love, a love that moves us away from the totality of ourselves. Babalon desires to achieve union with the object of our fascination also, while retaining the desire to achieve union with all other things -- bless her heart! So in Babalon there is no isolation from our totality.

It seems to me, then, that the intention to gradually diminish dispersion is an essential part of the Thelemic path.

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    Re: On Dispersion
    by Mark Shekoyan on Monday March 26, @11:10AM
    If consciousness, like electrogmagnetic fields, exists at certain vibratory frequencies and states of coherence and harmony, then there does seem to be a "Gradient" between
    entropic/fragmented"Dispersed" states of mind, and those more harmonious/integrated and unified ones.

    John Cage aside, the differentiation between Music and Noise provides a good metaphor for this gradient. Why are Bach's Fugues rich with information and vitality, while radio static, or simplistic commercial ditties empty of meaning or substantial import?

    Anthropologist and Systems Theorist Gregory Bateson said information is a difference that makes a difference.

    Is Chronozzon a state of fragmentary information that lacks coherence in contrast to the more integrated states of awareness that follow mystical/magickal practice.

    Food for thought...

    • Re: On Dispersion
      by Thelemick Knight on Tuesday March 27, @03:16PM
      The difference between musick and noise is coherence, IMO.

      Musick is a language which can be used to emotionally move the listener. Musical notes, when made to conform with specific mathematical algorithms, perform the same function as the spoke language on a more animal level. Every hear a song absent of lyrics which made you sad, or happy? It is all about communication.

      Choronzon is like noise. He confuses. He is Mercury retrograde: makes communication with others impossible, but more importantly: interferes with internal dialogue so
      that the magician is left to fend for him or her self, without the guidance of his Higher Self. If the magician has not integrated properly, he can never hope to win. Only those who have become their Higher Self stand a chance to earn the title: "He who is most Himself."

    Re: On Dispersion
    by Rafael Kitover on Tuesday March 27, @04:21PM
    Are there parallels between the idea of Choronzon as dispersion and Neptune/the Hanged Man card?

    Also, in what sense does the word fascination apply here? Webster defines fascination as:

    1. The act of fascinating, bewhiching, or enchanting; enchantment; witchcraft; the exercise of a powerful or irresistible influence on the affections or passions; unseen, inexplicable influence.

    2. The state or condition of being fascinated.

    3. That which fascinates; a charm; a spell.

    That is, as opposed to "fascination" being the technique Crowley used at the Abbey to become unnoticed.

    It can be argued that "irresistible influence on the affections or passions" can be a good thing. Life is more exciting if there are things that fascinate us.

    The affect of losing interest in a fascination is boredom. So the state of being neither fascinated nor bored could be considered inner peace.

    Are we supposed to always follow pre-set goals for ourselves? I don't think that is what's being implied here, and I certainly don't believe it's true.

    • Re: On Dispersion
      by Xnoubis on Tuesday March 27, @07:40PM
      > Are there parallels between the idea of
      > Choronzon as dispersion and Neptune/the Hanged
      > Man card?

      Not for me. Parallels between the Hanged Man and Babalon, perhaps, in their functions of redemption. The Hanged Man inverted is an aspect of dispersion, but so are all the inverted cards...

      > in what sense does the word fascination apply
      > here?

      Webster's first definition is close enough. Fascination in the sense of fixation, obsession, being seduced from one's intention. The difference between Will and "what you please." A.H. Almaas refers to it as "narcissism," and the myth of Narcissus fascinated by his own reflection, and so transformed into a flower, gets close to what I mean. This idea differs from narcissism as it is generally understood in psychology, in that it is the usual condition for almost everybody.

      We need a word for this phenomenon that works with Thelemic terminology. The best I can think of is "folly," but as someone pointed out, that's probably not perjorative enough.

      > It can be argued that "irresistible influence on
      > the affections or passions" can be a good thing.

      To be spontaneously and whole-heartedly passionate about something is a good thing, yes. The sort of fascination that I mean is to "get into" one thing while neglecting other things that matter to you, or even in order to neglect other things that matter to you.

      > So the state of being neither fascinated nor
      > bored could be considered inner peace.

      For me, inner peace comes from being in touch with myself, or if you like, doing my will. I don't find such peace to be fascination or boredom, but it's certainly not just a middle ground between them, either.

    Re: On Dispersion
    by Jon Auviere on Tuesday March 27, @05:25PM
    There is also an accepted definition of dispersion as: To spread out more or less evenly throughout a medium.

    This would imply awareness, whole-heartedness, etc. But the point of 'vanishing' reminds me of my past--poof! I hope that my mind is more volatile than to get caught up in old memories of myself.

    That would seem to be too restrictive of change. Isn't there a piece of Crowley floating around here that suggests the right mix of personal-restraint and passionate embrace is in many ways ideal?

    Ah, we'll make some bubbles.

    • Re: On Dispersion
      by Shader on Wednesday March 28, @06:06PM
      ...no R ant here
      just pure reflection
      well...if T ruth be told


      almost sounds poetic!...zounds!!!!

      it would be interesting to explore
      the conjunction, where the poetic
      element(deamonic element) leaves off
      and the linear element(concensus reality)
      begins...and where the two collide, and or
      magick begins...it would be interesting

      but alass, we have more important things to do

      like...poof! presto chango!!!

    Re: On Dispersion
    by Shader on Tuesday March 27, @08:25PM
    ...if dispersion is being posited as a kind of definition for evil, ie. that which stands in the way of our creative selves, then we need to have a full understanding of what makes us creative, is it an awareness of the destructive element?...
    a keen perception of the process of opposites?...
    we are constantly being bombarded with a plethora
    of mixed signals, which if truth be told is the essence of noise, how can we hear ourselves think above the din?...
    we are given disinformation from the time we begin to ask questions, we are also given common sense,
    somehow it is part of the human condition, to begin to seperate out these divergent, and convergent realities, for instance if you are told that a fire burns when you are little, then you don't really learn the lesson until you touch the fire for yourself, and you feel pain, but if you are told that something is bad, that is abstract,
    ie, thinking about sex, then that is not really a pain reinforced direct experiance!...until you are punished for it, or your heart is broken, or
    you are rejected, whatever...so there is a discrepency here, and it depends on the reinforcement of various life experiances on how you experiance the truth of being told how to think about something abstract, fire burns, sex is bad, there is a mixed signal here, we know fire burns but do we know sex is "bad' or anything else for that matter, we are told murder is bad, but do we have to murder a person to find out if it is bad?...common sense sets in?...do we also have common sense about say, pleasure?...ecstasy?
    are there things inherently bad?...so it depends on the persons being able to seperate things out, and compare the signal we are getting...so the signal to noise ratio, is a process of learning what is 'dispersion' in the since that we are being told something that will keep us from being our creative selves, the 'dispersion' is that thing that is between us and our creative true will, ie. to begin to be able to tell the difference between a noise signal and clear signal, a natural sound, it feels natural...therefore begin to awaken to the knowledge that everything is not what it seems, it does not follow that if a fire burns that sex is bad, ect....nevertheless this comes from an understanding that " let there be no difference be made between any one thing and another, for thereby there comith hurt" so we begin to see that
    we can't have singal without noise, otherwise how can we sound the depths?...and hear that tell tell echo?...but there is also an awarness that there is a sort of price to pay for the echo effect, the awareness that the diminishing returns of the echo
    eventualy leave us in silence, and our thoughts are dispersed at this point, the question is; when our thoughts are dispersed, are we fully cognizant? can we handel the lack of signal noise?
    are we at a loss for words?...is the worded exhausted?
    are we tossed into a kind of void of ourselves?
    and do we to fill the void back up with signal noise, say something like: IN THE BEGINNING WAS THE WORD?...and do we create the essence of dispersion to begin to have an echo(feedback) once again?...and so it goes in a never ending cycle within a cycle...what goes up must come down, what goes in must come out, what lives eventualy dies, so shall we live like we are the dead and dying, or shall we live as if all existance is pure ecstasy? as above so below, do what thou will, the garden of forking paths, are we evolving is all as it ever was, or both?...when does the thought disperse...when we cannot concentrate any longer,
    when we are not hearing the familiar echo, of our own preconditioned mental reflexes?...how do we know what we don't know?...if understanding goes in certain maze like patterns until it reaches
    a cul-de-sac a dead end, or do we find the next twist and turn in the wall of our dispersion?

    up here air is rare
    and my thoughts are sweet
    as i peer over the ramparts
    of my universe, over the abyss
    of my becoming, the supernal
    railing is made of serpentine
    energy zig-zaging back and forth
    through a torrent of knowing and
    unknowing, down and back again
    until it decends into oblivion
    then i awaken, and for a moment
    everything is still silent and
    nothingness is my only companion
    do i hesitate, do i know my choice?
    do i go back whence i came, or do i
    boldly step forward and hell breaks
    lose at my comand, so much power, so
    much responsibility on my ancient
    warrior shoulders, is the ghost a
    reflection of my past or my future?
    do my thoughts disperse, or do they
    intersect at the random opening, and
    it starts all over agin, the air is
    rare up here and my thoughts are sweet

    dispersion or dissemination, signal or noise
    does the mirror shatter, so we can see our-
    selves in the fragments in the forrest for
    the trees?...look harder?! at the random
    shattering of selves, the scattering of ideas!


    • Re: On Dispersion
      by Anthony on Wednesday March 28, @12:42AM
      These are great posts, in my opinion, and I have little to add though I would like to add something because the subject is very pertinent to me at the moment, as a result of my own reckless stupidity.

      I believe that a key passage from Liber Al is:

      "There is a great danger in me; for who doth not understand these runes shall make a great miss. He shall fall down into the pit called Because, and there he shall perish with the dogs of Reason".

      I would extend this beyond Liber Al to, for example, the process of initiation as a whole, the "Grades", the tarot arcarnum.

      Understanding is immediate and total. It might not be "total" in the conventional sense, though it is total relative to your needs at the moment. There is often a great temptation to supplement what you do not understand by the wiles of Reason, and this is an invitation to the false godhead, which is a state of confusion and noise indeed, and provokes a feeling of groundlessness and even fear of insanity. Particularly if one has been free of its influence for some time previous.

      I think that the way out... is indeed Atu XI and Atu XII. Surrender to the life force, and surrender to the natural unfolding of the process, without attempting to force it (to accelarate, or to proceed in a direction which suits conscious expectation)

      As for the dispersion of the will, the continued battle against the same builds will, though there will be a point in which the assault is too heavy to resist. In which case again, it is back to Babalon.

      This is my present understanding anyway based on initiations ongoing, so probably an incomplete conception.

      • Re: On Dispersion
        by Shader on Wednesday March 28, @10:13AM
        ...the conception...must always remain open

        ...where nothingness can get in...and out

        otherwise initiation is ongoing....

        perfect gnosis is complete understanding

        of this the knower is

        always the known... universe

        therefore om going inc om plete

        a great miss............exactly NOT!

        perish reason

        pit...tip hit (clue)

        HadIT........da...do g no sis is

        nu i sis
        silverstar.....dog star

        ser pit...serpent chasing it s wag tail

        always nine ty three...e...

        di s per si on....on

        • Re: On Dispersion
          by Jon Auviere on Wednesday March 28, @11:20AM
          [In the Shells.]

          • Re: On Dispersion
            by Xnoubis on Wednesday March 28, @11:35AM
            In this particular case, I'm finding his remarks to be helpful, especially the one from 3/27. Since linear thought can be a tool of dispersion, an intuitive approach might sometimes be appropriate.

            So thanks, Shader.

            • Re: On Dispersion
              by Mark Shekoyan on Wednesday March 28, @02:25PM
              Yes Thanks Shader!

              The Only Sin Is Restriction...Let that poetic inspiration flow!!!

              • Re: On Dispersion
                by Shader on Wednesday March 28, @06:41PM
                and thank you!!!...love is the law!

                ...let it flow...let it glow

                Restriction...what happens when when your(mental) muscles

                are not lose and subtle...but restricted(false ego)

                Constriction...on the physical level (muscles)

                constricting...thereby causing illness(suffering)

                .....sin...rimes with din...blasti ompheda!

                i conspire to inspire....unleash desire(magickal)

            • Re: On Dispersion
              by Shader on Wednesday March 28, @06:22PM
              ..intuitive is the only kind i practice

              but thats me...thanks!


              intuitive......also creative imaginitive

              "fast and boulbus....zorch stroking"

              "also .......a tin tear drop"

          • Re: On Dispersion
            by Shader on Wednesday March 28, @06:17PM
            ...a little exercise...please define

            "idiot rant"

            in your own words!

            as cen sor ship...

            is not a thelemic kinda words

            or is it?

            ....come to think of it
            not to many sorors around here

            but a lot of cen ships passing in the nuit

    Re: On Dispersion
    by Omenraine on Thursday March 29, @02:15PM
    My thoughts on dispersion is dispersion. I disperse one-pointed awareness to illuminate many things. I make distinctions in contemplating dispersion. Then I compare those distinctions to my body of knowledge, relationships are formed, and dispersion progresses.

    That shader chooses not to disperse through the progression of rational thought, is not idiocy. What it is, is illustration of what compels dispersion, namely the capacity to relate upon a broader scope.

    • Re: On Dispersion
      by Shader on Thursday March 29, @06:04PM
      ...there she IS!

      when you speak, i feel the kisses of the stars
      pouring thier healing draft in to my twin thoughts!...or parallel, it's like i am hearing
      part of myself speaking through another incarnation...

      now when i write i always hear your voice!


    Re: On Dispersion
    by Xnoubis on Saturday March 31, @08:23AM
    This subject matter is not well suited to language. What I'm trying to get at is: Thelema implies that there is something to move away from. You might call it "the coils of the stooping dragon," you might call it "dispersion." But as many of these posts point out, "dispersion" doesn't always mean something to move away from. It has other senses, some of which can be useful to the magician. Also, there may be stages along the path where one embraces what one has rejected in order to move beyond it.

    But I think that there's a problem that comes up for Thelemic practitioners, although I can tell from the posts so far that many will disagree with me. Language issues crop up when I try to describe the problem as well, but it's something along the lines of: using the notion that "All that ye do is right" as an excuse to never develop any sense of direction at all. To me, this isn't the Thelemic path, it is the fragmentation of ordinary life with the addition of Thelemic costumes.

    To others, it will be my drawing a distinction between ordinary life and the Thelemic path that is the source of the problem. I don't know that the difference between their view and mine can be settled through discussion. But it has come to my notice that these form two very different interpretations of what Thelema is all about.

    • Re: On Dispersion
      by Omenraine on Saturday March 31, @03:59PM
      My background and understanding of this subject does not stem from Thelema. It stems from buddhist practice. But I think I understand what Xnoubis is getting at.

      I've long understood for myself, that to depart from mindfulness; that to disperse, to make distinction and travel along the elements of our distinctions, is 'sin'. There is a Zen dictum, "Make but one distinction and heaven and earth are forever and unalterably split". I spent my life according to this principle, to the letter, for a year. At the end of that year, I've never been.. soo... clear... Things changed, etc, and my practice is not as strong as it once was. Even throughout that year though, I still found strong compulsion to disperse my attention into our conventional sets. And the reason for this was my compulsion to communicate the understanding that I felt swelling within me as a result of my practice.

      Shader's remarks are brilliant insights, but those insights are difficult to communicate without dispersing within the rational (soundly communicable) realm.

      I've now spent years dispersing into the communicable elements of my outlooks, be it in writing, painting, music etc, and I've found that for the most part, I am farther away(from .. 'that') than I was before I started. Nevertheless, this understanding in itself, has bestowed insight upon me. Insight regarding what compels the all-pervasive One to disperse. Namely, in order to communicate. In order to relate. As soon as 'this' is defined in some way, as soon as distinction is made and 'this' is defined, it immediately requires relationship with 'that' to define or distinguish it.

      As my practice with mindfulness became more persistent, and as my focus became more wholeheartedly devoted towards methods of understanding, I came into contact with the occult. I found many parallels between my dispersed (communicable) understanding, and those 'laws of magick' or basic principles that underlie all magickal endeavour. Long story short, there was a battle within myself regarding the validity of magickal practice. Mindfulness attained for me all that I could ever want, need, or depend upon, and it seemed that dispersing within the conventional sets of magick (symbols, ancient languages, rituals, etc) was at odds with my buddhist practices.

      Only recently, has this battle been reconciled. I'm sure by now most every person within the occult community is familiar with the saying, "Focus determines reality". At first glance, it seems a bold and even arrogant statement. But think about. Think about the elements that the awareness of an inner city child is dispersed within. Is it any wonder that many are compelled to turn to crime. Think about the elements that the awareness of a child of a wealthy family is dispersed within. Is it any wonder that this child is more likely to 'succeed' in life? I could go on and on about the above principle, but that is not the topic at hand. Dispersion was always seen in my eyes as negative. Dispersion within the conventional sets of the occult was also seen as negative, until I considered the statement, "Focus determines reality". Dispersion is an enemy, but I've seen that it is an enemy whose hand can be made an ally, to hold a knife against it's own throat so to speak. The natural compulsion of awareness is to disperse within conventional sets. That dispersion is what perpetuates seperation, the endless realm of rebirth, etc.. Most importantly, it is responsible for the unfolding of our realities. Dispersing one's focus within the conventional sets of high magick causes our reality to unfold towards those ends. I still believe, Ideally, that dispersion is negative. But as long as the compulsion to disperse is still present, it is important to know that the elements that it disperses within can be moderated so as to attain the point at which the compulsion to disperse, and dispersion itself, are completely obliterated, and enlightenment is attained.

      • Re: On Dispersion
        by Shader on Saturday March 31, @05:12PM
        ...if anyone can top that, then labels of magick.
        or reality, or though, will be come obsolite, and we can just be totaly aware in the now...

        but alas it is necessary to hold up mirrors!

        to deflect!...and perhaps someone somewhere will
        see thee reflection for what it is, pure consciousness!...positive, negitive...real, what it is!...before you judge, just experiance!
        then when your judgements disperse themselves to thier various reality sets, perhaps they will not
        add to the chaos, only point to infinity!

        of course to some this is insanity...they see thier own reflection...!negitive is positive,
        positive is negitive, things become topsy tervy,
        and the universe flips around on itself!
        and all consciousness becomes dispersion...

        and the world turns...the serpent eats its tail,
        light and shadows dance, fate and destiny is cast against the wall of men's minds in a neverending array of language and ritual!

        (and she moves through the obsticles like a leopardess), each to his or her own orbit!

      • Re: On Dispersion
        by Jon Auviere on Tuesday April 03, @10:24AM
        Dispersion to my view is only evil if Temptation is received irresponsibly. Look at the artist with a blank canvas. There are an infinite number of paths for him to become in his painting. He wishes for the best and most intoxicating guise. So he holds out, waits for a sign, and walks thru uncharted realms. Dispersion to this artist is a beautiful tool. But once it serves his end he employs for it to work for him. Just as there are two classes of the world: the mastery moral and the slave moral. Success depends on which class one is in.

    • Re: On Dispersion
      by Shader on Saturday March 31, @05:31PM
      ...there are plenty of Thelemic costumes to go around, Xnoubis, but i think you bring up an important point
      and the only question to ask now is?

      what do we do with the point?

      i throw out a lot of flack, we are what we are, are we not?...i try to use the broad brush, to begin to
      deal with the problem that you, have stated, in hopes that people will dare to look closer, dain to remove thier thelemic costume(or whatever costume), and for a moment
      just allow thier minds the bath of the blackening!

      then perhaps we can begin to sort things out!

      but the costume seems to be more important then the person inside of it, so i am called insane
      by someone that has a big stake in the costume!

      and once again, Uncle AL comes to my ade, "it is no odds do this quickly"...i am a writer, that's all i am, i am the black ink that goes down on the
      virgin space of the paper, automatic costume
      shreading torn words from the universal cauldron
      of my very mind and soul...!

    • Re: On Dispersion
      by Nekial on Saturday March 31, @08:37PM
      Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law.

      I think dispersion is the opposite of focus; the skew-wise scattering of energy, opposite of the concentrated effort.

      You can disperse like a puddle of water through the floorboards, or fashion yourself into a key of ice to unlock the door of doors.

      This isn't just Thelema, it's life. To get anything done you have to aply the proper force in the proper manner. That's the opposite of dispersion, imo.

      I'm not sure about the Choronzon quote. I read it "Restriction be to Choronzon, in the name of Babalon." Which is a double negative, you know, "put slavery in chains." Free yourself, in Babalon's name. Love is unity, harmony, liberty. Choronzon/dispersment is its opposite: conflict, waste, failure, strife.

      Focus Daniel-san!

      Love is the law, love under will.

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