Probationary work clarifications

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Re: Question about Tetragrammaton

Postby Jim Eshelman » Wed Jul 29, 2009 11:49 pm

xkip93 wrote:Knowing Crowley's distain for many aspects of Christianity and Judaism, why did even he continue with using the Tetragrammaton as a name of power?

He didn't confuse the Qabalistic Names with a particular religion. That is, theqabalist's and magician's YHVH isn't the "Jehovah" of popular Judeo-Christian religion, but an esoteric idea completely central to all of Qabalah.

In the last years of his life, he wrote Grady McMurtry that the one thing that does not change, from aeon to aeon, is YHVH.

Some say that the Star Ruby replaced the LBRP and that all of those other rituals are "old aeon" but we still find the QBL Cross of Light with the Hebrew names along with the LBRP still embedded in Thelema materials?

Yes, and it is the classic Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram that AC himself used until the end of his life; and it is the LBRP, not the Star Ruby, that he sent to Agape Lodge O.T.O. in the late 1930s with new, supplemental instruction on its performance.
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Re: Question about Tetragrammaton

Postby Jim Eshelman » Thu Jul 30, 2009 7:02 am

RifRaf wrote:
Jim Eshelman wrote:Yes, and it is the classic Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram that AC himself used until the end of his life; and it is the LBRP, not the Star Ruby, that he sent to Agape Lodge O.T.O. in the late 1930s with new, supplemental instruction on its performance.

Are these instructions those which are in Liber ABA (the short paper presenting the idea of standing at Samekh and Peh)? Or some other, or have they not been publicly published?

I never look in that edition of MT&P (though it sits on my shelf), so I don't know off the top of my head. (I didn't remember seeing it there.) I prefer Crowley's edition.

They were published in Vol. I, No. 1 of In the Continuum, all the way back in 1973, which you can download here:
http://thelema.org/publications/itc.html
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Postby Jim Eshelman » Thu Jul 30, 2009 11:58 pm

RifRaf wrote:If one doesn't know the name of their HGA and doesn't feel "right" saying AIWASS, would it be unsuitable to say "Asar-Un-Nefer" in place of AIWASS?

The answer to this question depends on your context and commitment. Are you in a group or study program? Are you simply working in isolation? Etc.

If you are self-identified as a Thelemite, then I would suggest you examine that discomfort. That is, what is the resistance to vibrating the name of the direct agent of the Gods that delivered The Book of the Law to us, and whose name is a numerical identity with Thelema itself?
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Postby PatchworkSerpent » Fri Jul 31, 2009 5:20 am

RifRaf wrote:
Jim Eshelman wrote:
RifRaf wrote:If one doesn't know the name of their HGA and doesn't feel "right" saying AIWASS, would it be unsuitable to say "Asar-Un-Nefer" in place of AIWASS?

The answer to this question depends on your context and commitment. Are you in a group or study program? Are you simply working in isolation? Etc.

If you are self-identified as a Thelemite, then I would suggest you examine that discomfort. That is, what is the resistance to vibrating the name of the direct agent of the Gods that delivered The Book of the Law to us, and whose name is a numerical identity with Thelema itself?


Yes, I do identify myself as a Thelemite. I have examined my feelings on this a few times and the only conclusion I came too is this; with everything AIWASS means to Thelema I still see "him" as another humans HGA, and because of that I can't bring myself to utlizing the name, no matter how staggering and important of a figure AIWASS is to Thelema as a whole. This probably sounds dumb but, to use an analogy, it feels like calling another mans wife your own because she has done something amazing which has shaped your life, but you have your own wife sitting at home waiting on you.

I am working on my own right now, no group.

I feel similarly regarding this ritual. I tend not to vibrate any name, just the standard Qabalistic Cross. I notice that the version with AIWASS is present in none of Crowley's writings on the topic nor any of the official instructions. Where did this variation originate? In a sense the addition strikes me as a little out of place and in conflict with the rhythm of the ritual (adding a fifth point to the cross, etc).
ATH MLKTh V'GBVRH V'GDVLH L'OVLM AMN directly corresponds to 'For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.' To add another point to this sequence would be to disrupt it, wouldn't it? Correct me if I'm wrong, but these rituals seem to depend largely on numerical symbolism (i.e. Star Ruby and the number 5) and require all elements to be consonant.
The only answer I might imagine would be something like 'the cross becomes the pentagram' or the IHVH -> IHShVH formula. But that's a bit of a long shot.
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Postby Jim Eshelman » Fri Jul 31, 2009 7:09 am

RifRaf wrote:Yes, I do identify myself as a Thelemite. I have examined my feelings on this a few times and the only conclusion I came too is this; with everything AIWASS means to Thelema I still see "him" as another humans HGA, and because of that I can't bring myself to utlizing the name, no matter how staggering and important of a figure AIWASS is to Thelema as a whole. This probably sounds dumb but, to use an analogy, it feels like calling another mans wife your own because she has done something amazing which has shaped your life, but you have your own wife sitting at home waiting on you.

In practice, I think it's closer to you and another man being married to the same woman, with whom you each have a distinctive relationship and for whom you each will develop your own pet name in time.

But that's just to stick with your analogy. I think the better one is addressed in Liber LXI: "Should therefore the candidate hear the name of any God, let him not rashly assume that it refers to any known God, save only the God known to himself." This passage is used to put in context the Order's use of this name and that name for God... in each case, there's no way one can understand what that word means for someone else. One can only find one's own "inmost God," and understand that this is what is meant by whatever name someone else gave to it.

PS - For reasons not entirely clear to me, the "But it was Crowley's HGA!" perspective has never been meaningful to me. I can intellectually understand where people are coming from, but get really "get it" in my gut. In part, I find myself wondering why that fact, separate from all others about Aiwass, is the one that gets priority, and gets "meaning" assigned to it. Just confessing here... it's still Aiwass.
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Postby Jim Eshelman » Fri Jul 31, 2009 7:15 am

PatchworkSerpent wrote:I notice that the version with AIWASS is present in none of Crowley's writings on the topic nor any of the official instructions. Where did this variation originate?

The paper in question is a writing by Crowley.

The variation originated from Crowley sometime before the late 1930s and probably (educated guess only) no earlier than about 1919.

In a sense the addition strikes me as a little out of place and in conflict with the rhythm of the ritual (adding a fifth point to the cross, etc).

The Qabalistic Cross has always had five points: Four extremities and a center. This merely acknowledges that the center of the cross is passed through on the down-stroke just as much as in the horizontal stroke.

For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.' To add another point to this sequence would be to disrupt it, wouldn't it?

I have no need nor wish to preserve, for it's own sake, a 17th Century translation amendment to a traditional Christian prayer. And there is, of course, always the point of clarifying Who is meant by "Thou."
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Postby Heru » Fri Jul 31, 2009 9:39 am

I think I remember seeing an indirect reference to Crowley's inclusion of Aiwass in the QC. In Tiger Woman, Betty May gives a rather garbled account of practicing the Qabalistic Cross. Even though she mangled it badly, the Aiwass section was still quite recognisable. This would seem to indicate that Crowley taught it to members of the Abbey of Thelema.

EDIT: Found it!

Tiger Woman, p.177
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What's in a Name?

Postby xkip93 » Sun Aug 02, 2009 11:47 pm

Jim mentioned knowing who "Thou" is...
In our case, who is "Thou" in reference to the QBL Cross?
(I think I know but I have never seen much commentary on it that I can remember).

Earlier we were discussing the Bornless One, etc. I have another question or request for someone to expound on this comes from an excerpt in Eleusis.

Crowley says that the modern neophyte should not use the old barbarous names because they may superstitiously attribute real power to them... so he advises Jack and Jill, "with which it is impossible for the normal mind to associate a feeling of reverence."

Not sure what he is really saying here. I am trying to understand it within the context of the tome.

Am I indeed wrong for thinking/feeling that these words and names have power?

If anyone can shed some light on this statement , I would appreciate it.

PS. Not that he needs me to validate or vindicate him but Jim is exactly correct in stating the Cross of Light has 5 points... and that 5th, a crucial one!

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Proceed with the problem: "Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way?" receive the answer: "By taking heed thereto according to thy word," and interpret "thy word" as "The works of Aleister Crowley." :-) A.C.-Eleusis
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Re: What's in a Name?

Postby Jim Eshelman » Mon Aug 03, 2009 5:30 am

xkip93 wrote:Jim mentioned knowing who "Thou" is...
In our case, who is "Thou" in reference to the QBL Cross?

In the broadest sense, AThH is a Divine Name of Kether in this place.

More specifically, it's a reference to the HGA.

I have another question or request for someone to expound on this comes from an excerpt in Eleusis.

Crowley says that the modern neophyte should not use the old barbarous names because they may superstitiously attribute real power to them... so he advises Jack and Jill, "with which it is impossible for the normal mind to associate a feeling of reverence."

Not sure what he is really saying here. I am trying to understand it within the context of the tome.

Am I indeed wrong for thinking/feeling that these words and names have power?

Yes, read it within the context of the individual article. It makes a great point. However, it was a very early opinion (he wasn't even an adept yet in the A.'.A.'. sense), and it didn't match even his own practice years later.
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The word SABAF

Postby xkip93 » Mon Aug 03, 2009 6:30 pm

I am trying to keep things on topic here and within the context of being a probationer, so please bear with me as I get some of these questions out of the way which I have had for some time now. I am pleased with the response and help I am receiving here from Jim and others.

As I mentioned before I am not daily working with the Bornless ritual but I can't help but still study it and review my experience with it. My question this time stems from the commentary. As much as we sometimes try to convince others (and maybe sometimes ourselves) that Crowley was not a devil worshipping -Satanist, with a knack of genius for keeping it veiled... then we sometimes come across things that he says which makes apologetics an uneasy task.

For instance, when he is commenting upon the word SABAF, he states that it is the name of "the Devil our Lord" , "the Goat of Mendes" and "Satan."

So what is the deal here? It sounds rather blatant but I am sure that there is a way to explain this away especially seeing how us Gnostics, somehow, are professionals at turning things around and making the adversary the benevolent one, the Serpent the "actual" good guy, and all kinds of other neat stuff.

I'm all ears...

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Re: The word SABAF

Postby Jim Eshelman » Mon Aug 03, 2009 7:16 pm

xkip93 wrote:...when he is commenting upon the word SABAF, he states that it is the name of "the Devil our Lord" , "the Goat of Mendes" and "Satan."

The first thing to do is to temporarily suspend all your prior value judgments on these terms, then ask yourself: What did he mean by them?

The answer is right there, in the same Scholion you're reading. I won't tell you because it's accessible to you, and it will be way more valuable if you find it yourself.
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Postby underabloodredsky » Mon Aug 03, 2009 10:13 pm

I'm not sure what Crowley's answer was to that particular question, but I have my own opinion formed by some of his other writings.
Crowley writes in, "Stepping Out of the Old Aeon and Into the New" from the "Blue Equinox", that we based our mythology on the cycles of the day and the year. The daily dying and rising of the sun, similarly, the seasons. Now this was very comforting to the people of previous Aeons, knowing that yes, they would die, but there was, and is, nothing to fear, because you will be resurrected, just as the sun rises to new life every morning, and the earth every spring. Now, this is still true, as "Nature's symbols are always true", however, with the new Aeon, our perspective has changed. We are no longer looking at the reality through the earth (mother) perspective, but through the solar perspective. What this means, is that death no longer has to be conquered because death doesn't exist, and never existed! This is the solar perspective, "the Sun does not die, as the ancients thought; It is always shining, always radiating Light and Life."
So to come back to your question about Satanism and evil, well I think the above idea illustrates a point that applies to all pairs of opposites: at a certain point, they are meaningless, they are annihilated, they are transcended.
The danger has always been the confusing of the planes. Falsehood is relevant only to the plane of Truth, good/evil to the plane of morality, beauty and horror to the plane of emotions and so on. We can use the opposites in specific magical operations, (I'm talking about all actions here, the definition explicitly given in Liber ABA, Book 4.) The serpent, however I would not classify according to pairs of opposites, it has a different meaning that is obscured by associating it with evil.
On a side note, I see way too many people bashing the "old Aeon", the Osirian age, etc. in their zeal to establish the new Aeon. It is worth repeating, "Nature's symbols are always true". One doesn't fix, correct, condemn, or banish the old mythology, but transcend it. As a Master once wrote, (whether an actual person, or some other initiate who authored the myth, it doesn't matter) "I have not come to banish the old law, but to fulfill it." I think some people need to remind themselves that the human embryo recapitulates the entire evolutionary ladder in the womb. I don't believe this stops just because we are no longer in our mother's wombs, because in a very real sense we are still in a womb, the womb of the Gaea, the Earth, and the womb of our Infinite Mother, Nuit. So, the human being recapitulates all the stages of evolution, including the old Aeon, of the notion of birth and death. Then one is ripe to sow the seed of the new Aeon, to embrace the miracle of never ending life, light, love, and liberty.
Understand that I am only writing of the mythology itself, not the mundane, earthly manifestation of those older mythologies. To that I say it's a stinking, festering corpse. Let's bury it and get on with it!
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Words mean things

Postby xkip93 » Tue Aug 04, 2009 12:31 am

Greetings and 93.

Ok, I understand (to a degree) what you are saying Jim in saying to "suspend" the value and judgement of these words. But words mean things and we can't simply change definitions of some things which have had certain connotations for thousands of years, can we? (Playing devil's advocate here).

I thought that someone would reply and say that it is simply a reference to "Saturn."

I assumed the correct answer would be "Baphomet." Which can be linked to the secret self or the HGA.

The commentary sound much like his comment in Book 4 saying "the Devil does not exist...etc."

Some things concerning Baphomet still remain a mystery to me. Why the association with the devil? (It found its way into the Tarot as the Devil, and then came to be a symbol of Satanism itself).

Does Crowley just take all of these things such as Babalon, The Beast, The Devil, The Antichrist, Baphomet, etc. etc. and redefine them to fit into his own created theology/cosmology?

I always take issue with those whom I love.

-Xkip
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Re: Words mean things

Postby Jim Eshelman » Tue Aug 04, 2009 12:42 am

xkip93 wrote:But words mean things and we can't simply change definitions of some things which have had certain connotations for thousands of years, can we?

Then live in ignorance.

Of course words have meaning. "Hitler" is simply a name from a particular family that had at least one famous person in the clan. But the word "Hitler" has all sorts of accumulated ideas about it that have nothing to do with what the word means.

I thought that someone would reply and say that it is simply a reference to "Saturn."

Other than the specific Capricorn references, I don't think it is. But, again, I'd be a suck of a teacher if I said the answer since you have it open in front of you.

Some things concerning Baphomet still remain a mystery to me. Why the association with the devil? (It found its way into the Tarot as the Devil, and then came to be a symbol of Satanism itself).

Legends were that Baphomet was goat-headed, and the medieval Devil was represented with goat attributes.

Does Crowley just take all of these things such as Babalon, The Beast, The Devil, The Antichrist, Baphomet, etc. etc. and redefine them to fit into his own created theology/cosmology?

No, not much. Mostly he finds the original meanings before people distorted them.
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Postby ARYK » Tue Aug 04, 2009 7:34 am

I just want to add that it is my understanding the concept of "Satan” or "Ha-Satan" is a title for "Adversary" or "Accuser". Similar to "Mister” or "Mrs." So I guess referring to the taxman as my personal satan is appropriate.
"These are fools that men adore; both their Gods & their men are fools."-AL. I:11

The creation of an evil entity equal to "God" was the influence of Zoroastrianism and fear based dogma. Thus the image of Pan and other "pagan" archetypes was juxtaposed to turn competing gods into devils.

I understand how difficult it is to move from years of concepts and a mind inundated by the old aeon slave religions but questioning and continued research will illuminate and clarify.

In the words of Yoda,"...you must unlearn what you have learned."

Sorry to go off topic from probationary work just wanted to leave my two cents.
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Postby reino » Thu Oct 29, 2009 7:33 pm

I read through this thread and decided I wanted to post. I know basically that I am in a probationary phase... I had some dreams about two weeks ago with all these perfect symbolic correspondences to path 32 of the Qabalah ala 777... Events in my life lately have been leading up to my necessary move towards independence. I won't really bore you with details.

I'm not going to ask anyone to give me dead-on instructions in what I should do as a 'Probationer'. Needless to say I have been practicing this Asana for a while now, since I decided to make the plunge into the business of actual practicing the control of the mind. I have 'bound' myself to this duty in a way, and I have a chain I wear to symbolize that I am binding myself to this work even if it has a bitter taste sometimes.

Sorry I'm evading the question. My problem is this: most of the rituals, the banishing and invoking rituals, I have to admit, as much as I would like to engage in these practices, and really as much as I feel they are necessary to really gain a comprehensive view of Crowleys system towards mystical attainment, well... I'm living with my parents, I'm 20 years old and a College student. And they already think I'm mad. Trust me, they do. They live in their small little world, you know... Anyways, ...Putting these actual external rituals into practice just doesn't seem likely in the environment I'm in, due to the fact that I am oppressed by living with my family. Now, of course, not having to pay rent does some good for me in the department of unnecessary stresses.

In other words, if I were out on my own or in a space/environment where I wouldn't feel oppressed ...I would certainly atleast try to put these rituals into practice. Do you think that just the "inward" way (Meditation, versus the "outward" or external ceremonial/ritual type deal) would serve as a path towards self-initiation? Or will I remain in a more or less 'probationary' state until I can go somewhere free enough to engage in ritual practice?

I suppose you're going to say that you can't answer that... Haha,.. Thats fine if you do... I'm just putting my situation in perspective for all of you who are much further down the road then I am
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Postby Shadow Self » Tue Nov 17, 2009 8:50 pm

Well, why don't you practice them at school? I do not know how your school is, but my school had big deserted places where people were unlikely to find me. Also, college tends to be a place where young people are open to things they would never want their parents to know about.
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Postby reino » Mon Nov 23, 2009 12:50 pm

I'm at a rather small local college. Not a very big campus... maybe 6-8 buildings or so. I'd be hardpressed just to find a place to meditate without looking strange.
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Postby Jim Eshelman » Mon Nov 23, 2009 12:56 pm

Do you have a problem with looking strange? :wink:
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Postby reino » Tue Nov 24, 2009 6:12 pm

No, I mean I already look generally strange because I wear clothes that I like and I have a lot of messy hair and show a disregard for modern trends of fashion or self-grooming you know ... No... I don't mind looking strange at all... but in my environment, the situation can grow increasingly oppressive to the degree I allow myself to unveil my total nonconformity ... I've seen it happen before ... My parents are zombies of modern marvels, they've wanted to see me put on medication for a very long time because its easier for them psychologically to pigeonhole me as Insane so they don't have to deal with the idea that there are human beings in the world who actively engage their minds with the great mystery of the endless horizon of being instead of consistently trying to close the inward eye from all perception of subtle and spiritual things, etc, etc
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Postby Lykathea » Tue Nov 24, 2009 7:09 pm

I've found that towing the 'normal' line in terms of dress/demeanor/behavior allows society to give me more leeway. But then again, that's just me. Grew up with abuse issues as well, and I've found that a trustworthy friend's space works great. Best of luck, brother.
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Postby Fr Cognosco cum Lux » Wed Nov 25, 2009 5:26 am

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law

Reino, I thought JAE's comment was referencing the thought that you might look strange meditating in public rather than whether you non-conform or what modern fashion is appealing.
It takes guts to meditate in public...the first time. If you pick a good location you become somewhat of a fixture in the public eye and people tend to stop talking about you. At least openly.
Know Will Dare and be Silent.

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Postby Aum418 » Thu Nov 26, 2009 9:08 pm

PainMeridian wrote:Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law

Reino, I thought JAE's comment was referencing the thought that you might look strange meditating in public rather than whether you non-conform or what modern fashion is appealing.
It takes guts to meditate in public...the first time. If you pick a good location you become somewhat of a fixture in the public eye and people tend to stop talking about you. At least openly.
Know Will Dare and be Silent.

93 93/93


Attracting 'attention' from others isnt meditation. Its a spectacle.
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Postby Fr Cognosco cum Lux » Fri Nov 27, 2009 5:07 am

Just sitting on a park bench is a spectacle?
I wasn't insinuating public meditation as trying to grab anyone's attention.
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Postby Aum418 » Fri Nov 27, 2009 9:13 am

PainMeridian wrote:Just sitting on a park bench is a spectacle?
I wasn't insinuating public meditation as trying to grab anyone's attention.

Sitting on a park bench is not meditating in public first of all - you are trying to play it down. People dont just sit normally with their eyes closed, they fold hteir legs up, put their back straight, and close their eyes. Its a spectacle. I cant imagine how knowing there are people walking around looking at you will help meditation - in fact I cant imagine how or why you would do this unless you wanted attention.
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Aum418
Ultimate Spark of the Intimate Fire
Ultimate Spark of the Intimate Fire
 
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