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Creativity and Selfhood The realization of a creative goal often requires mastering new things on the intellectual level. While one can certainly pursue knowledge for its own sake, I find myself more likely to learn things if they contribute to a personal expression of some sort.

One of my varied interests is guitarmaking. Initially, I intended to just make the body and purchase a pre-made neck. In discussing this with a friend, he said "you should make the neck also". I took up the challenge, and though my guitars aren't perfect, I am more pleased with my efforts than if I took the path of least resistance.

Which creative pursuits have enabled you to accomplish more than you thought possible?

May 08, 2017, 03:53:10 am
What are you reading? Currently I am reading "Godel's Proof," which so far questions the ability to use axioms in mathematics. I've been interested in philosophy of math since becoming a Platonist, and it's a good read. I'd love more of a these books for non-mathematicians if they exist.
June 18, 2017, 04:16:52 pm
Re: What are you reading? The Book on the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are by Alan W. Watts (focuses on the Vedanta Hindu philosophy, Watts tries to translate the meaning of eastern religions to westerners)
July 28, 2017, 04:08:51 am

I'd have to disagree with that. It is for submission but not of submission to the author but of submission of your base desires to your higher self. This doesn't necessarily have to be a mystical thing but your idealized self/ego.

Apophis by Michael Kelly, who studied under the Temple of Set, uses many of these tactics and embelishes on them in the Second Head of The Dragon to help one come come to build their selves.

The seem to have similar motivations, control over one self by promoting awareness and ability to control your awareness and great link to your subconcious. I think a program similar to either Liber Jogorum or the first two heads of Apophis are absolutely necessary if one is to either dabble in or seriously practice Greater Magick. There are so many elements that can go wrong in greater magic without an ability to control thought, mind, and body.

Thefore my concerns with the method of punishment vs encouragement is one of practical results. I think Kelly has a good point in saying that punishment can separate you from your subconcious which would be a huge error in either Left Hand Path or Right Hand Path. However, encouraging one or something into submission is still dominating it and it is hard to see if punishment actually does cause a divide. I understand the theory he posits but this is completely ignoring sadomassochistic relationships which use both punishment and nurture to grow.

It's important to note that works like this in Apophis program, LHP, and Thelema, MP or RHP, is that there are two "selves." A false self that works against your will and a true self that is the master of your own universe.  It is aboslutely necessary to purge weakness in both paths. The main difference is RHP tends to see it as something that must be overcome where as the LHP sees it as something to bind into your service so it may further your will. Though this may vary in both paths.

For example, the ring idea which could seem like it's dilluting yourself is given a practical benefit for LHP in Apophis. If you can control your view point and emotion, then you can manifest anger n a time where it would further your will and surpress it in a time where it would set your goals back rather than to overcome it and see it as something to be detached from at all times like RHP would.

In my own personal opinion, I think eradicating your own weakness is even more imporant in Left Hand Path. On the Right Hand Path, you have equivalences of praying. You have faith in a higher power that all works will take you where you need to go even if it's your HGA(which some LHP schools believe in as well). On the Left Hand Path, you are completely responsible for yourself. Strengthening your ego and acheiving Godhood does not come without sacrificing weakness.

October 09, 2017, 01:01:05 am
Re: A place to share Art
Now let the undefiled knowledge be seen in the Black Light of the Sun of Midnight!

The image was a collaboration between @Setamontet and I, and one I'm very proud of. It can be valuable to accept challenges that test your perceptions, and this project helped to refine my computer art skills.

October 15, 2017, 06:01:36 pm
The Tao I revisited the Tao te Ching and the Inner Teachings of Chuangzu the other day. I was reading from the Thomas Cleary translation. Lately, I am starting to prefer the format of aphorisms and appreciate how it involves the reader to unpack its meaning. This is much like the Tao, although no one can profess outright to have penetrated its mysteries entirely. What do you guys make of the Tao? I'll leave two excerpts below - one from the Tao te Ching and another from the Inner Teachings of Chuangzu:

11. Thirty Spokes

Thirty spokes join at the hub:
Their use for the cart
Is where they are not.
When the potter's wheel makes a pot,
The use of the pot
Is precisely where there is nothing.
When you open doors and windows for a room,
It is where there is nothing
That they are useful to the room.
Therefore being is for benefit,
Nonbeing is for usefulness.

2. On Equalizing Things

... Once Chuang Chou dreamed he was a butterfly. He was happy as a butterfly, enjoying himself and going where he wanted. He did not know he was Chou. Suddenly, he awoke, whereupon he was startled to find he was Chou. He didn't know whether Chou had dreamed he was a butterfly, or if a butterfly were dreaming it was Chou. But as Chou and the butterfly, there must be a distinction. This is called the transformation of beings.

October 26, 2017, 11:51:53 pm
Sci-fi and philosophy We don't have a television board so I'm just posting here. I'm watching Doctor Who and it got me thinking on the sci-fi genre in general. To me, the best sci-fi always raises ethical or philosophical questions. Doctor Who, Star Trek, anything by Philip K Dick. I'm really looking forward to finally watching Electric Dreams.

While I liked the adventure tone of Star Trek TOS, I could never really get into The Next Generation and I think I placed it. It's too idealistic and focused on group mentality. The aliens are more focused on culture, its about working together as a team, and the people who have the integrity to be captain such as Kirk or Picard have ethics based on ideas. This doesn't fit in with my view of humanity. I mean, obviously we can analyze cultures so there is some herd mentality but it seems like all the ethical dillemas in Trek are based off what's good for society and everyone.

I think what's better, is when sci-fi plays on emotions. You can literally disprove almost any idea with enough logic, hence why it is symbolized by the air blade in occultism. I disagree with the reliance on idealism. Philip K Dick, and everything he inspired, as well as Doctor Who's strongest philsophical moments are based on emotion. Doctor Who, for example, is about one alien(who in the reboot, is basically Godlike due to being the last one of his advanced race with noone to keep him in check) having to make decisions that effect time and space on a grand scale in his adventures.

The Doctor just helps people because that's who he is. When he has to face a moral dilemma, he has more of an emotional pain that comes from him rooted in his identity and who he is and wants to be. I believe humans are more motivated as individuals, even if they hide behind ideals so I like this take better.

But man, Philip K. Dick. I can't wait to watch Electric Dreams. Let's look at the blade runner movie:

The philosophical question it raises is what constitues as humanity as we develop AI. It's a question that goes back to Frankenstein and it's becoming increasingly relevant.

The Second Renaissance really had me become obsessed with that idea:

I can't wait to see what this game does it:

Phillip K Dick also had an obsession with esoteric ideas and the faults of our senses such as our memories. I think "We Can Remember it for you Wholesale" is probably the short story that fucked with me most but I highly recommend A Scanner Darkly, especially the movie, for themes about memory, individualism, drugs, and distrust of the government. It has one of my favorite endings ever. The book Man in the High Castle even posits that the universe we live in is really an alternate timeline to the true outcome of WWII (and Dick used I-Ching to write it.)

Black Mirror is perhaps the best television show to use this. It's bleak and ugly and while Black Mirror refers to the screens on all our technology, I see it as a twisted mirror also. It's honest about or culture right now and shows us what we could very well become or already are and it uses techonology thats incredibly believable in this day and age now at least to some extent. some of it as even been patented. This goes back to why I think emotional content is more important. It's visceral and forces us to ask "is this what we want to be?" either as individuals or even society. Even the happy episode in black mirror, features a tough question: the tech is that human conciousness can be uploaded into this digital simulation so that they could live forever even after death. It shows both sides of the argument and favors immortality but it realizs its a question someone has to answer for themselves. There's a similar darker episode where you can use AI that analyzes your loved one's social media to talk to "them" after they passed. What I like about Black Mirror in particulary is it looks at all our faults, and how we would indulge in them if given the chance with tech(self-pity, revenge, refusal to move on) and shows us that we might not want that as much as we think we do.

Compared to these darker, and sometimes gritter, sci-fi I actually find Star Trek very lacking but I do think it serves it's purpose. But I think when it comes down to it, human beings morals and ethics operate on more what they feel than think most of the time. I mean, even God in Star Trek (Q) is very logical in a human sense and is beneficial even if he's a trickster. Compard to Sutekh or the Gods of Ragna Rok which is more apathetic towards the universe. I think idealized notions of the future are really presumptious about humanity's importance and "specialness" which to me just kind of reminds of one of the reasons I don't like religions like the abarhamic ones being taken literally- "oh god created mankind but only mankind in his image" 

This is just half-arsed philsophical rambling that doesn't really mean anything. I was just thinking about the different philosophical approaches to sci-fi and why I prefer the ones I do.

January 12, 2018, 03:29:17 am
Re: Fr. Sisyphus' Archives @Frater Sisyphus  We seem to have a bit in common. I've also incorporated Buddhism into my practice recently and I work with Enochian although I save it for special occasions. I'm actually looking into scrying the 30 Aethyrs as I plan to start in within the next few months. The watchtowers are really useful too, I'd recommend starting with them.

Setianism's objective and subjective universe have become core to my practice when doing magick that effects others. Michael Kelly really expanded it tremendously in his Draconian books using the pentegram and provides a good explanation for why that kind of magick usually works out the way it does. It's a bit complicated to explain and I'm really tired at the moment.

I really want to read more the Quran in full sometime. I read it's version of a few other torah or old testament stories I already enjoy and I prefer their interpretation sometimes. There's actually a newer book on summoning djinn I really want. 

March 18, 2018, 12:37:29 pm
Re: Fr. Sisyphus' Archives @Frater Sisyphus I actually quite enjoy hearing the personal stuff and don't find it boring. It makes you guys feel more human and less faceless. "The aim of religion, method of science" is another reason I still use the thelemite label.

I've actually taken to not using Liber Al Vegis a lot, it instructs that looking upon it at different times will yeild different results so I just have a re-reading when it feels right and I'll view it in an entirely new way. The philosophy and rituals are a part of my practice. I perform Liber Samekh for HGA work and if I'm doing Goetic work then the LBRP and the like seem like the only proper banishing rituals to perform.

Regarding Enochian Magick, I as of yesterday started to teach myself astral projection. I've done it once before a couple years ago. Quite an experience, researched another easier way to do it last nightand I've already had progress but no success. The reason I saw this is because astral projection seems necessary for scrying the 30 ethyrs whereas the watchtowers are more evocation based. I'm interested in the Living Thelema guy's book on Enochian as well. I highly recommend the Enochian Dictionary as well! Incredibly useful. My first Enochian evocation required Liber 777, Tarot, Enochian Dictionary, and prior knowledge of mythology and synchronicity to decode and I then preceded to use various divination methods such as tarot and i-ching repeatedly to confirm it. It definitely requires work but yields amazing results.

I'll keep that in mind with the Quran. I actually have the same story with Kabalah. I love mythology so now that I don't believe it, I read and appreciate the stories way more. I'm actually going to begin studying Gnoticism soon.

March 20, 2018, 06:44:49 am
Re: Fr. Sisyphus' Archives Man you're reading a lot of books at once. :D

I'd suggest you'd pick one to finish. :D

I only have two books I read in this fashion:

The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda (because it's mostly laid out in 'talks', I might read one at a time - it's also REALLY long, something like 4000 pages over 9 volumes) and a programming book. (I find it is actually counter-productive for me to jam through it because I like to work through the exercises.)

I'm pretty much focusing on completing a read through of "Eight Upanisads" Vol 1. by Swami Gambhirananda w/ commentaries by Sankaracarya. It takes some time, but it's really detailed. :D

March 21, 2018, 07:27:39 pm