Author Topic: Discussion on Thelema: RHP or LHP?  (Read 968 times)

Sutekh

Re: Discussion on Thelema: RHP or LHP?
« Reply #15 on: April 22, 2017, 03:22:25 pm »
I can see the argument there, that it is RHP, but in my opinion, a religion or philosophy does not have to strive to destroy social barriers via transgressive acts to qualify as Left Hand Path.

But their is perhaps a reason as to why man wants to destroy those barriers, Each and everyone of us perhaps have experienced enslavement within our lives. We have been controlled by society, by the people, and most of all by the western State in general. The whole concept of the Left Hand Path  to me is bettering and freeing the individual to become independent and by refusing to be controlled by those barriers in general. Many of us have successfully destroyed and freed ourselves from these barriers that we all go through. However destroying these barriers are not that simple as man may think, a lot of us are still attempting to fight through these barriers.
"Our collective ambition is that the membership of the Order of the Serpent also serves as guardians of the Black Flame and collaborates with the Prince of Darkness in the Infernal Mandate of re-creating the Cosmos in the eternal glory of the Setian Will!"-Setamontet

Hammerheart

Re: Discussion on Thelema: RHP or LHP?
« Reply #16 on: April 22, 2017, 03:33:36 pm »
I can see the argument there, that it is RHP, but in my opinion, a religion or philosophy does not have to strive to destroy social barriers via transgressive acts to qualify as Left Hand Path.

But their is perhaps a reason as to why man wants to destroy those barriers, Each and everyone of us perhaps have experienced enslavement within our lives. We have been controlled by society, by the people, and most of all by the western State in general. The whole concept of the Left Hand Path  to me is bettering and freeing the individual to become independent and by refusing to be controlled by those barriers in general. Many of us have successfully destroyed and freed ourselves from these barriers that we all go through. However destroying these barriers are not that simple as man may think, a lot of us are still attempting to fight through these barriers.

These barriers often, but not consistently, bad. There are people who perpetuate the message of "you can't have sex in this way", "you can't listen to this music", "you can't say this because some people are weak and easily offended". Those are the bad barriers that we need to eliminate from our lives by breaking them down.

Also, from a more emotional perspective, certain transgressions can be very liberating and satisfying. Sometimes, a certain ideal can be instilled deeply in one's mind, and yes, in that case, removing it can be difficult. However, some things are quite simple to destroy.

Sutekh

Re: Discussion on Thelema: RHP or LHP?
« Reply #17 on: April 22, 2017, 03:46:09 pm »



 However, some things are quite simple to destroy.

The question however comes to our current living within the Natural Order of the Objective Universe, yes you can easily destroy the things that have been considered taboos within the self and outside of the Self meaning society in general. But at times it is not simple to destroy the chains of the Natural Order which controls Mankind naturally.
"Our collective ambition is that the membership of the Order of the Serpent also serves as guardians of the Black Flame and collaborates with the Prince of Darkness in the Infernal Mandate of re-creating the Cosmos in the eternal glory of the Setian Will!"-Setamontet

Xepera maSet

Re: Discussion on Thelema: RHP or LHP?
« Reply #18 on: April 22, 2017, 03:56:08 pm »
Definitely LHP. I can see the argument there, that it is RHP, but in my opinion, a religion or philosophy does not have to strive to destroy social barriers via transgressive acts to qualify as Left Hand Path. The path isn't really about transgression as much as it is a quest for self improvement and a more self-centric form of Enlightenment.

I agree. This is precisely what differentiates the Eastern and Western LHP traditions.
AKA: Three Scarabs, 1137

"You look up into the night sky - whether as a child or an adult - and if you open yourself honestly, then it is a gateway to mystery, to the unknown."

Xepera maSet

Re: Discussion on Thelema: RHP or LHP?
« Reply #19 on: May 11, 2017, 09:28:35 pm »
I think the RHP aspects of Thelema are clear even in AL. From chapter I:

29. For I am divided for love's sake, for the chance of union.

30. This is the creation of the world, that the pain of division is as nothing, and the joy of dissolution all.
AKA: Three Scarabs, 1137

"You look up into the night sky - whether as a child or an adult - and if you open yourself honestly, then it is a gateway to mystery, to the unknown."

pi_ramesses

Re: Discussion on Thelema: RHP or LHP?
« Reply #20 on: May 14, 2017, 07:52:29 pm »
Definitely LHP. I can see the argument there, that it is RHP, but in my opinion, a religion or philosophy does not have to strive to destroy social barriers via transgressive acts to qualify as Left Hand Path. The path isn't really about transgression as much as it is a quest for self improvement and a more self-centric form of Enlightenment.

I agree. This is precisely what differentiates the Eastern and Western LHP traditions.
I have heard it said that from an Eastern LHP tradition, Western LHP isn't really LHP. And I think it relates back to that idea of antinomianism deemed unnecessary from @Hammerheart . Consider the reaction to a publicly stated conditional: "if you want to succeed, then you have to...". I don't really have the gall to finish it as I care to abide by the code of conduct set by our moderators. 

But I suppose it is a boon that this is the topic rather than say, "Does Thelema Work?" If it is instrumental to bringing someone to an awakening then yes and questions like this and eight others follow. Otherwise, it is neither LHP nor RHP. It is just WHP (Wrong hand path).
Pro omnis dominos viae sinistra, sic itur ad astra
Nylfmedli14

Blackwulf

Re: Discussion on Thelema: RHP or LHP?
« Reply #21 on: May 27, 2017, 08:21:21 pm »
I definitely believe Crowley had aspects of the LHP by wanting to use transgression and setting himself up as the true prophet of his own religion.   The beauty of the Book of the Law is that Crowley himself could review it himself years later and gain more insight.  If you study Crowley's life there are times he was definitely more LHP and other RHP.  I think it is hard to define him as clearly either, and that is why he stands out.   I think he used what worked for him.    

pi_ramesses

Re: Discussion on Thelema: RHP or LHP?
« Reply #22 on: May 29, 2017, 12:37:24 am »
Agreed @Blackwulf 
Pro omnis dominos viae sinistra, sic itur ad astra
Nylfmedli14

Kheper

Re: Discussion on Thelema: RHP or LHP?
« Reply #23 on: June 21, 2017, 08:08:22 pm »
Definitely LHP. I can see the argument there, that it is RHP, but in my opinion, a religion or philosophy does not have to strive to destroy social barriers via transgressive acts to qualify as Left Hand Path. The path isn't really about transgression as much as it is a quest for self improvement and a more self-centric form of Enlightenment.
Agreed, RHP's can also break social norms, clear examples being the founding of all 3 of the main Abrahamic religions, and even between and within those religions. For example when Jesus made all food permissible, by declaring that what goes into a man cannot defile him (Mark 7 & Mathew 15). The Cathars are another example of a RHP which broke from social custom, when they denied the Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation due to their belief  that all matter was corrupted.

In its most basic terms:
Left-Hand: Elevates the Self as an independent entity, without dissolving into the Absolute or serving another being
Right-hand: Promotes the dissolving of the Self into the Absolute, or subordination to another being

Transgression is just a result of a difference in praxis, a RHP can even transgress against another RHP, Catharism vs Catholicism for example. It can't really be used as a way to classify the systems, it only seems like so because we are so caught up in the Christian worldview and coming from 2,000 years of Christian rule which has affected our terminology.

I don't like the concept of positioning 'Transgression' as a sort of principle. There's certainly honor, power, and Xeper, from going against the stream when one needs to in order to bring out their True Self, but war for the sake of war is a twisted mindset to have. And if one wants to say that transgression is fundamentally a part of the LHP, then one seems to imply that they are in it more for the sake of rebellion and defilement, than actual personal growth.

Transgress when needed, defy a malignant rule or ruler, but there's no Xeper in rebellion for rebellion's sake. It only results in an endless path of nihilism and destruction, rather than creation and growth.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2017, 08:16:28 pm by Dom »

Frater V.I.M.

Re: Discussion on Thelema: RHP or LHP?
« Reply #24 on: December 07, 2017, 08:59:09 am »
My apologies if it's bad etiquette to be a thread-necromancer with my very first post, but I just really thought this quote from Crowley's "New Comment" to Liber AL is very pertinent to this topic:

"Why are we told that the Khabs is in the Khu, not the Khu in the Khabs? Did we then suppose the converse? I think that we are warned against the idea of a Pleroma, a flame of which we are Sparks, and to which we return when we 'attain'. That would indeed be to make the whole curse of separate existence ridiculous, a senseless and inexcusable folly. It would throw us back on the dilemma of Manichaeism. The idea of incarnations “perfecting” a thing originally perfect by definition is imbecile. The only sane solution is as given previously, to suppose that the Perfect enjoys experience of (apparent) Imperfection."

- Crowley, New Comment to AL I:8

Seems pretty out there that Crowley openly said such a thing, but he did. Whether this means he always held such a view, and was purposely being weird with all of his repeated statements to the contrary, or this was a mere fleeting burst of sanity on his part, I don't know.

But also, perhaps in connection to such a stance, there is this, from his final work, "Magick without Tears:"

“The Holy Guardian Angel is not the 'Higher Self' but an Objective Individual. . . . He is not, let me say with emphasis, a mere abstraction from yourself; and that is why I have insisted rather heavily that the term ‘Higher Self’ implies ‘a damnable heresy and a dangerous delusion.’ . . . He is not to be found by any exploration of oneself. It is true that the process of analysis leads finally to the realization of oneself as no more than a point of view indistinguishable in itself from any other point of view; but the Holy Guardian Angel is in precisely the same position. However close may be the identities in millions of ways, no complete identification is ever obtainable. But do remember this, above all else; they are objective, not subjective, or I should not waste good Magick on them.”

^^ That one right there is a top contender for Crowley quote that 99.9% of Thelemites bend over backward to pretend he never said (besides, of course, all of his repeated assertions that Satan/Set was in his eyes 100% identical with the "Angel" Aiwaz who dictated Liber AL.)

The funniest part to me is how Crowley loved to claim that "Crossing the Abyss" does indeed entail destroying the Individual completely and forever . . . yet we all know that after he crossed said Abyss, he was still very much walking around and talking with the same heroin habit, same memories, same likes and dislikes as before. Something ain't right here. As Dr. Aquino puts it:

“The dilemma, of course, lies in the problem of ‘destroying’ the ego and then continuing to exist on Earth thinking, talking, writing, and acting as an obviously still-egocentric being who is just as obviously not One with the Objective Universe. The classic example of this is once again Aleister Crowley, who defined the grade of Magister Templi (8 )=[3] to identify an initiate who had successfully achieved this Objective Universe dissolution of consciousness, then went on to define the higher grade of Magus (9)=[2] as characterizing a magician of sufficient will and power to force a change in that same Objective Universe. This is a clearly impossible achievement if one is already indistinguishable from that Objective Universe.
. . . .
“Those who claim attainment to Magus display either (a) a fall-back to a state of psychecentrism, hence a lower Right Hand Path grade, or (b) their de facto adherence to the Left Hand Path. Since the object of the Left Hand Path is to strengthen and exalt the psychecentric consciousness as something distinct from the Objective Universe, the characteristic action of a Magus V° is indeed a mark of unique initiatory success.
. . . .
“Many self-proclaimed gurus of the Right Hand Path are not inclined to adopt simple, pastoral, self-effacing, redwood-tree lifestyles. Rather they preen themselves by assuming regalia, offices, and wealth dazzling to devotees, while insisting that such luxuries are their rightful due precisely because they have set such a good example in no longer caring for them. If confronted with the glaring hypocrisy of such positions, they retreat behind a smokescreen of religious mystery, mystical ambiguity, and ‘initiatory’ secrecy."

- Michael Aquino, “Black Magic”

And, finally, to round it all off, here's a couple of really heavy tiny bits from Crowley himself that put things in a "darker" light than usual:

"I may be a Black Magician, but I'm a bloody great one. The world may have to pass through a period of error through me, but even the error will tend to the truth." - Crowley's diaries, 1923

"And I assume unto myself and take into my service the elemental spirit of this frog, to be about me as a lying spirit, to go forth upon the earth as a guardian to me in my Work for Man; that men may speak of my piety and of my gentleness and of all virtues and bring to me love and service and all material things soever where I may stand in need. And this shall be its reward, to stand beside me and hear the truth that I utter, the falsehood whereof shall deceive men." - Crowley, "Cross of a Frog" (The ritual he performed while assuming the degree of Magus. Take into consideration Aquino's above comments concerning the same degree, and what he thinks it entails when Crowley took it.)

« Last Edit: December 07, 2017, 10:18:46 am by Frater V.I.M. »
“All my joy, perfect, transcending sense, is given of Aiwaz, whom we call the Devil.” - Uncle Al

Xepera maSet

Re: Discussion on Thelema: RHP or LHP?
« Reply #25 on: December 07, 2017, 09:17:38 am »
Welcome, and an amazing first post.
AKA: Three Scarabs, 1137

"You look up into the night sky - whether as a child or an adult - and if you open yourself honestly, then it is a gateway to mystery, to the unknown."

Mindmaster

Re: Discussion on Thelema: RHP or LHP?
« Reply #26 on: December 12, 2017, 05:00:09 pm »
The funniest part to me is how Crowley loved to claim that "Crossing the Abyss" does indeed entail destroying the Individual completely and forever . . . yet we all know that after he crossed said Abyss, he was still very much walking around and talking with the same heroin habit, same memories, same likes and dislikes as before. Something ain't right here.

Wow, so much to talk about on that post I'm just going to cut it down to the bit that people tend to mess up the most often - even Aquino misses the point entirely, so no point in addressing that. The destruction of the ego is in a spiritual sense the idea of division from the whole. Once you are aware of you links to the divine the ego itself becomes but a speck of dry land in a stream of consciousness. That doesn't mean the goal is to "blot out" that ego, lose it, reject it, but rather to expand it to include the perception of the greater spiritual reality. Crowley really had a knack for making this all confusing as fuck, but the short of it is something like this:

ego "the you"<-> subconscious interface <-> super-consciousness ("god mind")

Notice, I purposefully drew the arrows bi-directionally. The reality of course is that there is actually no division of these aspects, but it is easier to present them by function. The "god-mind" is interwoven with the divine and all parts are connected like a giant network. Again, I don't know why Crowley just can't state this.

I find it funny how other writers presume that Crowley didn't achieve the "Abyss Crossing". Being somewhat aware of how these experiences work, once he accomplished this he knew exactly what he needed to do in this incarnation - he knew his true nature. All of his actions are simply beyond normal reasoning to others since they know not what experiences he requires in this lifetime, and he does. It matters not whether any of those actions make sense to outsiders, his spirit itself needed to experience them and he knew it. :D Obviously, much of the "why" is lost on conventional LHP thought processes but I felt I could elucidate on the matter a bit here in the vein of promoting clarity.



King Mob

Re: Discussion on Thelema: RHP or LHP?
« Reply #27 on: December 12, 2017, 06:15:16 pm »
@Mindmaster  gets it right. This is the entire point of the Thelemic system but I see it more as a metaphor for change in your own system. Anyone here can correct me if I'm wrong but I see it as this:

You cross the abyss to  reachThe "Godhead" behind your various personalities like when you invoke Mars, or whatever. This is akin to the Bornless One. Choronzon is your desparation to hold on to this various different conflicting personlaities as one identity.  Upon crossing it, you reconcile all as part of you, kind of like emmanations, similar to the Kabbalistic map of the soul.

When you achieve this interpretation of yourself, there is a sort of peacefulness that makes you feel more at one with the universe.


This is why Golden Dawn rituals were still used "About the pentagram (microcosm) and WITHIN me the 6 rayed star(macrocosm)." 

Crowley was confused about it because Thelema is completely individual in nature. The Book of the Law led to two seperate solutions of the equation; one delcaring the Aeon of Set and the other the Aeon of Ma'at(which would later manifest through someone else who didn't solve the equation.) Then there's the Typhonian current. I'd even call chaos magick a splinter from that and probably more in line with the philosophy than most.

This is what happens when the law is Do what Thou Wilt, even when taking into account True Will.

And Crowley was constantly shifting between paradigms: look at his many different interpretations of Goetia. Also, I think even most Thelemites would disagree with him. It's important to make the distinction between Thelema and Crowleyanity.
"Be goodly therefore: dress ye all in fine apparel; eat rich foods and drink sweet wines and wines that foam! Also, take your fill and will of love as ye will, when, where and with whom ye will! But always unto me."- Nuit, Book of the Law.

Frater V.I.M.

Re: Discussion on Thelema: RHP or LHP?
« Reply #28 on: December 12, 2017, 09:36:52 pm »
I didn't mean at all to imply that Crowley didn't actually cross the Abyss, only that he was highly dishonest as to what it entailed. I believe that he very much did cross it, and I was pointing out his state of being afterwards as the clear indication that much of his writing on the topic is purposefully misleading. After all, Crowley repeatedly, in no uncertain terms, declared that those who don't take that grade are those who are "afraid of losing [their] individuality," those who refuse to "annihilate" their Ego. And all of this talk is why most "orthodox" Thelemites reduce Thelema to basically a sexier Buddhism in Egyptian-garb. While Aquino does tend to think Crowley never really "got it," I tend to suspect that Crowley did understand what he was doing, but delighted in convincing people they were following a RHP system, when it was really nothing of the sort deep down. I think his comment to AL I:8 as reproduced above was his clear admission of such.
“All my joy, perfect, transcending sense, is given of Aiwaz, whom we call the Devil.” - Uncle Al

King Mob

Re: Discussion on Thelema: RHP or LHP?
« Reply #29 on: December 12, 2017, 11:13:37 pm »
@Frater V.I.M.  I would agree with your school of thought, I always viewed Crowley as a trickster archetype. While I'm not a huge fan of the man(other than being a thelemite), I fucking love his sense of humor. That seems like a very Crowley thing to do.

He also seemed to take great joy in subversion. Like when he gave an explanation for why his name The Great Beast 666 roughly translates to "little sunshine" in court.
"Be goodly therefore: dress ye all in fine apparel; eat rich foods and drink sweet wines and wines that foam! Also, take your fill and will of love as ye will, when, where and with whom ye will! But always unto me."- Nuit, Book of the Law.