Author Topic: In Response to Etu Malku's breakdown of LHP / RHP  (Read 456 times)

Kapalika

In Response to Etu Malku's breakdown of LHP / RHP
« on: September 18, 2018, 10:41:59 am »
Be warned, this will probably turn into some big debate.


Perennial philosophy is the understanding that theistic belief systems share a single, universal doctrine. This doctrine posits that the highest good that human life can achieve is through the union with a Supreme Being / Energy of the Universe.

The way in which this is achieved is through the deception of one's conscious awareness into believing that one has been accepted by this Supreme Being / Energy. To absolve one's self into this is antithetic to the western left hand path goals of individuation and autotheism. To become More Than Human should ase the goal.

Symbolically, this resistance to perennialism is the basis of such occult structures as the Tree of Daath and the ideals behind furthering the Fall of the Tree of Life because it is an imperfect Tree and in its place, a new and perfected Tree (that of your subjective universe with you as god) is nurtured.

This is simply over-simplification to the point of making a tragic error in one's understanding. Left-hand path theism almost needs a better set of words, since it is something entirely different. My perspective is that the separation of spiritual and material are delusions, as is the separation of men from their gods. There is just one living breathing energy in an infinitesimal quantity of vehicles. There is no actual separation of me and Satan outside of the limitations of the material world. Thus, there is no need to merge where one is already a part of that vast network. One merely has to pay attention, so to speak. That being said no two theists in the left-hand path see it all the exact same way, but I refer to this as a "hardware limitation" -- it's our own perceptions that are limited in this regard... They are suited for I/O in this material world, they often just become an interference pattern when you go beyond that.

There is no "uniformity of goals" between different belief systems other than outsiders to those systems attempting to make one. These mental gymnastics are performed to please amateur philosophers, pseudo-intellectuals, and occultniks. :D

No mainstream religions really seek union with God in the manner you've described outside of the Hindu belief systems. They're perfectly happy with the God/Man separation and demarcation lines.
As a theist you should see which mega-oversimplified category you fit into:

1) Eastern Right Hand Path: follow a set blueprint in order to unite and dissolve the personal Self into the All.

2) Eastern Left Hand Path: purposely go against the set blueprint to unite and dissolve the Self into the All.

3) Western Right Hand Path: follow a set blueprint in order to enter the afterlife of a specific deity/deities, and remain submissive to them.

4) Western Left Hand Path: use or ignore the blueprint as it benefits or fits with your morals, separates the Self from both the All and deities in order to become a deity themselves.


The word overly generalized and stereotyped might be a better term rather than "mega simplified". But I've grown accustom to expecting such things from 'fundamentalist' types.

You know, a lot of religions today and throughout history worked on having relationships with deities, not always as equals but I would think that @Mindmaster 's leans much more towards something equal. I don't think the ancient Romans or Greeks were concerned with heaven or being submissive and plenty of neo-pagans today would also feel the same in that regard.


As far as Hinduism yes again there are a couple of philosophical schools that will fit the definition you've laid out for "ELHP" but that's just two of 6 orthodox schools and there are a plethora of heterodox schools as well.

Case in point; Lakshman Joo said:

"God and the individual are one. To realize this is the essence of Shaivism."

Notice he says "individual" and the verb "are" indicates clearly that this isn't a cessation of any self hood or even a prccess of a merging. Rather he says "to realize" meaning it's about awareness. So since this is the case, the self has jnana AND kriya.


From the Jaidev Singh commentaries itself:

"The liberated Self in Samkhya-yoga is only Saccit (existenceconsciousness). The Self or Purusa is freed of all pain and suffering, but he has no positive bliss. In Vedanta, the characteristic of Self is saccidananda (existence-consciousness-bliss). There is positive bliss in liberation. But it is only atmananda, the delight of Self. In Siva-vyapti, the entire universe gleams as the wondrous delight of I-consciousness."

Singh's translation was written with extensive commentary from Swami Lakshman Joo, who was one of the last surviving members of the original Trika lineage. If anyone knew what they were talking about, it was him. "I consciousness" can only mean individuated consciousness and yet this is talking about the realized shivagama self, the realization he speaks of in the earlier quote.

It also bears mentioning that Trika can be practiced either RHP or LHP although most of it's history is in LHP and most of it's sects are LHP and it contains some of the oldest known LHP sects in the world. Most practitioners are RHP if I had to guess, based on my interactions online with others of my faith. Kuala is the largest of it's LHP sect that's practiced today from what I can tell as well.

In summary, we can find examples that don't fit into any of those groups and even Hindu Right Hand Path and Left Hand Path that fit closer to your definition of "Western Right Hand Path" than anything else.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2018, 10:51:29 am by Kapalika »
https://kapalika.com

My religion is Satanism & Kashmir Shaivism via Vāmācāra

"We have none but evidence for the prosecution [against Satan] and yet we have rendered the verdict. To my mind, this is irregular. It is un-English. It is un-American; it is French." ... "We may not pay him reverence, for that would be indiscreet, but we can at least respect his talents." - Mark Twain
"God and the individual are one. To realize this is the essence of Shaivism." - Swami Lakshmanjoo

Kapalika

Re: In Response to Etu Malku's breakdown of LHP / RHP
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2018, 01:16:54 pm »
I forgot this, but the most popular Viashnava sects fit Etu's definition of western right hand path. So we got Hindu religions that fit both of his "western" definitions and we can probably point to western religions that fit his "eastern" view and as both me and @Mindmaster pointed out, a lot of religions fall out of these categories. One should wonder what use this copy-paste breakdown / reference of his is. I'd say it's use is almost nothing.

Anyways the main reason I made this topic is whenever the subject has come up on other forums it always derails the conversation so I figured to have the conversation continue here rather than on the other topic which was about something entirely different.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2018, 01:21:13 pm by Kapalika »
https://kapalika.com

My religion is Satanism & Kashmir Shaivism via Vāmācāra

"We have none but evidence for the prosecution [against Satan] and yet we have rendered the verdict. To my mind, this is irregular. It is un-English. It is un-American; it is French." ... "We may not pay him reverence, for that would be indiscreet, but we can at least respect his talents." - Mark Twain
"God and the individual are one. To realize this is the essence of Shaivism." - Swami Lakshmanjoo

Mindmaster

Re: In Response to Etu Malku's breakdown of LHP / RHP
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2018, 08:56:54 pm »
I forgot this, but the most popular Viashnava sects fit Etu's definition of western right hand path. So we got Hindu religions that fit both of his "western" definitions and we can probably point to western religions that fit his "eastern" view and as both me and @Mindmaster pointed out, a lot of religions fall out of these categories. One should wonder what use this copy-paste breakdown / reference of his is. I'd say it's use is almost nothing.

Anyways the main reason I made this topic is whenever the subject has come up on other forums it always derails the conversation so I figured to have the conversation continue here rather than on the other topic which was about something entirely different.

Hence my initial reservations about trying to classify things so succinctly. I don't necessarily fault @Etu Malku from trying, but I just thing it's painting with too broad a brush. Especially in regard to Hindu beliefs where there are often two sects which basically exist because they refute each other. :D A bulk of eastern philosophy exists in this way so it's hard to categorize them beyond a few base assertions.


From his presentation he seems to believe there is no theistic left-hand path and that's rubbish. You certainly can know of your deity but not be subservient to them -- e.g. the Romans, Greeks, Celts, and the ancient Scandinavians. Modern neo-pagans are definitely not subservient to their deities either even though they venerate them.

Ultimately, I feel that the attempts to classify theists as "off the path" are just reflecting a limited understanding of that path. For example, the whole "becoming a god" thing... that's just straight out dogma since you have no way to prove such a statement is even possible. It's just wishful thinking and fantasy. If it's "pretend to be a god" or "presume you're a god" or "because no one else refutes me, it must be true" then it's all fantasy, regardless. Admittedly, I know what a god is and know that "I" and it are something different after a fashion. It doesn't mean that "I" am not aware of the connection to that being or that in some way it is not a part of me since I can feel that. But, I also feel that connection with other humans as well. Pardon the quotes on the I, but it was to make a point that maybe "I" is a bit more nebulous of a construct than the contents of your skull. :D

That being said, the simply analogy fails on basic scrutiny to me. If the "I" could include Jehovah then what does such a comparison of RHP versus LHP yield? The idea being that if in some whacky way your will is actually the deities will how do you formulate the distinction? I guess it depends on the divisions. Some of my experimentation in this regard seem to yield that the will is not fixed and there is hybridizing between spiritual and mundane influences. That's to say as you involve yourself with a deity you will pick up on its will it becomes a part of your mind space. The connection can become good enough that your reasoning will consider the deities wishes, much like you would do with any other friend, and you have the choice of whether or not to act on that information. That choice component is the reason it is still a left-hand path expression and not a manifestation of the right-hand path. The RHP would presume the deity must be followed unequivocally. The LHP theist makes up their own damn mind regardless of this spiritual influence.

I'd define the left-hand path in a much simpler way: The left-hand path is the quest for spiritual and philosophical freedom through the rejection of religious, cultural, social, and ideological norms.

That says nothing of how you decide to get there nor does it limit the methods by which one seeks that goal. The particulars are of absolutely no consequence and are mostly aesthetic. Whether your expression of that is in an atheistic, theistic, or agnostic frame of mind is irrelevant. Anyone attempting to remove people from the path over their method of expression is simply making a show of their own insecurities and lack of mastery.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2018, 09:03:11 pm by Mindmaster »

Etu Malku

Re: In Response to Etu Malku's breakdown of LHP / RHP
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2018, 09:12:55 pm »
My issue and why I choose to use terms Western & Eastern is that in the end the Eastern LHP practices ultimately results in some form of union with some idea of an Absolute, the same in which Eastern RHP practices do. Therefore, in my opinion, both are RHP practices, even though one is translated as LHP.

Another point is that ELHP's accomplishes its goal through heterodoxy practices which to me implies they accept the tenets of their religion of which they approach from an unorthodox strategy.

I read a lot of Shaivites claiming to be the original Satanism / LHP and that any Western LHPaths are merely confused aspects of their religion. I find this incorrect as well since Shaivism's goal is also realized through heterodoxy and their concept of becoming Shiva is only in order to better experience the divine (Brahman).

On the other hand, the Western LHP is antinomian, free from dogma, where the adversary is Within. It is a practice of individuation, the separation from all that is the objective universe (a.k.a. God/Brahman) and the realization and reinforcement of one's true, greater Self (as opposed to our lesser earthly self).

"The division into dakshinachara and vamachara is a relatively late one in the history of Hinduism, perhaps going back no more than a thousand to fifteen-hundred years, the sects of Hinduism which strictly can be said to belong to the vamamarga do not formally belong to the most archaic levels of a historical Vedic religion." - Stephen Flowers Ips. ToS


Here are a few quotes from several prominent Shaivites:

"In Shaivism in general, Shiva is the name for the absolute or transcendental consciousness."
"The Kashmir Shaivite is not so much concerned with worshiping a personal God as he is with attaining the transcendental state of Siva consciousness."
"Sadhana leads to the assimilation of the object (world) in the subject (I) until the Self (Shiva) stands revealed as one with the universe."
"The goal-liberation-is sustained recognition (pratyabhijna) of one's true Self as nothing but Shiva."
"The individual is a mini Shiva, who, when he recognizes his true self, becomes one with the universal consciousness."
"The attainment of Shivatva may be understood as a complete merger in Shiva."

Sources were:
Subhash Kak
Dr. B.N. Kalla
R. K. Sapru
Dr. C. L. Raina
Prof. M. L. Kokiloo
Dr. R. K. Kaw
Shri Jankinath Kaul 'Kamal'

Given these tenets from the stance of the Western LHP, Kashmir Shaivism is a RHP as the adherents are in some way or another in union with an external deity (Shiva) and not one's unique, individual higher Self, separate from the objective universe and from external influences such as deities, of which the WLHP non-theists do not believe in.

Many people try and say that the WLHP is invalid and such because of this, as the traditional LHP in the East still had the goal of the loss of ego, nirvana, etc. This, however, is specifically WHY the WLHP specifies that it is not Eastern in its very name. The WLHP is also apathetic to values and such, rather than strictly heterodox in nature. In some of Don Webb’s texts from the Temple of Set, for instance, he explicitly explains that sometimes teaming up with authority can be a means to success and power.

The WLHP does not claim a relation to the ELHP, rather the ELHP seems to need to cling to its legacy and therefore ends up attaching itself to the WLHP. Heterodoxy and loss of the self, are not of interest to practitioners of the WLHP.
IAMTHATIAMNOT

Xepera maSet

  • O.S. Co-founder | OSM Founder
  • Administrator
  • *
  • Posts: 2433
  • Total likes: 2512
  • uab Nekhekhu (Priest of the Old Gods)
    • View Profile
    • My Book on Setianism
Re: In Response to Etu Malku's breakdown of LHP / RHP
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2018, 09:32:28 pm »
"Be warned, this will probably turn into some big debate."

Debate is encouraged, so long as everyone is respectful :)

"Do not try to make the sun rise by self-sacrifice,  but wait in confidence for the dawn, and enjoy the pleasure of the night."
- Crowley

Kapalika

Re: In Response to Etu Malku's breakdown of LHP / RHP
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2018, 09:53:58 pm »



Just a note but not all Shaivites are LHP

Quote from: Etu Malku link=topic=856.msg7159#msg7159 date=1537305175"
The division into dakshinachara and vamachara is a relatively late one in the history of Hinduism, perhaps going back no more than a thousand to fifteen-hundred years, the sects of Hinduism which strictly can be said to belong to the vamamarga do not formally belong to the most archaic levels of a historical Vedic religion." - Stephen Flowers Ips. ToS


True, but that is because the terminology came into use with the rise of Tantra which started at that exact same time. The same type of practice is probably as old as religion itself, but it's only in the last 2,000 to 1,200 years that the terms LHP / RHP have existed. Before that it was probably called by many names.

Here are a few quotes from several prominent Shaivites:

1 "In Shaivism in general, Shiva is the name for the absolute or transcendental consciousness."
2 "The Kashmir Shaivite is not so much concerned with worshiping a personal God as he is with attaining the transcendental state of Siva consciousness."
3 "Sadhana leads to the assimilation of the object (world) in the subject (I) until the Self (Shiva) stands revealed as one with the universe."
4 "The goal-liberation-is sustained recognition (pratyabhijna) of one's true Self as nothing but Shiva."
5 "The individual is a mini Shiva, who, when he recognizes his true self, becomes one with the universal consciousness."
6 "The attainment of Shivatva may be understood as a complete merger in Shiva."
Sources were:
Subhash Kak
Dr. B.N. Kalla
R. K. Sapru
Dr. C. L. Raina
Prof. M. L. Kokiloo
Dr. R. K. Kaw
Shri Jankinath Kaul 'Kamal'

I added the numbers listed in red for reference.

The first quote is true, but it also doesn't say much :p

Second is also true, but of course that's in the context of my quote of the Shiva Sutra commentaries above.

You should pay close attention to the third quote, since the objective universe is said to assimilate into the subjective universe (making the subjective I supreme). Isn't that the same as how many WLHP types see it?

Fourth is true, again in the context of Vasugupta's Shiva Sutras. Of note the sect the pratyabhijna sect is explicitly monistic, and is just one of many Trika schools. Schools such as Spanda (for example) are not explicitly monistic but rather more broadly nondual. Krama is one that explicitly reconciles dualism into it's nondual system so is not monistic.

The fifth quote is a somewhat useful explanation but without context it can be a little misleading as to what happens to the citta. The Shiva Sutras say that the Citta although transformed into cit retains individualized awareness.

The sixth quote also would fit into what I said about the fifth.

Quote from: Etu Malku link=topic=856.msg7159#msg7159 date=1537305175"
Given these tenets from the stance of the Western LHP, Kashmir Shaivism is a RHP as the adherents are in some way or another in union with an external deity (Shiva) and not one's unique, individual higher Self, separate from the objective universe and from external influences such as deities, of which the WLHP non-theists do not believe in.

This is where you are failing to understand... Shiva is NOT external. The "merger" is with an a individuated higher self. This is very clear and explicit within the Shiva Sutras and one of the defining features of Kashmir Shaivism (aka Trika) that makes it stand out from almost all other Hindu schools of thought.

Quote from: Etu Malku link=topic=856.msg7159#msg7159 date=1537305175"
Many people try and say that the WLHP is invalid and such because of this, as the traditional LHP in the East still had the goal of the loss of ego,

The word ego in this context is misleading as the Hindu understanding is not the same as the western one. Add to that, this isn't the case in the western sense of the word in the Trika sects.

Quote from: Etu Malku link=topic=856.msg7159#msg7159 date=1537305175"
The WLHP does not claim a relation to the ELHP, rather the ELHP seems to need to cling to its legacy and therefore ends up attaching itself to the WLHP. Heterodoxy and loss of the self, are not of interest to practitioners of the WLHP.

So if you admit there is no historical connection, why use a tantric term that's been in use for around 1,500 years? Wouldn't it cause so much less confusion and arguing if instead of "western left hand path" a term like "path of isolated consciousness" ?

At least from my perspective, modern Satanism and related sects are emerging within occult and magical tradition in a way that resembles the early LHP as it developed in tantra. In that sense I can imagine that the terms RHP and LHP will be more relevant later in this century within at least occult pagan communities in a way very similar to it's historical use in Hinduism.
https://kapalika.com

My religion is Satanism & Kashmir Shaivism via Vāmācāra

"We have none but evidence for the prosecution [against Satan] and yet we have rendered the verdict. To my mind, this is irregular. It is un-English. It is un-American; it is French." ... "We may not pay him reverence, for that would be indiscreet, but we can at least respect his talents." - Mark Twain
"God and the individual are one. To realize this is the essence of Shaivism." - Swami Lakshmanjoo