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Aleister and Augustine – morality through love

03/09/2013
Aleister and Augustine

One of these men was the most evil person who ever lived.
But that was before Peter Singer was born.

“Love and do as you will” – St Augustine

“Love is the law, love under will” – Aleister Crowley

“Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law.”  – Aleister Crowley

“Oh Lord, grant me chastity and continence, but not yet.” – St Augustine

Aleister Crowley gets some bad press, much of it generated by him.

Apparently proud to declare that his mother saw him as The Beast he adopted the number 666 as his own.

Openly bisexual at a time when homosexuality was not only illegal but something that horrified polite society, Crowley promoted sex magick – particularly gay sex magick – as a path to ultimate truth. He made no secret of his post-Nietzschian contempt for Christianity, famously remarking “One would go mad if one took the Bible seriously; but to take it seriously one must be already mad”.

It’s little wonder the tabloids of his time dubbed him ‘the wickedest man in the world’ and ‘the most evil man who ever lived’ – titles he reveled in.

But when he wasn’t trying to shock the prudes or engaging in outrageous self-promotion Creepy Crowley was actually a pretty serious and thoughtful religious scholar. It’s even possible he was a true mystic, though given his dedication as a student and talent as an actor it seems equally possible he was faking it.

What many would find particularly surprising is that Crowley was no slouch as a moral philosopher either. Many of his ethical aphorisms – such as “The Way of Mastery is to break all the rules; but you have to know them perfectly before you can do this” – are designed to shock as much as to enlighten, but throughout his writings you can see the influences of Aristotle, Spinoza, Hobbes, Hume, Kant, Bentham, Mill and, of course, Nietzsche. There are probably many others I am too ill-educated to spot.

At it’s core, Crowley’s professed morality resembles no others more than it does that of St Augustine of Hippo (cue the outraged cries of 1.2 billion Catholics).

If you know anything at all about Aleister Crowley you would know that the ethics of his home-brewed religion, Thelema, boil down to “Do what thou wilt”, but this is not the same as “just do anything”. He believed that the most important endeavour in the life of an individual is to discover his or her “True Will” and to follow it … err … religiously.

True Will to Crowley is a combination of calling, destiny and the mode of action that brings one most in harmony with nature. In this it is very similar to the Hindu fundamental moral concept of dharma. By acting in perfect accord with his True Will, the Master is not only maximising his own spiritual potential, but minimising the amount of harm he does to others.

True Will is something completely individual. It cannot be learned from a book or a guru – each must find her own True Will. In that, Crowley was a complete moral relativist.

And you know something?
I think he was right.

Morality can only arise from the moral agent herself.

If you are following an external rule or prescription you are not really acting morally, you have handed your agency to someone or something else and have become an ethical automaton. And how can you possibly know if that external authority is ethical at all – it is only your own heart you can see into.

When the Buddha entered the town of Kesaputta he was mobbed by the local people – the Kalamas – who wanted to know the best way to behave. Kesaputta was on a popular pilgrimage route and many devout holy men had passed through, each preaching his own particular path to enlightenment with it’s attendant ethical precepts and each contradicting the teachings of the others. As you might imagine this left the Kalamas somewhat confused and in their confusion they thought the best thing they could do was ask yet another holy man for the answer.

A whole village load of straight men for Buddha!
Ananda must have felt greatly relieved.

“Don’t listen to what everyone tells you”, the Buddha told them, “Don’t believe the hype or swallow the word on the street. Don’t go along with what the authorities say. Don’t just do what your forefathers did or let yourself be fooled by the nonsense in holy books. Don’t believe in natural laws or anything else taken as a given. And don’t kid yourself you know it all or can reason it out. Don’t hang on celebrity endorsements or self-help manuals and ignore those pompous prats who claim to have a direct line to God. If you want to know what to do, you’ve gotta ask yourself. You’re the only one who knows what’s right for you. But you have to ask yourself very carefully and thoroughly. And it’s probably a good idea to start by considering what wise folk say and whether it may also apply to you. If you’re wise that is.”

Aleister Crowley couldn’t have put it better himself.

Like Augustine – or Hindu bhaktis – Crowley believed that perfect love was the perfect guide to human behaviour. But perfect anything probably is. Perfect contemplation, perfect dedication, perfect concentration even perfect hedonism – all will eventually lead to the realisation that all is one and to disrespect anything is to disrespect yourself.

Of course perfection in anything is pretty tricky to pull off, so the best most of us can do is struggle futilely towards it. Near enough isn’t really good enough but as near as you can possibly get is good enough for you.

Strive towards your own level of competence, don’t think you can exceed it by aping the competence of others.

OK, I’ve bombarded you with truisms – just as Aleister did – but do I have any practical advice?
Probably not. I only know what works for me.

But one thing that does work for me is to try to be aware that every decision is a moral decision, and every thought is a decision – or at least it should be. If you can’t even decide what to think there’s probably not much point trying to work out how to behave.

So you need to be mindful of your own mind. Be as aware as you can of every instant of your existence and everything that impinges upon it. Act in harmony with your own nature and what nature presents to you – because they are really one in the same.

Hey, did I say perfection was easy?

But if you’re really paying attention to the moment you simply haven’t got time to be worrying about what the law is or what the Bible says or what the neighbours might think. Or even what you think.You’re too busy living your life. Your life as a moral being.

And you know what?
It all works itself out.
It’s been doing that for a long time already, even without all your moralising and anguishing about it.

You don’t improve yourself with morality, you improve your morality by improving yourself.
You can’t act morally, you can only be moral.
You don’t follow a morality, you live it.

So get out there and start being the only thing you’re perfect at being.
You.
Even if it means you’re being a perfect fool.

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From → mysticism

98 Comments
  1. Wow! Cabrogal this is an excellent analysis… Aleister Crowley…in effect… particularly in the United States among the Hollywood crowd and Musicians like Sting, the Beatles, Led Zeppelin and many others is one of the most influential people of our time…

    This is pretty much the origin of ‘the Secret’ Fad too…around the early 2000’s too….in the US…

    It’s the thing about truth as Universal when truth is only true will for one..

    However… many of the things in the book of Law have this Universal Deja Vu ring that is mystical to me most interestingly…

    Crowley is also an excellent poet…said to be too smart for other people to understand him….additionally he felt there is power in his mystical teachings where part of his ‘act’… if one wills.. is to make like he is the devil so the people who block people from gaining true wills the most will not use this knowledge to their advantage…

    I personally think he was completely serious in what he was doing…but again… part of his magicK is to keep people guessing to the end of time…HAha! What an original he is…I always respect originals..you are pretty original too…Cabrogal…

    I’d like to quote this entire post and credit to you of course… at least in the comments section of my last blog as I try to introduce more and more people to his teachings without getting caught up in all the devil fear if one wills..His teachings are too valuable…I think..not to share them far and wide…in whatever way one can…but as they say the now is all that counts and I definitely walk with Mr. Crowley now..

    It is really surprising to me and even thrilling that another person on White Pearl’s blog mirrors my opinions on this almost exactly…the last thing I ever expected..but don’t really believe too much in a random world…anymore…

    The fundamentalists in the US go ‘Berzerk’ when anyone even mentions Crowley’s name…but how in the HELL can we ‘grow’ wrong with love and true will…light…TWIlight if you will…when I say TWILIGHTZONE…this is the place I am really talking about…Hehe….

    The greatest thing about those simple Crowley teachings is that almost everyone could feel a Unity if they just took the relatively simple teachings too heart..if one wills…

    Anyway for my own true will love light…this made my day reading this from someone I actually conversed with on the internet…Thanks friend…for sharing…

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    • I’d like to quote this entire post and credit to you of course…

      Nothing on this blog is copyright, copyleft or creative commons (except the stuff I nick like the pix and the Vivekananda poem). You can use it as you like.

      But if you think you might be mashing it up or decontextualising it I’d prefer you left my name off.

      It’s not my real name anyway, but it is the name of the tribe of my ancestors and I’d hate to see any ‘Mutant Message Downunder’ stuff accreting to it. Not that I think you’d do that of course.

      If you read the last couple of paras of my ‘Bullshit warning’ you’ll probably get what I mean.

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      • Your insights on physics are even more impressive on White Pearl’s Website…if you are anything like me you do not likely care about personal recognition..much…but it is your words that are priceless my friend..I am thinking about copying and pasting that too..but will get Saha’s permission first.

        I am going to simply copy and paste your entire post here and I am not going to change even one letter or one number…in the comments section of my blog…in case your blog ever closes down..for future reference…

        I do not believe in copyrights..would not matter even if anyone tried to copy me…it is too abstract to do…I think…would be like stealing trash from someone else…also do not believe in selling words as I see them as sacred…only love to share them….in anyway possible…but on the other hand I am financially independent so….

        But what can I say….some homeless people are the true will love light people in this world…as far as this limited human being can see…..

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        • Thanks heaps for your kind words.
          I’m glad my own words are worth something to you.

          I hope I didn’t give the accidental impression I was homeless. I can live quite comfortably on my small welfare income and the prospects of me becoming homeless in the near future are fairly low.
          Touch wood.

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        • It took me a little while to remember but lI do think I remember you mentioning government assistance on White Pearl’s blog…Yeah.. I’ve lived most of my life on meager wages and never gained much use for money either…I suppose that is part of the reason I eventually accumulated so much of it…

          No…you didn’t give me that impression at all…that you were going to be homeless..

          I always have respect for the homeless and do think that they spend enough time with themselves outside of the illusion of mainstream culture for greater overall insights through adversity and time…time….really more than anything else…in the Now2more than most other people I think….

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  2. I also dug the informative bit about Crowley. (Just scraped gecko poop off my mouse.) Also liked that part about following your own path, though I am rephrasing. I can’t quite put what you’re saying into my own words, even though I get it. I’m not sure about everything working out, though, except from a grand picture where it doesn’t matter if we end up destroying our own civilization through stupidity.

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    • I guess I was talking about it all working out from a radically subjective viewpoint.

      You can be the most well balanced, laid back, easy going person in the world and you can still get hit by a bus, wiped out in a climate change induced cyclone or nailed to a cross by a bunch of arseholes – but sweating blood about whether you’re following the correct morality or not won’t stop any of that nor, I suggest, will it help you to become more moral.

      It seems to me that personal moral codes very rarely – if ever – help you to develop your own morality nor act more morally than you would have done without them. They always seem infinitely flexible when applied to yourself – there’s always the excuse or loophole – but rigid when used on others. That’s my personal experience anyway. But some people I know seem to beat themselves up a lot with an externally imposed moral code (Catholics are good at this) but while that leaves them with a big load of self-contempt I don’t know it actually empowers them to be more moral.

      OTOH, nuns seem to make up a disproportionate number of dedicated and effective social activists so maybe I’m missing something here.

      As far as social morality goes, I don’t really think telling industrialists and politicians how ethically fucked they are is likely to lead many to see the light and start working hard to reduce greenhouse emissions. Nor will telling each other how fucked they are, though it can be fun sometimes.

      Basically the answer to that is to get together with enough like minded friends to force them to stop acting like arseholes, because all of the preaching and sophisticated moral arguments in the world ain’t gonna stop them from being arseholes.

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      • I’m with you on your elucidation. I agree that the industrialists and politicians are probably invulnerable to being told they are immoral. They may in fact operate by a code that morality is for the subservient underclass, and the Achilles heel of the ignorant. In other words, they may know perfectly well that they are immoral, but still hold up morality as a necessary code in order to keep the lumpen proletariat in line. But where it’s possible to kick their asses is with logical argument.Morality and ethics are subjective, whereas logic and reason are not. However, because they are operating from what could easily be identified as an immoral standpoint (selfish, greedy, and ultimately self-destructive), they are the underdog if they have to step into the arena of debate. It is impossible to win an argument against a worthy opponent, when one is arguing for selfish and destructive policies.

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        • It is impossible to win an argument against a worthy opponent, when one is arguing for selfish and destructive policies.

          Oh, I’m not so sure about that.
          A six shooter beats four aces, as they say.

          One reason I’m so down on consequentialist moral philosophies like utilitarianism is because it’s always the experts and ones in power who get to say what the consequences of not going along with them are.

          You know the drill.
          “Hey, if we don’t bomb Iraq, mushroom clouds will be rising above American cities”.

          And of course we’ve always got to protect the children. Who could argue against ethics as pure as that?

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        • Right, you can’t argue with someone with a loaded gun, but you aren’t allowed into a debate with a loaded gun. I believe that logical fallacy is called “killing the opponent instead of defeating his argument”.

          Those cheesy arguments CAN be defeated, and I think you’re one person who could easily do so. Simple counter arguments include, “Iraq doesn’t have the capacity to launch a nuclear weapon on American soil, period.” and “Outraging Muslims and inciting ‘terrorists’ by inappropriately and haphazardly taking vengeance will NOT make our children safer, but put them permanently at greater risk.”

          We need to establish parameters of the debate so that it’s fair. If society were run by reason and logic it would be a lot better place than it is now, run by selfish self-interest masquerading as the inevitable unfolding of history and human nature.

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        • Kinda sorta.
          But who controls the public discourse?

          OK, they didn’t really fool too many people by wheeling out all the experts claiming they had special intelligence info that Iraq was on the verge of nukes – but that was at least partly because they got so outrageous about it even a lot of the experts defected (we had one ASIO guy called Andrew Wilkie come out in public to say the intelligence was being ‘sexed up’, but even he was still claiming Saddam had an active WMD program, just not one that threatened the West).

          When the Australian government and the ABC joined up to falsify stories about extensive child abuse in Aboriginal communities I found myself arguing against other Aboriginal activists – including ones with a lot more experience than I – who couldn’t believe that the whole thing had been made up. In the end even I was surprised by how complete the fabrication was.

          To this day most white Australians still believe it, despite extensive debunking in a few Australian media outlets (e.g. Crikey and Tracker. That’s because the ‘liberal left-leaning’ ABC has stuck by it’s original bullshit and the lying journalist who fabricated the whole thing, Suzanne Smith, was awarded a Walkley (Australia’s Pulitzer) by her journalistic peers for her efforts.

          I wasn’t literally talking about violence with my six-shooter metaphor, rather appeal to authority and elite sources of information.

          BTW, if you ever doubted Chomsky’s claim that the liberal media are the most perniciously dishonest manufacturers of consent, check the Crikey and Tracker links above. The Tracker piece is five pages long and starts slowly, but I swear your jaw will be on the floor by the time you finish it.

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        • Well, we are actually arguing the same thing here. You just keep saying they win the argument by inadmissible means, including the actual logical fallacy of “the appeal to authority”. You aren’t saying they can win a debate. You are saying they can with the argument because they have more power and influence. But they still lose the debate.

          For example, scientists can easily defeat the claims of the no-human-caused-global-warming blow hards, but reason and logic are not heeded to. Emotion and power are.

          I’m saying we need to be rigorous in dismantling bullshit arguments (which you are great at). We can’t win the “do the moral thing” argument because morality is so subjective or relativistic, but we CAN win debates by presenting better arguments and better evidence.

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  3. I get what you’re saying now.

    As an ex high school debater, to me debates are won by whoever the judges award a win to, not who has the best arguments. But I get your point of view.

    I’m still not sure of the point of going to great efforts to win debates when it still won’t change the outcomes you’re debating.

    I guess my experiences in parliamentary inquiries cured me of that one.
    Sometimes we got almost the exact report we wanted with recommendations I could almost have written myself. Had no discernable impact on policy, legislation or implementation.

    Kept me tied up for a long time when I could have been trying to support the victims of fucked laws though.

    Heck, I slam dunked my share of forensic scientists in conference debates over the population genetics underlying forensic DNA databases and even converted a few of them. All that means is that now there are several disillusioned and depressed forensic scientists doing jobs they no longer believe in.

    I was told that I was one of the factors (albeit a very minor one) in the resignation of a NSW Attorney General who decided he could no longer work with such a cynical government. So they replaced him with someone with far fewer moral scruples. Hardly a win.

    I couldn’t even get the minority Green Party to hold the line on issues they knew were right (e.g. the framing of Phuong Ngo for the murder of John Newman), much less anyone who wielded actual power.

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  4. Superbly well said, Cabrogal.

    I’m not a Thelemite but I do take some of Crowley’s philosophies to heart. “Do what thou wilt” is one of the most misinterpreted phrases of all time. Too many people read it incorrectly as “do whatever you want”, a licence for hedonism. It is the opposite. It means doing what the universe means for you to do.

    And certainly old Aleister had a gift for bullshitty showmanship. I can’t remember where I read this, but when he took the name “Aleister Crowley” he purposely chose it so the cabalistic value of the letters added up to 666. He was pretty much responsible for breaking up the Golden Dawn, due to the massive clash of egos between him and Samuel Mathers.

    He can’t be accused of not talking the talk, though. He fiercely abused his body and mind in an attempt to find enlightenment. Who knows if he felt he found it.

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  5. Very interesting – I knew nothing about the guy. It’s funny how those “universal truths” echo throughout all religions and traditions. Your story of Buddha’s visit to the town brings to mind Jesus’s response to the rich young ruler who claimed he had followed all the rules and wanted to know how to be properly spiritual. Jesus told him the rules weren’t the answer…he had to “be born again” – toss all the false self crap and be his true self. His apostles also talked about “dying to self” which I interpret as dying to your false self so you can be your real self. Perhaps that what Jesus meant when he talked about living life to the full. Being wholly and authentically yourself.

    As you say, it is not easy. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”

    And the greatest challenge! Congrats on your Freshly Pressed – it is well-deserved.

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    • Thanks for your kind words Melanie.

      I guess the trick with ditching your false self is that it’s so inclined to rebuild itself again as a mask for your social interactions. Maybe that’s why so many holy folk have become social renunciates.

      The Buddha preaches ‘anatta’ or ‘no-self’. It’s probably the hardest of all his teachings to truly embrace but I think it’s probably the best defence against self-delusion.

      One metaphor he uses is that of the onion. You can keep peeling away the layers and thinking you have finally reached the core when really you’ve only arrived at a deeper layer – until finally you discard the innermost one and realise emptiness.

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  6. Thanks. You have confirmed something I have been struggling with… No, you did not give me the answer, but your words lit my pathway.
    I am indebted and will play it forward.
    Peace.

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    • I think that’s the greatest compliment I’ve ever received for any of my writing ever.

      I sure hope it’s worthy of it.

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      • Sincerely, I meant it, and you can’t imagine how timely it was. I have been seeking the Truth about something, and, BOING! it hit me as I was reading your post.

        Your baby is precious; I see where you get your inspiration. 🙂

        Thank you for your thoughtful reply, and upon becoming, Freshly Pressed!

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        • He’s not actually my baby.

          I kidnapped him from the American Buddha website.

          Still, I’m not as bad as Crowley. He proudly told everyone he sacrificed hundreds of babies every year.

          He was talking about his non-conceiving seminal emissions.

          Thanks again for your comments. There could be no better reason for me to blog.

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  7. Awesome piece of analysis. Loved it.

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    • Your website looks pretty interesting too, though it’s going to be a day or two before I get the chance to have a proper look.

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  8. The nub of the teachings of Crowley and Buddha were to follow our own path and do not follow the path of your parents. If people did this there would be very few Christians or Muslims.

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    • Certainly agree with the first sentence.

      I’m not so sure about the second though.
      I know the Abrahamic religions aren’t my path, but I’ve met people who follow them who seem at least as wise as I am (probably wiser, but I’m not wise enough to tell).

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      • My point is – if (say) a Muslim had instead been born to a Jew, then he would be Jewish. Faith is not a matter of choice, it’s an accident of birth followed by endless indoctrination.
        How many people (and I know a few) have picked their faith after an examination of what they offer.

        If people did not follow their parents how many would end up in that religion? Or any religion for that matter?

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        • I get what you’re saying now.

          I guess my perspective was different because I know several Australians born into secular atheist families who seem to be living very happily as Christian or Muslim converts.

          I also know a few who share the faith of their parents but have interrogated it very thoroughly, in some cases abandoning it for decades before returning.

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        • To put the discussion in perspective, I’m atheist and always was. I was born in an extreme right wing Protestant enclave but I never listened to any of the rubbish they spouted. Need I say I was not invited to many celebrations or events.

          That experience makes me look at people within the larger cults like Catholocism and wonder just how much is down to the incessant indoctrination and how much is down to apathy. Most people I know tick religion in the ‘box’ but never follow it.

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  9. ethnicbazaar permalink

    Excellent post Cabrogal!!! I liked your way of putting the words…superbly written 🙂

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  10. Reblogged this on drumstutor.

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  11. there is an Aleister Crowley Blog. It’s not that well populated but has some good pictures and text.

    http://ac2012.com

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  12. ultraterrestrial permalink

    Reblogged this on zero point . ultraterrestrial productions.

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  13. Wow, this got “freshly pressed”. That’s cool, but if only you’d written something about “twerking” you’d get 10 times as many likes.

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  14. A man after my own heart! After seeing that zinger at Peter Singer in the first paragraph I knew I had to keep reading. As a philosophy student and Zen enthusiast I enjoyed the connections you drew in this article, though they may have been stretched slightly thin in certain regards. However, great article. My question is: what exactly do you mean by saying “You can’t act morally, you can only be moral”?
    I assume what you are getting at is an idea of morality as a characteristic of being, not of individual actions; as all relativists recognize, no action is individually moral in a vacuum. Nonetheless, I don’t see why one who “is” moral, as you would like to put it, does not act morally, as long as they are within accord with their own True Will, as Aleister would put it. Do you care to defend or explicate this distinction?

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    • I’m glad you asked.

      At it’s most simplistic I’m coming from the position of relativistic virtue ethics – that moral actions reflect ‘True Will’ (to use Crowley’s term – I’m not actually a Thelemite) rather than visa versa. If the act is moral it is because it is made in accordance with True Will. It is actually an expression of the morality that already exists within the character.

      I’m inclined to think that True Will is something that develops dynamically with the individual. It’s a combination of both dharma and karma if you like (that’s the Hindu notion of dharma as a kind of eudaimonia, not the teachings of the Buddha). Your True Will actually is your morality and to ‘act’ morally is to do something without volition – a decisionless decision – so in effect is not an act at all. You are just going with the flow.

      If you are ‘acting’ you are doing so in both senses of the word, both exercising volition and faking it (i.e. failing to be in accordance with your True Will).

      So to shift to Buddhist metaphysics, when you are finally able to be in complete accordance with your True Will you are acting without volition and therefore generating no karma. Dharma and True Will become one. You are no longer acting, you are being.

      Did that answer your question?

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  15. Outstanding comment up there about the difference between acting and being…Being is being…but to be successful in the material ‘one’ even a being must learn to act..to stay above water..unless one can find a vocation of being…I have no vocation..so I find it easy to be…would be much easier just to be too..but IT is hard not to try to share IT when one can be….just..be….LOVE must reach out…I think…in my opinion…but IT can make strange bedfellows…if you will…

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  16. Serendipity IS GOD…

    Of course that too…IS just my opinion…

    Synchronicity IS ONE and the SAME…

    2twotoo…

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  17. Interesting blog and I’ve seen a plethora of varying responses. I’m Christian and I don’t represent Christians, but do represent Jesus Christ. Moral relativism was mentioned, and that is what is seen today in society’s culture. I mention I’m Christian because I’ve said before I would be Muslim if Allah called me, or Buddhist if Buddha called me. I felt a tug on my heart to read the Bible to learn about GOD, and therefore I ultimately became Christian. I don’t pretend to know everything, and one thing I don’t want to be is religious (in the sense of performing rituals for rituals’ sake) but to actually love people. If you love someone, you want what’s best for them. Love has taken on a different term today, but I believe that’s the gist of love.

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    • I’m not a Christian but I am a moral relativist.

      So I can completely respect where you’re coming from on that even while knowing it definitely doesn’t apply to me.

      I too want the very best for those I love – and on my good days that means everyone.

      But I also understand that I don’t usually know what’s best for others.
      It’s hard enough to work out what’s best for me.
      Maybe because what’s best for me and what’s best for others are really the same question, even if they seem to have different answers.

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  18. I think that there might be some place in our brains which is mostly in connection with what we can call ‘nothing’ and a few people like Buddha and Aleister Crowley have reached it. I think for some reason that God might be actually ‘nothing’, that’s also the reason why you can’t make an image of God, and maybe that’s the reason why that isn’t allowed within Islam.

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    • You know I think you’re really onto something there Roel.
      And I don’t think you’re speaking purely from conjecture either.

      I guess when you’re taking a non-dual perspective there is not really anything to distinguish ‘nothing’ from ‘everything’.

      The early Buddhists refused to make images of the Buddha too. I wonder if that helped them to avoid externalising their own ‘Buddha nature’ and thereby making it easier to find within themselves.

      I’m an agnostic, but I too am uneasy with images of God.
      Even images made with words.

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      • Well, I ‘m agnostic too and although in the past I wondered why they didn’t make images of God I think that this might be the reason. I like religious art because I think it’s an expression of higher feelings, because when people believe in God and express it they are expressing something which is higher than their own possibilities, which actually creates better possibilities in themselves, although I have never really seen religious art including God. I have visited several Catholic Churches and if you consider Jesus Christ as being God those images could be considered as God, although there are different opinions about that, some christian cults claim that Christ is both God and human, others that he is just humans and others that he is just God. I think that his message is more important than what he is and I think that the universal ethics which you can find in Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, Judaism and other religions is an ethics which might be close to that what God is. I myself consider God as being movement, since movement creates new things and God is the creator. Maybe Quantum Mechanics is close to what God is, since Quantum Mechanics is the domain of science which mostly has to do with this.

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  19. androidbethy permalink

    Reblogged this on Android Bethy.

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  20. I agree with your comment up there about dance but will certainly include songs and music with it too..as I’m quite sure you will agree..

    Sometimes I thought God was the Sun at the beach along with the azure blue skies starting around April or March…Mr. Blue Skies..if you will..particularly after my first philosophy class in college with an associate professor called Dr. Hunt..who turned me on to culture as illusion…

    But the bigger spiritual awakening for me was at the ‘rave’ like atmosphere of a Bar club called 2001..a kind of mecca for the Disco of the late 70’s and early 80’s…and then the electronic high energy music obtaining frequencies of sound not found earlier in acoustic music..

    ‘Tomorrow Land’ the pricey initiative for ‘rich’ young kids that can afford that type of thing..is the largest rave of all I guess in our modern times…but just viewing IT from the habit of my wife’s television life….there is even an incredible ‘mirror neuron’ experience of energy if you will..the light energy..the positive energy that comes at a frenetic like African or aboriginal..as you likely know.. ‘primitive’ ritual of gaining the emotional contagion of two or more humans engaged in ‘sacred’ trance and/or dance…

    The mirror neuron thing is not new but with the science there is ‘certainty’ that what we watch in the imaginary vicarious realities of other people on TV or other modern electronic media ‘chariots of light’…are making a dopamine like positive light energy increasing in the world…world wide..if you will..

    So Technology in a way is God too…2…if you will…

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    • I love loud, fast music and I’m not much of a dancer unless the music forces it upon me.

      The reason I suggested God was dance was mainly because of my own experience of a dancing Goddess and how it has led me to the belief that the way to relate to the phenomenological universe (‘Creation’, if you will) is through a kind of dynamic worship in which you respond to what you perceive without trying to grasp it. A dance.

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      • INteresting..what I find now is IT is all a matter of perceiving light and dark energy and controlling it through ‘CHI’ as I can find no better way to describe it…

        For instance my wife can put out quite a bit of negative energy in her voice at times…and I can harmonize with it to bring it up to a different frequency of light-sound if you will..

        And what I find is when I have higher levels of light…my voice naturally harmonizes and grows much much stronger..

        I do think that God/light energy is definitely in song and music..

        So in my opinion ‘Lucifer’ is a pretty cool dude..misunderstood yeah..but pretty cool…just wanted to play some cool music and spread music and shine His ‘little lite’…

        But of course since I don’t believe in Good and Evil…only light dark…the positive..the negative..action..consequence and path to love and light..Heshe doesn’t particularly scare me..haha…in a metaphorical sense..of course…

        By the way I am attending the Catholic Church again..and will probably JUST DO IT for the rest of my life..simply as a result of the fact that NO HATE is expressed against any one group of people except abortion which gets on my nerves a little bit considering the World HEalth organization facts that show that a great deal more pain and suffering for women and children occur wherever in the world that abortions are not legal, accessible and affordable..

        There is an equation for dark and light and taking out the legally medically safe abortions is do more harm first instead of less harm in my opinion..although I personally would take the necessary steps if I am a woman to insure there would be no chance that I would get pregnant if those tools for that were available to me..but I would probably be a Lesbian anyway ’cause I love women too much..anyway…but I digress..

        The catholic church is cool to me as almost the entire ritual is a song sung by everyone in the ‘audience’ and the music…all of it now is up-lifting.. so my face is shining when I leave..the measure for success in any religion to me…

        I can find a great deal of light alone but sharing with other flesh and blood people it is multiplied astronomically..if you will…

        Yeah..Crowley shared some stuff too..but sex gets old to me pretty quick and there is bliss beyond any sexual feeling I can imagine through the energy..light..sounds of just being.. if you will…

        And another OBTW the Priest at my church is a monsignor spied at a few of the gay clubs in the area…so not likely he is going to have anything bad to say about people with different sexual orientations..haha..too…

        EVeryone can feel welcome in that church except for women that find themselves with the equation in life of making the rational choice for abortion..but if I want to share light and love with people in my fundamentalist town and not drive 25 to 30 miles to a bigger city for a ‘unitarian’ church I am going to have to compromise..and the church is cool enough for me… and I was raised as a Catholic…so…as far as thinking LUcifer is pretty…cool.. don’t ask don’t tell..hehe…is my policy at my local ‘temple’ now…

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        • And another OBTW the Priest at my church is a monsignor spied at a few of the gay clubs in the area…so not likely he is going to have anything bad to say about people with different sexual orientations..haha..too…

          Don’t be so sure.

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        • Just in case I did not specify through the communication well, I was only referring to the Church in my local city…I would not be a part of IT, if that guy linked up there is spewing that stuff out…

          This priest was also one of my friends in high school by coincidence I guess and an often tennis partner…and at that point he declared he was asexual well before he determined he was going to be a Catholic Priest… He is the type of person that had nothing bad to say about anyone then in high school, and his basic nature still seems the same after week one..an excellent speaker, humorous, humble and the whole package for anyone stewarding love…light.

          My grandfather was a Catholic priest and spent his life attempting to convert people to protestant, once he was excommunicated for getting married…while asexual people do exist they are indeed rare..and it is very possible that this priest is indeed still asexual and just out for a drink with a homosexual friend at a gay bar…He never was one to leave anyone behind just for being in the ‘wrong’ environment..but anyway that is neither here or there to me…as long he is delivering love and light in the church..

          But it does irritate me as It always is still a presentation of Jesus as an idol to worship instead of a teacher with that light, love, ‘Christ’ Spirit or the Star Wars Force read for the taking for anyone who seeks that light..love..path..I think..but of course as always just my opinion…for my own true will..that rings true for me…

          The sacred love is real to me…that is all I perceive and it requires no words for me only manipulation of light love energy..as simple as my cat hugging the earth in the yard..as one with it…which I can’t prove as empathy but can certainly ‘feel..perceive’…all the nuances…if one wills…carefully carved and crafted…this thing called sacred love…

          My mother is Catholic and she intimated to me that I was my grandfather reincarnated and I had to suffer that pain I had for 5 years..atypical trigimenal neuralgia..for my transgressions against the Catholic Church…

          Religion can be beautiful and connect one or perverse like that and rub a person oh in the least loving light way…no matter what the intention of a person labeled by them as good or bad…IS…The local area I live in is not an easy place to live in for anyone who veers from the ‘accepted’ social norm…

          Like

  21. And finally… if Aleister Crowley was alive today…as a younger person…he might have just been another ‘raver’…and nevereverwrote anything..of too much substance…or ventured into the mystical realms of writing..

    That’s the problem I think…when IT comes to free…the loss of individual creativity…

    But I guess Aleister Crowley could have been a music Artist for electronic music like Ronan Harris of VNV nation…Hmmm…in a way he favors his basic bone structure…and even his ideas and symbols are similar…OMG!…maybe that’s him reincarnated today…I guess he’ll never know for sure…HAHAa!A.A.or mA I joKing?

    Like

    • Seems to me a lot of ravers are mystics.

      It’s just that they aren’t generally inclined to the sort of scholarly pursuits that might teach them to express their insights in a manner that interests anyone but themselves.

      I guess that’s the problem with arriving at mysticism via drugs.
      If all the answers are in a pill, why look anywhere else?

      Like

  22. Nice! I didn’t know that much about Crowley’s philosophy, much less that it was a philosophy. Thanks for the interesting post.

    Like

    • Yeah, it can be hard to spot the philosophy behind all the showmanship.

      Fairly recently I’ve begun re-evaluating a lot of writers I had previously dismissed due to their grandstanding and egotism and I’ve been pleasantly surprised by what I have found.

      I guess it’s never too late to cultivate open-mindedness.

      Like

  23. Reblogged this on lit! * (Commerce & Arts) and commented:
    Thought-provoking and a bit startling —

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  24. Reblogged this on Black Hats & Cats and commented:
    Crowley, a man who most witches I know believe was insane, if not a scheister, so much so that his own community rejects him to this day… But was there wisdom in his madness? Have witches crossed him off the list without sifting the good in his work? The following argument is quite interesting, and I would love to hear what you think.

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    • Yeah, I crossed the guy off for decades too and I still find it hard to tell when he’s taking the piss sometimes.

      I’ve become a bit less judgmental lately though and I’m more able to find nuggets of gold in piles of dross.

      Like

      • Completely understandable, I just read this and had a moment of reflection and decided to re-evaluate a bit. I follow a traditional path with highly naturist influence, almost paralleling Druidism in a way, So, Crowley still isn’t for me, but I think its interesting. =)

        Like

    • Morality? Crowley?It’s a great post, but seeing that name and that word gave me some serious friction. Aesthetic ethics, maybe, would be a better name, not that I know what I’m talking about.

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      • Yeah, the WordPress editor who had the post Freshly Pressed said one of the reasons for selecting it was because she expected it to be ‘controversial’ to some readers.

        Glad you liked it.

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      • Haha, I know what you mean. Fascinating all the more for it I think though!

        Like

  25. georgebrown253 permalink

    Reblogged this on georgebrown253.

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  26. Lime-A-Rita and no Libertarian to play chess with.
    Browse…Ah, Morality, my bird in the cage.
    What? Zen? Even better.
    Love the BS Warning…and the Trigger thing.
    I remember fondly the girl at work with doplar syndrome
    No…no…wait, that was “bipolar”.
    She was fine.
    Then a little strange at work.
    Then…
    Then her husband was calling people at work asking if they would testify so he could secure himself and their kids from her growing idiosyncracies. … (damn red underscore, I’m not going to look it up!)
    I said I couldn’t. (Still had a crush beyond mental resolution, and my heart broke at her predicament)
    Long ago now. Wondering how she might be.

    Thank you for the catharsis. Later.

    Like

  27. I wanted to note that it may be of interest to you to read the Existentialist works of Jean Paul Sartre particularly on “Freedom” it describes a lot of what Crowley talks about in being aware that every single decision we make is our freedom to do so, and that frightening burden means we are absolutely responsible for every single consequence that comes to us due to those choices. It is quite enlightening. I enjoyed reading your comparisons. I wanted to note that I am an American Catholic and did not have any issue with your writing. We can learn from everyone we meet, Atheists, Buddhists, Ceremonial Magicians, and the beggar on the corner. 😉 Cheers!

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    • I’ve read a little Satre but ‘Freedom’ isn’t among it. I’ll have to check it out.

      Got to agree about being responsible for every single consequence of our actions but paradoxically see that as a reason to reject consequentialist moral philosophies such as utilitarianism.

      Basically, if you accept that you are a free moral agent as opposed to something entirely defined by determinist cause and effect, every moral action becomes a first cause, which starts a new chain of cause and effect that will last for the duration of the universe (or at least until entropy eventually ‘muddies’ it away). That responsibility is actually impossible for a finite being with finite understanding to meet. We can’t possibly guess what effects our decisions of today will be having 100 or 1000 years from now. Will one of my descendants invent a cure for cancer? Will one be a worse monster than Hitler?

      So I think the morality of an act must be intrinsic in the act itself at the time it is made. Expectation of its consequences may be part of that but to treat consequences as the ultimate measure, as does utilitarianism, is both hubristic and narrow. It also tends to absolve those acting in concert from responsibility if they look to others (e.g. ‘experts’ or ‘leaders’) to define what the consequences may be. It tends to justify the ‘just following orders’ defence.

      I’m glad I didn’t offend your Catholic sensibilities by drawing parallels between Crowley and Augustine. I must admit the crack about the howls of 1.2 billion Catholics was made tongue in cheek.

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      • Hi, yes I know your Catholic howls remark was in jest. I laughed too. 🙂 I wasn’t offended in the slightest. In fact, I have drawn several parallels between various Theologians’ and Atheists’ revelations or sayings of wisdom. I find glimmers of light in all things. Just because one person subscribes to one path and another a completely different one doesn’t mean that both do not have something unique and enlightening to offer.

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  28. Morality is different from ethics. The moral seek good, and seek it for others as well as for themselves. (This may also be called “love”) . The ethical follow a set of rules that they hope will achieve the best good.

    They are related in that the point of the rules is to improve our chances of achieving good. That’s the message of the Great Commandment, which a humanist may translate to “Love good. And love good for others like you love it for yourself. All other rules derive from these two.” A lawyer asked a question about ethics, and Jesus explain that the object of ethics was morality.

    Lacking a “God’s eye view” of ultimate outcomes, two good and honest persons may disagree as to the best rules for achieving the best good for everyone. And the rules and opinions about them are boundless. But their goal is the same, to satisfy their moral intent.

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  29. Quote from your article:

    “True Will to Crowley is a combination of calling, destiny and the mode of action that brings one most in harmony with nature.”

    If morals are relative and individual – why would one attune themselves to Nature whose Laws do not strike me as individual?

    A few quotes for your consideration.

    “The issue ultimately involved is whether there is a source of truth higher than, and independent of, man; and the answer to the question is decisive for one’s view of the nature and destiny of man.”
    ― Richard M. Weaver, Ideas Have Consequences

    “It’s God that’s worrying me. That’s the only thing that’s worrying me. What if He doesn’t exist? What if Rakitin’s right -that it’s an idea made up by men? Then, if He doesn’t exist, man is the king of the earth, of the universe. Magnificent! Only how is he going to be good without God? That’s the question. I always come back to that. Who is man going to love then? To whom will he be thankful? To whom will he sing the hymn? Rakitin laughs. Rakitin says that one can love humanity instead of God. Well, only an idiot can maintain that. I can’t understand it. Life’s easy for Rakitin. ‘You’d better think about the extension of civic rights, or of keeping down the price of meat. You will show your love for humanity more simply and directly by that, than by philosophy.’ I answered him: ‘Well, but you, without a God, are more likely to raise the price of meat if it suits you, and make a rouble on every penny.’ He lost his temper. But after all, what is goodness? Answer that, Alyosha. Goodness is one thing with me and another with a Chinaman, so it’s relative. Or isn’t it? Is it not relative? A treacherous question! You won’t laugh if I tell you it’s kept me awake for two nights. I only wonder now how people can live and think nothing about it. Vanity!”
    ― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

    “During the next hundred years, the question for those who love liberty is whether we can survive the most insidious and duplicitous attacks from within, from those who undermine the virtues of our people, doing in advance the work of the Father of Lies. “There is no such thing as truth,” they teach even the little ones. “Truth is bondage. Believe what seems right to you. There are as many truths as there are individuals. Follow your feelings. Do as you please. Get in touch with your self. Do what feels comfortable.” Those who speak in this way prepare the jails of the twenty-first century. They do the work of tyrants.”
    ― Michael Novak

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    • Thanks for your comment.
      I’ve been hoping for a Christian absolutist ever since I posted this.

      Quote from your article:

      “True Will to Crowley is a combination of calling, destiny and the mode of action that brings one most in harmony with nature.”

      If morals are relative and individual – why would one attune themselves to Nature whose Laws do not strike me as individual?

      The key word in the quote is harmony.

      I don’t know whether nature is absolute or not, but I’m pretty confident it presents itself differently to different people. I’m inclined to think that nature appears as a kind of complementary reflection of the individual perceiving it.

      Basically I think self+nature=god.
      Where god is the totality of the perceptual universe rather than some sort of anthropomorphic being handing down natural laws or something.

      Because self is different for everyone then so too is nature. So to come into harmony with it will require a differing set of moral responses for each person. i.e. individual relativism.

      I don’t know if Crowley would necessarily have agreed with that though.

      A few quotes for your consideration.

      Thanks for those. I’m a big fan of Dostoyevsky (and Tolstoy).

      It seems to me that both of those authors spent most of their lives trying to arrive at an appropriate relationship with their God that they were unable to find within the absolutist restrictions of the Russian Orthodox church.

      I hope they found it before they died. I’d be surprised if they found it in a book that is neither as thoughtful nor well written as their own.

      I don’t believe in an absolute personal God so if I was to practice the morality allegedly prescribed by one I would not be being moral. I would be being a hypocrite.

      Even were I to follow the suggestions of Plato and Hobbes and act as if there is a God whether I believe it or not I wouldn’t know what to do as there are so many people out there all flogging their own versions of the absolute morality of the one true God I could choose a different one for every day of my life without being able to satisfy them all.

      In fact I would suggest that the idea of the one true God and the notion that everyone else should be following His morality is perhaps one of the greatest single sources of immoral behaviour in history. You know, Inquisitions, Crusades, witch trials, jihads, persecution and intolerance – that sort of thing.

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    • The question is how do we know God’s will.

      When I was a kid, I was taught that (a) the devil is deceitful and tempts us to do evil and (b) that we should listen to and obey God. So I asked my mom, “How do I know when it is the devil or God talking to me?” She said that God will only ask me to do good things, but the devil tempts us to do evil things. So, if I have to make that call myself, that implies we are pretty much using our own moral judgment, anyway.

      The point of God is to make Good sacred.

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  30. Aleister Crowley, Bhagwan Rajneesh & countless other so called ‘Godmen’ are nothing but shams! they just recycle what has already been said & present it in a new language. The perfect love that Augustine spoke about is agape love, which is completely different from the hedonistic feeling that these godmen pass for love.

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    • If there’s such a thing as spiritual truth it would hardly be surprising that most of what is said today is rehashed or sycretised from what has already been said in the past 4000 years or so of recorded spiritual history. Even the Bible borrowed heavily from such things as the Epic of Gilgamesh, Zoroastrianism and the story of Mithras.

      As for the notion that Crowley and Rajneesh spoke primarily of hedonistic love, why don’t you try reading what they wrote rather than what others wrote about them?

      Like

  31. I am really glad to read an objective take on Crowley’s philosophy! For years, i felt too intimidated by scary tales surrounding his heritage, then curiosity prevailed and – via Thoth Tarot – i got to read books on Thelema (intelligent interpretations mostly, as i couldn’t grasp his writings directly at first.) I am not a practicing Thelemite, but i must tell you i became Al’s fan meanwhile (and refer to his work in my writing quite often.) Yours was an utmost pleasant surprise i must say, will follow your blog with interest!

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  32. There is sometimes a ‘meaning in the madness’. Crowley, as you mentioned, caused many to discount his intelligence and work in the Occult Arts. One thing is for sure; he was totally uninhibited and lived his life without regret or adherence to the social norms of the time. For this I applaud his work and life as a true “Explorer”.

    Thank you for sharing your post!! Very nice.

    A~N

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  33. Reblogged this on ROBIN POSTELL.

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  34. Reblogged this on .

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  35. Nadia permalink

    thanks! now I’m worried if I’m able to pass the Toefl test I’m supposed to have next month XD…I didn’t understand everything ..
    but anyway considering the Buddhism and what Buddha said, it’s what all religions say too, and it’s exactly what prophet Muhammad said he said : ask your heart ( for advice) even if the people has given you their opinion/ advice …
    but I still don’t agree with you in discovering everything by your own.
    buddha did put rules to follow too, but of course just like anyone else he can’t force anyone to follow them but he didn’t say that you can not learn from it , what he did say is ” don’t just do what I tell you to do but listen to my teachings and then meditate on them.”
    and I think it’s the most wise thing he and Muhammad said.
    ” you can learn from others, but you can only truly learn after you rethink it/ meditate/ consult you heart or what ever you wanna call it. but you should never just follow along”
    I really enjoyed reading this post it gave me some kind of hope 🙂

    Like

    • but I still don’t agree with you in discovering everything by your own.

      Well, I discovered the teaching of the Buddha on my own. At least inasmuch as I do anything on my own.

      I’m not claiming that you can’t improve yourself by learning from people and things around you. In fact it’s probably the main way we do improve ourselves.

      What I am saying is that if you are following an external moral prescription you are not really acting morally. The final choice is yours, it is made with the information available to you and, hopefully, it will bring you into harmony with what you feel is right.

      So to be moral you have to understand who you are, not who the Buddha or Muhammad are.

      Like

      • Nadia permalink

        what?…understand who I am? what is that supposed to mean?
        I understand what you mean with only following a prescription is only acting moral but not moral.
        but this doesn’t mean that if I follow rules written in a book that I’m not moral.
        just like the example you said about driving on the right, you do it because you want to prevent accidents, but do you have to make an accident to understand the logic behind that rule?
        I was just saying the same you should do something because you believe it’s good for you, but this doesn’t mean that what is good for you can’t be written in a book…
        in the end no one would follow any rule if he doesn’t believe it is the right thing to do, he can only pretend following a rule .
        as you said you discovered Buddhas teachings all by your self,but have you thought about it that there are actually people who have discovered the teachings of Islam all by them selves?
        or is it just because it’s collected in a book?

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        • what?…understand who I am? what is that supposed to mean?

          Getting at what you really think and feel yourself rather than trying to comply with what you think you should be or with how you imagine others see you. Seeing yourself in terms of your relationship with everything else instead of in terms of the box your society tries to put you in.

          but this doesn’t mean that if I follow rules written in a book that I’m not moral.

          If you agree with what’s written in a book – i.e. it reflects your internal values – then to act in accordance with it is moral. But to do so is not to follow the book because presumably you would have done the same thing even if the book had said something different.

          Just like if you are already planning to put on your hat and someone says “Put on your hat”. When you do so you are not following the instructions of the other person just because he happened to say what you intended to do anyway.

          But if you believe it would be more moral to do something other than what a book says, but you follow the book anyway, you are not acting morally.

          in the end no one would follow any rule if he doesn’t believe it is the right thing to do, he can only pretend following a rule .

          There’s a lot of people who comply with tax laws even though they disagree with them.
          If they pay their full tax are they ‘pretending’ to follow the tax laws or really following them?

          as you said you discovered Buddhas teachings all by your self,but have you thought about it that there are actually people who have discovered the teachings of Islam all by them selves?
          or is it just because it’s collected in a book?

          Sure.
          I know several converts to Islam.
          What little I know about Islam I discovered mostly by myself. They didn’t teach it in any schools I went to and most of what the Australian media says about it is untrue or distorted.

          The Buddha’s teachings are also collected in books. Three of them (the Suttas, Abhidhamma and Vinaya).

          I’m not sure what your point is.

          You understand I’m not a Buddhist, don’t you?
          I just chose the Kalama Sutta to illustrate a point I was trying to make.
          I also toyed with the idea of using a story about the Chinese philosopher Zhuangzi and an essay written by Immanuel Kant but decided the Kalama Sutta worked best in the context of what I was writing.

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  36. Reblogged this on drucatic.

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  37. Wow, I’m kinda late in getting here – 90 comments so far? I really like your take on what the Buddha said in the Kalama Sutta. This is it exactly and I had an early introduction to Crowley; somebody I knew when I was a young guy was into it in an extraordinary way – never was able to follow up in later years, as he died young. But I learned enough to see Crowley had things the right way round. I’m still kinda amazed by the connection with Augustine, as we were saying before…

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    • I really like your take on what the Buddha said in the Kalama Sutta.

      I decided it was OK to do a liberal verbal rework. I figured whatever it was the Buddha said in Prakrit to a people so separated by time and culture from me I can hardly try to interpret it through the translations from Pali or Sankskrit accounts of what had been a verbal tradition for a dozen or so generations after the Buddha died.

      If I can express any of the dhamma it’s only through my own thoughts and feelings, so I try to communicate that; rather than try to explain what I think it is with the authorised text.

      Like

      • It’s good. Jack Kerouac did it in ‘Wake Up’ but he was not properly informed, pity… but he wouldn’t have cared anyway. Yours is more accurate.

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  38. I was deliberately stirring the possum a little.
    They both preached love as a guide to both salvation and morality. But so do heaps of other people. It’s a bhakti thing.

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    • Yep, I was coming at it from the universality truth angle – had to google ‘stirring the possum’ just to see what I’d find…

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      • I was definitely playing down universality, otherwise I’d have gone on with the Q&A about greed, hate and delusion. But I figure anyone interested in moral philosophy might have given these things a thought already and drawn their own conclusions. If they don’t agree with the Kalamas there’s no point telling them they should. Who am I to say which of them are right?

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        • Yep, this is it exactly, folks just have to figure it out themselves…

          Like

  39. The draft version included my interpretation of the ‘four solaces’ section of the Sutta as well but I see it mainly as a refutation of consequentialism and a bit off topic for the post. So I took a cheap one line shot at Peter Singer instead.

    It also had some half formed interpretations of Zhuang Zhi and Immanual Kant’s ‘On Enlightenment’ but the whole thing got too long for the one or two ideas I really have about morality.

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