Wednesday, January 23, 2013

On Arguing On the Deity of Man

I started research last night so I can present an actual coherent conversation about the deity of man. Jason's comments on the guru trip post, and private discussion, and Facebook, and beamed into my head through the aethyrs have demonstrated that I have failed to make a clear and concise (or coherent) argument that clearly defines terms, postulates, theorem, or even a useful thesis statement. I've also been challenged to a formal debate on the subject in the Forum by a classically trained rhetoricist, my long time brother in the Work, Logan.

So I started researching. I went back to my familiar resources, the divine pymander of the corpus hermeticum, and also the bible. Both have clear references to the divinity of man. Pymander explains we are gods who are in mortal flesh, of two natures, united for love.

I liked that opening. It is my functional core model when it comes to magic, the Pymander. The dual nature of man is clearly stated. Later it talks about the path of ascension to become a power, what it looks like, and how it is performed. Demonstrating that process as the great work is pretty simple.

Then I looked up what it says in the bible about the deity of man. John chapter 10, if you want to play along at home. I'm blogging on my phone from my bathtub this morning. I might paste quotes and links later, might not.

Jesus is telling people that he is in the father and the father is in him. A basic occult statement, something we all get, kether is in malkuth and malkuth is in kether. As above, so below.

The crowd was not just in disagreement, they were upset. Offended even. Pissed. They started stoning him. He says, wait what? You ate the food, you liked being healed, why are you now pissed?

Because you are a blasphemer! they said.

Wait wait wait, said Jesus. Look to the Scriptures! Doesn't it say 'haven't I told you, ye are gods?' That's scripture, the same scripture you are claiming makes me a blasphemer. (He's quoting psalms at them.) If the scriptures said men were gods when they received the word of god, how much more so would that make me a god when you experienced the miracles you have seen? If you don't believe my words, judge me by my acts!

And the crowd grew peaceful, thinking on his wisdom, and returned to learning from him.

Lol! Not really. They kept trying to kill him so he was all, fuck this, and went home.

This isn't an easy topic to discuss. There are thoughts and ideas about it that are intractable. I don't think I can change anyone's mind, nor prove anything conclusively to a skeptic. I can demonstrate results and experience to those who will receive it, but I don't expect to prove anything through the evidence of the senses either, or even by the success of others performing the same rites I performed. Some thoughts are too much.

I haven't decided whether to take a lesson from Jesus or not. Probably won't. I'm the little brother who has to prove he can do it too.

But I went back and looked up Alan Chapman. Jason keeps mentioning him as someone who claims enlightenment and then makes an ass out of himself.

Funny thing is, reading his writings about attaining enlightenment, I totally know exactly what he's going through. He used the wrong words to express his results, imo. He's pathetic because he gets butthurt when the world doesn't want to hear it.

It's easier to learn from Chapman's mistakes than Jesus, for sure. Arguing about where I'm at in terms of state and stage has proven ineffective and counter productive.

And really that isn't even the point. It's not about me. It's about you. And joy. And happiness.

So I will rise to the occasion in the Forum, in hopes that the rhetoric will result in a cohesive argument. It might even be fun.

But going forward here, I'm going to try to just focus on letting results be proof. No promises that I will succeed, but I shall try.


  1. Its rhetorician :-) Check out the stoics on the logos as well, punchie.

  2. I also know exactly what Alan Chapman went through. My problem is not with his attainment, its his description of his attainment.

    My problem is also not with your attainment. I think what you are doing and have undergone is fantastic. I think that your newer focus on Joy and the divine immanent in matter is also fantastic. I am in the same place. But every stage has its pitfalls, and the biggest pitfalls of these stages are of exactly this kind of thing.

    Then again, it might just be me and Blogos.

    When I started Strategic Sorcery, I took an oath to take things out of the high etheric gobbledegook, torturous twilight language, and bombastic titles and claims. Just talk about what the stuff is, how it is used, what it does, and why it's good for you. Naturally, given this disposition, I am particularly apt to get uncomfortable around "Living Gods" and such.

    I will leave the argument about the interpretation of Scripture for another day. Suffice to say that even without a counter argument (which does exist), this ain't church, so "Jesus did it" is not exactly a good reason. BUT if you raise the dead and turn some Dasani into a nice Shiraz, I will be more inclined to see your point.

  3. Finding Chapman's blog was ... informative. Changed my mind a lot.

  4. If Jesus was talking about father and son, it almost certainly referred to Arikh Anpin (long suffering one, partzuf of KETHER) and Zeir Anpin (short impatient one, partzuf of TIFERETH). Malkuth nearly always relates to the bride of Jesus, the Church and Shekinah. Sorry to correct you but go look it up.

    Again, the connection between Tifereth and Malkuth is what forms Jacob's Ladder. '' Don't necessarily agree with the description next to this image but the structure is correct.

    This is not about proving the effectiveness of magick or your methods. I do believe efficacy is a factor and I think structures that are Chaldean as yours are and mine are are *more effective* than these post-modern 'whatever works' jobs. But they all avoid that fascinating discussion like the plague.

    The real problem here is in your use of the term 'God' or Sons of God. Remember there are many names for God in the bible and they refer to different things, they were not all renderings of the name God. Sons of God is Beni Elohim which is a complex phrase worth unpacking (damn I hate that word but fuck it unpack it man).

    'The Living God' for instance is El Chai, and I would say that you are part of the 'living God' that is LIFE but you as a proto human lizard monkey water bag are finite and road pizza the same as other bit of that living God that gets in the way of heavy traffic.

    However your 'consciousness' of being a finite chunk of El Chai could have a relationship with YHVH or Elohim or Aloah va Daath. These mean different things. Elohim for instance refers to a greater sense of 'being' than say the living God of this Earth (DNA), i.e. I would say Elohim refers something akin to 'Pantheon' and includes non-physical entities. YHVH is more of a cosmic identity principle.

    All of this is also complicated still further when you bring in Enlil. Enlil, Ellil, Eli, and El. I would understand Enlil to be of the plane of Gods, a deva, or hugely powerful spirit as opposed to a metaphysical unity or principle.

    Anyway this is why I am confused by terms, because I studied them in depth, and why I think grotesque oversimplification is not useful in our world.

  5. Remember, some time ago I mentioned that secrecy and silence are virtues. Since then, I've seen you hashing out what you're doing and explaining it and fighting about it, pissing off people and getting a wee bit upset yourself.

    Now, you've done lots of research on the topic, and now the forum discussion. You're taking time away from The Work to explain The Results of The Work to people who don't want to hear it.

    And most of them aren't arguing substance, but semantics. There's no offense meant there to those arguing the other side, as semantics are important. However, semantics are easy to get lost in.

    In the end, the people who didn't want to hear it from Jesus arranged his death. And there will always be those who don't want to hear it.

    Cheers, good luck, and good results.

  6. I agree with Scott Rassbach.

    I like that you're focused on joy. It's important to focus on the kinds of positive experiences that help move peoples' Work forward.

    On the other hand, I've no intention to be nailed to a tree by trying to explain my Work to others. I've done some cool work as a result of my reading of your course and of Jason's course (and I must admit, hate seeing my teachers argue... although as Ursula LeGuin noted, "infinite are the arguments of mages" or words to that effect.

    I'm focused on helping get middle school out of the mud, but not necessarily on their way to the stars. I teach Latin and graphic arts simultaneously; I teach History and 3d modeling simultaneously. And I try to help my mundane colleagues build middle school courses of study that are more creative and more thoughtful. So I face fewer challenges to my claims of authority — I only claim to be a Master Teacher, not a Living God, after all. :-). I face fewer roadblocks to my efforts at getting others to absorb the Work, as a result; I only encourage others to start up the mountain, not necessarily reach the summit.

    Within my school, there's a reliable 5% of the teacher population who refuse my message. There's a reliable 5% who think I'm awesome. And there's a reliable 90% who take some and leave some. I think the elegance of what you and Jason have taught me, though, is how important it is to keep doing the Work that makes you happy, and that leads to better things — by one's own definition of better things. If the ways that I go about learning to do Work makes me happy, and I Work it so that my students learn something about how creativity makes THEM happy, so much the better. I'm not going to worry about the 5% I'm unlikely ever to reach, and focus on reaching 15% more of the uncommitted. :-)

  7. Hi Andrew. Your teachers are not fighting. We are debating. We are looking out for each other by calling each other out when we feel needed. Something like:

    This doesnt seem right to me, can you explain further?
    Sure here is my explanation...
    Here is my deconstruction of that explanation and why I think this is not good...
    Here is my deconstruction of your deconstruction and why I think it IS good...
    Rinse and repeat.

    There are phone calls behind the scenes as well. This is not a fight. This is what community build around the great work SHOULD be like. A lot of quarters of the occult world have an "I'm ok, you're ok and whatever you believe is fine" attitude. Its good for some things at the very start of the path, but not much past that.

  8. Miller. Finally. Thank you for saying that - that is what I have been going on about for ages. But more than that 'whatever works' is an appalling philosophy on so many levels. I think we should actually open an indepedent forum and debate the shit out of it because I am absolutely fed up with it and would love to go through the problems one by one and have them refuted or not by people who really truly believe that. I have not had a single objection properly addressed in over ten years of presence on this scene. We are *post-chaos* Mr Miller, you coined it the other day, now put it in the slot machine and give her a spin. ;-)

  9. Indeed, I wish these kind of impassioned-but-caring debates were more frequent in the magical community. I truly cannot remember a time in the past 12 years when I have seen a more articulate or useful debate online.

  10. I, for one, love it when the blogosphere goes abuzz like this, when one person's posts spark posts from others. In such moments, whether called debates, discourse, or just responding to posts, the best ideas and the greatest "ah ha" moments come about.

  11. Orthodox Christianity states we have the spark of divinity in us, but we are not God, anymore than the spark is the campfire itself, though it is OF the campfire. But we can achieve unity with God through unity and surrender through Christ Jesus.

    On the other hand, remember we can't escape we are really
    the Cursifying Chimp.

  12. The Blogos is right (probably) about the father/son issue not referring to Kether/Malkuth. It's a different metaphysical principle, referring to how interacting with an expression of Self is equivalent to interacting with actual Self.

    This principle is key to the idea of "Christ-as-mediator," giving us an *alive* image of God with whom to form a love-faith-relationship, linking us to the otherwise unknowable Father.

  13. there is no point in trying to prove if enlightened people are living gods.

    it takes years to figure out what is going on in enlightenment and not to mention dealing with what you find out and its effects.

  14. So what's the deal people? Where do debates actually happen on the blogosphere? Are you getting back to me or are well just saying its nice to talk?

    Rassbach suggests semantics are unnecessary in the Great Work. I am saying I need to know what you mean by 'God' or 'Divine' because there are different names which mean different things and I think knowing precisely what you are talking about is kind of necessary in communication (which is after all what you are trying to do with this blog). I gave you a few examples what do you think? How do they crossover to the conception of 'God' in Hermetics, is the meaning exactly the same as in Judeochristianity? Did you have a bit more of a think about the notion of 'hero'?

    Finally is this debate over??? I see a lot of people saying 'I'm ok, you're ok, lets leave it - but its nice to talk' a lot but I love having my assumptions challenged and refining my ideas I hope you all do too.

  15. Every holy word means the same thing: get enlightened. of course, everything else means that too. And, of course, that's the meaning of life, if there ever was one, as well. Every online guru runs into the same problem: they think they know how to talk about it, they want and try to make things fit nicely into conceptual boxes to dispense, for a nice fee, to their waiting and willing students. They've read more books than you, done more magick and meditation than you, so naturally, they think they know more than you. And they can hide nicely behind their computer as they fail, time and time again, to revolutionize all religion and spirituality. You mean now that YOU are enlightened the masses of suffering human beings AREN't ripe and ready to hear your holy truth?, geez that's a head scratcher. Nobody knows anything nor gets any "better" until they strike out on their own and says fuck what these people think they know. Be natural. Doesn't matter if you meditate everyday or if you are loser, each person is equally deserving of salvation, and it can be found by anyone, anywhere, at any time. Just ask. No practice required, though you may have practiced for years and feel that practice lead up to it, or if you ask and are lead to practices. But, oh yes, certain things are required a certain way, according to traditions. Peaks, plateaus, states and stages, further refinement, mmmyes the raising of consciousness. You mean human's have emotions, gasp! You say you're enlightened yet you're checking with 10 different religious traditions to make sure yours measures with theirs?, wait, I thought you said you knew something, that you were enlightened? Congratulations, you've mastered 10 religions but not yourself. Nothing is required, whatever you're looking for is already what it is, you realizing it isn't going to change anything. Better surrender now. Yet, in the end, even surrender is an illusion as well as is enlightenment. THAT's the problem all these online enlightened bastards have, god bless their souls, they don't realize enlightenment is the rudest illusion of them all. Take Crowley's life for example: still think you know what enlightenment is? Or, recently announced Rinzai Zen's head dharma dude Joshu Sasaki, age 105, top Zen guy in America, feeling up women FOR DECADES in teaching settings: still think you know what enlightenment is? didn't think so. get enlightened, that is all.

  16. I am not even close to enlightened, whatever that is, and I don't expect to be, ever. In fact I'm not working towards it. Screw it. I'm a human being, a bag of mostly water mixed with emotions and poop.

    I do like marveling with people at how amazing life is, the world, people. Helping bring out whatever cool and good thing I see in them, encouraging it. talking about it. Not teaching. Just being there.

  17. The ending of suffering means the ending of not being enlightened, not the end of feeling bad. Enlightenment, like life, sucks 1/3 of the time, is good a 1/3, and you're asleep the last 1/3. I think you'll find you won't be able to form a cohesive argument, only relative ones. The problem is that to form a cohesive argument you have to start with a concept; and enlightenment doesn't. some zen master said settle for a silent understanding, someone else reminded us about Hoor-paar-kraat. Bellow a resounding 'fuck it' and then a 'fuck it' to that as well. ooh but the mind's a tricky bastard. good luck.

  18. Defeatism is really rampant isn't it.

    I am not sure how the argument became about enlightenment I thought this was about God(s) - I heard that they can also be unenlightened. Can Rufus clarify what he means by 'living God'? Or let me know if the debate is over? Or if it has moved where it is happening?

    1. I think the conversation went from the divinity of man to enlightenment because no one is really sure what divinity actually means (which seems to be what you're getting at). What makes El Chai "divine" and what makes a potato "not divine" ?

      Essentially here we're talking about the power to CREATE, to be a SOURCE from which life emanates, aren't we? In that respect, sure, humans share in the creative powers of "the divine," but in a more limited way. The Chassidim say that the "divine soul" (we can parse that if you like) descended apart from the process which resulted in the shattering of the vessels, and so it retains its link to God/Creator. In that sense, my soul is OF divinity.

      That, however, is a long way from meaning "I am a god." And I say that because the truth is, I am not my soul. "I," my identity, is wrapped up in a lot more than just my soul. I may have moments where the majority of my will is in line with the will of my divine spark, but those are fleeting. Some people get to a certain point and believe that they have completely identified with their divine spark, but this is typically not the case. Our friend RO, for instance, if he were really a god he would have interpreted the scripture correctly that he was referring to :). Unless, that is, he has a different definition of "god," which is again what you seem to be getting at with your questioning.

  19. It's been a pleasure to find this cluster of blogs this morning, and I appreciate your exercise here very much. I lost track of folks after the exodus from LJ a few years ago, and it's good to see the brotherly wrasslin' again. It's something that seems to have become taboo in many circles, and without it, all we really have is being restricted to just complementing each other on the latest potluck contribution.

    I, for one, look forward to seeing what you come up with in your argument, though not because I need any convincing. I do share a similar shade of gut level irritation that Jason Miller indicated with the lowering standard of what a God is. That comes from both the lingering bad taste of too many years dealing with self-affirmed GAWDS who had yet to even show they'd made it adulthood, much less Godhood, and the desire to get mad at it so that sooner or later the projection will break and I'll realize I'm not going to get away from it in myself.

    However - for me at least - that emotional noise can't get in the way of the central truth of my praxis, which is that we are from the immortal race commonly refered to as "Gods", and simply in various degrees of forgetting. That rose has a lot of names, and each can be equally problematic (Kings, Stars, etc.) But eliminating the contrast between THAT and the daily behavior of what most choose to do with our powers (which are considerable, even for the average bag of meat with access to technological gadgetry) is for me the whole point of the Great Work. I personally find it useful to be reminded of the goal in whatever poetic language stokes the imaginal engine and impresses my soul with the awesome privilege and responsibility of it. It's equally useful to have the correspondening undiluted and inescapable knowledge that this thing called "me" is a "complete sham", as Alan Chapman put it (specifically, here: That interplay of bliss and reality check is utterly necessary.

    So, please, continue on. :) I've had a good several year break from the field, so the debate is delightful and sparking quite a lot of good things for me. So, again, my thanks.

  20. Well exactly Paul - El Chai refers to something that is in a potato and all vegetable and animals in that they are produced an animated by the life spirals of DNA which is the ancestor singular of all living organisms on the planet.

    The other principle this principle of 'identity' which in my understanding would relate to YHVH is shared by the physical and non-physical beings alike, at least those with self-consciousness and identity.

    I am that (NaRaN). There are three things I, amming and that. Does Opus simply mean living God in the sense of being a fragment of a universal identity principle in that he is now more in touch with the I that ams him? Or does he mean actual life, as opposed to those beings that are not 'alive' in the classic sense as we understand it, i.e. spirits. He would be right in both senses but I think the word 'God' confuses things as people think it means he has power to warp reality without constraint.

    Also YHVH and El Chai as God-names give access to different powers for the practical qabalist. El Chai would be employed for physical healing of living organisms, YHVH is accessing a more 'mental' magick. ;-)

    1. Logan, can you tell me what you mean by more "mental" magic? Do you mean YHVH is accessed while performing rituals with the imagination, or do you mean it's used when one is looking for mental results?

      I need that clarification, but the way I'm reading it now I would disagree. YHVH *is* the lightening bolt, in that it completely links the highest, in the in-breath tip of the Yod, to the lowest, exhausted, final Heh. This translates to practical experiments directly, which we can talk about if it's appropriate here.

  21. The Paul since I am 'panpsychism' by philosophical preference, like the Kybalion I would argue that the universe is composed of 'thought' or rather thought is a better way of describing the universal substrate than 'matter'.

    Alternate names for Keter include Machashavah (thought, Isaac the Blind) and Ratzon (will). Therefore YHVH as 'identity' connects with both of these concepts - the 'Lurianic' emanation occurs within Keter as opposed to radiating out (as you know). Therefore by mental I do not mean 'human psychological', I mean like the universe is MIND and YHVH is appropriate in operating upon it like that.

    You can achieve what you want entirely through approaching it all like MIND, but sometimes it may be more effective probably because of the people involved, to treat it like LIFE or MATTER for which there are different names like El Chai or Adonai Ha Aretz.

    Since I am panpsychic(ist???) I do believe that YHVH as a concept runs throughout th whole thing. Thanks for allowing me to clarify and thus enhancing our understanding of each other and the concept.


Thanks for your comments, your opinions are valued, even if I disagree with them. Please feel free to criticize my ideas and arguments, question my observations, and push back if you disagree.