Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Success is your...*poof!* Part II: Unpublished Post

Over at occult author Donald Michael Kraig's blog, our long discussion seems to be drawing to a close (see link here). Kraig decided not to publish my latest comment on his post, so I am publishing it here below, unedited

If other comments appear on Kraig's blog that merit a response, I will continue to post there -- assuming that Kraig allows my comments to be published. Otherwise, I can continue the discussion here with any interested parties.

Full commentary on the discussion will likely be posted up sometime next weekend, so keep checking this space.

My rejected post appears below:

DMK writes: “My friend, do you not see that this critique is splitting you open: why do spells when they’re only pretend? How can you both believe and not believe in magic? Why are you wasting your time doing only “pretend” things.”
You revealed earlier that you have trouble distinguishing between the concepts of actions done in private and claims made in public. Now you reveal that you have difficulty distinguishing between the act of performing rituals for a purely psychological effect and the act of performing rituals with the intention of causing supposed external “changes” in reality. Your confusion is consistent with someone who cannot explain how to distinguish between rituals that cause effects and rituals that just seem to cause effects.

Hopefully, I won’t have to explain the infamous ass/elbow distinction to you next.

DMK writes: “you haven’t done the work […] Los, where are you? Crowley has beginning exercises that were filled with developing self-knowledge. Have you been through them?”

As ever, when occultists can’t address my arguments, they try to turn the conversation to distractionary speculation about me. If you’re really curious about my experience with Thelema and magick, you can ask me on my blog. If you’re not curious enough to ask me there, then I’ll assume you don’t really want an answer. Either way, stick to the topic here: your ability – or lack thereof – to demonstrate that your claims are true.

Vinncent writes: “And, as to the majority of LOS’s points, you imply that there have not been any positive experiments under laboratory conditions exploring the interaction of consciousness remotely interacting with reality. Most of it is still considered “fringe science”, despite sound scientific methods and results being published in respected peer-reviewed journals.”

Well, my focus on this thread has been entirely on claims made by Donald. The research you bring up, even if its claims are all true – which, I’m sure you would agree, is at the very least debatable – doesn’t enable us to evaluate the specific claims we’re talking about here.

Donald’s been claiming that people can do a ritual that will make it more likely that they will come up with a certain amount of money in a certain time frame. That’s a testable claim, one that makes predictions about reality that can be measured and verified. A specific claim like that can’t be confirmed by general research into the possibility of consciousness remotely interacting with reality.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Success is your...*poof!*

Readers interested in Los' recent online exploits may want to check out a discussion unfolding at Donald Michael Kraig's blog in the comments section on a post called "How Magick Works" (link here).

The discussion began when I pointed out to Kraig that before one can speculate about *how* magick works, one has to demonstrate (to oneself, if to no one else) *that* magick works to begin with. Naturally, this involves taking steps to make sure that one is not fooling oneself, to distinguish carefully between rituals that work and rituals that just seem to work (but actually don't).

Notice how I've consistently been asking Kraig for his method of distinguishing (to him) rituals that "work" from rituals that just seem to work. Just as consistently, he has avoided answering the question. It's all well and good to say that "Success is your proof," but as soon as the conversation turns to demonstrating that these magical rituals are a success at all, it's as if -- *poof!* -- the answer just disappears into thin air, never to be heard.

Readers are encouraged to read this post and this post for a more detailed exploration of my point of view.

If any readers wish to jump into the fray at DMK's blog, I would request that you keep your comments "respectful" -- to use what is apparently Kraig's favorite word. Those who wish to observe from the sidelines are welcome to do so as long as the discussion continues (though it may well be wrapping up).

My thoughts on the discussion -- and the delightfully high number of "believer scripts" employed by Kraig -- will likely be the subject of a post next week sometime. And yes, I'm saving all of the comments just in case they mysteriously...poof...disappear.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Third Day of the Writing of the Book of the Law

"How to Pull a Good Horus-coup even when the Oldsire is Dead to the World"

"'tis no timbertar she'll have then in her armsbrace to doll the dallydandle, our fiery quean upon the night of the things of the night of the making to stand up the double tet of the oversear of the seize who cometh from the mighty deep and on the night of making Horuse to criumph over his enemy"

"Conk a dook he'll do. Svap."

--Finnegans Wake

Monday, April 9, 2012

Second Day of the Writing of the Book of the Law

"Ainsoph, this upright one, with that noughty besighed him zeroine. To see in his horrorscup he is mehrkurios than saltz of sulphur. Terror of the noonstruck by day, cryptogam of each nightly bridable. But, to speak broken heaventalk, is he? Who is he? Whose is he? Why is he? Howmuch is he? Which is he? When is he? Where is he? How is he? And what the decans is there about him anyway, the decemt man? Easy, calm your haste!"

"Creator he has created for his creatured ones a creation. White monothoid? Red theatrocrat? And all the pinkprophets cohalething? [...] he is ee and no counter he who will be ultimately respunchable for the hubbub caused in Edenborough."

--Finnegans Wake

Sunday, April 8, 2012

First Day of the Writing of the Book of the Law

"In the name of Annah the Allmaziful, the Everliving, the Bringer of Plurabilities, haloed be her eve, her singtime sung, her rill be run, unhemmed as it is uneven!

Her untitled mamafesta memorializing the Mosthighest has gone by many names at disjointed times."

"How bootiful and truetowife of her, when strangely forebidden, to steal our historic presents from the past postpropheticals so as to will make us all lordy heirs and ladymaidesses of a pretty nice kettle of fruit. She is livving in our midst of debt and laffing through all plores for us (her birth is uncontrollable) [...] she'll loan a vesta and hire some peat and sarch the shores her cockles to heat and she'll do all a turfwoman can to piff the business on. Paff. To puff the blaziness on. Poffpoff."

--Finnegans Wake