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Jung & Crowley

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posted on Aug, 11 2004 @ 04:55 PM
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I had a question about the similarities between Jung and Crowley (and maybe Gurdjieff). Jung describes the process of individuation as one that manifests the Self which if i understand correctly is the bridging of the ego and the collective unconscious enabling the person to manifest the Self which is supposed to be a person's essence. (Interstingly, Gurdjieff used the word Essence to describe the same thing. At least I think it is the same thing.) The Self is one of the things that I guess leads lots of psychologists to dismiss Jung as a mystic. I'm wondering if Jung's Self (and maybe Gurdjieff's "essence") is the same thing as Crowley's will. What do you Crowleyites and Jungians think about this? Am I comparing apples to oranges here?




posted on Aug, 11 2004 @ 05:05 PM
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Now, I don't really have the information to answer any of these questions, but I wanted to make a comment. The concept of "will" of various types was central to a very large number of philosophical systems throughout the 19th century. The historical will (Hegel, and to a cerain degree, Marx), the will to power (Nietzsche), the will to Truth (Kierkegaard spoke of this kind of will, provided you believe God's existence to be true), the will to being, etc., etc. Even the existentialist philosophies imply a kind of "will to authenticity," I'd argue (then again, I'd argue that almost all existential philosophies are modifications of Kierkegaard's "Leap of faith," so I may be biased). I'd not be surprised if Crowley and Jung both spoke about the "will" because that was the philosophical zeitgeist of the time (not to belittle their philosophies... bias is irrelevant, only argument and observation are relevant (unless you're Neitzsche or later, in which case everything gets tremendously epistemelogically complex (and here's another parenthesis, just for show))).



posted on Aug, 11 2004 @ 05:16 PM
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posted on Aug, 11 2004 @ 05:30 PM
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I don't think that Nietzsche fits in to ordinary divisions of "atheist" and "agnostic" and "believer." Nietzsche was operating on a completely different set of basic axioms about the nature of existence.

Similarly, we must understand that the division between the "supernatural" and the "natural" is likewise an axiom of a philosophical system, and as such it may or may not be incorporated into a philosophy. Since Marx' philosophy (perhaps) completely denied the supernatural, from Marx' point of view, the "will" about which Crowley spoke was the same as the "material" will. If I'm a Kabbalist, and I believe that will "descends" from the Ainsoph, does that mean I'm speaking about a different philosophy than Hegel was talking about when he discussed the direction of history, or that what I mean is essentially a different phenomenon from Shaw's "Life Force?"

Let's look at it with less emotionally-loaded words. I'm outside with an average ancient Greek citizen and a modern expert in quantum mechanics. We see lightning. I describe it as a release of electrical charge from the ground to the sky. The Greek citizen describes it as a spear of fire (or some similar substance) sent by Zeus. The physiscist describes it as a result of several sub-microscopic leaps of quanta according to determinable probabilites.

Now, even though we have different concepts of what it is, it doesn't mean that we didn't all observe the same phenomena. Similarly, I think that the 19th-century philosophers all generally knew what they were talking about, and were talking about the same thing... they just may have disagreed about its nature.

By the way, nice discussion. This is the most interesting thinking I've done on this board since I came back. All arguing with anti-Masonic slander and no discussing philosophy makes Alex a dull boy



posted on Aug, 11 2004 @ 05:32 PM
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Hey, what could i say. I aim to please.



posted on Aug, 11 2004 @ 08:09 PM
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Accidental double post deleted.

[edit on 11-8-2004 by Masonic Light]



posted on Aug, 11 2004 @ 08:10 PM
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Originally posted by miltie
Interesting. But Crowley's idea of the Will (capital W) was more of a supernatural concept. So I think his idea of the will was different from at least Marx's or Nietzsche's who if i understand correctly were both atheists. (At least Marx was. I believe Nietzsche may have been an agnostic.)


So was Crowley, in the sense that he did not believe in the existence of a personal god. Crowley was strongly influenced by Nietzsche, and his idea of Thelema ("Will") is strongly analogous to Nietzsche's "Will To Power".
Nietzsche more or less accepted Schopenhauer's view the "primordial stuff" of the universe was an abstraction that he called "will" out of convenience. Both Schopenhauer and Nietzsche were militant atheists, the latter having famously pronounced that "God is dead"...yet both were mystics in a sense, abandoning traditional religion, and seeking "religious" truth in nature, instead of revelation. Therefore, they could possibly be called "pantheists", although both, especially Nietzsche, would have objected to this label.

Nietzsche's poetic masterpiece, "Thus Spake Zarathustra", probably influenced Aleister Crowley's thinking more than any other book. This strangely beautiful book, which is just as much poetry as philosophy, can be read in full here:

www.geocities.com...

Nietzsche also had a profound influence on Jung, who quoted him continually.

Fiat Lvx.


[edit on 11-8-2004 by Masonic Light]



posted on Aug, 11 2004 @ 11:38 PM
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Schopenhauer had an influence on Jung as well .

I think that Crowley's Will and Schopenhauer's will were two different things though. They almost seem like polar opposites to me. My reading of Schopenhauer could very well be WAY wrong here and you philosophy buffs out there please feel free to put my ass in check if I'm off. After reading ML's post i picked my Schopenhauer books once again and I remember why i put them down in the first place. I'm having the hardest time understanding what the "will" is. It seems as if it is some sort of blind force behind all things. (There is some sort of relation here to Kant's "thing in itself." I believe that whereas Kant thought the "thing in itself" cannot be experienced, Schopenhauer believed the Will could. I'm probably wrong here as well though.)

But Schopenhauer's will seems very different from Crowley's. According to Crowley you're supposed to find out what your Will is. Whereas it seems as if Schopenhauer is saying that in order to experience a sort of higher consciousness you have to escape the will and not be guided by its blind force.

If anyone out there feels like correcting my interpretation of Schopenhauer feel free to. You'll probably have a field day doing so.

Well we went from Crowley to Jung to Nietzsche and now Schopenhauer. Sorry for going on such a tangent.



posted on Aug, 11 2004 @ 11:46 PM
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Originally posted by miltie
Well we went from Crowley to Jung to Nietzsche and now Schopenhauer. Sorry for going on such a tangent.


Are you kidding me?!?! This is the best discussion I've had on this board to date.

Now, re: Crowley vs. Shopenhauer on the will, I'm not knowledgable enough to answer the question exactly, but from what you said, isn't the following interpretation possible:

Both Crowley and Shopenhauer saw the Will. Crowley thought it was a good thing, whereas Shopenhauer thought it was a bad thing. Hence Crowley's practical philosophy (very different from his epistemology and ontology) held that one should pursue and understand the will. Meanwhile, Shopenhauer (the old pain addict, he) felt that the very same object was despicable, and so practically speaking he stated that one should escape it.

It's as if Michel Foucault and I were having a discussion about pain and sex. Foucault would say that one should come to understand the uses and meaning of pain within sex, while I would say that one should generally try to avoid it (unless one's ideals ran in that direction). We'd both be talking about the same thing when we said the word "pain," we'd just have a different attitude toward it.

Regarding the ding in sich, I think Kang was talking about epistemology here, and wasn't referring to a unified thing (I could be completely wrong, however). If he was talking about a unified thing, I strongly suspect Kant would have meant God by the ding in sich, whereas I'm not entirely convinced Crowley and Shopenhauer meant God by the word "Will."



posted on Aug, 12 2004 @ 08:31 AM
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posted on Aug, 12 2004 @ 08:32 AM
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Originally posted by miltie



posted on Aug, 12 2004 @ 11:34 AM
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Miltie,

I think you're right on the money by mentioning Kant. In Crowley's commentaries on Liber AL, published under the title "The Law Is For All", he elaborates on the historical development of "the world as will", and brings Kant into the equation.
(As an aside, he also made Nietzsche a Thelemic saint in the OTO's Gnostic Catholic Church).

Crowley's take on Will is very similar to Schopenhauer's. In the A.'.A.'. system, the Grade of Magister Templi corresponds with the Sephira Binah, above Da'ath, "the Abyss". Ostensibly, when one crosses Da'ath, the individual consciousness is eliminated, and the Great Work of universal consciousness is completed in its first form (later perfected in Chockmah and Kether). This is analogous to the Buddhist concept of Anatman, or "No Self", which Crowley elaborates upon even further in Liber I, where he mentions that the Opening of the Grade of Ipsisimus is a Buddhist mystery. As you probably know, Schopenhauer is regarded as the first western philosopher to argue in favor of the principles of Buddhism (although Schopenhauer reached his conclusions long before he had ever studied Buddhism; it is interesting that he taught a system that was completely "Buddhist" in nature, without himself being familiar with Buddhism).

Fiat Lvx.



posted on Aug, 12 2004 @ 09:54 PM
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This was an interesting discussion.

Does anyone know of a book dealing with the philosophy behind Crowley's thelema? Not a book on his rituals but one that focuses on the philosophy behind it. I've been told Duquette's book is good but I found that to be just a handbook on Crowley's rituals.



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