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Escaping from the Tree of Life?

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Quote:
Originally Posted by foolMoon View Post
I don't feel it is necessary, as it is not main topic of the thread. I was just saying, I repeat, you cannot claim others' views as false based on your references, which is also non universally verified truths.

But 'my references' were to an academic source, of qualified scientific interpretation.

You are still refusing to answer many questions and just making refuting statements. And claiming any explanation on your part would be off topic.

The work of Dr Wilson Van Dusen I referenced is titled ' The Presence Of Spirits In Madness - A Confirmation of Swedenborg in Recent Empirical Findings '.

.... 'empirical findings' ; Something that is observed from real-world observation or data, in contrast to something that is deduced from theory.

If you dont bother to read or at least just have a quick look at my references - to show what I write just is not my own wacky opinion - and make assumptions and then accuse the reference of not being scientifically verifiable .... ?

Claiming that psychology and psychiatric treatment that is proved successful , that an experiment with a method on a patient that gets success can be repeated with other patients IS 'science.

Stating that nothing is relevant that is not 'universally qualified truth' ( whatever that means ? ) seems to be clutching at straws.

Repeating multiple experiments the same way and getting the same result IS science, its the basis of science ... and in the field of his work and what Dr Wilson discovered, the laws and principles are the same ones we find in evocative magick.

universally verified truths ? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criteria_of_truth

Can anyone please explain to me what ' universally verified truths' actually are ?
Top   #101
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Sternbach View Post
.....This is particularly evident with a system so obviously numerologically based like the I Ching, but it is no less valid for Astrology whose underlying mathematical structure I have been researching for a long time. Regarding the Kabbalah, all I can say right now is that it seems to tie in with certain axioms of Projective Geometry, however, my exploration of this connection is at a rather preliminary stage.....
Perhaps Frieda Harris saw such a connection, but I rather think she saw the Thoth project more as an opportunity to display her artistic experiments.

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That being said, it would seem that - unlike the I Ching or Astrology - the asymmetrical ToL overall is hardly recognizable as a rigorous mathematical model of the metaphysicist's Cosmos, let alone its paths supposedly exact attributions withMajor Arcana etc. Let's not forget here that the nowadays so widespread version of the ToL is just one of several; as it happens, it was Athanasius Kircher's rather late (17th century) variation which was adopted and popularized by the Golden Dawn and its descendants.
For readers of the Kabbalah & Alphabets forum, it is scarcely possible ever to forget that the Kircher Tree is not the only one.

Quote:
Now, I don't exclude the possibility that there could be a mathematically more refined version of the ToL, but the way things are, I do understand Paul's scepticism. Notice that he doesn't disapprove of the Kabbalah per say, in fact he sees in its original version as another system that highlights the Unity of Creation. - As a hint, may I remark that earlier Kabbalists thought of the Sephiroth as a system of concentric spheres (Sephira meaning "sphere" ).
As someone who at least is partially dependent on his readership for income, it would not do to totally alienate the Kabbalists, since probably the majority of the Tarot readers among them use the OOTK.

It would be nice to see a show of hands of those who are not aware of the concentric spheres model of the Tree.

Quote:
So Paul's problem seems to be that some occultists, based on their personal beliefs and subjective experiences, made the Kircher/GD ToL an irrefutable model for occultists to follow, when it is at best a working hypothesis.
Why would 'Paul' make that his particular problem? At any rate it is unlikely that a plea for the use of pure intuition in Tarot reading would cause anyone to change their preferred model of reality.

Quote:
Considering this, does it really make sense then that some esoteric orders define their ranks in the terms of this ToL, especially if these are meant to coincide with degrees of spiritual attainment? Can or should we use it to classify the stages of our own individual progress? Spiritual evolution, if it can be "measured" at all, is a highly complex topic. Safe to say, all the "Sephirothic forces" are active at once in every individual at any moment, much like the planets and the chakras are.
I think Aeon418 has addressed this adequately.

Quote:
Can the "Kabbalistic map" be used in a Tarot reading? Yes, to some degree. I would say, it has a relative validity when used with a deck based on a certain system of Kabbalistic references.
Aw shucks, I have been using the Grimaud Marseille. It has pretty pictures, but I don't see any Kabbalistic references in it. I supply these in my head. Should I should switch to a Golden Dawn deck?

Quote:
(I won't stretch your patience by going into the differences between the French and the English schools of Tarot, as represented by Levy and Mathers, right now, or by the liberties Aleister Crowley took with the GD scheme, although that's where the topic gets REALLY interesting! )
Yes, it is very considerate not to go into matters with which most of the forum readers are already quite familiar.

Your post has at least made me thankful that Barlow was not as pompous or patronizing to his audience as he might have been.
Top   #102
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I see two issues at work here. Firstly, that it seems to be implied, by some, that the Tree is a form of Scripture by which one draws wisdom, and the "rules" by which one interprets a given card or series of cards. This has already been refuted (albeit disagreed with), so there's no point in going into it. Barlow seems to think as much. I believe he is wrong.

The second issue is that proponents of "escape" don't seem to be able to give a coherent alternative. Now, I had a similar debate in another thread, and my antagonist there espoused using the given, traditional meanings in lieu of forcing the Tree upon them. Now, I disagreed there and I still do, simply because traditional meanings don't exist (3...2...1... someone is about to say I'm wrong and to quote the PKT). But, they really don't. After the GD refurbished the Tree's relationship with Tarot and Book T was produced, others came, most notably Waite, and utilized the GD building blocks to construct easy to understand divinatory meanings for normal people to use. "Normal" isn't an insult, it is the point being made in this thread, that non-initated persons would do well to eschew the Tree. It makes sense. However, work was done to adapt the spiritual system to the vulgar. They did the work, we got a boat sailing over a river.

Now, that's fine, but that's still going backwards. Even Barlow seems to be pushing going to the commonly known meanings of the cards, all of which originate with Waite and in doing so shoots himself in the leg. Barlow himself as well as the PKT are proof that the Tree can be used for both the spiritual as well as the vulgar, simply because it has already been done. And honestly, I don't think Waite did it that well, either, but his interpretations of the Tree became the basis for modern Tarot. That's what they are, that's where they come from. Knowing the Tree, it is quite possible, even easy, to pick apart most entries of the PKT and see the general direction Waite was coming from (barring any extraneous Masonic/Grail etc. material he also included, as well as the older cartomantic traditions he incorporated). And for the most part, on what I find to be a low level, his meanings work. But they do betray their origins quite clearly.

People even like to talk about a Waite "system" and a Crowley "system" without acknowledging that they are the same system. They use the same tools, but to say very different things. That in itself is additional proof of the Tree's versatility, that it really isn't this monolithic "thing" that is blindly adhered to.

Bottom line, if you don't want to use the Tree in interpretation, more power to you. However, it is a mistake to divorce the structure of modern decks from the Tree, because then there's just nothing left but a disparate set of images devoid of any connecting thread.
Top   #103
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ravenest View Post
But 'my references' were to an academic source, of qualified scientific interpretation.

You are still refusing to answer many questions and just making refuting statements. And claiming any explanation on your part would be off topic.

The work of Dr Wilson Van Dusen I referenced is titled ' The Presence Of Spirits In Madness - A Confirmation of Swedenborg in Recent Empirical Findings '.

.... 'empirical findings' ; Something that is observed from real-world observation or data, in contrast to something that is deduced from theory.

If you dont bother to read or at least just have a quick look at my references - to show what I write just is not my own wacky opinion - and make assumptions and then accuse the reference of not being scientifically verifiable .... ?

Claiming that psychology and psychiatric treatment that is proved successful , that an experiment with a method on a patient that gets success can be repeated with other patients IS 'science.

Stating that nothing is relevant that is not 'universally qualified truth' ( whatever that means ? ) seems to be clutching at straws.

Repeating multiple experiments the same way and getting the same result IS science, its the basis of science ... and in the field of his work and what Dr Wilson discovered, the laws and principles are the same ones we find in evocative magick.

universally verified truths ? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criteria_of_truth

Can anyone please explain to me what ' universally verified truths' actually are ?

Universally verified truths are the truths from either Mathematical, Logical or Scientific verification process. For example,

1+1=2
if x+1=10, then x=? x=9 ...etc

Everyman dies, Socrates is a man, therefore Socrates dies.

And all the Scientific truths which can be verified by experiments and observations with 100% same results of repeatability and testabilties provided performed under the same conditions, for simplest example "If you drop an apple from the top of a 10 story building, it will fall down to the ground due to the earth's gravity." etc etc.

Nobody can deny above statements, because they are universally verifiable truths. Psychological and Metaphysical statements are not universally verifiable in their nature, so they can only be more reasonable, coherent or more valid, not right or wrong.

Psychological analysis or treatments do not apply coherently, and don't work 100% to every human being on earth on every occasion.
Top   #104
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Quote:
Originally Posted by closrapexa View Post

Bottom line, if you don't want to use the Tree in interpretation, more power to you. However, it is a mistake to divorce the structure of modern decks from the Tree, because then there's just nothing left but a disparate set of images devoid of any connecting thread.
I think the TOL is a great resource to know, and use with certain types of Tarot readings and understanding. As LRichard said, it enriches Tarot reading greatly, and I agree with that statement.

But I also agree with Michael Sternbach on the point that PH Barlow does not reject the TOL as some useless topic.
Top   #105
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LRichard View Post
Perhaps Frieda Harris saw such a connection, but I rather think she saw the Thoth project more as an opportunity to display her artistic experiments.
The connection between the Thoth and Projective Geometry goes deeper than that. Ideas of Projective Geometry are already part of The Book of the Law.

Quote:
For readers of the Kabbalah & Alphabets forum, it is scarcely possible ever to forget that the Kircher Tree is not the only one.
I obviously mentioned it just to illustrate the "arbitrariness" of the ToL as we know it, not because I thought that the participants of this thread are in need of a history lesson.

Quote:
As someone who at least is partially dependent on his readership for income, it would not do to totally alienate the Kabbalists, since probably the majority of the Tarot readers among them use the OOTK.
That's the thing! Paul uses the OOTK himself too. This alone shows that he doesn't refute Kabbalistic theory per say - only its rigid application. Not least, the system of spirits he is working with has a Kabbalistic background.

Quote:
It would be nice to see a show of hands of those who are not aware of the concentric spheres model of the Tree.
Well, be free to start a poll! Once again, it seems to have escaped you that I mentioned this for illustrative purposes, more precisely in elaboration of Paul's statement about pre-ToL Kabbalah highlighting the equivalence of Creation. There is no above and below the way the ToL suggests in a model of concentric spheres.

Quote:
Why would 'Paul' make that his particular problem? At any rate it is unlikely that a plea for the use of pure intuition in Tarot reading would cause anyone to change their preferred model of reality.
That is turning things around. Actually, a "preferred model of reality" is exactly what we need to get rid of in order to access intuition, or seeing the reality of the querent the way it truly is.

Quote:
I think Aeon418 has addressed this adequately.
Thanks for reminding me. I will address Aeon's post adequately too.

Quote:
Aw shucks, I have been using the Grimaud Marseille. It has pretty pictures, but I don't see any Kabbalistic references in it. I supply these in my head. Should I should switch to a Golden Dawn deck?
Personally, I would think of the TdM as more aligned with the later French school - but be free to use whatever works best for you.

Quote:
Yes, it is very considerate not to go into matters with which most of the forum readers are already quite familiar.
I may have to revise this position, though. The matter of divergent interpretations of the ToL in different traditions seems rather pertinent to the OP's query.

Quote:
Your post has at least made me thankful that Barlow was not as pompous or patronizing to his audience as he might have been.
Yeah, he seems to be a nice guy. I think I will ask him to write a foreword to my new book Monkeys Climbing on the Tree of Life. He may also be interested in helping me establish The Heretic Order of the Golden Spawn. Hey, it's my only chance to ever become an Ipsissimus!
Top   #106
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Sternbach View Post
That's the thing! Paul uses the OOTK himself too. This alone shows that he doesn't refute Kabbalistic theory per say - only its rigid application. Not least, the system of spirits he is working with has a Kabbalistic background.
he seems to prefer the Jinn from this snippet from his website, quite interesting though.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Huges Barlow

Goetic origins

"The ambiguity and confusion in my own mind concerning the real Goetic origins prevented me from seeing clearly. Since the previous post where I made the declaration that the Goetia are really Jinn, I have been having visions that throws the difference into stark reality.

Now, in comparison, the Goetia appear demonic. They are truly man-made demons, and an example of memes at work. Crowley described the Goetia as representing parts of the mind or brain, and it is quite possible he is right, but never in the way he suggests. In this context, the Goetia represent the self-serving and egotistical aspects of man represented in the inverted Tree of Life. As memes, they are also quite limited in scope and power, unable to transcend the system they are seen in".
Eta he does also talk about his experience of Goetic spirits when he was writing his book the Tarot and the Magus

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Hughes Barlow
within a few weeks, some Goetic spirits appeared; they were anxious to tell me that they were related to the Liber 231 spirits and I should not forget them! At the time I was writing this book for beginners on the subject of Tarot and divination, but over the next few months I could not ignore these delightful spirits – they are great fun, and the experience is usually quite blissful, nothing like their sinister reputation.
Top   #107
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Originally Posted by Aeon418 View Post
What is the foundational principle of many of these orders? It is the identity of the macrocosm and the microcosm. Unless you want to abandon that fundamental starting position you will find it difficult to avoid the necessity that (a) human consciousness, (b) the universe, and (c) the path of initiation, are all represented by one common model of classification.

Orders that use the Tree of Life as a map of attainment are merely being consistent. How can that not make sense?
I don't doubt that the ToL can be useful as a scheme for a hierarchical order's ranking system, helping to organize the curriculum as well as the seating plan in a ceremony. Much like you have belts of various colours in many martial arts schools. But I am sceptical that the ToL will truly tell you about an apprentice's level of spiritual attainment, or where they need to go from there. Spiritual development is far too complex and individual a matter for a simplistic approach. I feel that submitting to the rigidity of such a scheme may cause its followers to miss out a lot.
Top   #108
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smw View Post
he seems to prefer the Jinn from this snippet from his website, quite interesting though.

Eta he does also talk about his experience of Goetic spirits when he was writing his book the Tarot and the Magus
It looks like he is referring to the "Mercurial Spirits" of Crowley's Liber 231 here. Unlike the Goetic spirits, they are associated with the Qliphoth. Paul doesn't see the Qliphot in such a negative light like traditional Kabbalists tend to do.
Top   #109
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Sternbach View Post
It looks like he is referring to the "Mercurial Spirits" of Crowley's Liber 231 here. Unlike the Goetic spirits, they are associated with the Qliphoth. Paul doesn't see the Qliphot in such a negative light like traditional Kabbalists tend to do.
hmm... I guess it is a large topic in it's own right to understand from a couple of excerpts. Perhaps I am getting crossed wires here. The Liber spirits may be as you say Mercurial rather than Goetic and he does seem to differentiate them. However, it appears to be Goetic ones he describes as being positive to work with in the excerpt. This seemed at odds with his other (perhaps more recent?) description of the Goetia on the inverse tree as being man made demon forms and limited in their use. I thought the inverse tree was the Qlipphotic side.
Top   #110


 


 


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