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How to appreciate Crowley?


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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Stanton
Unfortunately, from what I've witnessed in the world, the problem resides with the individual moral compass.
This may surprise you, but I agree. But the problem is that, from day one, we are bombarded by society with crap that has nothing to do with our own inner nature. The moral compass that is influenced and obscured by exterior ideas, external values of right and wrong, is of no use at all. In fact it is highly likely to mislead you.

In this case, "Do what thou wilt" is transformed in "Do what I want". There's a massive difference between the two.
Top   #151
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I'd like to offer some clarification about the question of moral decisions.

It's perfectly understandable to see morality as "either/or"--either it's simply an historically-developed but basically arbitrary social code that we conform to unthinkingly, or it is an individual matter and one can and should take total personal responsibility.

It's not that simple, though. Moral theorists over centuries have developed many approaches to deciding "what is right?" These include:

Cultural relativism (go along with your culture, which defines right and wrong in the legal code and social norms).

Subjectivism (do what seems right to you; morality is mostly a matter of feeling or preference)

Religious views include both Divine Command theory (follow God's law as revealed in some sacred text or through some other route perhaps including the "voice of conscience" or Divine revelation) and Natural Law theory (align your behavior with the apparent natural order of the universe)

Utilitarianism (calculate how to maximize the benefit to as many people as possible--the greatest good for the greatest number)

Deontological theories, like Kant's (show respect for others by treating them as ends in themselves, and act as if every decision you make would establish a moral imperative that you would wish others to follow as well)

Social contract theory (consider what any rational actor would agree was in their own interest, including restrictions on one's self that one might want others to accept for their own behavior for the sake of peace and social order)

Virtue theories (going back at least as far as Aristotle, focusing on how to live a good life by developing the habits of thought and action of a good person)

Feminist and "ethics of care" theory (focus on maintaining and strengthening relationships among people and caring for their well-being)

There are more but these are the major ones in the Western tradition. The dichotomy of "either social conformity or individual conscience" is too simplistic--and it doesn't reflect the long and developed tradition of thinking about morality in the West (not to mention other traditions).
Top   #152
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So which one is the 'right' one to choose?
Top   #153
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Well Similia- thanks for giving your current point of view.
For me personally I would rather read Rudolph Steiner or a much earlier essayist
Michael de Montaigne- but you is you and me is me and we each go the way that hopefully for works for us. You are a good man and I know you have an internal compass that works well. I might add that really in the scheme of things- talking about anything on a forum does not change anything- might as well scrap the whole idea- except you are right - it is interesting. Are Penguins better birds for not flying? Yes because the males have to stay behind and keep the egg warm for most of the gestation - so 50% of them are better. Good Odds I am not really interested if Crowley was failed Magician- I am interested in the impact his actions have made on Tarot- the good outweighed by the bad in my view. I know I am not alone in this view- which brings me to this statement.......which when I started read the post, I thought "Great!" something non combative and non accusatory on the subject! Then Aeon418 goes and spills shit all over the post by ending with this....
Quote:
Does this idea of an internal compass really disgust you that much?
I said "compass" not external or internal compass. Where have I EVER
used the word disgust and Crowley/Thoth/Tarot or you together? How about you quit pigeon holing me for a change?

Thanks Debra for your post I am going to think about this some more as I am thinking I am in the Kant/Artistotle-ish/social contract area somewhat....maybe..... ummmmm.....it is complicated isn't it? I am with Greg on this internal compass bit- I do not know what Crowley's was but his actions that we read about leave me wondering....
~Rosanne
Top   #154
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Quote:
Originally Posted by similia
I could insist Crowley was a failed magician for being unable to break his addictions. That is in my opinion a pointless discussion.
I agree that's a pointless discussion, but to me it's the saddest part of the story, because I have to wonder if his writings would be more accessible to me and a lot of other people -- and if perhaps his reputation wouldn't have gone down the toilet with so many -- if he'd been able to get that under control. Honestly, my biggest problem with his writing might very well be simply a symptom of him having written while under the influence.

That doesn't make him evil, in my opinion, and I'm not about to judge his character on that. But it makes it more difficult for me to judge his ideas or inspirations. That just makes me sad and wonder what I might be missing. But as I mentioned, life's so short, and there are so many more easily approachable books...

Maybe it's my loss. I don't know.

Nevada
Top   #155
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Maybe folks who feel misunderstood identify strongly with others in the same circumstances and if indeed Crowley is misunderstood, and if people feel his view of Law is particularly liberating, well...for sure no one defends AE Waite with such vehemence.

I don't understand why Crowley has such appeal as a liberator, given the times we live in. It's not like he's the only, first, best, or most recent to say: Watch out boys and girls, social norms can be repressive, there's more to life than meets the eye, you can empower yourself, sex is good.

But if Crowley is misunderstood, or gets what he really wanted, or gets what he deserved...how does that relate to the Thoth tarot?

In participating on this thread, I realized that I am not particularly enamored of any deck where astrological, mystical and/or magic(k)al symbolism is heavy-handed.

The Thoth has interesting geometry and beautiful colors going for it. In the negative column is "too much symbolism for Debra."

I think...knowing a bit about Crowley gives me an aversion to the deck I might not have if he wasn't behind it.

Rosanne looks at the cards and sees Frieda Harris, but I'm not sure that's much better insofar as she was his acolyte. Same with the Osho Zen deck--the Maharishi himself didn't paint it, but Ma Deva who did was in accord with his views on how to live, which were both inconsistent with the "peace love joy" philosophy of the community they ran, and guru-centered--back to Rosanne's quote on moral immaturity.

I guess the guru approach just ain't for me.
Top   #156
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Debra
In participating on this thread, I realized that I am not particularly enamored of any deck where astrological, mystical and/or magic(k)al symbolism is heavy-handed.

The Thoth has interesting geometry and beautiful colors going for it. In the negative column is "too much symbolism for Debra."

I think...knowing a bit about Crowley gives me an aversion to the deck I might not have if he wasn't behind it.

Rosanne looks at the cards and sees Frieda Harris, but I'm not sure that's much better insofar as she was his acolyte. Same with the Osho Zen deck--the Maharishi himself didn't paint it, but Ma Deva who did was in accord with his views on how to live, which were both inconsistent with the "peace love joy" philosophy of the community they ran, and guru-centered--back to Rosanne's quote on moral immaturity.
The guru approach doesn't help me in the least, I have to say.

But perhaps what comes out of this discussion is that we vary in our approaches to decks -- the Thoth or any other. Some are put off by the Motherpeace and its connection to feminism. For me that's a selling point.

Perhaps the question is, how much does a deck resonate with you, and how do your feelings about its creator or the reasoning behind it get in the way of or aid that resonance?

I see Lady Frieda Harris has having a big hand in the Thoth deck's creation. Even if it wasn't her idea, even if she was coached heavily as to content and colors, the brush strokes were hers. A lot can happen in the execution of a piece of art. Many of Leonardo da Vinci's masterpieces were commissioned. That fact doesn't make them any less his work, nor the Sistine Chapel any less Michelangelo's -- though we tend to see van Gogh as more of an individualist.

But I also don't judge my love of van Gogh's paintings on whether I agree with his decision to cut off his ear or take his own life.

Nevada
Top   #157
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nevada
But I also don't judge my love of van Gogh's paintings on whether I agree with his decision to cut off his ear ...
LOL what if he was cutting off someone else's ear, so to speak

You know, I like Picasso's work less after reading his biography--and seeing some of his drawings of dismembered women in a different light, less "interesting" and more "vicious." It affected how I saw his work.
Top   #158
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Debra
LOL what if he was cutting off someone else's ear, so to speak
heh, good point! Each of us has to decide how much we let things like that sway us, on an individual basis. I'd also want to be careful to know whether something was substantiated, if for instance my purchase was to go toward support of the person in question. With Crowley that's not such a concern.

Nevada
Top   #159
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Debra
You know, I like Picasso's work less after reading his biography--and seeing some of his drawings of dismembered women in a different light, less "interesting" and more "vicious." It affected how I saw his work.
If that's what Picasso's work portrayed, I'd rather see an artist express such wounding in artwork than in real life. Let's face it, we don't know how much of Stephen King's horror is an expression of his anger against real people. It's even possible he doesn't know. That's how art sometimes works. But it's also the conflict and drama in art that we find appealing. If there's no dynamic to it, we're usually bored.

Perhaps to some it's the controversial nature of Crowley that draws them to his writings or the Thoth deck. For others it might be a more sympathetic draw, and for others their interest may be totally unrelated to Crowley the man. I don't intend to judge anyone's reasons.

Nevada
Top   #160

 

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