Author Topic: Cum Laude to Lust  (Read 7931 times)

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September 08, 2008, 05:14:30 AM
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Rawiri

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Cum Laude to Lust

“II,52: There is a veil: that veil is black. It is the veil of the modest woman; it is the veil of sorrow, & the pall of death: this is none of me. Tear down that lying spectre of the centuries: veil not your vices in virtuous words: these vices are my service; ye do well, & I will reward you here and hereafter.” – Book of The Law

A person on these paths is often admonished to work on their character. Even those who avoid this idea, if they wish to continue on this path eventually must accept it to some degree due to the very nature of the work. Unless, unlike most, they are blessed with certain great virtues that themselves are enough to keep one progressing instead of idling. Who shall proceed in these things with laziness, an ever flitting interest that skips about, a lack of patience? I’d say, none really, not to the point of any good success.

Some people proclaim quite loudly: “This is who I am, you either like me or hate me, and I won’t change for anybody.” A rather repulsive statement to my tastes. They will not even change for themselves, but will go forth day after day doing the same things and getting the same results (or lack thereof) and then wonder ‘why them?’ Yet, despite this, there is a certain allure to it, isn’t there? Something that rings true. Something inside that wants to scream out ‘yeah!’ in agreement.

The typical method for working on the character is to introspect deeply, observing your past and current daily habits and noting down all the vices and virtues that you exhibit. Then the undesirable vices are ‘transmuted’ into desirable virtues. Most systems have some method of doing this. Bardon’s Initiation into Hermetics would have one impregnate food, water and air with the desirables. Dynamic Psi has its ‘Optimal Meditation.’ Yoga also would utilize meditation and pranayama to this end. Other magical traditions would have you invoke gods. The one who prays devotedly often seems to take on various ‘noble’ traits. The idea of ‘subliminal messaging’ is one that dates back a bit…and of course there’s always sheer willpower.

In most cases, this work is done to the detriment of the vices. Of course, that makes sense, since that is what one is aiming for. Just to make a point here, by a vice I am referring specifically to some particular character trait or habit that prevents someone being successful in their life, and a virtue is just the opposite. I do not care much for the religious ideas on this, nor do I even consider the ideas of what hurts others to be as important. Ultimately I will say I consider the magician/mystic just as selfish as the next human being. They just have a horizon of their ‘I’ that expands beyond their own skin, their own families, their own societies etc.

The work of ‘transmutation’ is a delicate one. A common thing many people find themselves lacking is patience, they note themselves impatient. Then they will go on to focus on patience. If they are not careful they become unlucky enough to become so patient, that they are willing to sit and wait for an unnecessary length of time, when they could get something that much sooner. Then they need to swing the bar back towards impatience again. Some even consider such a thing ‘virtuous.’ But this world is fast paced, and observance shows things are only going to move even faster as time goes on (for now). Patience has its place, but we must keep moving one step ahead of the world if we plan to be successful. While I believe it is important to develop the apparently opposite of our vices, since often they are extremely helpful and ones we need to really get going. Doing just this ends up being akin to ‘throwing the baby out with the bath water.’

Sticking with the idea of impatience. In that is a ‘seed virtue’ of wanting progress, of action, of wanting to actually get something done. I cannot be entirely specific, since sometimes vices manifest in people due to different reasons. But generally within each vice, is an overflowing virtue. A virtue with too much ‘libido’ (forgive me for taking a term and abusing it, dear beloved Freud) focused there that it acts in a way that inhibits our progress. The general method acts to create an entirely new container that is opposite this, and fill it up with enough that it counter-balances the excessive virtue we call a vice. While this works, it seems rather a waste.

The vices themselves seem to be readily fed, constantly overflowing with energy and almost never tiring. Like deep running taps into your reservoirs of power. That ‘libido’ instead of being left alone should be channeled (fire!) into what is recognized as the seed virtue therein. In this way, it is not wasted. Those virtues should be encouraged, as they are the true overflowing virtues that you have, and not ‘false’ sculpted virtues that you design. (Of course, I’m all for those ‘false’ sculpted virtues in addition). Now you are true to your being, and not giving up your opportunity for progress.

Your vices are the sail, your virtues are the rudder…and I am the wind beneath your wings as you fly towards the forbidden fruits of the promised land.


-   Rawiri (The Beloved)
« Last Edit: September 08, 2008, 07:11:46 AM by Rawiri »

September 08, 2008, 04:13:26 PM
Reply #1

Zake

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An interesting article, Rawiri.  Well done.

I am reminded of Aristotle's doctrine (which I paraphrase here), "virtue is in moderation."  I.e., that any trait is a virtue only in the proper amount.  Thus, one can have a vice (as you noted) either both in being too impatient or in being too patient.  What is "moderate," I assume, depends upon the trait and the circumstance; I'm sure that we would all be considered disastrously impatient by men of the middle ages, but such is merely what today's world demands of us.

Thus, it comes down to the individual to judge what is the proper level that produces a "virtue" of a given trait, in any given situation.  While impatience can often be a "virtue" of sorts, one will inevitably encounter a situation in which being impatient is detrimental to ones goals; same with patience.

So to "channel" our vices to good, we shouldn't "encourage" them to become more extreme than they are, but instead develop them to the point where they can be "turned on and off" and moderated at will.  If a situation demands impatience, a magician will not let an idle moment pass; if it demands patience, he could sit there all day.  Ultimately, it isn't the goal of the magician to be "virtuous" and "without vices" per se, but rather to be able to place himself above the level of such personality-based impulses altogether, and act according to higher ideals and reasons.
Act; for the universe will never forget your movement, nor will it ever forgive your stillness.

September 08, 2008, 05:38:07 PM
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Forg

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Good advice indeed. Follows similarly to the idea that every experience is a good experience. In every moment in our lives we have the opportunity to learn be it through mistake or otherwise. The same applys to virtues and vices. Within every vice there is a virtue (though in the context as I just explained, that virtue is always via a lesson). Hats off to you.
Be your own light, your own refuge. Believe only that which you test for yourself. Do not accept authority merely because it comes from a great man, or is written in a sacred book, for truth is different for each man and woman." -- Buddha

September 08, 2008, 07:52:33 PM
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Kichara

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This explains something to me that I have been struggking to understand for quite a while and I am sure it will help me a huge amount.  Thank you, Rawiri.
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September 10, 2008, 02:09:01 PM
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Wonderland

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While you make many good points Rawiri, I would caution "judge not, lest ye be judged" and "if you eat that bread, you will be forced to chew it".  For you never know who is the very lord and master you are so devoted to, only in disguise to test your devotion.  The record does indicate you not only volunteered for the opportunity to be so tested, but you were adamant to have it. 

Or, perhaps, you never know what is a metaphysical butterfly that hasn't finished changing yet, and then the sin would be yours for looking too soon.  In which case you would do well to poke out your own eyes, lest you make such a grievous error a second time, thereby making the initial offense 10 times worse/stronger.  Go and check the record for yourselves.  The veil was rent in to a long time ago.  If you are so certain someone is messing up, perhaps you could offer to help?  For the one who wishes to be greatest will make himself the servant of all.  And, generally, if things are _that_ bad, there is a lot of pain and suffering there that you obviously have the ability to assist as opposed to arrest.

Oh....who am I kidding?  I totally want to believe the earnestness of your post and take it for the good parts and forget the rest. In fact, I probably do.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2008, 02:13:54 PM by Wonderland »
Yeeesh!  Apparently I forgot the signature changes on all posts....AND until you change it again...oh well enough then...sorry 'bout that

September 10, 2008, 02:50:22 PM
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Big Boss

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Very good article Rawiri. I have pondered similar concepts before, and even recently. Everything is relative to something. Every state of being has a complementary part. Angry and happy are opposites, but are also just states of emotion. Without one, you cannot have the other.

I'm working on achieving a state of neutrality, of naturalness, having a healthy exhibit of all ranges of personality where they will express my will in the most efficient way possible. For the moment at least, I think it's a worthy goal in this life.
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September 10, 2008, 09:05:20 PM
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Silver_Archer

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While you make many good points Rawiri, I would caution "judge not, lest ye be judged" and "if you eat that bread, you will be forced to chew it".  For you never know who is the very lord and master you are so devoted to, only in disguise to test your devotion. 

Frankly, knowing Rawiri (at least, I think I do), I doubt he serves any lord or master, or cares about such.
<Forg> Everything is adjustable when you have a saw.

September 11, 2008, 03:45:53 AM
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Hech

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His own passions?

September 11, 2008, 11:54:28 PM
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Rawiri

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Quote
So to "channel" our vices to good, we shouldn't "encourage" them to become more extreme than they are, but instead develop them to the point where they can be "turned on and off" and moderated at will.  If a situation demands impatience, a magician will not let an idle moment pass; if it demands patience, he could sit there all day.

Yes. As you noted, different circumstances may require different attitudes. Those are good additions and food for thought. Thanks, Zake. :)

Quote
Follows similarly to the idea that every experience is a good experience.

Definitely, of course, we prefer some to others. :P Thanks for the comment, Forg.

You're welcome Kichara. I hope it does help you. =)

Wonderland: Perhaps you could be more specific as to the bad parts? That way I can consider them better. Thanks for the comment.

Quote
For the moment at least, I think it's a worthy goal in this life.

Certainly, Big Boss. The expression of yourself is perhaps one of the greatest things one can aim to develop, IMO at least. Thanks for the comment. :)

Quote
Frankly, knowing Rawiri (at least, I think I do), I doubt he serves any lord or master, or cares about such.

You know me well enough, lol.

Quote
His own passions?

I suppose one could say that. But that seems to have such a negative connotation with it among many in the community nowadays. Then again, I don't care too much about that. So yes, we will stick with that for now. :)

September 13, 2008, 02:15:24 AM
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Wonderland

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I thank and appreciate the tolerant attitudes.  As we have all seen, sometimes my "passion" can be a bit too "strong", so I hope the future rewards of putting up with my "rants" are showing to far outweigh any "negative" initial side effects.

If Rawiri or any of us have earned the right to serve ourselves as our own lord and master, I do not say the ability does not exist. It would merely be a bit of a discussion which would appear to some as talking to oneself.  That being said, I do have some specific "bad points" in my own mind, but it is probably better to err on the side of caution here and invite you to further this discussion in the direction you originally had in mind. *sometimes Wonderland only _thinks_ she knows everything* :wink:
Yeeesh!  Apparently I forgot the signature changes on all posts....AND until you change it again...oh well enough then...sorry 'bout that

September 13, 2008, 08:29:41 AM
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Rawiri

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And at this point you only _think_ you should err on the side of caution. :P I would appreciate knowing the bad points you have in mind. This was posted as an article and I had no 'discussion direction' in mind. I take things as they come and go in this case. Feel free to PM me on them if you would feel that better.

October 02, 2008, 12:17:55 AM
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Nice article,Rawiri.My thoughts on this is that one needs to know the darkness and the  light within and embrace both.A double edged 'sword' is the result.
Changing your mind will change the world,World peace,Love,Happiness,Health,Abundance-these things are obtainable right here,right now.