Reasoning the LHP

Thomas

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Hi Amir Alzzalam –

I've picked up the discussion from the Sapere aude thread, because it seems more relevant here –

When I use the word 'faith' I mean it in the way that I have faith the sun will rise tomorrow morning, as it has for a long time, I also have faith that the tenets of the Western Left Hand Path work as they are demonstrable and consistent.
If I read you correctly, here and elsewhere, faith as you describe it here is based on a reasonable assumption based on experience – eg. the sun invariably rises in the east, and barring some catastrophe, will continue to do so ... that kind of thing?

But for the outsider, the certitude of the sun rising in the east is not a philosophical question, it's an objective actuality. The LHP is not the same order of thing.

The LHP is a philosophy that doesn't require objective proof.
A question then – without detracting in any way from the LHP as such – is without objectively-observable criteria, how do you present the LHP to another? Moreover, how can you reason it to someone who doubts its credibility?

(One doesn't have to convince another that the sun will rise in the east tomorrow – just ask them to look for themselves.)

That the LHP is demonstrable and consistent to you, according to your own satisfaction, may well be the case – but I am not sure what grounds you can offer it as reasonable and rational, etc?

To be clear – I am not trying to disprove the LHP, but I am suggesting it's somewhat disingenuous to refute a theism so vociferously when your own path is subject to the same critical dismissal?

How do you answer the accusation of the LHP being simply a fantasy within one's imagination?

What is referred to as Apotheosis on the Western Left Hand Path ... entails realizing one's Greater Self, and bringing this Self into your everyday life in order to become more than Human.
How does the LHP describe or define the 'Greater Self'?
How is the Greater Self more than human?
How does one know one has realised this Greater Self?
 
Hi Amir Alzzalam –

I've picked up the discussion from the Sapere aude thread, because it seems more relevant here –
Those are a lot of questions that require lengthy answers . . . I'll give you the succinct versions
If I read you correctly, here and elsewhere, faith as you describe it here is based on a reasonable assumption based on experience – eg. the sun invariably rises in the east, and barring some catastrophe, will continue to do so ... that kind of thing?
Yes
But for the outsider, the certitude of the sun rising in the east is not a philosophical question, it's an objective actuality. The LHP is not the same order of thing.
The Western LHP is a valid, demonstrable actuality because there is no theistic 'faith' involved
A question then – without detracting in any way from the LHP as such – is without objectively-observable criteria, how do you present the LHP to another? Moreover, how can you reason it to someone who doubts its credibility?
Again, The Western LHP is a valid, demonstrable actuality because there is no theistic 'faith' involved
(One doesn't have to convince another that the sun will rise in the east tomorrow – just ask them to look for themselves.)

That the LHP is demonstrable and consistent to you, according to your own satisfaction, may well be the case – but I am not sure what grounds you can offer it as reasonable and rational, etc?
You get the same results as I do from the WLHP, this is considered reasonable and rational.
To be clear – I am not trying to disprove the LHP, but I am suggesting it's somewhat disingenuous to refute a theism so vociferously when your own path is subject to the same critical dismissal?
Since we do not have Divine texts, Messianic heroes, or dogma attached we are not in the same situation as religions that believe in gods and divine texts. The theist must prove there is a divine being in order to be taken seriously, and rationally. I have yet to see any such proof.

How do you answer the accusation of the LHP being simply a fantasy within one's imagination?
The WLHP embraces both the Objective & Subjective Universes equally.
How does the LHP describe or define the 'Greater Self'?
How is the Greater Self more than human?
How does one know one has realised this Greater Self?
The notion of the Greater Self is rooted in various spiritual and philosophical traditions. It represents an elevated state of consciousness, beyond our everyday experiences and limited perceptions. The Greater Self is often associated with qualities such as wisdom, inner peace, and interconnectedness. It is seen as a guiding force that can help us understand our purpose and navigate life's complexities.

The concept of apotheosis, or becoming godlike, should not be interpreted as a claim of attaining divinity or becoming an immortal being. Rather, it represents the transcendence of our mundane selves, —our ego-driven desires and limited perspectives. It is the journey towards aligning our thoughts, emotions, and actions with our deepest values and aspirations.


Our God is our Greater Self (Higher Self/GodSelf), which is individual to each of us. It may be called the Psyche, the Soul, we refer to it as our Isolate Consciousness. It is our authentic self, our potential being, it is the Platonic First Form of each of us and the perfected You.

The reason we accept this and not external deities is as follows:

We all perceive something in our own state of being that does not seem to be explainable in terms of the objective universe. We are not satisfied that we can be explained or defined merely in terms of electro-chemical equations, even very elaborate ones. There is, we feel, something else within us - something unique to each being and ultimately more essential than our objective, physical substance.

Our Consciousness does not behave as though it were merely a “sum total of the brain's sensory and manipulative capacities, combining and recombining inputted information as though it were an “organic” electronic computer. It has a sense of identity, a sense of uniqueness, a sense of distance and differentiation from everything else that exists.

Proto-man was just one of many animal species fighting for survival over the millennia. If his brain could evolve through processes of natural selection, then why did the brains of other creatures not similarly evolve - at least a little?

The fact is that the brains of other creatures have remained practically the same while man’s has “evolved” tremendously. By the law of averages, which applies to natural selection as much as to anything else, there should have been at least some species other than man evolving in intelligence at least partway to the human level.

There is none.
So what has taken place?

We are left with the explanation: Deliberate Cause and this implies an Isolate Consciousness working through our physical being (brain/body)

This GodSelf is something tangible, unlike the plethora of mythological deities and the experience of tapping into one's GodSelf can be experienced throughout one's life, repeatedly.
 
Those are a lot of questions that require lengthy answers . . . I'll give you the succinct versions
Thanks for that.

Your considered responses – understandably succinct in the circumstance – gives rise to other inquiries, but rather than try and follow all at once, I'll limit my responses to those that strike me as most relevant to the core discussion? That does not mean I'm ignoring other points you've made, I'm just trying to keep the discussion within a framework ...

The Western LHP is a valid, demonstrable actuality because there is no theistic 'faith' involved
I can see the WLHP as a philosophy – but not as a demonstrable actuality?

The theist must prove there is a divine being in order to be taken seriously, and rationally. I have yet to see any such proof.
By the same token, the WLHP must prove the Higher Self. And I have yet to see such proof.

The notion of the Greater Self is rooted in various spiritual and philosophical traditions. It represents an elevated state of consciousness, beyond our everyday experiences and limited perceptions. The Greater Self is often associated with qualities such as wisdom, inner peace, and interconnectedness. It is seen as a guiding force that can help us understand our purpose and navigate life's complexities.
A RHP practitioner would argue much the same thing.
So would a humanist – wisdom, inner peace, and interconnectedness as all within the range of the mundane self and regard the 'paths' as mere subjective constructs/comforts without any substance or actuality.

Our God is our Greater Self (Higher Self/GodSelf), which is individual to each of us. It may be called the Psyche, the Soul, we refer to it as our Isolate Consciousness. It is our authentic self, our potential being, it is the Platonic First Form of each of us and the perfected You.
But none of that is demonstrable – every term is subject to philosophical inquiry, and none of it can be proved unequivocally.

In that sense the WLHP is no different to a theism.

We are not satisfied that we can be explained or defined merely in terms of electro-chemical equations, even very elaborate ones. There is, we feel, something else within us - something unique to each being and ultimately more essential than our objective, physical substance.
Buddhism regards that as clinging to the illusion of self.

Our Consciousness does not behave as though it were merely a “sum total of the brain's sensory and manipulative capacities, combining and recombining inputted information as though it were an “organic” electronic computer. It has a sense of identity, a sense of uniqueness, a sense of distance and differentiation from everything else that exists.
Some psychoanalysts regard that sense as an unfortunate and illusory by-product of the mind's functioning with regard to defensive mechanisms.

We are left with the explanation: Deliberate Cause and this implies an Isolate Consciousness working through our physical being (brain/body)
This GodSelf is something tangible...
We've come full circle to believing in something that is not provable nor demonstrable; it may well be appealing, but not necessarily compelling. Nor necessarily real or true.

unlike the plethora of mythological deities and the experience of tapping into one's GodSelf can be experienced throughout one's life, repeatedly.
It seems to me that the WLHP is not only closer to those mythologies it refutes, but in so doing inadvertently refutes itself?
 
Thanks for that.

Your considered responses – understandably succinct in the circumstance – gives rise to other inquiries, but rather than try and follow all at once, I'll limit my responses to those that strike me as most relevant to the core discussion? That does not mean I'm ignoring other points you've made, I'm just trying to keep the discussion within a framework ...


I can see the WLHP as a philosophy – but not as a demonstrable actuality?
Have you set yourself on the WLHP? That is the only way to know.
The Western Left Hand Path is an antinomian process of externalizing your True Full Potential Self.
The Arts provide the simplest and most direct way to experience this Self.
The Arts enable us to Create, we experience creation, we become creators if only temporarily.
Creation gives us a glimpse of being More Than Human, we essentially take a peek at our Greater Self.
By the same token, the WLHP must prove the Higher Self. And I have yet to see such proof.
Arts as mentioned previously
The emergence of Homo sapiens through the process of natural selection prompts intriguing questions about the evolution of intelligence. The apparent uniqueness of human intelligence, in contrast to other species whose brains have remained relatively unchanged, leads to the proposition of a deliberate cause behind our intellectual development.

The argument suggests that, statistically, there should have been other species experiencing some degree of intelligence evolution akin to humans. However, the absence of such instances prompts the consideration of a deliberate cause, pointing towards an Isolate Intelligence operating through our physical being—specifically, the brain and body. This Isolate Intelligence is posited as a Soul/Psyche separate from the objective universe and its physical laws, possessing a distinct identity, uniqueness, and a sense of separation from the rest of existence.

There are practices that opens up one's awareness to one's Greater Self.
TAMAL MAQTUE al RA’S (The Headless Meditation) is one such practice for neophytes with amazing results
A RHP practitioner would argue much the same thing.
So would a humanist – wisdom, inner peace, and interconnectedness as all within the range of the mundane self and regard the 'paths' as mere subjective constructs/comforts without any substance or actuality.
As mentioned, the difference is that there is direct proof of a Greater Self where there is zero proof of an external god
But none of that is demonstrable – every term is subject to philosophical inquiry, and none of it can be proved unequivocally.
See my previous replies
In that sense the WLHP is no different to a theism.
In the sense of the straw man argument you just posed?
No, the WLHP is different than theism because we have proof of our Greater Self unlike RHP's that rely on an unknown deity (Belief/Faith)

Theism is a deception of consciousness into believing that one has been accepted into the objective universe through some form of Deity. This type of perennial faith is embraced not only by all conventional religions but all pagan or nature-worship ideologies as well.

Buddhism regards that as clinging to the illusion of self.
Who cares about Buddhism? Annihilation of self is the wrong step on the WLHP
Some psychoanalysts regard that sense as an unfortunate and illusory by-product of the mind's functioning with regard to defensive mechanisms.
I have a BSc in Neurotheology, psychoanalysts are not equipped to comment on the mind and its function
We've come full circle to believing in something that is not provable nor demonstrable; it may well be appealing, but not necessarily compelling. Nor necessarily real or true.


It seems to me that the WLHP is not only closer to those mythologies it refutes, but in so doing inadvertently refutes itself?
This is only your irrational and illogical conclusion based on what you 'want' the outcome to be, there is no truth in your statement as I have demonstrated throughout this diatribe.
 
I have a BSc in Neurotheology, psychoanalysts are not equipped to comment on the mind and its function..rms of the physical
That is only your belief..
You want to see everything in terms of the physical .. in terms of physical evolution of the brain.
..but you "throw out" the concept of the mind, and consider what we think and experience not
being more than electrical currents flowing in the brain etc.

You have your belief .. other people have theirs .. your belief is no more "right" than others,
from the point of view of being "fact".
Neurotheology does not deal with "fact" per se .. it is a materialist view of the universe.
 
That is only your belief..
You want to see everything in terms of the physical .. in terms of physical evolution of the brain.
..but you "throw out" the concept of the mind, and consider what we think and experience not
being more than electrical currents flowing in the brain etc.

You have your belief .. other people have theirs .. your belief is no more "right" than others,
from the point of view of being "fact".
Neurotheology does not deal with "fact" per se .. it is a materialist view of the universe.
I'm pretty sure you don't know what a Neurotheologist is.
 
Have you set yourself on the WLHP? That is the only way to know.
I have some practical and experiential knowledge via a decade in the WRHP ('Fourth Way' – G. I. Gurdjieff, P. D. Ouspensky)

But the point is – the WLHP is not actually demonstrable, is it?
(But I have observed effects which defy logical explanation.)

You claim a validity of the WLHP because there is no 'theism', but the WLHP internalises theism, replaces God with the Godself – and this is no more accessible to observable determination than an external theism?

The Western Left Hand Path is an antinomian process of externalizing your True Full Potential Self.
OK, and the WRHP – and on a broader level the spiritual practices of the traditional religions – is a process of just that without having to engage in antinomian practices.

Hinduism and Buddhism regard antinomian practice as part of their spiritual practice, rather than 'other-than'.

Creation gives us a glimpse of being More Than Human, we essentially take a peek at our Greater Self.
Again, this 'More Than Human' is an Article of Faith, not an objective fact – could one not call it, for the want of a better term, 'God'?

... leads to the proposition of a deliberate cause behind our intellectual development.
... which surely leads to the proposition that such a cause must be greater in itself that what it causes, that is greater than the fully developed individual, personal intellect, and that such a cause could be termed 'God'?

This Isolate Intelligence is posited as a Soul/Psyche separate from the objective universe and its physical laws, possessing a distinct identity, uniqueness, and a sense of separation from the rest of existence.
Again, this 'isolate intellect' is what the Traditionalists call the Transcendent or Pure Intellect – the Uncreated Intellect, which is synonymous with the Logos of God (in both general and specifically Christian terms)

TAMAL MAQTUE al RA’S (The Headless Meditation) is one such practice for neophytes with amazing results
Is this the way that can trace back to Ken Harding and via him to Zen?

In my RHP days, I have had absolutely phenomenal results, both in myself, and caused in others, but again, that's subjective experience and ergo not a substantial proof – although it suffices for me.

Furthermore, I have had an order of a definite and theistic – mystical – experience, which transcends all that went before.

As mentioned, the difference is that there is direct proof of a Greater Self where there is zero proof of an external god
Actually, there is no proof here either, that is quantifiably different than a subjective experience of the Divine.

In the sense of the straw man argument you just posed?
In the sense that I see a correlation between the Divine Intellect and your More-Than-Human intelligence? Not a straw man.

No, the WLHP is different than theism because we have proof of our Greater Self unlike RHP's that rely on an unknown deity (Belief/Faith)
You proof is subjective, ergo ...

Theism is a deception of consciousness into believing that one has been accepted into the objective universe through some form of Deity. This type of perennial faith is embraced not only by all conventional religions but all pagan or nature-worship ideologies as well.
Then I would counter that your WLHP reaches an 'event horizon' – the sense of a greater self – and recoils from stepping further into the "Dazzling Darkness', but recoils and declares it a deception, whereas it is the ultimate reality of Self ... and there is a long history of this in every spiritual tradition – the Kaballah, apophatic Christianity, the Sufi Orders, Hermeticism – the weight of experience cannot simpk,y be written off as 'deception' without counting the WLHP within that umbrella ... as indeed various LHP sources seem strongle dependent on antinomian precedence in the RHP, without which they are ?

Who cares about Buddhism? Annihilation of self is the wrong step on the WLHP
That's an unfortunate comment ...

I have a BSc in Neurotheology ...
Then you should demonstrate a greater regard for the various types of religious experience other than your own.

This is only your irrational and illogical conclusion based on what you 'want' the outcome to be, there is no truth in your statement as I have demonstrated throughout this diatribe.
Argumentum ad hominem.
 
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Let me be clear –

I am not rejecting the WLHP, rather I am simply arguing that your critique of theism – and that is a broad church – is ill-founded.

At the end of the day a skeptic could turn those same arguments on yourself and your chosen path, and you would be no better able to 'prove' them than I can a traditional theism.

All I am asking is a little honesty.
 
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I have some practical and experiential knowledge via a decade in the WRHP ('Fourth Way' – G. I. Gurdjieff, P. D. Ouspensky)
Gurdjieff is not WLHP, esoteric, but not WLHP
But the point is – the WLHP is not actually demonstrable, is it?
(But I have observed effects which defy logical explanation.)
Try the meditation I gave you for a couple of months, you'll see
You claim a validity of the WLHP because there is no 'theism', but the WLHP internalises theism, replaces God with the Godself – and this is no more accessible to observable determination than an external theism?
Non-Theism does not validate the WLHP the Path Work validates it, we are not replacing God with Self
The term GodSelf is misleading, there is no external god, there is no dogma attached to the Greater Self (GS). The GS is experienced through conscious awareness of It. It is You, except the Greatest You, not an external deity separate from you.
OK, and the WRHP – and on a broader level the spiritual practices of the traditional religions – is a process of just that without having to engage in antinomian practices.
Right Hand Path religions share a single, universal perennial doctrine. This doctrine posits that the highest good that human life can achieve is through the union with a Supreme Being / Energy/All of the Universe. However, the way in which this is achieved is through the deception of one's conscious awareness into believing that one has been accepted by this Supreme Being/Energy/All otherwise known as the objective universe, which can be understood as it plainly is, a non-conscious, unaware, unintelligent, mechanism of Negentropy and Entropy, composed of Time, Space & Matter.

To absolve one's self into this is antithetic to the Western LHP goals of individuation, apotheosis, and autotheism.

Hinduism and Buddhism regard antinomian practice as part of their spiritual practice, rather than 'other-than'.
Well Hinduism does, but the end goal is the same as their orthodox practice, which is to Absolve the Self with a Supreme Being
Again, this 'More Than Human' is an Article of Faith, not an objective fact – could one not call it, for the want of a better term, 'God'?
Have you never experienced yourself doing something that is more-than-human? Do you not have a hobby, an Artform? Have you never done something where you sit back and say; "where did I come up with this, or How did I do that?" You've never amazed yourself? Never stepped out of your mundane shell of a human, your 'self'?
... which surely leads to the proposition that such a cause must be greater in itself that what it causes, that is greater than the fully developed individual, personal intellect, and that such a cause could be termed 'God'?


Again, this 'isolate intellect' is what the Traditionalists call the Transcendent or Pure Intellect – the Uncreated Intellect, which is synonymous with the Logos of God (in both general and specifically Christian terms)
The WLHP sees our Daimon as the LOGOS between self & SELF, so did the Greeks.
Is this the way that can trace back to Ken Harding and via him to Zen?
?
In my RHP days, I have had absolutely phenomenal results, both in myself, and caused in others, but again, that's subjective experience and ergo not a substantial proof – although it suffices for me.

Furthermore, I have had an order of a definite and theistic – mystical – experience, which transcends all that went before.


Actually, there is no proof here either, that is quantifiably different than a subjective experience of the Divine.


In the sense that I see a correlation between the Divine Intellect and your More-Than-Human intelligence? Not a straw man.


You proof is subjective, ergo ...
I agree with you for the most part. Everything is Subjective, we assign meaning to Objective Reality through our individual Subjective Realities.
Then I would counter that your WLHP reaches an 'event horizon' – the sense of a greater self – and recoils from stepping further into the "Dazzling Darkness', but recoils and declares it a deception, whereas it is the ultimate reality of Self ... and there is a long history of this in every spiritual tradition – the Kaballah, apophatic Christianity, the Sufi Orders, Hermeticism – the weight of experience cannot simpk,y be written off as 'deception' without counting the WLHP within that umbrella ... as indeed various LHP sources seem strongle dependent on antinomian precedence in the RHP, without which they are ?
Ah, but that is where advanced techniques, operations and philosophy come into play. Are you aware of Crowley's 'Black Brother'?
That's an unfortunate comment ...


Then you should demonstrate a greater regard for the various types of religious experience other than your own.


Argumentum ad hominem.
?
The central question now becomes what is the way in which this conscious, free soul is going to relate to, or seek to interact with, the objective universe or the universe as a whole. The Right-Hand Path answers this question simply by saying that the subjective universe must harmonize itself with the laws of the objective universe — be that envisioned as God or nature. Humanity is to seek knowledge of the law, and then apply itself to submitting to that law in order to gain ultimate union with the objective universe, with God, or nature. The Right-Hand Path is the path of union with universal reality (God or Nature). When this union is completed the individual self will be annihilated, and the individual will become one with the divine or natural cosmic order. In this state, the ego is destroyed as "heaven" is entered or a nirvanic existence/non-existence is "attained." This is clearly the goal of all orthodox Judaic/Christian/Islamic or Buddhistic sects.

The Left-Hand Path considers the position of humanity as it is; it takes into account the manifest and deep-seated desire of each human being to be a free, empowered, independent actor within his or her world. The pleasure and pain made possible by independent existence are seen as something to be embraced and as the most reasonable signs of the highest, most noble destiny possible for humans to attain — a kind of independent existence on a level usually thought of as divine.


Essentially, the Left-Hand Path is then the path of non-union with the objective universe. It is the way of isolating consciousness within the subjective universe and, in a state of self-imposed psychic solitude, refining the soul or psyche to ever more perfect levels. The objective universe is then made to harmonize itself with the will of the individual psyche instead of the other way around. Where the Right Hand Path is theocentric (or certainly allocentric - "other-centered", the Left Hand Path is psyche-centric, or soul/self-centered. Those within the Left-Hand Path may argue over the nature of this self/ego/soul, but that the individual is the epicenter of the path itself seems undisputed. An eternal separation of the individual intelligence from the objective universe is sought in the Left-Hand Path. This amounts to an immortality of the independent self-consciousness moving within the objective universe and interacting with it at will. [….]

-Stephen E. Flowers, Dark Rûna, pp. 5-6.
 
Hi 'Amir Alzzalam –

Just to restate, and perhaps clarify this thread, I take issue with two of your fundamental assertions.
1: That a theism is a 'deception of consciousness';
2: That the WLHP is self evidently and demonstrably not.

My aim is to demonstrate that your reasoning for making the claim of 'deception of consciousness' (DoC) is invalid, and that in light of such you respond to others in a less dismissive and disrespectful manner.

(That's not to say DoC is not the case, just that your argument is insufficient. Nor have you offered sufficient rteason to suppose the WLHP cannot be called a DoC.)

So in responding, I'll address those two issues only.

This got longer than I intended – I've posted a second, shortened and more abrupt version, below

+++

Try the meditation I gave you for a couple of months, you'll see
Aside – On one occasion, in meditation, I was distinctly aware of 'someone' standing behind me. The experience was profound and unique. I talked to others about it, and they offered that it might be: my astral, mental, emotional or other body, my higher self, my guardian angel, my spirit guide, and so on ... it depends on viewpoint as to how we interpret data.

(The Buddhists tell me it's a transient phenomena along the way, not uncommon, that it's a distraction and should be ignored.)

the Path Work validates it (the WLHP) ...
The Path Work might well be a DoC. One could argue that the a priori assumptions in doing the Work determine a posteriori results.

Aside – The LHP in both Hindu and Buddhist practice, with all its antinomian elements, is a companion to the RHP, not a rebuttal of it.

The term GodSelf is misleading ...
OK. You've mention 'More Than Human' – how can a thing be more than it is? And 'isolate consciousness', but I'm not sure what you mean, but both suggest other entities and hierarchy?

... there is no dogma ...
Oh, but there clearly is. Your statements about the validity of the WLHP and the invalidity of others are unreservedly dogmatic.

Definition of dogma: 'a settled opinion, a principle held as being firmly established.' From the Greek dogma 'opinion, tenet,' literally 'that which one thinks is true,' from dokein 'to seem good, think".

The GS is experienced through conscious awareness of It. It is You, except the Greatest You, not an external deity separate from you.
Still potentially a DoC.
St Augustine said: the Lord is "higher than my highest and more inward than my innermost self” (Confessions III, 6, 11).
It may well be that the object of the WLHP stops at the self and fails to see beyond itself.

The consciousness can be deceived, and we are expert at deceiving ourselves.

Right Hand Path religions share a single, universal perennial doctrine.
OK.

This doctrine posits that the highest good that human life can achieve is through the union with a Supreme Being / Energy / All of the Universe.
OK.

However, the way in which this is achieved is through the deception of one's conscious ...
I disagree.

this Supreme Being / Energy / All otherwise known as the objective universe, which can be understood as it plainly is, a non-conscious, unaware, unintelligent, mechanism of Negentropy and Entropy, composed of Time, Space & Matter.
Here you're clearly, factually wrong about the Religio Perennis.

It is fundamental to the Revealed Religions and the Metaphysical Traditions that the One of which they speak utterly transcends the objective (material) universe. Your argument rests on a Straw Man.

To absolve one's self into this is antithetic to the Western LHP goals of individuation, apotheosis, and autotheism.
? I don't think absolve is the word you're looking for?

Have you never experienced yourself doing something that is more-than-human? Do you not have a hobby, an Artform? Have you never done something where you sit back and say; "where did I come up with this, or How did I do that?" You've never amazed yourself? Never stepped out of your mundane shell of a human, your 'self'?
Yes ... often ... but that is evidence of my self, that's all. Of human creative process. No need nor evidence of anything at play beyond that.

The WLHP sees our Daimon as the LOGOS between self & SELF, so did the Greeks.
OK, that's a WLHP interpretation.

The Greeks did see them differently, though:
"The daimonic … interprets and carries over to the gods things from men, and to men things from the gods, from the one prayers and sacrifices, and from the other orders and rewards for sacrifice. It fills the space between both and thus binds the all to itself."
(Plato, Symposium, 202e)

There are various interpretations, from aspects of human nature, as messengers of the gods, as offspring of gods and humanity, or gods in their own right. Socrates via Plato saw the Daimon as an intermediary, akin to an angel as commonly understood.

I agree with you for the most part. Everything is Subjective, we assign meaning to Objective Reality through our individual Subjective Realities.
Agreed.

The Peripatetic axiom is: "Nothing is in the intellect that was not first in the senses". St Thomas Aquinas's De veritate (q2 a3 arg19) utilises it to argue the existence of God could be proved by reasoning from sense data.

Ah, but that is where advanced techniques, operations and philosophy come into play.
In the absence of data what can I say? Other than point out the human capacity for self-deception.

Are you aware of Crowley's 'Black Brother'?
LOL, that I would have thought is a two-edged sword ... my awareness is only in passing, mind you.

The central question now becomes what is the way in which this conscious, free soul is going to relate to, or seek to interact with, the objective universe or the universe as a whole. The Right-Hand Path answers this question simply by saying that the subjective universe must harmonize itself with the laws of the objective universe — be that envisioned as God or nature. Humanity is to seek knowledge of the law, and then apply itself to submitting to that law in order to gain ultimate union with the objective universe, with God, or nature. The Right-Hand Path is the path of union with universal reality (God or Nature).
OK so far.

When this union is completed the individual self will be annihilated, and the individual will become one with the divine or natural cosmic order.
Well I'd dispute the word annihilation – in the Christian Tradition, for one, that's not what theosis is. Nor do I see the theistic traditions as nihilistic as you read them to be.

I could argue that the 'individual self' is an illusion from the beginning.

In this state, the ego is destroyed as "heaven" is entered or a nirvanic existence/non-existence is "attained." This is clearly the goal of all orthodox Judaic/Christian/Islamic or Buddhistic sects.
I would suggest then that your 'clarity' strikes me as somewhat myopic.

The Left-Hand Path considers the position of humanity as it is; it takes into account the manifest and deep-seated desire of each human being to be a free, empowered, independent actor within his or her world. The pleasure and pain made possible by independent existence are seen as something to be embraced and as the most reasonable signs of the highest, most noble destiny possible for humans to attain — a kind of independent existence on a level usually thought of as divine.
Based on this, one could argue that such a LHP is basically an existential philosophy that preserves itself from nihilism by a DoC, projected notions of a GodSelf (or what-have-you) and an elaborate idolatrous mythology to support it.

[IEssentially, the Left-Hand Path is then the path of non-union with the objective universe.[/i]
How does one preserve against self-deception?
(I'm no psychologist, but I'd hazard a guess that one would consider this like playing Russian Roulette with an automatic pistol.)

It is the way of isolating consciousness within the subjective universe and, in a state of self-imposed psychic solitude, refining the soul or psyche to ever more perfect levels.
Isolation of consciousness in this context assumes an a priori self as the 'authority' over the process.

How can you isolate your own consciousness without an external consciousness to observe the proceedings?

An eternal separation of the individual intelligence from the objective universe is sought in the Left-Hand Path. This amounts to an immortality of the independent self-consciousness moving within the objective universe and interacting with it at will. [….]
This seems the definition of living in a fantasy of one's own imagination?
 
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Shortcut and more abrupt than the above:

Just to restate, and perhaps clarify this thread, I take issue with two of your fundamental assertions.
1: That a theism is a 'deception of consciousness';
2: That the WLHP is self evidently and demonstrably not.

+++

Try the meditation I gave you for a couple of months, you'll see
The consciousness can be deceived, and we are expert at deceiving ourselves.

the Path Work validates it (the WLHP) ...
A priori assumptions determine a posteriori results.

The GS is experienced through conscious awareness of It. It is You, except the Greatest You, not an external deity separate from you.
Could be:
1: a DoC.
2: a result that falls short of full realisation; the experience shuts off further progress.

However, the way in which this is achieved is through the deception of one's conscious ...
Assumed, not proven, therefore invalid.

this Supreme Being / Energy / All otherwise known as the objective universe.
Straw Man – argument fails.

Have you never experienced yourself doing something that is more-than-human? Do you not have a hobby, an Artform? Have you never done something where you sit back and say; "where did I come up with this, or How did I do that?" You've never amazed yourself? Never stepped out of your mundane shell of a human, your 'self'?
Could be an argument for divine inspiration.

The WLHP sees our Daimon as the LOGOS between self & SELF, so did the Greeks.
Not quite, the Greeks see them as intermediary between human and divine.

When this union is completed the individual self will be annihilated, and the individual will become one with the divine or natural cosmic order.
Dispute 'annihilation' – in the Christian Tradition, for one, that's not what theosis is. Nor do I see the theistic traditions as nihilistic as you read them to be – again, contextually, one can argue that the 'individual self' is an illusion from the beginning.

In this state, the ego is destroyed as "heaven" is entered or a nirvanic existence/non-existence is "attained." This is clearly the goal of all orthodox Judaic/Christian/Islamic or Buddhistic sects.
A 'clarity' of a near horizon Lack of depth vision.

The Left-Hand Path considers the position of humanity as it is ...
An existentialism with a DoC to protect against nihilism.

[IEssentially, the Left-Hand Path is then the path of non-union with the objective universe.[/i]
How does one preserve against increasing self-deception?

It is the way of isolating consciousness within the subjective universe and, in a state of self-imposed psychic solitude, refining the soul or psyche to ever more perfect levels.
Living within a fantasy?

An eternal separation of the individual intelligence from the objective universe is sought in the Left-Hand Path. This amounts to an immortality of the independent self-consciousness moving within the objective universe and interacting with it at will. [….]
Ditto?
 
Hi 'Amir Alzzalam –

Just to restate, and perhaps clarify this thread, I take issue with two of your fundamental assertions.
1: That a theism is a 'deception of consciousness';
2: That the WLHP is self evidently and demonstrably not.

My aim is to demonstrate that your reasoning for making the claim of 'deception of consciousness' (DoC) is invalid, and that in light of such you respond to others in a less dismissive and disrespectful manner.
Shall we just cut to the chase? Are you asking me to be less dismissive and disrespectful in my comments
(That's not to say DoC is not the case, just that your argument is insufficient. Nor have you offered sufficient rteason to suppose the WLHP cannot be called a DoC.)

So in responding, I'll address those two issues only.

This got longer than I intended – I've posted a second, shortened and more abrupt version, below

+++


Aside – On one occasion, in meditation, I was distinctly aware of 'someone' standing behind me. The experience was profound and unique. I talked to others about it, and they offered that it might be: my astral, mental, emotional or other body, my higher self, my guardian angel, my spirit guide, and so on ... it depends on viewpoint as to how we interpret data.

(The Buddhists tell me it's a transient phenomena along the way, not uncommon, that it's a distraction and should be
Keep in mind that I have a puny BSc in Neurotheology because at one time not too long ago I decided I needed to understand better the workings of the brain vs the mind. This was mostly for me to evolve a better understanding of summoning spiritual creatures because, after 30 years of practicing Solomonic Magic, I summoned squat more or less.
I did achieve the desired result and a lot more.
I also completed the Abramelin Operation (18 months) and this too made me realize what was going on and not going on.
I wrote a huge book that includes much of my studies regarding spiritual agency, the mind, and the brain function.
The Headless Meditation I keep referring to is only the tip of the iceberg but nonetheless is a spectacular epiphany when completed.

ignored.)


The Path Work might well be a DoC. One could argue that the a priori assumptions in doing the Work determine a posteriori results.

Aside – The LHP in both Hindu and Buddhist practice, with all its antinomian elements, is a companion to the RHP, not a rebuttal of it.


OK. You've mention 'More Than Human' – how can a thing be more than it is? And 'isolate consciousness', but I'm not sure what you mean, but both suggest other entities and hierarchy?


Oh, but there clearly is. Your statements about the validity of the WLHP and the invalidity of others are unreservedly dogmatic.

Definition of dogma: 'a settled opinion, a principle held as being firmly established.' From the Greek dogma 'opinion, tenet,' literally 'that which one thinks is true,' from dokein 'to seem good, think".


Still potentially a DoC.
St Augustine said: the Lord is "higher than my highest and more inward than my innermost self” (Confessions III, 6, 11).
It may well be that the object of the WLHP stops at the self and fails to see beyond itself.

The consciousness can be deceived, and we are expert at deceiving ourselves.
I'm certain you don't understand most of what I am talking about, just from your questioning after I have explained most things.
Maybe we'll make a breakthrough one day!
OK.


OK.


I disagree.


Here you're clearly, factually wrong about the Religio Perennis.

It is fundamental to the Revealed Religions and the Metaphysical Traditions that the One of which they speak utterly transcends the objective (material) universe. Your argument rests on a Straw Man.


? I don't think absolve is the word you're looking for?


Yes ... often ... but that is evidence of my self, that's all. Of human creative process. No need nor evidence of anything at play beyond that.


OK, that's a WLHP interpretation.

The Greeks did see them differently, though:
"The daimonic … interprets and carries over to the gods things from men, and to men things from the gods, from the one prayers and sacrifices, and from the other orders and rewards for sacrifice. It fills the space between both and thus binds the all to itself."
(Plato, Symposium, 202e)

There are various interpretations, from aspects of human nature, as messengers of the gods, as offspring of gods and humanity, or gods in their own right. Socrates via Plato saw the Daimon as an intermediary, akin to an angel as commonly understood.


Agreed.

The Peripatetic axiom is: "Nothing is in the intellect that was not first in the senses". St Thomas Aquinas's De veritate (q2 a3 arg19) utilises it to argue the existence of God could be proved by reasoning from sense data.


In the absence of data what can I say? Other than point out the human capacity for self-deception.


LOL, that I would have thought is a two-edged sword ... my awareness is only in passing, mind you.


OK so far.


Well I'd dispute the word annihilation – in the Christian Tradition, for one, that's not what theosis is. Nor do I see the theistic traditions as nihilistic as you read them to be.

I could argue that the 'individual self' is an illusion from the beginning.


I would suggest then that your 'clarity' strikes me as somewhat myopic.


Based on this, one could argue that such a LHP is basically an existential philosophy that preserves itself from nihilism by a DoC, projected notions of a GodSelf (or what-have-you) and an elaborate idolatrous mythology to support it.


How does one preserve against self-deception?
(I'm no psychologist, but I'd hazard a guess that one would consider this like playing Russian Roulette with an automatic pistol.)


Isolation of consciousness in this context assumes an a priori self as the 'authority' over the process.

How can you isolate your own consciousness without an external consciousness to observe the proceedings?


This seems the definition of living in a fantasy of one's own imagination?
Not sure what to say about all of this . . .
 
Shortcut and more abrupt than the above:

Just to restate, and perhaps clarify this thread, I take issue with two of your fundamental assertions.
1: That a theism is a 'deception of consciousness';
2: That the WLHP is self evidently and demonstrably not.

+++


The consciousness can be deceived, and we are expert at deceiving ourselves.


A priori assumptions determine a posteriori results.


Could be:
1: a DoC.
2: a result that falls short of full realisation; the experience shuts off further progress.


Assumed, not proven, therefore invalid.


Straw Man – argument fails.


Could be an argument for divine inspiration.


Not quite, the Greeks see them as intermediary between human and divine.


Dispute 'annihilation' – in the Christian Tradition, for one, that's not what theosis is. Nor do I see the theistic traditions as nihilistic as you read them to be – again, contextually, one can argue that the 'individual self' is an illusion from the beginning.


A 'clarity' of a near horizon Lack of depth vision.


An existentialism with a DoC to protect against nihilism.


How does one preserve against increasing self-deception?


Living within a fantasy?


Ditto?
I need to step all of this back a bit, can we create more concise discussions? I don't have all this time to write an intelligent reply for everything . . . very busy Sorcerer here! :p
 
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Shall we just cut to the chase? Are you asking me to be less dismissive and disrespectful in my comments
Yes please ... on grounds that I've reasoned above.

I'm certain you don't understand most of what I am talking about, just from your questioning after I have explained most things.
Perhaps not all, but it seems to me you've failed to address the core issue.

Keep in mind that I have a puny BSc in Neurotheology ...
OK, I will. But that is not a license to be rude, disrespectful. I, too, have a degree.

For my part, the only insight I have into that field is the work of Iain McGilchrist, The Master and his Emissary, which touches on the brain, the mind, and religious experience.

I think McGilchrist is most conversant with Christian theology, but he has no religious affiliation. He believes God as both immanent and transcendent (as do I), and is an outspoken critic of religious exclusivism (as am I), he regards the spiritual quest as precious and critically important.

His theology is essentially apophatic – like another influence on me, the theologian Denys Turner, he begins with what God is not. Such a God, the God of the Abrahamic Traditions, is both undeniable and inscrutable.
 
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I need to step all of this back a bit, can we create more concise discussions? I don't have all this time to write an intelligent reply for everything . . . very busy Sorcerer here! :p
Well we're both busy, which is another reason for civil accord – I'm under no more obligation to explain myself than you are.

I am open to a more concise discussion ...
 
<...>


Our God is our Greater Self (Higher Self/GodSelf), which is individual to each of us. It may be called the Psyche, the Soul, we refer to it as our Isolate Consciousness. It is our authentic self, our potential being, it is the Platonic First Form of each of us and the perfected You.

<...>
If you identify Self with nama-rupa/Platonic First Form, you just might get stuck here in that thicket. ;)
 
Does not allow for evolution of Self--you are stuck with the form/mould you identify with. If Self can't evolve, then you are stuck.
I find that idea to be incorrect. The (Greater) Self experiences Itself Through Your Experiences and thus is evolving or devolving all the time.
 
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