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Evaluating Necronomicons

To: alt.magick.goetia,alt.magick.tyagi,alt.necronomicon,alt.magick
From: (ny'rl'thot'p)
Subject: Evaluating Necronomicons (was The Necronomicon)
Date: Sun, 20 Feb 2000 17:03:52 GMT

>> >Yes, please give up your useless search for the great
>> >"necronomicon"  the book only exists in LoveCrafts world
>> >and "Army of Darkness".  All these other books called
>> >"necronomicon" that you can get at Barnes an nobles and
>> >the like are just a lot of Balarky marketed directly
>> >towards wannabe satanists.

>> that's what they all say.

>At some point, I should really write a rebuttal to this.  After
>all, I did read _Hidden Teachings of Tibet:  An Explanation of
>the Terma Tradition of Tibetan Buddhism_ by Tulku Thondup
>Rinpoche, as a result of Tyagi's essay.

pertinent quotes?

>A while back, I had asked about the doctrine of the false termas,
>which I had heard of vaguely but could find little material.
>This book was of great help, detailing the tradition and giving
>a number of ways to distinguish a true terma from a false one.

I'll look into this more closely also based on your findings.

>Based on this book, plus what people have told me about
>bad experiences with the different versions (and leaving
>aside the sensationalistic cases, there are still some there),
>there may be some problems with the Necronomicon as a terma.
>According to tradition, a true terma, transmitted properly,
>should not have doctrines that cause any sort of harm.  

that fits with Buddhist tradition as it integrates ahimsa,
but as a transmitted consciousness it wouldn't have to BE
Buddhist except to qualify as a terma within Buddhist
tradition. harm is not a relevant qualifier.

>If they do, it seems that there are two possibilities:
>1)  The books are false termas, put here by evil spirits, or
>2)  The books are true termas which were not uncovered in the
>proper manner (the discoverer had not met his spiritual
>partner yet, or did not make the proper offerings).

in this case I would suggest that a Lovecraftian terma 
could be rendered into three categories:

	1) The book is false, put there by charlatans trying
	   to make a buck off of Lovecraft's name only and
	   not even close to a reliable attempt to reproduce
	   the magical book so described by its title, or

	2) The book is partially true, in which case it has
	   distinct evidence of being based firmly on the
	   HPL corpus but varies significantly from it and
	   therefore cannot be regarded as a grimoire that
	   conforms to the standards of Lovecraft's vision.

	3) The book is completely true, indicating that it 
	   is completely resembling all consistent data that
	   is described within Lovecraft's texts. 

>Of course, each Necronomicon should be evaluated in terms of

there are several ways that a Necronomicon (or any grimoire,
if we wish to generalize beyond Lovecraft) can be evaluated:

	a) with respect to the description by Lovecraft --
	  this method honours the originator of the idea
	  of the grimoir and relegates all variation to
	  charlatanry or difference of category.

	b) with respect to any particular relio-magical
	  system or culture -- this method places the
	  the framework (e.g. Buddhist) as central to
	  the evaluator's motives and identifies all
	  variation from dogma 'inexact' or 'immoral'.

	c) with respect to itself -- whether the text is
	  of value as regards its particular content,
	  whether it is self-consistent, believable,
	  and puts forward a convincing premise. this
	  is more of a literary critique.

	d) with respect to the reader -- whether the
	  person who may be doing the rituals contained
	  within the text considers it to be of any
	  value; subjective en toto.

>and the exact definition of "harm" may be up for debate.  

very true, harm within whose ethical system? ought that of
the Necronomicon be the system of the Old Ones or other
entities described within HPL's fiction? if so, what would
'harm' mean?

>The book gave some other grounds for determining
>authenticity (such as comparison with other termas, and
>confirming with a reincarnated holy man), but this was
>probably the most accessible for outsiders.

there we go, a couple more methods:

	e) with respect to other books of its class --
	  I'm not sure how many other texts there are
	  of this style, since it is quite peculiar.

	f) with respect to the author's social group --
	  that is, whether it is of value given the
	  author's age, background, ignorance,
	  acumen, etc.

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