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Various: Evidence for Noncorporeal Entities

To: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.skeptic,alt.paranormal,talk.religion.misc,talk.religion.newage,alt.pagan
From: (nigris (333))
Subject: Various: Evidence for Noncorporeal Entities
Date: 30 Jun 1997 20:12:39 -0700

~From: (John Everall)

>I am amazed (and rather disappointed) at the number of folks in this and
>other threads who are determined to reduce Liber AL (and magick in general)
>into something comprehensible to them within the limits of conventional
>thought -- e.g. "repressed parts of his mind", "multiple personalities",
>etc. By the gods, I do believe that Thelemites are getting _conservative_
>-- and disgustingly pedantic. Bleaugh.

Research into 'abnormal' mental states and the correlational practices of
certain artists, schizophrenic patients, etc does not seem to me to be an
exercise in reductionism or indicative of a conservative mind-set. In fact,
quite the opposite. Rimbaud's programme for poetry(making oneself a seer
via a systematic derangement of the senses), Baudelaire's theory of
correspondences, the Surrealists adoption of "pure psychic automatism" are
conceivably valid areas of study for the magically inclined. Also the
writings/artwork of schizophrenic patients, many of which are
quasi-qabalistic in nature: Adolf Wolfli's drawings and numerologically
determined musical compositions can be studied in John Maizels book "Raw
Creation" (Phaidon books) - Wolfli was a completely uneducated peasant
incarcerated in a hospital for the criminally insane, but possessed of a
genius that flowered as his descent into incurable schizophrenia deepened.
I think it absurd to place Magick in a hermetically sealed vessel(no pun
intended) and view it as completely separate to other areas of human
Personally I can't see how the value of AL is reduced by speculating that
Crowley tapped into a deeper level of his own psyche in order to pen the
Didn't Jung do something similar with the "Septum Sermones"?

>In all this argument over stylistic similarities and A.C.'s political
>awareness, no one has spoken to the side of Liber AL which A.C. thought was
>the best evidence for an origin in a mind other than his own. That is, the
>fact that many of the openly-stated principles of the book are confirmed by
>encoded numerical symbolism, based on information unknown to A.C. at the
>time the book was delivered. One of the most important of these -- the
>hidden coding based on the number 31 -- was never discovered by A.C., but
>had to wait 14 years for Frater Achad.
>I'd like to hear how this side of A.C.'s "proof" fits into y'alls

The Surrealist painter Victor Brauner(this is not anecdotal and is easily
confirmed by looking at the history of SurrealisM) obsessively painted
self-portraits with only one eye, and in one of these a knife was inserted
into the empty socket with the letter 'D' on the handle. Years later at a
party, a somehat inebriated Oscar Dominguez threw a bottle which smashed
and put out one of Brauner's eyes. Brauner accepted that his own
subconscious was somehow aware that this future event was going to occur.
Granted, it is a strange story, but perhaps demonstrates the knowledge
contained within the hiiden areas of one's own psyche. Crowley's
numerological keys don't seem particularly dramatic when examined in this
context, especially as he was a student of gematria.
Best wishes, John Everall.

~From: Tim Maroney 

>Why should a superhuman entity bother to
>answer your invocations, if you are not willing to entertain the
>possibility of its existence?

I wouldn't know -- I've never had much problem getting an answer from my 
ceremonial affirmations of their reality, despite my disbelief on a more 
literal level of engagement.

>You personally accept the existence of other people every day, on
>the basis of little better evidence. Every time you answer a message on
>this list, you accept the existence of a being who wrote it. (If not, why
>are you bothering to write here at all?)

Actually I write pretty much to please myself. Other people's messages 
are a convenient springboard, but if they're just fabrications of my own 
mind, that makes them no more or less useful. But this is a side issue.

>Every time you open a textbook or
>manual to learn something new, you are accepting the assumption that some
>sapient being somewhere possessed that knowledge before you understood it,
>and that the information conveyed is meaningful. Why are you so determined
>that this one form of communication cannot be evidence of the existence of
>an independent, intelligent being?

I have a lot more evidence of the independent existence of other people 
than I do of independent spiritual beings. People register on every sense 
and many of these impressions can be captured and reproduced by 
technological equipment. The impressions are highly reproducible and do 
not vary greatly depending on my own mental state. People can be explored 
in detail and there is a large, reproducible body of knowledge resulting 
from detailed dissections and investigations down to the molecular level. 
I already have first-hand experience of the existence of one member of 
the class, myself, which is more than I can say for ethereal bodiless 
beings; and my sense impressions of other embodied humans are quite 
similar to my sense impressions of myself.

In contrast, spiritual beings are completely non-reproducible. They do 
not register on any sense, except for internal senses which are known to 
produce such unreal (but interesting) phenomena as dreams and 
hallucinations. There is no technology that can capture impressions of 
them and they cannot be dissected. I do not know of such a being 
first-hand, as I myself have a body.

The internal impressions made on me by spiritual beings are highly 
dependent on my own mental state, and those practitioners who have 
cross-checked observations of different people trying to observe the 
"same" entity have noted that the entity changes for each person who 
observes it. This "personalization" effect has been noted even by 
believers (including you, Ben, if I recall correctly) so it can't be 
discounted as a sheep/goat effect, but believers have no explanation for 
it. There is no such personalization problem for other people; while 
subjective attributes such as attractiveness and personality do vary from 
observer to observer, and even for the same observer in different mental 
states, non-subjective attributes such as hair color and height are 
highly reproducible. It would appear that "spiritual beings" have _only_ 
subjective attributes. This seems easiest to explain if the perception of 
the entity is a creation of the perceiver's nervous system.

>Let me ask you something: What sort of evidence could a non-physical entity
>-- one which is knowable to you only through information it conveys -- give
>for its existence that _would_ convince you of its independent existence?

Short answer: Reproducibility to something approaching the same extent as 
that of embodied entities. I'd like some way of measuring these beings 
technologically and recording the impressions for later playback. If the 
technology involves performing rituals to consecrate talismans or 
whatever, that's fine as long as the results are reproducible for a broad 
class of observers using the same equipment.

Barring that, I would need some way of reproducing reports about the 
being across a broad class of observers and showing that certain 
attributes of the being are immutable in the absence of suggestions about 
what those attributes might be. This could be arranged in a double-blind 
setting by invoking or evoking the being, establishing some nexus of 
contact (again, perhaps a talisman of some sort) and then presenting the 
talisman to various observers unaware of the purported characteristics of 
the being.

Once existence was established, then I would expect that the same methods 
could be refined to produce an ever-growing set of reproducible results 
and improved technologies for evocation/invocation and for detailed 
observation of such beings. My confidence would still be fairly low at 
the point where existence was ostensibly demonstrated by the first wave 
of experiments, but it would grow to near certainty as the body of 
reproducible information grew to the point of creating new technologies 
and entering new levels of detail, over the course of a few decades or 
perhaps only years.

Tim Maroney

~From: (nigris (333))

49970625 aa2 Hail Satan!

Josh Norton :
#I am amazed (and rather disappointed) at the number of folks in this and
#other threads who are determined to reduce Liber AL (and magick in general)
#into something comprehensible to them within the limits of conventional
#thought -- e.g. "repressed parts of his mind", "multiple personalities", etc. 

this has been addressed by the Wizard.  more people in my vicinity seem to
be willing to accept gods and the God than these psychological explanations.
I probably hang around with 'strange crowds' tho. :>  I hope you have heard
me say that I tend to suspend judgement as to the Final Answer, however,
even while I may occasionally argue what I find attractive at the time.

#fact that many of the openly-stated principles of the book are confirmed by
#encoded numerical symbolism, based on information unknown to A.C. at the
#time the book was delivered. One of the most important of these -- the
#hidden coding based on the number 31 -- was never discovered by A.C., but
#had to wait 14 years for Frater Achad. 

gematria has never persuaded me of the claims made by those who utilized it
for this purpose.  it is neato, but I don't find it has the same kind of
substance to it that revelation might to an individual.  

even so, revelation (as I can personally confirm occurs through experience)
can be explained away by so much psychological theory also (unconscious
intrusions into the conscious realms, etc.).

you and others have asked after what evidence the more skeptical of us would
consider reasonably convincing as regards the existence of noncorporeal
entities.  given that I have experienced many *myself* and still allow for
the possibility, perhaps even support the likelihood, that what I was having
conversations with and playing in the pool with and making love with was some
portion of my own mind, I hope that you'll see that the issue isn't really
one of experience, only skepticism and Occam's Razor.

the evidence I think I would like to see would not just be an appearance to
me (I've danced with Kali dammit!), but a group vision, interaction, beyond
the intermediate.  not a channeller who manifested the personae of the gods
or angels or daemons or djinns, but the whole group of the skeptical and
disbelievers and convinced alike in my company seeing a distinct and obvious
materialization.  I've often watched for such things in demonstrations put
on by conmen, but there was always a 'pay no attention to the man behind
the curtain' (do not scrutinize this chamber as a debunker would, etc.)
clause packed along with it.

an example might suffice.  yesterday the Abyss and I were lounging outside
Haus Kaos on the porch and suddenly she pointed into the sky and I followed
her finger.  there in broad daylight was a glowing apparition unlike any I
have seen before, a kind of comet-like sparkling which moved like a
satellite.  it was like no plane I have ever seen before, and I thought it
must be a 'shooting star' or a perfect reflection of a plane which we could
not understand (the angle may have been correct for such reflection of the
late afternoon sun).  I coughed just at the moment the Abyss again commented
"it's gone!" and sure enough it had disappeared, though without some sort of
twisting saucer-movement, just winking out of existence.

now we've both seen a 'UFO', though I suspect it was an intense shooting
star which broke through into the blue daylight.  we both saw it, however.
if the thing had grown larger and suddenly we could discern a distinct
saucer-like shape, if it had landed in the front yard or just hovered over
the house like in 'Close Encounters' or any other sci-fi flick, if the
little people with big eyes had got out and gave us a paw-shake as real
as the poltergheist in the movie of the same name or the hilarious martians
in 'Mars Attacks!' then I'd consider that to be 'proof' of their existence
beyond my own mind (as long as the Abyss saw it too).

in the same way if I could get (not that I'm looking real hard for it)
some sort of evidence of this nature as regards consensual experience
regarding my own paranormal experiences I'd be much more ready to believe
that they didn't just originate inside my own mind.  anecdotal evidence,
such as the recent visible-playmate mentioned within this elist is great,
but insufficient for me to fully believe.  I don't expect others to
take seriously the weird things that have happened to me.  nor will I go
beyond my own means of assessment in the justification of any religious
doctrine or movement (this is too often the *motive* for these assertions).
nigris (333) -- --

     (emailed replies may be posted)  -------  join the AMT syncretism!!!
   see  ----------        call: 408/2-666-SLUG!!
        "sa avidya ya vimuktaye" -- "that which liberates is ignorance"

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