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Thelema and Compassion

From: (nigris (333))
Subject: Thelema and Compassion (was Heartbreaker...)
Date: Wed, 21 Jul 1999 13:09:15 -0700 (PDT)

49990719 IVom Hail Gandhi! Hail Gautama Buddha! (Moe Delaney):
# COMPASSION in THELEMA....where does one draw the line between 
# "strike hard and low" and offering compassion? 

as an attempt at a general rules perhaps it is wrong-headed to
attempt to standardize behavior. as a query about individuals
and their standards, this is quite interesting to me. what does
the pacifist Thelemite do against their erstwhile kindred who
decides that it is time to strike us 'hard and low'?

as a pacifist, my first objective is to defend my weak points
and attempt to defuse the heated emotion in a situation in
which I am a target of them. this can mean ignoring slights,
verbal and conjectural, it can mean taking everything someone
says literally despite their tendency to be sarcastic, it can
mean failing to have "a sense of humor" when that humor is at
my or another's expense.

defending my weak points includes verbal self-defense where
it appears warranted and where it may have some long-term
value. it may include conceptual and/or physical bolstering
of myself so as to resist antagonistic assaults (of any kind).
it may include departure from the situation in question on a
temporary or longer-term basis. it may include requesting the
help of those who may be willing to assist my pacifist
method and struggle (united we stand against oppression). it
can also mean taking up the assault myself (upon myself)
where this assault takes the form of criticism and beratement.

this last method could sound rather self-destructive to the
cautious Thelemite, yet I have found it rather effective to
'switch sides' in (especially) a verbal or conceptual
struggle, attempting to understand and ASSIST the efforts 
of those who oppose me. this can take the form of doing
things like stating "oh come on, I can do better than you
are doing against me. look, if you want to put me down,
try this..." and provide them with a number of other more
penetrating and controversal ad hominem argument strike-
points, making the issue simultaneously that all they are
doing is trying to assassinate my character and that it
will not goad me into responding with offense. where it
surfaces rationally this can actually aid the philosophic
acumen of everyone who is witness, as they can begin to
see that the issues are far deeper than are being discussed
and the opposition to my conceptual stand is not fully
utilizing the ambiguities and uncertainties available to
them when arguing against me. it can break the mood of
Me-against-You and turn the struggle into a more good-
natured group-assault on *all* conceptual positions,
taking away the notion that I am entrenched upon a side
and understanding that I enjoy their side too.

this diffusement of entrenchment mentality is also
assisted by the interjection of humor, self-ridicule,
or self-parody, all of which I have utilized in combat
(intellectual, even physical) to diffuse a confrontation
that is threatening to turn into real violence. where I
can skewer an ego (my own), others may be deflated. just
as useful is a vulnerable and completely disarming self-
divulgence of my emotions and conceptual uncertainty in
a time of heated crisis. telling my opponent that I am
afraid, for example, or that I fear their violence, or
that I can be hurt and want them to help me to avoid
this can be liberating of a new consciousness in which
we can become compatriots in preventing real harm.
expressing my lack of certitude undermines the same
either-or entrenchment that is ameliorated by the 
alternative of switching sides in a debate mentioned above.

too often 'offering compassion' as you have stated it is
equated with giving a gift TO the person rather than seen
as a virtue in itself, even if unappreciated or rejected.
the Thelemic pacifist may refrain from literally striking
low and hard, yet may make conceptual assertions which
pierce low and hard in the subject category of the heated
discussion. this does not include character-assault, but
is instead *compassionate* of the person and ruggedly
assaulting of the philosophic position of one's kindred.
# IMHO, i have catagorized thelemites into three basic sections:
# (...i am aware that the main technical definition of a 
# thelemite is one who accepts the Book of the Law as their 
# holy book

inasmuch as it is I think the Law is denuded by cultish sloth.

# ...and or one who does one's will.) 

as a finite act of volition it seems to me this is woefully
understated. my impression is that the Thelemite is one who
attempts to know their true will and abide it in all things,
not just someone who does their will one or more times.
# catagory one: hostile, strike hard and low, as often as possible, "my
# way or the highway", oftentimes very well read magickally which makes
# them arrogant on top of the psudo-warrior stance, usually selfish.
# thinks do what thou wilt...means do AS thou wilt, or do what thou
# WANT....

I don't find these folks UNDERSTAND the material and are often
quite underschooled as regards the basics of magick. their intent
is political, sometimes academic.
# catagory two: the natural thelemite who is unaware that they are a
# thelemite, but exemplifies the highest qualities of what thelema has to
# offer....naturally, so they are peaceful warriors...and truely thelemic.

peace and Thelema are equivalent? I'm not so sure.
# catagory three: the thelemite that comprehends what it is to be a
# thelemite, and exercises control of their passions and compassion as
# part of their their magickal praxis. 

control is over-rated, though discipline can be very beneficial. 

# this kind of thelemite knows the difference between misplaced 
# compassion 

compassion is never misplaced.

# and allowing others to learn the lessons of life......, 

compassion rooted in Thelema is not over-protective.

# and the difference between causing unnessesary angst for the 
# hell of it, 

few people seem to do things 'for the hell of it' where their
activity is sustained. at some point it becomes a personal issue.

# and using the "strike hard and low" clause only ONLY when 
# warrented....

what constitutes "warranted conditions" for this clause?

# this kind of thelemite has done a great deal
# of work on their own in a reflectifve or meditative way, is usually very
# well read magickally and carries the wisdom beyond the folly years (the
# place where catagorie one's reside...there is hope for them). 

I don't understand "the folly years (...)." I doubt that most
Thelemites of this nature care a WHIT about "magick", though
they may be quite proficient at it.

#  i sort out the ones that fall into catagory one and leave them alone. 
# i am willing to check back with them later to see if they have matured
# any. 

agreed, though I wouldn't put it in such an evaluative way.

# the ones that fall into the catagory two, i usually have great relations
# with.... some times life long comradship, and the third catagory is the
# finest.  they are the KINGS....i revel in their companionship. 

or so you believe. I'm not so sure they can be so easily recognized.

# laugh a bit. i have met so many who would carry the "tag"
# of thelemite, but don't want to do the work of moderating and refining
# their wills to NOT use roughness to get their point across,IMHO.
# they give thelemites a bad name. really. 

so it is with raw material that it cannot really pass for refinement.
we benefit from raw material immensely. it points to tao.

# bring out
# the COMPASSION of Kings and still keep the strength of the WARRIOR side
# of each of us, so that we as a whole, can protect and nurture humanity

slime is over-criticized. the sky gods get too good a rap.

# any body else have opinions about this subject?

to me Thelema is more interactive. how one interacts with the three
categories of individual you describe tells me more about whether
I would call them 'Thelemite'. the flexible person is more likely
to qualify for my admiration.

blessed beast!
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