• Michael Zwingli
    258
    and you liken him to...categorize him alongside F. Nietzsche?

    The fact regarding Crowley is, that I would not have expected to find such a man's, make that such a showman's, "philosophy" (used loosely) to be taken seriously by anybody on this site. I don't know a whole lot about the man, but he does appear to have been more than a bit deviant, in all senses of that word. Not that I purport to ajudge a person by his looks, at least by his looks alone, but simply regarding a photograph of Crowley seems to tell all kinds of tales.
  • Michael Zwingli
    258
    Best, most unique definition presupposes there is one.Mww

    @I like sushi initiated a thread in which he used the unique term "philossilized" in decribing certain lemmas. I suggest that "will" is quite an "unphilossilized" term, with meanings having historically been whatever the individual philosopher determined. In this, it has seemed like a type of "floating" term with meanings varying within a range. That is one of the reasons underlying this thread.
  • Mww
    2.7k
    That is one of the reasons underlying this thread.Michael Zwingli

    Understood.

    I’m just happy the subject here doesn’t have “free” attached to it.
  • I like sushi
    2.7k
    and you liken him to...categorize him alongside F. Nietzsche?Michael Zwingli

    I never said that. The discussion is about 'will' and Crowley (regardless of what you think of him) did have some things to say about 'will' in a more 'religious' sense.

    The fact regarding Crowley is, that I would not have expected to find such a man's, make that such a showman's, "philosophy" (used loosely) to be taken seriously by anybody on this site.Michael Zwingli

    If you can get past that you'll find an interesting story.

    A better quote would be (to paraphrase) 'the biggest mistake is to set obtainable goals'.

    It was a pun ;)
  • Michael Zwingli
    258
    I never said that. The discussion is about 'will' and Crowley (regardless of what you think of him) did have some things to say about 'will' in a more 'religious' sense...If you can get past that you'll find an interesting story.I like sushi

    Ah, sorry about that. I didn't mean to insinuate anything about yourself. Considering myself a pagan, I have things against folks like Crowley, Helena Blavatsky, and Edgar Cayce who, drawing from the more superstitious elements of ancient paganistic systems and employing them often bufoonishly, give paganism in general a bad name. As for Crowley in particular, some of his thought sits well with me, but even with that the mode of expression and the antics bother me. :victory:

    "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law" - Crowley. [...] To me this means irrespective of what other deem as 'good' or 'bad,' or 'right' or 'wrong' I should act as my will dictates and follow my path for my reasons not those imposed upon me by ideologies that possess people en masse. [...] A better quote would be (to paraphrase) 'the biggest mistake is to set obtainable goals'.

    Given Crowley's libertine lifestyle, I'm not sure that you are reading this quote from him quite right, but I like the ideas that you have derived from it, nonetheless.
  • I like sushi
    2.7k
    Considering myself a paganMichael Zwingli

    I don't think that means anything in the way you've framed it. The 'pagan' religion isn't a separate entity but rather an amalgam of ideas based on some belief in a common origin (Indo European heritage of ideas/concepts), but in the more New Age modernised Western form it is more or less an attempt at doing something like outlining a common system in human behavior.

    The actual event of 'Magick,' as Crowley termed it, is something very much more about memory systems, understanding and 'manipulating' (so to speak) oneself and some psychological tricks along the way that help all these things work together.

    Witchcraft and/or Wicca and such are sometimes labelled as 'pagan' but I'm not entirely sure that makes any sense as 'paganism' is a term for a vast array of religious idea outside of Christianity and absorbed by Christianity.

    The underlying principle of Occultism in general appears to be the understanding that one's cosmological view (or mythos) can be shaped like a piece of clay. Generally people don't do this kind of thing because it is classed as 'insanity' and such, and others merely 'play' at practicing such techniques and are simply idiotic or foolhardy.

    I think the closest 'accepted' approximation of such a practice would be with Carl Jung and something he termed 'Active Imagination'. Other instances in history would come from the likes of Giordano Bruno (very strong tie to mnemonic systems there), and there are more recent investigations into such memory techiniques and ways to read knowledge via myths and rituals (children's rhymes, songs and dances).

    The whole area is quite fascinating and too often brushed under the 'whacko' carpet sadly. Francis Yates did some brilliant scholarly work in this area.
  • Michael Zwingli
    258
    what I mean by saying that I "consider myself a pagan", is that I have personally renounced theism as a tenable belief system, and am seeking to find or invent an alternative which will allow for something akin to religious expression.
  • I like sushi
    2.7k
    If you look at Crowley through the lens of Jung and Nietzsche he probably won't look quite as decadent. I kind of view Alan Moore as what Crowley could've been.

    Anyway, we're straying WAY off topic here .. my bad :D
  • Michael Zwingli
    258
    It gets complicated for Nietzsche when you try and parse what ‘my will’ refers to.Joshs

    Nietzsche's "will to power" seems as if it would be an independent concept, even to Nietzsche himself, from bare "will". Given the semantics of the noun phrase, one could say that "will" in "will to power" might mean "desire"/"longing", as in Merriam-Webster. Alternatively, which I rather think the case, it might refer to the concept of "will" posited by Schopenhauer, who seems to have had a significant influence on Nietzsche's philosophical development, and so "a ceaseless, endless striving". Of course, it might also mean the stronger "lust", as in Augustine of Hippo's "libido dominandi", but I rather think not.. Would you fellows say that this seems correct?
  • Joshs
    2k


    Alternatively, which I rather think the case, it might refer to the concept of "will" posited by Schopenhauer, who seems to have had a significant influence on Nietzsche's philosophical development, and so "a ceaseless, endless striving". OMichael Zwingli

    Schopenhauer certainly influenced Nietzsche, but I think in the case of the will, Nietzsche departed significantly from Schopenhauer’s notion. All notions of
    will for Nietzsche are variations of will to power, and i’m the quotes below you get a feel for how ‘willing’, like ‘thinking’ is not a unitary phenomenon, but a multiplicity of tensions.

    “There are still harmless self-observers who believe in the existence of “immediate certainties,” such as “I think,” or the “I will” that was Schopenhauer's superstition: just as if knowledge had been given an object here to seize, stark naked, as a “thing-in-itself,” and no falsification took place from either the side of the subject or the side of the object.”

    “ Philosophers tend to talk about the will as if it were the most familiar thing in the world. In fact, Schopenhauer would have us believe that the will is the only thing that is really familiar, familiar through and through, familiar without pluses or minuses. But I have always thought that, here too, Schopenhauer was only doing what philosophers always tend to do: adopting and exaggerating a popular prejudice. Willing strikes me as, above all, something complicated, something unified only in a word – and this single word contains the popular prejudice that has overruled whatever minimal precautions philosophers might take. So let us be more cautious, for once – let us be “unphilosophical.” Let us say: in every act of willing there is, to begin with, a plurality of feelings, namely: the feeling of the state away from which, the feeling of the state towards which, and the feeling of this “away from” and “towards” themselves.

    But this is accompanied by a feeling of the muscles that comes into play through a sort of habit as soon as we “will,” even without our putting “arms and legs” into motion. Just as feeling – and indeed many feelings – must be recognized as ingredients of the will, thought must be as well. In every act of will there is a commandeering thought, – and we really should not believe this thought can be divorced from the “willing,” as if some will would then be left over! Third, the will is not just a complex of feeling and thinking; rather, it is fundamentally an affect: and specifically the affect of the command. What is called “freedom of the will” is essentially the affect of superiority with respect to something that must obey: “I am free, ‘it' must obey” – this consciousness lies in every will, along with a certain straining of attention, a straight look that fixes on one thing and one thing only, an unconditional evaluation “now this is necessary and nothing else,” an inner certainty that it will be obeyed, and whatever else comes with the position of the commander. A person who wills –, commands something inside himself that obeys, or that he believes to obey.

    But now we notice the strangest thing about the will – about this multifarious thing that people have only one word for. On the one hand, we are, under the circumstances, both the one who commands and the one who obeys, and as the obedient one we are familiar with the feelings of compulsion, force, pressure, resistance, and motion that generally start right after the act of willing. On the other hand, however, we are in the habit of ignoring and deceiving ourselves about this duality by means of the synthetic concept of the “I.” As a result, a whole chain of erroneous conclusions, and, consequently, false evaluations have become attached to the will, – to such an extent that the one who wills believes, in good faith, that willing suffices for action. Since it is almost always the case that there is will only where the effect of command, and therefore obedience, and therefore action, may be expected, the appearance translates into the feeling, as if there were a necessity of effect.

    In short, the one who wills believes with a reasonable degree of certainty that will and action are somehow one; he attributes the success, the performance of the willing to the will itself, and consequently enjoys an increase in the feeling of power that accompanies all success. “Freedom of the will” – that is the word for the multi-faceted state of pleasure of one who commands and, at the same time, identifies himself with the accomplished act of willing. As such, he enjoys the triumph over resistances, but thinks to himself that it was his will alone that truly overcame the resistance. Accordingly, the one who wills takes his feeling of pleasure as the commander, and adds to it the feelings of pleasure from the successful instruments that carry out the task, as well as from the useful “under-wills” or under-souls – our body is, after all, only a society constructed out of many souls –. L'effet c'est moi:?? what happens here is what happens in every well-constructed and happy community: the ruling class identifies itself with the successes of the community. All willing is simply a matter of commanding and obeying, on the groundwork, as I have said, of a society constructed out of many “souls”: from which a philosopher should claim the right to understand willing itself within the framework of morality: morality understood as a doctrine of the power relations under which the phenomenon of “life” arises.”
  • Michael Zwingli
    258
    one thing that I have gathered from this thread, is that I will have to remember you and @dimosthenis9 as my go to guys for all things Nietzsche, providing contrasting opinions.

    Your post has me quite excited for digging into the heart of what I am trying to understand about "the will": what position does it occupy within the architecture of the human mind, and how can we best describe what it is and what it does?

    'willing’, like ‘thinking’ is not a unitary phenomenon, but a multiplicity of tensions.Joshs

    I never thought to regard "willing" and "thinking" as a dichotomy, but now that you mention it, it can certainly be regarded as such! Let me ask you: if the "will" forms a dichotomy or duality with the "intellect", the rational dimension of the mind, how do you opine it relates to the "affect", the affective dimension of the mind...the seat of the emotions? I ask this because I have long considered "will" to be emotionally based, and so constituent of the affective mind, but after thinking about the matter in creating and observing this thread, I am no longer sure that such a notion is reflective of psychic reality, but rather that "the will" is either separate from both thinking and feeling, and working in concert therewith, or rather, which is different, "will" is a product of the 'marriage' of feeling and thinking.

    Let us say: in every act of willing there is, to begin with, a plurality of feelings, namely: the feeling of the state away from which, the feeling of the state towards which, and the feeling of this “away from” and “towards” themselves...feeling – and indeed many feelings – must be recognized as ingredients of the will [...] the will is not just a complex of feeling and thinking; rather, it is fundamentally an affect: and specifically the affect of the command. What is called “freedom of the will” is essentially the affect of superiority with respect to something that must obey...Joshs

    When you use the term "affect", do you essentially mean "emotion" or "feeling", as I do, or something else? It seems almost as if you might be using "affect" to mean "faculty". An incomplete understanding of meaning can lead one terribly astray when working with another to understand anything highly abstract. By "affect of command (self-command?), do you mean "feeling of command", or perhaps "faculty of self-command"?

    Could it be that "will" arises when perception, being closely attended (as it ever is) by a "feeling", a particular complex of emotions, results in an imperative thought...a "thought of command"? If so, what does this tell us that "the will" is, and where does it reside with respect to the major dimensions of the mind? In other words, perhaps we can better understand, at least theoretically, what "the will" is by concieving the relationships between the acts of "willing", "thinking" and "feeling". The primary question pertaining to the development of such a conception would seem to involve whether "willing" is validly considered as a domain equal to those described by the words "feeling" and "thinking".
  • dimosthenis9
    394
    one thing that I have gathered from this thread, is that I will have to remember you and dimosthenis9 as my go to guys for all things Nietzsche, providing contrasting opinions.Michael Zwingli

    Though I m really flattered by your comment. Please don't. It's true that Nietzsche is one of my favorites (not to say the most one), but I m far from considering myself as a Nietzsche expert.Trust me.

    For me if you are interesting in Nietzsche's views (or any other philosopher), better to study it on your own and get your own outcomes out of it. Not surely the right ones but surely your own ones!
    I have read academic opinions of Nietzsche's work and I strongly disagreed. But again since I can't have a chat with Nietzsche himself and ask him, I could never be sure that my view is the right one.

    As for Will, imo, in Nietzsche Will of Power is just a "branch" from the tree of Will. And not Will itself. He gives Will a huge significant value that covers all human aspects and characteristics. Power among them for sure. But more as a Will in general for each person to Thrive spiritually.
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