Nibbana - Ananda Maitriya (Allan Bennett)

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Tommy M, modified 10 Years ago at 11/13/11 2:15 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 11/13/11 2:15 PM

Nibbana - Ananda Maitriya (Allan Bennett)

Posts: 1199 Join Date: 11/12/10 Recent Posts
I just came across a rather good article on nibbana by a guy called Allan Bennett, later known as Ananda Maitriya, who was one of Aleister Crowley's original teachers. He was also one of the people responsible for introducing Buddhism to the Western world and his writings are well worth a read.

Nibbana - Allan Bennett
End in Sight, modified 10 Years ago at 11/13/11 3:36 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 11/13/11 3:36 PM

RE: Nibbana - Ananda Maitriya (Allan Bennett)

Posts: 1251 Join Date: 7/6/11 Recent Posts
Wikipedia has this to say about Bennett and Crowley:

Crowley tried to rekindle their friendship, but to no avail. By this time Crowley had rejected Buddhism in favor of his own reworking of the Hermetic Tradition, which he called Thelema; Bennett would have nothing to do with it. He remarked, "No Buddhist would consider it worthwhile to pass from the crystalline clearness of his own religion to this involved obscurity."


One advantage I have seen in the Pali suttas is that they really do have an immense clarity to them. When looking at other traditions (Zen Buddhism, Tibetan Buddhism, actualism, etc.) I often think "...not as clear as the Pali suttas, but lots of good ideas!" When looking at Western magick, on the other hand, all I see is obscurity. (This isn't meant as a criticism of that tradition, just a report about my own impression.)

Tommy, as you have benefited from the Western magick tradition, I wonder what you (or anyone else who sees it fit to comment) think about Bennett's quote or the issues it brings up.
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Tommy M, modified 10 Years ago at 11/13/11 5:11 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 11/13/11 5:11 PM

RE: Nibbana - Ananda Maitriya (Allan Bennett)

Posts: 1199 Join Date: 11/12/10 Recent Posts
One advantage I have seen in the Pali suttas is that they really do have an immense clarity to them. When looking at other traditions (Zen Buddhism, Tibetan Buddhism, actualism, etc.) I often think "...not as clear as the Pali suttas, but lots of good ideas!" When looking at Western magick, on the other hand, all I see is obscurity. (This isn't meant as a criticism of that tradition, just a report about my own impression.)

Tommy, as you have benefited from the Western magick tradition, I wonder what you (or anyone else who sees it fit to comment) think about Bennett's quote or the issues it brings up.

I agree wholeheartedly. The dhamma is so crystal clear and verifiable that I favour the Buddhist map over any other now, it was only through insight that I ever made serious progress and now know that it can be reliably tested and proven effective.

I think Bennett's point is well made, particularly when one has worked with the system Crowley taught, Thelema, which is incredibly complex and intricate with it's own syncretic paradigm combining everything from the tarot to tantra. It may interest you to know that Bennett actually went back to practicing magick before his death, but I doubt that he followed Crowley's teachings. Why Crowley chose to structure his own system in this way is down to his own history with the Golden Dawn, but their reasons for such obscurity lie deeper in history and, as far as I can see, are the same reason that most mystical traditions which developed in the Western world chose to obscure their teachings in seemingly impenetrable terms. Persecution by the Church seems to be at the heart of the whole thing, magicians and mystics were forced to hide what they were really talking about for fear of torture at the hands of the authorities. After all, the Church, for all it may have started out with honourable intentions, has been a controlling mechanism at the heart of consensus reality and such work as spiritual awakening is incredibly threatening since, as we all know, one can no longer have the veil pulled over their eyes once one has that understanding.

For the longest time, I had no interest in Buddhism as I only knew it through the watered down, mainstream self-help stuff but magick was something to really stick your teeth into. In fact, up until 1st path happened I gave no consideration to the dhamma only to find out that it's what I had been studying all along, just in really different language!

It's the simplicity and clarity which blew me away when I first came across MCTB, the first dhamma book I ever read, and then started doing the practice. I think that the same insights are available through magick too though, and perhaps some people, like I did at one time, prefer the more heavily intellectual approach which seems to exhaust the rational mind like a big long, complicated koan. I'm certain that there are points along both Paths where they converge and it's this that I'm interested in now, magick also aims at enlightenment and there will be ways, skillful means I suppose, to allow for more efficient progress.

I still enjoy the maps available in the Western traditions, they're ornate and beautifully constructed in a way that can allow one to understand the underlying structure of things, although I still think that the suttas are where it's put in the plainest, easiest to understand, practical terms.

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