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Higher Guardian Angel, and Thelema. Dangerous?

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Is anyone familiar with the HGA, and Thelema in general? I recently just discovered about this religion/philosophy by Aleister Crowley, and it has been intriguing. I have been lurking some of the threads on this forum as well which mentions the HGA, and it mentions that Alan Chapman recommends the HGA for the quickest path to enlightenment.

But I also read one particular poster here who warned of the danger of surrendering yourself to an outer entity, such as the higher guardian angel. He is, after all, an idea that was created by Aleister Crowley, who I think was a powerful man but also showed many traits of self serving egocentrism. In some ways, that is kind of evil is it not? That he is highly spiritually attained, yet still does things for his ego?

Am I looking on the wrong path when I look at Thelema and the HGA as a way to supplement my practices and pursuit of enlightenment?

RE: Higher Guardian Angel, and Thelema. Dangerous?
Answer
5/22/15 2:28 AM as a reply to johnson.
I say fuck it, do what ever works.  Do Thelema + Vipassana + whatever else... When doing magick, however, or any other type of spiritual exercise, it can't hurt to do a little grounding:
           -Do some physical exercise, eat junk food (Daniel's remedy for heavy jhanas)...
           -but also try some horse stance (or other Qi Gong grounding exercises such as lower dan tien stirring)
           -do grounding visualizations, stimulate the third chakra, etc.

Also, whenever you do any intentional/magickal work, add in a clause, "and may this all happen with a reasonable amount of harmony."

With a focus on harmony and a high degree of groundedness of energy, it seems unlikely any magick will be that harmful.

P.s., you can always just stop the invocation if you think something wierd is happening.

RE: Higher Guardian Angel, and Thelema. Dangerous?
Answer
5/22/15 3:54 AM as a reply to johnson.
HGA and the Abyss was not invented by Crowley and is not unique to Thelema but is, as far as I know, an important part of many western/abrahamitic theurgical traditions. I've heard that the HGA in the western traditions is the same as the Higher Self in some eastern traditions. But I'm pretty inexperienced in magick. 

RE: Higher Guardian Angel, and Thelema. Dangerous?
Answer
5/22/15 12:21 PM as a reply to johnson.
rich r a:

Am I looking on the wrong path when I look at Thelema and the HGA as a way to supplement my practices and pursuit of enlightenment?

The short answer it: Yes, you are.

But everyone has free will (to the extent that their minds aren't already conditioned by falsehoods they believe or accept as true) and is free to chose whatever path, wholesome or unwholesome, they prefer to take. A word to the wise: Do your homework and due diligence research and then make up your mind.

rich r a:

In some ways, that is kind of evil is it not? That he is highly spiritually attained, yet still does things for his ego?

Your intuition is trying to tell you something here. Listen to it.

RE: Higher Guardian Angel, and Thelema. Dangerous?
Answer
5/22/15 6:08 PM as a reply to johnson.
But I also read one particular poster here who warned of the danger of surrendering yourself to an outer entity, such as the higher guardian angel.
The HGA is not an "outer entity" in the sense you're thinking of. I recommend this essay by Erwin Hessle to clear that up.
He is, after all, an idea that was created by Aleister Crowley, who I think was a powerful man but also showed many traits of self serving egocentrism. In some ways, that is kind of evil is it not? That he is highly spiritually attained, yet still does things for his ego?
Well first of all, Aleister Crowley did not "create" the idea of the HGA. That specific term comes from The Book of the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage, a medieval text. It's referred to as the augeoides in Neo-Platonic theurgy and in Masonry, both of which predate Crowley.

As for your question, it depends what you mean by "the ego"? And why do you think it is necessarily evil to do things that serve your self? Have you ever known an individual who was entirely free of doing things for their own self? And if so, why do you think that is a person who should be emulated?

In my opinion, people nowadays talk about "the ego" the way they used to talk about Original Sin. Instead of talking about how bad sex and blasphemy are, they talk instead about how terrible it is that we experience feelings of separateness or thoughts that are negative or selfish. For what it's worth, Crowley appears to adopt similar assumptions at times, though his views are a bit more nuanced than what I usually hear from spiritual sorts.

As for whether it's "wrong" to supplement practices, that depends entirely on whatever it is you're trying to do. It also depends on the extent to which you have mastered the practice(s) you are trying to supplement. If you mix half-assed insight meditation with half-assed magick, you'll get a half-assed result. Personally, I have found some of Crowley's suggested practices very useful, but I never attempted them until I had been meditating pretty one-pointedly for about two years.

As in most cases, your mileage may vary, but that's what I have to offer out of my own experience.

RE: Higher Guardian Angel, and Thelema. Dangerous?
Answer
5/22/15 10:56 PM as a reply to Fitter Stoke.
Interesting article Fitter Strike. So if Crowley meant the HGA to be a symbolic metaphor for exactly the same thing that many eastern philosophies try to attain, why did he make everything so confusing and open to misinterpretation? Just to entice a bunch of people who think magick is cool to join his religion?

I mean if that's the case, then HGA isn't really a fast track to enlightenment at all, since the path to obtaining the metaphorical HGA is exactly the same path as attaining enlightenment..

And then Alan Chapman's claim here,
You might be wondering why, if you can achieve the Great Work or enlightenment through other much simpler, less poetic systems of attainment, such as vipassana or Zen, you might want to consider attempting the Great Work the magical way. The answer is simple: the Holy Guardian Angel is the fastest, most efficient means of metaphysical development I have ever come across. Working with the angel means progress is no longer a question of conscious deliberation, and the angel is in the position
of knowing your self better than you do. Who better then than the angel in providing instruction?


and his methodologies in his free ebook do not rely on an actual angel to guide you, but it's just catering to the power of your beliefs and the power of faith to supplement your progress.

But of course, that essay is just one interpretation and many Thelemites believe that the HGA truly is a higher entity and can back it up with just as much evidence as the essay did, can't they?

RE: Higher Guardian Angel, and Thelema. Dangerous?
Answer
5/23/15 12:59 AM as a reply to johnson.

RE: Higher Guardian Angel, and Thelema. Dangerous?
Answer
5/23/15 2:42 AM as a reply to Fitter Stoke.
synchronicity :o

RE: Higher Guardian Angel, and Thelema. Dangerous?
Answer
5/24/15 2:27 AM as a reply to johnson.
When dealing with religions and groups of many kinds, IME what you often find is a lot of pretty good and useful stuff but often there is also sandwiched in there a line of BS that serves to perpetuate the group and its control over you and that is the not so good stuff.  I would advise others to be wary of looking too far outside of self for answers and authority.  In the end, you have to sort out the crap in your own head and IMO, there are no magic exterior powers that will do it for you without lots of work on your part.  There are many useful things to be heard in many places but in the end, it always comes down to you and your crap in your own self and dealing with that stuff and working on it.  It's easy to get distracted away from that path if your outlook becomes too external from yourself. 

RE: Higher Guardian Angel, and Thelema. Dangerous?
Answer
5/28/15 1:37 PM as a reply to johnson.
i was at Shinzen Young retreat in November and had a free moment with him.  I mentioned that i was exporing the Jhannas, had an experience with magic (I thought) and had just discovered the HGA concept--was this the better way to go?  It seemed like such a simple, quick way to enlightenment.  

Shinzen cautioned me against it.  

I cant quote exactly but He said something like, "people tend to go sideways and get lost in these realms."   

I didnt mention that my father-in-law had a HGA experience 20-30 years ago.  He's a great guy but it never led him to enlightenment as far as i know.   

Alex

RE: Higher Guardian Angel, and Thelema. Dangerous?
Answer
6/10/15 6:44 PM as a reply to Rednaxela.
Its a little puzzling to see people quoting Alan Chapman as a mega-authority on magick - don't get me wrong I like his work, but its kind of like quoting Genpo Roshi (who also has some interesting original insights, but is far from the best around IMO) as a great authority on the meditative path.

Chapman's instructions for attaining the HGA (if I recall correctly from an interview, repeating "I consent to the knowledge and conversation of the HGA") are quite simplistic (and therefore more open to confusion).
Its true that Crowley popularised the idea, and that he used the Bornless Rite to attain the Knowledge and Conversation of his Holy Guardian Angel, which his teacher Macgregor Mathers drew from the Greek Magical Papyri (which are about 2000 years old).

I've been studying and practicing this rite lately, and I think if Shinzen actually saw the rite he would swiftly change his opinion that it was a "power realm" sidetrack-practice as opposed to a "straight-to-the-source" practice. Its unquestionably more of an insight practice than a magickal practice, though it does appear to be a mix of both. My take on the Western Traditions is that some degree of Enlightenment is strongly suggested before engaging in power-realms magick. Lon Milo Duquette breaks down the ritual quite elegantly in his book "The Magick of Aleister Crowley", and demonstrates quite clearly that the Holy Guardian Angel is the same thing as "Ain Soph" in the Kabbalah, or the "True Self/No Self" as described in MCTB, or "The Source" as described by Shinzen Young. It seems like some kind of Western version of Tibetan Guru-Yoga - actively aspiring towards an already-enlightened aspect of oneself, as contrast to the more receptive practice of cultivating mindful awareness. 

Its an invocation practice in that one is basically calling forth and identifying with the Higher Self/No-Self/HGA, and then taking an active role in the activity of the universe from that "position". I find the rite quite poetic and powerful. Is it a fast-track to enlightenment? Dunno. I definitely find it a very useful supplement to enhancing my sitting practice, it has a curious mystique to it, and I definitely find my awareness/clarity profoundly enhanced as a result of practicing it (but haven't seen any angels/daemons, or spontaneously developed any siddhis as a result emoticon).

RE: Higher Guardian Angel, and Thelema. Dangerous?
Answer
9/6/15 7:34 AM as a reply to johnson.
rich r a:
I recently just discovered about this religion/philosophy by Aleister Crowley, and it has been intriguing.
He drew a picture of Lam, pic gives me the chills, from the bottom of the back to the top of the skull.  I remember drawing a similar picture when I was less that 10 years old.


http://www.excludedmiddle.com/LAMstatement.html


But, I do not think Lam is an HGA, but is more of a channeling phenomenon.

From my view, and this is mostly, but not all speculative, is this.

There seem to be subconscious and unconscious areas of the brain, some of these Shadow, Unacknowledged, Shunted off, Inaccessable areas can have both Positive and Negative qualities to them, i.e. wholesome and unwholesome.  Just as some of these areas are related to the instinctive and ancient reptilian brain and brain stem, some are related to the Mammalian sections of the brain, and some are related to the More modern Neo Cortex.  There may be , and seems to be,  other higher functioning areas of the Mind, and just as the unconscious delivers messages to our awareness in symbols, so to can a hugher unconciousness deliver messages to us in symbols, i.e. HGA or Channeling.

This is probably just another possible brain function, one we have yet to fully awaken and make practical, but I would like to point to some of the more famous incidents of this type of phenomenon.  Maybe at least similar if not the same phenomenon,

Hypnagogia is similar to, but not the same as HGA.


The hypnagogic state can provide insight into a problem, the best-known example being August Kekulé’s realization that the structure of benzene was a closed ring while half-asleep in front of a fire and seeing molecules forming into snakes, one of which grabbed its tail in its mouth.[39] Many other artistswritersscientists and inventors — includingBeethovenRichard WagnerWalter ScottSalvador DalíThomas EdisonNikola Tesla and Isaac Newton — have credited hypnagogia and related states with enhancing theircreativity.[40] A 2001 study by Harvard psychologist Deirdre Barrett found that, while problems can also be solved in full-blown dreams from later stages of sleep, hypnagogia was especially likely to solve problems which benefit from hallucinatory images being critically examined while still before the eyes.[41]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypnagogia


I had heard that Thomas Edison, would put a silver dollar on the top of his head, and a bucket at his feet, when his head drooped, the silver dollar would fall, clang in the bucket, and he would awaken, sometimes in the hypnogogic state, from where he could use the state to contemplate or receive inventions.

Again similar to, but more like possesion.

Channeling

Channeling[edit]In the later half of the 20th century, Western mediumship developed in two different ways. One type involves psychics or sensitives who speak to spirits and then relay what they hear to their clients.[20]The other incarnation of non-physical mediumship is a form of channeling in which the channeler goes into a trance, or "leaves their body". He or she allows the entity to borrow his/her body, who then talks through them.[21] When in a trance  the medium seems to come under the control of another personality, purportedly the spirit of a departed soul, and a genuine medium undoubtedly believes the 'control' to be a spirit entity.  While in the old deep trance state the medium often enters a cataleptic state marked by extreme rigidity,[22] this seems not the case for most of modern channelers. Some of them open the eyes when channeling, smile and utilize any sort of glances and facial expressions. They can also walk and behave normally. The rhythm and the intonation of the voice may also change completely. A widely known channeler of this variety is J. Z. Knight, who channels the spirit of Ramtha, a 30 thousand-year-old man. Others claim to channel spirits from "future dimensions", ascended masters,[23] or, in the case of the trance mediums of the Brahma Kumaris, God.[24] Other notable channels are Jane Roberts for SethEsther Hicks for Abraham,[25] Darryl Anka for Bashar, Steve Rother, Lee Carroll for Kryon, andGeoffrey Hoppe for [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Germain_(Theosophy)]Adamus Saint-Germain.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mediumship#Channeling

Religion Books recited from HGA phenomenon,

A bunch of the Religous texts, not mentioning any names.  Most of that material is said to come from angels and such. New Testament, Koran, Tanakh.

I would like to share some history of Silent Reading.  It seems that until about a thousand years ago silent reading was rare, and it seemed to be even magical ability.

To Augustine, however, such reading manners seemed aufficiently strange for him to note them in his Confessions. The implication is that this method of reading, this silent perusing of the page, was in his time something out of the ordinary, and that normal reading was performed out loud. Even though instances of silent reading can be traced to earlier dates, not until the tenth century does this manner of reading become usual in theWest.s

http://web.stanford.edu/class/history34q/readings/Manguel/Silent_Readers.html

Verbal Mental Formations
And another point I would like to make, is that when one has a thought, if you watch what actually happens, the thought arises, the full sentence and all, we do not actually create each thought, each word, the thoughts arise, seemingly by themselves.  Does the previous statement need elaboration? This phenomenon is the same as communicating with a HGA, thoughts arise.

Maybe HGA is just another Mind Skill.

So, perhaps in a Thousand years hence, this silent internal mind communication , i.e. HGA, will become developed and be as normal as the silent reading skill has become in the modern age.

  1. Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
Issac Asimov
Arthur C. Clarke

Mental Tech

We just do not generally acknowledge Mental Skills and Training as Technology.  But, perhaps if we viewed the Mind in this way, and Mental Trainings as Mind Technologies.

Though I am not altogether sure that tinkering around under the hood of the skull haphazardly is always guaranteed to be safe.
But, pioneering can have its rewards, and pitfalls.

So, my humble advice is to build a solid foundation, work through Enlightenment.  And, most likeley, find we are our own HGA anywho....
 i.e. it is Mental Formations either internal or external

Unless, it is all Telepathy....

"Hello, thank you for Telepathing Psi Tech, How may I direct your Telepathy this evening?"  Press Frontal Lobe for Enities, Press Pineal Gland for Interstellar Consciousness.  Or please continue to hold for the next available Angel or Demon, something will be contacting you shortly.  emoticon

Psi Tech

P.S.  My HGA just reminded me,  Humor does not always work on discussion boards.

 "Thanks, HGA."  

" No Problemo, Psi.  Catch ya on the Flipside..."


Edited, for disclarity 1000x







So, perhaps



RE: Higher Guardian Angel, and Thelema. Dangerous?
Answer
9/6/15 4:39 AM as a reply to Psi.
#Psi - enjoyed your writing - but, as a life long fan of the writer, I must point out that the quote:


Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.


is not by Asimov but comes from the British author A C Clarke - and is in fact his third law:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clarke's_three_laws





RE: Higher Guardian Angel, and Thelema. Dangerous?
Answer
9/6/15 7:37 AM as a reply to Neil Cavanagh.
Neil Cavanagh:
#Psi - enjoyed your writing - but, as a life long fan of the writer, I must point out that the quote:


Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.


is not by Asimov but comes from the British author A C Clarke - and is in fact his third law:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clarke's_three_laws




Thank you!  Meant no disrespect.  Was a brain error, oops!  It is now edited.

Psi

RE: Higher Guardian Angel, and Thelema. Dangerous?
Answer
9/7/15 12:34 AM as a reply to Psi.
Psi:

I would like to share some history of Silent Reading.  It seems that until about a thousand years ago silent reading was rare, and it seemed to be even magical ability.

To Augustine, however, such reading manners seemed aufficiently strange for him to note them in his Confessions. The implication is that this method of reading, this silent perusing of the page, was in his time something out of the ordinary, and that normal reading was performed out loud. Even though instances of silent reading can be traced to earlier dates, not until the tenth century does this manner of reading become usual in theWest.s

http://web.stanford.edu/class/history34q/readings/Manguel/Silent_Readers.html

Wow now that gets the strange and fascinating info award for this week!  Nowadays having to read out loud implies lack of intelligence, LOL!  So apparently there has been some kind of evolution in reading skills or maybe it was just an idea that had to develop and people had to get used to it?  Maybe reading silently is a tad harder, seems like most kids start out reading out loud or at least mumbling it first.   Part of my mind feels like this is an interesting puzzle piece but I am not sure what puzzle it even goes with!  ;-P 
Verbal Mental Formations
And another point I would like to make, is that when one has a thought, if you watch what actually happens, the thought arises, the full sentence and all, we do not actually create each thought, each word, the thoughts arise, seemingly by themselves.  Does the previous statement need elaboration? This phenomenon is the same as communicating with a HGA, thoughts arise.
Yeah, I can't see where a thought comes from, neither can I see where language/words come from before they kind of show up in my consciousness.  Perhaps in a weird way, the only reason I think I am the origin is a weird sort of feeling that I am.  If that feeling were gone then perhaps it would be easy to attribute the thoughts and words to someone or something else, HGA, higher self, Seth, whatever.  Psychology postulates the subconscious as the source of thought and Buddhism postulates it's the 'void' or some such.  (not much is known about either..)
Maybe HGA is just another Mind Skill.

So, perhaps in a Thousand years hence, this silent internal mind communication , i.e. HGA, will become developed and be as normal as the silent reading skill has become in the modern age.
Hmm, interesting idea.  I am not sure exactly what the silent mind skill is though either.  I have had times during OBE where I do not think in words and I remember doing it as a child, awareness and processing but not with words, a very right brained kinda deal.  But that does not seem to be the same things as what happens in dreams or channeling or whatever which feels like it comes from a place other than the sense of self.  (when you think about it, dreams are pretty strange, society and our sense of self likes to take credit for the creation of dreams but the sense of self seems as much surprised as anyone as to the content much of the time..)




Unless, it is all Telepathy....

"Hello, thank you for Telepathing Psi Tech, How may I direct your Telepathy this evening?"  Press Frontal Lobe for Enities, Press Pineal Gland for Interstellar Consciousness.  Or please continue to hold for the next available Angel or Demon, something will be contacting you shortly.  emoticon

Psi Tech
Sorry the name Psi Tech has already been hogged by a controversial remote viewing group that has a long record of terrible and thoroughly wrong predictions.. 
-Eva



RE: Higher Guardian Angel, and Thelema. Dangerous?
Answer
9/8/15 5:20 AM as a reply to Eva Nie.
I've been thinking that HGA might be a personification of something that is inanimate in Buddhist frameworks. Maybe HGA is a personification of, say, the luminious mind(/Buddha nature.) (See Pabhassara Sutta:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an01/an01.049.than.html  )
What do you guys think about this theory?

RE: Higher Guardian Angel, and Thelema. Dangerous?
Answer
9/8/15 9:40 PM as a reply to Pål.
Pål:
I've been thinking that HGA might be a personification of something that is inanimate in Buddhist frameworks. Maybe HGA is a personification of, say, the luminious mind(/Buddha nature.) (See Pabhassara Sutta:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an01/an01.049.than.html  )
What do you guys think about this theory?

There has been much guessing, everything from higher self to future self to aliens (and of course hardcore skeptics would say it's surely just a hoax).  I don't see any way to know.  Jane Robert's channeled entity 'Seth' said he was sort of like an evolved in the future version of herself or something like that, can't remember the exact details.  Another issue is assumign it is always the same thing doing it.  Something can apparently run the human body without the conscious mind being in charge, but we don't know if only one kind of thing can do that or if there is more than one.  For instance you have sleep walking where consicous mind is not in control apparently, but sleep walkers seem to be usually in a very 'stupid' kind of state, probably would not be writing any channeled novels or anything..  ;-P
-Eva

RE: Higher Guardian Angel, and Thelema. Dangerous?
Answer
9/9/15 2:43 AM as a reply to Eva Nie.
If Seth is Set then Seth is probably the ancient egyptian Satan. Maybe this has been discussed before but: I never understood how Higher Self and anatta can go together. The only way is can see where it would would be if higher self=luminious mind behind all defilements, or "conciousness without feature" as it says in the suttas. That seems to be a pure part of the mind which is still anatta. But of course, these things can't really be discussed. 

RE: Higher Guardian Angel, and Thelema. Dangerous?
Answer
9/10/15 10:41 AM as a reply to Pål.
Pål:
If Seth is Set then Seth is probably the ancient egyptian Satan. Maybe this has been discussed before but: I never understood how Higher Self and anatta can go together. The only way is can see where it would would be if higher self=luminious mind behind all defilements, or "conciousness without feature" as it says in the suttas. That seems to be a pure part of the mind which is still anatta. But of course, these things can't really be discussed. 
No self is described as there being no permanent unchanging self.  It does not technically say there cant be any long lived and gradually evolving self.  In fact, seems to me you'd need the latter if karma and reincarnation are to be in the mix.   So there is plenty of room for debate.  As for Seth being Satan, just by similarity of name, seems unlikely if you are just looking for parallels with the Bible stories or typical expected actions of the idea of 'Satan.'  Seth spends a lot of time talking about the importance understanding yourself and of love.  There is not hate in his message and also nothing about hurting others, warring with others, falling from grace or any such that I have seen. 

RE: Higher Guardian Angel, and Thelema. Dangerous?
Answer
9/10/15 2:49 PM as a reply to Eva Nie.
Concerning Set, I'm just writing from my understanding of the hermetic qabbalah, which is very limited, so I might be wrong. 
Yes, it makes sense that from the relative perspective that is measurable in time, there is a self. I also like the idea of HGA being a more complete, and thus a "future" version of the self. 
Now the question is: 
To invoke or not to invoke the HGA...