Author Topic: Antero Ali on Chapel Perilous  (Read 13569 times)

Mesozoic Mister Nigel

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Re: Antero Ali on Chapel Perilous
« Reply #30 on: January 07, 2012, 05:30:11 pm »
It's fine as a literary device, but I feel like using it outside of that context it's just another woo-woo pseudo-occult obfuscating terms meant to draw in the very people whose cells the literary work was intended to crack open. In other words, if I am understanding it right, once you have been through your own personal Chapel Perilous the term is best discarded and the process is better described as what it is, without the pseudomystical obfuscating metaphors.
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”


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Re: Antero Ali on Chapel Perilous
« Reply #31 on: January 07, 2012, 05:31:03 pm »
In other words, it appears to be jargon meant primarily to appeal to people who have not jet been jailbroken.
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”


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Re: Antero Ali on Chapel Perilous
« Reply #32 on: January 07, 2012, 05:44:07 pm »
In other words, it appears to be jargon meant primarily to appeal to people who have not jet been jailbroken.

I think that's probably mostly true with the possible exception that being 'jailbroken' is really relative and not necessarily a permanent state. But then all upaya's are inevitably traps.

To put it another way, it's like using a thorn to remove a thorn and, once good, you throw both thorns away.

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Re: Antero Ali on Chapel Perilous
« Reply #33 on: January 07, 2012, 05:53:08 pm »
To me a good lifer example is; if you become aware your spouse is cheating on you, and can't handle it, so you refuse to believe it. Any conscious or unconscious effort to avoid resolving a conflict between the real and the perceived.

I would believe done examples of CP would be

I am an atheist and have a spiritual experience.

I am in a Apocolypse cult, and the end of the world doesn't turn up.

I am keeping myself healthy with fresh vegetables, exercise and positive energy and then get cancer.

Film/tv examples (spoilers)

Javert in les miserables has one hell of a CP moment when Val Jean saves him.

And the Joker in Dark Knight gets his when the inmates fail to blow eachother away.

American history x has Edward Norton in CP when the black inmate befriends him.

Candide is essentially a troop of lifers addicted to Just World Theory

Harry Potter probably enters a few times but i remember him confronted with his dad being a jackass.

The atheist gnome in prince Caspian when he meets Aslan.

Rude Mrs X in The Nanny Diaries is gripping onto her CP about her husband for most of the film.

Starks near death experience at the start of Iron Man puts him in the CP. He escapes and blows shit up.

I stopped watching Billy Elliot but something something father something gender roles CP something.

The baddie in Serenity is pretty clearly trying to deal with his entrance into the CP at the end if the film.

In the 'I Lucifer' retelling of the temptation of Jesus, Christ is definitely in the chapel perilous.

In Oliver Stones 'W' Colin Powell is pretty clearly leaving his post to escape the CP.

Episode one of Firefly, Shepard is in the CP over the fact that he doesn't mind the guy he swore to protect got deadified.

Probably that's enough. I was going to only do a few but started having fun.
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Re: Antero Ali on Chapel Perilous
« Reply #34 on: January 07, 2012, 06:07:24 pm »
I don't get Chapel Perilous either. I feel like maybe I'm supposed to, but I don't.

I gather - but I'm not sure - that it's similar to the 1960s "finding yourself" thing.  Or else it's people freaking out because they realized they aren't made out of plastic or something.  Or navel-gazing.  Dunno.

Isn't the opposite to that, a crisis of conscience or identity or morality, where no clear outcome is available, but all options negate what you believed previously.

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Re: Antero Ali on Chapel Perilous
« Reply #35 on: January 07, 2012, 06:08:11 pm »
So using your metaphor for 'lifers,' Rat, how does Zen relate? The idea of "Above, not a tile to cover the head; Below, not an inch of ground for the foot." It looks like the Zen masters somehow find a home within Chapel Perilous?  Or is that the basic idea? Is living in pure spontaneity no difference than being a 'cool lifer,' so to speak?

In Antero-speak I think they would be priests in the chapel.

In other words, it appears to be jargon meant primarily to appeal to people who have not jet been jailbroken.

I have to agree with Burns, you may end up in the Chapel many times... you may recognize it the first time, but will you the second? Einstein broke a lot of jails in terms of thoughts about physics... but he still got trapped in his jail when it came to quantum physics. He my have broken through again and again, but in the end he still got stuck on a belief.

It's fine as a literary device, but I feel like using it outside of that context it's just another woo-woo pseudo-occult obfuscating terms meant to draw in the very people whose cells the literary work was intended to crack open. In other words, if I am understanding it right, once you have been through your own personal Chapel Perilous the term is best discarded and the process is better described as what it is, without the pseudomystical obfuscating metaphors.

If we break out of our jail cell, should we quit discussing the BiP?

Also, nice list PD.

You could add the TARDIS as a CP literary device, with the Doctor as a Priest (there to guide people through the CP).

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Re: Antero Ali on Chapel Perilous
« Reply #36 on: January 07, 2012, 06:15:00 pm »
To me a good lifer example is; if you become aware your spouse is cheating on you, and can't handle it, so you refuse to believe it. Any conscious or unconscious effort to avoid resolving a conflict between the real and the perceived.

I would believe done examples of CP would be

I am an atheist and have a spiritual experience.

I am in a Apocolypse cult, and the end of the world doesn't turn up.

I am keeping myself healthy with fresh vegetables, exercise and positive energy and then get cancer.

Film/tv examples (spoilers)

Javert in les miserables has one hell of a CP moment when Val Jean saves him.

And the Joker in Dark Knight gets his when the inmates fail to blow eachother away.

American history x has Edward Norton in CP when the black inmate befriends him.

Candide is essentially a troop of lifers addicted to Just World Theory

Harry Potter probably enters a few times but i remember him confronted with his dad being a jackass.

The atheist gnome in prince Caspian when he meets Aslan.

Rude Mrs X in The Nanny Diaries is gripping onto her CP about her husband for most of the film.

Starks near death experience at the start of Iron Man puts him in the CP. He escapes and blows shit up.

I stopped watching Billy Elliot but something something father something gender roles CP something.

The baddie in Serenity is pretty clearly trying to deal with his entrance into the CP at the end if the film.

In the 'I Lucifer' retelling of the temptation of Jesus, Christ is definitely in the chapel perilous.

In Oliver Stones 'W' Colin Powell is pretty clearly leaving his post to escape the CP.

Episode one of Firefly, Shepard is in the CP over the fact that he doesn't mind the guy he swore to protect got deadified.

Probably that's enough. I was going to only do a few but started having fun.

So it's cognitive dissonance?
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”


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Re: Antero Ali on Chapel Perilous
« Reply #37 on: January 07, 2012, 06:17:08 pm »
In other words, it appears to be jargon meant primarily to appeal to people who have not jet been jailbroken.

I think that's probably mostly true with the possible exception that being 'jailbroken' is really relative and not necessarily a permanent state. But then all upaya's are inevitably traps.

To put it another way, it's like using a thorn to remove a thorn and, once good, you throw both thorns away.

A jailbroken phone is still a phone. ;)

Addressing Rat; all I am saying is that when new jargon is introduced to replace the old jargon, it often becomes obfuscating rather than illuminating.

More words used to describe something don't always result in a clearer description, know what I mean?
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”


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Re: Antero Ali on Chapel Perilous
« Reply #38 on: January 07, 2012, 06:19:21 pm »
What I am trying to say is not that Chapel Perilous is a useless term, but if it isn't describing a new condition or even a newly-discovered condition, it's describing a condition there are already words for. So, when someone asks what it means and we try to describe it, why avoid the terms that already exist to describe it?
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”


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Re: Antero Ali on Chapel Perilous
« Reply #39 on: January 07, 2012, 06:30:11 pm »
What I am trying to say is not that Chapel Perilous is a useless term, but if it isn't describing a new condition or even a newly-discovered condition, it's describing a condition there are already words for. So, when someone asks what it means and we try to describe it, why avoid the terms that already exist to describe it?


Why not? In my opinion, the more terms the better. While one metaphor might work for one mind's disposition, it might not work for another.  I personally like the imagery involved.  Calling it a Chapel is pretty apt because it evokes the image of people in church searching for a sense of meaning.  I think that's a great image for the western mind. 

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Re: Antero Ali on Chapel Perilous
« Reply #40 on: January 07, 2012, 06:35:08 pm »
In other words, it appears to be jargon meant primarily to appeal to people who have not jet been jailbroken.

I think that's probably mostly true with the possible exception that being 'jailbroken' is really relative and not necessarily a permanent state. But then all upaya's are inevitably traps.

To put it another way, it's like using a thorn to remove a thorn and, once good, you throw both thorns away.

A jailbroken phone is still a phone. ;)

Addressing Rat; all I am saying is that when new jargon is introduced to replace the old jargon, it often becomes obfuscating rather than illuminating.

More words used to describe something don't always result in a clearer description, know what I mean?

Well honestly Chapel Perilous is a newish term, encompassing a new set of ideas. Previously there were mystic terms for the experience, mythological stories about the experience but RAW took a look at the psychological experience described in these systems or stories and distilled it into CP. Talking about the Chapel is IMO easier to discuss that Communing with the Holy Guardian Angel.  :)

Cognitive Dissonance, for example talks about the psychological state of holding two opposing ideas/beliefs etc. It describes part of CP, but not the whole experience. The Holy Guardian Angel ritual is a jail in and of itself, since its presented as a True Belief. It describes part of the CP experience, but not the whole thing.

The BiP expresses a related concept, but not the exact same concept.

Campbell's Hero's journey seems to come closest, specifically the "jumping off point" where the hero leaves the known world and enters the unknown. This sort of device shows again and again throughout the history of myth, but not presented in a dissected form the way that the CP is.

I think CP has limited value. I have friends that have never really experienced a reality altering event. They often don't seem to get it. I have friends that have had experiences like mine and they seem far more likely to grab the idea easily.

Like all metaphors, it seems to make sense to some people and not make sense to others... depending on each person's BiP I guess :)
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Re: Antero Ali on Chapel Perilous
« Reply #41 on: January 07, 2012, 06:40:10 pm »
Building on Nigel and Tosks posts, I wen't and looked up the origin of the term (thanks wikipedia):

The term Chapel Perilous first appeared in Sir Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur[1] as the setting for an adventure in which sorceress Hellawes unsuccessfully attempts to seduce Sir Lancelot. T. S. Eliot used it symbolically in The Waste Land (1922). Dorothy Hewett took "The Chapel Perilous" as the title for her autobiographical play, in which she uses "the framework of the Arthurian legend, Sir Lancelot, to create a theatrical quest of romantic and epic proportions".[2]

In literature

The term as used in literature is explicated in detail by Jessie L. Weston in her book From Ritual to Romance (1920).[3] It is also defined by Thomas C. Foster (in a discussion of the five elements of a quest) as "the dangerous enclosure that is known in the study of traditional quest romances."[4] He cites the plot of the book "Crying of Lot 49" as an example.


In psychology

"Chapel Perilous" is also an occult term referring to a psychological state in which an individual cannot be certain if they have been aided or hindered by some force outside the realm of the natural world, or if what appeared to be supernatural interference was a product of their own imagination. It was first used as an occult term by the late writer and philosopher Robert Anton Wilson (1932–2007) in his book Cosmic Trigger. According to Wilson, being in this state leads the subject to become either stone paranoid or an agnostic. In his opinion there is no third way.

---------------------------------------

So it seems to be grounded in Arthurian Legend (and thus, the mysticism built up around the Arthurian Quest archetype).... which is a deep part of western culture...
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Re: Antero Ali on Chapel Perilous
« Reply #42 on: January 07, 2012, 08:18:13 pm »

First, the way "Chapel Perilous" is described in the OP is kinda different than what I always assumed it probably was. Which is more kind like what Ratatosk described. But that's more because that's the way I heard it first, I'm not really sure what it is, it's not really a term I use a lot, or at all.

Anyway, those two descriptions seem not to differ so much on what it "is", but whether it describes the state or treshold of being on your way out of "there" (Ratatosk), or whether it includes being "there" as well (Telarus).

I'm beginning to suspect that nobody does, that it's a piece of jargon that everyone PRETENDS to understand, because they're embarrassed that they don't, and they think everyone else does.

I dunno. I see what you're thinking, but I don't peg Telarus to be that kind of person. If anything, it has a very specific personal significance and meaning to him. But probably it's a bit more general than that, even.

It's fine as a literary device, but I feel like using it outside of that context it's just another woo-woo pseudo-occult obfuscating terms meant to draw in the very people whose cells the literary work was intended to crack open. In other words, if I am understanding it right, once you have been through your own personal Chapel Perilous the term is best discarded and the process is better described as what it is, without the pseudomystical obfuscating metaphors.
(..)
In other words, it appears to be jargon meant primarily to appeal to people who have not jet been jailbroken.
(..)
Addressing Rat; all I am saying is that when new jargon is introduced to replace the old jargon, it often becomes obfuscating rather than illuminating.

More words used to describe something don't always result in a clearer description, know what I mean?
(..)
What I am trying to say is not that Chapel Perilous is a useless term, but if it isn't describing a new condition or even a newly-discovered condition, it's describing a condition there are already words for. So, when someone asks what it means and we try to describe it, why avoid the terms that already exist to describe it?

Well what I'm getting from it, how it's described in this thread, is that it tries to be an over-arching term for all the specific things mentioned so far.

Roger called it the world of DUMBASS. You called it "comfort zone" and then "cognitive dissonance". Telarus, LCS and Ratatosk each described their own different but also similar things/experiences/states of mind.

So yes there's already words for it but they all pretty different in meaning. And "Chapel Perilous" seems to try and encompass all of them.

Another problem might be that when people speak of Chapel Perilous, they're usually speaking from personal experience. Highly personal experience. In such sense that other people (superficially) experiencing the same condition as described in the literal words that are already there, might not bat an eye.

So I guess the term is trying to be vague on purpose, because as soon as you're being explicit about it, other people are likely to miss the point, or get distracted by the specifics.

In that sense, I suppose it's not a useless term, but has a right to be, cause while it may describe things that are already words for, but the particular words vary from person to person and case to case.

Doesn't mean it's a term I'm likely to use myself, though. I'd either muddle it, mis-apply it or end up taking it out again cause I'd rather be specific to my personal experience.



Oh, so the Chapel Perilous is the Machine? And the Spiders?
Actually, I think it's the part of the monkey that causes it to obey The Machine and the spiders.  Because it's easier than thinking.
In my interpretation of the "Machine" metaphor, it is actually made up entirely of monkey-parts, exactly those parts you describe.

Spiders I don't know, are they the same thing? I never played with that metaphor too much.
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Re: Antero Ali on Chapel Perilous
« Reply #43 on: January 07, 2012, 09:25:18 pm »
What I am trying to say is not that Chapel Perilous is a useless term, but if it isn't describing a new condition or even a newly-discovered condition, it's describing a condition there are already words for. So, when someone asks what it means and we try to describe it, why avoid the terms that already exist to describe it?


Why not? In my opinion, the more terms the better. While one metaphor might work for one mind's disposition, it might not work for another.  I personally like the imagery involved.  Calling it a Chapel is pretty apt because it evokes the image of people in church searching for a sense of meaning.  I think that's a great image for the western mind.

I think you are missing the point I was trying to  make. If someone says "what is the Chapel Perilous?" and you are trying to explain it to them, why would you avoid other common descriptive terms in the endeavor of explaining it? It's a fairly simple concept which people seem to run circles around explaining clearly, for no evident reason other than maintaining a false mystique.

This kind of thing is the very fundament of "occultism", IMO
« Last Edit: January 07, 2012, 09:29:20 pm by Nigel »
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”


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Re: Antero Ali on Chapel Perilous
« Reply #44 on: January 07, 2012, 09:34:54 pm »
Thanks for the history, Telarus.

What I'm basically getting from this is that the Chapel Perilous is the internal struggle you have when you start to realize that the reality you have been perceiving is not necessarily the real reality. That what you think you are thinking and wanting is not actually what you think and want, for example under the seductive influence of a magical temptress, or the TV broadcasters, or a church, or your peer group.

Is that too simplistic a summation? Because I would like to cut the pseudomystical woo-woo bullshit and boil this down to an explanation understandable by your average 12-year-old.
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”