November 13, 1988 e.v. key entry and first proof by Bill Heidrick T.G. O.T.O. (c) O.T.O. d

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November 13, 1988 e.v. key entry and first proof by Bill Heidrick T.G. O.T.O. (c) O.T.O. disk 1/4 This is a XYWrite file. Additional proofing and supplimental material required to produce complete and unabridged version. Germer omits still a problem. ************************************************************************* Key entry by Bill Heidrick, (415) 454-5176 P.O.Box 430 Fairfax, CA 94930 1 A l e i s t e r C r o w e y MAGICK WITHOUT TEARS Complete and Unabridged, edited with a Foreword by Karl J. Germer 2 (c) 1954 Karl J. Germer for Ordo Templi Orientis Renewed 1982 (c) BLURB Ordo Templi Orientis JAF Box 7666 New York, NY 10116 USA 3 FOREWORD In 1943 Aleister Crowley met a lady who, having heard of his wide knowledge and experience, asked his advice on occult, spiritual, and practical matters. This chance connection resulted in a stimulating exchange of letters. Crowley then asked others to put similar questions to him. The result was this collection of over eighty letters which are now being issued over the title that he chose, "MAGICK WITHOUT TEARS". Crowley did not keep copies of his early letters to the above-mentioned lady, so was unable to include them in the collection that he planned to publish. Fortunately they have been preserved and are now included in the introduction to this book. Their original form has been retained with the opening and closing formulae which Crowley used in all his letters. Crowley at first intended to call the book "ALEISTER EXPLAINS EVERYTHING", and sent the following circular to his friends and disciples asking them to suggest subjects for inclusion. ALEISTER EXPLAINS EVERYTHING. __________ "Much gratified was the author of THE BOOK OF THOTH to have so many letters of appreciation, mostly from women, thanking him for not 'putting it in unintelligible language', for 'making it all so clear that even I with my limited intelligence can understand it, or think I do.' "Nevertheless and notwithstanding! For many years the Master Therion has felt acutely the need of some groundwork-teaching suited to those who have only just begun the study of Magick and its subsidiary sciences, or are merely curious about it, or interested in it with intent to study. Always he has done his utmost to make his meaning clear to the average intelligent edu- cated person, but even those who understand him perfectly and are most sympathetic to his work, agree that in this respect he has often failed. "So much for the diagnosis --- now for the remedy! "One genius, inspired of the gods, suggested recently that the riddle might be solved somewhat on the old and well-tried lines of 'Dr. Brewer's Guide to Science'; i.e., by having aspirants write to the Master asking questions, the kind of problem that naturally comes into the mind of any sensible enquirer, and getting his answer in the form of a letter. 'What is it?' 'Why should I bother my head about it?' 'What are it's principles?' 'What use is it?' 'How do I begin?', and the like. "This plan has been put into action; the idea has been to cover the subjects from every possible angle. The style has been collo- quiel and fluent; technical terms have either been carefully avoided or most carefully explained; and the letter has not been 4 admitted to the series until the querent has expressed satisfaction. Some seventy letters, up to the present have been written, but still there seem to be certain gaps in the demonstration, like those white patches on the map of the World, which looked so tempting fifty years ago. "This memorandum is to ask for your collaboration and support. A list, indicating briefly the subject of each letter already written, is appended. Should you think that any of those will help you in your own problems, a typed copy will be sent to you at once ... Should you want to know anything outside the scope, send in your question (stated as fully and clearly as possible) ... The answer should reach you, bar accidents, in less than a month ... It is proposed ultimately to issue the series in book form." _______ This has now been done. Karl J. Germer Frater Saturnus X Frater Superior, O.T.O. January, 1954 e.v. Hampton, N.J. 5 I N T R O D U C T I O N LETTERS WRITTEN BY MASTER THERION TO A STUDENT Letter No. A March 19, 1943 Cara Soror, Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law I was very glad to gather from your conversation yesterday afternoon that you have a serious intention of taking up the Great Work in the proper spirit. Your criticisms of previous experience in the course of your ad- ventures appeared to be singularly sane and just. As I promised I am writing this letter to cover a few practical points which we had not time to discuss and which in any case I think it better to arrange by correspon- dence. 1) It is of the first importance that you should understand my personal position. It is not actually wrong to regard me as a teacher, but it is certainly liable to mislead; fellow-student, or, if you like, fellow- sufferer, seems a more appropriate definition. The climax of my life was what is known as the Cairo Working, described in the minutest detail in the Equinox of the Gods. At that time most of The Book of the Law was completely unintelligible to me, and a good deal of it - especially the third chapter - extremely antipathetic. I fought against this book for years; but it proved irresistible. I do not think I am boasting unfairly when I say that my personal researches have been of the greatest value and importance to the study of the subject of Magick and Mysticism in general, especially my integration of the vari- ous thought-systems of the world, notably the identification of the system of the Yi King with that of the Qabalah. But I do assure you that the whole of my life's work, were it multiplied a thousand fold, would not be worth one tithe of the value of a single verse of The Book of the Law. I think you should have a copy of the Equinox of the Gods and make The Book of the Law your constant study. Such value as my own work may possess for you should amount to no more than an aid to the interpretation of this book. 2) It may be that later on you will want a copy of Eight Lectures on Yoga so I am putting a copy aside for you in case you should want it. 3) With regard to the O.T.O., I believe I can find you a typescript of all the official documents. If so, I will let you have them to read, and you can make up your mind as to whether you wish to affiliate to the Third Degree of the Order. I should consequently, in the case of your de- ciding to affiliate, go with you though the script of the Rituals and ex- plain the meaning of the whole thing; communicating, in addition, the real secret and significant knowledge of which ordinary Masonry is not possessed 4) The horoscope; I do not like doing these at all, but it is part of the agreement with the Grand Treasurer of the O.T.O. that I should under- take them in worthy cases, if pressed. But I prefer to keep the figure to myself for future reference, in case any significant event makes consulta- tion desirable. 6 Now there is one really important matter. The only thing besides The Book of the Law which is in the forefront of the battle. As I told you yester- day, the first essential is the dedication of all that one is and all that one has to the Great Work, without reservation of any sort. This must be kept constantly in mind; the way to do this is to practice Liber Resh vel Helios, sub figura CC, pp. 425-426 - Magick. There is another version of these Adorations, slightly fuller; but those in the text are quite al- right. The important thing is not to forget. I shall have to teach you the signs and gestures which go with the words. It is also desirable before beginning a formal meal to go through the fol- lowing dialogue: Knock 3-5-3: say, "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law." The person at the other end of the table replies: "What is thy Will?" You: "It is my Will to eat and drink." He: "To what end?" You: "That my body may be fortified thereby." He: "To what end?" You: "That I may accomplish the Great Work." He: "Love is the law, love under will." You, with a single knock: "Fall to." When alone make a monologue of it: thus, Knock 3-5-3. Do what, etc. It is my Will to, etc., that my body, etc., that I may, etc., Love is, etc. Knock: and begin to eat. It is impossible to exaggerate the importance of performing these small ceremonies regularly, and being as nearly accurate as possible with regard to the times. You must not mind stopping in the middle of a crowded thor- oughfare --- lorries or no lorries --- and saying the Adorations; and you must not mind snubbing your guest --- or your host --- if he or she should prove ig- norant of his or her share of the dialogue. It is perhaps because these matters are so petty and trivial in appearance that they afford so excellent a training. They teach you concentration, mindfulness, moral and social courage, and a host of other virtues. Like a perfect lady, I have kept the tit bit to the last. It is absolutely essential to begin a magical diary, and keep it up daily. You begin by an account of your life, going back even before your birth to your ancestry. In conformity with the practice which you may perhaps choose to adopt later, given in Liber Thisarb, sub figura CMXIII, paragraphs 27-28, Magick, pp. 420-422, you must find an answer to the question: "How did I come to be in this place at this time, engaged in this particular work?" As you will see from the book, this will start you on the discovery of who you really are, and eventually lead you to your recovering the memory of pre- vious incarnations. As it is difficult for you to come to Town except at rare and irregular intervals, may I suggest a plan which has previously proved very useful, and that is a weekly letter. Eliphas Lvi did this with the Baron Spedalieri, and the correspondence is one of the most interesting of his works. you ask such questions as you wish to have answered, and I answer them to the best of my ability. I, of course, add spontaneous remarks which may be elicited by my observations on your progress and the perusal of your magi- cal diary. This, of course, should be written on one side of the paper only, so that the opposite page is free for comments, and an arrangement should be made for it to be inspected at regular intervals. Love is the law, love under will. Fraternally, 7 666 Letter No. B April 20, 1943 Cara Soror, Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law I was very glad to have your letter, and am very sorry to hear that you have been in affliction. About the delay, however, I think I ought to tell you that the original Rule of the Order of A.'. A.'. was that the introducer read over a short lection to the applicant, then left him alone for a quar- ter of an hour, and on coming back received a "yes" or "no." If there was any hesitation about it the applicant was barred for life. The reason for the relaxation of the rule was that it was thought better to help people along in the early stages of the work, even if there was no hope of their turning out first-class. But I should like you to realize that sooner or later, whether in this incarnation or another, it is put up to you to show perfect courage in face of the completely unknown, and the power of rapid and irrevocable decision without without counting the cost. I think that it is altogether wrong to allow yourself to be worried by "psychological, moral, and artistic problems." It is no good your starting anything of any kind unless you can see clearly into the simplicity of truth. All this humming and hawing about things is moral poison. What is the use of being a woman if you have not got an intuition, an instinct en- abling you to distinguish between the genuine and the sham? Your state of mind suggests to me that you must have been, in the past, under the influence of people who were always talking about things, and never doing any real work. They kept on arguing all sorts of obscure phil- osophical points; that is all very well, but when you have succeeded in analyzing your reactions you will understand that all this talk is just an excuse for not doing any serious work. I am confirmed in this judgment by your saying: "I don't know if I want to enter into a great conflict. I need peace." Fortunately you save yourself by adding: "Real peace, that is living and not stagnant." All life is con- flict. Every breath that you draw represents a victory in the struggle of the whole Universe. You can't have peace without perfect mastery of circum- stance; and I take it that this is what you mean by "living, not stagnant." But it is of the first consequence for you to summon up the resolution to stamp on this sea of swirling thoughts by an act of will; you must say: "Peace be still." The moment you have understood these thoughts for what they are, tools of the enemy, invented by him with the idea of preventing you from undertaking the Great Work --- the moment you dismiss all such con- siderations firmly and decisively, and say: "What must I do?" and having discovered that, set to work to do it, allowing of no interruption, you will find that living peace which (as you seem to see) is a dynamic and not a static condition. (There is quite a lot about this point in Little Essays Toward Truth, and also in The Vision and the Voice.) Your postscript made me smile. It is not a very good advertisement for the 8 kind of people with whom you have been associated in the past. My own posi- tion is a very simple one. I obeyed the injunction to "buy a perfectly black hen, without haggling." I have spent over 100,000 pounds of my in- herited money on this work: and if I had a thousand times that amount to- day it would all go in the same direction. It is only when one is built in this way, to stand entirely aloof from all considerations of twopence halfpenny more or fourpence halfpenny less, that one obtains perfect free- dom on this Plane of Discs. All the serious Orders of the world, or nearly all, begin by insisting that the aspirant should take a vow of poverty; a Buddhist Bhikku, for example, can own only nine objects - his three robes, begging bowl, a fan, tooth- brush, and so on. The Hindu and Mohammedan Orders have similar regulations; and so do all the important Orders of monkhood in Christianity. Our own Order is the only exception of importance; and the reason for this is that it is much more difficult to retain one's purity if one is living in the world than if one simply cuts oneself off from it. It is far easier to achieve technical attainments if one is unhampered by any such considera- tions. These regulations operate as restrictions to one's usefulness in helping the world. There are terrible dangers, the worst dangers of all, associated with complete retirement. In my own personal judgment, moreover, I think that our own ideal of a natural life is much more wholesome. When you have found out a little about your past incarnations, you should be able to understand this very clearly and simply. Love is the law, love under will. Fraternally, 666 Letter No. C April 30, 1943 Cara Soror, Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law Thank you for your long letter of no date, but received two days ago. I am very sorry you are still feeling exhausted. I am not too good myself, for I find this weather very trying. I will answer your various points as best I can. I am arranging to send you the official papers connected with the O.T.O., but the idea that you should meet other members first is quite impossible. Even after affiliation, you would not meet anyone unless it were necessary for you to work in cooperation with them. I am afraid you have still got the idea that the Great Work is a tea-party. Contact with other students only means that you criticize their hats, and then their morals; and I am not going to encourage this. Your work is not anybody else's; and undirected chatter is the worst poisonous element in human society. When you talk of the "actual record" of the "Being called Jesus Christ," I don't know what you mean. I am not aware of the existence of any such re- cord. I know a great many legends, mostly borrowed from previous legends of a similar character. 9 It would be better for you to get a copy of the Equinox of the Gods and study it. The Great Work is the uniting of opposites. It may mean the uniting of the soul with God, of the microcosm with the macrocosm, of the female with the male, of the ego with the non-ego --- or what not. By "love under will" one refers to the fact that the method in every case is love, by which is meant the uniting of opposites as above stated, such as hydrogen and chlorine, sodium and oxygen, and so on. Any reaction what- ever, any phenomenon, is a phenomenon of "love", as you will understand when I come to explain to you the meaning of the word "point-event". But love has to be "under will," if it is to be properly directed. You must find your True Will, and make all your actions subservient to the one great purpose. Rahoor is the Sun God; Tahuti is the Egyptian Mercury; Kephra is the Sun at midnight. About your problems; what I have to do is to try to teach you to think clearly. You will be immensely stimulated by having all the useless trim- mings stripped from your thinking apparatus. For instance, I don't think you know the first principles of logic. You apparently take up a more or less Christian attitude, but at the same time you like very much the idea of Karma. You cannot have both. The question about money does not arise. This old and very good rule (which I have always kept) was really pertinent to the time when there were actual secrets. But I have published openly all the secrets. All I can do is to train you in a perfectly exoteric way. My suggestion about the weekly letter was intended to exclude this question, as you would be getting full commercial value for anything paid. Your questions about the Spirit of the Sun, and so on, are to be answered by experience. Intellectual satisfaction is worthless. I have to bring you to a state of mind completely superior to the mechanism of the normal mind. A good deal of your letter is rather difficult to answer. You always seem to want to put the cart before the horse. Don't you see that, if I were trying to get you to do something or other, I should simply return you to the kind of answer which I thought would satisfy you, and make you happy? And this would be very easy to do because you have got no clear ideas a- bout anything. For one thing, you keep on using terms about whose signifi- cance we are not yet in agreement. When you talk about the "Christian path," do you believe in vicarious atonement and eternal damnation --- or don't you? A great deal of the confusion that arises in all these ques- tions, and grows constantly worse as fellow-students talk them over --- the blind leading the blind --- is because they have no idea of the necessity of defining their terms. Then again, you ask me questions like "What is purity?" that can be an- swered in a dozen different ways; and you must understand what is meant by a "universe of discourse." If you asked me --- "Is this sample of clo- ride of gold a pure sample?" I can answer you. You must understand the value of precision in speech. I could go on rambling about purity and selflessness for years, and no one would be a penny the better. P.S. --- or rather, I did not want to dictate this bit. --- Your ideas about the O.T.O. remind me of some women's idea of shopping. You want to 10 maul about the stock and then walk out with a proud glad smile: NO. Do you really think that I should muster all the most distinguished people alive for your inspection and approval? The affiliation clause in our Constitution is a privilege: a courtesy to a sympathetic body. Were you not a Mason, or Co-Mason, you would have to be proposed and seconded, and then examined by savage Inquisitors; and then --- probably --- thrown out on to the garbage heap. Well, no, it's not as bad as that; but we certainly don't want anybody who chooses to apply. Would you do it yourself, if you were on the Committee of a Club? The O.T.O. is a serious body, engaged on a work of Cosmic scope. You should question yourself: what can I contribute? Secrets. There is one exception to what I have said about publishing everything: that is, the ultimate secret of the O.T.O. This is really too dangerous to disclose; but the safeguard is that you could not use it if you knew it, unless you were an advanced Adept; and you would not be allowed to go so far unless we were satisfied that you were sincerely devoted to the Great Work. (See One Star in Sight). True, the Black Brothers could use it; but they would only destroy themselves. Love is the law, love under will. Fraternally, 666 Letter No. D June 8, 1943 Cara Soror, Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. Thanks for your letter. I couldn't find the O.T.O. typescript --- and then it struck me that it would be useful to await your reactions. If I were expecting some presumably important papers by post, I should get anxious after 24 hours delay (at most) and start enquiries. Anyhow, I can't find them for the moment; but Mr. Bryant said he would lend you his Blue Equinox: pages 195-270 give what you require. But the real point of your affiliating is that it saves me from constantly being on my guard lest I should mention something which I am sworn not to reveal. As in every serious society, members are pledged not to disclose what they may have learnt, whom they have met; it is so, even in Co-Mason- ry: isn't it: But one may mention the names of members who have died. (See Liber LII, par. 2.) Be happy then; the late X... Y... was one of us. I hope that he and Rudolph Steiner will (between them) satisfy your doubts. The A.'.A.'. is totally different. One Star in Sight tells you every- thing that you need to know. (Perhaps some of these regulations are hard to grasp: personally, I can never understand all this By-Law stuff. So you must ask me what, and why, and so on.) There is really only one point for your judgment. "By their fruits ye shall know them." You have read Liber LXV and Liber VII; That shows you 11 what states you can attain by this cirriculum. Now read "A Master of the Temple" (Blue Equinox, pp. 127-170) for an account of the early stages of training, and their results. (Of course, your path might not coincide with, or even resemble, his path.) But do get it into you head that "If the blind lead the blind, they shall both fall into the ditch." If you had seen 1% of the mischief that I have seen, you would freeze to the marrow of your bones at the mere idea of seeing another member through the telescope! Well, I employ the figure of hyperbole, that I admit; but it really won't do to have a dozen cooks at the broth! If you're working with me, you'll have no time to waste on other people. I fear your "Christianity" is like that of most other folk. You pick out one or two of the figures from which the Alexandrines concocted "Jesus" (too many cooks, again, with a vengeance!) and neglect the others. The Zionist Christ of Matthew can have no value for you; nor can the Asiatic "Dying-God" --- compiled from Melcarth, Mithras, Adonis, Bacchus, Osiris, Attis, Krishna, and others --- who supplied the miraculous and ritualistic elements of the fable. Rightly you ask: "What can I contribute?" Answer: One Book. That is the idea of the weekly letter: 52 of yours and 52 of mine, competently edited, would make a most useful volume. This would be your property: so that you get full material value, perhaps much more, for your outlay. I thought of the plan because one such arrangement has recently come to an end, with amazingly happy results: they should lie open to your admiring gaze in a few months from now. Incidentally, I personally get nothing out of it; secretarial work costs money these days. But there is another great advan- tage; it keeps both of us up to the mark. Also, in such letters a great deal of odds and ends of knowledge turn up automatically; valuable stuff, frequent enough; yes, but one doesn't want to lose the thread, once one starts. Possibly ten days might be best. But please understand that this suggestion arose solely from your own statement of what you thought would help in your present circumstances. Anyway, as you say, decide! If it is yes, I should like to see you before June 15 when I expect to go away for a few days; better to give you some groundwork to keep you busy in my absence. Love is the law, love under will. Fraternally, 666 Letter No. E Aug. 18, 1943 Cara Soror, Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. Much thought has gone into the construction of your Motto. "I will become" can be turned neatly enough as "Let there be;" by avoiding the First Pro- noun one gets the idea of "the absorption of the Self in the Beloved," 12 which is exactly what you want. "The creative Force of the Universe" is quite ready-made. Pyramis1, a pyramid, is that Force in its geometrical form; in its biological form it is Phallus2, the Yang or Lingam. Both words have the same numerical value, 831. These two words can therefore serve you as the secret object of your Work. How than can you construct the number 831? The Letter Kaph3, Jupiter (Jehovah), the Wheel of Fortune in the Tarot --- the Atu X is a picture of the Universe built up and revolving by virtue of those Three Principles: Sulphur, Mercury, Salt; or Gunas: Sattvas, Rajas, Tamas --- has the value 20. So also has the letter Yod4 spelt in full. One Gnostic secret way of spelling and pronouncing Jehovah is IAO5 and this has the value 811. So has "Let there be," Fiat, transliterating into Greek. Resuming all these ideas, it seems that you can express your aspiration very neatly, very fully, by choosing for your motto the words FIAT YOD. Love is the law, love under will. Fraternally, 666 P.S. Please study this letter, and these explanatory figures (the author, BAPHOMET X O.T.O., in the original spells each word, giving the numerical equivalent of each letter in puramis, etc. This is here not copied.) and meditate upon them until you have fully assimilate not only the matter under immediate consideration, but the general method of Qabal- istic research and construction. Note how new cognate ideas arise to enrich the formula. 666 Letter No. F Aug. 20, 1943 Cara Soror, Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. Let me begin by referring to my letter about the motto and make clear to you the working of this letter. In this motto you have really got several ideas combined, and yet they are really, of course, one idea. Fiat, being 811, is identical with IAO, and therefore FIAT YOD might be read not only as "let there be" (or "Let me become"), the secret source of all creative energy, but as "the secret source of the energy of Jehovah." The two words together, having the value 1* In the original in Greek 2* In the original in Greek. 3* In the original in Hebrew. 4* In the original in Hebrew. 5* In the original in Greek. 13 of 831, they contain the secret meanings Pyramis and Phallos, which is the same idea in different forms; thus you have three ways of expressing the creative form, in its geometrical aspect, its human aspect, and its divine aspect. I am making a point of this, because the working out of this motto should give you a very clear idea of the sort of way in which Qabalah should be used. I think it is rather useful to remember what the essence of the Qabalah is in principle; thus, in your correspondence for Malkuth, Yesod, and Hod you are simply writing down some of the ideas which pertain to the numbers 10, 9, and 8 respectively. Naturally, there is a great deal of re- dundancy and overloading as soon as you get to ideas important enough to be comprehensive; as is mentioned in the article on the Qabalah in Equi- nox Vol. I, No. 5, it is quite easy to prove 1 = 2 = 3 = 4, etc. On the other hand, you must be careful to avoid taking the correspondences given in the books of reference without thinking out why they are so given. Thus, you find a camel in the number which refers to the Moon, but the Tarot card "the Moon" refers not to the letter Gimel which means camel, but to the letter Qoph, and the sign Pisces which means fish, while the letter itself refers to the back of the head; and you also find fish has the meaning of the letter Nun. You must not go on from this, and say that the back of your head is like a camel - the connection between them is simply that they all refer to the same thing. In studying the Qabalah you mention six months; I think after that time you should be able to realize that, after six incarnations of uninterrupted study, you may realize that you can never know it; as Confucius said about the Yi King. "If a few more years were added to my life, I would devote a hundred of them to the study of the Yi." If, however, you work at the Qabalah in the same way as I did myself, in season and out of season, you ought to get a very fair grasp of it in six months. I will now tell you what this method is: as I walked about, I made a point of attributing everything I saw to its appropriate idea. I would walk out of the door of my house and reflect that door is Daleth, and house Beth; now the word "dob" is Hebrew for bear, and has the number 6, which refers to the Sun. Then you come to the fence of your property and that is Cheth - number 8, number of Tarot Trump 7, which is the Chariot: so you begin to look about for your car. Then you come to the street and the first house you see is number 86, and that is Elohim, and it is built of red brick which reminds you of Mars and the Blasted Tower, and so on. As soon as this sort of work, which can be done in a quite lighthearted spirit, becomes habitual, you will find your mind running naturally in this direction, and will be surprised at your progress. Never let your mind wander from the fact that your Qabalah is not my Qabalah; a good many of the things which I have noted may be useful to you, but you must construct your own system so that it is a living weapon in your hand. I think I am fair if I say that the first step on the Qabalah which may be called success, is when you make an actual discovery which throws light on some problem which has been troubling you. A quarter of a century ago I was in New Orleans, and was very puzzled about my immediate course of action; in fact I may say I was very much distressed. There seemed literally no- thing that I could do, so I bethought myself that I had better invoke Mercury. As soon as I got into the appropriate frame of mind, it naturally occurred to me, with a sort of joy, "But I am Mercury." I put it into Latin --- Mercurius sum, and suddenly something struck me, a sort of nameless reaction which said: "That's not quite right." Like a flash it came to me to put 14 it into Greek, which gave me "Hermes Eimi", {Keynote: may wish to convert to true Greek} and adding that up rapidly, I got the number 418, with all the marvellous correspondences which had been so abundantly useful to me in the past (See Equ. of the Gods, p. 138). My troubles disappeared like a flash of lightning. Now to answer your questions seriatum; it is quite all right to put ques- tions to me about The Book of the Law; a very extended commentary has been written, but it is not yet published. I shall probably be able to answer any of your questions from the manuscript, but you cannot go on after that when it would become a discussion; as they say in the law- courts, "You must take the witness' answer." II. The Qabalah, both Greek and Hebrew, also very likely Arabic, was used by the author of The Book of the Law. I have explained above the proper use of the Qabalah. I cannot tell you how the early Rosicrucians used it, but I think one may assume that their methods were not dissimilar to our own. Incidentally, it is not very safe to talk about Rosicrucians, because their name has become a signal for letting loose the most devastating floods of nonsense. What is really known about the original Rosicrucians is prac- tically confined to the three documents which they issued. The eighteenth century Rosicrucians may, or may not, have been legitimate successors of the original brotherhood - I don't know. But from them the O.T.O. derived its authority; The late O.H.O. Theodor Reuss possessed a certain number of documents which demonstrated the validity of his claim according to him; but I only saw two or three of them, and they were not of very great impor- tance. Unfortunately he died shortly after the last War, and he had got out of touch with some of the other Grand Masters. The documents did not come to me as they should have done; they were seized by his wife who had an idea that she could sell them for a fantastic price; and we did not feel inclined to meet her views. I don't think the matter is of very great importance, the work being done by members of the Order all over the place is to me quite sufficient. III. The Ruach contains both the moral and intellectual worlds, which is really all that we mean by the conscious mind; perhaps it even includes certain portions of the subconscious. IV. In initiation from the grade of Neophyte to that of Zelator, one passes by this way. The main work is to obtain admission to, and control of, the astral plane. Your expressions about "purifying the feelings" and so on are rather vague to enter into a scientific system like ours. The result which you doubt- less refer to is attained automatically in the course of your experiments. Your very soon discover the sort of state of mind which is favourable or unfavourable to the work, and you also discover what is helpful and harm- ful to these states in your way of life. For instance, the practice like the non-receiving of gifts is all right for a Hindu whose mind is branded for ten thousand incarnations by the shock of accepting a cigarette or a cup of tea. Incidentally, most of the Eastern cults fall down when they come West, simply because they make no allowance for our different tempera- ments. Also they set tasks which are completely unsuitable to Europeans - an immense amount of disappointment has been caused by failure to recognize these facts. Your sub-questions a, b, and c are really answered by the above. All the terms you use are very indefinite. I hope it will not take too long to 15 get you out of the way of thinking in these terms. For instance, the word "initiation" includes the whole process, and how to distinguish between it and enlightenment I cannot tell you. "Probation," moreover, if it means "proving," continues throughout the entire process. Nothing is worse for the student than to indulge in these mild speculations about ambiguous terms. V. You can, if you like, try to work out a progress of Osiris through Amennti on the Tree of Life, but I doubt whether you will get any satis- factory result. It seems to me that you should confine yourself very closely to the actual work in front of you. At the present moment, of course, this includes a good deal of general study; but my point is that the terms employed in that study should always be capable of precise definition. I am not sure whether you have my Little Essays Toward Truth. The first essay in the book entitled "Man" gives a full account of the five principles which go to make up Man according to the Qabalistic system. I have tried to define these terms as accurately as possible, and I think you will find them,, in any case, clearer than those to which you have become accustomed with the Eastern systems. In India, by the way, no attempt is ever made to use these vague terms. They always have a very clear idea of what is meant by words like "Buddhi," "Manas" and the like. Attempts at translation are very unsatisfactory. I find that even with such a simple matter as the "Eight limbs of Yoga," as you will see when you come to read my Eight Lectures. I am very pleased with your illustrations; that is excellent practice for you. Presently you have to make talismans, and a Lamen for yourself, and even to devise a seal to serve as what you might call a magical coat-of- arms, and all this sort of thing is very helpful. It occurs to me that so far we have done nothing about the astral plane and this path of Tau of which you speak. Have you had any experience of travelling in the astral? If not, do you think that you can begin by your- self on the lines laid down in Liber O, sections 5 and 6? (See Magick, pp. 387-9). If not you had better let me take you through the first gates. The question of noise instantly arises; I think we should have to do it not earlier than nine o'clock at night, and I don't know whether you can manage this. Love is the law, love under will. Fraternally, 666 Letter No. G September 4. Cara Soror, Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. "shall be" (instead of "Do what thou wilt is ... ") not "is". See Liber AL, I, 36, 54, and II, 54. Not "Master Perdurabo": see Magick p. XXIX. "Care Frater" is enough. 777 is practically unpurchaseable: copies fetch 10 or so. Nearly all im- 16 portant correspondences are in Magick Table I. The other 2 books are being sent at once. "Working out games with numbers." I am sorry you should see no more than this. When you are better equipped, you will see that the Qabalah is the best (and almost the only) means by which an in- telligence can identify himself. And Gematria methods serve to discover spiritual truths. Numbers are the network of the structure of the Universe, and their relations the form of expression of our Understanding of it. (He gives the numerical value of the letters of the Greek alphabet - not copied here. - ed.) In Greek and Hebrew there is no other way of writing numbers; our 1, 2, 3 etc. comes from the Phoenicians through the Arabs. You need no more of Greek and Hebrew than these values, some sacred words --- know- ledge grows by use --- and books of reference. One cannot set a pupil definite tasks beyond the groundwork I am giving you, and we should find this correspondence taking clear shape of its own accord. You have really more than you can do already. And I can only tell you what the right tasks --- out of hundreds --- are by your own reactions to your own study and practice. "Osiris in Amennti" - see the Book of the Dead. I meant you might try to trace a parallelism between his journeyings and the Path of Initiation. Astral travel - development of the Astral Body is essential to research; and, above all, to the attainment of "the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel." You ought to demonstrate your performance of the Pentagram Ritual to me; you are probably making any number of mistakes. I will, of course, take you carefully through the O.T.O. rituals to III as soon as you are fairly familiar with them. The plan of the grades is this: --- 0 Attraction to the Solar System I Birth II Life III Death IV "Exaltation" P.I, "Annihilation" V-IX Progressive comment on II with very special reference to the central secret of practical Magick. There is thus no connection with the A.'.A.'. system and the Tree of Life. Of course, there are certain analogies. Your suggested method of study: you have got my idea quite well. But no- body can "take you through" the Grades of A.'.A.'.. The Grades confirm your attainments as you make them; then, the new tasks appear. See One Star in Sight. Love is the law, love under will. Fraternally, 666 Letter No. H 17 November 10 - 11. 11 p.m. - 2 a.m. Cara Soror, Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. Your's of yestere'en came to gladden me just when the whole evening lay blank before me: the one job such a big job that I simply can't get down to it until I get help: How annoying! Still, yours the gain! 1. That verse (AL. I, 44) condenses the whole magical technique. It makes clear --- when you have understood it --- the secret of success in the Great Work. Of course at first it appears a paradox. You must have an aim, and one aim only: yet on no account must you want to achieve it!!! Those chapters of the Book of Lies quoted in my last letter6 do throw some light onto this Abyss of self-contradiction; and there is meaning much deeper than the contrast between the Will with a capital W, and desire, want, or velleity. The main point seems to be that in aspiring to Power one is limited by the True Will. If you use force, violating your own nature either from lack of understanding or from petulant whim, one is merely wasting energy; things go back to normal as soon as the stress is removed. This is one small case of the big Equation "Free Will = Necessity" (Fate, Destiny, or Karma: it's all much the same idea). One is most rigid- ly bound by the causal chain that has dragged one to where one is; but it is one's own self that has forged the links. Please refrain from the obvious retort: "Then, in the long run, you can't possibly go wrong: so it doesn't matter what you do." Perfectly true, of course! (There is no single grain of dust that shall not attain to Buddha- hood:" with some such words did the debauched old reprobate seek to console himself when Time began to take its revenge.) But the answer is simple enough: you happen to be the kind of being that thinks it does matter what course you steer; or, still more haughtily, you enjoy the pleasure of sailing. No, there is this factor in all success: self-confidence. If we analyze this, we find that it means that one is aware that all one's mental and physical faculties are working harmoniously. The deadliest and subtlest enemy of that feeling is anxiety about the result; the finest gauze of doubt is enough to dim one's vision, to throw the entire field out of focus. Hence, even to be aware that there is a result in prospect must militate against that serenity of spirit which is the essence of self-confidence. As you will know, all our automatic physiological functions are deranged if one is aware of them. This then, is the difficulty, to enjoy conscious- ly while not disturbing the process involved. The obvious physical case is the sexual act: perhaps its chief importance is just that it is a type of this exceptional spiritual-mental condition. I hope, however, that you will remember what I have said on the subject in paragraphs 15 - 17 of my 3rd Lecture on Yoga for Yellowbellies (pp. 71-72); there is a way of obtaining ecstacy from the most insignificant physiological function. Ob- serve that in transferring the whole consciousness to (say) one's little finger or big toe is not trying to interfere with the normal exercise of sits activities, but only to realize what is going on in the organism, the 6* A letter dated Oct. 12, '43 constituted No. 48 in Magick Without Tears and the following chapters from the Book of Lies: - "Peaches", "Pilgrim-Talk", "Buttons and Rosettes", "The Gun-Barrel and the Mountaineer". 18 exquisite pleasure of a function in its normal activity. With a little imagination one can conceive the analogical case of the Universe itself; and, still less fettered by even the mildest limitation which material symbols necessarily (however little) suggest, "Remember all ye that exis- tence is pure joy; ..." (AL, II, 9). Is it too bold to suggest that the gradual merging of all these Ways into an interwoven unity may be taken as one mode of presentation of the Accom- plishment of the Great Work itself? At least, I feel fairly satisfied the meditation of them severally and jointly may help you to an answer to your first question. 2. Most people in my experience either cook up a hell-broth of self-induced obstacles to success in Astral traveling, or else shoot forth on the wings of romantic imagination and fool themselves for the rest of their lives in the manner of the Village Idiot. Yours, luckily, is the former trouble. But --- is it plain obstinacy? --- you do not exercise the sublime Art of Guru- bullying. You should have made one frenzied leap to my dying bed, thrust aside the cohorts of Mourning Archimandrites, and wrung my nose until I made you do it. And you repeatedly insist that it is difficult. It isn't. Is there, how- ever, some deep-seated inhibition - a (Freudian) fear of success? Is there some connection with that sense of guilt which is born in all but the very few? But you don't give it a fair chance. There is, I admit, some trick, or knack, about getting properly across; a faculty which one acquires (as a rule) quite suddenly and unexpectedly. Rather like mastering some shots at billiards. Practice has taught me how to communicate this to students; only in rare cases does one fail. (It's incredible: one man simply could not be persuaded that intense physical exertion was the wrong way to to it. There he sat, with the veins on his forehead almost on the point of burst- ing, and the arms of my favourite chair visibly trembling beneath his power- ful grip!) In your case, I notice that you have got this practice mixed up with Dharana: you write of "Emptying my mind of everything except the one idea, etc." Then you go on: "The invoking of a supersensible Being is im- possible to me as yet." The impudence! The arrogance! How do you know, pray madam? (Dial numbers at random: the results are often surprisingly delightful!) Besides, I didn't ask you to invoke a supersensible (what a word! Meaning?) Being right away, or at any time: that supersensible is getting on my nerves: do you mean "not in normal circumstances to be ap- prehended by the senses?" I suppose so. In a word: do fix a convenient season for going on the Astral Plane under my eye: half an hour (with a bit of luck) on not more than four evenings would put you in a very different frame of mind. You will soon "feel your feet" and then "get your sea-legs" and then, much sooner than you think "Afloat in the aethyr, O my God! my God!". . . . . "White swan, bear thou ever me up between thy wings!" 3. Now then to your old Pons Asinorum about the names of the Gods! Stand in the corner for half an hour with your face to the wall! Stay in after school and write Malka be-Tharshishim v-Ruachoth b-Schebralim 999 times! 19 My dear, dear, dear sister, a name is a formula of power. How can you talk of "anachronism" when the Being is eternal? For the type of energy is eter- nal. Every name is a number: and "Every number is infinite; there is no differ- ence." (AL I, 4). But one Name, or system of Names, may be more convenient either (a) to you personally or (b) to the work you are at. E.g. I have very little sympathy with Jewish Theology or ritual; but the Qabalah is so handy and congenial that I use it more than almost any --- or all the others together --- for daily use and work. The Egyptian Theogony is the noblest, the most truly magical, the most bound to me (or rather I to it) by some inmost instinct, and by the memory of my incarnation as Ankh-f-n-Khonsu, that I use it (with its Graeco-Phoenician child) for all work of supreme import. Why stamp my vitals, madam! The Abramelin Operation itself turned into this form before I could so much as set to work on it! like the Duchess' baby (excuse this enthusiasm; but you have aroused the British Lion-Serpent.) Note, please, that the equivalents given in 777 are not always exact. Tahuti is not quite Thoth, still less Hermes; Mercury is a very much more comprehensive idea, but not nearly so exalted: Hanuman hardly at all. Nor is Tetragrammaton IAO, though even etymology asserts the identity. In these matters you must be catholic, eclectic, even syncretic. And you must consider the nature of your work. If I wanted to evoke Taphthartharath, there would be little help indeed from any but the Qabalistic system; for that spirit's precise forms and numbers are not to be found in any other. The converse, however, is not so true. The Qabalah, properly understood, properly treated, is so universal that one can vamp up a ritual to suit almost "any name and form." But in such a case one may expect to have to reinforce it by a certain amount of historical, literary, or philosophic study --- and research. 4. Quite right, dear lady, about your incarnation memories acting as a "Guide to the Way Back." Of course, if you "missed an Egyptian Incarnation," you would not be so likely to be a little Martha, worried "about much serv- ing." Don't get surfeited with knowledge, above all things; it is so very fascinating, so dreadfully easy; and the danger of becoming a pedant --- "Deuce take all your pedants! say I." Don't "dry-rot at ease 'till the Judgment Day." No, I will NOT recommend a book. It should not hurt you too much to browse on condensed hay (or thistles) such as articles in Encyclopedias. Take Roget's Thesaurus or Smith's Smaller Classical Dictionary (and the like) to read yourself to sleep on. But don't stultify yourself by taking up such study too seriously. You only make yourself ridiculous by trying to do at 50 what you ought to have done at 15. As you didn't --- tant pis! You can't possibly get the spirit; if you could, it would mean merely mental indi- gestion. We have all read how Cato started to learn Greek at 90: but the story stops there. We have never been told what good it did to himself or anyone else. 5. God-forms. See Magick pp. 378-9. Quite clear: quite adequate: no use at all without continual practice. No one can join with you --- off you go again! No, no, a thousand times no: this is the practice par excellence where you have to do it all yourself. The Vibration of God-names: that perhaps, I can at least test you in. But don't you dare come up for a test 20 until you've been at it --- and hard --- for at least 100 exercises. I think this is your trouble about being "left in the air." When I "present many new things" to you, the sting is in the tail --- the practice that vi- talizes it. Doctrinal stuff is fine "Lazily, lazily, drowsily, drowsily, in the noo-on-dye shaun!" An ounce of your practice is worth a ton of my teaching. GET THAT. It's all your hatred of hard work: "Go to the ant thou sluggard! Consider her ways and be -----." I am sure that Solomon was too good a poet, and too experienced a Guru, to tail off with the anticlimax "wise." 6. Minerval. What is the matter? All you have to do is understand it: just a dramatization of the process of incarnation. Better run through it with me: I'll make it clear, and you can make notes of your troubles and their solution for the use of future members. 7. The Book of Thoth. Surely all terms not in a good dictionary are explained in the text. I don't see what I can do about it, in any case; the same criticism would apply to (say) Bertrand Russell's Introduction to Mathematical Physics, wouldn't it? Is x an R-ancestor of y if y has every R-hereditary that x has, provided x is a term which has the relation R to something or to which something has the relation R? (Enthusiastic cries of "Yes, it is!") He says "A number is anything which has the number of some class." Feel better now? Still, it would be kind of you to go through a page or so with me, and tell me where the shoe pinches. Of course I have realized the difficulty long ago; but I don't know the solution --- or if there is a solution. I did think of calling Magick "Magick Without Tears"; and I did try having my work cross-examined as I went on by minds of very inferior education or capacity. In fact, Parts I and II of Book 4 were thus tested. What about applying the Dedekindian cut to this letter? I am sure you would not wish it to develop into a Goclenian Sorites, especially as I fear that I may already have deviated from the diapantos7 Hapaxlegomenon. Love is the law, love under will. Fraternally, 666 Letter No. I January 27, 1944 Cara Soror, Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. 7* Greek letters in the original 21 It is very good hearing that these letters do good, but rather sad to re- flect that it is going to make you so unpopular. Your friends will notice at once that glib vacuities fail to impress, and hate you, and tell lies about you. It's worth it. Yes, your brain is quite all right; what is wanted is to acquire the habit of pinning things down instantly. (He says 're-incarnation' --- now what exactly does he mean by that? He says "it is natural to suppose . . . ": what is "natural", and what is implied by supposition?) Practice this style of criticism; write down what happens. Within a week or two you will be astounded to discover that you have got what is apparently little less than a new brain! You must make this a habit, not letting anything get by the sentries. Indeed, I want you to go even further; make sure of what is meant by even the simplest words. Trace the history of the word with the help of Skeat's Etymological Dictionary. E.g. "pretty" means tricky, deceitful; on the other hand, "hussy" is only "housewife". It's amusing, too, this "tabby" refers to Prince Attab, the grandson of Ommeya --- the silk quarter of Baghdad where utabi, a rich watered silk was sold. This will soon give you the power of discerning instantly when words are being used to hide meaning or lack of it. About A.'.A.'., etc.: your resolution is noble, but there is a letter ready for you which deals with what is really a legitimate enquiry; necessary, too, with so many hordes of "Hidden Masters" and "Mahatmas" and so on scurrying all over the floor in the hope of distracting attention from the inanities of their trusted henchmen. Love is the law, love under will. Fraternally, 666 P.S. I must write at length about the Higher Self or "God within us," too easy to get muddled about it, and the subject requires careful pre- paration. CHAPTER I. WHAT IS MAGICK? Cara Soror, Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. What is Magick? Why should anyone study and practice it? Very natural; the obvious preliminary questions of any subject soever. We must cer- tainly get all this crystal clear; fear not that I shall fail to set forth the whole business as concisely as possible yet as fully, as cogent- ly yet as lucidly, as may prove within my power to do. At least I need not waste any time on telling you what Magick is not; or to go into the story of how the word came to be misapplied to conjuring tricks, and to sham miracles such as are to this day foisted by charlatan swindlers, either within or without the Roman Communion, upon a gaping crew of pious imbeciles. 22 First let me go all Euclidean, and rub your nose in the Definition, Postu- late and Theorems given in my comprehensive (but, alas! too advanced and too technical) Treatise on the subject. Here we are! I. DEFINITION: Magick is the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will. (Illustration: It is my Will to inform the World of certain facts within my knowledge. I therefore take "magical weapons," pen, ink, and paper; I write "incantations" --- these sentences --- in the "magi- cal language" i.e. that which is understood by people I wish to instruct. I call forth "spirits" such as printers, publishers, booksellers, and so forth, and constrain them to convey my message to those people. The composition and distribution is thus an act of --- MAGICK --- by which I cause Changes to take place in conformity with my Will.8) II. POSTULATE: ANY required Change may be effected by application of the proper kind and degree of Force in the proper manner through the proper medium to the proper object. (Illustration: I wish to prepare an ounce of Chloride of Gold. I must take the right kind of acid, nitro-hydrochloric and no other, in sufficient quantity and of adequate strength, and place it, in a vessel which will not break, leak or corrode, in such a manner as will not produce undesirable results, with the necessary quantity of Gold, and so forth. Every Change has its own conditions. In the present state of our knowledge and power some changes are not possible in practice; we cannot cause eclipses, for instance, or transform lead into tin, or create men from mushrooms. But it is theoretically possible to cause in any object any change of which that object is capable by nature; and the conditions are covered by the above postulate.) III. THEOREMS: 1. Every intentional act is a Magical Act.9 (Ilustration: See "Definition" above.) 2. Every successful act has conformed to the postulate. 3. Every failure proves that one or more requirements of the postu- late have not been fulfilled (Illustrations: There may be failure to understand the case; as when a doctor makes a wrong diagnosis, and his treatment injures his patient. There may be failure to apply the right kind of force, 8* By "intentional" I mean "willed". But even unintentional acts so seem- ing are not truly so. Thus, breathing is an act of the Will-to-live. 9* In one sense Magick may be defined as the name given to Science by the vulgar. 23 as when a rustic tries to blow out an electric light. There may be failure to apply the right degree of force, as when a wrestler has his hold broken. There may be failure to apply the force in the right manner, as when one presents a cheque at the wrong window of the Bank. There may be failure to employ the correct medium, as when Leonardo da Vinci found his masterpiece fade away. The force may be applied to an unsuitable object, as when one tries to crack a stone, thinking it a nut.) 4. The first requisite for causing any change is thorough qualita- tive and quantitative understanding of the condition. (Illustration: The most common cause of failure in life is ignorance of one's own True Will, or of the means by which to fulfill that Will. A man may fancy himself a painter, and waste his life trying to become one; or he may be really a painter, and yet fail to understand and to measure the difficulties peculiar to that career.) 5. The second requisite of causing any change is the practical ability to set in right motion the necessary forces. (Illustration: A banker may have a perfect grasp of a given situa- tion, yet lack the quality of decision, or the assets, necessary to take advantage of it.) 6. "Every man and every woman is a star." That is to say, every human being is intrinsically an independent individual with his own proper character and proper motion. 7. Every man and every woman has a course, depending partly on the self, and partly on the environment which is natural and necessary for each. Anyone who is forced from his own course, either through not understanding himself, or through external opposition, comes in- to conflict with the order of the Universe, and suffers accordingly. (Illustration: A man may think it his duty to act in a certain way, through having made a fancy picture of himself, instead of investi- gating his actual nature. For example, a woman may make herself miserable for life by thinking that she prefers love to social con- sideration, or vice versa. One woman may stay with an unsympathetic husband when she would really be happy in an attic with a lover, while another may fool herself into a romantic elopement when her only true pleasures are those of presiding at fashionable functions. Again, a boy's instinct may tell him to go to sea, while his parents insist on his becoming a doctor. In such a case, he will be both unsuccessful and unhappy in medicine. 8. A man whose conscious will is at odds with his True Will is wasting his strength. He cannot hope to influence his environment efficiently. (Illustration: When Civil War rages in a nation, it is in no condi- tion to undertake the invasion of other countries. A man with cancer employs his nourishment alike to his own use and to that of the enemy which is part of himself. He soon fails to resist the pressure of his environment. In practical life, a man who is doing what his conscience tells him to be wrong will do it very clumsily. At first!) 24 9. A man who is doing his True Will has the inertia of the Universe to assist him. (Illustration: The first principle of success in evolution is that the individual should be true to his own nature, and at the same time adapt himself to his environment.) 10. Nature is a continuous phenomenon, thought we do not know in all cases how things are connected. (Illustration: Human consciousness depends on the properties of protoplasm, the existence of which depends on innumerable physical conditions peculiar to this planet; and this planet is determined by the mechanical balance of the whole universe of matter. We may then say that our consciousness is causally connected with the re- motest galaxies; yet we do not know even how it arises from --- or with --- the molecular changes in the brain.) 11. Science enables us to take advantage of the continuity of Nature by the empirical application of certain principles whose interplay involves different orders of idea, connected with each other in a way beyond our present comprehension. (Illustration: We are able to light cities by rule-of-thumb methods. We do not know what consciousness is, or how it is connected with muscular action; what electricity is or how it is connected with the machines that generate it; and our methods depend on calcula- tions involving mathematical ideas which have no correspondence in the Universe as we know it.10) 12. Man is ignorant of the nature of his own being and powers. Even his idea of his limitations is based on experience of the past. and every step in his progress extends his empire. There is, there- fore, no reason to assign theoretical limits11 to what he may be, or to what he may do. (Illustration: Two generations ago it was supposed theoretically impossible that man should ever know the chemical composition of the fixed stars. It is known that our senses are adapted to receive only an infinitesimal fraction of the possible rates of vibration. Modern instruments have enabled us to detect some of these supra- sensibles by indirect methods, and even to use their peculiar quali- ties in the service of man, as in the case of the rays of Hertz and Roentgen. As Tyndall said, man might at any moment learn to per- ceive and utilize vibrations of all conceivable and inconceivable kinds. The question of Magick is a question of discovering and em- ploying hitherto unknown forces in nature. We know that they exist, and we cannot doubt the possibility of mental or physical instru- ments capable of bringing us in relation with them.) 13. Every man is more or less aware that his individuality comprises several orders of existence, even when he maintains that his subtler principles are merely symptomatic of the changes in his gross vehicle. A similar order may be assumed to extend throughout nature. 10* For instance, "irrational," "unreal," and "infinite" expressions. 11* i.e. except --- possibly --- in the case of logically absurd questions, such as the schoolmen discussed in connection with "God." 25 (Illustration: One does not confuse the pain of toothache with the decay which causes it. Inanimate objects are sensitive to certain physical forces, such as electrical and thermal conductivity; but neither in us nor in them --- so far as we know --- is there any direct conscious perception of these forces. Imperceptible influences are therefore associated with all material phenomena; and there is no reason why we should not work upon matter through those subtle ener- gies as we do through their material bases. In fact, we use magnetic force to move iron, and solar radiation to reproduce images.) 14. Man is capable of being, and using, anything which he perceives; for everything that he perceives is in a certain sense a part of his being. He may thus subjugate the whole Universe of which he is con- scious to his individual Will. (Illustration: Man has used the idea of God to dictate his personal conduct, to obtain power over his fellows, to excuse his crimes, and for innumerable other purposes, including that of realizing himself as God. He has used the irrational and unreal conceptions of mathe- matics to help him in the construction of mechanical devices. He has used his moral force to influence the actions even of wild ani- mals. He has employed poetic genius for political purposes.) 15. Every force in the Universe is capable of being transformed into any other kind of force by using suitable means. There is thus an inexhaustible supply of any particular kind of force that we may need. (Illustration: Heat may be transformed into light and power by using it to drive dynamos. The vibrations of the air may be used to kill men by so ordering them in speech as to inflame war-like passions. The hallucinations connected with the mysterious energies of sex result in the perpetuation of the species.) 16. The application of any given force affects all the orders of being which exist in the object to which it is applied, whichever of those orders is directly affected. (Illustration: If I strike a man with a dagger, his consciousness, not his body only, is affected by my act; although the dagger, as such, has no direct relation therewith. Similarly, the power of my thought may so work on the mind of another person as to produce far- reaching physical changes in him, or in others through him.) 17. A man may learn to use any force so as to serve any purpose, by taking advantage of the above theorems. (Illustration: A man may use a razor to make himself vigilant over his speech, by using it to cut himself whenever he unguardedly utters a chosen word. He may serve the same purpose by resolving that every incident of his life shall remind him of a particular thing, Making every impression the starting point of a connected series of thoughts ending in that thing. He might also devote his whole energies to some particular object, by resolving to do nothing at variance therewith, and to make every act turn to the advantage of that object.) 18. He may attract to himself any force of the Universe by making himself a fit receptacle for it, establishing a connection with it, 26 and arranging conditions so that its nature compels it to flow to- ward him. (Illustration: If I want pure water to drink, I dig a well in a place where there is underground water; I prevent it from leaking away; and I arrange to take advantage of water's accordance with the laws of Hydrostatics to fill it.) 19. Man's sense of himself as separate from, and opposed to, the Universe is a bar to his conducting its currents. It insulates him. (Illustration: A popular leader is most successful when he forgets himself, and remembers only "The Cause." Self-seeking engenders jealousies and schism. When the organs of the body assert their presence otherwise than by silent satisfaction, it is a sign that they are diseased. The single exception is the organ of reproduc- tion. Yet even in this case self-assertion bears witness to its. dissatisfaction with itself, since in cannot fulfill its function until completed by its counterpart in another organism.) 20. Man can only attract and employ the forces for which he is really fitted. (Illustration: You cannot make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. A true man of science learns from every phenomenon. But Nature is dumb to the hypocrite; for in her there is nothing false12.) 21. There is no limit to the extent of the relations of any man with the Universe in essence; for as soon as man makes himself one with any idea, the means of measurement cease to exist. But his power to utilize that force is limited by his mental power and capacity, and by the circumstances of his human environment. (Illustration: When a man falls in love, the whole world becomes, to him, nothing but love boundless and immanent; but his mystical state is not contagious; his fellow-men are either amused or an- noyed. He can only extend to others the effect which his love has had upon himself by means of his mental and physical qualities. Thus, Catullus, Dante, and Swinburne made their love a mighty mover of mankind by virtue of their power to put their thoughts on the subject in musical and eloquent language. Again, Cleopatra and other people in authority moulded the fortunes of many other people by allowing love to influence their political actions. The Magician, however well he succeeds in making contact with the secret sources of energy in nature, can only use them to the extent permitted by his intellectual and moral qualities. Mohammed's intercourse with Gabriel was only effective because of his statesmanship, soldier- ship, and the sublimity of his command of Arabic. Hertz'; discovery of the rays which we now use for wireless telegraphy was sterile until reflected through the minds and wills of the people who could take his truth, and transmit it to the world of action by means of mechanical and economic instruments.) 12* It is no objection that the hypocrite is himself part of Nature. He is an "endothermic" product, divided against himself, with a tendency to break up. He will see his own qualities everywhere, and thus obtain a radical misconception of phenomena. Most religions of the past have failed by expecting Nature to conform with their ideals of proper conduct. 27 22. Every individual is essentially sufficient to himself. But he is unsatisfactory to himself until he has established himself in his right relation with the Universe. (Illustration: A microscope, however perfect, is useless in the hands of savages. A poet, however sublime, must impose himself upon his generation if he is to enjoy (and even to understand) himself, as theoretically should be the case.) 23. Magick is the Science of understanding oneself and one's condi- tions. It is the Art of applying that understanding in action. (Illustration: A golf club is intended to move a special ball in a special way in special circumstances. A Niblick should rarely be used on the tee, or a Brassie under the bank of a bunker. But, also, the use of any club demands skill and experience.). 24. Every man has an indefeasible right to be what he is. (Illustration: To insist that anyone else shall comply with one's own standards is to outrage, not only him, but oneself, since both parties are equally born of necessity.) 25. Every man must do Magick each time that he acts or even thinks, since a thought is an internal act whose influence ultimately affects action, thought it may not do so at the time. (Illustration: The least gesture causes a change in a man's own body and in the air around him: it disturbs the balance of the entire universe and its effects continue eternally throughout all space. Every thought, however swiftly suppressed, has its effect on the mind. It stands as one of the causes of every subsequent thought, and tends to influence every subsequent action. A golfer may lose a few yards on his drive, a few more with his second and third, he may lie on the green six bare inches too far from the hole; but the net result of these trifling mishaps is the difference of a whole stroke, and so probably between having and losing the hole.) 26. Every man has a right, the right of self-preservation, to ful- fill himself to the utmost.13. (Illustration: A function imperfectly performed injures, not only itself, but everything associated with it. If the heart is afraid to beat for fear of disturbing the liver, the liver is starved for blood, and avenges itself on the heart by upsetting digestion, which disorders respiration, on which cardiac welfare depends.) 27. Every man should make Magick the keynote of his life. He should learn its laws and live by them. (Illustration: The Banker should discover the real meaning of his existence, the real motive which led him to choose that profession. He should understand banking as a necessary factor in the economic existence of mankind, instead of as merely a business whose objects 13* Men of "criminal nature" are simply at issue with their true Wills. The murderer has the Will-to-live; and his will to murder is a false will at variance with his true Will, since he risks death at the hands of Society by obeying his criminal impulse. 28 are independent of the general welfare. He should learn to distin- guish false values from real, and to act not on accidental fluctua- tions but on considerations of essential importance. Such a banker will prove himself superior to others; because he will not be an individual limited by transitory things, but a force of Nature, as impersonal, impartial and eternal as gravitation, as patient and irresistible as the tides. His system will not be subject to panic, any more than the law of Inverse Squares is disturbed by Elections. He will not be anxious about his affairs because they will not be his; and for that reason he will be able to direct them with the calm, clear-headed confidence of an onlooker, with intelligence un- clouded by self-interest and power unimpaired by passion.) 28. Every man has a right to fulfill his own will without being afraid that it may interfere with that of others; for if he is in his proper path, it is the fault of others if they interfere with him. (Illustration: If a man like Napoleon were actually appointed by destiny to control Europe, he should not be blamed for exercising his rights. To oppose him would be an error. Anyone so doing would have made a mistake as to his own destiny, except in so far as it might be necessary for him to learn the lessons of defeat. The sun moves in space without interference. The order of Nature provides a orbit for each star. A clash proves that one or the other has strayed from its course. But as to each man that keeps his true course, the more firmly he acts, the less likely are others to get in his way. His example will help them to find their own paths and pursue them. Every man that becomes a Magician helps others to do likewise. The more firmly and surely men move, and the more such action is accepted as the standard of morality, the less will conflict and confusion hamper humanity.) Well, here endeth the First Lesson. That seems to me to cover the ground fairly well; at least, that is what I have to say when serious analysis is on the agenda. But there is a restricted and conventional sense in which the word may be used without straying too far from the above philosophical position. One might say: - "Magick is the study and use of those forms of energy which are (a) subtler than the ordinary physical-mechanical types, (b) accessible only to those who are (in one sense or another) 'Initiates'." I fear that this may sound rather obscurum per obscurius; but this is one of these cases --- we are likely to encounter many such in the course of our researches --- in which we understand, quite well enough for all practical purposes, what we mean, but which elude us more and more successfully the more accurately we struggle to define their import. We might fare even worse if we tried to clear things up by making lists of events in history, tradition, or experience and classifying this as being, and that as not being, true Magick. The borderland cases would confuse and mislead us. But --- since I have mentioned history --- I think it might help, if I went straight on to the latter part of your question, and gave you a brief 29 sketch of Magick past, present and future as it is seen from the inside. What are the principles of the "Masters"? What are They trying to do? What have They done in the past? What means do They employ? As it happens, I have by me a sketch written by M. Gerard Aumont of Tunis some twenty years ago, which covers this subject with reasonable adequacy. I have been at the pains of translating it from his French, I hope not too much reminiscent of the old traduttore, traditore. I will revise it, divide it (like Gaul) into Three Parts and send it along. Love is the law, love under will. Fraternally, 666 CHAPTER II THE NECESSITY OF MAGICK FOR ALL Cara Soror, Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. Right glad am I to hear that you have been so thoroughly satisfied with my explanation of what Magick is, and on what its theories rest. It is good, too, hearing how much you were interested in the glimpse that you have had of some of its work in the world; more, that you grasped the fact that this apparently recondite and irrelevant information has an immediate bearing on your personal life of today. Still, I was not sur- prised that you should add: "But why should I make a special study of, and devote my time and energy to acquiring proficiency in, the Science and Art of Magick? Ah, well then, perhaps you have not understood my remarks at one of our earliest interviews as perfectly as you suppose! For the crucial point of my exposition was that Magick is not a matter extraneous to the main current of your life, as music, gardening, or collection jade might be. No, every act of your life is a magical act; whenever from ignorance, carelessness, clumsiness or what not, you come short of perfect artistic success, you inevitably register failure, discomfort, frustration. Luck- ily for all of us, most of the acts essential to continued life are in- voluntary; the "unconscious" has become so used to doing its "True Will" that there is no need of interference; when such need arises, we call it disease, and seek to restore the machine to free spontaneous fulfillment of its function. But this is only part of the story. As things are, we have all adventured into an Universe of immeasurable, of incalculable, possibilities, of situ- ations never contemplated by the trend of Evolution. Man is a marine monster; when he decided that it would be better for him somehow to live on land, he had to grow lungs instead of gills. When we want to travel over soft snow, we have to invent ski; when we wish to exchange thoughts, we must arrange a conventional code of sounds, of knots in string, of carved or written characters --- in a word --- embark upon the boundless ocean of hieroglyphics or symbols of one sort or another. (Presently I shall have to explain the supreme importance of such systems; in fact, the Universe itself is not, and cannot be, anything but an arrangement of 30 symbolic characters!) Here we are, then, caught in a net of circumstances; if we are to do anything at all beyond automatic vegetative living, we must consciously apply ourselves to Magick, "the Science and Art" (let me remind you!) "of causing change to occur in conformity with the Will." Observe that the least slackness or error means that things happen which do not thus con- form; when this is so despite our efforts, we are (temporarily) baffled; when it is our own ignorance of what we ought to will, or lack of skill in adapting our means to the right end, then we set up a conflict in our own Nature: our act is suicidal. Such interior struggle is at the base of nearly all neuroses, as Freud recently "discovered" --- as if this had not been taught, and taught without his massed errors, by the great teachers of the past! The Taoist doctrine, in particular, is most pre- cise and most emphatic on this point; indeed, it may seem to some of us to overshoot the mark; for nothing is permissible in that scheme but frictionless adjustment and adaptation to circumstance. "Benevolence and righteousness" are actually deprecated! That any such ideas should ever have existed (says Lao-tse) is merely evidence of the universal disorder. Taoist sectaries appear to assume that Perfection consists in the absence of any disturbance of the Stream of Nescience; and this is very much like the Buddhist idea of Nibbana. We who accept the Law of Thelema, even should we concur in this doctrine theoretically, cannot admit that in practice the plan would work out; our aim is that our Nothing, ideally perfect as it is in itself, should enjoy itself through realizing itself in the fulfillment of all possibilities. All such phenomena or "point-events" are equally "illusion"; Nothing is always Nothing; but the projection of Nothing on this screen of the phen- omenal does not only explain, but constitutes, the Universe. It is the only system which reconciles all the contradictions inherent in Thought, and in Experience; for in it "Reality" is "Illusion", "Free-will" is "Destiny", the "Self" is the "Not-Self"; and so for every puzzle of Philosophy. Not too bad an analogy is an endless piece of string. Like a driving band, you cannot tie a knot in it; all the complexities you can contrive are "Tom Fool" knots, and unravel at the proper touch. Always either Naught or Two! But every new re-arrangement throws further light on the possible tangles, that is, on the Nature of the String itself. It is always "Nothing" when you pull it out; but becomes "Everything" as you play about with it,14 since there is no limit to the combinations that you can form from it, save only in your imagination (where the whole thing belongs!) and that grows mightily with Experience. It is accordingly well worth while to fulfill oneself in every conceivable manner. It is then (you will say) impossible to "do wrong", since all phenomena are equally "Illusion" and the answer is always "Nothing". In theory one can hardly deny this proposition; but in practice --- how shall I put it? "The state of Illusion which for convenience I call my present conscious- ness is such that the course of action A is more natural to me that the course of action B?" Or: A is a shorter cut to Nothing; A is less likely to create internal conflict. 14* N N = Two or Naught; one is the Magical, the other the mystical, process. You will hear a lot about this one day! 31 Will that serve? Offer a dog a juicy bone, and a bundle of hay; he will naturally take the bone, whereas a horse would choose the hay. So, while you happen to imagine yourself to be a Fair Lady seeking the Hidden Wisdom, you come to me; if you thought you were a Nigger15 Minstrel, you would play the banjo, and sing songs calculated to attract current coin of the Realm from a discerning Public! The two actions are ultimately identical - see AL I, 22 - and your perception of that fact would make you an Initiate of very high standing; but in the work-a-day world, you are "really" the Fair Lady, and leave the minstrel to grow infirm and old and hire an orphan boy to carry his banjo! Now then, what bothers me it this: Have I or have I not explained this matter of "Magick" - "Why should I (who have only just heard of it, at ;east as a serious subject of study) acquire a knowledge of its principles, and of the powers conferred by its mastery?" Must I bribe you with pro- mises of health, wealth, power over others, knowledge, thaumaturgical skill, success in every worldly ambition - as I could quite honestly do? I hope there is no such need - and yet, shall I confess it? - it was only because all the "good things of life" were suddenly seen of me to be worth- less, that I took the first steps towards the attainment of that Wisdom which, while enjoying to the full the "Feast of Life," guarantees me against surfeit, poison or interruption by the knowledge that it is all a Dream, and gives me the Power to turn that dream at will into any form that hap- pens to appeal to my Inclination. Let me sum up, very succinctly; as usual, my enthusiasm has lured me into embroidering my sage discourse with Poets' Imagery! Why should you study and practice Magick? Because you can't help doing it, and you had better do it well than badly. You are on the links, whether you like it or not; why go on topping your drive, and slicing your brassie, and fluffing your niblick, and pulling your iron, and socket- ing your mashie and not being up with your putt - that's 6, and you are not allowed to pick up. It's a far cry to the Nineteenth, and the sky threatens storm before the imminent night. Love is the law, love under will. Fraternally, 666 CHAPTER III HIEROGLYPHICS: LIFE AND LANGUAGE NECESSARILY SYMBOLIC Cara Soror, Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. Very natural, the irritation in your last! You write: --- "But why? Why all this elaborate symbolism? Why not say straight out 15^ WEH NOTE: Expound here a bit to clarify Crowley's attitude toward race. refer to Chapter LXXIII. 32 what you mean? Surely the subject is difficult enough in any case --- must you put on a mask to make it clear? I know you well enough by now to be sure that you will not fob me off with any Holy-Willie nonsense about the ineffable, about human language being inadequate to reveal such Mysteries, about the necessity of constructing a new language to explain a new system of thought; of course I know that this had to be done in the case of chemistry, of higher mathematics, indeed of almost all technical sub- jects; but I feel that you have some other, deeper explanation in reserve. After all, most of what I am seeking to learn from you has been familiar to many of the great minds of humanity for many centuries. Indeed, the Qabalah is a special language, and that is old enough; there is not much new material to fit into that structure. But why did they, in the first place, resort to this symbolic jargon?" You put it very well; and when I think it over, I feel far from sure that the explanation which I am about to inflict upon you will satisfy you, or even whether it will hold water! In the last resort, I shall have to maintain that we are justified by experience, by the empirical success in communicating thought which has attended, and continues to attend, our endeavors. But to give a complete answer, I shall have to go back to the beginning, and restate the original problem; and I beg that you will not suppose that I am evading the question, or adopting the Irish method of answer- ing it by another, though I know it may sound as if I were. Let me set out by restating our original problem; what we want is Truth; we want an even closer approach to Reality; and we want to discover and discuss the proper means of achieving this object. Very good; let us start by the simplest of all possible enquiries --- and the most difficult --- "What is anything?" "What do we know?" and other questions that spring naturally from these. I see a tree.. I hear it --- rustling or creaking in the wind. I touch it --- hard. I smell it --- acrid. I taste it --- bitter. Now all the information given by these five senses has to be put together, although no two agree in any sort of way. The logic by which we build up our complex idea of a tree has more holes than a sponge. But this is to jump far ahead: we must first analyze the single, simple impression. "I see a tree." This phenomenon is what is called a "point- event." It is the coming together of the two, the seer and the seen. It is single and simple; yet we cannot conceive of either of them as any- thing but complex. And the Point-Event tells us nothing whatever about either; both, as Herbert Spencer and God knows how many others have shown, unknowable; it stands by itself, alone and aloof. It has happened; it is undeniably Reality. Yet we cannot confirm it; for it can never happen again precisely the same. What is even more bewildering is that since it takes time for the eye to convey an impression to the conscious- ness (it may alter in 1,000 ways in the process!) all that really exists is a memory of the Point-Event. not the Point-Event itself. what then is this Reality of which we are so sure? Obviously, it has not got a name, since it never happened before, or can happen again! To discuss it at 33 all we must invent a name, and this name (like all names) cannot possibly be anything more than a symbol. Even so, as so often pointed out, all we do is to "record the behaviour of our instruments." Nor are we much better off when we've done it; for our symbol, referring as it does to a phenomenon unique in itself, and not to be apprehended by another, can mean nothing to one's neighbors. What happens, of course, is that similar, though not identical, Point- Events happen to many of us, and so we are able to construct a symbolic language. My memory of the mysterious Reality resembles yours suffi- ciently to induce us to agree that both belong to the same class. But let me furthermore ask you to reflect on the formation of language itself. Except in the case of onomato-poetic words and a few others, there is no logical connection between a thing and the sound of our name for it. "Bow-wow" is a more rational name than "dog", which is a mere convention agreed on by the English, while other nations prefer chien, hund, cane, kalb, kutta and so on. All symbols, you see, my dear child, and it's no good your kicking! But it doesn't stop there. When we try to convey thought by writing, we are bound to sit down solidly, and construct a holy Qabalah out of nothing. Why would a curve open to the right, sound like the ocean, open at the top, like you? And all these arbitrary symbolic letters are combined by just as symbolic and arbitrary devices to take on conventional meanings, these words again combined into phrases by no less high-handed a proce- dure. And then folk wonder how it is that there should be error and misunder- standing in the transmission of thought from one person to another! Rather regard it as a miraculous intervention of Providence when even one of even the simplest ideas "gets across." Now then, this being so, it is evidently good sense to construct one's own alphabet, with one's own very precise definitions, in order to handle an abstruse and techni- cal subject like Magick. The "ordinary" words such as God, self, soul, spirit and the rest have been used so many thousand times in so many thousand ways, usually by writers who knew not, or cared not for the necessity of definition that to use them to-day in any scientific essay is almost ludicrous. That is all, just now, sister; no more of your cavilling, please; sit down quietly with your 777, and get it by heart! Love is the law, love under will. Fraternally, 666 CHAPTER IV THE QABALAH, THE BEST TRAINING FOR MEMORY Cara Soror, Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. Now you must learn Qabalah. Learn this Alphabet of Magick. You must take it on trust, as a child does his own alphabet. No one has ever 34 found out why the order of the letters is what it is. Probably there isn't any answer. If you only knew what I am grappling with in the Yi King! the order of the sixty-four hexagrams. I am convinced that it is extremely signifi- cant, that it implies a sublime system of philosophy. I've got far enough to be absolutely sure that there is a necessary rhythm; and it's killing me by millimetres, finding out why each pair succeeds the last. Forgive these tears! But our Magical Alphabet is primarily not letters, but figures, not sounds but mathematical ideas. Sir Humphrey Davy16, coming out of his famous illumination (with some help from Nitrous Oxide he got in) exclaimed: The Universe is composed solely of ideas. We, analyzing this a little, say: The Universe is a mathematical expression. Sir James Jeans might have said this, only his banker advised him to cash in on God. The simplest form of this expression is 0 = 2, elsewhere expounded at great length. This 2 might itself be expressed in an indefin- itely great number of ways. Every prime number, including some not in the series of "natural numbers", is an individual. The other numbers with perhaps a few exceptions (e.g. 41817) are composed of their primes. Each of these ideas may be explained, investigated, understood, by means very various. Firstly, the Hebrew, Greek and Arabic numbers are also letters. Then, each of these letters is further described by one of the (arbitrarily composed) "elements of Nature;" the Four (or Five) Elements, the Seven (or Ten) Planets, and the Twelve Signs of the Zodiac. All these are arranged in a geometrical design composed of ten "Sephiroth" (numbers) and twenty-two "paths" joining them; this is called the Tree of Life. Every idea soever can be, and should be, attributed to one or more of these primary symbols; thus green, in different shades, is a quality or function of Venus, the Earth, the Sea, Libra, and others. So also abstract ideas; dishonesty means "an afflicted Mercury," generosity a good, though not always strong, Jupiter; and so on. The Tree of Life has got to be learnt by heart; you must know it back- wards, forwards, sideways, and upside down; it must become the automatic background of all your thinking. You must keep on hanging everything that comes your way upon its proper bough. At first, of course, all this is dreadfully confusing; but persist, and a time will come when all the odd bits fit into the jig-saw, and you behold --- with what adoring wonder! --- the marvellous beauty and symmetry of the Qabalistic system. And then --- what a weapon you will have forged! 16^ WEH NOTE: Option to add a comment of Humphrey Davy and the invention of modern anesthesia to clarify the reference. On the occasion of a Nitrous Oxide party, such as he catered, he chanced to note that one of the participants had taken injury but felt no pain. This led to the practice of administrating anesthetics to patients in operations, and gave the time in surgery to perfect modern procedural medicine. 17^^ WEH NOTE: 418 = give the prime factors. 35 What power to analyze, to order, to manipulate your thinking! And please remember when people compliment you on your memory or the clarity of your thought, to give credit to the Qabalah! That's fine, I seem to hear you purr; that looks a lovely machine. The Design is just elegant; that scarf-pin of yours is perfectly sweet. There's only one point: how to make the damn thing work? Ah yes, like the one in the Apocalypse, the sting is in your tail. Honest, you needn't worry; it works on ball-bearings, and there's always those "Thirteen Fountains of Magnificent Oil flowing down the Beard of Macroprosopus" in case it creaks a little at first. But seriously, all the mathematics you need is simple Addition and Multiplication. "Yeah!" you rudely reply. "That's what you think; but you haven't got very far in the Qabalah!" Too true, sister. The Book of the Law itself insists upon the fact that it contains a Qabalah which was beyond me at the time of its dictation, is beyond me now, and always will be beyond me in this incarnation. Let me direct your spiritual attention to AL I, 54; I, 56; II, 54-55; II, 76; III, 47. Now there was enough comprehensible at the time to assure me that the Author of the Book knew at least as much Qabalah as I did: I discovered subsequently more than enough to make it certain without error that he knew a very great deal more, and that of an altogether higher order, than I knew; finally, such glimmerings of light as time and desperate study have thrown on many other obscure passages, to leave no doubt whatever in my mind that he is indeed the supreme Qabalist of all time . . . . "I asked you how to work it." Don't be so peevish, querulous, and impatient; your zeal is laudable, but it's wasting your own time to hurry me. Well, when you've got this Alphabet of Numbers (in its proper shape) absolutely by heart, with as many sets of attributions as you can commit to memory without getting confused, you may try a few easy exercises, beginning with the past. ("How many sets of attributions?" - Well, certainly, the Hebrew and Greek Alphabets with the names and numbers of each letter, and its mean- ing: a couple of lists of God-names, with a clear idea of the character, qualities, functions, and importance of each; the "King-scale" of colour, all the Tarot attributions, of course; then animals, plants, drugs, per- fumes, a list or two of archangels, angels, intelligences and spirits --- that ought to be enough for a start.) Now you are armed! Ask yourself: why is the influence of Tiphareth transmitted to Yesod by the Path of Samekh, a fence, 60, Sagittarius, the Archer, Art, blue - and so on; but to Hod by the Path of Ayin, an eye, 70, Capricornus, the Goat, the Devil, Indigo, K.T. 36 Thirteen is the number of Achad {Hebrew option}, Unity, and Ahebah {Hebrew option}, Love; then what word should arise when you expand it by the Creative Dyad, and get 26; what when you multiply it by 4, and get 52? Then, suppose the Pentagram gets busy, 13 x 5 = 65, what then? Now don't you dare to come round crawling to me for the answers; work it out yourself what sort of words they ought to be, and then check your result by looking up those numbers in the Sepher Sephiroth: Equinox Vol. I, No. 8, Supplement. When you are a real adept at all these well-known calculations "prepare to enter the Immeasurable Region" and dig out the Unknown. You must construct your own Qabalah! Nobody can do it for you. What is your own true Number? You must find it and prove it to be correct. In the course of a few years, you should have built yourself a Palace of Ineffable Glory, a Garden of Indescrib- able Delight. Nor Time nor Fate can tame those tranquil towers, those Minarets of Music, or fade one blossom in those avenues of Perfume! Humph! Nasty of me: but it has just stuck me that it might be just as well if you made a Sepher Sephiroth of your own! What a positively beastly thing to suggest! However, I do suggest it. After all, it's simple enough. Every word you come across, add it up, stick it down against that number in a book kept for the purpose. That may seem tedious and silly; why should you do all over again the work that I have already done for you? Reason: simple. Doing it will teach you Qabalah as nothing else could. Besides, you won't be all cluttered up with words that mean nothing to you; and if it should happen that you want a word to explain some particular number, you can look it up in my Sepher Sephiroth. By this method, too, you may strike a rich vein of words of your own that I have altogether missed. No doubt, a Really Great Teacher would have said: "Beware! Use my Dictionary, and mine alone! All others are spurious!" But then I'm not a R.G.T. of that kind. For a start, of course, you should put down the words that are bound to come in your way in any case: numbers like 11, 13, 31, 37, and their multiples; the names of God and the principal angels; the planetary and geomantic names; and your own private and particular name with its branches. After that, let your work on the Astral Plane guide you. When investigating the name and other words communicated to you by such beings as you meet there, or invoke, many more will come up in their proper connections. Very soon you will have quite a nice little Sepher Sephiroth of your very own. Remember to aim, above all things, at coherence. It is excellent practice, but the way, to do some mental arithmetic on your walks; acquire the habit of adding up any names that you have come across in your morning's reading. Nietzsche has well observed that the best thoughts come by walking; and it has happened to me, more than once or twice, that really important correspondences have come, as by 37 a flashlight, when I was padding the old hoof. You will have noticed that in this curt exposition I have confined myself to Gematria, the direct relation of number and work, omitting any refer- ence to Notariqon, the accursed art of making words out of initials, like (in profane life) Wren and Gestapo and their horrid brood, or to Temurah, the art of altering the position of the letters in a word, a sort of cipher; for these are almost always frivolous. To base any serious calculations on them would be absurd. Love is the law, love under will. Fraternally, 666 P.S. You should study the Equinox Vol. I, No. 5, "The Temple of Solomon the King" for a more elaborate exposition of the Qabalah. CHAPTER V THE UNIVERSE. THE 0 = 2 EQUATION Cara Soror, Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. Yes, I admit everything! It is all my fault. Looking over my past writ- ings, I do see that my only one-opointed attempt to set forth a sound ontology was my early fumbling letter brochure Berashith18. Since then, I seem to have kept assuming that everybody knew all about it; referring to it, quoting it, but never sitting down seriously to demonstrate the thesis, or even to state it in set terms. Chapter 0 of Magick in Theory and Practice skates gently over it; the "Naples Arrangement" in The Book of Thoth dodges it with really diabolical ingenuity. I ask myself why. It is exceedingly strange, because every time I think of the Equa- tion, I am thrilled with a keen glow of satisfaction that this sempiternal Riddle of the Sphinx should have been answered at last. So then let me now give myself the delight, and you the comfort, of stat- ing the problem from its beginning, and proving the soundness of the solution --- of showing that the contradiction of this Equation is unthink- able. --- --- Are you ready? Forward! Paddle! A. We are aware. B. We cannot doubt the existence (whether "real" or "illusory" makes no difference) of something, because doubt itself is a form of awareness. C. We lump together all that of which we are aware under the convenient name of "Existence", or "The Universe". Cosmos is not so good for this purpose; that word implies "order", which in the present stage of our argument, is a mere assumption. D. We also tend to think of the Universe as containing things of which we are not aware; but this is altogether unjustifiable, although it is difficult to think at all without making some such assumption. For 18* See Crowley, Collected Works. 38 instance, one may come upon a new branch of knowledge --- say, histology or Hammurabi or the language of the Iroquois or the poems of the Herma- phrodite of Panormita. It seems to be there all ready waiting for us; we simply cannot believe that we are making it all up as we go along. For all that, it is sheer sophistry; we may merely be unfolding the contents of our own minds. Then again, does a thing cease to exist if we forget it? The answer is that one cannot be sure. Personally, I feel convinced of the existence of an Universe outside my own immediate awareness; but it is true, even so, that it does not exist for me unless and until it takes its place as part of my consciousness. E. All this paragrpah D is in the nature of a digression, for what you may think of it does not at all touch the argument of this letter. But it had to be put in, just to prevent your mind from raising irrelevant objections. Let me continue, then, from C. F. Something is19. This something appears incalculably vast and complex. How did it come to be? This, briefly, is the "Riddle of the Universe," which has been always the first preoccupation of all serious philosophers since men began to think at all. G. The orthodox idiot answer, usually wrapped up in obscure terms in the hope of concealing from the enquirer the fact that it is not an answer at all, but an evasion, is: God created it. Then, obviously, who created God? Sometimes we have a Demiurge, a creative God behind whom is an eternal formless Greatness --- anything to confuse the issue! Sometimes the Universe is supported by an elephant; he, in turn, stands on a tortoise . . . by that time it is hoped that the enquirer is too tired and muddled to ask what holds up the tortoise. Sometimes, a great Father and Mother crystallize out of some huge cloudy confusion of "Elements" - and so on. But nobody answers the question; at least, none of these God-inventing mules, with their incurably common- place minds. H. Serious philosophy has always begun by discarding all these pueril- ities. It has of necessity been divided into these schools: the Nihilist, the Monist, and the Dualist. I. The last of these is, on the surface, the most plausible; for almost the first thing that we notice on inspecting the Universe is what the Hindu schools call "the Pairs of Opposites." This too, is very convenient, because it lends itself so readily to ortho- dox theology; so we have Ormuzd and Ahriman, the Devas and the Asuras, Osiris and Set, et cetera and da capo, personifications of "Good" and "Evil." The foes may be fairly matched; but more often the tale tells of a revolt in heaven. In this case, "Evil" is temporary; soon, espe- cially with the financial help of the devout, the "devil" will be "cast into the Bottomless Pit" and "the Saints will reign with Christ in glory 19* You must read The Soldier an The Hunchback: ! and ? in the Equinox I, 1. 39 for ever and ever, Amen!" Often a "redeemer," a "dying God," is needed to secure victory to Omnipotence; and this is usually what little vulgar boys might call a "touching story!" J. The Monist (or Advaitist) school, is at once subtler and more refined; it seems to approach the ultimate reality (as opposed to the superficial examination of the Dualists) more closely. It seems to me that this doctrine is based upon a sorites of doubtful validity. To tell you the hideously shameful truth, I hate this doc- trine so rabidly that I can hardly trust myself to present it fairly! But I will try. Meanwhile, you can study it in the Upanishads, in the Bhagavad-Gita, in Ernst Haeckel's The Riddle of the Universe, and dozens of other classics. The dogma appears to excite its dupes to dithyrambs. I have to admit the "poetry" of the idea; but there is something in me which vehemently rejects it with excruciating and vin- dictive violence. Possibly, this is because part of our own system runs parallel with the first equations of theirs. K. The Monists perceive quite clearly and correctly that it is absurd to answer the question "How came these Many things (of which we are aware) to be?" by saying that they came from Many; and "Many" in this connec- tion includes Two. The Universe must therefore be a single phenomenon: make it eternal and all the rest of it --- i.e. remove all limit of any kind --- and the Universe explains itself. How then can Opposites exist, as we observe them to do? Is it not the very essence of our original Sorites that the Many must be reducible to the One? They see how awk- ward this is; so the "devil" of the Dualist is emulsified and evaporated into "illusion;" what they call "Maya" or some equivalent term. "Reality" for them consists solely of Brahman, the supreme Being "without quantity or quality." They are compelled to deny him all attributes, even that of Existence; for to do so would instantly limit them, and so hurl them headlong back in to Dualism. All that of which we are aware must obviously possess limits, or it could have no intelligible meaning for us; if we want "pork," we must specify its qualities and quantities; at the very least, we must be able to distinguish it from "that-which- is-not-pork." But - one moment, please! L. There is in Advaitism a most fascinating danger; that is that, up to a certain point, "Religious Experience" tends to support this theory. A word on this. Vulgar minds, such as are happy with a personal God, Vishnu, Jesus, Melcarth, Mithras, or another, often excite themselves - call it "Energized Enthusiasm" if you want to be sarcastic! --- to the point of experiencing actual Visions of the objects of their devotion. But these people have not so much as asked themselves the original question of "How come?" which is our present subject. Sweep them into the discard! M. Beyond Vishvarupadarshana, the vision of the Form of Vishnu, beyond that yet loftier vision which corresponds in Hindu classification to our "Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel", is that called Atmadarshana, the vision (or apprehension, a much better word) of the Universe as a single phenomenon, outside all limitations, whether of time, space, causality, or what not. 40 Very good, then! Here we are with direct realization of the Advaitist theory of the Universe. Everything fits perfectly. Also, when I say "realization," I want you to understand that I mean what I say in a sense so intense and so absolute that it is impossible to convey my meaning to anyone who has not undergone that experience20. How do we judge the "reality" of an ordinary impression upon conscious- ness? Chiefly by its intensity, but its persistence, by the fact that nobody can argue us out of our belief in it. As people said of Berkeley's 'Idealism' - "his arguments are irrefutable but they fail to carry con- viction." No sceptical, no idealist queries can persuade us that a kick in the pants is not 'real' in any reasonable sense of the word. More- over memory reassures us. However vivid a dream may be at the time, however it may persist throughout the years (though it is rare for any dream, unless frequently repeated, or linked to waking impressions by some happy conjunction of circumstances, to remain long in the mind with any clear-cut vision) it is hardly ever mistaken for an event of actual life. Good: then, as waking life is to dream, so --- yes, more so! --- is Religious Experience as above described to that life common to all of us. It is not merely easy, it is natural, not merely natural, but inevi- table, for anyone who has experienced "Samadhi" (this word conveniently groups the higher types of vision21) to regard normal life as "illusion" by comparison with this state in which all problems are resolved, all doubts driven out, all limitations abolished. But even beyond Atmadarshana comes the experience called Sivadarshana22, in which this Atman (or Brahman), this limit-destroying Universe, is itself abolished and annihilated. (And, with its occurrence, smash goes the whole of the Advaitist theory!) It is a commonplace to say that no words can describe this final destruc- tion. Such is the fact; and there is nothing one can do about it but put it down boldly as I have done above. It does not matter to our present purpose; all that we need to know is that the strongest prop of the Monist structure has broken off short. Moreover, is it really adequate to postulate an origin of the Universe, as they inevitably do? Merely to deny that there ever was a beginning by saying that this "one" is eternal fails to satisfy me. What is very much worse, I cannot see that to call Evil "illusion" helps us at all. When the Christian Scientist hears that his wife has been savagely mauled by her Peke, he has to smile, and say that "there is a claim of error." Not good enough. N. It has taken a long while to clear the ground. That I did not expect; the above propositions are so familiar to me, they run so cleanly through my mind, that, until I came to set them down in order, I had no idea what a long and difficult business it all was. Still, it's a long lane, etc. We have seen that "Two" (or "Many") are 20* I have discussed this and the following points very fully in Book 4 Part I, pp. 63-89 21* "Vision" is a dreadfully bad word for it; "trance" is better, but idiots always mix it up with hypnotism. 22** Possibly almost identical with the Buddhist Neroda-Samapatti. 41 unsatisfactory as origin, if only because they can always be reduced to "One"; and "One" itself is no better, because, among other things, it finds itself forced to deny the very premises on which it was founded. Shall we be any better off if we assume that "Ex nihilo nihil fit" is a falsehood, that the origin of All Things is Nothing? Let us see! O. Shall we first glance at the mathematical aspect of Nothing? (Including its identical equation in Logic.) This I worked out so long ago as 1902 e.g. in Berashith, which you will find reprinted in The Sword of Song, and in my Collected Works, Vol. I. The argument may be summarized as follows. When, in the ordinary way of business, we write 0, we should really write 0n23. For 0 implies that the subject is not extended in any dimen- sion under discussion. Thus a line may be two feet in length, but in breadth and depth the coefficient is Zero. We could describe it as 2f + 0b + 0d, or n2f + 0b + 0d. What I proposed in considering "What do we mean by Nothing?" was to consider every possible quality of any object as a dimension. For instance, one might describe this page as being nf + n'b + n"d + 0 redness + ) 0 amiability + 0 velocity + 0 potential and so on, until you had noted and measured all the qualities it possesses, and excluded all that it does not. For convenience, we may write this expression as Xf+b+d+r+a+v+p --- using the initials of the qualities which we call dimensions. Just one further explanation in pure mathematics. To interpret X1, X1+1 or X2, and so on, we assume the reference to be to spatial dimen- sions. Thus suppose X1 to be a line a foot long, X2 will be a plane a foot square, and X3 a cube measuring a foot in each dimension. But what about X4? There are no more spatial dimensions. Modern mathemat- ics has (unfortunately, I think) agreed to consider this fourth dimen- sion as time. Well, and X5? To interpret this expression, we may begin to consider other qualities, such as electric capacity, colour, moral attributes, and so on. But this remark, although necessary, leads us rather away from our main thesis instead of toward it. P. What happens when we put a minus sign before the index (that small letter up on the right) instead of a plus? Quite simple. 23^ WEH NOTE: Add comments to distinguish indices (Abstract Algebra) from powers of numbers. {Keynote: I shouldn't, but as a physicist, I have to say} {that Crowley is giving an erroneous layman's opinion } {and his usage of math notation cannot be considered } {correct. These expressions are ok as text, but not as } {math without redefinition through Abstract Algebra, a } {field Crowley appears not to know by name. The ideas } {are valid, but the expressions are misleading. It might} {be wise to add a footnote about the notation being non-} {traditional. Notably, this line defies Pythagoras! } {Crowley's notation with superscripts is the problem. } {It looks like powers of numbers instead of indices. } {He probably intended indices, but didn't know how to } {represent them or flag them in typography. } 42 x2 = X1+1 = X1 + X1. With a minus, we divide instead of multiplying. Thus, X3-2 = X3 X2 = X1, just as if you had merely subtracted the 2 from the 3 in the index. Now, at last, we come to the point of real importance to our thesis: how shall we interpret X0? We may write it, obviously, as X1-1 or Xn-n. Good, divide. Then X1 X1 = 1. This is the same, clearly enough, whatever X may be. Q. Ah, but what we started to do was discover the meaning of Nothing. It is not correct to write it simply as 0; for that 0 implies an index 01, or 02, or 0n. And if our Nothing is to be absolute Nothing, then there is not only no figure, but no index either. So we must write it as 00. What is the value of this expression? We proceed as before; divide. 0n 1 0 = 0n-n = 0n 0n = -- x --. Of course 0n 1 remains 0; 1 0n but 1 0n = {Keynote: this last is an elongated infinity symbol}. That is, we have a clash of the "infinitely great" with the "infinitely small;" that knocks out the "infinity" (and Advaitism with it!) and leaves us with an indeterminate but finite number of utter variety. That is: 00 can only be interpreted as "The Universe that we know." R. So much for one demonstration. Some people have found fault with the algebra; but the logical Equivalent is precisely parallel. Suppose I wish to describe my study in one respect: I can say "No dogs are in my study," or "Dogs are not in my study." I can make a little diagram: D is the world of dogs; S is my study. Here it is: The squares are quite separate. The whole world outside the square D is the world of no dogs: outside the square S, the world of no-study.24 But suppose now that I want to make the Zero abso- lute, like our 00, I must say "No dogs are not in my study." Or, "There is no absence-of-dog in my study." That is the same as saying: "Some doge are in my study;" diagram again: 25 In Diagram 1, 26 "the world where no dogs are" included the whole of my study; in Diagram 2 that absence-of-dog is no longer there; so one or more of them must have got in somehow. That's that; I know it may be a little difficult at first; fortunately there is a different way --- the Chinese way --- of stating the theorem in very much simpler terms. S. The Chinese, like ourselves, begin with the idea of "Absolute Nothing." They "make an effort, and call it the Tao;" but that is exactly what 24^ } Ŀ Ŀ lute>} D S 25^{Keynote: Same two labeled squares, but this time the} {square with S overlaps lower right of D square at an angle} {--gratuitious comment: Crowley's language is invalid but diagrams ok} 26^{Keynote: need to label these two figures} 43 the Tao comes to mean, when we examine it. They see quite well, as we have done above, that merely to assert Nothing is not to explain the Universe; and they proceed to do so by means of a mathematical equation even simpler than ours, involving as it does no operations beyond simple addition and subtraction. They say "Nothing obviously means Nothing; it has no qualities nor quantities." (The Advaitists27 said the same, and then stultified themselves completely by calling it One!) "But," con- tinue the sages of the Middle Kingdom, "it is always possible to reduce any expression to Nothing by taking any two equal and opposite terms." (Thus n = (-n) = 0.) "We ought therefore to be able to get any expres- sion that we want from Nothing; we merely have to be careful that the terms shall be precisely opposite and equal." (0 = n + (-n). This then they did, and began to diagrammatize the Universe as the {S.B. cap "I"} - a pair of opposites, the Yang or active male, and the Yin or passive Female, principles. They represented the Yang by an unbroken ( ------- ), the Yin by a broken ( --- --- ), line. (The first manifestation in Nature of these two is Thi Yang, the Sun, and the Thi Yin, the Moon.) This being a little large and loose, they doubled these lines, and obtained the four Hsiang. They then took them three at a time, and got the eight Kwa. These represent the development from the original {S.B. cap "I"} to the Natural Order of the Elements. I shall call the male principle M, the Female F. M.1. ------ Khien "Heaven-Father" F.1. -- -- Khwn "Earth-Mother" ------ -- -- ------ -- -- M.2. ------ L The Sun F.2. -- -- Khn The Moon -- -- ------ ------ -- -- M.3. -- -- Kn Fire F.3. -- -- Tui Water -- -- ------ ------ ------ M.4. ------ Sun Air F.4. ------ Kn Earth ------ -- -- -- -- -- -- Note how admirably they have preserved the idea of balance. M.1. and F.1. are perfection. M.2. and F.2. still keep balance in their lines. The four "elements" show imperfection; yet they are all balanced as against each other. Note, too, how apt are the ideograms. M.3. shows the flames flickering on the hearth, F.3., the wave on the solid bottom of the sea; M.4., the mutable air, with impenetrable space above, and finally F.4., the thin crust of the earth masking the interior energies of the planet. They go in to double these Kw, thus reaching the sixty- four Hexagrams of the Y King, which is not only a Map, but a History of the Order of Nature. It is pure enthusiastic delight in the Harmony and Beauty of the System that has led me thus far afield; my one essential purpose is to show how the Universe was derived by these Wise Men from Nothing. 27^ WEH NOTE: Do an Arthur Avalon plug here, highlighting his "Garland of Letters" 44 When you have assimilated these two sets of Equations, when you have understood how 0 = 2 is the unique, the simple, and the necessary solu- tion of the Riddle of the Universe, there will be, in a sense, little more for you to learn about the Theory of Magick. You should, however, remember most constantly that the equation of the Universe, however complex it may seem, inevitably reels out to Zero; for to accomplish this is the formula of your Work as a Mystic. To remind you, and to amplify certain points of the above, let me quote from Magick pp. 152-3 footnote 2. "All elements must at one time have been separate --- that would be the case with great heat. Now when atoms get to the sun, we get that immense extreme heat, and all the elements are themselves again. Imagine that each atom of each element possesses the memory of all his adventures in combination. By the way, that atom (fortified with that memory) would not be the same atom; yet it is, because it has gained nothing from anywhere except this memory. Therefore, by the lapse of time, and by virtue of memory, a thing could become something more than itself; thus a real development is possible. One can then see a reason for any ele- ment deciding to go through this series of incarnations, because so, and only so, can he go; and he suffers the lapse of memory which he has during these incarnations, because he knows he will come through un- changed. "Therefore you can have an infinite number of gods, individual and equal though diverse, each one supreme and utterly indestructible. This is also the only explanation of how a "Perfect Being" could create a world in which war, evil, etc., exist. God is only an appearance, because (like "good") it cannot affect the substance itself, but only multiply its combinations. This is something the same as mystic monotheism; but all parts of himself, so that their interplay is false. If we presuppose many elements, their interplay is natural. "It is no objection to this theory to ask who made the elements --- the elements are at least there, and God, when you look for him, is not there. Theism is obscurum per obscurius. A male star is built up from the centre outwards; a female from the circumference inwards. This is what is meant when we say that woman has no soul. It explains fully the difference between the sexes." Every "act of love under will" has the dual result (1) the creation of a child combining the qualities of its parents, (2) the withdrawal by ecstasy into Nothingness. Please consult what I have elsewhere written on "The Formula of Tetagrammaton;" the importance of this at the moment is to show how 0 and 2 appear constantly in Nature as the common Order of Events. Love is the law, love under will. Fraternally, 666 CHAPTER VI THE THREE SCHOOLS OF MAGICK (I) 45 Cara Soror, Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. Here is the first section of M. Gerard Aumont's promised essay28; it was originally called "The Three Schools of Magick". (Don't be cross, please, because it is not in the form of a personal letter!) There is today much misunderstanding of the meaning of the term "Magick". Many attempts have been made to define it, but perhaps the best for our present purpose of historical-ideological exposition will be this -- Magick is the Science of the Incommensurables. This is one of the many restricted uses of the word; one suited to the present purpose. It is particularly to be noted that Magick, so often mixed up in the popular idea of a religion, has nothing to do with it. It is, in fact, the exact opposite of religion; it is, even more than Physical Science, its irreconcilable enemy. let us define this difference clearly. Magick investigates the laws of Nature with the idea of making use of them. It only differs from "profane" science by always keeping ahead of it. As Fraser29 has shown, Magick is science in the tentative stage; but it may be, and often is, more than this. It is science which, for one reason or another, cannot be declared to the profane. Religion, on the contrary, seeks to ignore the laws of Nature, or to escape them by appeal to a postulated power which is assumed to have laid them down. The religious man is, as such, incapable of understand- ing what the laws of Nature really are. (They are generalizations from the order of observed fact.) The History of Magick has never been seriously attempted. For one reason, only initiates pledged to secrecy know much about it; for another, every historian has been talking about some more or less con- ventional idea of Magick, not of the thing itself. But Magick has led the world from before the beginning of history, if only for the reason that Magick has always been the mother of Science. It is, therefore, of extreme importance that some effort should be made to understand something of the subject; and there is, therefore, no apology necessary for essaying this brief outline of its historical aspects. There have always been, at least in nucleus, three main Schools of Philosophical practice. (We use the word "philosophical" in the old good broad sense, as in the phrase "Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society for the Advancement of Knowledge.") It is customary to describe these three Schools as Yellow, Black, and White. The first thing necessary is to warn the reader that they must by no means be confounded with racial distinctions of colour; and they correspond still less with conventional symbols such as yellow caps, yellow robes, black magick, white witchcraft, and the like. The danger 28* A few amendments - very few - have been necessitated by the lapse of time. 29^ WEH NOTE: Mention Fraser source, locate it in G.B. 46 is only the greater that these analogies are often as alluring as the prove on examination to be misleading. These Schools represent three perfectly distinct and contrary theories of the Universe, and, therefore, practices of spiritual science. The magical formula of each is as precise as a theorem of trigonometry. Each assumes as fundamental a certain law of Nature, and the subject is complicated by the fact that each School, in a certain sense, admits the formulae of the other two. It merely regards them as in some way incom- plete, secondary, or illusory. Now, as will be seen later, the Yellow School stand aloof from the other two by the nature of its postulates. But the Black School and the White are always more or less in active conflict; and it is because just at this moment that conflict is approaching a climax that it is necessary to write this essay. The adepts of the White School consider the present danger to mankind so great that they are prepared to abandon their traditional policy of silence, in order to enlist in their ranks the profane of every nation. We are in possession of a certain mystical document30 which we may describe briefly, for convenience sake, as an Apocalypse of which we hold the keys, thanks to the intervention of the Master who has appeared at this grave conjuncture of Fate. This document consists of a series of visions, in which we hear the various Intelligences whose nature it would be hard to define, but who are at the very least endowed with knowledge and power far beyond anything that we are accustomed to regard as proper to the human race. We must quote a passage from one of the most important of these documents. The doctrine is conveyed, as is customary among Initiates, in the form of a parable. Those who have attained even a mediocre degree of enlight- enment are aware that the crude belief of the faithful, and the crude infidelity of the scoffer, with regard to matters of fact, are merely childish. Every incident in Nature, true or false, possesses a spiritual significance. It is this significance, and only this significance, that possesses any philosophical value to the Initiate. The orthodox need not be shocked, and the enlightened need not be contemp- tuous, to learn that the passage which we are about to quote, is a parable based on the least decorous of the Biblical legends which refer to Noah. It simply captures for its own purposes the convenience of Scripture. (Here follows the excerpt from the Vision.) "And a voice cries: Cursed be he that shall uncover the nakedness of the Most High, for he is drunken upon the wine that is the blood of the adepts. And BABALON hath lulled him to sleep upon her breast, and she hath fled away, and left him naked, and she hath called her children together saying: Come up with me, and let us make a mock of the naked- ness of the Most High. "And the first of the adepts covered His shame with a cloth, walking backwards, and was white. And the second of the adepts covered his shame with a cloth, walking sideways, and was yellow, And the third of the adepts made a mock of His nakedness, walking forwards, and was black. And these are the three great schools of the Magi, who are also the three Magi that journeyed unto Bethlehem; and because thou hast not 30* Liber CDXVIII, The Vision and the Voice, edition with Introduction and Commentary by 666. Thelema Publishing Co., Barstow, California. 47 wisdom, thou shalt not know which school prevaileth, or if the three schools be not one." We are now ready to study the philosophical bases of these three Schools. We must, however, enter a caveat against too literal an interpretation, even of the parable. It may be suspected, for reasons which should be apparent after further investigation of the doctrines of the Three Schools, that this parable was invented by an Intelligence of the Black School, who was aware of his iniquity, and thought to transform it into righteousness by the alchemy of making a boast of it. The intelligent reader will note the insidious attempt to identify the doctrine of the Black School with the kind of black magic {sic} that is commonly called Diabolism. In other words, this parable is itself an example of an exceedingly subtle black magical operation, and the contemplation of such devices carried far enough beings us to an understanding of the astoundingly ophidian processes of Magicians. Let not the profane reader dismiss such subtleties from his mind as negligible nonsense. It is cunning of this kind that determines the price of potatoes. The above digression is perhaps not so inexcusable as it may seem on a first reading. Careful study of it should reveal the nature of the thought-processes which are habitually used by the secret Masters of the human race to determine its destiny. When everyone has done laughing, I will ask you to compare the real effects produced on the course of human affairs by Caesar, Attila, and Napoleon, on the one hand; of Plato, the Encyclopaedists, and Karl Marx31 on the other. The Yellow School of Magick considers, with complete scientific and philosophical detachment, the fact of the Universe as a fact. Being itself apart of that Universe, it realizes its impotence to alter the totality in the smallest degree. To put it vulgarly, it does not try to raise itself from the ground by pulling at its socks. It therefore opposes to the current of phenomena no reaction either of hatred or of sympathy. So far as it attempts to influence the course of events at all, it does so in the only intelligent way conceivable. It seeks to diminish internal friction. It remains, therefore, in a contemplative attitude. To use the terms of Western philosophy, there is in its attitude something of the stoicism of Zeno; or of the Pickwickianism, if I may use the term, of Epicurus. The ideal reaction to phenomena is that of perfect elasticity. It possesses something of the cold-bloodedness of mathematics; and for this reason it seems fair to say, for the purposes of elementary study, that Pythagoras is its most adequate exponent in European philosophy. Since the discovery of Asiatic thought, however, we have no need to take our ideas at second-hand. The Yellow School of Magick possesses one perfect classic. The Tao Teh King32. 31* It is interesting to note that the three greatest influences in the world today are those of Teutonic Hebrews: Marx, Hertz, and Freud. 32* Unfortunately there is no translation at present published which is the work of an Initiate. All existing translations have been garbled by people who simply failed to understand the text. An approximately per- fect rendering is indeed available, but so far it exists only in manu- script. One object of this letter is to create sufficient public interest to make this work, and others of equal value available to the public. 48 It is impossible to find any religion which adequately represents the thought of this masterpiece. Not only is religion as such repugnant to science and philosophy, but from the very nature of the tenets of the Yellow School, its adherents are not going to put themselves to any inconvenience for the enlightenment of a lot of people whom they consider to be hopeless fools. At the same time, the theory of religion, as such, being a tissue of falsehood, the only real strength of any religion is derived from its pilferings of Magical doctrine; and, religious persons being by defini- tion entirely unscrupulous, it follows that any given religion is likely to contain scraps of Magical doctrine, filched more or less haphazard from one school or the other as occasion serves. Let the reader, therefore, beware most seriously of trying to get a grasp of this subject by means of siren analogies. Taoism has as little to do with the Tao Teh King as the Catholic Church with the Gospel. The Tao Teh King inculcates conscious inaction, or rather unconscious inaction, with the object of minimizing the disorder of the world. A few quotations from the text should make the essence of the doctrine clear. X 3 "Here is the Mystery of Virtue. It createth all and nourisheth all; yet it doth not adhere to them. It operateth all; but knoweth not of it, nor proclaimeth it; it directeth all, but without conscious control." XXII 2 "Therefore the sage concentrateth upon one Will, and it is as a light to the whole world. Hiding himself, he shineth; withdrawing himself, he attracteth notice; humbling himself, he gaineth force to achieve his Will. Because he striveth not, no man may contend against him." XLIII 1 "The softest substance hunteth down the hardest. The Unsub- stantial penetrateth where there is no opening. Here is the Virtue of Inertia." 2 "Few are they who attain: whose speech is Silence, whose Work is Inertia." XLVIII 3 "He who attracteth to himself all that is under Heaven doth so without effort. He who maketh effort is not able to attract it." LVIII 3 "The wise man is foursquare and avoideth aggression; his corners do not injure others. He moveth in a straight line, and turneth not aside therefrom; he is brilliant, but doth not blind with his brightness." LXIII 2 "Do great things while they are yet small, hard things while they are yet easy; for all things, how great or hard soever, have a beginning when they are little and easy. So thus the wise man accomplisheth the greatest tasks without undertaking anything important." {Keynote: This footnote is obsolete. The "Tao Teh King" was published as "Equinox" III - 8, 1975 e.v. by H.P.S.} 49 LXXVI 2 "So then rigidity and hardness are the stigmata of death; elasticity and adaptability of life." 3 "He then who putteth forth strength is not victorious; even as a strong tree filleth the embrace." 4 "Thus the hard and rigid have the inferior place, the soft and elastic the superior." Enough, I think, for this part of the essay. Love is the law, love under will. Fraternally, 666 CHAPTER VII THE THREE SCHOOLS OF MAGICK (2) Cara Soror, Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. Hoping that you are now recovered from the devastating revelations in the matter of the Yellow School, I must ask you to brace yourself for disclosures even more formidable about the Black. Do not confuse with the Black Lodge, or the Black Brothers. The terminology is unfortunate, but it wasn't I that did it. Now then, to work! The Black School of Magick, which must by no means be confused with the School of Black Magick or Sorcery, which latter is a perversion of the White tradition, is distinguished fundamentally from the Yellow School in that it considers the Universe not as neutral, but as definitely a curse. Its primary theorem is the "First Noble Truth" of the Buddha --- "Everything is Sorrow." In the primitive classics of this School the idea of sorrow is confused with that of sin. (This idea of universal lamentation is presumably responsible for the choice of black as its symbolic colour. And yet? Is not white the Chinese hue of mourning?) The analysis of the philosophers of this School refers every phenomenon to the category of sorrow. It is quite useless to point out to them that certain events are accompanied with joy: they continue their ruth- less calculations, and prove to your satisfaction, or rather dissatis- faction, that the more apparently pleasant an event is, the more malignantly deceptive is its fascination. There is only one way of escape even conceivable, and this way is quite simple, annihilation. (Shallow critics of Buddhism have wasted a great deal of stupid ingenuity on trying to make out that Nirvana or Nibbana means something different from what etymology, tradition and the evidence of the Classics combine to define it. The word means, quite simply, cessation: and it stands to reason that, if everything is sorrow, the only thing which is not sorrow is nothing, and that therefore to escape from sorrow is the attain- ment of nothingness.) Western philosophy has on occasion approached this doctrine. It has at least asserted that no known form of existence is exempt from sorrow. 50 Huxley says, in his Evolution and Ethics, "Suffering is the badge of all the tribe of sentient things." The philosophers of this School, seeking, naturally enough, to amend the evil at the root, inquire into the cause of this existence which is sorrow, and arrive immediately at the 'Second Noble Truth' of the Buddha: "The Cause of Sorrow is Desire". They follow up with the endless conca- tenation of causes, of which the final root is Ignorance. (I am not concerned to defend the logic of this School: I merely state their doctrine.) The practical issue of all this is that every kind of action is both unavoidable and a crime. I must digress to explain that the confusion of thought in this doctrine is constantly recurrent. That is part of the blackness of the Ignorance which they confess to be the foundation of their Universe. (And after all, everyone has surely the right to have his own Universe the way he wants it.) This School being debased by nature, is not so far removed from conven- tional religion as either the White or the Yellow. Most primitive fetishistic religions may, in fact, be considered fairly faithful representatives of this philosophy. Where animism holds sway, the "medicine-man" personifies this universal evil, and seeks to propitiate it by human sacrifice. The early forms of Judaism, and that type of Christianity which we associate with the Salvation Army, Billy Sunday and the Fundamentalists of the back-blocks of America, are sufficiently simple cases of religion whose essence is the propitiation of a malig- nant demon. When the light of intelligence begins to dawn dimly through many fogs upon these savages, we reach a second stage. Bold spirits master cour- age to assert that the evil which is so obvious, is, in some mysterious way, an illusion. They thus throw back the whole complexity of sorrow to a single cause; that is, the arising of the illusion aforesaid. The problem then assumes a final form: How is that illusion to be destroyed. A fairly pure example of the first stage of this type of thought is to be found in the Vedas, of the second stage, in the Upanishads. But the answer to the question, "How is the illusion of evil to be destroyed?", depends on another point of theory. We may postulate a Parabrahm infi- nitely good, etc. etc. etc., in which case we consider the destruction of the illusion of evil as the reuniting of the consciousness with Parabrahm. the unfortunate part of this scheme of things is that on seeking to define Parabrahm for the purpose of returning to Its purity, it is discovered sooner or later, that It possesses no qualities at all! In other words, as the farmer said, on being shown the elephant: There ain't no sich animile. It was Gautama Buddha who perceived the inutility of dragging in this imaginary pachyderm. Since our Parabrahm, he said to the Hindu philosophers, is actually nothing, why not stick to or original perception that everything is sorrow, and admit that the only way to escape from sorrow is to arrive at nothingness? We may complete the whole tradition of the Indian peninsula very simply. To the Vedas, the Upanishads, and the Tripitaka of the Buddhists, we have only to add the Tantras of what are called the Vamacharya Schools. Paradoxical as it may sound the Tantrics are in reality the most advanced of the Hindus. Their theory is, in its philosophical ultimatum, a primi- tive stage of the White tradition, for the essence of the Tantric cults is that by the performance of certain rites of Magick, one does not only escape disaster, but obtains positive benediction. The Tantric is not 51 obsessed by the will-to-die. It is a difficult business, no doubt, to get any fun out of existence; but at least it is not impossible. In other words, he implicitly denies the fundamental proposition that existence is sorrow, and he formulates the essential postulate of the White School of Magick, that means exist by which the universal sorrow (apparent indeed to all ordinary observation) may be unmasked, even as at the initiatory rite of Isis in the ancient days of Kehm. There, a Neophyte presenting his mouth, under compulsion, to the pouting buttocks of the Goat of Mendez, found himself caressed by the chaste lips of a virginal priestess of that Goddess at the base of whose shrine is written that No man has lifted her veil. The basis of the Black philosophy is not impossibly mere climate, with its resulting etiolation of the native, its languid, bilious, anaemic, fever-prostrated, emasculation of the soul of man. We accordingly find few true equivalents of this School in Europe. In Greek philosophy there is no trace of any such doctrine. The poison in its foulest and most virulent form only entered with Christianity33. But even so, few men of any real eminence were found to take the axioms of pessimism seriously. Huxley, for all of his harping on the minor key, was an eupeptic Tory. The culmination of the Black philosophy is only found in Schopenhauer, and we may regard him as having been obsessed, on the one hand, by the despair born of that false scepticism which he learnt from the bankruptcy of Hume and Kant; on the other, by the direct obsession of the Buddhist docu- ments to which he was one of the earliest Europeans to obtain access. He was, so to speak, driven to suicide by his own vanity, a curious parallel to Kiriloff in The Possessed of Dostoiewsky. We have, however, examples plentiful enough of religions deriving almost exclusively from the Black tradition in the different stages. We have already mentioned the Evangelical cults with their ferocious devil-god who creates mankind for the pleasure of damning it and forcing it to crawl before him, while he yells with druken glee over the agony of his only son34. But in the same class, we must place Christian Science, so grotesquely afraid of pain, suffering and evil of every sort, that its dupes can think of nothing better than to bleat denials of its actuality, in the hope of hypnotizing themselves into anaesthesia. Practically no Westerns have reached the third stage of the Black tradi- tion, the Buddhist stage. It is only isolated mystics, and those men who rank themselves with a contemptuous compliance under the standard of the nearest religion, the one which will bother them least in their quest of nothingness, who carry the sorites so far. The documents of the Black School of Magick have already been indicated. They are, for the most part, tedious to the last degree and repulsive to every wholesome-minded man; yet it can hardly be denied that such books as The Dhammapada and Ecclesiastes are masterpieces of literature. They represent the agony of human despair at its utmost degree of intensity, and the melancholy contemplation which is induced by their perusal is not favourable to the inception of that mood which should lead every truly courageous intelligence to the determination to escape from the 33* Anti-semite writers in Europe --- e.g. Weininger --- call the Black theory and practice Judaism, while by a curious confusion, the same ideas are called Christian among Anglo-Saxons. In 1936 e.v. the "Nazi" School began to observe this fact. 34* N.B. Christianity was in its first stage a Jewish Communism, hardly distinguishable from Marxism. 52 ferule of the Black Schoolmaster to the outstretched arms of the White Mistress of Life. Let us leave the sinister figure of Schopenhauer for the mysteriously radiant shape of Spinoza! This latter philosopher, in respect at least of his Pantheism, represents fairly enough the fundamental thesis of the White tradition. Almost the first observation that we have to make is that this White tradition is hardly discoverable outside Europe. It appears first of all in the legend of Dionysus. (In this connection read carefully Browning's Apollo and the Fates.) The Egyptian tradition of Osiris is not dissimilar. The central idea of the White School is that, admitted that "everything is sorrow" for the profane, the Initiate has the means of transforming it to "Every- thing is joy". There is no question of any ostrich-ignoring of fact, as in Christian Science. There is not even any more or less sophisti- cated argument about the point of view altering the situation as in Vedantism. We have, on the contrary, and attitude which was perhaps first of all, historically speaking, defined by Zoroaster, "nature teaches us, and the Oracles also affirm, that even the evil germs of Matter may alike become useful and good." "Stay not on the precipice with the dross of Matter; for there is a place for thine Image in a realm ever splendid." "If thou extend the Fiery Mind to the work of piety, thou wilt preserve the fluxible body."35 It appears that the Levant, from Byzantium and Athens to Damascus, Jerusalem, Alexandria and Cairo, was preoccupied with the formulation of this School in a popular religion, beginning in the days of Augustus Caesar. For there are elements of this central idea in the works of the Gnostics, in certain rituals of what Frazer conveniently calls the Asiatic God, as in the remnants of the Ancient Egyptian cult. The doc- trine became abominably corrupted in committee, so to speak and the result was Christianity, which may be regarded as a White ritual over- laid by a mountainous mass of Black doctrine, like the baby of the mother that King Solomon non-suited. We may define the doctrine of the White School in its purity in very simple terms. Existence is pure joy. Sorrow is caused by failure to perceive this fact; but this is not a misfortune. We have invented sorrow, which does not matter so much after all, in order to have the exuberant satis- faction of getting rid of it. Existence is thus a sacrament. Adepts of the White School regard their brethren of the Black very much as the aristocratic English Sahib (of the days when England was a nation) regarded the benighted Hindu. Nietzsche expresses the philosophy of this School to that extent with considerable accuracy and vigour. The man who denounces life merely defines himself as the man who is unequal to it. The brave man rejoices in giving and taking hard knocks, and the brave man is joyous. The Scandinavian idea of Valhalla may be primitive, but it is manly. A heaven of popular concert, like the Christian; of unconscious repose, like the Buddhist; or even of sensual enjoyment, like the Moslem, excites his nausea and contempt. He understands that the only joy worth while is the joy of continual victory, and victory itself would become as tame as croquet if it were not spiced by equally contin- 35* This passage appears to be a direct hint at the Formula of the IX O.T.O., and the preparation of the Elixir of Life. 53 ual defeat. The purest documents of the White School are found in the Sacred Books of Thelema. The doctrine is given in excellent perfection both in the book of the Heart Girt with the Serpent and the book of Lapis Lazuli. A single passage is adequate to explain the formula. 7. Moreover I beheld a vision of a river. There was a little boat thereon; and in it under purple sails was a golden woman, an image of Asi wrought in finest gold. Also the river was of blood, and the boat of shining steel. Then I loved her; and, loosing my girdle, cast myself into the stream. 8. I gathered myself into the little boat, and for many days and nights did I love her, burning beautiful incense before her. 9. Yea! I gave her of the flower of my youth. 10. But she stirred not; only by my kisses I defiled her so that she turned to blackness before me. 11. Yet I worshipped her, and gave her of the flower of my youth. 12. Also it came to pass, that thereby she sickened, and corrupted before me. Almost I cast myself into the stream. 13. Then at the end appointed her body was whiter than the milk of the stars, and her lips red and warm as the sunset, and her life of a white heat like the heat of the midmost sun. 14. Then rose she up from abyss of Ages of Sleep, and her body embraced me. Altogether I melted in her beauty and was glad. 15. The river also became the river of Amrit, and the little boat was the chariot of the flesh, and the sails thereof the blood of the heart that beareth me, that beareth me. Liber LXV, Cap. II. We find even in profane literature this doctrine of the White School of Magick: - O Buddha! couldst thou nowhere rest A pivot for the universe? Must all things be alike confessed Mere changes rung upon a curse? I swear by all the bliss of blue My Phryne with her powder on Is just as false - and just as true - As your disgusting skeleton. Each to his taste: if you prefer This loathly brooding on Decay; I call it Growth, and lovelier Than all the glamours of the day. You would not dally with Doreen Because her fairness was to fade, 54 Because you know the things unclean That go to make a mortal maid. I, if her rotten corpse were mine, Would take it as my natural food, Denying all but the Divine Alike in evil and in good. Aspasia may skin me close, And Lais load me with disease. Poor pleasures, bitter bargains, these? I shall despise Diogenes. Follow your fancy far enough! At last you surely come to God. There is thus in this School no attempt to deny that Nature is, as Zoroaster said, "a fatal and evil force"; but Nature is, so to speak, "the First Matter of the Work", which is to be transmuted into gold. The joy is a function of our own part in this alchemy. For this reason we find the boldest and most skillful adepts deliberately seeking out the most repugnant elements of Nature that their triumph may be the greater. The formula is evidently one of dauntless courage. It expresses the idea of vitality and manhood in its most dynamic sense. The only religion which corresponds to this School at all is that of ancient Egypt; possibly also that of Chaldea. This is because those religions are Magical religions in the strict technical sense; the religious component of them is negligible. So far as it exists, it exists only for the uninitiate. There are, however, traces of the beginning of the influence of the School in Judaism and in Paganism. There are, too, certain documents of the pure Greek spirit which bear traces of this. It is what they called Theurgy. The Christian religion in its simplest essence, by that idea of over- coming evil through a Magical ceremony, the Crucifixion, seems at first sight a fair example of the White tradition; but the idea of sin and of propitiation tainted it abominably with Blackness. There have been, however, certain Christian thinkers who have taken the bold logical step of regarding evil as a device of God for exercising the joys of combat and victory. This is, of course, a perfectly White doctrine; but it is regarded as the most dangerous of heresies. (Romans VI. 1,2, et al.) For all that, the idea is there. The Mass itself is essentially a typical White ritual. Its purpose is to transform crude matter directly into Godhead. It is thus a cardinal operation of Talismanic Magick. But the influence of the Black School has corroded the idea with theological accretions, metaphysical on the one hand, and superstitious on the other, so completely as to mask the Truth altogether. At the Reformation, we find a nugatory attempt to remove the Black ele- ment. The Protestant thinkers did their best to get rid of the idea of sin, but it was soon seen that the effort could only lead to antinomian- ism; and they recognized that this would infallibly destroy the religious idea as such. 55 Mysticism, both Catholic and Protestant, made a further attempt to free Christianity from the dark cloud of iniquity. They joined hands with the Sufis and the Vedantists. But this again led to the mere denial of the reality of evil. Thus drawing away, little by little, from clear appreciation of the facts of Nature, their doctrine became purely theoretical, and faded away, while the thundercloud of sin settled down more heavily than ever. The most important of all the efforts of the White School, from an exo- teric point of view, is Islam. In its doctrine there is some slight taint, but much less than in Christianity. It is a virile religion. It looks facts in the face, and admits their horror; but it proposes to overcome them by sheer dint of manhood. Unfortunately, the meta- physical conceptions of its quasi-profane Schools are grossly material- istic. It is only the Pantheism of the Sufis which eliminates the conception of propitiation; and, in practice, the Sufis are too closely allied to the Vedantists to retain hold of reality. That will be all for the present. Love is the law, love under will. Fraternally, 666 CHAPTER VIII THE THREE SCHOOLS OF MAGICK (3) Cara Soror, Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. It has been a long --- I hope not too tedious --- voyage; but at last the harbour is in sight. Our Essay approaches its goal; the theory of Life to which initiation tends. Let us continue! There is in history only one movement whose object has been to organize the isolated adepts of the White School of Magick, and this movement was totally unconnected with religion, except in so far as it lent its influence to the reformers of the Christian church. Its appeal was not at all to the people. It merely offered to open up relations with, and communicate certain practical secrets of wisdom to, isolated men of science through Europe. This movement is generally known by the name of Rosicrucianism. The word arouses all sorts of regrettable correspondences; but the adepts of the Society have never worried themselves in the least about the abuse of their name for the purposes of charlatanism, or about the attacks directed against them by envious critics. Indeed, so wisely have they concealed their activities that some modern scholars of the shallower type have declared that no such movement ever existed, that it was a kind of practical joke played upon the curiosity of the credu- lous Middle Ages. It is at least certain that, since the original 56 proclamations, no official publications have been put forward. The essential secrets have been maintained inviolate. If, during the last few years, a considerable number of documents have been published by them, though not in their name, it is on account of the impending crisis to civilization, of which mention will later be made. There is no good purpose, even were there license, to discuss the nature of the basis of scientific attainment which is the core of the doctrines of the Society. It is only necessary to point out that its correspondence with alchemy is the one genuine fact on the subject which has been allowed to transpire; for the Rosicrucian, as indicated by his central symbol, the barren cross on which he has made a rose to flower, occupies him- self primarily with spiritual and physiological alchemy. Taking for "The First Matter of the Work" a neutral or inert substance (it is con- stantly described as the commonest and least valued thing on earth, and may actually connote any substance whatever) he deliberately poisons it, so to speak, bringing it to a stage of transmutation generally called the Black Dragon, and he proceeds to work upon this virulent poison until he obtains the perfection theoretically possible. Incidentally, we have an almost precise parallel with this operation in modern bacteriology. The apparently harmless bacilli of a disease are cultivated until they become a thousand times more virulent than at first, and it is from this culture that is prepared the vaccine which is an efficacious remedy for all the possible ravages of that kind of micro-organism. . . . . . . . . We have been obliged to expose, perhaps at too considerable a length, the main doctrines of the three Schools. The task, however tedious, has been necessary in order to explain with reasonable lucidity their connection with the world which their ideas direct; that is to say, the nature of their political activities. The Yellow School, in accordance with its doctrine of perfectly elastic reaction and non-interference, holds itself, generally speaking, entirely apart from all such questions. We can hardly imagine it sufficiently interested in any events soever to react aggressively. It feels strong enough to deal satisfactorily with anything that may turn up: and generally speaking, it feels that any conceivable action on its part would be likely to increase rather than to diminish the mischief. It remains somewhat contemptuously aloof from the eternal conflict of the Black School with the White. At the same time, there is a certain feeling among the Yellow adepts that should either of these Schools become annihilated, the result might well be that the victor would sooner or later turn his released energy against themselves. In accordance, therefore, with their general plan of non-action, as expressed in the Tao Teh King, of dealing with mischief before it has become too strong to be dangerous, they interfere gently from time to time to redress the balance. During the last two generations the Masters of the Yellow School have been compelled to take notice of the progressive ruin of the White adepts. Christianity, which possessed at least the semblance of a White formula, is in the agonies of decomposition, even before it is 57 actually dead. Materialistic science has overwhelmed the faith and hope of the Christians (they never possessed any charity to overwhelm) with a demonstration of the sorrow, transitoriness and cruel futility of the Universe. A vast wave of pessimism has engulfed the fortress of Mansoul. It was indeed a deadly blow to the adepts of the White School when Science, their own familiar friend in whom they trusted, lifted up his heel against them. It was in this conjuncture that the Yellow adepts sent forth into the Western world a messenger, Helena Petrowna Blavatsky, with the distinct mission to destroy, on the one hand, the crude schools of Christianity, and, on the other, to eradicate the materialism from Physical Science. She made the necessary connection with Edward Maitland and Anna Kingsford, who were trying rather helplessly to put the exoteric formulae of the White School into th hands of students, and with the secret representatives of the Rosicru- cian Brotherhood. It is not for us in this place to estimate the degree of success with which she carried out her embassy; but at least we see today that Physical Science is at last penetrating to the spiritual basis of material phenomena. The work of Henry Poincar, Einstein, Whitehead, and Bertrand Russell is sufficient evidence of this fact. Christianity, too, has fallen into a lower degree of contempt than ever. Realizing that it was moribund, it made a supreme and suicidal effort, and plunged into the death-spasm of the first world-war. It was too far corrupt to react to the injections of the White formula which might have saved it. We see today that Christianity is more bigoted, further divorced from reality, than ever. In some countries it has again become a persecuting church. With horrid glee the adepts of the Black School looked on at these atrocious paroxysms. But it did more. It marshalled its forces quietly, and prepared to clean up the debris of the battlefields. It is at present (1924 e.v.) pledged to a supreme attempt to chase the manly races from their spiritual halidom. (The spasm still [1945 e.v.] continues; note well the pro-German screams of Anglican Bishops, and the intrigues of the Vatican.) The Black School has always worked insidiously, by treachery. We need then not be surprised by finding that its most notable representative was the renegade follower of Blavatsky, Annie Besant, and that she was charged by her Black masters with the mission of persuading the world to accept for its Teacher a negroid36 Messiah. To make the humiliation more complete, a wretched creature was chosen who, to the most loath- some moral qualities, added the most fatuous imbecility. And then blew up! . . . . . . This, then, is the present state of the war of the Three Schools. We cannot suppose that humanity is so entirely base as to accept Krishna- murti; yet that such a scheme could ever have been conceived is a symptom of the almost hopeless decadence of the White School37. The 36^ WEH NOTE: Inject something about Krishnamurti here, and soften the racial remark made above. 37* Note. This passage was written in 1924 e.v. The Master Therion arose and smote him. What seemed a menace is now hardly even a memory. 58 Black adepts boast openly that they have triumphed all along the line. Their formula has attained the destruction of all positive qualities. It is only one step to the stage when the annihilation of all life and thought will appear as a fatal necessity. The materialism and vital scepticism of the present time, its frenzied rush for pleasure in total disregard of any idea of building for the future, testifies to a condi- tion of complete moral disorder, of abject spiritual anarchy. The White School has thus been paralysed. We are reminded of the spider described by Fabre, who injects her victims with a poison which paralyzes them without killing them, so that her own young may find fresh meat. And this is what is going to happen in Europe and America unless some- thing is done about it, and done in very short order. The Yellow School could not remain impassive spectators of the abomina- tions. Madame Blavatsky was a mere forerunner. They, in conjunction with the Secret Chiefs of the White School in Europe, Chiefs who had been compelled to suspend all attempts at exoteric enlightenment by the general moral debility which had overtaken the races from which they drew their adepts, have prepared a guide for mankind. This man, of an extreme moral force and elevation, combined with a profound sense of worldly realities, has stood forth in an attempt to save the White School, to rehabilitate its formula, and to fling back from the bastions of moral freedom the howling savages of pessimism. Unless his appeal is heard, unless there comes a truly virile reaction against the creeping atrophy which is poisoning them, unless they enlist to the last man under his standard, a great decisive battle will have been lost. This prophet of the White School, chosen by its Masters and his brethren, to save the Theory and Practice, is armed with a sword far mightier than Excalibur. He has been entrusted with a new Magical formula, one which can be accepted by the whole human race. Its adoption will strengthen the Yellow School by giving a more positive value to their Theory; while leaving the postulates of the Black School intact, it will transcend them and raise their Theory and Practice almost to the level of the Yellow. As to the White School, it will remove from them all taint of poison of the Black, and restore vigour to their central formula of spiritual al- chemy by giving each man an independent ideal. It will put an end to the moral castration involved in the assumption that each man, whatever his nature, should deny himself to follow out a fantastic and impracti- cable ideal of goodness. Incidentally, this formula will save Physical Science itself by making negligible the despair of futility, the vital scepticism which has emasculated it in the past. It shows that the joy of existence is not in a goal, for that indeed is clearly unattainable, but in the going itself. This law is called the Law of Thelema. It is summarized in the four words, "Do what thou wilt." It should not be necessary to explain that a full appreciation of this message is not to be obtained by a hasty examination. It is essential to study it from every point of view, to analyse it with the keenest philosophical acumen, and finally to apply it as a key for every problem, internal and external, that exists. This key, applied with skill, will open every lock. From the deepest point of view, the greatest value of this formula is that it affords, for the first time in history, a basis of reconciliation 59 between the three great Schools of Magick. It will tend to appease the eternal conflict by understanding that each type of thought shall go on its own way, develop its own proper qualities without seeking to inter- fere with other formulae, however (superficially) opposed to its own. What is true for every School is equally true for every individual. Success in life, on the basis of the Law of Thelema, implies severe self-discipline. Each being must progress, as biology teaches, by strict adaptation to the conditions of the organism. If, as the Black School continually asserts, the cause of sorrow is desire, we can still escape the conclusion by the Law of Thelema. What is necessary is not to seek after some fantastic ideal, utterly unsuited to our real needs, but to discover the true nature of those needs, to fulfill them, and rejoice therein. This process is what is really meant by initiation; that is to say, the going into oneself, and making one's peace, so to speak, with all the forces that one finds there. It is forbidden here to discuss the nature of The Book of the Law, the Sacred Scripture of Thelema. Even after forty years of close expert examination, it remains to a great extent mysterious; but the little we know of it is enough to show that it is a sublime synthesis of all Science and all ethics. It is by virtue of this Book that man may attain a degree of freedom hitherto never suspected to be possible, a spiritual development altogether beyond anything hitherto known; and, what is really more to the point, a control of external nature which will make the boasted achievements of the last century appear no more than childish preliminaries to an incomparably mighty manhood. It has been said by some that the Law of Thelema appeals only to the lite of humanity. No doubt here is this much in that assertion, that only the highest can take full advantage of the extraordinary opportuni- ties which it offers. At the same time, "the Law is for all." Each in his degree, every man may learn to realise the nature of his own being, and to develop it in freedom. It is by this means that the White School of Magick can justify its past, redeem its present, and assure its future, by guaranteeing to every human being a life of Liberty and of Love. Such, then, are the words of Grard Aumont. I should not like to endorse every phrase; but the whole exposition is so masterly in its terse, tense vigour, and so unrivalled by any other document at my disposal, that I thought it best to let you have it in its own original form, with only those few alterations which lapse of time has made necessary. Love is the law, love under will. Fraternally, 666 P.S. Our own School unites the ruby red of Blood with the gold of the Sun. It combines the best characteristics of the Yellow and the White Schools. In the light of M. Aumont's exposition, it is easy to under- stand. To us, every phenomenon is an Act of Love, Every experience is necessary, 60 is a Sacrament, is a means of Growth. Hence, "...existence is pure joy;..." (AL II, 9) "A feast every day in your hearts in the joy of my rapture! A feast every night unto Nu, and the pleasure of uttermost delight!" (AL II, 42-43). Let this soak in! CHAPTER IX THE SECRET CHIEFS Cara Soror, Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. Very glad I am, since at one time I was obliged to be starkly stern about impertinent curiosity, to note that your wish to be informed about the Secret Chiefs of the A.'.A.'. is justified; it is most certainly of the first importance that you and I should be quite clear in our minds about Those under whose jurisdiction and tutelage we both work. The question is beset with thickets of tough thorn; what is worse, the path is so slippery that nothing is easier than to tumble head first into the spikiest bush of them all. You justly remind me that one of my earliest slogans was "Mystery is the enemy of Truth;" how then is it what I acquiesce in the policy of con- cealment in a matter so cardinal? Perhaps the best plan is for me to set down the facts of the case, so far as is possible, from them it may appear that no alternative policy is feasible. The first condition of membership of the A.'.A.'. is that one is sworn to identify one's own Great Work with that of raising mankind to higher levels, spiritually, and in every other way. Accordingly, it stands to reason that those charged with the conduct of the Order should be at least Masters of the Temple, or their judgment would be worthless, and at least Magi (though not that particular kind of Magus who brings the Word of a New Formula to the world every 2,000 years of so) or they would be unable to influence events on any scale commensurate with the scope of the Work. Of what nature is this Power, this Authority, this Understanding, this Wisdom --- Will? (I go up from Geburah to Chokmah.) Of the passive side it is comparatively easy to form some idea; for the qualities essential are mainly extensions of those that all of us possess in some degree. And whether Understanding - Wisdom is "right" or "wrong" must be largely a matter of opinion; often Time only can decide such points. But for the active side it is necessary to postulate the existence of a form of Energy at their disposal which is able "to cause change to occur in conformity with the Will" --- one definition of "Magick". 61 Now this, as you know, is an exceedingly complex subject; its theory is tortuous, and its practice encompassed with every kind of difficulty. Is there no simple method? Yes: the thaumaturgic engine disposes of a type of energy more adaptable than Electricity itself, and both stronger and subtler than this, its analogy in the world of profane science. One might say, that it is elec- trical, or at least one of the elements in the "Ring-formula" of modern Mathematical Physics. In the R.R. et A.C., this is indicated to the Adept Minor by the title conferred upon him on his initiation to that grade: Hodos Camelionis: --- the Path of the Chameleon. (This emphasizes the omnivalence of the force.) In the higher degrees of O.T.O. --- the A.'.A.'. is not fond of terms like this, which verge on the picturesque --- it is usually called "the Ophidian Vibrations", thus laying special stress upon its serpentine strength, subtlety, its control of life and death, and its power to insin- uate itself into any desired set of circumstances. It is of this universally powerful weapon that the Secret Chiefs must be supposed to possess complete control. They can induce a girl to embroider a tapestry, or initiate a political movement to culminate in a world-war; all in pursuit of some plan wholly beyond the purview or the comprehension of the deepest and subtlest thinkers. (It should go without saying that the adroit use of these vibrations enables one to perform all the classical "miracles.") These powers are stupendous: they seem almost beyond imagination to conceive. "Hic ego nec metas rerum nec tempora pono; Imperium sine fine dedi." as Vergil, that mighty seer and magician of Rome at her perihelion says in his First Book of the Aenead. (Vergil whose every line is also an Oracle, the leaves of his book more sacred, more significant, more sure than those of the Cumaean Sibyl!) These powers move in dimensions of time and space quite other than those with which we are familiar. Their values are incomprehensible to us. To a Secret Chief, wielding this weapon, "The nice conduct of a clouded cane" might be infinitely more important than a war, famine and pesti- lence such as might exterminate a third part of the race, to promote whose welfare is the crux of His oath, and the sole reason of His existence! But who are They? Since They are "invisible" and "inaccessible," may They not merely be figments invented by a self-styled "Master," not quite sure of himself, to prop his tottering Authority? Well, the "invisible" and "inaccessible" criticism may equally be 62 leveled at Captain A. and Admiral B. of the Naval Intelligence Department. These "Secret Chiefs" keep in the dark for precisely the same reasons; and these qualities disappear instantaneously the moment They want to get hold of you. It is written, moreover, "Let my servants be few & secret: they shall rule the many & the known." (AL I, 10) But are They then men, in the usual sense of the word? They may be incarnate or discarnate: it is a matter of Their convenience. Have They attained Their position by passing through all the grades of the A.'.A.'.? Yes and no: the system which was given to me to put forward is only one of many. "Above the Abyss" all these technical wrinkles are ironed out. One man whom I suspect of being a Secret Chief has hardly any acquaintance with the technique of our system at all. That he accepts The Book of the Law is almost his only link with my work. That, and his use of the Ophidian Vibrations: I don't know which of us is better at it, but I am sure that he must be a very long way ahead of me if he is one of Them. You have already in these pages and elsewhere in my writings examples numerous and varied of the way in which They work. The list is far from complete. The matters of Ab-ul-Diz and of Amalantrah show one method of communication; then there is the way of direct "inspiration," as in the case of "Hermes Eimi" in New Orleans38. Again, They may send an ordinary living man, whether one of Themselves or no I cannot feel sure, to instruct me in some task, or to set me right when I have erred. Then there have been messages conveyed by natural objects, animate or inanimate39. Needless to say, the outstand- ing example in my life is the whole Plan of Campaign concerning The Book of the Law. But is Aiwaz a man (presumably a Persian or Assyrian) and a "Secret Chief," or is He an "angel" in the sense that Gabriel is an angel? Is Ab-ul-Diz an Adept who can project himself into the aura of some woman with whom I happen to be living, although she has no pre- vious experience of the kind, or any interest in such matters at all? Or is He a being whose existence is altogether beyond this plane, only adopting human appearance and faculties in order to make Himself sensible and intelligible to that woman? I have never attempted to pursue any such enquiry. It was not forbidden; and yet I felt that it was! I always insisted, of course, on the strict- est proof that He actually possessed the authority claimed by Him! But I felt is improper to assume any other initiative. Just a point of good manners, perhaps? You ask whether, contact once made, I am able to renew it should I so wish. Again, yes and no. But the real answer is that no such gesture on my part can ever be necessary. For one thing, the "Chief" is so far 38* I will remember to give you details of these incidents when the occasion arises. 39* One thing I regard from my own experience as certain: when you call, They come. The circumstances usually show that the call had been fore- seen, and preparations made to answer it, long before it was made. But I suppose in some way the call has to justify the making. 63 above me that I can rely on Him to take the necessary steps, whenever contact would be useful; for another, there is one path always open which is perfectly sufficient for all possible contingencies. Elsewhere I will explain why they picked out so woebegone a ragamuffin as myself to proclaim the Word of the Aeon, and do all the chores appur- tenant to that particular Work. The Burden is heavier as the years go by; but --- Perdurabo. Love is the law, love under will. Fraternally, 666 P.S. Reading this typescript over for "literals," it struck me that you would ask, very reasonably: "But if the Secret Masters have these bound- less powers, why do They allow you to be plagued by printers, held up for lack of secretaries, worried by all sorts of practical problems? . . . Why, in a word, does anything ever go wrong?" There are several lines of reply; coalescing, they suffice: 1. What is "wrong?" Since four wars is Their idea of "right," you may well ask by what standard you may judge events. 2. Their Work is creative; They operate on the dull mass of unrealized possibilities. Thus they meet, firstly, the opposition of Inertia; secondly, the recoil, the reaction, the rebound. 3. Things theoretically feasible are practically impossible when (a) desirable though their accomplishment may be, it is not the one feat essential to the particular Work in hand and the moment; (b) the sum total of available energy being used up by that special task, there is none available for side-issues; (c) the opposition, passive or active, is too strong, temporarily, to overcome. More largely, one cannot judge how a plan is progressing when one has no precise idea what it is. A soldier is told to "attack;" he may be intended to win through, to cover a general retreat, or to gain time by deliberate sacrifice. Only the Commander in Chief knows what the order means, or why he issues it; and even he does not know the issue, or whether it will display and justify his military skill and judgment. Our business is solely to obey orders: our responsibility ends when we have satisfied ourselves that they emanate from a source which has the right to command. P.P.S. A visitor's story has just reminded me of the possibility that I am a Secret Chief myself without knowing it: for I have sometimes been recognized by other people as having acted as such, though I was not aware of the fact at the time. CHAPTER X THE SCOLEX SCHOOL 64 Cara Soror, Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. You actually want to know how to distinguish gold from copper pyrites40 --- "fool's gold" they called it in '49 California --- no! I wasn't there --- or "absolute" alcohol and --- Liqueur Whisky from "alki" (commercial alcohol --- see Jack London's The Princess, a magnificent story --- don't miss it!) and Wartime Scotch as sold in most British pubs in 1944, era vulgari. One pretty good plan is to take a masterpiece, pick out a page at random, translate it into French or German or whatever language you like best, walk around your chair three times (so as to forget the English) and then translate it back again. You will gather a useful impression of the value of the masterpiece by noticing the kind of difficulty that arises in the work of translation; more, by observing the effect produced on you by reading over the result; and finally, by estimating the re-translation; has the effect of the original been enhanced by the work done on it? Has it become more lucid? Has it actually given you the information which it purported to do? (I am giving you credit for very unusual ability; this test is not easy to make; and, obviously, you may have spoilt the whole composition, especially where its value depends on its form rather than on its sub- stance. But we are not considering poetry, or poetic prose; all we want is intelligible meaning.) It does not follow that a passage is nonsensical because you fail to understand it; it may simply be too hard for you. When Bertrand Russell writes "We say that a function R is 'ultimately Q-convergent ' if there is a member y of the converse domain of R and the field of Q such that the value of the function for the argument y and for any argument to which y has the relation Q is a member of ." Do we? But you do not doubt that if you were to learn the meaning of all these unfamiliar terms, you would be able to follow his thought. Now take a paragraph from an "occult teacher." What's more, I'll give you wheat, not tares; it seems terrifyingly easy for sound instruction to degenerate in to a "pi-jaw." Here goes! "To don Nirmanakaya's humble robe is to forego eternal bliss for self, to help on man's salvation. To reach Nirvana's bliss but to renounce it, is the supreme, the final step --- the highest on Renun- ciation's Path." Follows a common-sense comment by Frater O.M. "All this about Gautama Buddha having renounced Nirvana is apparently all a pure invention of Mme. Blavatsky, and has no authority in the Buddhist canon. The Buddha is referred to, again and again, as having 'passed away by that kind of passing away which leaves nothing what- 40^ WEH NOTE: If Homer can nod, so can Crowley. The mineral called fool's gold is actually iron pyrites, not copper. It has a brassy look, and that might account for this error. 65 ever behind.' The account of his doing this is given in the Mahaparinibbana Sutta; and it was the contention of the Toshophists that this 'great, sublime Nibbana story' was something peculiar to Gautama Buddha. They began to talk about Parinibbana, super-Nibbana, as if there were some way of subtracting one from one which would leave a higher, superior kind of a nothing, or as if there were some way of blowing out a candle which would leave Moses in a much more Egyptian darkness than we ever supposed when we were children. "This is not science. This is not business. This is American Sun- day journalism. The Hindu and the American are very much alike in this innocence, this 'naivet' which demands fairy stories with ever bigger giants. They cannot bear the idea of anything being complete and done with. So, they are always talking in superlatives, and are hard put to it when the facts catch up with them, and they have to invent new superlatives. Instead of saying that there are bricks of various sizes, and specifying those sizes, they have a brick and a super-brick, and 'one' brick, and 'some' brick; and when they have got to the end they chase through the dictionary for some other epithet to brick, which shall excite the sense of wonder at the magnificent progress and super-progress --- I present the American public with this word --- which is supposed to have been made. Probably the whole thing is a bluff without a single fact behind it. Almost the whole of the Hindu psychology is an example of this kind of journalism. They are not content with the supreme God. The other man wishes to show off by having a supremer God than that, and when a third man comes along and finds them disputing, it is up to him to invent a supremest super-God. "It is simply ridiculous to try to add to the definition of Nibbana by this invention of Parinibbana, and only talkers busy themselves with these fantastic speculations. The serious student minds his own business, which is the business in hand. The President of a Corporation does not pay his bookkeeper to make a statement of the countless billions of profit to be made in some future year. It requires no great ability to string a row of zeros after a signifi- cant figure until the ink runs out. What is wanted is the actual balance of the week. "The reader is most strongly urged not to permit himself to indulge in fantastic flights of thought, which are the poison of the mind, because they represent an attempt to run away from reality, a dis- persion of energy and a corruption of moral strength. His business is, firstly, to know himself; secondly, to order and control him- self; thirdly, to develop himself on sound organic lines little by little. The rest is only leather and prunella. "There is, however, a sense in which the service of humanity is necessary to the completeness of the Adept. He is not to fly away too far. "Some remarks on this course are given in the note to the next verse. "The student is also advised to take note of the conditions of member- ship of the A.'.A.'.". (Equinox III, Supplement pp. 57 - 59). So much for the green tree; now for the dry! 66 We come down to the average popular "teacher," the mere humbug. Read this: --- "One day quite soon an entirely different kind of electricity will be discovered which will bring as many profound changes into human living as the first type did. This new electricity will move in a


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