Magick Without Tears, by Aleister Crowley

That's French for "the ancient system," as in the ancient system of feudal privileges and the exercise of autocratic power over the peasants. The ancien regime never goes away, like vampires and dinosaur bones they are always hidden in the earth, exercising a mysterious influence. It is not paranoia to believe that the elites scheme against the common man. Inform yourself about their schemes here.

Re: Magick Without Tears, by Aleister Crowley

Postby admin » Fri May 11, 2018 6:12 am

Chapter LXVIII: The God-Letters

Cara Soror,

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

Maybe it was Devanagri that began it! This "sacred" character, used rightly for Sanskrit alone, is supposed (so Allan Bennett told me) to be constructed on—can one call them ideographic?—principles. The upright line is the soft palate; the horizontal the hard; and the line between them shows the position of the tongue when one pronounces the letter. He demonstrated this most elegantly for the letter T (['ta' in Sanskrit]); but I was never able to follow this up with most of the other fifty- five (isn't it?) letters.

However, it did start me thinking (why?) about the possibility of a direct relation between the sound of a letter and its meaning in some primitive manner of speech.

So I used to alarm my fellow-citizens, usually passengers on a liner, by spending most of my time repeating some unhappy letter over and over, while I looked into my mind to see if the sound suggested any particular idea. (It was rather fun, you know; but it was most certainly one of the most delicate, subtle, and difficult experiments that I have ever undertaken.)

Bound to flop, obviously, from the word "gun", if only because the same- sounding word in different languages—sometimes even in the same!—has often not merely diverse, but diametrically opposed meanings. Think of Bog, or Bug, the Russian word for God (I do think "Bogey" comes from this, though!); think of the dam of a stream, and of a young thing, and damn. Think of all the different kinds of box and cock and rock. (G. K. Chesterton must have made tens of thousands of pounds out of it!) Think of "let", meaning both to prevent and to allow. Think of "check" to a chess-player, a banker, a draper, a waitress, a fox-hunter and a Slovak!

The importance of all this: I'm sure I've told you how Thoth, God of all Magick, the Wisdom and the Word, is usually shown with style and papyrus, as inventor of writing, which is the real Magical Art. Hence "grimoire" is nothing but grammar; to cast a "spell" explains itself; and the Angel (e.g. of a Church, see Revelations I, II) was merely the Secretary.1

Never mind! I was thinking of language in its (supposed) primal state, when grunts and groans and moans and yells and squeaks and the like were the nearest anybody ever got to:

"Sweet articulate words
Sweetly divided apart."


And yet I persisted. I wanted to go right back, before letters were put together to make words at all. This is, I believe, almost wholly original work, though I'm not sure that Fabre d'Olivet didn't skate round the edges.

I put to myself this question: when I pronounce the letter so-and-so, what thought or class of thought tends to arise in my mind? (If you practise this in public, people may wonder!)

With the vowels, one does seem to find a natural correspondence. (I wrote a ballet "The Blind Prophet" on these lines, long before it struck me to investigate on scientific lines). The Hindus knew this with their A-U-M: A is the open breath, U the controlled force, M no breath at all. (See Magick, pp. 45-49). To me I is a shrill feminine sound, as O is the roar of the male. U is pursed, E hardly significant.

As to Magick, the Gnostics were chili con carne plus molten platinum plus a few girls I have known on the vowels. Their incantations consist almost entirely of combinations of these.2 Seven at a time is very frequent; in fact it seems sometimes as if their theurgy depended on variations of these combinations. Their theology, too. Never mind that just now!

But the consonants? That is a harder nut to crack.

Students of language have been accustomed to group the consonants exactly as we now happen to require. Here, in brief, is the list:

Dentals, Labials, Gutturals.

Various modifications extend them to fifty-nine and there are twenty- seven vowels. I shall naturally concern myself only with those that matter to the subject: in practice, the twenty-two letters of the Hebrew Alphabet will serve for this preliminary study, especially as in that case, we have already the attributions. I will begin by classing them.3

Gutturals 1. G. Luna.
2. Ch. Cancer, house of Luna; Jupiter here exalted.
3. K. Jupiter.
4. Q. Pisces, house of Jupiter. Atu XVII "The Moon."

You will note that either Jupiter or Luna occurs in every case; in two, doubly. Guttur, moreover, is the Latin word for throat. Both planets emphasize the soft open expansive aspects of Nature; they both refer accordingly to the feminine throat, the tube either of present or of future Life. (Jupiter, when in Sagittarius, has an aggressive, masterful, male side; but his letter when there is Samekh.) Now pronounce these letters; observe the motions of opening and expulsion of the breath. Well, then, you will no longer wonder at that list we had in another letter of the words Cwm, coombe, quean, queen, and so on; also (?) quill, queer, quaintest, curious, (?) quick, (?) quince: especially with the U vowel, which sounds prehensile, ready to suck. Kupris (or Ctytto) the Greek or Syrian Aphrodite-Venus, is the outstanding example in Theogony.

But, you ask, what has all this to do with the Gods? Patience, child; this will develop as we proceed. Let us look at the dentals. These, for the profane scholar, include the "sibilants," and "liquids."

Dentals: 1. D. Venus.
2. Z. Gemini, house of Mercury.
3. T. Leo, house of Sol.
4. L. Libra, house of Venus; Saturn here exalted.
5. M. Water.
6. N. Scorpio, house of Mars.
7. S. Sagittarius, house of Jupiter.
8. R. Sol.
9. Sh. Fire.
10. Th. Saturn; the Earth.

Here, we see at one glance, there is no such simple obvious relationship, as in the previous list. Nor indeed is there, to my ear, any close connection in the sounds.

Better luck, perhaps, with the last lot.

Labials 1. B. Mercury.
2. V. (or F4) Taurus. House of Venus; Luna exalted therein.
3. P. Mars.

Not a bit of it; almost worse than before. Here, then, I say it, weeping, with agonized reluctance, the Holy Qabalah has let us down with a bump! (It did look, too, didn't it, as if it was all going to go so miraculously well!)

All is not lost—not even honour! Suppose you reflect that (after all) Hebrew is a late language, invented; far, far removed from the primitive grunts and groans (with their corresponding motions) that we set out to study. Let us take the high hand, and say that the Guttural Correspondence doesn't rime with anything, that it is just an amazing piece of sheer luck: nay, that it should serve us as a warning not to be led away like Macbeth—you remember how Banquo warned him that

"Oftentimes, to win us to our harms,
The instruments of darkness tell us truths,
Win us with honest trifles, to betray us
in deepest consequence."


—and breaks off abruptly to speak with his cousins.

Never forget the abiding temptation of men of science, the hidden rocks on which so many have been wrecked, to generalize on insufficient data. May the gods keep us from that! I dread it more than all the other snags put together.

With all due caution, therefore, let us attack our puzzle from the other end; let us see what astral experiment tells us about the philology of it!

Good! We'll call it D-Day and drop our paratroops. D is a sharp, sudden, forceful explosive sound, cut off smartly. Now then I can't tell whether you will connect this with ejaculation, with the idea of paternity. Whether or no, a vast number of people did so in the dawn of speech. Even to-day children seem instinctively to say "Dad" for "Father," though no allowance can be made for cases of mistaken identity. And the most ancient Father-Gods of the oldest and simplest civilizations are thus named. In Sumer He was AD, or ADAD, whence the later Egyptian Hadit, and the Semitic Adonai. (There are also words like AVD, the creative Magick). So also the Greeks in Syria knew Adonis, and the Latin Deus is itself the general word for God. Again, Valhalla houses Odin, Woden; and there are others. When the dental is complicated to a sibilant, as we shall see later, another idea is introduced; while the lightening of the sound to T has yet another effect.

Sanskrit also helps us with such roots as DETH, to show, DAM, to tame, DEVK, to lead, DHEIGH, to knead, mould, DHER, to support, DO, to give, DHE, to put and a while group of words like Deva, a divine being.

But that comes later: meanwhile, practise pronouncing these names, as also English words such as Do, Deed, Dare, Drive, Doubt, Dig, Dog, Dive, Duck, Dub while exploring the Abyss of your mind, and see whether you do not soon associate the D-sound with a swift, hard, definite, fertile and completed act. For a fair test, take only the oldest and simplest words, words which might naturally be wanted in the Stone Age.

The next sound-group to be considered may conveniently be N. Here at once we have innumerable Gods and Goddesses flocking up: Nu, Nuit, Ann, Noah, John, Oannes, On, Jonah, et al. With the exception of On, a special case, all these divine or semi-divine Beings refer to the Night, the Starry Heavens, the Element of Water, the North, the Mother-Goddess, as appears when we consider their legends and rituals. N, Nun, means a fish and refers to the water sign of Scorpio. (Note, later when we reach Sh, that Joshua was the Son of Nun.) To me the sound gives the idea of a continuum, an eternal movement; and this is of course our Thelemic conception of the Universe, the "Star-sponge," of which I have elsewhere written at such length.

But at the moment I am especially desirous that you should compare and contrast this letter with the S Sound. (S or Sh combined with T is discussed rather fully in Magick, pp. 336-8)5 You should find it child's play to determine the significance of the sibilant. It is the one letter which necessitates the exposure of the skeleton! (I.e., the Subconscious). Hence "Hush!" it is the hiss of the snake, great Lord of Life and Death—(life? yes, the spermatozoon, child!) "Silence! Danger! There is a man somewhere about." The savage reaction. And, sure enough, Ish is the Hebrew for man (Mankind is ADM, Adam, Sanskrit Admi, the Father and Mother conjoined. "Male and Female created They Man.")

The S-gods are innumerable. Asar (Asi, Isis, is his female twin) Astarte, Ishtar or Ashtoreth, Set, Saturn, Shu, Zeus, (into whom the D intrudes, because S is the male as N the female, and D the father as M the mother) and the Jesus group. Here is the idea of the South, or East, both quarters referring, in ways very slightly divergent, to the element of Fire, the Sun, the Father-God in his aspect as the Holy Ghost. The ancient tradition appears in the Gospels: the Lesser Mysteries of John, beheaded with the Sword, and consumed on a Disk, and the Greater Mysteries of Jesus, pierced with a Wand, and consumed in a Cup. All same Tarot!

I am not at all sure how far it is wise to take this letter. To make it complete, we should need a Book about three times the size of The Book of Thoth, and I should want another half-century of research before I started to write it! As this seems for divers reasons a little awkward in practice, I am rather afraid that we must content ourselves with this very sketchy account: always, when one touches the subject, one "goes all woolly." One lacks not only completeness, but precision. Then there is the "over-lapping" nuisance, and the fact that the natures and the names of the Gods change slowly as time goes by. The confusion! The contradictions! I could wish to be the proverbial bargee. Oh! I could go on making excuses for another hour! I can't be helped; and I feel that I shall have rendered you quite a bit of service by calling your attention to the existence of the subject, by stimulating you to research, by suggesting certain potential lines on which to attack the same, and perhaps even by giving you a few tips which you may find useful in practical Magick.

The subject is closely bound up with Mantra-Yoga, and with Invocation. You will doubtless have noticed (for instance) that many chapters of the Q'uran have the letter L for a leit-motif. Islam attaches immense importance to this liquid L, as it appears in Allah (compare the Hebrew L-Gods, AL, Aloah, Elohim, A'alion, etc., and look up the L-idea in your Book of Thoth, and in Magick, pp. 331 sqq.6) and other peculiarly sacred names and words.

Before cursing my way to dinner—oh! how I hate the need of food unless I am practising the "Ninth Art" and disguise myself as a gourmet—I must mention the letter M. This is the only letter that can be pronounced with the lips firmly closed; it is the beginning of speech, and so the Mother of the Alphabet. (Distinguish from N, the letter of the Female). Look up Magick again; Chapter VII (pp. 45-49) gives a good account of M in discussing AUM. Note, too, the root MU "to be silent," form which we have the words Mystic, Mystery and others. As the letter of the Mother it appears to this day in nature everywhere, the first call of the child to "Mamma." In nearly every language, moreover, the word for Mother is based on M. Madar, Mere, Mutter, Umm, AMA or AIMA and the rest.

The vibrant R suggests light-rays: Ra, the Sun; the labials bring to mind the curves in Natureùyou will soon discover the words with a few little experiments; the T is a D, only lighter, quicker and younger—and so Good-night!

Love is the law, love under will.

Fraternally,

666

______________

Notes:

1: Grk., αγγελλος, a messenger or envoy; one that announces (Liddell & Scott intermediate) – T.S.

2: For multiple examples of this kind of thing, see also The Greek Magical Papyri in Translaiton (Uni. of Chicago Press, 1986, 1992) – T.S.

3: In a note to Kabbalah Unveiled (I.Z.Q. cap. XIX. s. 694) Mathers gives the division thus:

• Gutterals: Aleph, Heh, Cheth, Ayin
• Palatals: Gimel, Yod, Kaph, Qoph
• Linguals: Daleth, Tau, Teth, Lamed, Nun
• Dentals: Zayin, Samekh, Shin, Tzaddi
• Labials: Beth, Vau, Mem, Pé

(Resh is said to be classed as a gutteral by some, a dental by others) – T.S.

4: Here represent the obsolete Greek letter digamma.

5: The reference is to the discussion of the formula of LAShTAL in the essay accompanying Liber V vel Reguli – T.S.

6: The reference is again to Liber V – T.S.
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Re: Magick Without Tears, by Aleister Crowley

Postby admin » Fri May 11, 2018 6:14 am

Chapter LXIX: Original Sin

Cara Soror,

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

It was at Dover. I had passed the Customs Inspector. Turning back, I said: "But perhaps I ought to have declared my Browning?" Much agitated, he muttered: "How ever did I come to miss that?" and began all over again. I helped him out: "You see, you were thinking of pistols, I of poetry." (There is a lesson in that!)

And now you—of all people!—fire him off at me. "Gold Hair" you write; "what about R.B's defence of Christianity?" You mean, of course,

"'Tis the faith that launched point-blank its dart
At the head of a lie, taught Original Sin, The corruption of man's heart."
It is impossible to commit all the possible logical errors in the course of a single syllogism; but he has an honest try.


1. It's not a man's heart, but a girl's.
2. He argues from an extravagantly rose case of aberration as if it were an universal rule.
3. All his premises are false; and even at that, defective.
4. Non distributio medii.
5. Ignoratio elenchi.
6. Need I go on?

For one thing, I have yet to learn who told the "lie." It was not until Rousseau that we had the nonsense about the "noble savage." But it is at least true that man's deepest instincts, being natural and necessary, are, for him, "right." It is true that an artificial society creates artificial crimes; but this is not "Original" Sin; on the contrary. What's that you say?

I laugh! I wondered when you were going to pull me up, and send me packing to my Skeat about what "Sin" means. O.K. Police routine does beat the gifted amateur. Sin, astonishingly, means real! Curtius tells us "Language regards the guilty man as the man who it was." Then, what is "guilt"? A.S. gylt, trespass; in our own Thelemic language, "deviation from (especially in the matter of excess, trespasser) the True Will." Please take notice that most of the words which denote misconduct imply wandering, either from the home or from the path: error, debauch, wrong (=twisted), wry, evil (excessive) detraquer, go astray, and several others. So I too leap into the breach with Curtius, and point out that "Language itself asserts the doctrine of the True Will." But what says The Book of the Law? It is at pains to define Sin in plain terms: "The word of Sin is Restriction. ..." (AL I, 41). From the context it seems clear that this refers more especially to interference with the will of another.

This statement is the first need of the world to-day for we are plagued with Meddlesome Matties, male and female, whose one overmastering passion is to mind other peoples' business. They can think of nothing but "control." They aim at an Ethic like that of the convict Prison; at a civilization like that of the Bees or the Termites. But neither history nor biology acquaint us with any form of progress achieved by any of these communities. Penal settlements and Pall Mall Clubs have not even made provision for the perpetuation of their species; and all such "well-ordered" establishments are quite evidently defenceless against any serious change in their environment. They have failed to comply with the first requirements of biology; at best, they stagnate, they achieve nothing, they never "get anywhere."

A settled society is useful at certain periods; when, for instance, it is advisable to consolidate the gains gotten by pioneer adventurers; but history shows with appalling clarity that the very qualities which serve to protect must inevitably destroy the very conditions which they aim to preserve.

Hey! Hasn't the dear old Book of Lies got its word on the subject? Never known to fail!

The Wound of Amfortas

The Self-mastery of Percivale became the Self-Masturbatory of the Bourgeois.

Vir-tus has become "virtue."

The qualities which have made a man, a race, a city, a caste, must be thrown off; death is the penalty of failure. As it is written: In the hour of success sacrifice that which is dearest to thee unto the Infernal gods!

The Englishmen lives upon the excrement of his forefathers.

All moral codes are worthless in themselves; yet in every new code there is hope. Provided always that the code is not changed because it is too hard but because it is fulfilled.

The dead dog floats with the stream; in puritan France the best women are harlots; in vicious England the best women are virgins.

If only the Archbishop of Canterbury were to go naked in the streets and beg his bread!

The new Christ, like the old, is the friend of publicans and sinners; because his nature is ascetic.

O if everyman did No Matter What, provided that it is the one thing that he will not and cannot do.


That settles it.

We do progress; but how? Not by the tinkering of the meliorist; not by the crushing of initiative; not by laws and regulations which hamstring the racehorse, and handcuff the boxer; but by the innovations of the eccentric, by the phantasies of the hashish-dreamer of philosophy, by the aspirations of the idealist to the impossible, by the imagination of the revolutionary, by the perilous adventure of the pioneer. Progress is by leaps and bounds, but breaking from custom, by working on untried experiments; in short, by the follies and crimes of men of genius, only recognizable as wisdom and virtue after they have been tortured to death, and their murderers reap gloatingly the harvest of the seeds they sowed at midnight.

Damn it! All this is so trite that I am half ashamed to write it; and yet—everyone acquiesces with a smile, and goes off to vote another set of fetters for his feet!

Sin? This is the sin of sins: Restriction. All boots from the one last: all beautifully polished on parade; the March of Time will find not much but hobbling!

More of this when I answer your letter (just in as I drew rein to read this over) about Education.

Love is the law, love under will.

Fraternally,

666

P.S. On reading this, I note that I passed over with deserved contempt the theory of "original sin" in the sense which you probably meant me to take: the defect deliberately implanted in man by "Old Nobodaddy" with no better object than to prepare the grotesquely tragic farce of the "Atonement." I will merely remark that no idea at once so base and so contemptible, so bestial and so idiotic, can challenge its ignoble absurdity.

Rotten with sex-perversion, it is a noisome blend of sadism and masochism based on the most abject form of fear.

The only argument for it is that it ever did exist; but it does not exist for wholesome minds.
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Re: Magick Without Tears, by Aleister Crowley

Postby admin » Fri May 11, 2018 6:16 am

Chapter LXX: Morality (1)

Cara Soror,

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

"Tu l'as voulu, Georges Dandin!" I knew from the first that your sly, insidious, poisoned poniard, slipped in between my ribs, would soon or late involve a complete exposition of the whole subject of Morality.

Of we go! What really is it? The word comes from Mos, Latin for custom, manner. Similarly, ethics: from Greek ΕΘΟΣ, custom. "It isn't done" may be modern slang, but it's correct. Interesting to study the usage of "moeurs" and "manières" in French. "Manner" from "manus"—hand: it is "the way to handle things."

But the theological conception has steered a very wrong course, even for theology; brought in Divine Injunction, and Conscience, and a whole host of bogeys. (Candles in hollow turnips deceive nobody out- side a churchyard!)

So we find ourselves discussing a "palely wandering" phantom idea whose connotations or extensions depend on the time, the place, and the victim. We know "the crimes of Clapham chaste in Martaban," and the difference between Old and New Testament morality in such matters as polygamy and diet; while the fur flies when two learned professors go down with a smart attack of Odium Theologicum, and are ready to destroy a civilization on the question of whether it is right or wrong for a priest (or presbyter? or minister?) to wear a white nightie or a black in the pulpit.

But what you want to know is the difference between (a) common or area morality, (b) Yogin—or "holy man's" morality, and (c) the Magical Morality of the New Aeon of Thelema.

1. Area Morality: This is the code of the "Slave-Gods," very thorougly analysed, pulverized, and de-loused by Nietzsche in Antichrist. It consists of all the meanest vices, especially envy, cowardice, cruelty and greed: all based on over-mastering Fear. Fear of the nightmare type. With this incubus, the rich and powerful have devised an engine to keep down the poor and the weak. They are lavish alike with threats and promises in Ogre Bogey's Castle and Cloud-Cuckoo-Land. "Religion is the opium of the people," when they flinch no longer from the phantom knout.

2. _Eight Lectures on Yoga gives a reasonable account of the essence of this matter, especially in the talks on Yama and Niyama. (A book on this subject might well include a few quotations, notably from paragraphs 8, 9 and 10 in the former). It might be summarized as "doing that, and only that, which facilitates the task in hand." A line of conduct becomes a custom when experience has shown that to follow it makes for success. "Don't press!" "Play with a straight bat!" "Don't draw to five!" do not involve abstract considerations of right and wrong. Orthodox Hinduism has raped this pure system, and begotten a bastard code which reeks of religion. A political manoeuvre of the Brahmin caste.

Suppose we relax a little, come down to earth, and look at what the far-famed morality of the Holy Man was, and is, in actual practice. You will find this useful to crush Toshophist and Antroposophagist1 cockroaches as well as the ordinary Christian Scolex when they assail you.

In the lands of Hinduism and (to a less extent) of Islam, the Sultan, the Dewan, the Maharajah, the Emir, or whatsoever they call "the Grand Pandjandrum Himself, with the little round button on top," it is almost a 100 per cent rule that the button works loose and is lost! Even in less exalted circles, any absolute ruler, on however petty a scale, is liable to go the whole hog in an unexceptionably hoggish fashion. He has none to gainsay him, and he sees no reason for controlling himself. This suits nearly everybody pretty well; the shrewd Wazir can govern while his "master" fills up on "The King's Peg" (we must try one when champagne is once again reasonably cheap) and all the other sensuous and sensual delights unstinted. The result is that by the time he is twenty—he was probably married at 12—he is no longer fitted to carry out his very first duty to the State, the production of an heir.

Quite contrary to this is the career of the "Holy Man." Accustomed to the severest physical toil, inured to all the rigours of climate, aloof from every noxious excess, he becomes a very champion of virility. (Of course, there are exceptions, but the average "holy man" is a fairly tall fellow of his hands). More, he has been particularly trained for this form of asceticism by all sorts of secret methods and practices; some of these, by the way, I was able to learn myself, and found surprisingly efficacious.

So we have the law of supply and demand at work as uncomplainingly as usual: the Holy Man prays for the threatened Dynasty, blesses the Barren Queen; and they all live happy ever after. This is not an Arabian Night's Tale of Antiquity; it is the same today: there are very few Englishmen who have spent any time in India who have not been approached with proposals of this character.

Similar conditions, curiously enough, existed in France; the "fils à papa" was usually a hopeless rotter, and his wife often resorted to a famous monastery on the Riviera, where was an exceptionally holy Image of the Blessed Virgin Mary, prayers unto whom removed sterility. But when M. Combes turned out the monks, the Image somehow lost it virtue.

Now get your Bible and turn up Luke VIII, 2! When the sal volatile has worked, turn to John XIII 2,32 and ask a scholar what any Greek of the period would have understood by the technical expressions there unambiguously employed.

Presently, I hope, you will begin to wonder whether, after all, the "morality" of the middle classes of the nineteenth century, in Anglo-Saxon countries, is quite as axiomatic as you were taught to suppose.

Please let me emphasize the fact that I have heard and seen these conditions in Eastern countries with my own ears and eyes. Vivekananda—certainly the best of the modern Indian writes on Yoga—complained bitterly that the old greymalkin witches of New York who called themselves his disciples had to be dodged with infinite precaution whenever he wanted to spend an evening in the Tenderloin. On the other hand, the Sheikh of Mish—and a very holy Sheikh he was—introduced his "boy friend" as such to me when I visited him in the Sahara, without the slightest shame or embarrassment.

Believe me, the humbug about "morality" in this country and the U.S.A., yes, even on the Continent in pious circles, is Hobgoblin No. 1 on the path of the Wise. If you are fooled by that, you will never get out of the stinking bog of platitudinous mouthings of make-believe "Masters." Need I refer to the fact that most of the unco' guid are penny plain hypocrites. A little less vile are those whose prejudices are Freudian in character, who "compound for sins that they're inclined to, By damning those they have no mind to."

Even when, poor-spirited molluscs, they are honest, all that twaddle is Negation. "Hang your clothes on a hickory limb, and don't go near the water!" does not produce a Gertrud Ederle. Thank God, the modern girl has cast off at least one of her fetters—the ceinture de chastété!

Perhaps we have now relaxed enough; we see that the "Holy man" is not such a fool as he looks; and we may get on with our excursions into the "Morality" of the Law of the New Aeon, which is the Aeon of Horus, crowned and conquering child: and—"The word of the Law is Θελημα."

3. So much of The Book of the Law deals directly or indirectly with morals that to quote relevant passages would be merely bewildering. Not that this state of mind fails to result from the first, second, third and ninety-third perusals!

"When Duty bellows loud 'Thou must!'
The youth replies 'Pike's Peak or Bust!'"


is all very well, or might be if the bellow gave further particulars. And one's general impression may very well be that Thelema not only gives general licence to to any fool thing that comes into one's head, but urges in the most emphatic terms, reinforced by the most eloquent appeals in superb language, by glowing promises, and by categorical assurance that no harm can possibly come thereby, the performance of just that specific type of action, the maintenance of just that line of conduct, which is most severely depreciated by the high priests and jurists of every religion, every system of ethics, that ever was under the sun!

You may look sourly down a meanly-pointed nose, or yell "Whoop La!" and make for Piccadilly Circus: in either case you will be wrong; you will not have understood the Book.

Shameful confession, one of my own Chelas (or so it is rather incredibly reported to me) said recently: "Self-discipline is a form of Restriction." (That, you remember, is "The word of Sin ...".) Of all the utter rubbish! (Anyhow, he was a "centre of pestilence" for discussing the Book at all.) About 90 % of Thelema, at a guess, is nothing but self-discipline. One is only allowed to do anything and everything so as to have more scope for exercising that virtue.

Concentrate on "...thou hast no right but to do thy will." The point is that any possible act is to be performed if it is a necessary factor in that Equation of your Will. Any act that is not such a factor, however harmless, noble, virtuous or what not, is at the best a waste of energy. But there are no artificial barriers on any type of act in general. The standard of conduct has one single touchstone. There may be—there will be—every kind of difficulty in determining whether, by this standard, any given act is "right" or "wrong": but there should be no confusion. No act is righteous in itself, but only in reference to the True Will of the person who proposes to perform it. This is the Doctrine of Relativity applied to the moral sphere.

I think that, if you have understood this, the whole theory is now within your grasp; hold it fast, and lay about you!

Of course, there must be certain courses of action which, generally speaking, will be right for pretty well everybody. Some, per contra, will be generally barred, as interfering with another's equal right. Some cases will be so difficult that only a Magister Templi can judge them, and a Magus carry them wisely into effect. Fearsome responsibility, I should say, that of the Masters who began the building-up of the New Aeon by bringing about these Wars!

(I do wish that we had the sense to take our ideas of Peace conditions from the Bible, as our rulers so loudly profess that they do. The Enemy knows well enough that there is no other way to make a war pay.)

Now then, I hope that we have succeeded in clarifying this exceptionally muddy marish water of morality from most of its alien and toxic dirt; too often the Aspirant to the Sacred Wisdom finds no firm path under his feet; the Bog of Respectability mires him who sought the Garden of Delights; soon the last bubbles burst from his choked lungs; he is engulfed in the Slough of Despond.

In the passive elements of Earth and Water is no creative virtue to cleanse themselves from such impurity as they chance to acquire; it is therefore of cardinal importance to watch them, guard them, keep their Purity untainted and unsoiled; shall the Holy Grail brim with poison of Asps, and the golden Paten be defiled with the Bread of Iniquity? Come Fire, come Air, cleanse ye and kindle the pure instruments, that Spirit may indwell, inform, inspire the whole, the One Continuous Sacrament of Life!

We have considered this Morality from quite a number of very different points of view; wrought subtly and accurately into final shape, you should find no further difficulty in understanding fully at least the theoretical and abstract aspects of the business.

But as to your own wit of judgment as to the general rules of your own private Code of Morals, what is "right" and what is "wrong" for you, that will emerge only from long self-analysis such as is the chief work of the Sword in the process of your Initiation.

Love is the law, love under will.

Yours fraternally,

666

P.S. Most of this is stated or implied in AHA!

MARSYAS . . . . . . . . . . Be ever as you can
A simple honest gentleman!
Body and manners be at ease,
Not bloat with blazoned sanctities!
Who fights as fights the soldier-saint?
And see the artist-adept paint!
Weak are the souls that fear the stress
Of earth upon their holiness!
They fast, they eat fantastic food,
They prate of beans and brotherhood,
Wear sandals, and long hair, and spats,
And think that makes them Arahats!
How shall man still his spirit-storm?
Rational dress and Food Reform!
OLYMPAS I know such saints.
MARSYAS An easy vice:
So wondrous well they advertise!
O their mean souls are satisfied
With wind of spiritual pride.
They're all negation. "Do not eat;
What poison to the soul is meat!
Drink not; smoke not; deny the will!
Wine and tobacco make us ill."
Magic is life: the Will to Live
Is one supreme Affirmative.
These things that flinch from Life are worth
No more to Heaven than to Earth.
Affirm the everlasting Yes!
OLYMPAS Those saints at least score one success:
Perfection of their priggishness!
MARSYAS Enough. The soul is subtlier fed
With meditation's wine and bread.
Forget their failings and our own;
Fix all our thoughts on love alone!

_______________

Notes:

1: This is a reference to the school of thought of Rudolf Steiner. By the time of this writing, Steiner's students were being taught that Crowley was a "bad man." Tit for tat. Anthroposophy presents a merging of several branches of mysticism with dance and movement. It rewards study, but one shouldn't mention A.C. at the Steiner schools until one has acquired what one wants! – WEH.

2: John XIII, 2-3 in the King James translation reads: "And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to bretray him; Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God." Crowley, or the typesetter, or transcriber, may have got the references slightly confused, as Luke VIII, 3 (KJV) reads: "And Joanna, the wife of Chuza Herod's steward, and Susanna, and many others, which ministered unto him of their substance." Crowley alludes to this verse in a similar connection in The Gosepl According to Saint Bernard Shaw – T.S.
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Re: Magick Without Tears, by Aleister Crowley

Postby admin » Fri May 11, 2018 6:17 am

Chapter LXXI: Morality (2)

Cara Soror,

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

The contents of your letter appalled me. I had hoped that you had left behind forever all that quality of thinking. It is unclean. It is stuffy and flabby. You write of a matter about which you cannot possibly have information, and what you say is not even a good guess; it is simply contrary to fact. It shows also that you have failed to grasp the nature of the O.T.O. Its main raison d'etre, apart from social and political plans, is the teaching and use of a secret method of achieving certain results. This secret is a scientific secret; it is guarded against betrayal or abuse by a very simple automatic arrangement. Its guardians cannot be "dying" any more than electricians as a class can be.

It is really difficult to answer your letters. You have got things so higgledy-piggledy. You write of the constitutions of two orders, the A.'. A.'. and the O.T.O.; yet you ignore the printed information about them which you are supposed to have read.

I have to answer each sentence of your letter separately, so incoherent have you become!

You are a "student" of A.'. A.'., and become a Probationer as soon as you take and pass the examination. (This is intended mostly to make sure that you have some general idea of the principal branches of the subject, and know the more important correspondences,) The rest:—please read One Star in Sight again, and do for God's sake try to assimilate the information there very clearly and very fully given!

It is terrifyingly near the state of mind which we symbolize by Choronzon, this hurrying flustered dash of yours from one point of view to another: a set of statements all true after a fashion, but flung out with such apprehensive agitation that a sensitive reader like myself comes near to being upset.

You say that you must tread the Path alone: quite true, if only because anything that exists for you is necessarily part of yourself. Yet you have to "go to others", and you become a veritable busybody. You quote odd opinions at random without the means of estimating their value.

Cannot I ever get you to understand the difference between an honest and dishonest teacher? I have always made it a rule never to put forward any statement of which I cannot produce proof; when I venture a personal opinion it is always Marked in Plain Figures to that effect. (I refer you to Magick p. 368: p. 375, paragraphs 1 and 2:. and p. 415, paragraphs 000 and 00. We insist from the beginning on the individual character of the work, and upon the necessity of maintaining the objective and sceptical standpoint. You are explicitly warned against reliance upon "authority," even that of the Order itself.) Consider my own assets, personal, social, educational, experiential and the rest: don't you see that all I had to do was to put out some brightly-coloured and mellifluous lie, and avoid treading on too many toes, to have had hundreds of thousands of idiots worshipping me?

Please get a Konx om Pax somehow, and read p. XII:

"It's only too easy to form a cult,
To cry a crusade with 'Deus Vult' . . . .

"A pinch of Bible, a gallon of gas,
And I, or any otherguess ass,
Could bring to our mystical Moonlight Mass
Those empty-headed Athenians."


and so on.

But I never forget that I am working on the 2,000 year basis; my work will stand when all the pompous platitudes and pleasant pieties have withered for the iridescent soft-soap bubbles that they are.

Soap! Yes, indeed. I work on gold, and gold must be cleansed with acid.

I really cannot understand how you can be so inaccurate, with the very text before your eyes! You write—"you write that in Jan. 1899 etc." But I don't. Captain J. F. C. Fuller wrote it.1 A small point; but you must learn to be careful about every tiniest detail.

Then you go on about "not only invisible chiefs* of the A.'. A.'. . . . . . but also the Chiefs of the Golden Dawn . . ." The Golden Dawn is merely the name for the Outer Order: see Magick pp. 230-231. You have never been taught to read carefully. You write of Theoricus as the grade following Neophyte: it isn't. Back to Magick pp. 230-231!2 You have never taken the trouble to go with me through the Rituals of O.T.O., or you would not ask such questions. The O.T.O. is a training of the Masonic type; there is no "astral" work in it at all, nor any Yoga. There is a certain amount of Qabalah, and that of great doctrinal value. But the really vital matter is the gradual progress towards disclosure of the Secret of the Ninth Degree. To use that secret to advantage involves mastery both of Yoga and of Magick; but neither is taught in the Order. Now it comes to be mentioned, this is really very strange. However, I didn't invent the system; I must suppose that those who did knew what they were about.

To me it is (a) convenient in various practical ways, (b) a machine for carrying out the orders of the Secret Chiefs of A.'. A.'., (c) by virtue of the Secret a magical weapon of incalculable power.

* How do you know They are "invisible?" I foresee that sooner or later you will be asking for more information about them, so I am planning a separate letter to supply this. (See Letters IX, L and LXXVII)


You are not "stuck." You can use your Astral Body well enough: too well, in one way. But I think you need a few more journeys with me: you ought to get on to the stage where the vision results from a definite invocation.

Do please forget all these vague statements about the "clarification of one's dream-life" (meaning what?) and "shadow-thinking" (meaning what?) These speculations are idle, and idleness is poison. In your very next paragraph you give the whole show away! "Artistically it appeals to me—but not spiritually." You have been spiritually poisoned.

What blasphemy more hideous could be penned? What lie so base, so false, so nasty, what so devilish and deadly a doctrine? I feel contaminated by the mere fact of being in a world where such filth is possible to conceive. I am all but in tears to think of my beloved sister tortured by so foul a denizen of the Abyss. Cannot you see in this the root of all your toadstool spawn of miseries, of doubts, of fears, of indecisions?

As an Artist you are a consecrated Virgin Priestess, the Oracle of the Most High. None has the right to approach you save with the most blessed awe, with arms outstretched as to invoke your benediction. By "spiritually" you mean no more than "according to the lower and middle-middle-class morality of the Anglo-Saxon of the period when Longfellow and Tennyson were supposed to be poets, and Royal Academicians painters."

There is a highly popular school of "occultists" which is 99 % an escape-mechanism. The fear of death is one of the bogeys; but far deeper is the root-fear—fear of being alone, of being oneself, of life itself. With this there goes the sense of guilt.

The Book of the Law cuts directly at the root of all this calamitous, this infamous tissue of falsehood.

What is the meaning of Initiation? It is the Path to the realisation of your Self as the sole, the supreme, the absolute of all Truth, Beauty, Purity, Perfection!

What is the artistic sense in you? What but the One Channel always open to you through which this Light flows freely to enkindle you (and the world through you) with flowers of inexhaustible fervour and flame?

And you set up against That this spectre of grim fear, of shame, of qualms and doubts, of inward quakings lest — — you are too stricken with panic to see clearly what the horror is. You say "the elemental spirits and the Archangels are watching." (!) My dear, dear, sister, did you invent these beings for no better purpose than to spy on you? They are there to serve you; they are parts of your being whose func- tion is to enable you to reach further in one particular direction or another without interference from the other parts, so long as you happen to need them for some service or other in the Great Work.

Please cleanse your mind once and for all of this delusion, disastrous and most damnable, that there can be opposition between two essential parts of your nature.

I think this idea is a monstrous growth upon the tetanus-soaked soil of your fear of "the senses." Observe how all these mealy-mouthed prigs develop their distrust of Life until hardly an action remains that is not "dangerous" or in some way harmful. They dare not smoke, drink, love—do anything natural to them. They are right!! The Self in them is Guilt, a marsh miasmal of foul pestilence. Last, since "nature, though one expel it with a pitchfork, always returns," they do their "sins" in secret, and pile hypocrisy upon the summit of all their other vices.

I cannot write more; it makes me too sad. I hope there is no need. Do be your Self, the radiant Daughter of the Muse!

With that command I turn to other tasks.

Love is the law, love under will.

Fraternally yours ever,

666

_______________

Notes:

1: If the reference is to one of the first four installments of The Temple of Solomon the King then her mistake was excusable since Fuller's author credit was buried away in the Index to Equinox vol. I, and given Crowley's habit of talking about himself in the third person it was not an unreasonable assumption; if it was to anything in Equinox of the Gods, she was right and Crowley was wrong since the section of that book reprinted from Equinox I (7) was written by Crowley after Fuller had broken with him – T.S.

2: Her confusion probably stemmed from the fact that Crowley re-named some of the Outer Order grades when reformulating the A.'.A.'.; Neophyte is 1°=10° A.'.A.'. and 0°=0° in the original G.D.; Theoricus is 2°=9° G.D. where it follows 1°=10° Zelator (these titles derive in the first instance from the Masonic Societas Rosicruciana who may in turn have got them from the 18th century German "Golden and Rosy Cross") but is not an A.'.A.'. title – T.S.
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Re: Magick Without Tears, by Aleister Crowley

Postby admin » Fri May 11, 2018 6:23 am

Chapter LXXII: Education

Cara Soror,

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

Education means "leading out"; this is not the same as "stuffing in."

I refuse to enlarge on this theme; it is all-important. To extract something, you should first know what is there. Here astrology ought to give useful hints; its indications give the mind something to work on. Experience makes "confirmation strong as Holy Writ;" but beware of à priori. Do not be dogmatic; do not insist in the face of disappointment. Astrology in education is useful as geology is to the prospector; it tells you the sort of thing to look for, and the direction in which to explore.

There are, however, two main lines of teaching which are of universal value to normal children; it is hardly possible to begin too early.

Firstly, accustom his ear from the start to noble sounds; the music of nature and the rhythm of great poetry. Do not aim at his understanding, but at his subconscious mind. Protect him from cacophonous noise; avoid scoring any cheap success with him by inflicting jingles; do not insult him by "baby-talk."

Secondly, let him understand, as soon as you start actual teaching, the difference between the real and the conventional in what you make him memorize. Nothing irritates children more than the arbitrary "because I say so."

Nobody knows why the alphabet has the order which we know; it is quite senseless. One could construct a much more rational order: e.g. the Mother, the Single and the Double letters, all in the natural order of the elements, planets and signs. Again, we have the "Missionary" Alphabet, arranged "scientifically" as Gutturals, modified ditto, Dentals, Labials, vowels and so on; a most repulsive concoction! But I would not accept any emendation from the God Thoth himself; it is infinitely simpler to stick to the familiar order. But explain to the child that this is only for convenience, like the rule of the road; indeed, like almost any rules!

But when your teaching is of the disputable kind, explain that too; encourage him to question, to demand a reason and to disagree. Get him to fence with you; sharpen his wits by dialectic; lure him into thinking for himself. I want tricks which will show him the advantages of a given subject of study; make him pester you to teach him. We did this most successfully at the Abbey of Thelema in Cefalu; let me give you an instance: reading. One of us would take the children shopping and bring up the subject of ice-cream. Where, oh where could we get some? Presently one would exclaim and point to a placard and say, "I really do believe there'll be some there"—and lo! it was so. Then they would wonder how one knew, and one would say: Why, there's "Helados" printed on that piece of card in the window. They would want to learn to read at once. We would discourage them, saying what hard work it was, and how much crying it cost, at the same time giving another demonstration of the advantages. They would insist, and we should yield—to active, eager children, not to dullards that hated the idea of "lessons." So with pretty well everything; we first excited the child's will in the desired direction.

But (you ask) are there any special branches of learning which you regard as essential for all?

Yes.

Our old unvalued friend St. Paul, the cunning crook who turned the Jewish communism of the Apostles into an international ramp, saw in a vision a man from Macedonia who said "Come over and help us!" This time it has been a woman from California, but the purport of her plaints was identical. Much as I should like to see my Father the Sun once more before I die, nothing doing until—if ever—life recovers from the blight of regulations. Luckily, one thing she said helps us out: someone had told her that I had written on Education in Liber Aleph—The Book of Wisdom or Folly—which has been ready for the printer for more than a quarter of a century—and there's nothing I can do about it!

However, I looked up the typescript. The book is itself Education; there are, however, six chapters which treat of the subject in the Special sense in which your question has involved us.

So I shall fling these chapters headlong into this letter.

DE VOLUNTATE JUVENUM1

Long, O my Son, hath been this Digression from the plain Path of My word concerning Children; but it was most needful that thou shouldst understand the Limits of true Liberty. For that is not the Will of any Man which ultimateth in his own Ruin and that of all his Fellows; and that is not Liberty whose Exercise bringeth him to Bondage. Thou mayst therefore assume that it is always an essential Part of the Will of any Child to grow to Manhood or to Womanhood in Health, and his Guardians may therefore prevent him from ignorantly acting in Opposition thereunto, Care being always taken to remove the cause of the Error, namely, Ignorance, as aforesaid. Thou mayst also assume that it is Part of the Child's Will to train every Function of the Mind; and the Guardians may therefore combat the Inertia which hinders its Development. Yet here is much Caution necessary, and it is better to work by exciting and satisfying any natural Curiosity than by forcing Application to set Tasks, however obvious this Necessity may appear.

DE MODO DISPUTANDI2

Now in this training of the Child is one most dear Consideration, that I shall impress upon thee as is Conformity with out holy Experience in the way of Truth. And it is this, that since that which can be thought is not true, every Statement is in some sense false. Even on the Sea of Pure Reason, we may say that every Statement is in some Sense disputable. Therefore in every Case, even the simplest, the Child should be taught not only the Thesis, but also its opposite, leaving the Decision to the child's own Judgment and good Sense, fortified by Experience. And this Practice will develop its Power of Thought, and its Confidence in itself, and its Interest in all Knowledge. But most of all beware against any Attempt to bias its Mind on any Point that lieth without the Square of ascertained and undisputed Fact. Remember also, even when thou art most sure, that so were they sure who gave Instruction to the young Copernicus. Pay Reverence also to the Unknown unto whom thou presumest to impart thy knowledge; for he may be one greater than thou.

DE VOLUTATE JUVENIS COGNOSCENDA3

It is important that thou shouldst understand as early as may be what is the true Will of the Child in the Matter of his Career. Be thou well aware of all Ideals and Daydreams; for the Child is himself, and not thy Toy. Recall the comic Tragedy of Napoleon and the King of Rome; build not an House for a wild Goat, nor plant a Forest for the Domain of a Shark. But be thou vigilant for every Sign, conscious or unconscious, of the Will of the Child, giving him then all Opportunity to pursue the Path which he thus indicates. Learn this, that he, being young, will weary quickly of all false Ways, however pleasant they may be to him at the Outset; but of the true Way he will not weary. This being in this Manner discovered, thou mayst prepare it for him perfectly; for no man can keep all Roads open for ever. And to him making his Choice explain how one may not travel far on any one Road without a general Knowledge of Things apparently irrelevant. And with that he will understand, and bend him wisely to his Work.

DE ARTE MENTIS COLENDI (1) MATHEMATICA4

Now, concerning the first Foundation of Thy Mind I will say somewhat. Thou shalt study with Diligence in the Mathematics, because thereby shall be revealed unto thee the Laws of thine own Reason and the Limitations thereof. This Science manifesteth unto thee thy true Nature in respect of the Machinery whereby it worketh, and showeth in pure Nakedness, without Clothing of Personality or Desire, the Anatomy of thy conscious Self. Furthermore, by this thou mayst understand the Essence of the Relations between all Things, and the Nature of Necessity, and come to the Knowledge of Form. For this Mathematics is as it were the last Veil before the Image of Truth, so that there is no Way better than our Holy Qabalah, which analyseth all Things soever, and reduceth them to pure Number; and thus their Natures being no longer coloured and confused, they may be regulated and formulated in Simplicity by the Operation of Pure Reason, to their great Comfort in the Work of our Transcendental Art, whereby the Many become One.

SEQUITUR (2) CLASSICA5

My son, neglect not in any wise the study of the Writings of Antiquity, and that in the original Language. For by this thou shalt discover the History of the Structure of thy Mind, that is, its Nature regarded as the last Term in a Sequence of Causes and Effects. For thy Mind hath been built up of these Elements, so that in these Books thou mayst bring into the Light thine own sub-conscious Memories. And thy Memory is as it were the Mortar in the House of thy Mind, without which is no Cohesion or Individuality possible, so that it is called Dementia. And these Books have lived long and become famous because they are the Fruits of ancient Trees whereof thou art directly the Heir, wherefore (say I) they are more truly germane to thine own Nature than Books of Collateral Offshoots, though such were in themselves better and wiser. Yes, O my son, in these Writings thou mayst study to come to the true Comprehension of thine own Nature, and that of the whole Universe, in the dimensions of Time, even as the Mathematic declareth it in that of Space: that is, of Extension. Moreover, by this Study shall the Child comprehend the Foundation of Manners: the which, as sayeth one of the Sons of Wisdom, maketh Man.

SEQUITUR (3) SCIENTIFICA6

Since Time and Space are the conditions of Mind, these two Studies are fundamental. Yet there remaineth Causality, which is the Root of the Actions and Reactions of Nature. This also shalt thou seek ardently, that thou mayest comprehend the Variety of the Universe, its Harmony and its Beauty, with the Knowledge of that which compelleth it. Yet this is not equal to the former two in Power to reveal thee to thyself; and its first Use is to instruct thee in the true Method of Advancement in Knowledge, which is, fundamentally, the observation of the Like and Unlike. Also, it shall arouse in thee the Ecstasy of Wonder; and it shall bring thee to a proper Understanding of Art Magick. For our Magick is but one of the Powers that lie within us undeveloped and unanalysed; and it is by the Method of Science that it must be made clear, and available to the Use of Man. Is not this a Gift beyond Price, the Fruit of a Tree not only of Knowledge but of Life? For there is that in Man which is God, and there is that also which is Dust; and by our Magick we shall make these twain one Flesh, to the Obtaining of the Empery of the Universe.


I suppose I might have put it more concisely: Classics is itself Initiation, being the key of the Unconscious; Mathematics is the Art of manipulating the Ruach, and of raising it to Neschamah; and Science is co-terminous with Magick.

These are the three branches of study which I regard as fundamental. No others are in the same class. For instance, Geography is almost meaningless until one makes it real by dint of honest travel, which does not mean either "commuting" or "luxury cruises," still less "globe-trotting." Law is a specialized study, with a view to a career; History is too unsystematic and uncertain to be of much use as mental training; Art is to be studied for and by one's solitary self; any teaching soever is rank poison.

The final wisdom on this subject is perhaps the old "Something of everything, and everything of something."

Love is the law, love under will.

Yours ever,

666

P.S. Better mention, perhaps, that literacy is no test of education. For ignorance of life, the don class leaves all others at the post; and it is these monkish and monkeyish recluses, with their hideous clatter and cackle, "The tittering, thin-bearded, epicene," "Dwarf, fringed with fear," the obscene vole, dweller by and in backwaters that has foisted upon us the grotesque and poisonous superstition that wisdom abides only in dogs-eared, worm-eaten, mule-inspired long-forgotten as misbegotten folios.

I like the story—it is a true tale—of the old Jew millionaire who bought up the annual waste of the Pennsylvania Railroad—a matter of Three Million Dollars. He called with his cheque very neatly made out—and signed it by making his mark! The Railroad Man was naturally flabbergasted, and could not help exclaiming, "Yet you made all those millions of yours—what would you have been if only you had been able to read and write?" "Doorkeeper at the Synagogue" was the prompt reply. His illiteracy had disqualified him when he applied for the job after landing.

The story is not only true, but "of all Truth;" see my previous letter on "Certainty."

Books are not the only medium even of learning; more, what they teach is partial, prejudiced, meagre, sterile, uncertain, and alien to reality. It follows that all the best books are those which make no pretence to accuracy: poetry, theatre, fiction. All others date. Another point is that Truth abides above and aloof from intellectual expression, and consequently those books which bear the Magic Keys of the Portal of the Intelligible by dint of inspiration and suggestion come more nearly to grips with Reality than those whose appeal is only to the Intellect. "Didactic" poetry, "realistic" plays and novels, are contradictions in terms.

P.P.S. One more effort: the above reminds me that I have said no word about the other side of the medal. There are many children who cannot be educated at all in any sense of the word. It is an abominable waste of both of them and of the teacher to push against brick walls.

Yet one last point. I am as near seventy as makes no matter, and I am still learning with all my might. All my life I have been taught: governesses, private tutors, schools, private and public, the best of the Universities: how little I know! I have traveled all over the world in all conditions, from "grand seigneur," to "holy man;" how little I know!

What then of the ninety-and-nine, dragged by the ears through suicide examinations, and kicked out of school into factory in their teens? They have learnt only just enough to facilitate the swallowing of the gross venal lies of the radio and the Yellow Press; or, if mother-wit has chanced to warn them, they learn a little—very little—more, getting their Science from a Shilling Handbook and so on, till they know just enough to become dangerous agitators.

No, anything like a real education demands leisure, the conversation of the wise, the means to travel, and the rest.

There is only one solution: to pick out the diamonds from the clay, cut them, polish them, and set them as they deserve. Attempt no idiot experiments with the muck of the mine! You will observe that I am advocating an aristocratic revolution. And so I am!

P.P.P.S. Short of the ideals above outlined, you may as well have a pis aller—words of astonishing insight and wisdom, not alien to the Law Thelema, and written by one who was trained on The Book of the Law.

"Self-confidence must be cultivated in the younger members of the nation from childhood onwards. Their whole education and training must be directed towards giving them a conviction that they are superior to others", wrote Hitler.

"In the case of female education," I read on, "the main stress should be laid on bodily training, after that on character, and, last of all, on the intellect; but the one absolute aim of female education must be with a view to the future mother."


They are quoted as an extreme example of all that is horrible and evil by Mr. George E. Chust of the Daily Telegraph—from Mein Kampf!

P.P.P.P.S. There is a game, an improvement on the "Spelling Bee"—I have anti-christened it "Fore and aft" so as to be natty and naval—which is in my opinion one of the three or four best indoor games for two ever invented. Here are the rules, in brief: any disputed points? Apply to me.

1. A "Word" consists of four or more letters.

2. It must be printed in big black type in the Dictionary chosen for reference. (Nuttall's is fairly good, though some very well-known words are omitted. The Oxford Pocket Dictionary is useless; it is for morons, illiterates, wallowers in "Basic English"—and [I suppose] Oxonians. No proper names, however well-known, unless used as common: e.g. Bobby, a flatfoot, a beetlecrusher, a harness bull; or Xantippe, a shrew, a lady. X-rays is given in the plural only: ditto "Rontgen-rays", and they give "Rontgenogram". "You never can tell!" Participles, plurals and the like are not "words" unless printed as such in big black type. E.g. Nuttall's "Juttingly" is a word; "jutting" is not, being in smaller type. "Soaking" is in small type, but also in big type as a noun; so it is a word.)

3. The Dictionary is the sole and final arbiter. This produces blasphemy, but averts assassination.

4. The first player starts with the letter A. The second may put any letter he chooses either before or after that A. The other continues as he will, and can.

5. The player who cannot add a letter without completing a "word" loses.

They proceed to B, and so on to Z.

6. A player whose turn it is must either add his letter within a reasonable (This is a matter of good feeling, courtesy and consideration) time, may say "I challenge" or, alternatively, "That is a 'word'." The other must then give the "word" that he intends, or deny that it is a "word" within the meaning of the Art, as the case may be. The Dictionary decides the winner. The challenged player may give one word only, and that in the form which is printed in the Dictionary; e.g. if he were challenged at BRUSS, and answered Brussels, he would lose; if BRUSSELS-SPROUTS, he would win. Hyphens need not be given. CASHMERE is a "word"; it is a kind of shawl, etc., so is CHARLEY, a night-watchman. Don't argue: the Dictionary decides.

7. This game calls not only for an extensive vocabulary but for courage; foresight, judgment, resource, subtlety and even low cunning. It can be played by more than two players, but the more there are, the more the element of chance comes in; and this is hateful to really fine players and diminishes the excitement. The rapier-play of two experts, when a word changes from one line of formation to another, and then again, perhaps even a third time, is as exhilarating as a baseball-game or a bull-fight.

And what the Tartarus-Tophet-Jehanna has all this to do with Education, and the Great Work? This, child! H. G. Wells and others have pointed out with serene justice that a gap in your vocabulary implies a gap in your mind; you lack the corresponding idea. Too true, "Erbert! But I threap that a pakeha with such xerotes as his will chowter with an arsis of ischonophony, beyond aught that any fub, even in Vigonia and dwale mammodis with a cascade from a Dewan tauty, a kiss-me-quick, a chou over her merkin and a parka over her chudder could do to save him, and have an emprosthotonos, when he reads this. Sruti!

(Whaur's your Wullie Chaucer noo?)

I put this in for you because an American officer,7 very dear to me, flited from the Front for a few days to ask me a few questions—oh, "very much above your exalted grade" my dear—and I thought it might be useful to him to learn this game, needing, as it does, such very meagre apparatus, to wile away some of the long hours between attacks. He picked it up quickly enough; but, after a bit when I suggested that he should pass it on to his comrades-in-arms, he jeered at me openly!

Their vocabulary to mine, he said, holds just about the same proportion as mine does to yours; I hypothesized modestly, "about five per cent." (After all, I am forty-five years his senior.) He roared at me. "Not one in a hundred," he said, "know so much as the names of nine-tenths of the subjects that I discuss habitually and fluently. They gasp, they gape, they grunt, the gibber; it is almost always black bewilderment.* And some of them are college graduates—which I'm not."

He was snatched from school, and given a commission on the spot, apparently because he was one of very few that could be differentiated from the average Learned Pig.

All this made me exceeding sorrowful. I began to understand why my Liber OZ, written entirely in words of one syllable only, with this very idea in mind, turned out to be completely beyond the average man's (or woman's) understanding. I had some Mass Observation done on it.

"But this is rank socialism," "Sy, ayn't this all Fascism?" "Oh Golly!" "Cripes!" "Coo!" "How dreadful!" about the nearest most of them got to Ralph Straus and Desmond MacCarthy!

Words of one syllable! Louis Marlow8 had already told me what a fool I was to expect that. "All they can digest," said he, "is a mess of stewed clichés with Bird's custard Power."

Damn everything—it's true, it's true.

So do you at least get together the stones that you need to build your Basilica!

* They attach no meaning to these words:

• Palaeontology
• Criterion
• Vector
• Synthesis (They know "synthetic" but can't connect it with the noun)
• Epitome
• Foreign Policy (To them a mere phrase; no idea of its connotation or principles)
• Demology
• Entrepreneur
• Correspondent and Co-respondent. (They don't know the difference)
• Subcutaneous
• Chordee )
• Gleet ) (Although they have them!)
• Histology ("Something to do with history")

_______________

Notes:

1: Lat., "Of the Will of Children." Cap. 40 of Liber Aleph.

2: Lat., "Of the Method of Disputation." Cap. 41 of Liber Aleph.

3: Lat., "Of Knowing the Will of a Child." Cap. 42 of Liber Aleph.

4: Lat., "Of the Art of Cultivating the Mind: (1) Mathematics." Cap. 47 of Liber Aleph.

5: Lat., "Continues: (2) Classics." Cap. 48 of Liber Aleph.

6: Lat., "Continues: (3) Sciences." Cap. 49 of Liber Aleph.

7: Probably Grady Louis McMurtry, who became "Caliph" or acting head of O.T.O. many years later – WEH.

8: Louis Umfraville Wilkinson wrote under this pen name. He was one of two individuals named to be literary executors under Crowley's Last Will and Testament – WEH.
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Re: Magick Without Tears, by Aleister Crowley

Postby admin » Fri May 11, 2018 6:25 am

Chapter LXXIII: "Monsters", Niggers, Jews, etc.

Cara Soror,

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

Come now, is this quite fair? When I agreed to tip you off about Magick and the rest, I certainly never expected to be treated as if I were being interviewed by an American Sunday Newspaper. What do I prefer for breakfast, and my views on the future of the theatre, and is the Great White Brotherhood in favour of Eugenic Babies? No, dear sister—I nearly said sob-sister. But this I will say, you have been very artful, and led me on very cleverly—you must have been a terror to young men—for the matter of that, I dare say you are still!

And I don't see how to get out of swallowing this last sly bait; as you say, "Every man and every woman is a star." does need some attention to the definition of "man" and "woman." What is the position, you say, of "monsters"? And men of vinferior" races, like the Veddah, Hottentot and the Australian Blackfellow? There must be a line somewhere, and will I please draw it? You make me feel like Giotto!

There is one remark which I must make at the beginning. It's some poet or other, Tennyson or Kipling, I think (I forget who) that wrote: "Folks in the loomp, is baad." It is true all round. Someone wisely took note that the vilest man alive had always found someone to love him. Remember the monster that Sir Frederick Treves picked up from an East End peep-show, and had petted by princesses? (What a cunning trick!) Revolting, all the same, to read his account of it. He—the monster, not Treves!—seems to have been a most charming individual—ah! That's the word we want. Every individual has some qualities that endear him to some other. And per contra, I doubt if there is any class which is not detestable to some other class. Artists, police, the clergy, "reds," foxhunters, Freemasons, Jews, "heaven-born," women's clubwomen (especially in U.S.A.), "Methodys," golfers, dog-lovers; you can't find one body without its "natural" enemies. It's right, what's worse; every class, as a class, is almost sure to have more defects than qualities." As soon as you put men together, they somehow sink, corporatively, below the level of the worst of the individuals composing it. Collect scholars on a club committee, or men of science on a jury; all their virtues vanish, and their vices pop out, reinforced by the self-confidence which the power of numbers is bound to bestow.

It is peculiarly noticeable that when a class is a ruling minority, it acquires a detestation as well as a contempt for the surrounding "mob." In the Northern States of U.S.A., where the whites are overwhelming in number, the "nigger" can be more or less a "regular fellow;" in the South, where fear is a factor, Lynch Law prevails. (Should it? The reason for "NO" is that it is a confession of weakness.) But in the North, there is a very strong feeling about certain other classes: the Irish, the Italians, the Jews. Why? Fear again; the Irish in politics, the Italians in crime, the Jews in finance. But none of these phobias prevent friendship between individuals of hostile classes.

I think that perhaps I have already written enough—at least enough to start you thinking on the right lines. And mark well this! The submergence of the individual in his class means the end of all true human relations between men. Socialism means war. When the class moves as a class, there can be no exceptions.

This is no original thought of mine; Stalin and Hitler both saw it crystal-clear; both, the one adroitly, the other clumsily, but with equally consummate hypocrisy, acted it out. They picked individuals to rule under their autocracy, killed off those that wouldn't fit, destroyed the power of the Trades Unions or Soviets while pretending to make them powerful and prosperous, and settled down to the serious business of preparing for the war which both knew to be inevitable.

It is this fundamental fact which ensures that every democracy shall end with an upstart autocrat; the stability of peace depends upon the original idea which aggrandized America in a century from four millions to a hundred: extreme individualism with opportunity. Our own longest period of peace abroad (bar frontier skirmishes like the Crimean war) and prosperity at home coincided with Free Trade and Laissez-faire.

Now we may return, refreshed, to the main question of monsters, real (like Treves') or imaginary like Jews and niggers.

'Arf a mo! Haven't we solved the problem, ambulando? Everything would be okydoke and hunkydory if only we can prevent classes from acting as such?

I suppose so. Then, what about a spot of pithy paradox for a change?

Why should the classes want to act as classes? It's obvious; "Union is strength." The worst Fifteen can do more with a football than the best opposing team of one—excuse my Irish!

Well, what tortoise is that elephant based upon? Why, still obviously, upon the universal sense of individual weakness. We all want a big bruvver to tell of him! Hence the Gods and the Classes. It's fear at the base of the whole pyramid of skulls.

How right politicians are to look upon their constituents as cattle! Anyone who has any experience of dealing with any class as such knows the futility of appealing to intelligence, indeed to any other qualities than those of brutes.

And so, whenever we find one Man who has no fear like Ibsen's Doctor Stockmann or Mark Twain's Colonel Grainger that strolled out on his balcony with his shotgun to face the mob that had come to lynch him, he can get away with it. "An Enemy of the People" wrote Ibsen, "Ye are against the people, O my chosen!" says The Book of the Law. (AL II, 25).

Not only does it seem to me the only conceivable way of reconciling this and similar passages with "Every man and every woman is a star." to assert the sovereignty of the individual, and to deny the right-to-exist to "class-consciousness," "crowd-psychology," and so to mob-rule and Lynch-Law, but also the only practicable plan whereby we may each one of us settle down peaceably to mind his own business, to pursue his True Will, and to accomplish the Great Work.

So never lose sight for a moment of the maxim so often repeated in one context or another in these letters: that fear is at the root of every possibility of trouble, and that "Fear is failure, and the forerunner of failure. Be thou therefore without fear; for in the heart of the coward virtue abideth not."

Love is the law, love under will.

Yours fraternally,

666
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Re: Magick Without Tears, by Aleister Crowley

Postby admin » Fri May 11, 2018 6:28 am

Chapter LXXIV: Obstacles on the Path

Cara Soror,

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

Peccavi! And how! But my excuse is good, and I will try to make amends.

First, a little counter-attack—your letter is so rambling and diffuse that at first I couldn't make out what you were getting at, and at last decided that it is much too random to reproduce, or even to deal with in detail. I shall simply formulate the case for the Prosecution, plead guilty, and appeal for clemency.

The gravamen is that the Path of the Wise is gay with flowers, gilded with kiosks, and beset with snares; that every step is the Abode of Terror and Rapture—and all that! Yet I habitually write in the manner of a drunken dominie! You "gaped for Aeschylus, and got Theognis."

I tempted you, it seems with The Chymical Marriage of Christian Rosencreutz, its incomparable mystery and glamour, its fugitive beauty, its ineffable romance, its chivalry and its adventure, pellucid gleams as of sunlight under the sea, vast brooding wings of horror overshadowing the firmament, yet with strong Starlight constant overhead. And then I let you down!
You did expect at least something of the atmosphere of the Arabian Nights; if not so high, of Apuleius and Petronius Arbiter; of Rabelais, Meinhold, de la Motte Fouqué; and the Morte d'Arthur in later times, of Balzac, Dumas, Lytton, Huysmans, Mabel Collins and Arthur Machen.

You look at me with strange sad eyes: "But you, too, Master, have not you too led a life as strange, as glamourous, as weird and as romantic, as the best of them? Then why this cold detachment from that ambience?" Well, if you put it like that, I can only say that I feel at the same time more guilty and entirely innocent!

For, while the charge is true, the defence is not to be shaken.

The worst of all teachers are the Boloney Magnates, of whom I have already given some account. But the next worst are just exactly those who try to create an atmosphere of romance, and succeed only in a crude theatricalism. So, avoiding the swirling turmoil of Scylla, I have broken the ship on the barren rock Charybdis.1

Now let me hearten you, brave sister! All the old tales are true! You can have as many dragons, princesses, vampires, knights-errant, glendowers, enchanted apes, Jinn, sorcerers and incubi as you like to fancy, and—whoa Emma! did I tell you about Cardinal Newman? Well, I will.

The one passage in his snivelling Apologia which impressed me was a tale of his childhood—before the real poet, lover and mystic had been buried beneath the dung-heap of Theology. He tells us that he read the Arabian Nights—in a heavily Bowdlerized edition, bet you a tosser!—and was enchanted, like the rest of us, so that he sighed "I wish these tales were true!" The same thing happened to me; but I set my teeth, and muttered: "I will make these tales true!"

Well, I have, haven't I? You said it yourself!

Let me be very frank about one point. It has always puzzled me completely why one is forbidden to relate certain of one's adventures. You remember, perhaps, in one of these letters I started out gaily to tell you some quite simple things—I couldn't, can't, see quite what harm could come of it—and I was pulled up sharp—yes, and actually punished, like a school-boy! I had often done much more impudent things, and nobody seemed to give a hoot. Oh somebody tell me why!

The only suggestion that occurs to me is that I might somehow be "giving occasion to the enemy to blaspheme." Let it go at that! "Enough of Because! Be he damned for a dog!"

Yes child, my deepest attitude is to be found in my life. I have been to most of the holy inaccessible places, and talked with the most holy inaccessible men; I have dared all the most dangerous adventures, both of the flesh and of the spirit; and I challenge the world's literature to match for sublimity and terror such experiences as those in the latter half of The Vision and the Voice.

You understand, of course, that I say all this merely in indication; or rather, as I said before, as an appeal for clemency.

On the contrary (you will retort) you are a mean cat (Felis Leo, please!) not to let us all in on the ground floor of so imposing a Cathedral!

To atone? Not a catalogue, which would be interminable; not a classification, which would be impossible, save in the roughest terms; nothing but a few short notes, possibly an anecdote or so. Just a tickle or a dram of schnapps, to enliven the proceedings—ordeals—temptations—that sort of thing. A general Khabardar karo! With now and then a snappy Achtung!

Oh, curse this mind of mine! I just can't help running to hide under the broad skirts of the Qabalah! It's Disk, Sword, Cup and Wand again! Sorry, but c'est trop fort pour moi.

Disks. To master Earth, remember that the Disk is always spinning; fix this idea, get rid of its solidity.

Commonly, the first tests of the young Aspirant refer to cash—"that's God's sol solid in this world." The proper magical attitude is very hard to describe. (I'm not talking of that black hen's egg any more; that is simple.) Very sorry to have to say it, but it is not unlike that of the spendthrift. Money must circulate, or it loses its true value. A banker in New York once told me that the dollar circulated nine times as fast as the English equivalent, so that people seemed to themselves to be nine times as rich. (I told you about the £100 note in a special letter on Money). But here I am stressing the spiritual effect; what happens is that anxiety vanishes; one feel that as it goes out, so it comes in. This view is not incompatible with thrift and prudence, and all that lot of virtues, far from it, it tucks in with them quite easily. You must practise this; there's a knack in it. Success in this leads to a very curious result indeed; not only does the refusal to count (Fourpen'north or Yoga, please miss, and Mum says can I have a penny if I bring back the bottle!), bring about the needlessness of counting, but also one acquires the power to command!

A century ago, very nearly, there lived in Bristol and "Open Brother" names Muller, who was a wizard at this; Grace before breakfast, the usual palaver about the Lord and His blessings and His bounty et cetera, da capo; to conclude "and, Blessed Lord, we would humbly venture to remind Thee that this morning Thou art £3 4s. 6 1/2d. short in the accounts; trusting that Thou wilt give this small matter Thine immediate attention, for Jesus' Christ's sake, Amen." Sure enough, when he came to open his post, there would be just enough, sometimes exactly enough, to cover that amount.

This story was told me by an enemy, who thought quite seriously that he would go to Hell for being "Open." ("Open" Brethren were lax about the Lord's Supper, let people partake who were not sound upon the Ramsgate Question; and other Theological Atrocities!) It meant that the facts were so undeniable that the "advertisement for Answer to Prayer" outweighed the "miracle by a heretic."

I knew a poetess of great distinction who used to amuse herself by breaking off a conversation and saying, "Give me a franc" (or a shilling, or any small sum) and then going on with her previous remarks. She told me that of over a hundred people I was the second who had passed the coin to her without remark of any kind.

This story—do you think?—is neither here no there. No, my remarks are rarely asyntartete. The Masters, at one stage or another of initiation—it is forbidden to indicate the conditions—arrange for some test of the Aspirant's attitude in some matter, not necessarily involving cash. If he fails, goodnight!

Swords, now. The snags connected with this type of test are probably the nastiest of any. Misunderstanding, confusion, logical error (and, worse, logical precision of the kind that distinguishes many lunatics), dispersion, indecision, failure to estimate values correctly—oh!—there is no end to the list. So much so, indeed, that there is no specific critical test, it is all part of the routine, and goes on incessantly.

Well, there is just one. Without warning a decision of critical importance has to be made by the candidate, and he is given so many minutes to say Yes or No. He gets no second chance.

But I must warn you of one particular disgrace. You know that people of low mentality haunt fortune-tellers of equal calibre, but with more low cunning. They do not really want to know the future, or to get advice; their real object is to persuade some supposed "authority" to flatter them and confirm them in their folly and stupidity.

It is the same thing with a terrifying percentage of the people that come for "teaching" and "initiation." The moment they learn anything they didn't know before, off they fly in a temper! No sooner does it become apparent that the Master is not a stupid middle-class prig and hypocrite—another edition of themselves, in short—they are frightened, they are horrified, they flee away on both their feet, like the man in the Bible! I have seen people turn fish-belly pale in the face, and come near fainting outright, when it has dawned upon them suddenly that magick is a real thing!

It's all beyond me!

Cups: we are much more definite again. The great test is so well known, and accounts have already been published, that it can be here plainly stated. Early in his career, the Aspirant is exposed to the seductions of a Vampire, and warned in due form and due season.

"Sleep with A,B,C,D,E and F, my lad, and our hearty best wishes! But not with G on any account, on peril of your work!"

So off he goes to G, without a second's hesitation. This test may be prolonged; the deadliness and subtlety of the danger has been recognized, and he may have half a dozen warnings, either direct or springing from his relations with her. And the penalty is not so drastically final; often he gets off with a term of penal servitude.

On the other hand, the Aspirant who can spot at the first hint why the Masters think that particular woman a danger, and acts promptly and decisively as he should, is secretly marked down as a sword of very fine temper indeed!

The rest of the Cup Ordeals consists for the most part of progressive estimations of the quality of the Postulant's devotion to the work; there is not, as a rule, anything particularly spectacular or dramatic in it. If you stick to your Greetings and Adorations and all such mnemonics, you are not likely to go very far wrong.

Wands: this obviously a pure question of Will. You will find as you go on that obstacles of varying degrees of difficulty confront you; and the way in which you deal with them is most carefully watched. The best advice that I can give is to remember that there is little need of the Bull-at-a-Gate method, though that must always be ready in reserve; no, the best analogy is rapier-play. Elastic strength. Warfare shows us.

That seems to cover your question more or less; but don't forget that it depends on yourself how much of the dramatic quality colours your Path. I suppose I have been lucky to have had the use of all the traditional trappings; but it is always possible to make a "coat of many colours" out of a heap of rags. To show you that you have had Chaucer and John Bunyan—yes, and Laurence Sterne: to bring up the rear, James Thomson (B.V.) to say nothing of Conrad and Hardy. Nor let me forget The Cream of the Jest and The Rivet in Grandfather's Neck of my friend, James Branch Cabell.

So now, fair damozel, bestride thy palfrey, and away to the Mountains of Magick!

Love is the law, love under will.

Fraternally,

666

P.S. One danger I had purposely passed over, as it is not likely to come your way. But, since others may read these letters—

Some, and these the men of highest promise, often of great achievement, are tempted by Treason. The acquire a "Judas-complex," think how splendid it would be if they were to destroy the Order—or, at the very least, unhorse the Master.

This is, of course, absurd in itself, because if they had crossed the Abyss, they would understand why it is impossible. It would be like "destroying Electricity," or "debunking" the Venus of Milo. The maximum of success possible in such an operation would be to become a "Black-Brother;" but what happens in practice, so far as my own experience goes, is complete dispersion of the mental faculties amounting to suicide; I could quote no less than four cases in which actual physical self-murder was the direct result.

_______________

Notes:

1: Editorial Q.—isn't this bas-akwards? WEH. [dancingstar digs his copy of Brewer's out from under a stack of Equinox reprints & starts flicking...] Yes – T.S.
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Re: Magick Without Tears, by Aleister Crowley

Postby admin » Fri May 11, 2018 6:31 am

Chapter LXXV: The A\A\ and the Planet

Cara Soror,

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

You Write:

Am I to understand that the A.'. A.'. has two main lines of Work. (1) The initiation of Individuals, (2) Action on the world in general—say "Weltpolitik"? Because your letters on the # History of Magick do imply (2); and yet the A.'. A.'. discourages any form of group working. Is it that the Masters (8° = 3° Magistri Templi) having been admitted to the Third Order—the A.'. A.'. proper; below this are R.R. et A.C. and G.'. D.'.—are no longer liable to the dangers which make group activity in lower grades undesirable. Or do they still work as Individuals, yet, because they are initiates, appear to act as a corporate body? You have often expressed yourself as if this were so. 'Of course, They had to pick on me to do the dirty work' is a typical growl of the old Big Lion! But again there is that Magical Memory of yours when you came down from that Hermitage in the little wood overhanging the nullah below the Great Peak 'somewhere in Asia' and sat in some sort of Consistory in the valley where the great Lamaserai—or whatever it was—towers over the track, (I quote some of your phrases from memory.) Which is it?"


My dear child, that is all very sensibly put; and the answer is that Convenience would decide. Then you go on, after a digression:

"Then how are They acting at present? What impact has the new Word, Thelema, made upon the planet? What are we to expect as a result? And can we poor benighted outsiders help Them in any way? I know it's 'cheek' to ask."


then turn the other cheek, and repeat the question! I will do my best to make it all clear. But do not forget that I am myself completely in the dark with regard to the special functions of most of my colleagues.

To begin, then!

Achtung! I am going to be hard-boiled; my first act is to enlist the Devil himself in our ranks, and take the Materialistic Interpretation of History from Karl Marx, and accept economic laws as the manifest levers which determine the fortune of one part of the earth or another.

I shall take exception only by showing that these principles are secondary: oil in Texas, nitrates on the Pacific slope of the Andes, suphur in Louisiana (which put Etna's nose out of joint by making it cheaper for the burgers of Messina to import it from four thousand miles away instead of digging it out of their own back garden), even coal and timber, upset very few apple-carts until individual genius had found for these commodities such uses as our grandfathers never dreamed.

The technical developments of almost every form of wealth are the forebears of Big Business; and Big Business, directly or indirectly, is the immediate cause of War.

In the "To-day and to-morrow" series is an essay called Ouroboros, by Garet Garrett; one of the most shrewd and deep-delving analysis of economics ever written. May I condense him crudely? Mass Production for profit fails when its markets are exhausted; so every effort is made to impose it not only on the native but the foreigner, and should guile fail, then force!

But the process ineluctably goes on; when the whole world buys the nasty stuff, and will accept no other, the exploiter is still faced by diminishing returns. No possibility of expansion; sooner or later dividends dwindle, and the Business is Bust.

To even the most stupid it becomes plain at this stage that war is wholly ruinous; organization breaks down altogether; one meaningless revolution follows another; famine and pestilence complete the job.

Last time—when Osiris replaced Isis—the wreck was limited in scope—note that it was the civilized, the organized part that broke down. (Jews and Arabs could remain aloof, and keep a small torch burning until Light returned with the Renaissance.)

This time there is no civilization which can escape being involved in the totality of the catastrophe.

Towards this collapse all totalitarian movements inevitably tend.

Bertrand Russell himself admits that, although himself "temperamentally Anarchistic," Society must be yet more organized than it is to-day if it is to exist at all.

But his, as Garet Garrett shows, is the John Gilpin type of horsemanship. We are to-day more or less at the stage where "off flew Gilpin's hat and wig."

Achievement of high aims, which tends ultimately to the well-being, the prosperity of the republic, depends on the proportion of masters to servants. The stability of a building depends on the proportion of superstructure to foundations. The rule holds good in every department of Nature. There is an optimum for every case. If there is one barber for ten thousand men, most of them will remain unshorn; if there are five thousand barbers, most of them will be out of a job.

Apply this measure to society; there must be an optimum relation between industry and agriculture, between town and country. When the proper balance is not struck, the community must depend on outside help, importing what it lacks, exporting its surplus. This is an unnatural state of affairs; it results in business, and therefore ultimately in war. That is, as soon as the stress set up by the conditions becomes insupportable. So long as "business" is confined to luxuries, no great harm need result; but when interference with the flow of foreign trade threatens actual necessities, the unit concerned realizes that it is in danger of strangulation. Consider England's food supply! Switzerland, Russia, China, the U.S.A. can laugh at U-boats. England must support a Navy, a wealth-consuming, not a wealth-producing, item in the Budget. Similar remarks apply to practically all Government Departments. The minimum of organization is desirable; all artificial doctrinaire multiplication of works which produce no wealth is waste; and for many reasons (some absurd, like "social position") tend to create fresh unnecessary necessities. Ad infinitum, like the fleas in the epigram!

When laws are reasonable in the eyes of the average man, he respects them, keeps them, does his best to maintain them; therefore a minute Police Force, with powers strictly limited, is adequate to deal with the almost negligibly small criminal class. A convention is laudable when it is convenient. When laws are unjust, monstrous, ridiculous, that same average man, will he-nill he, becomes a criminal; and the law requires a Tcheka or a Gestapo with dictatorial powers and no safeguards to maintain the farce. Also, corruption becomes normal in official circles; and is excused. I refer you to Mr. J. H. Thomas.*

One evil leads to another; the seven devils always take possession of a house that is swept and garnished to he point at which people find it uncomfortable.

* The Chancellor of the Exchequer, having fixed the increase of Income Tax at threepence, proceeded to defraud the Insurance Companies by insuring himself against a rise of the sum!


But is not all this beside the point, you ask? No. It was needful to indicate this cumulative progression to social shipwreck, because, to-day an obvious peril of the most menacing, in 1904 no ordinary sane person foresaw anything of the sort. But special knowledge alters things, and it is certain that the Masters anticipated, with great exactness of calculation, the way things would go in the political world.

Practically all the messages received during the "Cairo Working" (March-April 1904 e.v.) came to me through Ouarda. No woman ever lived who was more ignorant of, or less interested in, anything to do with politics, or the welfare of the race; she cared for nothing beyond her personal comfort and pleasure. When the communications ceased, she dropped the whole affair without a thought.

She nearly always referred to the authors of these messages as "They:" when asked who "They" were, she would say haltingly and stupidly "the gods," or some equally unhelpful term. But she was always absolutely clear and precise as to the instructions. The New Aeon was to supersede the old; my special job was to preserve the Sacred Tradition, so that a new Renaissance might in due season rekindle the hidden Light. I was accordingly to make a Quintessence of the Ancient Wisdom, and publish it in as permanent a form as possible. This I did in The Equinox. I should perhaps have been strictly classical, and admitted only the "Publication in Class "A", "A-B", "B" and "D" material. But I had the idea that it would be a good plan to add all sorts of other stuff, so that people who were not in any way interested in the real Work might preserve their copies.

This by the way: the essence this letter is to show that "They", not one person but a number acting in concert, not only foresaw a planet-wide catastrophe, but were agreed on measures calculated to assure the survival of the Wisdom worth saving until the time, perhaps three hundred or six hundred years later, when a new current should revive the shattered thought of mankind.

The Equinox, in a word, was to be a sort of Rosetta Stone.

There is one other matter of incomparable importance: the wars which have begun the disintegration of the world have followed, each at an interval of nine months, the operative publications of The Book of the Law. This again seems to make it almost certain that "They" not only know the future, at least in broad outline, but are at pains to arrange it. I have no doubt that the advance of Natural Science is in the charge of a certain group of "Masters." Even the spiritually and morally as well as the physically destructive phenomena of our age must be parts of some vast all-comprehensive plan.

Putting two and two together, and making 718, it looks as if the Masters acquiesced in and helped to fulfill, the formula of the catastrophic succession of the Aeons.

An analogy. We have the secret of the Elixir of Life, and could carry on in the same body indefinitely; yet at least some masters prefer to reincarnate in the regular way, only taking care to waste no time in Amennti, but to get back to the Old Bench and pick up the New Tools with the minimum of delay.

By having attained the Freedom of "Elysian, windless, fortunate abodes Beyond Heaven's constellated wilderness" "we are blessed; and bless" by refusing to linger therein, but shouldering once more "Atlantean the load of the too vast orb of" the Karma of Mankind.

This hypothesis does at least make intelligible Their action in riding for a fall instead of preventing it. It may also be that They feel that human progress has reached its asymptote so far as the old Formula can take it. In fact, unless we take some such view, there does not seem to be much point in taking an action so fundamentally revolutionary (on the surface) as the proclamation of a New Word.

But then (you will object, if an objection it be) people like Lenin, Hitler, Mussolini, the Mikado, et hoc genus omne, are loyal emissaries of the Masters, or the gods! Well, why not? An analogy, once more. In the Christian legend we find God (omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent) employing Judas, Pilate and Herod, no less than Jesus, as actors in the Drama which replaced Isis by Osiris in the Great Formula. Perfectly true; but this fact does not in any way exculpate the criminals. It is no excuse for the Commandants of Belsen and Buchenwald that they were acting under orders. The Drama is not mere play-acting, in which the most virtuous man may play the vilest of parts.

Your further objection, doubtless, will be that this theory makes the Masters responsible for the agony of the planet. I refer you to The Book of the Heart Girt with a Serpent, Cp I, v. 33-40.

33. Let us take our delight in the multitude of men!
Let us shape unto ourselves a boat of mother-of-pearl from them, that we may ride upon the river of Amrit!
34. Thou seest yon petal of amaranth, blown by the wind from the low sweet brows of Hathor?
35. (The Magister saw it and rejoiced in the beauty of it.) Listen!
36. (From a certain world came an infinite wail.)
That falling petal seemed to the little ones a wave to engulph their continent.
37. So they will reproach thy servant, saying: Who hath set thee to save us?
38. He will be sore distressed.
39. All they understand not that thou and I are fashioning a boat of mother-of-pearl. We will sail down the river of Amrit even to the yew-groves of Yama, where we may rejoice exceedingly.
40. The joy of men shall be our silver gleam, their woe our blue gleam—all in the mother-of-pearl.


And again, Cp. I, v. 50-52 and v. 56-62.

50. Adonai spake yet again with V.V.V.V.V. and said:
The earth is ripe for vintage; let us eat of her grapes and be drunken thereon.
51. And V.V.V.V.V. answered and said: O my lord, my dove, my excellent one, how shall this word seem unto the children of men?
52. And He answered him: Not as thou canst see.
It is certain that every letter of this cipher hath some value; but who shall determine the value? For it varieth ever, according to the subtlety of Him that made it.
. . . . . . . .
56. And Adonai said: The strong brown reaper swept his swathe and rejoiced. The wise man counted his muscles, and pondered, and understood not, and was sad.
Reap thou, and rejoice!
57. Then was the Adept glad, and lifted his arm.
Lo! an earthquake, and plague, and terror on the earth!
A casting down of them that sate in high places; a famine upon the multitude.
58. And the grape fell ripe and rich into his mouth.
59. Stained is the purple of thy mouth, O brilliant one, with the white glory of the lips of Adonai.
60. The foam of the grape is like the storm upon the sea; the ships tremble and shudder, the shipmaster is afraid.
61. That is thy drunkenness, O holy one, and the winds whirl away the soul of the scribe into the happy haven.
62. O Lord God! let the haven be cast down by the fury of the storm! Let the foam of the grape tincture my soul with Thy light!


Yes, I dare say. But is there not here a sort of moral oxymoron? Are not the Masters pursuing two diametrically opposed policies at the same time?

Genius—or Initiation, which implies the liberation and development of the genius latent in us all (is not one of names of the "Holy Guardian Angel" the Genius?)—is practically the monopoly of the "crazy adventurer," as the official mind will most certainly rate him. Then why do not the Masters oppose all forms of organization tooth-and-nail?

It depends, surely, on the stage which a society has reached on its fall to the servile state. Civilization of course, implies organization up to a certain point. The freedom of any function is built upon system; and so long as Law and Order make it easier for a man to do his True Will, they are admirable. It is when system is adored for its own sake, or as a means of endowing mediocrities with power as such, that the "critical temperature" is attained.

It so happens that I write this on the eve of a General Election in England; and it seems to me that whichever wins, England loses: The Socialists openly proclaim that they mean to run the country on the lines of a convict prison; but the Tories, for all their fine talk, would be helpless against the Banks and the Trusts to whom they must look for support.

Still, perhaps with a little help from Hashish, one can imagine a Merchant Prince or a Banker being intelligent, or even, in a weak moment, human; and this is not the case with officials. The standard, moreover, of education and Good Manners, low as it is, is less low in Tory circles.

As I think that totalitarian methods are already on the way to extinguish the last spark of manly independence—that is, in self-styled civilized countries—it seems to me that we all should regard with shrewd suspicion any plans for "perfecting" social conditions. The extreme horror is the formula of the gregarious type of insect. Inherent in the premises is the impossibility of advance.

One may sum the policy of the A.'. A.'. as follows:

1. To assist the initiation of the individual.
2. To maintain a form of social order in which the adventure of initiation is easy—to undertake!
3. To work out the Magical Formula of the New Aeon.

"Ye-e-ss, I s-e-e."

I doubt it. But what you are asking is how to decide upon your personal programme.

The intelligent visitor from who knows what planet was puzzled. He chanced to have landed in England—to find a General Election in full blast. (The operative word is "blast".) They must be absolute imbeciles, was his first reaction, to risk upsetting the policy of Government with a first-class war on.

(There would have been no need of such nonsense—I interrupted—if Parliament was elected by my simple plan. I'll give you the main idea; I don't insist on the figures. When a candidate is returned by 50 percent over his runner-up, he sits for five years. If forty percent, four years; and so on. An alternative—to "stagger" the assembly, as (I think) is done in the Senate of the United States.)

How are you going to vote?

Rather like the question of the dentist.1 The teeth can be tinkered: of course, sooner or later they have to go. Is it worth the trouble and expense? The Socialists would have them all out right away, and replaced by a set of "dentures," which (obviously) are perfect. Arrange them, change them, choose your own pattern; no trouble, no pain: all one's dream come true! But hardly biological.

You may argue that convicts are examples of living individuals whose safety, shelter, nourishment and the rest are organized with the utmost care; but accidents will happen in the best-regulated "brown stone jugs." The one ideally automatic case is the foetus. You will agree that here is lack of initiative; in fact, its "True Will" is to escape, albeit into a harsh and hostile universe, fraught with unknown and incalculable dangers.

As the Ritual says: "Prepare to enter the Immeasurable Region!"2

I think your decision should depend on how far caries has travelled on its road of destruction.

I do not think that the Masters need be unanimous.

A practical plan might be for them to concentrate on one particular group, or one part of the world, and to keep this in as good shape as possible until the time has come for Nature to grow a new set.

They will be grown on a new Formula, to meet the new needs, just as when our "permanent" (Alas, not much!) set replace our milk-teeth.

You ask me if I think this change can be made without bloodshed.

No. The obscure autocrats of Diplomacy and Big Business are infinitely stupid and short-sighted; they cannot see an inch beyond their too often stigmatically shapen probosces, except where the profit of the next financial year is concerned. They live in perpetual panic, and shy at their own shadows. The accordingly attack even the most innocuous windmills in suicidal charges.

Yes: bella, horrida bella,
Et flavem Tibrim spumantem sanguine cerno.

So, whichever way you vote, you are asking for trouble, or would do, if the vote had any meaning. The result of any election, or for the matter of that any revolution, is an almost wholly insignificant component of those stupendous and inscrutable Magical Forces which determine the destinies of the planet.

Love is the law, love under will.

Yours fraternally,

666

_______________

Notes:

1: Crowley suffered from bad teeth in his last years, finally having them extracted about six months before his death in 1947 e.v. It is speculated that secondary infection from the extraction may have contributed to his death from pneumonia in December of that year – WEH.

2: The quote is from the Golden Dawn Zelator ritual – T.S.
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Re: Magick Without Tears, by Aleister Crowley

Postby admin » Fri May 11, 2018 6:32 am

Chapter LXXVI: The Gods: How and Why they Overlap

Cara Soror,

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

I am glad: it shows you have been putting in some genuine original work. Result! You make a very shrewd observation; you have noticed the curious fashion in which Gods seem to overlap. It is not the same (you point out) with Angels. In no other system do we find a parallel for the Living Creatures, Wheels, Wings, Fiery Serpents,1 with such quasi-human cohorts as the Beni Elohim who beget the children on women,2 to whom the Qabalah has introduced us. The Beni Elohim is actually an exception; there is the Incubus and some of the Fairy Folk, as well as certain Gods and demi-Gods, who act thus paternally. But you are right in the main. The Arabs, for example, have "seven heavens" and seven Orders of Angels, also Jinn; but the classes are by no means identical. This, even though certain Archangels, notably Gabriel, appear in both systems. But then Gabriel is a definite individual, a person—and this fact is the key to your puzzle.

For, as I have explained in a previous letter, Gods are people: macrocosms, not mere collocations of the elements, planets and signs as are most of the angels, intelligences and spirits. It is interesting to note that Gabriel in particular seems to be more than one of these; he enjoys the divine privilege of being himself. Between you and me and the pylon, I suspect that Gabriel who gave the Q'uran to Mohammed was in reality a "Master" or messenger of some such person, more or less as Aiwass describes himself as "...the minister of Hoor-paar- kraat." (AL I, 7) His name implies some such function; for G.B.R. is Mercury between the Two Greater Lights, Sol and Luna. This seems to mean that he is something more than a lunar or terrestrial archangel; as he would appear to be from 777. (There now! That was my private fiend again—the Demon of Digression. Back to our Gods!) 777 itself, to say nothing of The Golden Bough and the Good Lord knows how many other similar monuments of lexicography (for really they are little more), is our text-book. We are bound to note at once that the Gods sympathise, run into one another, coalesce much more closely than any other of the Orders of Being. There is not really much in common between a jackal and a beetle, or between a wolf and an owl, although they are grouped under Pisces or Aries respectively. But Adonis, Attis, Osiris, Melcarth, Mithras, Marsyas — — — a whole string of them comes tripping off the tongue. They all have histories; their birth, their life, their death, their subsequent career; all goes naturally with them exactly as if they were (say) a set of warriors, painters, anything superbly human. We feel instinctively that we know them, or at least know of them in the same sense that we know of our fellow men and women; and that is a sense which never so much as occurs to us when we discuss Archangels. The great exception is the Holy Guardian Angel; and this as I have shewn in another letter is for exactly the same reason; He is a Person, a macrocosmic Individual. (We do not know about his birth and so on; but that is because he is, so to speak, a private God; he only appears to the world at all through some reference to him by his client; for instance, the genius or Augoeides of Socrates).

Let us see how this works in practice. Consider Zeus, Jupiter, Amon- Ra, Indra, etc., we can think of them as the same identical people known and described by Greeks, Romans, Egyptians and Hindus; they differ as Mont Cervin differs from Monte Silvio and the Matterhorn.

(They are bound to appear different, because the mountain does not look the same from Zermatt as it does from Domodossola, or even as seen by a French-Swiss and a German-Swiss.) In the same way read the Life of Napoleon written by one of his marshals, by Michelet (a rabid Republican), by Lord Rosebery, by a patriotic Russian, and by a German poet and philosopher: one can hardly believe that the subject of any two of these biographies is the same man.

But upon certain points the identity is bound to transpire; even when we read of his crushing and classic defeat at Waterloo by the Belgians, the man is detected. Transferring the analogy to the Gods, it is then open to us to suppose that Tahuti, Thoth, Hermes, Mercury, Loki, Hanuman and the rest are identical, and that the diversity of the name and the series of exploits is due merely to the accidents of time and space. But it is at least equally plausible to suggest that these Gods are different individuals, although of the identical Order of Being, characteristics and function. Very much as if one took Drake, Frobisher, Raleigh, Hood, Blake, Rodney and Nelson, as seen through the mists of history, tradition, legend and plain mythopoeia. Add a few names not English, and our position is closely parallel. Personally, I incline to the latter hypothesis; but it would be hard to say why, unless that it is because I feel that to identify them completely would be to reduce their stature to that of personifications of various cosmic energies.

History lends its weight to my view. When the philosophic schools, unable to refute the charge of absurdity leveled at the orthodox devotee who believed that Mars actually begot Romulus and Remus on a Vestal Virgin, explained that Mars was no more than the martial instinct, and the Virgin a type of Purity, their faith declined, and with it Roman Virtue. "Educate" Colonel Blimp's children and we have the "intelligentsia" of Bloomsbury. I am very sorry about all this; but life must always be brutal and stupid so long as it depends upon animals and vegetables for nourishment.

How restore faith in the Gods? There is only one way; we must get to know them personally. And that, of course, is one of the principal tasks of the Magician.

One further remark. I have suggested that all these "identical" gods are in reality distinct persons, but belonging to the same families. Can we follow up this line of thought? Yes: but I will defer it to a subsequent letter.

Love is the law, love under will.

Yours fraternally,

666

_______________

Notes:

1: These are just the English names of various of the Qabalisitc "Choirs of Angels." – T.S.

2: Genesis VI. 2, 4. See also the Book of Enoch – T.S.
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Re: Magick Without Tears, by Aleister Crowley

Postby admin » Fri May 11, 2018 6:33 am

Chapter LXXVII: Work Worthwhile: Why?

Cara Soror,

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

Your remarks on my 0 = 2 letter are very apt and inspiriting—that is if I have rightly understood what you want to say. (Really, you know, they are a bit muddled—or I am!) May I frame your question, if it is a question, in my own terms? Yes? Right.

You say that I have advanced an invulnerable theory of the Universe in philosophical and mathematical language, and you suppose (underlined three times with two question marks) that one could, with a great effort, deduce therefrom perfectly good reasons for an unswerving contemplation of one's umbilicus, or the performance of strange dances and the vibration of mysterious names. But what are you to say (you enquire) to the ordinary Bloke-on-the-Boulevard, to the man of the world who has acquired a shrewd knowledge of Nature, but finds no rational guide to the conduct of life. He observes many unsatisfactory elements in the way things go, and for his own sake would like to "remould them nearer to the heart's desire, to refurbish the cliché of Fitzgerald about "this sorry scheme of things." He is not in the least interested in the learned exposition of 0 = 2. But he is aware that the A.'. A.'. professes a sound solution of the problem of conduct and would like to know if its programme can be justified in terms of Common Sense.

As luck would have it, only a few weeks ago I was asked to address a group of just such people—and they gave me three-quarters of an hour's notice. It was really more like ten minutes, as the rest of the time was bespoke by letter-writing and posting which could in no wise be postponed.

So I had to devise an adequate gambit, one which ruthlessly excluded any touch of subtlety, or any assumption of previous knowledge of the subject on the part of the audience.

It came off. For the first time in history, the laymen elicited intelligent and relevant questions. There were only three half-wits in the five score or so persons present, and these (naturally!) were just those people who claimed to have studied the subject.

What follows is a rough outline of my argument.

I began by pointing out that Nature exercises many forms of Energy, which are not directly observable by the senses. In fact, the History of Science for the last hundred and fifty years or so has consisted principally of the discovery of such types, with their analysis, measurement and manipulation. There is every reason to suppose that many such remain to be discovered.

But what has in no case been observed is any trace of will or of intelligence, except through some apparatus involving a nervous and cerebral system.

At this point I want especially to call your attention to certain species of animals (bees and termites are obvious cases) where a collective consciousness seems to exist, since the community acts as a whole in evidently purposeful ways, yet the units of that community are not even complete in themselves. (Isn't there some series of worms, each sub-type able only to subsist on the excrement of its preserver in the series?)

Then there are the phenomena of mob psychology, where a crowd gleefully combine to perform acts which would horrify any single individual. And there is the exceeding strange and interesting psychology of the "partouse"—this is a little more, in my judgment, than a spinthria.

In all such cases the operative consciousness does not reside in any single person, as one might argue that it did when an orator "carries away" his audience. But these remarks have rather shunted one into a siding away from the main line of argument. My most important point is to insist that even with the most familiar forms of energy, man has done no creative work so ever. He has discovered, examined, measured (rather clumsily) and used, but in no case has he understood, still less explained, the causes of phenomena. Sometimes he cannot even reconcile different "laws of Nature." So we find J.W.N. Sullivan exclaiming "The scientific adventure may yet have to be abandoned," and to me personally he confessed "It may yet turn out that the mathematical approach to Reality may have to be supplanted by the Magical."

Now in Nature it leaps at one that Will and Intelligence are behind phenomena. My old friend and colleague Professor Buckmaster, who wrote a book on "Blood" which, he admitted, could not possibly be understood by more than six people, told me that the ingenuity of the structure of the human kidney "almost frightened" him. Yet in all Nature there is no trace whatever of any purpose such as human mentality can grasp. Again, apparent purpose often appears to be baffled. Take one example. Evolution, working through thousands of years to establish a most subtle scheme of cross-fertilization, found, just as it was perfect, conditions so altered that it was completely useless.

The "law of cause and effect" itself took a death-blow when Hesinger showed that the old formula "If A then B" was invalid, and must be altered to "If A, then B or C or D or E or . . . "
But at least we know enough phenomena to make it certain that Will and Intelligence do exist somehow apart from any nervous and cerebral system of which we are aware, and that these must be of a type which transcends our human consciousness as that does that of a limpet or a lichen. It follows that somehow, somewhere, there must be "gods" or "Masters"—whatever name you like. And that, I suppose, is what you may call the premise major of my syllogism.

The minor, I confess, is not so apodeictic. No one, I suppose, is going to point proudly to the present state of human affairs, as evidence that we are all becoming wiser and nobler every minute, as people did seventy years ago. (I was brought up in the faith that Queen Victoria would never die, and that Consols would never go below par.)

In face, one may suspect that the majority of well-instructed men expect nothing but that History will repeat itself, and our civilization go the way of all the others whose ruins we dig up in every quarter of the earth.

(Our own destruction may be more complete than theirs; for most of the monuments to our intelligence, sobriety and industry are made of steel, and would vanish in a very few years after the smash.)

Well, if we have to wait for the calamity, and for evolution to begin all over again in a number of centuries—with luck!—one thing is at least quite certain: we can do nothing about it. Any form of activity must be as futile and as fatuous as any other; and the only sensible philosophy must be "Let us eat and drink for tomorrow we die."

Is there a conceivable alternative?

Well, consider the cause of the impending collapse. It is quite simple: Knowledge is loose, without control of Will and of Intelligence. (How clearly the Qabalah states and demonstrates this doctrine! But I musn't be naughty; let me stick to Common Sense!)

Now, these qualities in us having failed to measure up to the situation of the world, one hope remains; to get into communication with those "gods" or "masters" whose existence was demonstrated in my Premise Major and learn from Them.

But is this possible?

Tradition and experience unite to assert that it is so; moreover, various forms of technique for accomplishing this are at our disposal. This is what is called The Great Work; and it is abundantly clear that no other aim is worth pursuit.

So much for the argument; it will be agreed readily enough that to put it into practice we shall need an Alphabet, a Grammar and a Dictionary. Follow the Axioms, the Postulates, the Theorems; finally, the Experiments.

And that is what all these letters are about.

Love is the law, love under will.

Yours fraternally,

666
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