"In the sphere I am everywhere the centre, as she, the circumference, is nowhere found." -- Liber Legis. Ch. II Verse 3.
We are now nearing the end of our journey in search of the True Crystal. Before, however, we treat of the ultimate conceptions, we should devote a little more time to matters less transcendent in their nature.
This little treatise, while giving as wide a view as possible of the whole subject, aims to be intensely practical and helpful to all who may read it. Some will be at one stage of development, others will have reached a different level, but the author trusts that all will obtain some hints that may actually be put into practice, and thus lead the seeker to a clearer and better understanding of himself and others.
Here are a few practical hints: A diet of fruit and vegetables may have its advantages by making the student more susceptible to visions of a clairvoyant type. On the other hand a mixed diet suits some people far better, and may give more real staying power. Don’t become a "diet crank" you will have no time for anything else more important. Use your common sense -- experiment if you like -- but don’t form habits. The best type of man or woman is the one who can eat anything, and does eat anything according to the natural promptings of his or her being, and that without causing digestive troubles.
Don’t do any practice after a full meal, or when very tired; this would not be giving Nature a proper chance, and your practice must suffer accordingly.
Rather be the tortoise than the hare. Real progress is made despite obstacles, and the more obstacles we meet - and overcome - the stronger becomes our will.
You are practically bound to obtain what you truly ask for. Be sure of what you really want before you ask for it.
Take plenty of fresh air and exercise, and don’t become so obsessed with dark seances that you overlook the value of Sunlight.
Your first duty to Humanity is self-improvement. Man is ignorant of the nature and powers of his own being. Until he has obtained a scientific knowledge of himself, he cannot really expect to aid others.
It requires much more study and effort to Know Yourself, than it does to give others advice they do not need. Learn to mind your own business, and in time others will follow your example.
Learn to speak the truth, and you will begin to notice when you are telling lies.
Remember that even truth is relative. There is but one Truth and that lies at the End of the Path. Yet seek Truth, and be content with nothing less. We live in a world of appearances. There seem to be innumerable, "Pairs of Opposites" till the final Pair has been realized and Mated. Then we shall "See things as they are."
In the meanwhile there are many stages, each nearer to the Truth, wherein we shall still see things only as they APPEAR. All Visions, however high, fall under this heading.
The Highest States of Consciousness are FORMLESS, and the final State is of Crystalline Purity. There is, however, "That which remains" viz: perfect Bliss.
A short description might well be given of "Visions" of an intermediate type, such as we term Astral Visions, as this may be of interest to students who have traveled some distance on the path, but who, as yet, have not realized results such as we described in the last Chapter.
The following is from the Author’s Occult Record while a Neophyte of the Great Order. It is of the type called an Astral Journey, when the Seer actually "travels" in his "Body of Light."
"Nov. 28, 1913. 11:5 to 11:27 P. M.
Drew, with wand, in front of me, a circle (three times round) and formed astral in that. Rose to a great height. Suddenly, as it were, a rope flashed round me and fell, forming a spiral, ever widening, at the top of which I sat. Stood up on this, only to fall, down, down, down, not quite vertically, into the water. Rising again, and striking out, I, after a short while perceived a boat, something like a gondola, and swam towards it. It was rowed by a dark-skinned man, old and wrinkled, whom I at first thought to be an Indian. As I reached the boat and put my hand on the side, it seemed as if he would strike at me with his oar, but no, he grinned, and I drew myself into the boat and sat in the forepart, which was high and covered with a sort of hood. Presently, it struck me that the man was not living but dead (Death). We then drifted in a mist, and all became blank for awhile; the memory of boat, man and self, were all but lost.
When the mist cleared I realized that the man was no longer there, and I myself guided the boat. Coming back out of the mist the waters were blue and no longer black, and I realized, that day was breaking. Gradually I watched the Sunrise, and set the boat in that direction, rowing so as to keep my face to the Sun. It seemed like a Portal; but, keeping on, it presently rose, and by the time it was getting high in the heavens I perceived a fair city ahead. Domes, Minarets, etc. Arriving there, I for the first time noticed I was dark skinned and clad in a loincloth. Landing, I was surrounded by men in an Eastern costume, Arabs or Turks, I thought them.
One old man took me by the hand, I made the sign of the Pentagram over him, but he smiled and said "Come along, it’s all right," and led me along a street paved with cobbles, the houses of which overhung, till we reached a sort of mosque.
Entering this, he led me to the altar, which was supported by brackets from the wall, and above which was a beautiful stained window. At the sides were thin columns and sort of boxes, similar to theatre boxes. We knelt at the altar; and he took my hand and said: "Raise your consciousness." I perceived a star and crescent above me, and a cross dimly formulated in the background.
After this, the astral seemed to coincide with the body: but consciousness of the astral surroundings was still clear. Continued to raise consciousness, and to send out thoughts of Love. Perceived around me innumerable streams of thought, interlacing and like a net-work, and when the Love-thought was sent out, the whole net sparkled, as with little specks of gold. Continued in this thought for some minutes, and, gradually returned to normal. Gave thanks and entered diary."
I quote this Vision, chiefly because it was not what it should have been, and because this gives me the opportunity of adding the Comments made upon it by my Guru. He wrote:
"Very nearly in serious trouble, my young and rash friend! It seems that you must go up well outside earth-attraction if you wish to get good astrals. It sounds Sunday-school talk, and I can give no reason. But I’ve tried repeatedly going horizontally and downwards, always with the same result. Gross and hostile things are below, pure being above. The vision is good enough for what it is; it is clear and coherent. But I see no trace of scientific method in directing the vision. I explain further in the general comment. O. M."
Such advice is worthy of the notice of every "seer" for much of it applies to other forms of work. To search the earth plane by means of visions, is practically valueless, and often positively harmful. We can travel to another city for a few dollars without expenditure of valuable occult power, but we have a right to use it to examine "Things above" which cannot be reached by means of a material aeroplane. We should always make use of physical means on the physical plane if possible, people make the greatest mistakes by "mixing the planes." That is the chief trouble with "mental science" "mental healing" and what not. We must learn to adjust things on their own planes. The Physical by Physical, the Astral by Astral, the Mental by Mental, and The Spiritual by Spiritual methods. When we have straightened out these different levels of consciousness, a certain harmony will be apparent on all planes, which in the end results in perfect Unity. The Method of trying to control ideas of one plane, by means of those of another, is a wrong one. Remember things are always true on their own plane, but in very few instances are they true on another. That is why we should examine our visions scientifically, while they are present in our consciousness, but when that consciousness becomes aware of the material plane once more, we should place little, if any reliance, on the truth of our vision, as corresponding to events of everyday life.
I may perhaps quote one more vision, of a slightly higher type, since it was invoked by means of Will and by scientific methods. Visions are of little real value unless WILLED.
This time the vision was undertaken in order to discover the answer to a definite Examination Question set by the Order.
"Invoke Mercury and Hod, and travel till you meet the Unicorn mentioned in Liber LXV, Chapter III, verse 2. Report its conversation fully."
This is the kind of question you must fit yourselves to answer. Something you could not possibly obtain by other means. Few people realize that on the Astral Plane are the Records from which such Inspired and Holy Books as Liber LXV are written, and that these Records may again be Invoked by proper means.
"March 24th, 1914. 9:40 to 10:50 P. M.
During the day I prepared a Circle of Orange, about 5 ft. in diameter (the largest I could make in the little room I am using) and within it, an eight-pointed star of yellow. Within that again an Octagon. A Red upright Tau in the centre, and eight small red pentagrams at the points of the star to represent lights; for there was no room to use them with safety. The whole was very crude, but the best I could do with the materials at hand.
Having robed and entered the temple, I made a general Invocation (impromptu) of the Lord of the Universe, and traced the circle and figures with the wand. Performed the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram; then Invoked "Water" and sprinkled the circle to purify it. Performed the Lesser Ritual of the Hexagon, followed by Invocation of Mercury and Hod, (impromptu) with appropriate Hexagram.
Lit incense. Made a further statement of my intention. Knelt in the centre of Circle and tried to formulate a "White Astral" with no very great success at first. Afterwards, I forgot about the material body and began to get some result.
Found my "astral" floating upon a dark sea on a sort of plank. The moon was shining above, and the thought came to me that ’perhaps the Moon represented the Unicorn I had set out to seek’, but I decided it was not so.
Rising higher, I tried to identify myself with the moon, and then turned and faced the Sun; looking along the Ray as a Path. I had the impression of being a little child.
About this time I was reminded of my physical body by a pressure on the brain, head and neck; a sort of frozen rigidity, which caused me to lose concentration on the astral for a little while. I determined to keep on, however, and astrally performed the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram. When I came to the words: "In the column stands the Six-Rayed Star" I seemed to rise quite easily.
Traveled about, with no particular visions, seeking the Unicorn. I obtained an idea of a unicorn, but not very distinctly, and spoke to it. It informed me that it had no desire to converse. I made the sign of the Pentagram over it, whereupon, it said that it was not that which I sought. This being my own opinion also, I left it, and rose higher to try again.
This time I got a clearer idea of the Unicorn, and began to converse with it.
We were on the edge of a wood, beneath a night sky. It told me to look up, and having done so, I perceived a comet flash across the sky and disappear. Turning back, I questioned him, and he answered; ‘All men are thus, the Universe is thus’. So I gathered from his words that a fragment appears for a moment (or a period) and disappears, leaving no trace.
I felt that this was something I must get to understand, when he said: ‘Look again’ and this time a meteor flashed and then struck the earth. And he said: ’Sometimes it is thus, and there appears to be pain as a result’. Then I said to him: ‘Do I understand that man appears for a moment only, and is forever gone again?’ And he answered ‘The comet remains travelling in its ellipse, and only disappears from sight. Further, he told me to look again, and I beheld a fixed star, shining in the blue. Turning again to him, I asked what this meant; and he answered: ‘The Masters are thus, they travel no more, but give Light’. Then I asked if I should attain to this, to which he replied ‘Yea, but not yet. Thou must be as a comet until after a while thou strikest, a star, and becoming one with it, remain fixed.’
And I understood that there was nothing further to be said at that time. So I returned, and having given thanks, entered these experiences in my diary."
There is not much further to be said, so far as this little book is concerned, though there is much that might, and will be said at the proper time. The early vision, above recorded, took place 8 years ago, and much has transpired since then.
It may be remarked that this vision had a far wider and deeper application than ever the Seer realized at the time, part of this became more apparent many years later, there is still much to be accomplished.
But let me call your attention to the Star. It is written, in Liber Legis, The Book of the Law, "Every man and every woman is a star." What does this mean? It would take another and longer treatise, to tell you. This much may be said, however:
At the CENTRE of our Being is the Star of Unconquered Will, that is the True or Divine Will, the Will of the Universe. Each must discover this Star in his own being, and putting his personal will in line with Its Guidance, become an active and conscious cooperator in the Universal Plan. This Star is of Intense brilliance. It is the Diamond Soul, the only Veil about the Innermost Essential Self. It is thus the ULTIMATE CRYSTAL, of which it is written by Our Lady Nuit -- Goddess of the Starry Heavens -- Who represents INFINITE SPACE or the Universal Crystalline Sphere:
"Worship then the Khabs (Star) and behold my light shed over you!"
When we have discovered this Central Light of our Being, and learned to Concentrate the Mind thereon, we shall begin the Ultimate Practice of Crystal Gazing.
We shall find the Star Rays from the Universal Sphere centered in us, and when the focus becomes perfect, shall discover, that this CENTRE is EVERYWHERE and THE CIRCUMFERENCE NOWHERE. Then all our conceptions of Crystalline Spheres will melt into That which is Without Limit, PERFECT CRYSTALLINE VISION.