| up a level
from the silicon-ally dept.
The identity of the 'War Engine' noted in Liber AL vel Legis has been hotly debated for many years. This article offers an interpretation and solution to this riddle.
Recently, while meditating upon various aspects of Liber AL in an extremely oblique manner, an apparent key to a fascinating puzzle of the book became clear to me. From where this 'flash' came, I cannot say, and it is very likely that it has occurred to others besides myself, but in some 25 years of playing with Liber AL I have not seen this particular solution to the 'War Engine' puzzle expressed, so here it is. If anyone wishes to publish it, as long as I'm given credit, feel free, just please send me a copy if you will.
We begin with Liber AL, Verse 7, Book III:
7. I will give you a war engine.
The answer? A computer!
Remember, the first real computer was UNIVAC and it was created by the Defense Department of the USA. Its initial sole purpose was to compute missile trajectories so that nuclear missiles could be fitted with appropriately programmed guidance systems; all a matter of history. This was done in the mid 1940s, during and at the end of WW2 -- thus the computer is, literally, a war engine!
8. With it you shall smite the peoples; and none shall stand before you.
Continuing this train of thought, all becomes obvious. Computer technology is fast breaking down all national barriers. Even Communist China, which is trying valiantly to restrict the internet and WWW, has been unable to keep digital information from entering its borders and altering people's minds.
Note two words in the Liber AL quote: 'peoples' (different tribes, cultural groups or national groups) and 'smite'. This can mean to strike quickly, it can also mean 'to affect as if by striking.' In other words, it can mean to shock someone or stun them. Can anyone deny that the sudden explosion of computer technology, the Internet, the WWW, cell-phones and cellular technology, satellite-based info-systems technology etc., etc., have not stunned the world? Ideologies, beliefs, political systems and more are being 'smitten' and left in rubble by the simple explosion of digital information. Satellite discs have made it possible for people in the most isolated cultures (Saudi Arabia, for example) to enjoy the full and very shocking fruits of whatever content providers wish to toss at them. And remember, we are at the very beginning of this wave!
9. Lurk! Withdraw! Upon them! this is the Law of the Battle of Conquest: thus shall my worship be about my secret house.
I think there are two ways to take this beginning phrase. First, in terms of binary coding: Lurk=1, Withdraw=0, Upon them=activate or run program. Another view is this: it expresses how one interacts on the Internet. Lurk=One can monitor and watch, read what is happening, surf or stay removed. We use the term 'lurker' all the time on elists. One can also stay completely hidden from others, i.e.: encryption programs, etc. Yet, if one wishes to act, and Liber AL is saying that one should (after a period of lurking and becoming familiar with the technology), then Upon them! Project thy will digitally! This is the law of the battle of conquest.
We fight for the freedom of all beings, against the 'slave masters' -- all 'isms', all dictators, mind controllers, etc. If this is true, then it indicates that the next big battle will be for the minds of the peoples, and this war will be a digital informational war, not a guns and bombs war.
Doesn't this follow what is happening? We know that computer technology and the Internet are gifts of Horus (a war engine) because they are the heart of chaos! No one controls the Internet or the spread of computer technology, at least not yet, and in fact the whole thing is something of a model for anarchy-in-evolution. 'my worship' means just that, the communing with Horus who is . . . digital energy! We know Horus is 'force and fire', to me this realistically translates as 'electrons kicking butt.' Microwaves, digital information burning through wires and the aether; isn't this Horus? Thus turning on the computer and hooking up to the internet is, in fact, secret worship.Who knows? Who can trace somebody on the internet, especially if one chooses to be 'hidden?' Any cult, group or sect can unify and empower themselves over the internet, with none being wiser, even during a curfew or martial law!
'My secret house,' it seems to me, is cyberspace. It is Horus' house, his dwelling place, because he is the archetype of this age and it is a realm of pure energy and abstraction. It has stripped much pretense from humans, and such Horus-friendly aspects of human nature such as raw sexuality, frank and open commerce and 'flaming' battles rage daily across cyberspace with few if any successful Osirian controls being imposed (V-chips, etc., aside).
10. Get the stele of revealing itself; set it in thy secret temple -- and that temple is already aright disposed -- & it shall be your Kiblah for ever. It shall not fade, but miraculous colour shall come back to it day after day. Close it in locked glass for a proof to the world.
Here is, I think, the final proof. If you were a 'preternatural intelligence' (Aiwass) and were trying to communicate concepts that were far beyond what your 'vessel' (Crowley) was capable of understanding, you would use the most basic images possible. Crowley, as we know, had no concept of computers, even TV for that matter. How could he comprehend these things?
I put it that the 'stele of revealing' is a metaphor for a computer. Stele ('a carved or commemorative slab') comes from the Greek 'to set up.' A computer screen is roughly the same shape and size as an Egyptian stele. 'Of revealing' seems plain in meaning if, in fact, it means a computer -- what monitor or object could be more revealing?
Set it up in thy secret temple (i.e., your office or sacred space) and it is aright disposed, i.e., it has become a scared place to Horus and a node in the world net of information empowerment that is Horus. Miraculous color shall come back to it day after day . . . of course, because every time you turn it on, here is the miraculous color! It never fades, of course, because it is digitally stored. This can also refer to accessing WWW sites which, again, never fade. Indeed, to someone like Crowley, it would all seem very miraculous.
And, of course, the monitor is 'encased in glass' for proof to the world. It physically becomes a symbol of your membership (few and secret!) in the cyber-world. That is, through it you will prove to yourself and to the world the truth of 'Do what thou wilt' through love, digitally of course.
Well, that is basically it. Any and all thoughts on this hypothesis (or ridicule) are welcome. Aum Ha!
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