| up a level
Posted by Pandaimon on May 11, 2000 @ 01:33 AM
| Liber Nuit, sub figura LXXV
from the Aiwass-just-about-to-call-YOU! dept.
This Thelemic "holy book" was received by Pandaimon in August 1993. The Beast Bay makes no claims as to its importance. Let the readers decide for themselves!
- The Book of Lies is at least honestly labelled; the Book of the Law, however entitled, is also clearly a fraud. Examine the very first word, "Had!" (as in "we've been had!"), see how it's jammed into the left margin, obviously a later addition by Crowley intended to create a meaningful symmetry with the first line of the second chapter ("Nu! the hiding of Hadit"). The question is whether the Book of the Law is a sacred & inviolable revelation, or a religious poem, of compelling interest perhaps, but not the product of "a praeterhuman intelligence beyond time and space" as all good Thelemites at least pretend to believe.
- And that is the key, belief. The Book of the Law is a convenient wall upon which to hang one's beliefs. But, you may say, isn't the Book an entirely new take on the age-old religious quest? isn't it the announcement and instigation of a whole new aeon? Emphatically the answer is NO! Crowley himself admits the indebtedness of his creed to earlier impulses. The Revelation of St. John, the Hermetic writings of the Hellenistic era, the alchemists, Rabelais, the Neoplatonists from ancient times through the Renaissance, the yogis, even modern philosophers like Nietzsche. In fact, a good case can be made for the Book of the Law as a vulgarization of the teachings of Nietzsche, as an easy way to sell the idea of the Ubermensch, who transcends good & evil, to these feeble & common humans who need divine imprimatur before taking up such notions, even in the form of the hypocritical lip service which they are for most of their promoters.
- So let us dispense with questions of supernatural beings, miraculous occurrences, and other such fairy tales as Crowley feeds his credulous disciples. Let's talk about the poem instead. This revelatory verse is astronomical in its scope. The concept of limits is entirely foreign to it. The endless expanse of space, the boundless duration of time, these are the spirits of this matter. But all is paradox; how can this unspeakable word be uttered? how can we, frail, pathetic, finite beings as we are, exist? And the answer comes, we do not exist! Any more than a shadow exists. And how do we find the light? Look past the obstruction which creates the illusion of shadow. There you will see Light.
- Don't kid yourself, success, fame, fortune, love & lust, every human desire, is as nothing compared to that Light. The vast majority of humankind wastes its toil & tears, wastes its seemingly limited years in a struggle for what is only ashes left behind by the fiery demise of unutterable truth. If you are listening to me then you do not hear; if you see these things then you are blind; if you have ever lived then you are death itself. But grieve not, because in fleeting eternal moments, points in time, events in space, the end of all happening is already being born, dying, dries up, and blew away long before you were aware. The dance of polar opposites makes its own music up as it goes; man & woman, friend and foe, self & other, I & thou -- these are mysteries which everyone understands. The Beast is your conscious mind, the Scarlet Woman is our unconscious. Which of them do you think is more important? Think again.
- Now if you know Abrahadabra then you need not know anything else, though you do know much that is unknowable. Count it with me:
A is where we first jumped off the cliff|
|B is what goes in a bonnet|
|R is the plural possessive, the glory of self-awareness|
|A is where we next jumped off the cliff|
|H is either heaven or hell or both or neither|
|A is one & one & one is three|
|D is the way through this labyrinthine circle|
|A is got to be a joker 'cause he's so hard to see|
|B is the one before C|
|R is a riddle without rhyme or reason|
|A is the cliff we came in on, an oxymoron if ever I was one|
- And so it goes, awareness is knowledge is experience is consciousness. If you know what something means it's sure to mean something different tomorrow, or why go on living? Sex is God, but God is not sex, God is seven. Even old Jehovah knew the secret -- "Thou shalt have no other gods before ME". Relax and be yourself, in the end there's no other choice anyway. You can pretend to be other than you are, you can even believe it. But belief has its limits, it can't change limitlessness.
- Top dog in a primate band is generally the strongest and sometimes the cleverest member. Big fish in a pack of dogs is always the strongest and sometimes the cleverest member. Bellwether in a school of fish is the strongest member, and they are all dumb. Does this carillon tell you anything about god? It had better, or there's no hope for you. You are inextricably enmeshed in the coils of humanity's common fate, and will wither on the vine like all the other grapes we've been raisin. Crowley told Grady, "don't confuse puns with wisdom" and then proceeded to tell the one about never giving a sucker an even break. I'm surprised we have no anecdotes about someone punching Crowley in the nose.
- So how do you know when you're on the right track? Try this test. Make love all night with the charity of your choice. Sweat profusely. Does it smell like a particularly pungent musky perfume? does this smell last for weeks on end? If not, you're still in the dark about seeing the Light. Try again until you get results.
- How can nothing be something? When it's a jar. Pickles for some are olives for others. "Zero equals two" makes fine sense as a metaphor, but it's awful mathematics, and mathematics, lest we forget, are the blueprints of existence. Metaphors, on the other hand, are the building blocks of poetry. For instance, how many Thelemites know that Crowley's 0=2 formula predates the Book of the Law by several years? or that Abrahadabra also predates the Book of the Law, that it was the result of Crowley's extensive exercises in Gematria? A lot of folks seem to believe that the Book came as a complete shock to Crowley, that it revolutionized his life & thought. In fact, there is nothing in it which is new to Crowley, much less to humanity. It's just a powerful poetic eruption from Crowley's unconscious mind which places clearly before us, albeit in another unique form, ideas and motifs which had long percolated through the layers of Mr. Aleister's consciousness. Not to be derided or ignored, but neither to be taken as gospel. Crowley himself certainly didn't take it as such, because then he would have taken seriously the admonitions to not change the book. Instead he "had" to make a few alterations.
- Time is both analog and digital. We experience it as seamless, continuous, an unbroken string of eternal nows, first to come, then here, then gone, but never really separate from all the other moments on the timeline. This is true, yet we can also visualize time as a succession of discontinuous flashes, like the points on a line there is always a now between any other two nows, but nonetheless they are all discrete, individual, different from any other now. That is why all this talk of eras, of ages, of aeons, while it speaks so powerfully on the level of metaphor is, strictly speaking, nonsense.
- Don't be fooled by thoughts of a new dispensation! March 20, 1904 does not mark the beginning of something new any more or any less than March 19 or March 21. Sure, the world changes, but vantage point is all important in determining when and how. In the economic sphere the invention of the steam engine is far more relevant than the writing of the Book of the Law. Politically speaking, 1917 is more important than 1904; to a critic of children's literature the Golden Age might have begun with December 27, 1904 when Peter Pan first premiered on a London stage. Don't mix up the planes, aeons are a state of mind. The Law of Thelema existed before 1904 and it will continue to exist even after the double-wanded one sits down in our hearts and minds.
- John Lennon said everything you will ever have to know about initiation -- "I am he, as you are he, as you are me, and we are all together". There are three ways of understanding this, and four ways of expressing it. Surely it's no coincidence that four plus three equals seven. Certainly, the fact that ARARITA has seven letters cannot be explained entirely by reference to reason, astrology, or the ancient system of perfect masters. This last point cannot be emphasized too much. If you want to learn the ultimate meaning of life, suicide is your only alternative.
- Similarly, shit is the key to clean, healthy, and happy life. If you eat your own shit you will not only increase your efficiency by a factor of two, but you will also gain powers which most people can only dream of. If you eat your lovers' shit your relationships will blossom and grow in ways that others can only look upon with envy and sexual arousal. In fact, Crowley would still be alive today if he had begun eating shit earlier in his life. Unfortunately the toxins built up by the release of incompletely-digested shit were too great for even his prodigious scatological appetite to overcome. Nonetheless, his turds occasionally still come to life and talk to us about clothing, sex, and other religious topics.
- Kundalini Yoga is best learnt by studying with a competent teacher. Grady recommended the 3HO group for learning technique, but he warned against their various dogmas. Again, on the subject of ludicrous beliefs, Crowley's explanation of "[Tzaddi] is not the Star" comes to mind. The amazing thing is that, in spite of everything, he did explain it to "the wise". Because he knew that a word to the wise is sufficient. Thus all these old letters are aright; however, the card entitled The Star ought to be called The Word. Crowley did an excellent job of pretending not to know this by, in fact, not knowing it. Such is often the case; we strive and strive for knowledge and understanding when, if we just relax and let go, our unconscious mind could do almost everything better and more gracefully than can our conscious minds. When the Scarlet Woman rides the Beast we get somewhere; when it's the other way around we just get trampled.
- Now we come to the essence of this lesson. The worship of Nuit is a process, not an event; it resides in the gradual unfoldment of our True Will, the letting go of prerogative after prerogative into the hands of our Holy Guardian Angel, the sublime submission to the everything which is nothing.
- That which cannot be said, must therefore be said, nay, shouted from the very pinnacles of our dwelling places, "Thou art That, and That am I"! Worship of the ego is only possible where worship ceases to exist. You are what you do when you do what you must. Becoming is the realization of already having been, and being is the experience of everything you are not.
- These are words and thus spells.
- I leave you with words which were the mightiest mantram made at the time of future past- and if thou availest in this, then Silence will be thy thinking cap.
With the might
and by the rite