FROM BEYOND THE OPEN VEIL

"the Aeon of the Death Cookie"

A CONVERSATION ABOUT THE GNOSTIC MASS
BETWEEN
BISHOP RICHARD GERNON AND RT. REV. JEROME PEARTREE

September 06, 1988 at Marlborough Road, Brooklyn, New York

(transcribed and edited by Rev. Karen DePolito)

TEMPLE OF THE ETERNAL LIGHT
(T.O.T.E.L. Camp)
An "Omni-denominational" Fellowship
1989 Temple of the Eternal Light, Inc.

HTML version prepared by HRMS M for Makhashanah Lodge OTO 1996 e.v.

Jerome: I have a question about the Priestess' invocation to the Priest at the beginning of the Mass. "By the power of Iron... In the name of our Lord the Sun, and of our Lord - [pause] "What's said there?

Richard: Nothing. There's an old Egyptian tradition - as you know, a lot of this is based on those traditions, which are actually similar to the Hebrew; I believe the Hebrews got it from the Egyptians, not the other way around -there was always what was known as the "unknown god". It's hinted at in the Pyramid texts. There's references to the old gods such as Ptah, and Set, and a more veiled reference to Hadit, so we know that's not exactly what they meant.There are several references to the "God that is not named". Crowley equates that to the Bornless One.

Jerome: In the Qabalah, it could be analogous to Kether, to Al, which became"El" to the Hebrews and "Allah" to the Muslims.

Richard: Right - the Ain, Ain Soph, and Ain Soph Aur. In the Qabalah, I guess it would be that which is behind Macroprosopus. With our tradition, the most specific relation would be to the Bornless One. Because the Gnostics also got it from the Egyptians. The unnamed god - so you don't say a damn thing there. By "Our Lord...", they're basically talking about you - that which is That. The easiest way is to call it your Holy Guardian Angel. Now - up to the point where the Priest takes the Priestess up to the altar - what has been going on? Starting from the Introit, tell me what happens. The Deacon comes in and says all this highfalutin' shit, then the Priestess walks around in this funny way, pulls this guy out of a box, and suddenly he starts talking. What's going on?

Jerome: What I see is the procession from Malkuth in the Qabalah, up through to the other side of the Paroketh, the veil.

Richard: Be a little more specific. When the Deacon and the People start saying this bullshit about "one secret and ineffable Lord", what are they talking about? We know what happens when he starts with "Lord of Life, Light, Love and Liberty... "He's opening the Temple, proclaiming their right to be there. The people respond with "Love is the Law, Love under Will", meaning we are willing to go through this crazy shit regardless of what happens. They go on to say they believe all this [outlined in the Introit]. What are they saying?

Jerome: What they believe in?

Richard: Yeah. For one, we don't believe a goddamn thing, so how do you explain this?

Jerome: Well, this is, in essence, an invocation, the way I see it. It's an acknowledgment that there is a Universe, that the Universe basically has no order - I don't know what else.

Richard: Okay, let's break it down. "I believe in one secret and ineffable Lord. Who's that?

Jerome: For me that's the Ain Soph Aur - the Light.

Richard: Let's get out of this Qabalistic stuff and get into Thelema."Secret and ineffable Lord" is the Bornless One, the unnamed God. "One Star in the Company of Stars"?

Jerome: Well again, we're talking about me [the God-Self].

Richard: Very good. "Father of Life, Mystery of Mystery, in his name CHAOS, the sole viceregent of the Sun upon the Earth...?"

Jerome: Again, it's an acknowledgment of chaos, the disorder that exists. The basic, bountiful Universe is primarily disorder. And it's through our will that we create order - order feeds on chaos.

Richard: "One Earth, the Mother of us all ... in her name BABALON"?

Jerome: Babalon I'm not sure of, but we are linked to the Earth - certainly on the physical plane. Babalon to me is just a name; what it really refers to I'm not sure.

Richard: Then I would recommend you follow up this discussion with some reading in The Vision and the Voice - specifically, the chapter where he bumps into Babalon. That's Chapter 11 or 12. Babalon is that which receives all impressions, that in you that accepts all, rather than creates. Also, read in Magick in Theory and Practice, the chapter on the Holy Grail. It's important that you understand that you are all those things in yourself. "The Serpent and the Lion, in his name Mystery of Mystery, in his name BAPHOMET."?

Jerome: Well the Serpent is DNA, and the Lion I guess is like the Strength card in the Tarot, linking Chesed and Geburah.

Richard: Also in the Book of the Law, "There is the Dove, and there is the Serpent. Choose ye well." Take a look at that, meditate upon it. The Serpent and the Lion can also be considered as the external and the internal aspects of Kundalini within the Priest himself - the Serpent being the force of Kundalini rising through the spine, the Lion being the external manifestation, i.e., semen. "One Gnostic and Catholic Church," etc. "Communion of the Saints" - what be that?

Jerome: If I took out the word "communion" and inserted "emulation", that would have all the meaning for me.

Richard: Very good, 'cause when we get to that whole section in the Collects, you'll see what's going on there. (Looking ahead) "Lord of Life and Joy ... we worthily commemorate them worthy that did of old adore thee and manifest thy glory unto men." In other words, we try to emulate them, bring their energy and what they have given to the collective unconscious into this rite. That is the Communion of the Saints. And, the most practical statement in this entire document: "Forasmuch as meat and drink are transmuted in us daily into spiritual substance, I believe in the Miracle of the Mass." Right on, that's the one thing here you can actually demonstrate. "One Baptism of Wisdom, whereby we accomplish the Miracle of Incarnation."?

Jerome: Well - we are incarnate.

Richard: Good, but it also refers to the cycle of birth, life, death and rebirth. For most of us, this ain't the first time around, in other words.That is the Baptism of Wisdom.

Jerome: I see in the DNA molecule - you know, the double helix - each of the times the double helix crosses, it represents an incarnation.

Richard: Good, but I think it would also be useful to relate it to the specifics of the Tibetan Book of the Dead, which is also covered in the Collects. In our way of saying it, the Collect on The End: "Unto them from whose eyes the veil of life hath fallen may there be granted the true accomplishment of their true wills..." I mean, these fuckers are dead, and they're talking about their true wills, right? "... whether they will absorption in the infinite, or to be united with their chosen and preferred..." that's Nuit - "or to be in contemplation, or to be at peace, or to achieve the labor and heroism of incarnation..." Bingo! "on this planet or another, or in any Star, or aught else, unto them may there be granted the accomplishment of their wills..." Hot shit. Means a whole hell of a lot more's going on here than just the Miracle of Incarnation - the Baptism of Wisdom,whereby we accomplish the Miracle of Incarnation. It means it comes before the Miracle of Incarnation. Check out the Tibetan Book of the Dead, which is probably the only scientific document on the whole thing, and read about the concept of what happens when the human soul passes through the Bardos. As an example: a Tibetan Lama who's gone through all the training, dies. He's got this bozo sitting next to him, chanting his nuts off. Talking him through the whole thing - telling him step by step, going, okay, you're now in the blue room, look around, open the next door, walk down the corridor, you're now in the red room - this guy is talking him through the entire procedure until he finally gets to the Clear White Light. At that point, he has a choice of either entering the Light or turning around and reincarnating. If he's advanced enough, he has a choice of where, when, and in whom he incarnates. That's very important for us.

Jerome: Why?

Richard: Because at the point where you get at least to the grade of Master of the Temple, if not Ipissimus, you will be at the point of your physical death-space with the same choices.

Jerome: What if you had that choice already?

Richard: You mean, for example, somebody who's already died in this life and has come back? That's fairly common. But it's not quite the same thing because they haven't gotten all the way there. The problem with most people who have not had the training - they have not, as they say, "died daily" - is that the impressions come too quickly,they have a tendency to get confused, and they just sort of fall back into incarnation at random.

Jerome: Well, I was sent back. I met someone who said it's not my time, go back. And I did.

Richard: Right. But you went back to the same incarnation. What I'm talking about is the practice of dying daily, of achieving Samadhi, of going ritually through the forms of death to such a point that when you actually die physically,you can control the whole thing - you can choose your next incarnation, you can come back where, when, and in whom you choose. If you read the Tibetan Book of the Dead, you will see specific instructions on how to do this. There are specific techniques that will allow you to do that, and Crowley had included them in his training regimen. The Book of the Three Mothers is a specific example.

Jerome: Do you know someone personally, who is able to do that?

Richard: Achieve Samadhi? Yeah. It's not as uncommon as it used to be.Remember, a hell of us went through a lot of that when we first took LSD. When I started doing acid, I didn't start it as a party drug, I had done research. I had read The Psychedelic Experience by Leary and Alpert, and I had read the Tibetan Book of the Dead and knew exactly what I wanted to accomplish.I myself have ritually died and come back on a number of occasions. I don't claim to be able to achieve Samadhi on command myself, but yes, I do know at least one gentleman who can.

Jerome: He did it through the OTO practice?

Richard: No, through the Tibetan Buddhist practices. The Psychedelic Experience is where the Beatles got the song "Tomorrow Never Knows": "Turn off your mind, relax and float downstream/ Is it not dying?/ That you may see the meaning of within/ Is it not seeing?"

Jerome: Don't we die daily each time we sleep?

Richard: Yeah, and we die a little during orgasm too - "le petit mort".That's why in The Book of Lies , "Therefore is man truly himself, and lost to himself, in the charioting." It's only at the point of orgasm - normally,without drugs - that we can get any concept of what that is like. However, it is possible to achieve those states through Crowley's practices.The Book of the Three Mothers would do it, full success in Liber Nu would do the same thing, or in Liber Had. I just don't know anybody who's ever worked hard enough to do that. And the last line, not to be tossed off, is a final re-affirmation of what we were just talking about: "And I confess my life one, individual, and eternal that was, and is, and is to come." An indication that there's more here than meets the eye. Music is now played, a couple of kids come in, with the Virgin. What do the kids signify?

Jerome: I would think the dichotomy -

Richard: Positive and negative, the two pillars of the Temple, right. She comes in and says, "Greeting of earth and heaven." What's that?

Jerome: She represents, in essence, the doorway - the path of the World card between Malkuth and Yesod, the nature of the initiation.

Richard: Then she does this strange little Aztec two-step, and stops in front of the tomb. What's that?

Jerome: The DNA molecule.

Richard: Close, but no cigar on this one. This is very specific. That is the Kundalini serpent.

Jerome: What's the difference?

Richard: There's technically a very large difference. You can find DNA under an electron microscope - I don't think you can find Kundalini the same way. Have you ever had a Kundalini experience?

Jerome: Sure.

Richard: Then you should know the difference. You've got DNA all through you, and it's functioning all day, every day, but it doesn't do what that sucker does. Doesn't blow the top of your head off.

Jerome: Okay, I'll accept that. But I relate the two very similarly.

Richard: They're similar in function, in that we're trying to use Kundalini to essentially mutate the race, and speed up evolution. But one is the tool,the other is the result. There's a big difference between a screwdriver and a screw flushed to the wall. And in all classic literature on Kundalini, the Kundalini serpent makes three and a half turns around the body, in its passage up the spine.

Jerome: So does the Tree of Life and the DNA molecule.

Richard: So does the Caduceus of Mercury - all similar cognate symbols. So, the Priestess comes down to this poor dead schmuck and says, "By the power of Iron, I say unto thee, arise!" Why by the power of Iron?

Jerome: Well, that's the power of Mars, bringing the shells back to their sphere - the concentration of energy.

Richard: Also, iron is related to the number four, that of matter. The Four of Disks in the Tarot, for example. Not so much the vivifying of matter, as just matter itself. As opposed to lead, which is sort of dead matter. "In the name of our Lord the Sun..." which is the visible manifestation of life and creation, "... and of our Lord -" which is the invisible of life and creation."... that thou mayest administer the virtues to the brethren."What does she mean by that?

Jerome: Telling him the way it is.

Richard: He's also going to do something for them.

Jerome: Bringing down the energy?

Richard: Well, he is essentially, just like in other churches, the only difference is that we let other people play also. He's essentially an intercessionary between the forces of the Most High and the congregation. He and she combined, are the channel for that energy - wherein it's gathered, made real, and given out to the other people. That's why we take this shit serious [sic], because we're handing out death cookies to people. We don't want to blow them up. Not nice. That's why we insist that the Priest and Priestess be healthy, that they understand a bit of what they're doing, and that they take this fairly seriously. Because it's just as easy to be handing out pestilence as it is spiritual meat and drink. That's why I call them "death cookies", I ain't kidding. It's not a joke. I say it as a joke, because I want to see who gets it.

Jerome: That's [why there's that line], "For I am life, and the giver of life; therefore is the knowledge of me the knowledge of death."

Richard: [Correct.] Now, what's all this nonsense with the water, and the salt, and the censer, etc.?

Jerome: Purification by the four elements - earth, air, fire and water.

Richard: Purification and consecration. Don't forget consecration, that's very important. Read that section of Magick in Theory and Practice again. It's important that you do both. Every weapon must be purified and consecrated before it is used in the Temple. So it is with the Priest.

Jerome: The nature of intent.

Richard: And you see the difference: "Be the Priest pure of body and soul," and "Be the Priest fervent of body and soul." The one just purifies, and the other allows him to act. Then he puts the robe on. What's the robe signify?

Jerome: A symbol of office.

Richard: Much more than that. In a lot of the old Gnostic documents, they talk about something coming to them "robed in glory". In other words, more than an earthly mantle. Something from beyond has come down, and is starting to be created right here. First they robe it, in this stupendous robe of red gold - similar to putting on the Body of Light, the astral body. Then to complete it, they put a funny hat on the poor sucker! What's the funny hat?

Jerome: Wisdom. A serpent represents wisdom, in that sense of the wisdom of the serpent in the Garden of Eden.

Richard: Very good. However, there's a more technical, specific thing. The Uraeus serpent has always been an indication of the fully aroused Kundalini. It's come up through the base of the spine, and has finally reached Ajna. The man has become fully vivified from the bottom to the top chakra. This is more than earthly wisdom; he has reached cosmic consciousness. Hubba hubba.

Jerome: That's the thing - why doesn't this happen to the Priest while he's doing it? Or does it?

Richard: It's happened to me on a few occasions.

Jerome: Good, I'll have something to look forward to.

Richard: Yes indeed. However, it's a slow growing process. It starts here,with the symbols. It is amplified by the stroking of the lance, and further amplified when the guy's on his knees. And the Deacon is standing there, pumping out the energy of the Priest, putting little crosses on the base of the guy's spine.By the time that thing is finished, he is no longer a postulant. By the time he gets up there, and that's done, he ain't sitting there kissing knees anymore.When he stands up, he's ready to go into the full-blown invocations; he is in the process of becoming the God himself. It is my opinion that it is finally finished when he says, "Let this offering be borne upon the aethyrs," because at that point he's not asking for it, he's telling.

Jerome: Yeah, I can see the nature of the movement. I guess I don't think much of it while I'm doing it.

Richard: Well, that's good. It's at these kind of little sessions that you think about it; when you're in there you better not be thinking or you're gonna fuck up.

Jerome: I know afterward it takes me awhile to come back to earth.

Richard: Thing is, if I'm going to make you a priest, you'll have to answer these questions. I take this very seriously when it comes to making something official. You're the first person that's approached me in a couple of years about the E.G.C. In the beginning, there was a big flurry of activity until they realized I actually wanted them to do something.

Jerome: What did you want them to do?

Richard: Learn it, master it. Understand every aspect of it.

Jerome: Why wouldn't they want to?

Richard: All I know, is once I started insisting they do their homework and really work hard at it, they just started to fade away. That's been true of virtually every student I've had in my life. Once they suspect that I'm fuckin' serious, and I expect them to bust their asses and learn this shit, they all disappear.Fine by me, makes my life easier.

Jerome: Funny you should mention that.

Richard: I'm sure you get the same syndrome quite often, yes indeed. "You want me to work - what?" Okay, so mote it be. Fuckin' A. So now the guy is cranked up. He says, "Thee whom we adore, we also invoke." Who's he talking about?

Jerome: Same energy.

Richard: Right. "By the power of the lifted lance!" I think we all know what that is. Hailing Sign - same thing. At least they didn't pull any punches with the Hailing Sign. Pretty blatant. "I lead thee to the East." Why the East?

Jerome: The seat of the intuition. Everything faces the East, including churches and synagogues. The lightning bolt that strikes the Tower comes from the East.

Richard: Also, the sun rises in the East. This is the sun coming out of the land of the dead, rather than entering it. Towards the Light. He wrestles her up there. "I set thee upon the summit of the Earth." Why a descending triangle?

Jerome: You're bringing the energy down, and beginning to focus it.

Richard: Also, in The Book of Lies, Chapter 69, study what it says about the ascending triangle of aspiration, and the descending triangle of grace. Very important little chapter, half this Mass is wrapped up in that tiny little chapter. Study Chapter 69 over and over again. Get past the joke of the title: "The Way to Succeed and the Way to Suck Eggs." That is of another degree, and a much more advanced form of magick than what we're talking about here. But within that, there are some incredible hints about the symbolism of this. Great information on Man becoming God. Then, after she's done all this with water and fire on him, he does the same thing on her. Why would that be?

Jerome: Again, purification and consecration. Allowing the energy [to comedown], because she's now going to act as a receiver of the energy that begins to come.

Richard: He's also asserting himself as an active portion of this, rather than a passive portion as he was at the beginning.

Jerome: This comes down to why widdershins around the Temple, when the original Gnostic Mass says deosil? [Here it is learned that the Priest actually does move deosil around the Temple, not widdershins, and that Jerome had been misinformed.]

Richard: So he does the circumnambulations. I think the invocations are pretty straightforward.

Jerome: Yeah, I like that. "By seed and root and stem..." really following the evolution of the growth.

Richard: Again, we're moving Kundalini if we can. Even the people, with their own motion, at the line, "But ye, o my people, rise up and awake ...". A perfect symbol of the awakening and raising of Kundalini.

Jerome: It looks as if the Priest passes through, from Chesed on the first step, through the Abyss to Daath on the second step, and then reaches Kether the Light on the third step. This "A KA DUA...", what does it mean?

Richard: (looks it up) "O elevated, sublime, adore him. Greatness of Spirit, Spirit great, of fears giving the terror of him to the gods." We have a similar line, "god even and death to tremble before him." It's right here in the holy books.

Jerome: More movement through the abyss.

Richard: Right ... there's an Appendix at the end of it, telling all about the Stele.So at this point the Priest is still invoking. Then the Priestess says that radical line, "There is no law beyond do what thou wilt," which gives him the license to part the veil. I assume you know what parting the veil means.It also has a very earthly connotation of the penetration of the hymen. All the symbolism of the Pure Fool walking over the edge of the Abyss. The boy don't know what he get hisself into. He don't care. It also follows the Parsifal legend, up to this point. Then he vibrates all this cosmic poop. [Jerome asks where you can get a translation of it.] I believe there's a fairly good one at the end of the...[trails off here.] By the way, this is how Crowley paraphrased "A KA DUA": "Unity uttermost showed, I adore the might of thy breath. Supreme and terrible God, who makest the gods and Death to tremble before Thee. I - I adore Thee." And the translation of this long line is: "IO SABAO, Lord Abraxas, Lord Mithras, Lord Phallus - O Pan, O Pan, Pan, Powerful, Deathless, Woundless IAO. Hail Phallus. Hail All-devourer. Hail All-begetter. Hail Father of All.Holy, holy, holy IAO." What you can also get, besides what you can scrape out of Ladell Scott in the Greek-English lexicon, there's also some very good information both in Wynn Wescott's stuff on the Chaldean Oracles and in Thomas Taylor's writings on the Rites of Eleusis and the Chaldean stuff. Taylor did very good research for his time on the whole pantheon of the Teletarchs, the Synochs, all these god-names are thrown in the same sections.

Jerome: It comes close to some Hebrew invocations.

Richard: I'm sure they're very similar. Remember, all of these groups were working within - what - three hundred miles of each other? There was a lot of cross-over. Alright, "Paten in her right hand, and cup in her left... [The Priest] presents the lance, which she kisses eleven times ... holds it to her breast... he falls to her knees, kisses her knees" - I love that part, boy do I get carried away! "He remains in this adoration while the Deacon intones the collects." Any idea what's going on here?

Jerome: Well, I can describe what I saw. I saw the energy begin to cloud around the Priestess. And it comes down to where he becomes a director of that energy. And each time the Deacon makes the sign of the cross, it has an effect on the energy for the Priest.

Richard: Excellent. We'll cover the collects later; most of them are self-explanatory.

Jerome: One thing ... I wanted to ask why I couldn't put in Grady McMurtry [since somebody else has].

Richard: You can put in McMurtry if you want - he's dead as a doornail as far as I'm concerned. When I finish, I always finish with Aleister Crowley, Karl Johannes Germer, and -

Jerome: They have to be dead?

Richard: Yeah, the criteria for saints is that they have to be dead as a doornail. So I always stick Germer and McMurtry in here.

Jerome: Well, Germer I didn't know, but Grady I did.

Richard: Well, Germer was a Master of the Temple, so he sure as shit belongs here. He wasn't too functional a human being, but he was a real saint. And he's dead as they come.

Jerome: [Grady] was a wild guy.

Richard: Sure was. The original party animal, long before Spuds McKenzie.

Jerome: Towards the end, though, he was just so weak. I told you I was with him the day before he died. He's still got my invite, which he never took up, for dinner.

Richard: Now we get into the heavy stuff. "The Priest makes five crosses..." I think we know what the five crosses are. Says this very poetic piece of business, and then "By the virtue of the Rod, be this bread the Body of God. "What's happening?

Jerome: The Transubstantiation. He's doing exactly what it says. He's creating - well, it's not exactly a physical substance, but in a way it is.

Richard: Why "By the virtue of the Rod"?

Jerome: The Rod is his phallus. And the phallus is the procreator of the energy. So he's directing the energy directly to the bread, and transubstantiating it on an astral level.

Richard: Right, you also might want to take a look and think about that section of The Book of the Law : "If I lift up my head, I and my Nuit are one. If I droop down my head and spew forth venom, I and the Earth are one." Figure out which one you're doing there. There's a hint. Same thing with the blood. "This is the chalice of my Blood." Why all this hoopla of, "kneels, adores, rises, turns, shows host and shows cup, turns, replaces, and adores"?

Jerome: Reverence.

Richard: "For this is the covenant of Resurrection." What the hell is that?

Jerome: It goes with the belief of eternal life - in the sense that, if you were to realize who you are, then you would recognize your own eternity.

Richard: "The sacrifice of Life and Joy" being the bread and the wine -

Jerome: There's a contradiction there, is it not? Although in the sentence where he is still referring to someone - let's say, external to himself."Accept, O Lord, this sacrifice..." But then, he becomes the God. So it's right at that point, then that the change takes place?

Richard: Yep.

Jerome: So at one point he's essentially an Abel, and at another point he's Cain.

Richard: Right. Now first he touches her, making that last final contact.Then, "[he flings out his arms], as if comprehending the whole shrine." He's become as big as it is.

Jerome: "Reverently between the breasts" is the link. God created the woman from the rib of Adam.

Richard: And then he strikes his breast. And now he's cookin'. Now he is basically making demands upon the Universe. "Of ye we claim heirship, with ye we claim communion, from ye we claim benediction." Claim! He's not calling upon them any more, he saying this is gonna happen. So at this point, the boy is in charge.

Jerome: Why does he strike his breast?

Richard: A final - this is my own interpretation, I don't know what the classic [one is]. I know they do that in the Roman rites, and I'm not sure what the dogma is on that. But the way I've always taken it, is that it's one final affirmation of his humanity, before he is sent into the planes above the Abyss completely. In other words, saying that I am Man and God at the same time - that I have an earthly structure, but I'm not functioning that way. Now in the Roman rites, it has something to do with the "mea culpa" [idea].We don't accept that shit at all. "It is a lie, this folly against self; the exposure of innocence is a lie." "Three crosses on Paten and cup together ... uncovers cup, genuflects." Now, explain to me what you're talking about with the crossing over of the hands here.

Jerome: In the Orthodox Church, there is an iconostasis - a wall. When the priest comes through the holy doors in the center of the wall, essentially representing the Veil, he's bringing Kether outward. He crosses his arms because essentially, he represents Kether. If you look at it, the paten in the left hand, and the chalice in the right, represents Chokmah and Binah in their proper aspect. This is why you switch them around. The crossing of the arms represents the infinity sign. I do that pretty easily; that took me awhile to learn how to do.

Richard: So when you've got them raised, they're like this.

Jerome: Yes.

Richard: I have to disagree here. This is the reason: the paten is over the cup.

Jerome: Right.

Richard: Well, you have them at the same height.

Jerome: No, I have them where I'll end up with the paten over the cup.

Richard: How the fuck do you do that?

Jerome: When I cross my arms, I hold them like that. (Shows him.)

Richard: Okay, I can live with that. If that feels right to you, do it; you'll find I'm not very dogmatic about much. As long as you can make it make sense to me, I'll go for it. Long as it ends up looking like that, it's fine. And the Deacon sounds the bell. What's that?

Jerome: The bell is the symbol of the astral. If you are actually traveling the astral planes, you hear bells - the music of the spheres.

Richard: I've been there. There's one other, though - technical phrase straight out of Book Four. The bell is used to call the angel. The Office of the Anthem. What's happening here, down at the end?

Jerome: Well, here it's an affirmation of who he is in the beginning. And then he essentially explains that he's the Creator.

Richard: Basically giving his credentials.

Jerome: Where he says, "Thee I invoke, my faint fresh fire..." Again, this is bringing the Kundalini up.

Richard: You got a typo here. A common typo, it's "source and reed [not seed as printed]." It's the Kundalini moving up through the spinal column. It was corrected in the Equinox. It is wrong in Magick in Theory and Practice, which is notorious for typos. Crowley is one of the few who let somebody else handle the final production of the book. But it's an obvious mistake. The reed is obviously the spinal cord, and the fire is obviously the raising of Kundalini.

Jerome: Now it starts to make more sense. True fire within the semen. And you usually abstain from orgasm a few days before you do this.

Richard: I don't.

Jerome: No? Well, maybe... how old are you anyway?

Richard: 39 - going on 40.

Jerome: Maybe thirteen years makes a difference, I don't know. (Laughter)

Richard: It's something I learned from reading Crowley's diaries, frankly. His attitude seems to be, "use it or lose it", y'know? There's more where that came from. Then all these people start talking to each other [in the Anthem]. What are they talking about?

Jerome: Well, "the Father and the Son", that's the nature of Tiphareth and Kether. Seeing the light and becoming the light. "Male, female, quintessential..." I never learned that word, but it shows that all people are essentially hermaphroditic. The peace dove - that would be the dove that comes down, representing the Holy Spirit.

Richard: Right, that makes us God.

Jerome: "We place no reliance/ on Virgin or Pigeon/ Our method is science/ Our aim is religion."

Richard: And "the world-ash, wonder-tree", is the phallus.

Jerome: Where does he get the term "world-ash", though. Why an ash? Why not an elm, or ...

Richard: "World-ash" comes from the Scandinavian, from the Edda. It was often drawn upside down, with its roots in heaven.

Jerome: Now the "gilded tomb" and the "womb", that's easy enough. Between Yesod and Tiphareth. "Earth unploughed", the virgin. "Unity", well, that's easy enough. This relates directly to the DNA code, too, by the way. "Spring of sperm ... seed and germ", well - the germ is the combination of the sperm and the egg.

Richard: Okay - now we get to the real mazoom. "Lord most secret, bless this spiritual food into our bodies, bestowing upon us health and wealth and strength and joy and peace" - and all kinds of good shit! Basically, what he's saying here is the same thing that's been hinted throughout history about the elixir. He's saying he's going to create the elixir of life - right before our very fucking eyes. Watta guy.

Jerome: But he did it already, didn't he?

Richard: Not the elixir. He has prepared each with his body and blood -

Jerome: - but he didn't do the commingling yet.

Richard: Right. And he spells it out fairly clearly in a second. Cross on paten, kisses it. Uncovers the cup, takes the host, breaks it over the cup, replaces the right hand portion, breaks off a particle of the left-hand portion - and tells you just what that is. I mean talk about blatant, no mysteries here!" [Translation:] This is my sperm." This is the vehicle of the Holy Spirit - very straightforward. It is one of our more cynical philosophers who often said that mankind is a vehicle for semen - nothing else. It's just a way of semen reproducing itself.

Jerome: Not true?

Richard: Well, I like to think that as intelligent creatures in control of Kundalini, we have a little more control over the process than that. And we can alter the process.

Jerome: Don't flatter yourself. (Laughs)

Richard: Well - we're experimenting. We shall see. Take it as a working hypothesis. On the lowest, basest animal level, it's true. We're merely a means for the procreative to get where it's going. However, as people who partake of the Most High, I think we have some say in the process. Maybe not as much as we'd like.

Jerome: Well, if you're speaking from the ego, I'm not so sure. If you're speaking from the divine part of you, then yes, you have a say.

Richard: Like I said, I'm fairly convinced that this entire trip is based on the premise that we can alter evolution.

Jerome: Oh, of course.

Richard: That makes us much more than the vehicles.

Jerome: That's the whole nature of the vehicle, to be able to accelerate and alter, to create, in essence, mutants.

Richard: On the most basic, animal level of this, it indicates there's no driver. I take, as a hypothesis, that somebody is driving.

Jerome: Yes, I'll agree with you there.

Richard: Then they put the particle into the cup. And they say: "HRILIU." And it is the point of transubstantiation. The semen [that is, the seed] has entered the cup. And the one thing we don't mention here, explicitly: what has been created at this point?

Jerome: A being?

Richard: You bet your boots! Fuckin'A - Nuit plus Hadit equals Ra-Hoor-Khuit. You read in Liber Aleph the section on the bud will - you will find many hints as to the secret of the ninth degree of OTO. This is also an enormous hint [as to that secret]. We're not just commingling two different substances, hoping that they mix. We are creating a child. Every union of Nuit and Hadit creates Ra-Hoor-Khuit. We're not creating monsters here. We are creating children. This is not the formula of Alim, this is the formula of Elohim. Bear in mind every time you do that, that you are creating a child. Again, that's why I call them death cookies - 'cause you can create anything you fucking want to at this point. If your head is not in the right place, I pity the congregation when they chew on them cookies. That's why I insist that you are no longer you by the time you get there. You had best not be thinking on the earth plane, or you gonna send out poison.

Jerome: That is true - particularly the Priest, who does all the effort, in that sense.

Richard: Oh, I think a pregnant woman would argue with you there, sir. Nine months carrying them fuckers around ain't easy. That sucker's gotta grow somewhere.

Jerome: Tell me - if a pregnant woman goes through initiation, does she have to pay two fees? (Laughter. Karen pipes in, "One and a half.")

Richard: I've often wondered about everything involved in initiating a pregnant woman. I don't feel comfortable doing it, although I've done it. I don't think it's proper to initiate a pregnant woman, myself.

Jerome: Because of the child.

Richard: Yeah. I think [the child's] free will is being interfered with.

Jerome: Maybe it isn't. Maybe it is his free will [to be there at that time].

Richard: I'd rather get the little bugger out and ask him first, quite frankly.Not being a woman, and not being a Master of the Temple, I'm not the sole word on this, but it just strikes me as a little awkward. Besides, I've seen some unusual things happen - like people insisting that since they were pregnant when they took their Minerval, it's alright to bring their one-year-old child into a Minerval initiation. And I've just had to tell them, no fucking way. Until that sucker takes the bread and the salt of his own free will, he ain't getting in here. He may be better off for the experience; I frankly doubt it. But I ain't letting him in - period. I've had some humongous fights on that one. That's why I don't agree with religious education of children until they're old enough to ask for themselves. As an example: one day Emily came up to me, and just said "Can I do this?" "You really interested?" "Yeah." From then on, I was all for it. Let her ask questions, and make up her own mind; don't try to teach a kid anything when it comes to [religion]. {Note: he's referring to participation in a recent Gnostic Mass by the daughter of a lodge member.} [She and another child] volunteered; they asked. Nobody came up with that idea, they did. That, in my mind, is the way it should happen. When they come up and ask, you give them everything you can. Until that point, leave 'em alone. They'll figure it out, kids are remarkable. Okay, so we got this kid [created in the Mass] sitting here - and we're gonna eat the little fucker! See, we are cannibals. "Oh Lion and O Serpent that destroy the destroyer, be mighty among us." What's he saying?

Jerome: What you mentioned before - the rising of the Kundalini. [He's saying] let it rise in everyone, destroying the illusions of what we think we are.

Richard: Excellent. Why does he lower the lance?

Jerome: Isn't the lance a psychic barrier?

Richard: Not bad ... it's closer than most. He's basically making a connection back with the people. Sort of like a bridge between heaven and earth, so they can approach.

Jerome: Wouldn't it be appropriate to direct the lance toward the people,then?

Richard: Well, to direct it at them, you would have to lower it also. And then he makes a cross upon them. I usually point it pretty much in their direction.

Jerome: This is the thing, 'cause I can see it being a wall - but then the lance is never pointed toward the people.

Richard: There is an indication, where it says he makes a cross upon them. Doesn't just say he makes a cross. And then he challenges them, to make sure they are doing this of their own free will: "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law." "Love is the Law, love under will." He lowers the lance [as if to say], okay, you brought this upon yourselves, you poor schmucks - and turns back. "In my mouth be the essence of the life of the Sun." He actually eats this shit - oh my God, what a pervert! That's disgusting, after all we've talked about. "Silence." Now, that you've gotta figure out for yourself. There's something very important happening here.

Jerome: Other than him becoming the Child?

Richard: Partially [that], but there's some technical stuff going down here too. Again, Liber Aleph - read the section on bud will. The chapter is somewhere in the eighties. And he does the same with the cup... Silence - again, something very important.

Jerome: Other than becoming the Child, and rising to that area within himself where there is - they call this the Area of Silence too. In the astral level,what else is there?

Richard: Read Chapter 69. Read the section on the bud will in Liber Aleph. Read the chapter in Magick in Theory and Practice on the Holy Grail. You don't expect me to tell you all of it.

Jerome: No. Even if you did, I would read it anyway.

Richard: Then he turns and makes a most radical statement: "There is no part of me that is not of the gods." What do you think that means?

Jerome: Recognition of who he is.

Richard: There's a little more to it, but we'll let it go at that for now. Then everybody comes up, eats this shit, promptly falls over and dies. "The Lord bless you. The Lord enlighten your minds..." etc.

Jerome: What is the "Summum Bonum"?

Richard: The greatest good. ...Again, you notice we're using all the words that are normally attributed to the Elixir of Life. All that good alchemical stuff. We have created a miracle here. And then - he goes back into the tomb again! Why?

Jerome: That's an interesting question - he has been resurrected, why does he go back in? Unless he's giving up the physical body, and remaining with the Light unless he's next called upon.

Richard: That's one way of looking at it, that's valid. The Light has descended, and now it's withdrawn again. But there's another, more practical reason, going back to the collects. He's completing the cycle.

Jerome: So he symbolically represents the cycle of life and death.

Richard: Incarnation, birth, life, old age, death - ready for rebirth again.You'll find in a lot of Crowley's stuff, it's cyclic. Everything comes around. Everything completes itself. The worm Ouroboros eating its own tail. The symbol of infinity - never stops. It's a continuous process of creation, similar to thesis-antithesis-synthesis. First Matter, break it down, build it up into its highest components, consume it, it becomes part of you, comes back out as First Matter again.

Jerome: Where does the Deacon fit into all of this?

Richard: I dunno - where?

Jerome: It seems apparent that, to do a Mass you need a Priest and a Priestess. But do you really need the Deacon?

Richard: Oh yeah. What does it say when it's talking about the Priest and the Priestess? They're basically functions of the Priest, right? The Priestess represents his Higher Self, he's trying to become absorbed in the infinite. He aspires to Nuit. But while all this is going on, just as in real life, you still need a vehicle out there doing the practical mundane matters like feeding the body, writing down what God tells you to, going to work, taking care of the mundane aspects of everyday life. That's the Deacon - it's that part of him that deals with the real. You notice the Deacon doesn't go up to the Veil. Always stays out in the real world. He's always out there with the yahoos.

Jerome: Now if all of this is supposed to occur during the Mass, how many of the congregation really recognize it, and sense the rising of the Kundalini within themselves? And if not too many, what prevents it?

Richard: Nothing prevents it, but they're not doing the invocations, the crosses aren't being made on them, they are not before the Veil. They've basically made a contract with the Priest to let him do the work, and they'll just take what they can of the offering. And they'll accept "inasmuch as food and drink is transmuted in us daily into spiritual substance, I believe in the miracle of the Mass." That's what they're saying, that's their part of the trip. Dropping from the host of heaven. Basically they have, by general acclamation, they don't have to be there, agreed to set up one person as that intermediary between godhood and themselves, allowed that person to channel that stuff down, and they take the energy from it.

Jerome: But still, one should sense the rising of the Kundalini within.Especially when the Priest points the lance or lowers it -

Richard: I don't know of many people who have untrained, uninvoked Kundalini experiences. They happen occasionally. But normally it's very difficult to get Kundalini to move; it takes quite a bit of experience and study - quite a bit of hard work.

Jerome: But isn't that the purpose, if there is a purpose for really doing the Mass? Or attending or participating in it?

Richard: No, I would say that as much as anything, having them watch the Priest and learning that this kind of spiritual state is possible to achieve in their own lifetime, is enough of a rationale for doing it. It demonstrates to them that they too can do this.

Jerome: See, this is what I question.

Richard: Well, it starts off with the guy saying, "I am a man among men." How should I be worthy? I'm no different from these guys here, I'm one of them. And then through a long, involved process, he raised to the - Don't forget, we teach by example.

Jerome: But the nature of a ritual, presumably, is to represent that which really is. And to lead people in that direction, in more than an intellectual sense.

Richard: They're taking in the bread and the wine. In much more than an intellectual sense, they're actually consuming the child. Y'know, they're going out and being little cannibals themselves. And basically, they're being told at the same time that you too can do this. Maybe not today. Or maybe today, later on.But not right now, 'cause I'm doing it. But it shows them that these states are possible, and that they can do them also.

Jerome: I would like to see a ritual that actually does that kind of generation. It would just blow your mind.

Richard: Well, I've seen that happen with an entire group with planetary rituals - other kinds of rituals. I've never seen it happen in the Mass, to the entire group.

{At this point the conversation switched to thoughts of computers}

FINIS! SELAH! AMEN! SO MOTE IT BE!