Of all the Magical and Mystical Virtues, of all the Graces of the Soul, of all the Attainments of the Spirit, none has been so misunderstood, even when at all apprehended, as Silence.
It would not be possible to enumerate the common errors: nay, it may be said that to think of it at all is in itself an error; for its nature is Pure Being, that is to say, Nothing, so that it is beyond all intellection or intuition. Thus then the utmost of our Essay can be only a certain Wardenship, as it were a Tyling of the Lodge wherein the Mystery of Silence may be consummated.
For this attitude there is sound traditional authority; for Harpocrates, God of Silence, is called “The Lord of Defense and Protection.”
But His nature is by no means that negative and passive silence which the word commonly connotes; for He is the All-Wandering Spirit; the Pure and Perfect Knight-Errant, who answers all Enigmas, and opens the Closed Portal of the King's Daughter. But Silence in the vulgar sense is not the answer to the Riddle of the Sphinx; it is that which is created by that answer. For Silence is the Equilibrium of Perfection; so that Harpocrates is the omniform, the universal Key to every Mystery soever. The Sphinx is the “Puzzel or Pucelle,” the Feminine Idea to which there is only one complement, always different in form, and always identical in essence. This is the signification of the Gesture of the God; it is shewn more clearly in His adult form as the Fool of the Tarot and as Bacchus Diphues, and without equivocation when He appears as Baphomet.
When we inquire more closely into His symbolism, the first quality which engages our attention is doubtless His innocence. Not without deep wisdom is He called the twin of Horus; and this is the Aeon of Horus: it is He who sent forth Aiwass His minister to proclaim its advent. The Fourth Power of the Sphinx is Silence; to us then who aspire to this power as the crown of our Work, it will be of utmost value to attain His innocence in all its fullness. We must understand first of all that the root of Moral Responsibility, on which Man stupidly prides himself as distinguishing him from the other animals, is Restriction, which is the Word of Sin. Indeed, there is truth in the Hebrew fable, that the knowledge of Good and Evil brings forth Death. To regain Innocence is to regain Eden. We must learn to live without the murderous consciousness that every breath we draw swells the sails which bear our frail vessels to the Port of the Grave. We must cast our Fear by Love; seeing that Every Act is an Orgasm, their total issue cannot be but Birth. Also, Love is the law: thus every act must be Righteousness and Truth. By certain Meditations this may be understood and established; and this ought to be done so thoroughly that we become unconscious of our Sanctification, for only then is Innocence made perfect. This state is, in fact, a necessary condition of any proper contemplation of what we are accustomed to consider the first task of the Aspirant, the solution of the question, “What is my True Will?” For until we become innocent, we are certain to try to judge our Will by some Canon of what seems ‘right’ or ‘wrong’; in other words, we are apt to criticise our Will from the outside, whereas True Will should spring, a fountain of Light, from within, and flow unchecked, seething with Love, into the Ocean of Life.
This is the true idea of Silence; it is our Will which issues, perfectly elastic, sublimely Protean, to fill every interstice of the Universe of Manifestation which it meets in its course. There is no gulf too great for its immeasurable strength, no strait too arduous for its imperturbable subtlety. It fits itself with perfect precision to every need; its fluidity is the warrant of its fidelity. Its form is always varied by that of the particular imperfection which it encounters: its essence is identical in every event. And always the effect of its action is Perfection, that is, Silence; and this Perfection is ever the same, being perfect, yet ever different, because each case presents its own peculiar quantity and quality.
It is impossible for inspiration itself to sound a dithyramb of Silence; for each new aspect of Harpocrates is worthy of the music of the Universe throughout Eternity. I have simply been led by my loyal Love of that strange Race among whom I find myself incarnate to indite this poor stanza of the infinite Epic of Harpocrates as being the facet of His fecund Brilliance which has refracted the most needful light upon mine own darkling Entrance to His shrine of fulminating, of ineffable Godhead.
I praise the luxuriant Rapture of Innocence, the virile and pantomorphous Ecstasy of all-Fulfilment; I praise the Crowned and Conquering Child whose name is Force and Fire, whose subtlety and strength make sure serenity, whose Energy and Endurance accomplish the Attainment of the Virgin of the Absolute; who, being manifested, is the Player upon the sevenfold pipe, the Great God Pan, and, being withdrawn into the Perfection that he willed, is Silence.