AN ESSAY BY FRATER ACHAD
Listen Brother! Are you FREE? Are you enjoying the full, free life of the true master-class, or are you groveling in slavery, in sin?
“Sir,” you reply, “What is sin to me? I have outgrown such ideas as Sin, and Hell and the Devil. Nowadays, no educated person believes in the existence of these things. But, as to Freedom? How can I be free when I am working 10 hours a day, so that the Capitalist who is pocketing 3/4 of the results of my labour, may live in luxury and idleness on the money I earn for him. How can I be free under such a system?”
Listen Brother! You may be free NOW, if you WILL. Work does not bind you. Work is no sin, but RESTRICTION is. “The word of Sin is Restriction.” You are sinning as long as you feel restricted, for “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law!” The Master has told us so. The Book of the Law tells us so, for the New Law is a Law of Liberty and Freedom for all.
It is not the Capitalist who is preventing you from enjoying to the full your leisure hours. It is not your daily work which prevents you from taking advantage to the full the pleasures of your spare time. It is yourself, because you have either forgotten how to enjoy yourself or you have never learned, or been taught, or tried to teach yourself.
It is this lack of true enjoyment that fills your life with misery and despair. It is this lack of true pleasure that makes your work (which is healthy and manly and good) seem dull and monotonous and uninteresting. It is this lack of the realization of the joy of life that makes you envy the Capitalist (of whose troubles and worries you know nothing) who is in reality as much a slave as you are. It is this, I say, that makes you think the whole System is wrong. And so it is, but not in the way you think and suppose.
Have you not been taught from childhood that every true and manly enjoyment is a Sin and a disgrace that should not be indulged in? Have you not been taught that if you. do enjoy yourself, and anybody finds out, you will be shunned as a sinner and a bad man! Have you not found that either you must go against the true promptings of your nature in almost every conceivable way, or perform your true desires in a secret and disgraceful way, for fear of being found out and losing your so-called `reputation?'
Do you realize that this terrible state of affairs has become a part of your very consciousness, is a limitation and check on your every action?
Even supposing you to be one who has tried to find enjoyment, in spite of wrong impressions and under existing conditions; did you not find that at first the Feeling of Freedom, even in doing what you thought to be wrong, was a great part of the enjoyment itself? But once that stage is past, once let that idea go and get to feeling, “Oh well, I've done it before and now I can't help it” and you gradually get more and more dulled and the pleasure grows less and less, until what was once true enjoyment and real freedom at the start, loses “even the pleasant consciousness of sin” and becomes another form of slavery. You have lost the very sense of Freedom. You are a slave.
But the worst slave of all is the prig who indulges (openly) in no pleasures at all, in order that he may be considered `virtuous' or `respectable' or a `Christian' who has `got religion' and wants to see every one else in the same deplorable state of senile decay, so that he may not feel quite so much out of place in the world. Such is not Freedom, my Brother.
Freedom is Fullness of Life, Manliness of Action, Virility in Love, Fearlessness of Conduct combined with the utmost toleration of the rights of others, and a true recognition of their liberty to do their Will.
What, think you, is the reason why the Latin and the Chinese and the Hindu (of whom many of you are jealous because you think. they have no right here and would take away work that you should have) are willing to work for a mere pittance? It may well be that you have good cause. to envy them, if you did but know it, for they are Contented and Happy because their SPARE TIME, their LEISURE (however short) is FULL OF DELIGHT.
They are wont to indulge their true feelings in every way, including the. proper way, for it must be admitted that many of the Oriental Races are masters in the art of producing pleasure WITHOUT EXPENSE. They know, from experience, as you have never known, as yet, that an Hour of Rapture is recompense for a Day of hard work.
I do not say that “A moment of Rapture is compensation for a lifetime of misery.” That is absurd, the idle talk of the poet. But AN HOUR OF RAPTURE and a DAY OF TOIL, is practical and possible and WORTH WHILE.
And you. don't get it under existing circumstances. How much time are you really devoting to any true enjoyment, say for instance Love? Most of you know nothing of Love after the first year of married life. Even then the total rapture is probably but a few seconds per week, and then it is not True Rapture. Love, like every other true enjoyment is a Science, an Art. How much of your time do you spend in its study?
Don't you see, brother, how you are being fooled with regard to these. things, all the time. How those who want to keep you in slavery are cunningly (or ignorantly, it matters little) working in every possible way to take from you one true pleasure after another, to prohibit you from all those things Nature has provided for your enjoyment and highest good? Don't you see how the more. their grasp on you. slackens, the more they will try and take, so that they may better retain their hold, while you are less and less in a position to Free yourself, and more and more stupefied into submission because there is so little of the true man left in you to fight? Their very system is based on slavery (your slavery) as representing the highest perfection, though the Truth they once held- but never declared and therefore lost- was intended to lead you to Perfect Freedom.
But Truth, my brother, must once again be given to the world, though in a different language from of yore, because the very System that has held you in bondage so long, has used the Symbolism which in the days of The Christ radiated Truth and it has become so befouled with external and useless meanings that there is hardly a sentence of what once was Living Truth, that can now be' used by any True Man, without a feeling of shame, because the words have become so distorted and their meaning falsified for other and less worthy ends.
Therefore, brother, we use a new language, a new Symbolism for the veil of Truth as you will find if you study our Books and Writings, just as in years to come, if its purity again be lost, another and another System will arise, for the Truth is ever one, in whatever language its outer form may be clothed.
But in this tract I will not deal with the higher problems, I want to talk to you quite simply, as men and women, in your own language, so that you may understand and Rejoice. “There. is no law beyond DO WHAT THOU WILT.”
All that you have learned to look upon as `good' which binds you and prevents you from doing your true Will and from enjoying the true Manhood and Womanhood that is yours by right - is SIN. There is no other sin. “The word of sin is restriction.”
But when you enjoy yourselves and take delight in those pleasures of which the Life of man is made up, you must remember that every act of Pleasure and of Love is a Sacrament and as such is holy. That is just where you have been making the mistake in the past. You have looked upon these things as wrong, and therefore restricted yourselves and your actions making them sins instead of realizing their true value and perfect holiness. Again, if you drink wine, and so long as you enjoy it—and you will enjoy it when you understand how to use it it is not wrong, but you should drink unto the honour and glory of Our Lady of the Starry Heavens, Nuit, Who has Herself given us these teachings, and who tells us in our Holy Book, the Book of the Law, Liber Legis: “Be goodly therefore: dress ye all in fine apparel; eat rich foods and drink sweet wines and wines that foam! Also, take your fill and will of love as ye will, when, where and with whom ye will! But always unto me.” If you ever bear this one point in mind, and remember that these acts are holy and sacred, not sins, but true virtues, life will at once wear a different aspect. You will no longer feel sorrowful or sad, and while you look upon the wine you drink as a Sacrament, you will never debase yourself by getting `drunk' in the old sense of the word, but you will ENJOY your drink as never before. Thus with Love, and all else in which you indulge and take delight. For “It is a lie, this folly against self - Be strong man! Lust, enjoy all things of sense and rapture: fear not that any God shall deny thee for this.”
Be strong then, Brother, and be not afraid. Work, work hard and well, since your living depends on this, but after your toil is over, in your leisure hours, remember what we have told you, Seek Rapture, if only for an hour, and learn that Love is the law, love under will.