Postcards to Probationers

I. The world progresses by virtue of the appearance of Christs (geniuses).

II. Christs (geniuses) are men with super-consciousness of the highest order.

III. Super-consciousnes of the highest order is obtainable by known methods.

Therefore, by employing the quintessence of known methods we cause the world to progress.

I. Theology is immaterial; for both Buddha and St. Ignatius were Christs.

II. Morality is immaterial; for both Socrates and Mohammed were Christs.

III. Super-consciousness is a natural phenomenon; its conditions are therefore to be sought rather in the acts than the words of those who attain it.

The essential acts are retirement and concentration — as taught by Yoga and Ceremonial Magic. {196}

I. Since truth is supra-rational, it is incommunicable in the language of reason.

II. Hence all mystics have written nonsense, and what sense they have written is so far untrue.

III. Yet as a still lake yields a truer reflection of the sun than a torrent, he whose mind is best balanced will, if he become a mystic, become the best mystic.


I. Since the ultimate truth of teleology is unknown, all codes of morality are arbitrary.

II. Therefore the student has no concern with ethics as such.

III. He is consequently free 'to do his duty in that state of life to which it has pleased God to call him.'


I. Since truth is supra-rational, any rational statement is false.

II. Let the student then contradict every proposition that presents itself to him. {197}

III. Rational ideas being thus expelled from the mind, there is room for the apprehension of spiritual truth.

It should be remarked that this does not destroy the validity of reasonings on their own plane.


I. Man being a finite being, he is incapable of apprehending the infinite. Nor does his communion with infinite being (true or false) alter this fact.

II. Let then the student contradict every vision and refuse to enjoy it; first, because there is certainly another vision possible of precisely contradictory nature; secondly, because though he is God, he is also a man upon an insignificant planet.

Being thus equilibrated laterally and vertically, it may be that, either by affirmation or denial of all these things together, he may attain the supreme trance.


I. Trance is defined as the ek-stasis of one particular tract of the brain, caused by meditation on the idea corresponding to it.

II. Let the student therefore beware lest in that idea be any trace of imperfection. It should be pure, balanced, calm, complete, fitted in every way to dominate the mind, as it will.

Even as in the choice of a king to be crowned. {198}

III. So will the decrees of this king be just and wise as he was just and wise before he was made king.

The life and work of the mystic will reflect (though dimly) the supreme guiding force of the mystic, the highest trance to which he has attained.

I. Yoga is the art of uniting the mind to a single idea. It has four methods.

Gnana-Yoga. Union by Knowledge.
Raja-Yoga. Union by Will.
Bhakta-Yoga. Union by Love.
Hatha-Yoga. Union by Courage.
add Mantra-Yoga.Union through Speech.
Karma-Yoga. Union through Work.

These are united by the supreme method of Silence.

II. Ceremonial Magic is the art of uniting the mind to a single idea.

It has four Methods.

The Holy Qabalah. Union by Knowledge.
The Sacred Magic. Union by Will.
The Acts of Worship.Union by Love.
The Ordeals. Union by Courage.
add The Invocations.Union by Speech.
The Acts of Service.Union through Work.

These are united by the supreme method of Silence. {199}

III. If this idea be any but the Supreme and Perfect idea, and the student lose control, the result is insanity, obsession, fanaticism, or paralysis and death (add addiction to gossip and incurable idleness), according to the nature of the failure.

Let then the Student understand all these things and combine them in his Art, uniting them by the supreme method of Silence.

Aleister Crowley


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