The Heart of the Master
by Khaled Khan
I. The Vision
I am one of a concourse. All, or nigh all, seem fallen into heaviness, not from exhaustion of labour, but from lethargy. The plain is vast beyond eye to mark its bounds, even were not all dark with blight of fog and thick with marish damp. A few of us are half awake, gaze dumbly on the East. No light responds.
Alas for me who am too much alive with the horrible and hopeless ache for sleep of one half-drugged! Dazed, stupefied—I know not who I am—I know not whence I came—I know not whither I go. Vaguely I say within my dull heart: I must not sleep because I am a soldier. But of what captain, in what war? I cannot guess. There is but a dim shape as of some disaster long, oh! very long ago—the dusty memory of some leader who failed, some plan that broke its spine—I am sure of this: that all discipline is done, all courage quashed, all purpose perished.
Behind me—strange!—the gloom is less obscure than in the East to which the eyes yearn feebly. Do I feel it by instinct—the form of a vast pyramidal hill of stark black rock? I am too weary to turn my head to look.
All of a sudden, far behind me, far beyond that crest, if it be one, rings out a voice, clear, firm, courageous, confident. It is a soldier's voice the accent of command, the valour of manhood. None can mistake—I am assured—that ringing call. Truth, Victory, in each trumpet tone: Listen!
The captain cries: “Behold, the Star in the West!” Instant on that comes silence. But among us the sudden stirring warns me that not all were sleeping; that there were watchers like myself, men more intent than I.
I hear a murmur on my left. I catch three words: “The Zero Hour.” They call me back to myself: I know now that I am one of a great army—an army baffled and broken, but yet in being.
Sharp comes a whisper of swift absolute authority: Zero is Two.
Somehow I am aware—like a man stricken of lightning, in the same moment slain and initiated—that the strange phrase declares a final Mystery of Truth, the word of the Plan of Battle, the Key of the Campaign. But in my mind its meaning is most utter darkness.
Again the solemn stillness. Few were they who had heard the voice of the young captain: for the sleep of all but the youngest and strongest was the sleep of death. Even of these the fate was ill indeed; for their minds had been distraught by the bitterness of their hearts. So, when they noticed the Voice, they mocked. I heard:
“A Star in the West. What folly!”
“That is no voice of any leader of ours.”
“Star in the West? Beware: that is the Star called Wormwood.”
Then, presently, from the blind land behind the mountain, comes one heavy groan, then the sound of a fall, made vile by a titter of malignant tinkling laughter.
There follow ghoulish wailings.
The mystery, the evil darkness of these incoherent cries, sets my teeth on edge with horror. And yet I cannot give up the hope which thrilled me at the Voice. But so keen, so desolate, so deadly is the pain of my spirit that blank darkness overwhelms me altogether.
Within the Vision is a dream—I struggle in my sleep in a morass of blood and mud. Howlings more bestial than hell's: stench at whose touch, solid as putrid flesh itself, I retch with the pangs of death; most frantic madness: phantoms of crime, ice-cold, ghosts made of murder—the nightmare seems interminable—no, it exhausts itself, sick with its own foulness, and sinks into a solid stupor.
I waken from the horror. Every nerve is numb, every muscle frozen, every bone one ache, my blood throbbing with poison.
But the shambles is now dimly to be seen.
What? Can the Voice have spoken Truth after all? Is then that Star a Sun, whose light is at last piercing the foul mists of massacre, whose heat is forcing the congealed miasma to steam skyward in those murky banks of dim grey cloud?
Hark! Yes, the few that are still alive have seen what rouses them to lift their crippled arms, to star with blear bloodshot eyes, to jabber with broken jaw-bones and torn tongues.
“For Christ's sake,” screams an emasculate rag of flesh, “don't look at that damned Star!”
“We're lost,” another squeals.
“The Beast!” yells a third: maniac.
I too am appalled not a little. For on the moving fumes crawl monstrous and hideous shapes—frightful forms, detestable gestures. All past belief for loathsomeness: filling my mortal spirit with delirious fear. Beholding them, the wounded writhe in deadly anguish. Some crazily catch up the filth in which they are already half sunk to throw it at the spectre, thereby only to smear themselves more thickly in the face.
Their impotent malice so exceeds itself that I am moved for a moment to laugh. At that, as at the Master-spell of a great sage, the charm is snapped: I soar into sanity.
I must be simple indeed! How did I fail for a moment to understand that Brocken-Spectres must be shadows cast by some Star, a Sun, upon sun-lifted vapours—that all these diverse shapes of madness are but distortions of one form upon the mountain-crest, a solitary shadow—the shadow of a Man!
I stood erect. I found myself unhurt. I turned. I lifted up mine yes. Behold! The Hill!
The apex of the colossal Pyramid is crowned by a stern silent figure, cut in sharp silhouette against the Orb of the Sun. I cried aloud: Hail unto Thee, O Star that art the Sun, Star that mountest the Height of the Heavens!
But my heart answered me, mysteriously, yet so that it availed me to understand it; “He riseth not nor sets! He goeth shining on His way, and before Him the Earth reeleth in the rhythm of her Bacchanal dance!”
Then I knew also this: all these poor dead men that lay about me had been slain by their own fear, their fault of faith in deeming that the Sun—or any Star—could die.
And now I, who had only felt the fear of that figure, feel the fascination.
I understand that He—whoever, whatever He may be—is He for whom we all so long had waited.
As I fix my eyes upon it, I become aware that its blackness against the light of the Star is only relative; and as I gain confidence in my sight, that darkness goes. The figure is a prism of pure crystal—it is the distortion and interference with the Light it transmits which caused those phantoms of terror to dance their Witches' Sabbath on the moving miasma.
And now I am drawn swiftly up by some invisible force; sucked by some vortex towards the Hill.
And now I face Him as He stands above me.
His head is slightly bowed as if he brooded some delight. He wears a helm of ruddy gold, radiant with the light of the Star. In the midst of his brows is a black diamond in a circlet of ruby and emerald, set in pure mother-of-pearl, so that it seems the eye of some unknown, some unknowable God. This eye has no lid.
But his two human eyes are still half-closed, as if in worship or in wonder of rapture.
His arms are folded on his breast: upon his corslet is the golden image of the Sun. In his right hand is a rod of amber, crowned with a ruby; in his left an amethyst lotus with a sapphire corolla.
Lo! from his eyes flow tears of mingled sorrow and joy, of joy that burns up sorrow, and with these tears he smites the barren rock beneath his feet. It melts like wax at the touch; roses spring up and twine about his limbs.
Around him are four living creatures, begotten of his will, so that the mountain might glow with the life that flows through him.
There is a tawny Lion, from whose mouth drops honey.
He roars aloud, and the word thereof is this: The Wrath of the Master is the Energy of Love.
There is a buffalo Cow, grey-blow, whose udders overflow with milk, and her lowing means: The Work of the Master is the Nourishment of Life.
There is a Babe, that with his tiny hands presses out blood from his own breast, and smileth: The Way of the Master is the Innocence of Liberty.
Also, a Golden Eagle, bearing a Chalice of Wine, crying aloud: The Woe of the Master is the Rapture of Light.
Last, in their midst, above His head, there whirls a wheel of many-coloured radiance, so that thereby all deeds are harmonized in one. And the whirring of the wheel declares: The Wisdom of the Master is the Justice of Time. Attend to the Will of the Master!
At this there cometh forth from the heart of the Wheel a Serpent with the head of a Sphinx, and toucheth the mouth of the Master, so that His voice breaks into Song:
The Word of the law is Θελημα
Many and marvelous are the mysteries of this Word, and of the Numeration thereof! Nor may I declare them, save this the simplest, for Then is all Heaven aflame with a great blast of trumpets; and the world is alight with one flash, that sundereth every spirit that liveth, branding this Sign upon them:
Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
Now the whole air is thrilled by the voices of birds: A Swan, a Phoenix, a Raven, a Hawk, a Pelican, a Dove, an Ibis and a Vulture: in his turn each one sang praises, even as it was given unto him to understand one part of the Spirit of the Master.
The Voice of the Swan.
A U M G N : through the Bornless, through the Eternal, the Thought of the Master goeth, afloat in the Aethyr.
The Voice of the Phoenix.
A L : not to be burned, not to be quenched, the Soul of the Master bathes in the Fire of Nature, and is refreshed.
The Voice of the Raven.
A M E N : The Past and the Future are parts of the Present, in the Eye of the Master, that seeth the Secret of Secrets and knoweth them all to be One.
The Voice of the Eagle.
S U : The Heavens are poised on the Plumes of the Righteous, that wingeth among them, beholding the Sun; thus know ye the Mercy and Joy of the Master!
The Voice of the Hawk.
A G L A : by Thine Energy riseth all Motion of Will of the Master, begetter, destroyer!
The Voice of the Pelican.
I A O : all that liveth is blood of the Heart of the Master: all stars are at Feast on that Pasture, abiding in Light.
The Voice of the Dove.
H R I L I U : there is nothing too small, or too great, or too low, or too high; but all things are joined into Joy by the Love of the Master.
The Voice of the Ibis.
A B R A H A D A B R A : all ways are alike, being endless, eternally coiling ni curves of ineffable wonder; each Star has its course, by the manifold musings that move in the Mind of the Master.
The Voice of the Vulture.
M U : unmated, immaculate, consecrate, virgin, all things are begotten of the Breath of the Master, and born of the Infinite Space wherein doth He give them their Form—and abideth in Silence.
Now all is as it were a Passion of great Peace; and in the Stillness I lift up my Soul like an offering and cry in mine Heart: Let me dwell at the feet of the Master!
But the Silence swallows up those vain words; and they are smitten through with the fire of His blood, that transforms them to these:
“At His feet is only the Earth, and that He breaks up into flowers; but all things that live are assumed to the Heart of the Master.”
With that I cease to be myself at all: I am absorbed into His adorable essence, and my life is equally shed throughout the endless Aeons of Creation.
Ay!—there is nothing separate any more at all; wherefore the Vision faileth, the Seer being one with the Seen.
II. The Voice
It is not given to flesh and blood, till they be seven times purged, purged through and through, to dwell in the sanctuary of the Heart of the Master.
My fervour is exhausted; my faith fails; I fall from the rapture of passion that pours through the abyss of space.
All things feel It; all things live by It; yet nothing that knows itself knows It as It is.
So now I, burning up, yet not burnt through, in the glory of that Light, vibrating to, yet not vibrating altogether with, the vigour of that Pulse, am just so far attuned to the Heart of the Master that what was pure Rapture in that sublime moment of union is translated into what seems a solemn music—borne very far through the still air—a Voice declaring the Secret of the Sanctuary to every ear in just such measure as that ear is able to receive it.
The Ten Secret Joys of the Master.
At first the music is as if muffled, a murmur of the wind behind impenetrable veils.
000. Nothing only exists, and is all things.
After a pause of deeply-rooted Silence:
00. There is no limit.
Silence again, as if the very bowels of Nature were thrilled with stillness:
0. The Sum of All is Boundless Light.
Now there is suddenly a gathering together of the essence of Silence; it is as if focussed at a Point:
1. Thou art that which thou choosest to think thyself, immune to all, for it is nothing but a Point of View.
Now there bursts forth a Wave of Light and there folls forth in majesty of Thunder:
2. Thy Name, which is thy Word, is the substance of thy Will, whose mode of action constitutes Existence. Chance.
3. That which thou createst is thine Understanding of thy Love.
Then comes a sudden shaking and confusion, as if the harmony were broken up into innumerable fragments; clashing together, nor is there any speech articulate; until a fearful blast peals forth, a trumpeting of Majesty. But within the blare of the tempest sounds a Voice steady and stern, yet full of peace and kindliness:
4. The Necessity of the Universe is the Measure of thy Righteousness.
Now follows martial music, wild and full of the rushing of Fire:
5. The Movement of the Universe is the Fulfilment of thine Energy.
And this is blended with the echo of all former voices and their music, so that the whole Abyss is filled with their orchestration to one Symphony.
6. The Order of the Universe is the Expression of thy Rapture of Beauty.
This fades away into a deep and tender tune, like nightingales beside a waterfall; and the voice comes twittering:
7. The Sensibility of the Universe is the Triumph of thine Imagination.
Quick thrills inform the air, the perpetual quire of myriads of young boys and girls:
8. The Mutability of the Universe is the Splendour of thine Ingenuity.
And now again all sound is gathered into one, an endless monotone of power impregnable, like the trumpeting of an elephant in Spring:
9. The Stability of the Universe is Change, the Assurance of thy Truth.
Then, last of all, the soul of Music takes the shape of a pure Maiden's voice, and she sings:
10. The Perfection of the Universe is the Realization of the Ideal of thy Passion.
Lo, in the Silence following is my spirit so enlightened at its apprehension of these Secret Joys of the Master, that I was once more lost to myself and lived again for a little while in Him.
The Two and Twenty Secret Instructions of the Master
Now that I am come to myself, I yearn in ageless sorrow for that which I am so little able to attain. I bleed inwardly, so that my passion traces in my flesh the words of the cry that I cannot utter aloud, the call of the Soul to the Soul of the Master, to be made one with Him.
To answer that, He sendeth forth His Will, that, casting shadows on the clouds of Life, may be half read by him whose eyes are lightened enough by the manhood of his love.
Thus then do I learn how best to make myself fit to fulfil my Life, in the Life of the Master, and offer my blood to His Heart.
All ways are lawful to Innocence.
Pure folly is the Key to Initiation.
Silence breaks into Rapture.
Be neither man nor woman, but both in one.
Be silent, Babe in the Egg of Blue, that thou mayest grow to bear the Lance and Graal!
Wander alone, and sing! In the King's Palace his daughter awaits thee.
The True Self is the meaning of the True Will: know Thyself through Thy Way!
Calculate well the Formula of Thy Way!
Create freely; absorb joyously; divide intently; consolidate completely.
Work thou, Omnipotent, Omniscient, Omnipresent, in and for Eternity.
Purity is to live only to the Highest; and the Highest is All: be thou as Artemis to Pan!
Read thou in the Book of the Law, and break through the veil of the Virgin!
This is the Harmony of the Universe, that Love unites the Will to create with the Understanding of that Creation: understand thou thine own Will!
Love and let love! Rejoice in every shape of love, and get thy rapture and thy nourishment thereof!
Pour water on thyself: thus shalt thou be a Fountain to the Universe.
Find thou thyself in every Star!
Achieve thou every possibility!
Offer thyself Virgin to the Knowledge and Conversation of thine Holy Guardian Angel! All else is a snare.
Be thou athlete with the eight limbs of Yoga; for without these thou are not disciplined for any fight.
The Oracle of the Gods is the Child-Voice of Love in thine own Soul! hear thou it!
Heed not the Siren-Voice of Sense, or the Phantom-Voice of Reason: rest in Simplicity, and listen to the Silence!
The issue of the Vulture, Two-in-One, conveyed; this is the chariot of Power.
T R I N C : The last oracle!
Balance against each thought its exact opposite!
For the Marriage of these is the Annihilation of Illusion.
Wander alone; bearing the Light and thy Staff!
And be the Light so bright that no man seeth thee!
Be not moved by aught without or within: keep Silence in all ways!
Follow thy Fortune, careless where it lead thee!
The axle moveth not: attain thou that!
Mitigate Energy with Love; but let Love devour all things.
Worship the name _______*, foursquare, mystic, wonderful, and the name of His House 418.
(This Name to be communicated to those worthy of that Initiation.)
Let not the waters whereon thou journeyest wet thee! And, being come to shore, plant thou the Vine and rejoice without shame.
The Universe is Change: every Change is the effect of an Act of Love; all Acts of Love contain Pure Joy. Die daily!
Death is the apex of one curve of the snake Life: behold all opposites as necessary complements, and rejoice!
Pour thine all freely from the Vase in thy right hand, and lose no drop! Hath not thy left hand a vase?
Transmute all wholly into the Image of thy Will, bringing each to its true token of Perfection!
Dissolve the Pearl in the Wine-cup: drink, and make manifest the Virtue of that Pearl!
With thy right Eye create all for thyself, and with the left accept all that be created otherwise!
Break down the fortress of thine Individual Self, that thy Truth may spring free from the ruins!
Use all thine energy to rule thy thought: burn up thy thought as the Phoenix!
Let the Illusion of the World pass over thee, unheeded, as thou goest from the Midnight to the Morning!
Give forth thy light to all without doubt: the clouds and shadows are no matter for thee.
Make Speech and Silence, Energy and Stillness, twin forms of thy play!
Be every Act an Act of Love and Worship!
Be every Act the Fiat of a God!
Be every Act a Source of radiant Glory!
Treat time and all conditions of Event as Servants of thy Will, appointed to present the Universe to thee in the form of thy Plan.
And: blessing and worship to the prophet of the lovely Star!
The shadows suddenly faded as the clouds vanished from the sky; and there is no more writing on the Heavens, for that which was written was graven upon mine Heart.
The Four Virtues of the Heart of the Master.
LIGHT is throned in the Heart of the Master, so that he thinks no evil. For in that Light all is Truth.
Falsehood is but a function of the conditions of Time and Space, and the idea of evil comes only from perceiving the oppositions which are transcended by Truth. So each thing that is hath its root in Necessity; were the least of these lost, the whole Work should be marred.
LIFE wells in the Heart of the Master; Death is but the Systole of that marvelous pulse.
Faint are the phantoms of Illusion; these, seized on by that vivid stream, thrill and throb with the glow of his reality; he leaves no possible form inane or inert; in him do all partake the sacrament of birth to Truth.
LIBERTY leaps in the Heart of the Master; for every man and every woman is a star. Each follows, free and joyful, its own Will; for every Will alike has its essential function in the rhythm of the Heart of the Master. No star can stray from its self-chosen course: for in the infinite soul of space all ways are endless, all-embracing: perfect.
LOVE burns in the Heart of the Master: he, seeing only God in every thing, with the white flame of worship purges it of all its fancied imperfection. His boundless adoration kindles space itself, leaving no void that is not compassed by his passion.
By virtue of his LAW he floods each thought with love, and marries it in turn to every other thought; and of each bridal night the fruits are twin, the Rapture of Silence, and some new World unguessed of Phantasy; of these behold one grim and one grotesque, this lyric and that lordly, the grievous and the gracious equal in His sight, for they know neither limit nor let in the infinite variety of their Beauty, making new Harmonies with every hour, beyond belief for Joy.
Syrinx and Pan.
Now comes the sound as of the fall of snow-flakes and rose-petals: it is the twinkling of the feet of a young maiden dancing.
And the music is the whisper of the Wind among the pines upon the Hill; and that is the breath of the Pan-pipe in the mouth of the Master.
And, all in one, it is the Universe in manifestation. Also; I hear the Seven-fold Song thereof.
- By Wisdom forms He matter and space and time, Experience to sublime.
- By Virtue spends He His own life through all; Mercy majestical.
- By Energy revolves He all in stress Of Change, the limitless.
- By Order gathers He the worlds of Light In Beauty infinite.
- By Love destroys He all to recreate Fresh Phantasies to Fate.
- By Reason reckons He His governance, The Wonder of His Chance.
- By Purity absolves He all His Will From every image of Ill.
- In Silence He resumes each perfect part To rapture of His Heart,
- His, in whose Truth of Nature all things are, The Still and Shining Star.
III. THE TEMPLE OF TRUTH
I, Khaled Khan, beheld that Vision and received this Voice upon the Holy Hill of Sidi Bou Said, in the country now called Tunisia, but from of old sacred with many sanctities.
Thus far it is permitted me to speak freely of that which came to me in my long search for the True Wisdom; but to me in my long search for the True Wisdom; but to declare the Mode of mine Initiation, whereby I gained ingress to the Place called the Temple of Truth (but by some Dar-el-Jalal) it is forbidden. Nor may I disclose in what land that House is to be found, more openly than to say: It is cut from the living rock of the middle point of the summit of an high mountain apart, the range Jebel-el-Asharah.
Now being brought after many days into a Place where Light was, being shed through a carven screen of topaz, graved with a Rose of nine-and-forty petals on a Greek Cross, from the Sun, and that also at midnight, I found myself in the presence of a certain aged man (for it was written that His days should be an hundred and twenty years) who stood before a table of seven sides, whereon were fire, and incense in a thurible, and bread. Of these did he bid me partake; and they being consumed, he took a phial of golden oil from their midst, and anointed mine eyes, and mine ears, and my lips.
With that I was aware of the image of a God, severe and noble of aspect, his spirit utterly calm, in his right hand a sickle and in his left an hourglass. And as I looked upon him, he reversed his wrist, for the last grain of sand was fallen through.
Then did my Instructor point with a little wand to a great chart not wholly filled, and there came the shadow of a man's hand, and drew the image of a Lion at the end of the writing.
Above this parchment, which was partly furled, was a square tablet of white marble, on which, inlaid in gold, I read these characters about the Image of an Eye within a radiant Triangle.
and this is, being interpreted, “The Great White Brotherhood.”
Below was written: With Us Two Thousand Years is as One Day.
Then my Instructor showed me that the Brotherhood send forth one of their fellows every two thousand years, bringing one Word to serve Mankind as a new Formula of Magick, that it may take one further step on the long road that leadeth to Perfection.
Also, twice in that period, that is, at intervals of a little more than three, and a little less than seven, centuries, they send a lesser prophet to prepare the Way of the next Word, and to maintain or to restore the virtue of the Word then current.
And on the unfurled portion of the chart I read the names of certain of these Brethren, and the Words as one was uttered after the other. But some I could not read, because the characters were strange.
After a great space (with few names and those illegible)
LAO-TZE, GAUTAMA, ZERDUSHT,
PYTHAGORAS, DIONYSUS, OSIRIS.
These were sent forth at the same time—and Dionysus under several diverse forms—to enlighten Six Great Civilizations, about to be drawn together by the opening up of communications over the planet by the expansion of the Roman Power. After these there stood almost alone the name:
But above that extract, the whole width of the chart, the word I A O. Then came a blackness over the whole map, for at one time the Brotherhood had been nigh utterly destroyed by a Great Sorcery of the Black Lodge, and the darkening of all Counsel, and the confusion of all Truth.
I saw only one glimmer bare legible:
And at the end of the darkness, amid many names which I could not read,
JACOBUS BURGUNDUS MOLENSIS.
for his name was in letters of fire.
Did not the Order of the Temple prepare the Renaissance by fusing the Mysteries of the East and West?
Then there burst out on a sudden a whiteness on the chart, as if the stain had been expunged (albeit not wholly by the sweep of steel) and this word writ in curving characters scimitar-sharp
Next was a name sore blurred:
SIR EDWARD KELLY,
with one writ in cipher …………. and in the centre of all, within the emblem of a ruby rose of five petals upon a golden cross was engraved: CHRISTIAN ROSENCREUTZ
(For so were the Brethren discreet to conceal his true name). After whom came three names Great and Terrible that I write not in this place. Lastly appeared this newly-writ hieroglyph of the Lion, and the Name of that Brother was hidden from me. Then was I shewn the Mystery of the Words: how in the first period of recorded history men thought that life came from Woman alone, and worked by the Formula of Isis, worshipping Nature chaste and kindly, not understanding Death, or the Arcanum of Love.
So, when the time was ripe, appeared the Brethren of the Formula of Osiris, whose word is I A O; so that men worshipped Man, thinking him subject to Death, and his victory dependent upon Resurrection. Even so conceived they of the Sun as slain and reborn with every day, and every year.
Now, this great Formula being fulfilled, and turned into abomination, this Lion came forth to proclaim the Aeon of Horus, the crowned and conquering child, who dieth not, nor is reborn, but goeth radiant ever upon His Way. Even so goeth the Sun: for as it is now known that night is but the shadow of the Earth, so Death is but the shadow of the Body, that veileth his Light from its bearer.
Of this Prophet the Word is
Many and marvelous are the mysteries of this Word, and of the Numeration thereof! Nor may I declare them, save this the simplest, for the sake of little children:
“Love is the law, love under will.”
The chart was suddenly furled close, and mine Instructor bade me turn: for there had come into that place a maiden like a golden rose, with curling locks and ruddy, and her breasts were of bright ivory, and her gait the gait of a young lioness. Upon her brows flamed a Star Sapphire, and on her cheek was a stark scar, a circle deep and splendid. In whose hands was a writing; and smiling she put it into mine.
Now I knew not by what name to thank her for this courtesy: which understanding, she told me:
“My name is The Star of the North.”
And this was the Proclamation:
Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
My Term of Office upon the Earth being come in the year of the foundation of the Theosophical Society, I took upon myself, in my turn, the sin of the whole World, that the Prophecies might be fulfilled, so that Mankind may take the Next Step from the Magical Formula of Osiris to that of Horus.
And mine Hour being now upon me, I proclaim my Law.
The Word of the Law is Θελημα.
Given in the midst of the Mediterranean Sea
AN XX Sol in 3°. Libra die Jovis
by me ΤΟ ΜΕΓΑ ΘΗΡΙΟΝ [DCLXVI]
_____ ______ ______
[Whoso understandeth may seek.]
Having read these words with deep attention eleven times, I besought mine Instructor (for the Maiden had returned to her Master) that he would clear those things which were dark to my weak understanding.
“In the Light of the Chart of the Work of the Brotherhood,” I said, “the Will of the Master, and His Word, are made plain. But of His hour I know not; and I tremble before the darkness of this Mystery of Sin.”
“Of his hour,” answered my teacher, “it is easy to speak. The Work of our Sister
Helena Petrowna Blavatsky
was inaugurated at the very season of the Birth on Earth of our Brother the Master whose Word is Thelema, whose Name is yet hidden under the form of a Lion. For it was most needful to prepare His Way that He might proclaim His Law in every land that is upon the surface of the Earth.
“And this work has been done by the Society founded to that end by our Sister. Yet even so, behold! Full Fifty years have passed, and only now is the hour of Power come upon our Brother the Lion to utter His Word with full efficacy to the whole Earth.”
Now was he silent and my spirit was sore troubled; my face darkened, for I approached the Mystery of Sin.
But the countenance of my Teacher was glad; and his years fell from him like a mask; and his voice thrilled with the rapture of release.
The Mystery of Sin.
“The word of Sin is Restriction. Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.”
Such were the words of a certain square tablet of brass which lay upon the hexagonal table beneath the extended forefinger of mine Instructor. And because he saw that their sense was partly hidden from me, he called to my memory two other writings from a compilation of certain Jews of old: “All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God”; and this: “The thought of foolishness is sin.”
Now did I understand that all men live in sin, being baulked of their True Will, that is, of the free function of their essential nature. This restriction cometh much from their ignorance of what their True Will is, and much from external hindrance, but most of all from the interference of ill-controlled parts of their own instruments, the body and mind. For Freedom is not found in looseness and lack of governance, but in the right ruling of each individual of the common weal so as to assure his own well-being no less than that of the whole. And this effect is to be won by perfect organization under the eye of an Intelligence adequate to comprehend the general and the particular need together. The Way of Perfection is thus twofold: first, the True Will must be consciously grasped by the Mind, and this Work is akin to that called the attainment of the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel. Second, as it is written: “Thou hast no right but to do thy Will,” each particle of energy which the Instrument is able to develop must be directed to the doing of that Will, and this is one fierce lion in the way, that until the second task be already far advanced, the confusion of the instrument is such that it is wholly incapable to accomplish the first.
Then said my guide: It is well. Learn this also, a great Mystery and wonderful, that all conflict between the parts of the Universe springs from this error, and none other. For in our infinite Space (which is nothing but our boundless range of possibilities) there is no need that any one should push his fellow aside. As there is room in Heaven for every Star to pass upon its Way unchallenged, so also with those Stars of Earth, which go masked as men and women.
Know therefore that this Law of Thelema
“Do what thow wilt”
is the first Law ever given to man which is a true Law for all men in every place and time. All earlier Laws have been partial, according to the faith of the hearer, or the customs of a people, or the philosophy of their sages. Nor is there need, with this Law of Thelema, of threats or promises: for the Law fulfilleth itself, so that the one reward is Freedom for him who doeth his will, and the one punishment is Restriction for him that goeth astray.
Teach thou therefore this Law to all men: for in so far as they follow it, they cease to hinder thee by their false random motion; and thou dost well to thyself in doing well to them. And he most hindereth himself who hindereth others from their Path, or who constraineth them to some motion improper to their Nature.
Note also this that many men, feeling themselves the bitterness of Restriction, seek to relieve their own pain by imposing a like burden upon their fellows: as it were a cripple who should seek ease by mutilating the bearers of his carriage.
Also, to deny the Law of Thelema is a restriction in oneself, affirming conflict in the Universe as necessary. It is a blasphemy against the Self, assuming that its Will is not a necessary (and therefore a noble) part of the Whole. In a word he who accepts not the Law of Thelema is divided against himself: that is, he is insane, and the upshot shall be the ruin of the Unity of his Godhead.
Yet hearken again; the opposition of two movements is not always evidence of conflict or error. For two opposite points upon the rim of a wheel move one North, the other South; yet are they harmonious parts of the same system. And the rowlock which resisteth the oar hindereth not but aideth the True Will of that oar.
So then self-control is nowise the enemy of Freedom, but that which maketh it possible. And he who would deliver a muscle from its bondage to its bone by severing it rendereth that muscle impotent.
Moreover hear this word: as a muscle is vain, except it be rightly ordered, so also is thy work to be made easy by uniting thyself to the Work of the Master, even Therion, whose True Will it is to bring each Man's work to its perfection. To this end hath he proclaimed his Law; so also to that end, which is also thine, do thou add thy little strength to His great might. As it is written:
And blessing and worship to the Prophet of the lovely Star!
Thou, therefore—go on, go on in my strength, saith the Lord of the Aeon, and ye shall turn not back for any.
While he thus spoke, I felt constantly in myself a cleansing of heart; and my stature was increased, because of the straightening of my nature.
And as I thought thus, mine instructor, perceiving it, smiled upon me saying: In truth, O Khaled Khan, O child of the dawn of the Aeon, thou hast divined aright and profited in thy being by the Law of Thelema. For the Law is a just Law; it demandeth not the crooked knee of slavery, and the bowed head of shame. Nay, shouldst thou speak even to the God of gods, stand thou erect, that thou mayest be one with Him by Love, as He most surely willeth.
With that word, the walls of the little chamber in the Temple upon the Mountain-top fell suddenly away from about me, and I found myself alone in a desert place, strange and remote. And of that which befell me there may I not now speak. For there is a Beauty which hath no fitter ornament than Silence.
(At this point in the book, Liber LXXVII is printed…)
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