Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
exercaNATURE OF THESE EXERCISES
These exercises have been designed as a set of meditations pertainingto the Third Chapter of//Liber Legis.//They are intended to complement the regimen ofspiritual training sketched out in Libri Nu& Had(sub figurae XI & DLV). They are based in large measure on thetechniques embodied in the Spiritual Exercises of Ingatius Loyola.(Crowley wrote in Magick, “No one has understood the Magical Will better than Loyola.”) At the start of his text, Loyola declares that
This goal remains as worthy in the New Aeon as it was in the Old. Unlikethe methods of Libri Nu & Had, which are clearly to be undertaken byindividual aspirants working apart, these exercises may be worked in agroup in a retreat setting, just as the Ignatian material has been traditionallyapplied. Still, it seems that the best results may follow from solitaryapplication.
“Every man and every woman is a star.” We are all born free,independent, shining gloriously, each one a radiant world according tothe Law of Liberty. All objects within the experience of life exist tohelp the individual fulfill his True Will. From this it follows that wemust “love” (relate to) these objects “under will,”i.e. in a fashion such that they will help us attain our unique purposesin life.
Therefore we must make ourselves indifferent to all objects, exceptinasmuch as they contribute to our attainment. Acting accordingly, we shouldnot prefer health to sickness, riches to poverty, honor to dishonor, andso in all things we should desire and choose only those things which willbest help us attain the True Wills which we embody.
exercaFIRST DISCIPLINE: THE THREE YOKES
The exercitant should aggressively engage the methods of LiberIII, diligently keeping record of this work. The exercitant will profitably note this additional discussion of these practices from Liber ABA (Part II, Chapter VI):
Again let it be said that Liber III is a most admirable method for the beginner, and it will be best, even if he is very confident in his strength, to take the vow for very short periods, beginning with an hour and increasing daily by half-hours until the day is filled. Then let him rest awhile, and attempt a two-day practice; and so on until he is perfect.
He should also begin with the very easiest practices. But the thing which he is sworn to avoid should not be a thing which normally he would do infrequently; because the strain on the memory which subserves his vigilance would be very great, and the practice become difficult. It is just as well at first that the pain of his arm should be there at the time when he would normally do the forbidden thing, to warn him against its repetition.
There will thus be a clear connection in his mind of cause and effect, until he will be just as careful in avoiding this particular act which he has consciously determined, as in those other things which in childhood he has been trained to avoid.
exercaSECOND DISCIPLINE: SAYING “WILL”
The exercitant should zealously say “Will” over every meal,according to the following formula:
The questions in brackets are to be pronounced by another party to themeal, if one is present. The final statement may be followed with the interrogation, “Whatis that?” goading the exercitant to describe his or her current conceptionof the Great Work, which may in some cases be defined by duty& vows.
Variations of this practice should also be adopted for the occasionsof clothing oneself, retirement for slumber, the ingestion of wine or strangedrugs, and sexual activity.
exercaTHIRD DISCIPLINE: DUTY & VOWS
Certain regulations of behavior inhere in the Law of Thelema. Theseare treated in the paper "Duty"by Aleister Crowley. In addition to these rules, the thelemite is subjectto whatever vows and obligations may have been assumed through initiationor other voluntary commitments.
The exercitant should periodically examine his or her own disciplinein these regulations, according to the following points:
- The first point is to render praise to Ra-Hoor-Khuit, the Lord of theAeon.
- The second point is to ask to know my will and to attain it.
- The third point is to review my experiences since the previous examination,making special note of any of my actions, words, or thoughts that conflictwith my duty or vows.
- The fourth point is to ask for the strength, force and vigor of theLord to redress my failings.
- The fifth point is to renew my various vows and my devotion to duty.Close with the Cry ofthe Hawk.
exercaFOURTH DISCIPLINE: SOLAR DEVOTIONS
The observances detailed in LiberResh create the formal context for the work of these exercises, whichare meant to fulfill the instruction to “holy meditation” affordedby that ritual during the period in which they are undertaken. (Alternatively, another set of four daily solar devotions may be used, such as the “Adocentyn” ritual of the Barking God Project.) The examinationfor the discipline of Duty & Vows may be appended to the meditationat any one time of the day.
Each exercise may take a full hour. They are grouped into sets. In theclassical Ignatian format, the exercitant would spend a week on each setbefore moving on to the next. It is possible to telescope the exercisesinto a short retreat by spending only one day on each of the sets. Butit is preferable to spend as long as is needed with each set to achievethe desired results, before moving on to the following set. “Successis your proof.”
In a retreat setting, a bell may sound to declare the hour of devotion.Participants should salute and adore the sun wherever they may be at sucha time, after which they may convene at an appointed place for exercises.
exercaFIRST SET: HOOR-PAAR-KRAAT
exercaFIRST EXERCISE (Midnight)
The subject of this meditation is false will. It includes a preparatoryprayer, two preludes, three principal points, and a colloquy.
Before each of the exercises, the exercitant should briefly submit an addressto Ra-hoor-khuit. The purpose of the prayer is to ask that all of the exercitiant'sintentions, actions, and works may be in perfect accord with his or herown individual will, and the universal will of the Lord of the Aeon.
This prelude consists of a recollected or imagined setting for theexercise. In the present meditation, the setting consists of the childhoodand youth of the exercitant.
Following the establishment of the setting, the exercitant should requestof Ra-hoor-khuit the desired effect of the meditation, e.g. rejoicing atthe receipt of the Law, rage at the slave gods, or admiration for the saintsand adepts. In the present meditation, the goal is bewilderment and sorrow,in appreciation of how many lives have passed without realizing their truewills, and how little the exercitant comprehends the universal dimensionsof his or her own will.
The preparatory prayer and two preludes are used with every exercise. Thepreludes will vary with the content of the meditation.
I must recall the various false wills presented to me by the circumstancialauthorities of childhood and youth. I must endeavor to remember what meaningwas assigned to my life by parents, teachers, governments, religions, andother authorities in whose shadow I had to grow.
I should see how those false wills, even failing conscious adherence, havebeen able to influence my work through the three avenues of fear, guilt,and shame. I should realize that their effects have been so pervasive thatthey have obscured the natural will that was growing within me all along.And that the false wills that I associate with other people and institutionskeep me from benefiting from a full relationship with those others, insteadpoisoning the arrangement with fear, guilt, and shame.
The third point is to realize the relationship of false will to the Law,and to see how fear, guilt, and shame work against light, life, love andliberty. Let me recall specific instances of such defeats in my own life.Let me imagine false will as the condition of being bound in chains andcast into darkness.
I imagine Ra-hoor-khuit throned before me. He speaks with me of light,life, love, and liberty, and how the Lord desires that the Law ensure thesefor every star in the company of heaven. Then I shall meditate upon myselfand ask “How have I embraced the Law? How am I observing the Law?How ought I to promulgate the Law?” As I see the god enthroned, Ishall meditate on the thoughts that come to my mind. The colloquy is madeproperly as a servant speaks to his master, now asking some favor, nowaccusing myself for some misdeed, or again, making known my affairs toHim and seeking His advice concerning them. Conclude with the Cryof the Hawk.
exercaSECOND EXERCISE (Dawn)
This meditation on will consists of the preparatory prayer, two preludes,four points, and a colloquy. The preparatory prayer and first prelude arethe same as in the first exercise. The second prelude is to seek bewildermentand humiliation at one's failure to comprehend and attain one's true will.
I must review my will, recalling to mind the most genuine and far-reachingintentions of my life, looking at them year by year, period by period.Three things will assist this process: memory of the place and house whereI lived, memory of the associations I have had with others, and memoryof the positions which I have filled.
I should weigh for myself these various manifestations of will, consideringthe fruition or failure of each.
I should consider who I am and abase myself by these examples:
- How other persons have succeeded in knowledge and execution of theirwills.
- How animals and plants execute their wills without knowledge of them.
- How the celestial bodies emblemize the perfect universal will.
- Let me see myself as a darkened and obscure vessel in which divinewill is imprisoned.
I am to be struck with amazement and growing emotion as I considerthat whatever successes and well-being that I have enjoyed result fromthe accomplished wills of the stellar, mineral, vegetable, animal, human,and divine worlds; as I consider how, ignorant and unaccomplished of myown will, I have been bouyed by the universal will.
End this meditation with a colloquy directing my thoughts to the vengeanceof Ra-hoor-khuit. Petition at the throne of the God for the destructionof false will and self-delusion. Close with the Cryof the Hawk.
exercaTHIRD EXERCISE (Noon)
The third exercise repeats the preparatory prayer, the preludes, andthe seven points of the first two exercises, followed by three colloquies.During the seven points, I will make note of the points in which I havefelt my will stirring most deeply.
This colloquy is held with Our Lady the Scarlet Woman, that she may extendUnderstanding of these three things:
- The unity and puissance of my will.
- The disorder of my possessions and affections, so that I will relinquishmy desires, pouring them as blood into Her cup.
- The beauty and sublimity of the world, so that being filled with admirationof it, I may put aside vain and petty ambitions.
Conclude with an AveBabalon.
This colloquy is held with Chaos, the Father of Life. In the colloquy hetakes the form of a mighty serpent, and I ask him that he may vouchsafethe Wisdom to follow the promptings of Our Lady. Conclude with an AnimaTherion.
This colloquy is held with Ra-hoor-khuit, the Crowned and Conquering Child.I ask that the Lord will fortify me to acquire Understanding. Concludewith the Cry of the Hawk.
exercaFOURTH EXERCISE (Sunset)
This exercise is a repitition of the Third Exercise.
exercaSECOND SET: RA-HOOR-KHUIT
exercaTHE KINGDOM OF THE AEON (Dawn and Sunset)
This exercise is to be performed twice daily, in addition to the otherexercises of this set.
The prayer is as in the First Set.
The mental picture of the place for this meditation includes all of thenations, cities, towns, lands and wildernesses of the world.
The desired effect of this meditation is awareness of the universal Will.
I picture to myself a human king, chosen by Ra-Hoor-Khuit himself, to whomall adepts and all thelemites pay respect and reverence.
I consider how this king speaks to all his subjects, saying, “It ismy will to guide the world to bliss and fulfillment. Therefore whoeverwishes to come with me must share this will and be alert for its presenceor absence in others. They must also be willing to work with me by day,and watch with me by night. They will then share with me in the victoryas they have shared in the toils.”
I consider what the answer of good subjects ought to be to such a generousand noble king, and consequently, if anyone whould refuse the request ofsuch a king, how he or she would deserve to be despised by everyone, andconsidered an unworthy knight.
If I find such a call of an earthly king persuasive, how much more worthyof consideration is it to see Ra-Hoor-Khuit, the Crowned and ConqueringChild, and before Him, every man and every woman, to whom He calls andsays: “It is My will to conquer the whole world and all My enemies,and thus to establish a kingdom of true wisdom and perfect happiness. Whoeverwishes to come with Me must labor with Me, so that being subject to Mein strife, he may also be subject to Me in harmony.”
I consider that all persons who have judgment and reason will offer themselvescompletely for this work.
Continue with the dawn or sunset exercise.
In these exercises (for midnight, dawn, noon, and sunset), the preparatoryprayer is as usual, and it is followed by three preludes.
The first prelude consists of a review of the history of the subject ofthe meditation, which will vary by the day or the hour.
The second prelude establishes the setting of the meditation, as in thefirst prelude of the first set.
The third prelude asks for the object of the meditation, as in thesecond prelude of the first set.
The points of the exercise vary with the subject of meditation. A prayerappropriate to the subject follows. The following seven subjects are recommended.
ACROSS THE GULF
(Object: Awareness of the inexorable Plan of the Aeons)
- The previous Equinox of the Gods, with Osiris taking the place of Isis.
- Societies rise and fall, and Chaos advances.
- Ankh-f-n-Khonsu paints the Stele of Revealing before being slain tobe entombed with the royalty that he has served.
INITIATION OF THE PROPHET
(Object: Awareness of human initiative and participation in the Plan ofthe Aeons)
- The Brothers of the A∴A∴, i.e. the Hidden Masters or Secret Chiefs,prepare for the change of the Aeon by cultivating adepts and inciting theformation of initiatory Orders and Societies: the Fratres of the Rosy Cross,Freemasons, cabalistic and alchemical orders, theosophists, etc.
- The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn emerges as a late developmentof this project, under the preliminary guidance of an adept known as S.D.A.–guidancewithdrawn before it has initiated any adepts of its own.
- Aleister Crowley is initiated as a Neophyte in the Golden Dawn, takingthe motto “Perdurabo.”
Prayer: Nike Babalon
THE RECEPTION OF THE LAW
(Object: Gratitude for the Law)
- Perdurabo honeymoons in Cairo, performs the Preliminary Invocation of the Goëtia in the Great Pyramid.
- In an after-hours tour of the Boulak Museum, Ouarda identifies theStele of Revealing. Perdurabo invokes Horus as instructed.
- Aiwass appears and dictates the Book.
“NU IS YOUR REFUGE”
- The universe, extended infinitely in time and space, imagined as awoman of exquisite dark beauty.
- The exercitant, alone in the night desert, invoking fervently.
- The dissolution of the exercitant in the jewelled sky.
“HADIT YOUR LIGHT”
(Object: Focused intention to attain)
- Fatal destiny, buried at the core of every object and event, imaginedas a coiled serpent.
- The exercitant, reposing victoriously in a bed of purple, caressed byadorers.
- The exaltation of the exercitant on a splendid chariot, with the uraeusserpent burning on the exercitant's brow.
Prayer: Hail Babalon
“I AM THE STRENGTH, FORCE, VIGOUR OF YOUR ARMS”
(Object: Empowerment to advance the Aeon)
- The governing spirit of the age, personified as the Aeon Ra-hoor-khuit.
- The exercitant, dressed in armor for battle in the cause of freedom underthe command of Ra-hoor-khuit.
- Maat, the Aeon of Truth and Justice, waits in the air for the signsof Ra-hoor-khuit's victory below.
Prayer: Cry of theHawk
exercaREADING (Midnight and Noon)
“O Thou beloved One! is there not an end? Nay, but there is anend. Awake! arise! gird up thy limbs, O thou runner; bear thou the Wordunto the mighty cities, yea, unto the mighty cities.”
“The ending of the words is the Word Abrahadabra.”
Love is the law, love under will
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