The First Chapter

The New Comment to Liber AL

I.1

Had! The manifestation of Nuit.

The Old Comment

1. Compare II.1, the complement of this verse. In Nu is Had concealed; by Had is Nu manifested. Nu being 56 and Had 9, their conjunction results in 65, Adonai, the Holy Guardian Angel. Also Hoor, who combines the force of the Sun with that of Mars. Adonai is primarily Solar, but 65 is a number sacred to Mars.

See the “Sepher Sephiroth”, and “The Wake World” in “Knox Om Pax” for further details on 65.

Note moreover, the sixty-five pages of the MS. of Liber Legis.

Or, counting NV 56, Had 10, we get 66, which is (1-11). Had is further the centre of the Key-Word ABRAHADABRA.

The New Comment

The theogony of our Law is entirely scientific, Nuit is Matter, Hadit is Motion, in their full physical sense.«The Proton and the Electron, in a metaphysical sense, suggest close analogies.» They are the Tao and Teh of Chinese Philosophy; or, to put it very simply, the Noun and Verb in grammar. Our central Truth – beyond other philosophies – is that these two infinities cannot exist apart. This extensive subject must be studied in our other writings, notably “Berashith”, my own Magical Diaries, especially those of 1919, 1920 and 1921, and “The Book of Wisdom or Folly”. See also “The Soldier and the Hunchback”. Further information concerning Nuit and Hadit is given in the course of this Book; but I must here mention that the Brother mentioned in connexion with the “Wizard Amalantrah” etc. (Samuel bar Aiwaz) identifies them with ANU and ADAD the supreme Mother and Father deities of the Sumerians. Taken in connexion with the AIWAZ identification, this is very striking indeed.

It is also to be considered that Nu is connected with North, while Had is Sad, Set, Satan, Sat (equals “Being” in Sanskrit), South. He is then the Sun, one point concentring Space, as also is any other star. The word ABRAHADABRA is from Abrasax, Father Sun, which adds to 365. For the North-South antithesis see Fabre d'Olivet's “Hermeneutic Interpretation of the Origin of the Social State in Man”. Note “Sax” also as a Rock, or Stone, whence the symbol of the Cubical Stone, the Mountain Abiegnus, and so forth. Nu is also reflected in Naus, Ship, etc., and that whole symbolism of Hollow Space which is familiar to all. There is also a question of identifying Nu with On, Noah, Oannes, Jonah, John, Dianus, Diana, and so on. But these identifications are all partial only, different facets of the Diamond Truth. We may neglect all these questions, and remain in the simplicity of this Her own Book.

I.2

The unveiling of the company of heaven.

The Old Comment

2. This book is a new revelation, or unveiling of the hold ones.

The New Comment

This explains the general theme of this revelation: gives the Dramatis Personae, so to speak.

It is cosmographically, the conception of the two Ultimate Ideas; Space, and That which occupies Space.

It will however appear later that these two ideas may be resolved into one, that of Matter; with Space, its 'Condition' or 'form', included therein. This leaves the idea of 'Motion' for Hadit, whose interplay with Nuit makes the Universe.

Time should perhaps be considered as a particular kind or dimension of Space.«In “Berashith” all qualities soever are considered as so many dimensions. I see no reason, 19 years later, for receding from this view.»

Further, this verse is to be taken with the next. The 'company of heaven' is Mankind, and its 'unveiling' is the assertion of the independent godhead of every man and every woman!

Further, as Khabs (see verse 8) is “Star”, there is a further meaning; this Book is to reveal the Secret Self of a man, i.e. to initiate him.

I.3

Every man and every woman is a star.

The New Comment

This thesis is fully treated in “The Book of Wisdom or Folly”. Its main statement is that each human being is an Element of the Cosmos, self-determined and supreme, co-equal with all other Gods.

From this the Law “Do what thou wilt” follows logically. One star influences another by attraction, of course; but these are incidents of self-predestined orbits. There is, however, a mystery of the planets, revolving about a star of whom they are parts; but I shall not discuss it fully in this place.

Man is the Middle Kingdom. The Great Kingdom is Heaven, with each star as an unit; the Little Kingdom is the Molecule, with each Electron as an unit. (The Ratio of these three is regularly geometrical, each being 10 to the 22 times greater in size than its neighbour.)

See “The Book of the Great Auk” for the demonstration that each 'star' is the Centre of the Universe to itself, and that a 'star' simple, original, absolute, can add to its omnipotence, omniscience and omnipresence without ceasing to be itself; that its one way to do this is to gain experience, and that therefore it enters into combinations in which its true Nature is for awhile disguised, even from itself. Analogously, an atom of carbon may pass through myriad Proteus-phases, appearing in Chalk, Chloroform, Sugar, Sap, Brain and Blood, not recognizable as “itself” the black amorphous solid, but recoverable as such, unchanged by its adventures.

This theory is the only one which explains “why” the Absolute limited itself, and why It does not recognize Itself during its cycle of incarnations. It disposes of “Evil” and the Origin of Evil; without denying Reality to “Evil”, or insulting our daily observation and our common sense.

I here quote (with one or two elucidatory insertions) the original note originally made by Me on this subject.

May 14, 1919, 6.30 p.m.

All elements must at one time have been separate – that would be the case with great heat. Now when atoms get to the sun, when we get to the sun, we get that immense, extreme heat, and all the elements are themselves again. Imagine that each atom of each element possesses the memory of all his adventures in combination. By the way, that atom, fortified with that memory, would not be the same atom; yet it is, because it has gained nothing from anywhere except this memory. Therefore, by the lapse of time and by virtue of memory, a thing (although originally an Infinite Perfection) could become something more than itself; and thus a real development is possible. One can then see a reason for any element deciding to go through this series of incarnations (god, that was a magnificent conception!) because so, and only so, can he go; and he suffers the lapse of memory of His own Reality of Perfection which he has during these incarnations, because he knows he will come through unchanged.

Therefore you have an infinite number of gods, individual and equal though diverse, each one supreme and utterly indestructible. This is also the only explanation of how a being could create a world in which war, evil, “etc”. exist. Evil is only an appearance because, like “good”, it cannot affect the substance itself, but only multiply its combinations. This is something the same as mystic monism, but the objection to that theory is that God has to create things which are all parts of himself, so that their interplay is false. If we presuppose many elements, their interplay is natural. It is no objection to this theory to ask who made the elements – the elements are at least there; and God, when you look for him, is not there. Theism is “obscurum per obscurius”. A male star is built up from the centre outwards, a female star from the circumference inwards. This is what is meant when we say that woman has no soul. It explains fully the difference between the sexes.

{WEH NOTE: Although Crowley evidently felt that this characterization was true simply, it should be noted that this comment is not CLASS A. The idea of center outwards and circumference inwards may actually have described the impression received by a male of the Victorian age in regard to men and women. Certainly every male mystic has the state here described as “circumference inward”, “…no soul” and “female” at the time of reception — vide Liber LXV. Equally, every woman who acts positively from awareness of her identity would qualify for “center outwards”, “soul” and “male” in this sense. What Crowley identified as sex-linked may better be considered as modality linked, with the sexual linkage as much an accident of culture as anything else.}

I.4

Every number is infinite; there is no difference.

The New Comment

This is a great and holy mystery. Although each star has its own number, each number is equal and supreme. Every man and every woman is not only a part of God, but the Ultimate God. “The Centre is everywhere and the circumference nowhere”. The old definition of God takes new meaning for us. Each one of us is the One God. This can only be understood by the initiate; one must acquire certain high states of consciousness to appreciate it.

I have tried to put it simply in the note to the last verse. I may add that in the Trance called by me the “Star-Sponge” – see note to v. 59 – this apprehension of the Universe is seen as an astral Vision. It began as “Nothingness with Sparkles” in 1916 E.V. by Lake Pasquaney in New Hampshire, U.S.A. and developed into fullness on various subsequent occasions. Each 'Star' is connected directly with every other star, and the Space being Without Limit (Ain Soph) the Body of Nuith, any one star is as much the Centre as any other. Each man instinctively feels that he is the Centre of the Cosmos, and philosophers have jeered at his presumption. But it was he that was precisely right. The yokel is no more 'petty' than the King, nor the earth than the Sun. Each simple elemental Self is supreme, Very God of Very God. Ay, in this Book is Truth almost insufferably splendid, for Man has veiled himself too long from his own glory: he fears the abyss, the ageless Absolute. But Truth shall make him free!

It must be understood from the beginning that this book contains the keys of all the knowledge necessary for the operation of the Magical Formulae of the world during the Aeon which it initiates. In this very early verse is already given a Master Key to mathematics and metaphysics. On applying this to current problems of thought, it will be discovered that the long-fast doors fly open at a touch.

Let use briefly examine the implications of this statement. It should not occasion surprise to find that the Book of the Law not only anticipates the conclusion of the greatest modern mathematicians like Poincare, but goes beyond them. It was necessary that this should be the case, so that the book might be, beyond question, the expression of a mind possessed of superior powers to any incarnated mind soever.

It may clarify the subject if we venture to paraphrase the text. The first statement “Every number is infinite” is, on the face of it, a contradiction in terms. But that is only because of the accepted idea of a number as not being a thing in itself but merely a term in series homogeneous in character. All orthodox mathematical argument is based on definitions involving this conception. For example, it is fundamental to admit the identity of 2 plus 1 with 1 plus 2. The Book of the Law presents an altogether different conception of the nature of number.

Mathematical ideas involve what is called a continuum, which is, superficially at least, of a different character to the physical continuum. For instance, in the physical continuum, the eye can distinguish between the lengths of one-inch stick and a two-inch stick, but not between these which measure respectively one thousand miles and one thousand miles and on inch, though the difference in each case is equally an inch. The inch difference is either perceptible or not perceptible, according to the conditions. Similarly, the eye can distinguish either the one-inch or the two-inch stick from one of an inch and a half. But we cannot continue this process indefinitely – we can always reach a point where the extremes are distinguishable from each other but their mean from neither of the extremes. Thus, in the physical continuum, if we have three terms, A, B, and C, A appears equal to B, and B to C, yet C appears greater than A. Our reason tells us that this conclusion is an absurdity, that we have been deceived by the grossness of our perceptions. It is useless for us to invent instruments which increase the accuracy of our observations, for though they enable us to distinguish between the three terms of our series, and to restore the theoretical Hierarchy, we can always continue the process of division until we arrive at another series: A', B', C', where A' and C' are distinguishable from each other, but where neither is distinguishable from B'.

On the above grounds, modern thinkers have endeavoured to create a distinction between the mathematical and the physical continuum, yet it should surely be obvious that the defect in our organs of sense, which is responsible for the difficulty, shows that our method of observation debars us from appreciating the true nature of things by this method of observation.

However, in the case of the mathematical continuum, its character is such that we can continue indefinitely the process of division between any two mathematical expressions so-ever, without interfering in any way with the regularity of the process, or creating a condition in which two terms become indistinguishable from each other. The mathematical continuum, moreover, is not merely a question of series of integral numbers, but of other types of numbers, which, like integers, express relations between existing ideas, yet are not measurable in terms of that series. Such numbers are themselves parts of a continuum of their own, which interpenetrates the series of integers without touching it, at least necessarily.

For example: the tangents of angles made by the separation of two lines from coincidence to perpendicularity, increases constantly from zero to infinity. But almost the only integral value is found at the angle of 45 degrees where it is unity.

It may be said that there is an infinite number of such series, each possessing the same property of infinite divisibility. The ninety tangents of angles differing by one degree between zero and ninety may be multiplied sixty fold by taking the minute instead of the degree as the co-efficient of the progression, and these again sixty fold by introducing the second to divide the minute. So on ad infinitum.

All these considerations depend upon the assumption that every number is no more than a statement of relation. The new conception, indicated by the Book of the Law, is of course in no way contradictory of the orthodox view; but it adds to it in the most practically important manner. A statistician computing the birth-rate of the eighteenth century makes no special mention of the birth of Napoleon. This does not invalidate his results; but it demonstrates how exceedingly limited is their scope even with regard to their own object, for the birth of Napoleon had more influence on the death-rate than another other phenomenon included in his calculations.

A short digression is necessary. There may be some who are still unaware of the fact, but the mathematical and physical sciences are in no sense concerned with absolute truth, but only with the relations between observed phenomena and the observer. The statement that the acceleration of falling bodies is thirty-two feet per second, is only the roughest of approximation at the best. In the first place, it applies to earth. As most people know, in the Moon the rate is only one-sixth as great. But, even on earth, it differs in a marked manner between the poles and the equator, and not only so, but it is affected by so small a matter as the neighborhood of a mountain.

It is similarly inaccurate to speak of “repeating” an experiment. The exact conditions never recur. One cannot boil water twice over. The water is not the same, and the observer is not the same. When a man says that he is sitting still, he forgets that he is whirling through space with vertiginous rapidity.

It is possibly such considerations that led earlier thinkers to admit that there was no expectation of finding truth in anything but mathematics, and they rashly supposed that the apparent ineluctability of her laws constitutes a guarantee of their coherence with truth. But mathematics is entirely a matter of convention, no less so than the rules of Chess or Baccarat. When we say that “two straight lines cannot enclose a space”, we mean no more than we are unable to think of them as doing so. The truth of the statement depends, consequently, on that of the hypothesis that our minds bear witness to truth. Yet the insane man may be unable to think that he is not the victim of mysterious persecution. We find that no reason for believing him. It is useless to reply that mathematical truths receive universal consent, because they do not. It is a matter of elaborate and tedious training to persuade even the few people when we teach of the truth of the simplest theorems in Geometry. There are very few people living who are convinced – or even aware – of the more recondite results of analysis. It is no reply to this criticism to say that all men can be convinced if they are sufficiently trained, for who is to guarantee that such training does not warp the mind?

But when we have brushed away these preliminary objections, we find that the nature of the statement itself is not, and cannot be, more than a statement of correspondences between our ideas. In the example chosen, we have five ideas; those of duality, of straightness, of a line, of enclosing, and of space. None of these are more than ideas. Each one is meaningless until it is defined as corresponding in a certain manner to certain other ideas. We cannot define any word soever, except by identifying it with two or more equally undefined words. To define it by a single word would evidently constitute a tautology.

We are thus forced to the conclusion that all investigation may be stigmatized as obscurum per obscurium. Logically, our position is even worse. We define A as BC, where B is DE, and C is FG. Not only does the process increase the number of our unknown quantities in Geometrical progression at every step, but we must ultimately arrive at a point where the definition of Z involves the term A. Not only is all argument confined within a vicious circle, but so is the definition of the terms on which any argument must be based.

It might be supposed that the above chain of reasoning made all conclusions impossible. But this is only true when we investigate the ultimate validity of our propositions. We can rely on water boiling at 100 degrees Centigrade,«In revising this comment, I note with amusement that it had escaped me that 100 degrees C. is by definition the temperature at which water boils! I have seen it boil at about 84 degrees C. on the Baltoro Glacier, and determined my height above sea-level by observing the boiling point so often that I had quite forgotten the original conditions of Celsius.» although, for mathematical accuracy, water never boils twice running at precisely the same temperature, and although, logically, the term water is an incomprehensible mystery.

To return to our so-called axiom; Two straight lines cannot enclose a space. It has been one of the most important discoveries of modern mathematics, that this statement, even if we assume the definition of the various terms employed, is strictly relative, not absolute; and that common sense is impotent to confirm it as in the case of the boiling water. For Bolyai, Lobatschewsky, and Riemann have shown conclusively that a consistent system of geometry can be erected on any arbitrary axiom soever. If one chooses to assume that the sum of the interior angles of a triangle is either greater than or less than two right angles, instead of equal to them, we can construct two new systems of Geometry, each perfectly consistent with itself, and we possess no means soever of deciding which of the three represents truth.

I may illustrate this point by a simple analogy. We are accustomed to assert that we go from France to China, a form of expression which assumes that those countries are stationary, while we are mobile. But the fact might be equally well expressed by saying that France left us and China came to us. In either case there is no implication of absolute motion, for the course of the earth through space is not taken into account. We implicitly refer to a standard of repose which, in point of fact, we know not to exist. When I say that the chair in which I am sitting has remained stationary for the last hour, I mean only “stationary in respect to myself and my house”. In reality, the earth's rotation has carried it over one thousand miles, and the earth's course some seventy thousand miles, from its previous position. All that we can expect of any statement is that it should be coherent with regard to a series of assumption which we know perfectly well to be false and arbitrary.

It is commonly imagined, by those who have not examined the nature of the evidence, that our experience furnishes a criterion by which we may determine which of the possible symbolic representations of Nature is the true one. They suppose that Euclidian Geometry is in conformity with Nature because the actual measurements of the interior angles of a triangle tell us that their sum is in fact equal to two right angles, just as Euclid tells us that theoretical considerations declare to be the case. They forget that the instruments which we use for our measurements are themselves conceived of as in conformity with the principles of Euclidian Geometry. In other words, them measure ten yards with a piece of wood about which they really known nothing but that its length is one-tenth of the ten yards in question.

The fallacy should be obvious. The most ordinary reflection should make it clear that our results depend upon all sorts of condition. If we inquire, “What is the length of the thread of quicksilver in a thermometer?”, we can only reply that it depends on the temperature of the instrument. In fact, we judge temperature by the difference of the coefficients of expansion due to heat of the two substances, glass and mercury.

Again, the divisions of the scale of the thermometer depend upon the temperature of boiling water, which is not a fixed thing. It depends on the pressure of the earth's atmosphere, which varies (according to time and place) to the extent of over twenty per cent. Most people who talk of “scientific accuracy” are quite ignorant of elementary facts of this kind.

It will be said, however, that having defined a yard as the length of a certain bar deposited in the Mint in London, under given conditions of temperature and pressure, we are at least in a position to measure the length of other objects by comparison, directly or indirectly, with that standard. In a rough and ready way, that is more or less the case. But if it should occur that the length of things in general were halved or doubled, we could not possibly be aware of the other so-called laws of Nature. We have no means so-ever of determining even so simple a matter as to whether one of two events happens before or after the other.

Let us take an instance. It is well known that the light of the sun requires some eight minutes to reach the earth. Simultaneous «Simultaneity, closely considered, possesses no meaning soever. See A.A.Eddington, “Space, Time and Gravitation”, 61.» {WEH NOTE: SIC. This is page 51 in Eddington, op. cit. 1920 edition, 1959 reprint: “The denial of absolute simultaneity is a natural complement to the denial of absolute motion …”} phenomena in the two bodies would therefore appear to be separated in time to that extent; and, from a mathematical standpoint, the same discrepancy theoretically exists, even if we suppose the two bodies in question to be only a few yards one more remote than the other. Recent consideration of these facts has show the impossibility of determining the fact of priority, so that it may be just as reasonable to assert that a dagger-thrust is caused by a wound as vice versa. Lewis Carroll has an amusing parable to this effect in “Through the Looking-Glass”, which work, by the way, with its predecessor, is packed with examples of philosophical paradox. «If I strike a billiard ball, and it moves, both my will and its motion have causes long antecedent to the act. I may consider both my Work and its reaction as twin effects of the eternal Universe. The moved arm and ball are part of a state of the Cosmos which resulted necessarily from its momentarily previous state, and so, back for ever. Thus, my Magical Work is only on of the cause-effects necessarily concomitant with the cause-effects which set the ball in motion. I may therefore regard the act of striking as a cause-effect of my original Will to move the ball, though necessarily previous to its motion. But the case of Magical work is not quite analogous. For I am such that I am compelled to perform Magick in order to make my Will to prevail; so that the cause of my doing the Work is also he cause of the ball's motion, and there is no reason why one should precede the other, See Book 4, Part III, for a full discussion. (Since writing the above, I have been introduced to “Space, Time and Gravitation”, where similar arguments are adduced.)»

We may now return to our text “Every number is infinite”. The fact that every number is a term in a mathematical continuum is no more an adequate definition than if we were to describe a picture as Number So-and-So in the catalogue. Every number is a thing in itself,«I regret to find myself in disagreement with the Hon. Bertrand Russell with regard to the conception of the nature of Number.» possessing an infinite number of properties peculiar to itself.

Let us consider, for a moment, the numbers 8 and 9. 8 is the number of cubes measuring one inch each way in a cube which measures two inches each way; while 9 is the number of squares measuring one inch each way in a square measuring three inches each way. There is a sort of reciprocal correspondence between them in this respect.

By adding one to eight, we obtain nine, so that we might define unity as that which has the property of transforming a three-dimensional expansion of two into a two-dimensional expansion of three. But if we add unity to nine, unity appears as that which has the power of transforming the two-dimensional expansion of three aforesaid into a mere oblong measuring 5 by 2. Unity thus appears as in possession of two totally different properties. Are we then to conclude that it is not the same unity? How are we to describe unity, how know it? Only by experiment can we discover the nature of its action on any given number. In certain minor respects, this action exhibits regularity. We know, for example, that it uniformly transforms an odd number into an even one, and vice versa, but that is practically the limit of what we can predict as to its action.

We can go further, and state that any number soever possesses this infinite variety of powers to transform any other number, even by the primitive process of addition. We observe also how the manipulation of any two numbers can be arranged so that the result is incommensurable with either, or even so that ideas are created of a character totally incompatible with our original conception of numbers as a series of positive integers. We obtain unreal and irrational expressions, ideas of a wholly different order, by a very simple juxtaposition of such apparently comprehensible and commonplace entities as integers.

There is only one conclusion to be drawn from these various considerations. It is that the nature of every number is a thing peculiar to itself, a thing inscrutable and infinite, a thing inexpressible, even if we could understand it.

In other words, a number is a soul, in the proper sense of the term, an unique and necessary element in the totality of existence.

We may not turn to the second phrase of the text: “there is no difference”. It must strike the student immediately that this is, on the face of it, a point blank contradiction of all that has been said above. What have we done but insist upon the essential difference between any tow numbers, and show that even their sequential relation is little more than arbitrary, being indeed rather a convenient way of regarding them for the purpose of coordinating them with out understanding than anything else? On a similar principle, we number public vehicles or telephones without implication even of necessary sequence. The appellation denotes nothing beyond membership of a certain class of objects, and is indeed expressly chosen to avoid being entangled in considerations of any characteristics of the individual so designated except that cursory designation.

when it is said that there is no difference between numbers (for in this sense I think we must understand the phrase), we must examine the meaning of the word 'difference'. Difference is the denial of identity in the first place, but the word is not properly applied to discriminate between objects which have no similarity. One does not ask, “What is the difference between a yard and a minute?” in practical life. We do ask the difference between two things of the same kind. The Book of the Law is trying to emphasize the doctrine that each number is unique and absolute. Its relations with other numbers are therefore in the nature of illusion. They are the forms of presentation under which we perceive their semblances; and it is to the last degree important to realize that these semblances only indicate the nature of the realities behind them in the same way in which the degrees on a thermoetric scale indicate heat. It is quite unphilosophical to say that 50 degrees Centigrade is hotter than 40 degrees. Degrees of temperature are simply conventions invented by ourselves to describe physical states of a totally different order; and, while the heat of a body may be regarded as an inherent property of its own, our measure of that heat in no way concerns it.

We use instruments of science to inform us of the nature of the various objects which we wish to study; but our observations never reveal the thing as it is in itself. They only enable us to compare unfamiliar with familiar experiences. The use of an instrument necessarily implies the imposition of alien conventions. To take the simplest example: when we say that we see a thing, we only mean that our consciousness is modified by its existence according to a particular arrangement of lenses and other optical instruments, which exist in our eyes and not in the object perceived. So also, the fact that the sum of 2 and 1 is three, affords us but a single statement of relations symptomatic of the presentation to us of those numbers.

We have, therefore, no means soever of determining the difference between any two numbers, except in respect of a particular and very limited relation. Furthermore, in view of the infinity of every number, it seems not unlikely that the apparent differences observed by us would tend to disappear with the disappearance of the arbitrary conditions which we attach to them to facilitate, as we think, our examination. We may also observe that each number, being absolute, is the centre of its universe, so that all other numbers, so far as they are related to it, are its appanages. Each number is, therefore, the totality of the universe, and there cannot be any difference between one infinite universe and another. The triangle ABC may look very different from the standpoints of A, B, and C respectively; each view is true, absolutely; yet it is the same triangle.

The above interpretation of the text is of a revolutionary character, from the point of view of science and mathematics. Investigation of the lines here laid down will lead to the solution of these grave problems which have so long baffled the greatest minds of the world, on account of the initial error of attaching them on lines which involve self-contradiction. The attempt to discover the nature of things by a study of the relations between them is precisely parallel with the ambition to obtain a finite value of Pi. Nobody wishes to deny the practical value of the limited investigations which have so long preoccupied the human mind. But it is only quite recently that even the best thinkers have begun to recognize that their work was only significant within a certain order. It will soon be admitted on all hands that the study of the nature of things in themselves is a work for which the human reason is incompetent; for the nature of reason is such that it must always formulate itself in proportions which merely assert a positive or negative relation between a subject and a predicate. Men will thus be led to the development of a faculty, superior to reason, whose apprehension is independent of the hieroglyphic representations of which reason so vainly makes use.«See “Eleusis”, A. Crowley Collected Works, Vol. III, Epilogue.» {This then will} be the foundation of the true spiritual science which is the proper tendency of the evolution of man. This Science will clarify, without superseding, the old; but it will free men from the bondage of mind, little by little, just as the old science has freed them from the bondage of matter.

This science is the proper and particular study of initiates, and its principia are formulated in the Book of the Law. This Book may therefore be regarded as indicating a complete revolution in human affairs, for it advances mankind in the most radical manner. The road of attainment to self-realisation is made open as never before has been done in the history of the planet.

I.5

Help me, o warrior lord of Thebes, in my unveiling before the Children of men!

The Old Comment

5. Nu, to unveil herself, needs a mortal intermediary, in the first instance.

It is to be supposed that ankh-f-n-khonsu, the warrior lord of Thebes, priest of Men Tu, is in some subtle manner identical with either Aiwass or the Beast.

The New Comment

Here Nuit appeals, simply and directly, recognizing the separate function of each Star of her Body. Though all is One, each part of that One has its own special work, each Star its particular Orbit.

In addressing me as warrior lord of Thebes, it appears as if She perceived a certain continuity or identity of myself with Ankh-f-n-khonsu, whose Stele is the Link with Antiquity of this Revelation. See Equinox I, VII, pp. 363-400a, for the account of this event.

The unveiling is the Proclamation of the Truth previously explained, that the Body of Nuith occupies Infinite Space, so that every Star thereof is Whole in itself, an independent and absolute Unit. They differ as Carbon and Calcium differ, but each is a simple “immortal” Substance, or at least a form of some simpler Substance. Each soul is thus absolute, and 'good' or 'evil' are merely terms descriptive of relations between destructible combinations. Thus Quinine is 'good' for a malarial patient, but 'evil' for the germ of the disease. Heat is 'bad' for ice-cream and 'good' for coffee. The indivisible essence of things, their 'souls', are indifferent to all conditions soever, for none can in any way affect them.

AL I,6: “Be thou Hadit, my secret centre, my heart & my tongue!”

The Old Comment

6. The recipient of this knowledge is to identify himself with Hadit, and thus fully express the thoughts of her heart in her very language.

The New Comment

Nuit formulates me as Hadit, especially in the three centres of consciousness of her Being. IN this way, for this purpose, I became the complement of Her.

These centres are those of Love, Life and language. Duality is the condition of all three. It will appear later how it is that None and Two are identical; they are distinct in our minds only because those minds are conscious, and therefore think of “two” as their own state. But the unconscious mind thinks Nothing, and is Nothing. Yet it is the same mind.

Nuith selects three centres of Her Body to become “Two” with Hadit; for she asks me to declare Her in these three. Infinite freedom, all-embracing, for physical Love; boundless continuity for Life; and the silent rhythm of the Stars for Language. These three conceptions are Her gift to us.

AL I,7: “Behold! it is revealed by Aiwass the minister of Hoor-paar-kraat.”

The Old Comment

7. Aiwass – see Introduction. He is 78, Mezla, the “influence” from the Highest Crown, and the number of cards in the Tarot, Rota, the all-embracing Wheel.

Hoor-paar-Kraat – see II, 8.

Aiwass is called the minister of Hoor-paar-Kraat, the God of Silence; for his word is the Speech of the Silence.

The New Comment

Aiwass is the name given by Ouarda the Seer as that of the Intelligence Communicating. See note to Title.

Hoor-paar-Kraat or Harpocrates, the “Babe in the Egg of Blue”, is not merely the God of Silence in a conventional sense. He represents the Higher Self, the Holy Guardian Angel. The connexion is with the symbolism of the Dwarf in Mythology. He contains everything in Himself, but is unmanifested. See II:8.

He is the First Letter of the Alphabet, Aleph, whose number is One, and his card in the Tarot is The Fool, numbered Zero. Aleph is attributed to the “Element” (in the old classification of things) of Air.

Now as “One” or Aleph he represents the Male Principle, the First Cause, and the free breath of Life, the sound of the vowel A being made with the open throat and mouth.

As Zero he represents the female Principle, the fertile Mother. (An old name for the card is Mat, from the Italian 'Matto', fool, but earlier also from Maut, the Egyptian Vulture-Mother-Goddess). Fertile, for the 'Egg of Blue' is the Uterus, and in the Macrocosm the Body of Nuith, and it contains the Unborn Babe, helpless yet protected and nourished against the crocodiles and tigers shown on the card, just as the womb is sealed during gestation. He sits on a lotus, the yoni, which floats on the 'Nile', the amniotic fluid.

In his absolute innocence and ignorance he is “The Fool”; he is the 'Saviour', being the Son who shall trample on the crocodiles and tigers, and avenge his father Osiris. Thus we see him as the “Great Fool” of Celtic legend, the “Pure Fool” of Act I of “Parsifal”, and, generally speaking, the insane person whose words have always been taken for oracles.

But to be 'Saviour' he must be born and grow to manhood; thus Parsifal acquires the Sacred Lance, emblem of virility. He usually wears the 'Coat of many colours' like Joseph the 'dreamer'; so he is also now the Green Man of spring festivals. But his 'folly' is now not innocence but inspiration of wine; he drinks from the Graal, offered to him by the Priestess.

So we see him fully armed as Bacchus Diphues, male and female in one, bearing the Thyrsus-rod, and a cluster of grapes or a wineskin, while a tiger leaps up by his side. This form is suggested in the Taro card, where 'The fool' is shown with a long wand and carrying a sack; his coat is motley. Tigers and Crocodiles follow him, thus linking this image with that of Harpocrates.

Almost identical symbols are those of the secret God of the Templars, the bi-sexual Baphomet, and of Zeus Arrhenothelus, equally bi-sexual, the Father-Mother of All in One Person. (He is shown in this full form in the Tarot Trump XV, “the Devil”.) Now Zeus being lord of Air, we are reminded that Aleph is the letter of Air.

As Air we find the “Wandering Fool” pure wanton Breath, yet creative. Wind was supposed of old to impregnate the Vulture, which therefore was chosen to symbolize the Mother-Goddess.

He is the Wandering Knight or Prince of Fairy Tales who marries the King's Daughter. This legend is derived from certain customs among exogamic tribes, for which see “The Golden Bough”.

Thus one Europa, Semele and others claimed that Zeus – Air«Zeus obtained Air for his kingdom in the partition with Hades, who took Fire, and Poseidon, who took Water. Shu is the Egyptian God of the Firmament. There is a great difficulty here, etymologically. Zeus is connected with IAO, Abrasax, and the Dental Sibilant Gods of the Great Mysteries, with the South and Hadit, Ada, Set, Saturn, Adonai, Attis, Adonis; he is even the “Jesus”, slain with the Lance, whose blood is collected in a Cup. Yet he is also to be identified with the opposite party of the North and Nuit, with the “John” slain with the Sword, whose flesh is placed upon a Disk, in the Lesser Mysteries, baptizing with Water as “Jesus” with Fire, with On, Oannes, Noah, and the like.

It seems as if this great division, which has wrought such appalling havoc upon the Earth, were originally no more than a distinction adopted for convenience. It is indeed the task of this Book to reduce Theology to the interplay of the Dyad Nuith and Hadith, these being themselves conceived as complementary, as Two equivalent to Naught, “divided for lvoe's sake, for the chance of union.”» – had enjoyed them in the form of a beast, bird, or what not; while later Mary attributed her condition to the agency of a Spirit – Spiritus, breath, or air – in the shape of a dove.

But the “Small Person” of Hindu mysticism, the Dwarf insane yet crafty of many legends in many lands, is also this same “Holy Ghost”, or Silent Self of a man, or his Holy Guardian Angel.

He is almost the “Unconscious” of Freud, unknown, unaccountable, the silent Spirit, blowing “whither it listeth, but thou canst not tell whence it cometh or whither it goeth”. It commands with absolute authority when it appears at all, despite conscious reason and judgment.

Aiwass is then, as this verse 7 states, the “minister” of this Hoor-paar-Kraat, that is of the Saviour of the World in the larger sense, and of mine own “Silent Self” in the lesser. A “minister” is one who performs a service, in this case evidently that of revealing; He was the intelligible medium between the Babe God – the New Aeon about to be born – and myself. This Book of the Law is the Voice of his Mother, His Father, and Himself. But on His appearing, He assumes the active form twin to Harpocrates, that of Ra-Hoor-Khuit. The Concealed Child becomes the Conquering Child, the armed Horus avenging his father Osiris. So also our own Silent Self, helpless and witless, hidden within us, will spring forth, if we have craft to loose him to the Light, spring lustily forward with his cry of Battle, the Word of our True Wills.

This is the Task of the Adept, to have the Knowledge and Conversation of His Holy Guardian Angel, to become aware of his nature and his purpose, fulfilling them.

Why is Aiwass thus spelt, when Aiwaz is the natural transliteration of OIVZ{WEH NOTE: This word is not certain.}? Perhaps because he was not content with identifying Himself with Thelema, Agape, etc. by the number 93, but wished to express his nature by six letters (Six being the number of the Sun, the God-Man, etc.) whose value in Greek should be A=1, I=10, F=6, A=1, S=200, S=200: total 418, the number of Abrahadabra, the Magical Formula of the new Aeon! Note that I and V are the letters of the Father and the Son, also of the Virgin and the Bull, (See “Liber 418”) protected on either side by the letter of AIR, and followed by the letter of Fire twice over.

AL I,8: “The Khabs is in the Khu, not the Khu in the Khabs.”

The Old Comment

8. Here beings the text.

Khabs is the secret Light or L.V.X.; the Khu is the magical entity of a man.

I find later (Sun in Virgo, An VII) that Khabs means star. In which chase cf. v.5.

The doctrine here taught is that that Light is innermost, essential man. Intra (not Extra) Nobis Regnum Dei.

The New Comment

We are not to regard ourselves as base beings, without whose sphere is Light or “God”. Our minds and bodies are veils of the Light within. The uninitiate is a “Dark Star”, and the Great Work for him is to make his veils transparent by 'purifying' them. This 'purification' is really 'simplification'; it is not that the veil is dirty, but that the complexity of its folds makes it opaque. The Great Work therefore consists principally in the solution of complexes. Everything in itself is perfect, but when things are muddled, they become 'evil'. (This will be understood better in the Light of “The Hermit of Esopus Island”, q.v.) The Doctrine is evidently of supreme importance, from its position as the first 'revelation' of Aiwass.

This 'star' or 'Inmost Light' is the original, individual, eternal essence. The Khu is the magical garment which it weaves for itself, a 'form' for its Being Beyond Form, by use of which it can gain experience through self-consciousness, as explained in the note to verses 2 and 3. This Khu is the first veil, far subtler than mind or body, and truer; for its symbolic shape depends on the nature of its Star.

Why are we told that the Khabs is in the Khu, not the Khu in the Khabs? Did we then suppose the converse? I think that we are warned against the idea of a Pleroma, a flame of which we are Sparks, and to which we return when we 'attain'. That would indeed be to make the whole curse of separate existence ridiculous, a senseless and inexcusable folly. It would throw us back on the dilemma of Manichaeism. The idea of incarnations “perfecting” a thing originally perfect by definition is imbecile. The only sane solution is as given previously, to suppose that the Perfect enjoys experience of (apparent) Imperfection. (There are deeper resolutions of this problem appropriate to the highest grades of initiation; but the above should suffice the average intelligence.)

AL I,9: “Worship then the Khabs, and behold my light shed over you!”

The Old Comment

9. That Khabs is declared to be the light of Nu. It being worshipped in the centre, the light also fills the circumference, so that all is light.

The New Comment

We are to pay attention to this Inmost Light; then comes the answering Light of Infinite Space. Note that the Light of Space is what men call Darkness; its nature is utterly incomprehensible to our uninitiated minds. It is the 'veils' mentioned previously in this comment that obstruct the relation between Nuit and Hadit.

We are not to worship the Khu, to fall in love with our Magical Image. To do this – we have all done it – is to forget our Truth. If we adore Form, it becomes opaque to Being, and may soon prove false to itself. The Khu in each of us includes the Cosmos as he knows it. To me, even another Khabs is only part of my Khu. Our own Khabs is our one sole Truth.

AL I,10: “Let my servants be few & secret: they shall rule the many & the known.”

The Old Comment

10. This is the rule of Thelema, that its adepts shall be invisible rulers. This, it may be remarked, has always been the case.

The New Comment

The nature of magical power is quite incomprehensible to the vulgar. The prophet Ezekiel besieging a tile in order to destroy Jerusalem, and the adventure of Hosea with Gomer, seem as absurd to the 'practical' man as do the researches of any other scientific man until the Sunday Newspapers have furnished him with a plausible explanation which explains nothing. (“Book 4”, Part III, must be read in this connexion.)

“My servants”; not those of the Lord of the Aeon. “The Law is for all”; there can be no secrecy about that. The verse refers to specially chosen 'servants'; perhaps those who, worshipping the Khabs, have beheld Her light shed over them. Such persons indeed consummate the marriage of Nuit and Hadit in themselves; in that case they are aware of certain Ways to Power.

There is also a mystical sense in this verse. We are to organize our minds thoroughly, appointing few and secret chiefs, serving Nuit, to discipline the varied departments of the conscious thought.

AL I,11: “These are fools that men adore; both their Gods & their men are fools.”

The Old Comment

11. “The many and the known” both among Gods and men, are revered; this is folly.

The New Comment

It is a fact of meditation that everything which becomes manifest is instantly recognized as unreal. All perfect unveiling solves, wholly or in part, the equation “Something equals 0/0.” (See comment on verse 28.) Adeptship is little more than ability to perceive this 0/0 phase of “Something” in respect of larger and larger “Somethings”.

A verse with so sacred a number as 11 is likely to mean very deep things. Probably much concerning the function of The Fool is concealed in it.

It has been shewn in a previous note that the principal Gods, and men, that men have adored, are in one way or another represented in the Tarot card “The Fool”. The statement in the text is, superficially, either a platitude or a petulance; neither sounds like the tone of Nuit. A third alternative? Can we have “phrased” it carelessly, or punctuated it incorrectly? Or is there a Qabalistic puzzle or a mystic submeaning concealed? The subject changes instantly, as it seems. I prefer to suggest that these “fools” are “Silent selves”, impotent babes unborn; then verse 12 continues “Come forth!”, that is, bring your Holy Guardian Angel from the womb of your subconsciousness. Then, “take your fill of love”; that is, do your True Will, whose mode of fulfilment is love, as explained later in this chapter.

AL I,12: “Come forth, o children, under the stars, & take your fill of love!”

The Old Comment

12. The Key of the worship of Nu. The uniting of consciousness with infinite space by the exercise of love, pastoral or pagan love. But vide infra.

The New Comment

The whole doctrine of 'love' is discussed in the Book “Aleph (Wisdom or Folly)” and should be studied therein. But note further how this Verse agrees with the comment above, how every Star is to come forth from its veils, that it may revel with the whole World of Stars. This is again also a call to unite or 'love', thus formulating the Equation 1 (-1) = 0«The Hon. Bertrand Russell might prefer to write this: 1 (-1) = 0. For Initiates of the IXth degree of O.T.O. it could be expressed: Phi K - T = 0, where Phi - K = 0, and Phi and K are both positive integers.», which is the general magical formula in our Cosmos.

“Come forth” – from what are you hiding? “under the stars”, that is, openly. Also, let love be 'under' or 'unto' the Body of Nuith. But above all, be open! What is this shame? Is Love Hideous, that men should cover him with lies? Is Love so sacred that others must not intrude? Nay, 'under the stars', at night, what eye but theirs may see? Or, if one see, should not your worship wake the cloisters of his soul to echo sanctity for that so lovely a deed and gracious you have done?

AL I,13: “I am above you and in you. My ecstasy is in yours. My joy is to see your joy.”

The Old Comment

13. This doctrine implies some mystic bond which I imagine is only to be understood by experience; this human ecstasy and that divine ecstasy interact. A similar doctrine is found in the Bhagavad Gita.

The New Comment

Note that Space is omnipresent.«Perhaps I should have defined the word “Space”. The task is far from easy. Space (including Time) is one of the conditions necessary to the illusion of duality. But when Nuith says “I am Infinite Space and the Infinite Stars thereof” (verse 22) there must be some other meaning. May I define it as “totality of the possibilities of giving Form to Being”, and thus equivalent to “Matter”, which manifests “Motion”? This at least suits the verse under present discussion; for the Feminine Idea is to take delight in enabling the Masculine Idea to express itself by its means. There should be no difficulty for the student of modern mathematical philosophy in conceiving Matter and Space as identical. He may find it less easy to assent to a personification capable of speech. But I shall not resent the interpretation of Her speech as being the rhetorical device of AIWAZ. Devotion to Her, Knowledge of Her, may perfectly well be understood as the process of extending the human consciousness to apprehend the supra-rational idea thus presented. It was obviously necessary, from a practical point of view, to phrase this Book in terms of common parlance, concealing the more recondite Arcana in in the numerical and literal cipher. When, then, I say “Space is omnipresent”, it is almost the equivalent of “Anything is always liable to happen.”» The cause of 'sorrow' is the 'imaginary' solutions of continuity in this substance. Ecstasy is produced by the resolution of these illusions. Observe well that to beings in a state of strain or sorrow the “Great Work” is bound to appear in the guise of a relief or joy. But this is not to assert Samadhi, that unity with the universe which brings relief and joy by “love”, as an “absolute good”. It is only good relatively to our present condition as beings divided by Illusion from Nuit. When one returns to the 'simple' state, one soon begins to think out a new route through the Universe, and devise new combinations in the Great Game called Seeing Life.

In Nature few elements are lone wolves. Most of them are being thrown in and out of combination constantly; on suns this occurs with lordly vehemence.

Note that Nuith, although She is Infinite Space, speaks as an individual might do, often enough. This is not that She is 'talking down to our level'; it is a fact. In the Cosmos almost any aggregation can think and act as an Ego. For instance, the cells of our bodies are each units, diverse in composition and character, living each a life of its own. Yet we think and act for them, and say “I”. The stars are the cells of Her Body. Each one of us is such a cell; not less itself but more because of its secret function in Her.

It should be evident that Nuith obtains the satisfaction of Her Nature when the parts of Her Body fulfil their own Nature. The sacrament of live is not only so from the point of view of the celebrants, but from that of the divinity invoked.

It is said that for every step one takes towards one's Holy Guardian Angel, He takes two towards his client.

What do I mean by “beings divided by Illusion from Nuith”, in the first paragraph? This, that we are limited mentally, that we realize only an infinitesimal fraction of the possible forms of expression. We can hardly even imagine ourselves as living on another planet, or in the Sun; much less as apprehending the Universe by means of a totally different set of senses. Yet most of us who are not mere placental amnoites possess an instinct which persistently regrets our incapacities. It is bad enough to be dependent on scientific instruments for our knowledge of all but the grossest of the wonders and splendours of the Universe; but worse that we are aware of an infinite variety of order of phenomena, such as electricity, magnetism, chemical action, and a host of others, which we can explore only by indirect means, interpret only by obviously inadequate symbols, and understand only in terms of arbitrary relations with our animal-sense-perceptions. We know theoretically that every object must react to every other object; and it is evident that each type of reaction may be as overwhelmingly interesting as those which happen to affect us. What unimaginable rapture to be able to observe magnetic fields or molecular movements as directly as we do the Ocean and the Ant-heap! It is the task of the Initiate to adapt himself to the Totality of Existence, and to develop in himself the means of apprehending it wholly and fully.

AL I,14: “Above, the gemmed azure is

The naked splendour of Nuit;

She bends in ecstasy to kiss

The secret ardours of Hadit.

The winged globe,the starry blue,

Are mine, O Ankh-af-na-khonsu!”

The Old Comment

14. This verse is a direct translation of the first section of the stele. It conceals a certain secret ritual of the highest rank, connected with the two previous verses.

The New Comment

This is a poetic description of the symbolism of the Stele. It is suitable fore such minds as approach Truth in this manner rather than by way of Science or Philosophy.

It contains a Formula of Magick Art, connected with the Stele. Also, less ineffably, it boasts the consummation of the marriage of Hadit and Nuit in the priest. That is, he has freed Hadit, in the core of his Star, from the illusion-veils of the Khu, so that the two Infinities become one, and none; and create, in the manner shortly to be described, a new Finite.

This Finite will evidently be an expression of the particular mood of its Father and Mother at the moment of its conception. Obviously, this “Child” cannot add to the Universe; it is therefore inevitably twin (Horus and Harpocrates, Osiris and Typhon, Jesus and Barabbas) in Nature, formed of equal and opposite elements. When the Operation is mystical in character, the “Child” does not appear at all in this manifested form as Two, but as Naught. In the consciousness of the Adept, this is called Samadhi. He has united himself with, and lost himself in, Nuit. When the “Child” appears as Two, it is Magick, as the other is Mysticism. This is the essential difference between these Arts.

AL I,15: “Now ye shall know that the chosen priest & apostle of infinite space is the prince-priest the Beast; and in his woman called the Scarlet Woman is all power given. They shall gather my children into their fold: they shall bring the glory of the stars into the hearts of men.”

The Old Comment

15. The authority of the Beast rests upon this verse; but it is to be taken in conjunction with certain later verses which I shall leave to the research of students to interpret. I am inclined, however, to believe that “the Beast” and “the Scarlet Woman” do not denote persons, but are titles of office, that of Hierophant and High Priestess ( Vau and Gimel ), else it would be difficult to understand the next verse.

The New Comment

The definition of “infinite space” offered in the Comment on verse 13 is useful here. My Work is in great part to insist upon the infinite possibilities of human development. Man has too slavishly acquiesced in his limitations. Science itself has shewn itself almost as intolerant as Religion toward certain lines of research. Indeed, every element of society has added its energy to the opposition which bars each pioneer with undiscriminating stupidity. Darwin, Pasteur, Lister, and Jenner met with the same ferocious cowardice as Shelly and Luther; they were assailed on every ground from Religion and Morality upwards; every falsehood that malice could invent was circulated about them. In short, they were treated then as I am being treated now; and I am resolute to prosecute my Work now as they were resolute then.

That which is beneath is like that which is above. The Beast and the Scarlet Woman are avatars of Tao and Teh, Shiva and Sakti. This Law is then an exact image of the Great Law of the Cosmos; this is an assurance of its Perfection.

It is necessary to say here that The` Beast appears to be a definite individual; to wit, the man Aleister Crowley. But the Scarlet Woman is an officer replaceable as need arises. Thus to this present date of writing, Anno XVI, Sun in Sagittarius, there have been several holders of the title.

1. Rose Edith Crowley nee Kelly, my wife. Put me in touch with Aiwas; see Equinox 1, 7, “The Temple of Solomon the King.” Failed as elsewhere is on record.

2. A doubtful case. Mary d'Este Sturges nee Dempsey. Put me in touch with Abuldiz; hence helped with Book 4. Failed from personal jealousies.

3. Jeanne Robert Foster nee Oliver. Bore the “child” to whom this Book refers later. Failed from respectability.

4. Roddie Minor. Brought me in touch with Amalantrah. Failed from indifference to the Work.

5. A doubtful case, Marie Rohling nee Lavroff. Helped to inspire Liber CXI. Failed from indecision.

6. A doubtful case, Bertha Almira Prykryl nee Bruce. Delayed assumption of duties, hence made way for No. 7.

7. Lea Hersig. Assisted me in actual initiation; still at my side, An XVII, Sol in Sagittarius. (P.S. & An XIX, Sol in Aries).

“Prince-priest” is an unusual word, and not in tone with other references to me. I suspect therefore a secret cipher of some sort. For one thing, it is an anagram of PRINCEPS ITER, not bad for Alastor the Wanderer, or PRINCIPS ERIT, he shall be the chief (see verse 23). But such Qabalah is hardly to be considered serious. The recurrence of the letters PRI is however curious and may be significant. The combination PR in most Aryan Languages gives the idea of “Before.” P and R are the letters of Mars and Sol respectively. Now Mars is referred to the number 5, and Sol to the number 6; both to the idea “Force and Fire”, though in different ways. Now “Force and Fire” is the attribute of Ra-Hoor-Khuit, Lord of the Aeon; and 5 and 6 are mystically mated to represent the Accomplishment of the Great Work in Abrahadabra, the Word of the Aeon. (See, for this Word, infra Qabalistic Appendix). The termination ST is the coronal combination XXXI which we shall notice often enough later on.

The Beast, besides 666 correspondences, is by English sound, the Magus (Beth, Mercury, etc.) of this ST. S has in the Tarot the card numbered XX, which represents the Stele of Revealing, and is called the Judgment; i.e., the ending of an Aeon. T has the card numbered XI and is called Strength. It is the card of Leo and represents Babalon and the Beast conjoined.

“Their fold”; not only a sheepfold, but as if it were written “their embrace”.

AL I,16: “For he is ever a sun, and she a moon. But to him is the winged secret flame, and to her the stooping starlight.”

The Old Comment

15. In II, 16, we find that HAD is to be taken as 11 (see II, 16, comment). Then Hadit = 421, Nuit = 466.

421 - 3 (the moon) = 418

466 + 200 (sun) = 666

These are the two great numbers of the Qabalistic system that enabled me to interpret the signs leading to this revelation.

The winged secret flame is Hadit; the stooping starlight is Nuit; these are their true natures, and their functions in the supreme ritual referred to above.

The New Comment

The sun and moon, in their occult sense, are secondary representatives of this original duality which is a phase of the Qabalistic Zero. Other correspondences are Yun {SIC, s.b. “Yang” ?WEH} and Yin, Yod and He, etc. But most such dualities have been conceived in very gross and unphilosophical forms. Of course, it is impossible to grasp this subject properly by reason; only the understanding developed by meditation and spiritual experience avails. Initiation is pantomorphously progressive.

Note that the Secret Divine Letter ShT which is the key of this book is by shape the Sun united with the Moon C = Sh, O = t CO = Sht. {WEH NOTE: Elsewhere Crowley calls this sign “the secret sigil of the Beast” and it is depicted by a crescent attached to the left side of a circle. Sometimes the circle is dotted. Sometimes the Greek lower case letters sigma-theta are written connectively for this (vide. Liber MCCLXIV, value 209, first edition, OTONL-6 and note 28).}

AL I,17: “But ye are not so chosen.”

The Old Comment

17. “Ye” refers to the other worshippers of Nuit, who must seek out their own election.

The New Comment

That is, there is a special incarnation of Nuit and Hadit for the Beast and the Scarlet Woman, as opposed to the general truth that every man and woman are images of these ineffable Beings.

Note that a woman, having no soul of her own, can be used always as a 'Form' for any Being. This explains why Nuit can incarnate at will in successive women, careless of the physical limits of life. {WEH NOTE: Crowley's opinion regarding the soul-less state of women refers to a matter of expression. He believed it more generally, but probably based it on Victorian male conceptions of “unliberated women”. The Comment to this and the previous verse may say more about the defensive insecurity of Crowley the man than the verses of Liber AL. In Chapter I Comment, remember that all this is a male mind trying to contemplate the revelations of a goddess. Square peg and round hole problems may arise.}

I feel a certain necessity to explain that an 'avatar' implies rather a release from the limits of personality than anything else. The Scarlet Woman and I are peculiarly representative of Nuit and Hadit by virtue of our attainments in making our consciousness omniform as They re. It must not be supposed that our original individualities can claim any special prerogatives as such.

AL I,18: “Burn upon their brows, o splendrous serpent!”

The Old Comment

18. The serpent is the symbol of divinity and royalty. It is also a symbol of Hadit, invoked upon them.

The New Comment

For the images in this and the next verse see the Stele of Revealing, to which they allude.

The Serpent is the Uraeus, with the powers of Life and Death, wise, ecstatic, immortal; winged and hooded, that he may go as a god swiftly and silently. It refers in this place especially to Hadit.

AL I,19: “O azure-lidded woman, bend upon them!”

The Old Comment

19. Nuit herself will overshadow them.

The New Comment

These two verses 18, 19, seem to be interpolated by Aiwaz, invoking the Gods to The Beast and The Scarlet Woman, perhaps as a formal Consecration.

AL I,20: The key of the rituals is in the secret word which I have given unto him.

The Old Comment

20. This word is perhaps ABRAHADABRA, the sacred word of 11 letters.

The New Comment

For this word see Appendix {WEH NOTE: The Appendix has not yet been recovered. Kenneth Grant, in his “Magical and Philosophical Commentaries …” pp. 105-108 has a lengthy extension here. The providence of the extension is not definitely known to be Crowley at this writing, hence cannot be included here.}. ABRAHADABRA is “The key of the rituals” because it expresses the Magical Formulae of uniting various complementary ideas; especially the Five of the Microcosm with the Six of the Macrocosm.

AL I,21: “With the God & the Adorer I am nothing: they do not see me. They are as upon the earth; I am Heaven, and there is no other God than me, and my lord Hadit.”

The Old Comment

21. Refers to the actual picture on the stele. Nuit is a conception immeasurably beyond all men have even thought of the Divine. thus she is not the mere star-goddess, but a far higher thing, dimly veiled by that unutterable glory.

This knowledge is also to be attained by adepts; the outer cannot reach to it.

The New Comment

The importance of this verse lies in the assertion of the metaphysical entity of Our Lady, Her incomprehensibility to normal sense.

The Method of invoking Nuit is given in Liber XI (see Equinox I, VII). Note the initials of God and Adorer GA, the Earth.

Note that Heaven is not a place where Gods Live; Nuit is Heaven, itself. And “Heaven” is of course “a place wherein one may fulfil oneself”, conformably to the definition of Nuit as Space previously offered.

AL I,22: “Now, therefore, I am known to ye by my name Nuit, and to him by a secret name which I will give him when at last he knoweth me. Since I am Infinite Space, and the Infinite Stars thereof, do ye also thus. Bind nothing! Let there be no difference made among you between any one thing & any other thing; for thereby there cometh hurt.”

The Old Comment

22. A promise – not yet fulfilled. P.S. since (An V) fulfilled) A charge to destroy the faculty of discriminating between illusions.

The New Comment

We have here a further conception of the cosmographical scheme. Nuit is All that which exists, and the condition of that existence. Hadit is the Principle which causes modifications in this Being. This explains how one may call Nuit Matter, and Hadit Motion, in the highest physico-philosophical sense of those terms.

We are asked to axquiesce in this Law of Nature. That is, we are not to oppose resistance to the perfect fluidity of the “Becoming” of Nature. Similarly, we are not to attach more importance to any one momentary appearance than to any other.

For, the moment we do so, we confirm illusion of Duality. We assert Imperfection as absolute instead of as a device of Perfection for self-appreciation.

The Secret name was revealed in the Sahara desert – see Liber 418, 12 Aethyr, Equinox I, V, Suppl. pp. 82-87.

This question of making “no difference” as ordained is to regard the whole of the non-Ego or universe apparently external to the Self as a single phenomenon; Samadhi on any one thing becomes therefore Samadhi on The Whole. The mystic who “availeth in this” can then perform his Great Work of “love under will” in a single operation instead of being obliged to unite himself with the non-Ego piecemeal. But see also the Comment on verse 4, above.

Notice the word “hurt”, from he French “heurter”, meaning to knock against an obstacle. There is thus a strictly technical accuracy in the choice of the term.

(Insert quotations from Essay of AN XIX March 31 - April 11 showing how all is the same to Nuit, though not to partial views.)

AL I,23: “But whoso availeth in this, let him be the chief of all!”

The Old Comment

23. The chief, then, is he who has destroyed this sense of duality.

The New Comment

This chief is of course no more or less than others. The limitations of our dualistic language obscure the meaning of these loftier Words. Chieftainship is to be understood as one of the illusions; but, in respect of that plane, a fact. The facts of Nature are perfectly true in so far as their mutual relation is concerned; their invalidity refers only to their total relation with the philosophical canon of Truth.

The word “all” is not to be taken as elliptical for “all men”; it means that such an one is completely master of his universe. For when one has become indifferent to phenomena, and accepts any one of them as necessary, indeed as an essential part of the whole, he has made himself Lord of the Whole as such. In fact, it is obvious on quite rational grounds that this must be the case. My discrimination between artichokes and arsenic puts me at the mercy of a million circumstances, from my cook to my wife.

AL I,24: “I am Nuit, and my word is six and fifty.”

The Old Comment

24. Nu = 6 + 50 = 56.

The New Comment

One must observe the special significance of these numbers, not only conjoined, but separate. For 6, Vau, is the Bull; and 50, Nun, the Scorpion. But 6 is also the number of the Sun, our Star. The N of Nu is therefore the Dragon – “Infinite Space” – and V is “the Infinite Stars” thereof. The ITH is the honorific termination representing Her fulfilment of Creative Force. “I” being the Inmost Force, and “Th” its Extension.

The Dragon in current symbolism refers to the North or Hollow of Heaven; thus to the Womb of Space, which is the container and breeder of all that exists.

Liber Aleph should be consulted for further information as to the magical import of Scorpio and Taurus.

AL I,25: “Divide, add, multiply, and understand.”

The Old Comment

25. Dividing 6/50 = 0.12.

0, the circumference, Nuit.

., the centre, Hadit.

1, the Unity proceeding, Ra-Hoor-Khuit.

2, the Coptic H, whose shape closely resembles the Arabic figure 2, the breath of Life, inspired and expired. Human consciousness, Thoth.

Adding 50 + 6 = 56, Nu, and

Concentrating 5 + 6 = 11, Abrahadabra, etc.

Multiplying 50 x 6 = Shin, and Ruach Elohim, the Holy Spirit.

I am inclined to believe that there is a further mystery concealed in this verse, possibly those of 418 and 666 again.

The New Comment

See Qabalistic Appendix. {WEH NOTE: Appendix not yet recovered. K. Grant, op. cit., adds several paragraphs here which appear to come from Crowley. This is not provided in this text for lack of certainty of the providence.}

AL I,26: “Then saith the prophet and slave of the beauteous one: Who am I, and what shall be the sign? So she answered him, bending down, a lambent flame of blue, all-touching, all penetrant, her lovely hands upon the black earth, & her lithe body arched for love, and her soft feet not hurting the little flowers: Thou knowest! And the sign shall be my ecstasy, the consciousness of the continuity of existence, the omnipresence of my body.”

The Old Comment

26. The prophet demanding a sign of his mission, it is promised; a Samadhi upon the Infinite.

This promise was later fulfilled – see “The Temple of Solomon the King”, which proposes to deal with the matter in its due season. (P.S. It did so, vide Equinox I.)

The New Comment

In the MSS., the last 5 words of this verse do not occur. The original reading is 'the unfragmentary non-atomic fact of my universality'.

This phrase was totally beyond the comprehension of the scribe, and he said mentally – with characteristic self-conceit – “People will never be able to understand this.” Aiwass then replied,

“Write this in whiter words. But go forth on.”

He was willing that the phrase should be replaced by an equivalent, but did not wish the dictation to be interrupted by a discussion at the moment. it was therefore altered (a little later) to “the omnipresence of my body.”

It is extremely interesting to note that in the light of the cosmic theory explained in the notes to verse 3 and 4, the original phrase of Aiwass was exquisitely and exactly appropriate to his meaning.

It take this opportunity of quoting from Professor Eddington, Op. Cit., a passage which should make it perfectly clear that the “mystical”, “irrational”, “paradoxical” conception of Nuit expressed in this chapter has a parallel in the sober calculations of a perfectly orthodox astronomer in the undeniably practical University – a poor thing, but mine own – of Cambridge:

“Whenever there is matter there is action and therefore curvature; and it is interesting to notice that in ordinary matter the curvature of the space-time world is by no means insignificant. for example, in water of ordinary density the curvature is the same as that of space in the form of a sphere of radius 570,000,000 kilometers. The result is even more surprising if expressed in time unites; the radius is about half-an-hour.

“It is difficult to picture quite what this means; but at least we can predict that a Globe of water 570,000,000 km. radius would have extraordinary properties. Presumably there must be an upper limit to the possible size of a globe of water. So far as I can make out a homogeneous mass of water of about this size (and no larger) could exist. It would have no centre, and no boundry, every point of it being in the same position with respect to the whole mass as every other point of it – like points ion the surface of a sphere with respect to the surface. Any ray of light after travelling for an hour or two would come back to the starting point. Nothing could enter or leave the mass, because there is no boundary to enter or leave by; in fact, it is coextensive with space. There could not be any other world anywhere else because there isn't an 'anywhere else'.

“The mass of this volume of water is not so great as the most moderate estimates of the mass of the stellar system”.

AL I,27: “Then the priest answered & said unto the Queen of Space, kissing her lovely brows, and the dew of her light bathing his whole body in a sweet-smelling perfume of sweat: O Nuit, continuous one of Heaven, let it be ever thus; that men speak not of Thee as One but as None; and let them speak not of thee at all, since thou art continuous!”

The Old Comment

27 - 31. Here is a profound philosophical dogma, in a sense possibly and explanation and Illumination of the propositions in “Berashith”.

The dyad (or universe) is created with little pain in order to make the bliss of dissolution possible. Thus the pain of life may be atoned for by the bliss of death.

This delight is, however, only for the chosen servants of Nu. Outsiders may be looked on much as the Cartesians looked on animals. Yet, of course, this is only on the plane of Illusion. One must not discriminate between the space marks. (P.S. The Christian is one who has acquiesced in his own dishonour; a renegade from manhood).

The New Comment

The physical description of the onset of this ecstasy refers to the actual facts at the period of receiving this knowledge.

The attempt to resolve All into One is a philosophical blunder. It explains nothing; neither how One came to be, nor how Two came to be. The only sound conception is that of “Zero not extended” with a phase of “Something” (“0 degree = X”) which makes the answer to both questions self-evident.

The idea “One” is intelligible enough as the result of the resolutions of Two. But in itself it is meaningless because of the absence of any co-ordinates. A point can heave no qualities except as it is related to a second point. It is only 'high' if there be another which is 'low'. It cannot even be said to exist unless there be something which does not exist.

Note the word 'continuous' repeated. It suggests the “continuum” of modern mathematical philosophy.

On the other hand, the constitution of Nuit is 'atomic' (verse 26) or discontinuous. She is in fact the reconciliation of these contradictory ideas. It is important for us to grasp the philosophical situation formally; and this demands a some-what close analysis. The definitions of Cantorian and Dedekindian continuity should be sought in Bertrand Russell, Op. Cit.; it is sufficient here to explain that by the continuity of Nuit I conceive conditions similar to those of the sphere of water described in the quotation in the note to verse 25. Any point in this sphere would be indistinguishable from any other point in a certain sense; or at least the distinction might be considered as arbitrary and illusory. Yet there is no reason why we should not choose to fix our attention on any particular point or system of points for the purpose of amusing ourselves – analogously to the explanation above put forward (notes on vv. 3 & 4) of incarnation. The constitution of our illusion will evidently be atomic. The facts that {…}, and that the subtraction of (a) the inductive numbers, (b) the inductive numbers greater than n, © the odd numbers, from {…} give respectively zero, n and {…} as the result, do not interfere with the finite character of the relation between n and n 1. The transfinite properties of {…} do not destroy the atomic character of the series of which it is the sum.

Let us investigate the nature of existing ideas a little more closely. First of all, Nuit, being the totality of possibilities of Form, is not only one series, but the sum of all series. We are justified in conceiving any collection of ideas soever as a homologous series, for we have the right to choose the function which will serve to arrange them as our design requires. To protest that such a choice is arbitrary, fantastic or irrational is to assert the authority of some self-appointed “normal mind” as absolute in Nature. The failure of philosophers to transcend their own mental limitations has reduced all their systems to circular arguments, and all their ontologies to Solipsism, however elaborately they have endeavoured to to cloak the fact with sophistries. You cannot tie a true knot in a cord with a closed circuit. All knowledge is relative to the mind which contains it.

Consider “incommensurable” numbers, such as 1 and 2. This coy surd is insensible to the fascinations of the deftest Dedekindian Cult. It may be approached within limits as narrow as we choose to appoint; yet there remains a “great gulf fixed” which is utterly impassable. The surd is simply not in the series; you might as well try to find Consciousness by making microtome sections of the brain. Yet the relation between 1 and 2 is perfectly clear and simple; there is no incommensurability about it at all. It is (for one thing) the ratio of the hypoteneuse of a right-angled isoceles triangle to one of the other sides, in Euclidian geometry. The difficulty of commensuration can exist only in minds obsessed by the atavistic necessity of counting cowries or wives on the fingers.

Let me then maintain that such collections as “The thoughts of a man's lifetime” constitute a series in the same sense as the inductive numbers. This collection conforms perfectly with Peano's 'ideas' and 'proposition'. Every thought is a thing in itself; it is determined by its predecessors and determines its successors; it is concatenated with them by 'psychological time'. Briefly, it fulfils every condition required by the definition. (The 'recurrenee' of a thought is no objection, for the identity is superficial, like that of a digit in a long decimal. “My aunt”, whom I now think of, is not the aunt I thought of last year, any more than the 4 in the second place of .0494 is the same as that in the fourth place.)

Any thought in this series possesses a chain of sub-thoughts which connect it with its neighbours; these may be discovered by the proper psychological methods. “The Words of the insane are mountain-tops”; two successive thoughts may be compared to two snow summits rising above cloud-banks; they are not isolated, but joined by certain geologically necessary formations. But each pair of such sub-thoughts may be similarly investigated, and so on ad infinitum. Each thought is inevitably itself, although it is related to all other possible thoughts. There are not two thoughts of which we can say that one either merges into, or necessarily begets, the other. Any series of thoughts is therefore a true inductive series, exactly as the “natural numbers” are, with the added properties that it is real and omniform. It is atomic, its elements being intrinsically individual; and yet a continuum, since its intervals are susceptible of subdivision indefinitely prolonged without producing any diminution of these properties of the original series. The difference between successive thoughts and successive numbers is that by inserting r terms between p and q – p:p : p 2 : — p (2 -1) : q – we apparently approximate the members, so that p-q (p 2)-(p ); while the sub-thoughts which intervene between my impression on waking “A fine frosty morning” and my reaction “I'll go skating” come to me from very various departments of my mind, and no two of them are in any way more closely connected than their culmination in consciousness is to its forerunner. But this difference is in reality an illusion born of the obsession already diagnosed; 2 is nearer to 1 and to 3 than 3 is to 1 only in respect of one particular function. Full comprehension of the true nature of number, as conceived by this Book, should enable the mind to transcend its “normal” trammels.

It will no doubt be objected that these speculations, even if correct, are sterile; or, even worse, discouraging to that study of the relations between phenomena which has been the basis of all advance in knowledge.

I might deny the reality of the progress, since it has only exposed the self-contradictions, and emphasized the mysteries, which beset us. But I prefer to take my stand on the ground that we have been totally wrong, hitherto, in our fundamental attitude to the Universe. The only possible issue from the vicious circle wherein we are penned is to refuse resolutely to allow ourselves to accept (1) the evidence of our senses, (2) the pleadings of our minds, (3) the reactions between phenomena as tokens of Truth. All objects are equally capable of conveying any given impression to us; it is merely a question of arranging the conditions of the experiments. We can add or subtract any conceivable quality at will. Thus, “there is no difference”; and each existence is inscrutably itself. We are only the more deceived as it multiplies its Protean projections.

Our proper course is to destroy the instruments of perception which we at present possess, recognizing that they are no more than personal prejudices which limit and delude us in every way. Our senses assure us that the earth is flat, and that the Sun moves across it, until we amend their assertions by the aid of instruments, and of reason. Yet the astronomer with his telescope is no less arbitrary than the cave-man with his eye. We are like the Snark in the Barrister's dream, witnesses, lawyers, and judge in one. We have no standard independent or ourselves; and we know only too well that our witnesses, the senses, are neither competent, clear, trustworthy, intelligent, or even capable of giving evidence on the actual issues.

The mid is in even worse plight. Obviously, its judgments must be based on its own laws, and we have no shadow of reason for supposing that these possess any authority beyond their own jurisdiction. We know that the Structure of the brain has been determined by the animal struggle to survive: it is adapted to the conditions of environment. It is the serf of brute passions, the ape of atavism, the dupe of sense, and the automaton of accident. We have no right to assert that its internal reactions correspond to the external world in any way whatever. Officially recognized thinkers are only just beginning to realize what mystics have known since the Morning Star glimmered through the haze on the horizon of History, that the Laws of Thought are only expressions of the bondage of the thinker. Apart from the dependence of mind upon the unreliable, symbolically communicated, and fragmentary affidavits of sense, apart from the imperfections inseparable from its origin, our judgments are necessarily no more than representations of the consistency of one part of our internal structure with another. We cannot lift ourselves by pulling at our toes. We now know that our most fixed axioms are as arbitrary as a madman's delusions. There is nothing to prevent a man from asserting that “Things which are both equal to the same thing are both greater than each other” and constructing a geometry conformable thereto: neither by reasoning nor by experience could it be proved that his system was not the “truth” of Nature. More, the word “truth” itself has proved on analysis to contain no intelligible significance, but to be an empirical symbol of what can only be described as symptoms of cerebral inadequacy.

Still worse, even so far as the conclusions of reason express the relations of an animal with itself, they disclose not the consistency which is the test of the fulfilment of this limited function, but an inherent self-contradiction which shatters the validity of the entire process. For the “Law of Contradiction” is the Court of final Appeal which has been the authority for every step. I quote once more from the Hon. Bertrand Russell, Op. Cit.:

“The comprehensive class we are considering, which is to embrace everything, must embrace itself as one of its members. In other words, if there is such a things as “everything”, then “everything” is something, and is a member of the class “everything”. But normally a class is not a member of itself. Mankind, for example, is not a man. Form now the assemblage of all classes which are not members of themselves. This is a class: is it a member of itself or not? If it is, it is one of those classes that are not members of themselves, i.e. it is a member of itself. Thus of the two hypotheses – that it is, and that it is not, a member of itself – each implies its contradictory. This is a contradiction, similar contradictions ad lib.” {WEH NOTE: I'm sorry. I just can't keep shut. This is just the bloody fallacy of FOUR TERMS!}

This author, perhaps the mightiest mind of its type now living, proceeds gallantly to go “over the top”. But he is always, sooner or later, drowned in the “blood” of a new contradiction, or the “mud” of mystery. He finds himself constantly compelled to assume some axiom which has been proved to be incapable of being proved, or crushed by the certainty that even in the event of his proving all his propositions, the sum of their statement amounts to this, that, so far as he is anybody or anything, he is himself.

Professor Eddington, in the masterly exposition of modern thought already quoted, presents, clearly enough, the case against supposing that any phenomenon soever is a “fact” in any absolute sense.

Each account of it must be incomplete, symbolic, and variable with the position and faculties of the observer.

“By his theory of relativity, Albert Einstein has provoked a revolution of thought in physical science.”

“The achievement consists essentially in this: – Einstein has succeeded in separating far more completely than hitherto the share of the observer and the share of external nature in the things we see happen. The perception of an object by an observer depends on his own situation and circumstances; for example, distance will make it appear smaller and dimmer. We make allowance for this almost unconsciously in interpreting what we see. But it now appears that the allowance made for the motion of the observer has hitherto been too crude, – a fact overlooked because in practice all observers share nearly the same motion, that of the earth. Physical space and time are found to be closely bound up with this motion of the observer; and only an amorphous combination of the two is left inherent in the external world. When space and time are relegated to their proper source – the observer – the world of nature which remains appears strangely unfamiliar; but it is in reality simplified, and the underlying unity of the principal phenomena from this new outlook have, with one doubtful exception, been confirmed when tested by experiment.”

I must confess that I was amazed with every amazement when so the the eminent astronomer failed to follow up this brilliant outburst by turning the devastation of his artillery upon the ramparts of the citadel whose outlying defenses he had shattered with such stupendous thunderbolts. Now came it that the very act of detecting so subtly, and removing so skillfully, the mote in his neighbour's eye, did not suggest to him that he might be incommoded by the beam of his own? Aware of the errors introduced into his calculations by the comparatively steady, regular, and imperceptible motion of his earth-borne body, how not to be stricken aghast to contemplate the possible consequences of taking, as a fixed and absolute point for the base of his triangulations, and unknown and uncontrollable engine in violent, erratic and incalculable action, neither to be mastered nor measured, his mind? Who dare presume to set limits to the eccentricities of a brain which is the logical conclusion for a love-harried, witch-burning, god-fearing, fox-hunting, cannibal ape, spice with tubercle, syphilis, insanity and the rest of the poisons for one premise and an unintelligible and accidental environment for the other? Is not every thought determined, and its validity indeterminable, especially by its owner? Who then shall decide what “trustworthy reasoning” may mean?

At the very least, we must eliminate as far as possible very obvious source of error, such as personality (in particular) involves. But further, we must regulate the motion of the mind, control it, bring it to a standstill. It may be – I know that it is – that as soon as thought is prevented from bewildering us with its torrential turmoil, we may become aware that we posses a subtler and steadier organ of apprehension. This is in fact one of the principal points of initiation.

AL I,28: “None, breathed the light, faint & faery, of the stars, and two.”

The New Comment

Now appears the plain statement of the Perfect Metaphysick. It may be as well to quote the essential passages from 'Berashith' in connexion with this matter.

“I ASSERT THE ABSOLUTENESS OF THE QABALISTIC ZERO.”

When we say that the Cosmos sprang from 0, what kind of 0 do we mean? By 0 in the ordinary sense of the term we mean “absence of extension in any of the categories”.

When I say “No cat has two tails” I do not mean, as the old fallacy runs, that “Absense-of-cat possesses two tails”; but that “In the category of two-tailed things, there is no extension of cat”.

Nothingness is that about which no positive proposition is valid. We cannot truly affirm: “Nothingness is green, or heavy, or sweet”.

Let us call time, space, being, heaviness, hunger, the categories. If a man be heavy and hungry, he is extended in all these, besides, of course, many more. But let us suppose these five are all. Call the man X; his formula is then Xt+s+b+h+h. If he now eat he will cease to be extended in hunger; if he be cut off from time and gravitation as well, he will now be represented by the formula Xs+b. Should he cease to occupy space and to exist, his formula would then be X0. This expansion is equal to 1; whatever X may represent, if it be raised to the power of 0 (this meaning mathematically “If it be extended in no dimension or category”), the result is Unity, and the unknown factor X is eliminated.

Now if there was in truth 0, “before the beginning of years”, THAT 0 WAS EXTENDED IN NONE OF THE CATEGORIES, FOR THERE COULD HAVE BEEN NO CATEGORIES IN WHICH IT COULD EXTEND! If our 0 was the ordinary 0 of mathematics, there was not truly absolute 0, for 0 is, as I have shown, dependent on the idea of categories. If these existed, then the whole question is merely thrown back; we must reach a state in which 0 is absolute. Not only must we get rid of all subjects, but of all predicates. By 0 (in mathematics) we really mean 0n, where n is the final term of a natural scale of dimensions, categories, or predicates. Our Cosmic Gee, then, from which the present universe arose, was Nothingness, extended in no categories, or, graphically, 00. This expression is in its present form meaningless. Let us discover its value by a simple mathematical process.

00 = 01-1 = 01/01 ( Multiply by 1 = n/n )

Then 01/n x n/0s = 0 x ∞

Now the multiplying of the infinitely great by the infinitely small results in SOME UNKNOWN FINITE NUMBER EXTENDED IN AN UNKNOWN NUMBER OF CATEGORIES. It happened, when this our Great Inversion took place, from the essence of all nothingness to finity extended in innumerable categories, that an incalculably vast system was produced. Merely by chance, chance in he truest sense of the term, we are found with gods, men, stars, planets, devils, colours, forces, and all the materials of the cosmos; and with time, space, and causality, the conditions limiting and involving them all.

Remember that it is not true to say that our 0 to the 0 existed; nor that it did not exist. The idea of existence was just as much unformulated as that of toasted cheese.

But 00 is a finite expression, or has a finite phase, and our universe is a finite universe; its categories are themselves finite, and the expression “infinite space” is a contradiction it terms. The idea of an absolute and of an infinite God is relegated to the limbo of all similar idle and pernicious perversions of truth. Infinity remains; but only as a mathematical conception as impossible in nature as the square root of -1.”

This passage was written in 1902, E.V., before the revelation of the Law. It remains true that ‘infinite space is a contradiction in terms’, and so on; but this is no argument against the Cosmogeny of this Book. For above the Abyss every idea soever is necessarily a contradiction in terms; see Liber 418 for the demonstration of this.

There is much more on these points in Liber Aleph, and in “The Urn”.

“Breathed” and “light” are highly significant words, implying the duality of creation in breath – inspiration and expiration – and that of vibratory light; while breath is also Aleph, whose card is numbered Zero; and Light is L.V.X. 120, the Rosy Cross, wherein the Positive is dissolved in the Negative.

AL I,29: “For I am divided for love's sake, for the chance of union.”

The New Comment

I quote from “The Book of Lies (falsely so-called)”.

THE OYSTER

The Brothers of A.'.A.'. are one with the

Mother of the child.

The Many is as adorable to the One as the

One is to the Many. This is the Love

of These: creation-parturition is the

Bliss of the One; coition-dissolution

is the Bliss of the Many.

The All, thus interwoven of These, is Bliss.

Naught is beyond Bliss.

The Man delights in uniting with the Woman;

the Woman in parting from the child

The Brothers of A.'.A.'. are Women; the Aspirants

to A.'.A.'. are Men.”

In order to have Motion one must have Change. In fact, one must have this in order to have anything at all. Now this Change is what we call Love. thus “love under will” is the Law of Motion. The re-entrant character of this Motion is difficult to conceive; but the Aspirant is urged to try to assimilate the idea. A Hindu might compare the Cosmic process to a churn which out of milk made butter to feed a milk-producing woman, every step in the cycle being a Progress of Joy.

Time is necessarily created by us in order to make room for the apparent existence of the duality which we devise for the presentation of unity, or nihility.

“Two things” must evidently exist either in two places, or at two times, or both; else they would be indistinguishable.

Two phenomena which differ in time would be considered simultaneous if separated in space so that our observation of the former were delayed, for several reasons; and it is fairly easy to realize the possibility. But it seems as if separation in space were somehow more intractable. I can see no priori reason for this distinction; I think it arises from the fact that space is directly presented to our senses, while time is proper to the mental apprehension of impressions.

Our universe is (after all) in one place, so far as we are concerned, i.e., in our sensoria, so that any two impressions can only be registered by us as consecutive. Even when we are aware of their simultaneity, we are compelled to place them in sequence. Our sensorium makes no distinction between concrete and abstract ideas in this respect. Sensory impressions and general ideas are equally grist for the mill. But we make a distinction between our record of events whose sequence is a necessary part of our comprehension of them, and those which are independent of our history. We insist on the sequence of school and college, but our general judgments are recognized as independent of time. This is peculiarly the case with our idea of the Ego, which we instinctively regard as if it were eternal and unchanging, though in fact it grows and decays continually. Yet we think of the incidents of boyhood as having occurred to the Ego, forming part of its character.

Now since this Ego is only conscious by virtue of having formulated itself, or the Universe (as it happens to view the case), in the form of Duality, and since all the experiences of the Ego are necessary to it, as all phenomena soever are necessary, it is permissible to regard the totality of the experience of the Ego as the presentation in duality of a single simultaneous fact.

In other words, life is an attempt to realize one's own nature in one's own soul.

The man who fails to recognize it as such is hopelessly bewildered by the irrational character of the universe, which he takes to be real; and he cannot but regard it as aimless and absurd. The adventures of his body and mind, with their desires for material and moral well-being, are obviously as foredoomed to disaster as Don Quixote's. He must be a fool if he struggles on (against inexorable fate) to obtain results which he knows can only end in catastrophe, a climax the more bitter as he clings the more closely to his impossible ideals.

But once he acquiesces in the necessity of the course of events, and considers his body and mind as no more than the instruments which interpret himself to himself by means of dualistic presentation, he should soon acquire a complete indifference to the nature of the incidents which occur to him.

It is not surprising that these incidents should occur in an apparent disorderly sequence any more than that the coours of a picture, or the words of a story, should not be disturbed according to an a priori classification, as in a Lexicon or a colourman's catalogue. His task as a connoisseur is to recognize the idea of the artist, and this he can only do by appreciation of the complete work. he must analyze the assemblage of elements, and assign the correct value to each, comprehending the intention of each relative to the finished design.

It will be said that nobody can realize himself so long as the presentation is imperfect, that is, so long as he is incarnated. This is no doubt true in all rigour; but one can obtain an approximation to the intended self-knowledge by withdrawing for a time to the monistic form of self-consciousness, which does not distinguish between the Ego and the Non-Ego; in other words, by attaining Samadhi. But the first experience of Samadhi will then naturally be an ecstasy devoid of name or form, and containing no elements distinguishable as such; and we know this to be the case. One has simply deprived oneself of the means of expression, and all dual consciousness disappears, together with its forms, time and space. One concludes from this that the Universe is identical with the Ego, and all things dissolve into a formless essence characterized by knowledge and bliss. But this early stage of Samadhi is an illusion, a sort of drunken dizziness. (So in sexual love, the ecstasy abolishes the Ego, apparently; it forgets that duality was its cause, and must be equally real with itself, in one sense or another). But subsequent Samadhi teaches the adept that his universal instantaneous Unity exists as “None and Two”; and he learns that his Samadhi is peculiar to himself as well as common to all.

He becomes able to experience the truth of the statements in the Book of the Law, the nature of Nuith and Hadith, and of himself as a Star, unique, individual, and eternal, but yet a part of the Body of Nuith, and therefore identical with all other stars in that respect.

He realizes himself as the “bed in working” of Nuith and Hadit, as a particular form assumed by the latter for the sake of Variety in his “play” with the former; and he partakes in this play by his self-realization, which he synthesizes from the “events of his life”.

He understands that these events are the resultant of the Universe as applied to him, so that his experience is equally unique and universal, each star being the centre of the cosmos, and the Cosmos applicable as a whole to each star.

The experiences of each angle of a triangle are common to all, for one can express any relation as a function of any angle, at will. Each may be taken as the starting-point of the study of the properties to the triangle. But each angle is necessary to the triangle, and each is equally important to its existence. Each is bound to the others, and moreover each is in a sense illusory in respect of the triangle, which is an idea, simple and ideal, whose unity is compelled to express itself and manifest its properties by extension as a plane figure. For no triangle can express the idea of a triangle. Any triangle must be either equilateral, isosceles or scalene, either acute, right-angled, or obtuse; and no one triangle can be all these at once; while the idea of a triangle includes all these, and infinite other, possibilities.

In a similar way, Nuith and Hadith include all possible forms of existence; they can only realize Themselves by creating an infinite variety of forms of Themselves, each one real as it is Their image, illusory as it is a partial and divided aspect of Them.

Each such Star is intelligible to Them, as a poem is to its author as a part of this soul mirrored by his mind. But it is not intelligible to itself, because it has no relation with any other ideas; it only knows itself as the babe of its mother Nuith, to whom it yearns, being stirred by its father Hadith to express that instinctive attachment by inarticulate cries.

To know itself, each such Star, or Soul, must eat of the Fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, by accepting labour and pain as its portion, and death as its doom. That is, it must reveal its nature to itself by formulating that nature as duality. It must express itself by a series of symbolic gestures ostensibly external to it, just as a painter reveals one facet of his Delight-Diamond by covering a canvas with colours in such a way that the picture seems at first sight to represent something outside himself. It must, in fact, repeat for itself the original Magick of Nuith and Hadith which created it.

As They made Themselves visible piecemeal by fashioning particular Souls, expressing the Impersonal and Absolute Homogeneity by means of Personal Relative Heterogeneity, so, not forgetting their true nature as forms of the Infinite, whereby they are one with all, must the stars devise methods of studying themselves.

They must make images of themselves, apparently external, and they must represent their highly complex qualities in a duality involving space and time. For each Star is of necessity related to every other star, so that no influence is alien to its individuality; it must therefore observer its reaction to every other star.

Just so are most chemical elements possessed of but few qualities directly appreciable by our senses; we must learn their natures by putting them into relation with the other Elements in turn. (Note well that this knowledge were impossible unless there were a variety of elements; so also the fact of our self-consciousness proves the existence of individual souls; all related, all parts of the One Soul, in one sense, but none the less independent in themselves, eternal entities expressing particular elements of existence).

Each star is in itself immune and innocent; its proper consciousness is monistic; it must therefore employ a body and mind as the instruments for interpreting its relations with other souls, and comparing its nature with theirs. For the mind perceives the contrast of the Self and the not-Self, and presents its experiences, classified and judged, to the soul as documents for the dossier; and the body reports to the mind the impressions received from its contact with alien forms as the senses receive them.

It must naturally require many incarnations for the soul to begin to know itself with any degree of perfection; and one may recognize advanced souls by their minds, which understand the a nature of their work, are indifferent to the body's preference for any special forms of experience, and seek eagerly after novel adventures (like a philatelist after rare stamps) to complete the collection. They are also as a rule both very careful and very careless about their bodily welfare, taking pains to preserve their powers for the purpose of gaining new experiences, but utterly indifferent to them as valuable in themselves. They rule them with a rod of iron, and train them like pugilists; but they risk them recklessly whenever the Work demands it.

It is important to understand the necessity of our present Universe. Perfection could do not otherwise than create Imperfection. But was there not original Imperfection? No; for Perfection is hardly more than that original state, since we cannot conceive the total as susceptible of addition.«Note that {?infinity?}, the sum of the series of natural numbers, is not increased in value by the addition, or diminished by the subtraction of any finite number. Yet 2 is greater than … ! The fact illustrates our “Naught and Two” theory in a most instructive manner.» This is another view of the God going through the combinations, on a larger scale, and shows not only why He does it, but why He must do it. But is not all this based on the accident that I personally am bored by omniscience on any given matter? Yes, but Imperfection is a fact, and a God whom Perfection did not bore would not have created Imperfection. But why not suppose a wicked God, or a foolish God? Things which seem to me wrong, or stupid, are so because I am the sole judge. But these things are not my creations, but those of other Gods. True, but those Gods are all part of me, so far as I know them. So then, in my own nature are these contrary Gods, which (as above said) I have created in myself to give variety. You see that you cannot conceive these divers 'Gods without conceiving also a Whole, in which the entire equation cancels out to Naught. One cannot conceive it as a Unity, because 1 to the 0 power like 1 to the first power, 1 to the 2nd power, etc., is only one, 1, and cannot become 2 by reflection, as I thought 75 {WEH NOTE: Sic. This is not possible and must be a typo in the TS. Grant Op. Cit. gives “18”.}years ago, because there is nothing else to reflect it, or it could not be both All and One. (A heterogeneous One, with a mirror in its All, would be two). Now Evil is only minus to anyone's Plus; you cannot have an Evil to destroy the Whole (or we have Two again.) Therefore no Evil can possibly do any harm; it can only be part of the Play. The Whole is destroyed as soon as understood; that is, it is conceived as zero to the zero power again; this then bursts forth in some new combination, with no gain or loss except (perhaps ? ?) the gain due to Time, as explained elsewhere. But in this case what is Time? It is a fundamental condition of experience, to say nothing of memory, so is necessary to the Finity Phase of zero to the zero power, that is, to any Universe where change occurs. Is there any possible connexion between two successive such Phases? No; they must be alike in one respect that they each cancel out, so Balance is a necessary principle. More so than time; for one could have a Samadhis Phase which developed Nirvi-Kalpa instantly. But if no Time, then a Unity, which could never become Naught; no such Phase is possible. Duality is therefore the nature of any manifested Universe.

1 exists, true; but only by a fiction; for there is always a -1 to cancel it. But we get the illusion of 1 when we add 1/2 to 1/2 or 1/3 to 2/3, etc., things – each conscious of its fractional character – seeking to be whole. Now the bigger any 'One' gets, the more conscious it is of its “Minus One' wife, the more clearly it sees that 'One; is illusion, and had better cancel out. The general process of Initiation is therefore the same for all possible universes.

From the standpoint of Physics, the original Inertia expresses itself as two complementary forms of Energy – the small active Negative Electron (Hadit) and the large passive Positive Electron (Nuit). (It has recently been shown that the mass of Matter is zero). When these satisfy each other, two phenomena occur: (1) their opposed equalities cancel out to Zero. (Perhaps even to 0 to the 0 power, thus restoring the original Indeterminate Nothing). (2) a “child” is born of the union; i.e., a positive phenomenon is ;produced, whose nature is entirely different from that of either of its 'parents'; for it is finite, and possesses limitations and qualities of its own. Groups of such primaeval units form the various kinds of 'atom', according to the number and geometric disposition thereof. (This involves projection in space and time, ideas which are not necessary to the Electrons, they being simply ideas posited to serve as a basis for any dualistic expression to which Zero may be equated, such as Being and Form, Matter and Motion. We invent Space, Time, Sense-Impression, etc. to enable us to distinguish between “experiences” to express our conception of the multiplicity of the possibilities contained in the Idea of Zero. Each human consciousness being a case of one particular way of grouping elements, its conception of the Cosmos is limited by the necessary relations of that group to other groups. It grows by “union” with such groups, and is glad, partly because it satisfied its Oedipus-complex by thus approaching Nuit, partly because it fulfils its natural function of Creation.

AL I,30: “This is the creation of the world, that the pain of division is as nothing, and the joy of dissolution all.”

The New Comment

This verse is written for men who are still in division, and sore about it; the pain is only in their idea of it. One should compare this thought with the Freudian psychology, which regards all separation from the 'Mother' as heroic but painful. But has a hero really no compensations? Besides, separation is itself a relief, just so soon as the strain becomes irksome, as in parturition.

As to “the joy of dissolution” the reference is to Samadhi, the trance in which Subject and Object become one. In this orgiastic ecstasy is experienced at first; later, the character of the consciousness changes to continuously calm delight, and later still, the delight deepens in a manner wholly indescribable. The technical terms used by Oriental Initiates to denote these conditions are untranslatable; in any case, they serve rather to darken counsel.

There is a Qabalistic aphorism concerning the words 'nothing' and 'all'; for this and similar matters see the Appendix. {WEH NOTE: The Appendix has not yet been recovered}.

AL I,31: “For these fools of men and their woes care not thou at all! They feel little; what is, is balanced by weak joys; but ye are my chosen ones.”

The New Comment

All this talk about 'suffering humanity' is principally drivel based on the error of transferring one's own psychology to one's neighbour. The Golden Rule is silly. If Lord Alfred Douglas (for example) did to others what he would like them to do to him, many would resent his action.

The development of the Adept is by Expansion – out to Nuit – in all directions equally. The small man has little experience, little capacity for either pain or pleasure. The bourgeois is a clod. I know better (at least) than to suppose that to torture him is either beneficial or amusing to myself.

This thesis concerning compassion is of the most palmary importance in the ethics of Thelema. It is necessary that we stop, once for all, this ignorant meddling with other people's business. Each individual must be left free to follow his own path. America is peculiarly insane on these points. Her people are desperately anxious to make the Cingalese wear furs, and the Tibetans vote, and the whole world chew gum, utterly dense to the fact that most other nations, especially the French and British, regard 'American institutions' as the lowest savagery, and forgetful or ignorant of the circumstance that the original brand of American freedom – which really was Freedom – contained the precept to leave other people severely alone, and thus assured the possibility of expansion on his own lines to every man.

AL I,32: “Obey my prophet! follow out the ordeals of my knowledge! seek me only! Then the joys of my love will redeem ye from all pain. This is so: I swear it by the vault of my body; by my sacred heart and tongue; by all I can give, by all I desire of ye all.”

The Old Comment

32. The rule and purpose of the Order; the promise of Nuit to her chosen.

The New Comment

It is proper to obey The Beast, because His Law is pure Freedom, and He will give no command which is other than a Right Interpretation of this Freedom. But it is necessary for the development of Freedom itself to have an organization; and every organization must have a highly-centralized control. This is especially necessary in time of war, as even the so-called 'democratic' nations have been taught by Experience, since they would not learn from Germany. Now this age is pre-eminently a 'time of war', most of all now, when it is our Work to overthrow the slave-gods.

The injunction “seek me only” is emphasized with an oath, and a special promise is made in connection with it. By seeking lesser ideals one makes distinctions, thereby affirming implicitly the very duality from which one is seeking to escape. Note also that “me” may imply the Greek MH, “not”. The word 'only' might be taken as '{?Ayin-Lamed-Nun-Vau?}' with the number of 156, that of the Secret Name BABALON of Nuith. There are presumably further hidden meanings in the key-word 'all'.

AL I,33: “Then the priest fell into a deep trance or swoon, & said unto the Queen of Heaven; Write unto us the ordeals; write unto us the rituals; write unto us the law!”

The Old Comment

33. The prophet then demanded instruction; ordeals, rituals, law.

The New Comment

Law, in the common sense of the word, should be a formulation of the customs of a people, as Euclid's propositions are the formulation of geometrical facts. But modern knavery conceived the idea of artificial law, as if one should try to square the circle by tyranny. Legislators try to force the people to change their customs, so that the “business men” whose greed they are bribed to serve may increase their profits.

'Law' in Greek, is NOMOC, from NEM , and means strictly “anything assigned, that which one has in use or possession”; hence “custom, usage”, and also “a musical strain”. The literal equivalence of NEM and the Latin NEMO is suggestive. In Hebrew, 'Law' is ThORA and equivalent to words meaning “The Gate of the Kingdom” and “The Book of Wisdom”.

AL I,34: “But she said: the ordeals I write not: the rituals shall be half known and half concealed: the Law is for all.”

The Old Comment

34. The first demand is refused, or, it may be, is to be communicated by another means than writing.

(It has since been communicated)

The second is partially granted; or, if fully granted, is not to be made wholly public.

The third is granted unconditionally.

The New Comment

The Ordeals are at present carried out unknown to the Candidate by the secret Magick Power of The Beast. Those who are accepted by Him for initiation testify that these Ordeals are frequently independent of His conscious care. They are not, like the traditional ordeals, formal, or identical for all; the Candidate finds himself in circumstances which afford a real test of conduct, and compel him to discover his own nature, to become aware of himself by bringing his secret motives to the surface.

Some of the Rituals have been made accessible, that is, the Magical Formulae have been published. See “The Rites of Eleusis”, “Energized Enthusiasm”, “Book 4, Part III”, “etc”.

Note the reference to 'not' and 'all'. Also the word 'known' contains the root GN, 'to beget' and 'to know'; while 'concealed' indicates the other half of the Human Mystery.

AL I,35: “This that thou writest is the threefold book of Law.”

The Old Comment

35. Definition of this book.

The New Comment

The instruction to write for three days from noon to one o'clock each day had already been given to The Beast. (See Preface to this Commentary).

AL I,36: “My scribe Ankh-af-na-khonsu, the priest of the princes, shall not in one letter change this book; but lest there be folly, he shall comment thereupon by the wisdom of Ra-Hoor-Khu-it.”

The Old Comment

36. The first strict charge not to tamper with a single letter of this book.

The comment is to be written “by the wisdom of Ra-Hoor-Khuit”, i.e., by open, not initiated wisdom.

The New Comment

Again we find the words Prince and Priest, but differently placed in their phrase.

The Beast is here definitely identified with the priest of the 26th Dynasty whose Stele forms the Pantacle (so to speak) of the new Magick. He is moreover identified with the scribe. It is of immense importance to the stability of the Law to have a Book not merely verbally but literally inspired, so that even errors in spelling and grammar have a secret significance. (That this must be so is guaranteed by the literary preeminence and impeccable orthography of the Beast as a man). But the great thing is the Standard to which all disputes may be referred. It is also necessary to give weight to the authority of The Beast, lest ignorance, folly, or cunning misinterpret the text.

AL I,37: “Also the mantras and spells; the obeah and the wanga; the work of the wand and the work of the sword; these he shall learn and teach.”

The Old Comment

37. An entirely new system of magic is to be learnt and taught, as is now being done.

The New Comment

Mantras may be defined as sentences proper to concentration of the mind by virtue of their constant repetition. (See Book 4, Part I, Chapter II).

Spells are methods of communicating the will to other beings. (See Book 4, Part III).

The Obeah is the magick of the Secret Light with special reference to acts; the wanga is the verbal or mental correspondence of the same. The work of the wand is that of Union; of the sword, Division; these correspond to the two Phases of the Cosmic cycle described above. (See Book 4, Part II and III).

For the root OB (AVB = 9), see Appendix;{WEH NOTE: Appendix not yet recovered} it may be connected with the word “Obey”.

The “obeah” being the acts, and the “Wanga” the words, proper to Magick, the two cover the whole world of external expression.

“The Equinox” and “Book 4” are full of instruction on all these matters in great detail, and the student must make them his guide.

But I feel bound to observe that they must be studied merely as classics, just as a musician studies Bach and Others. He cannot compose by copying or combining their works; they serve him only as indications of the art of expression. He must master the technique, theory and practice, of music, til the general principles are absorbed, and he has command of the language, to use it to express his Will.

So with Magick; the student must understand and assimilate the basic propositions, and he must be expert in the drill of the practical details.

But that is merely ground-work: he must then conceive his own expression, and execute it in his own style. Each star is unique, and each orbit apart; indeed, that is the corner-stone of my teaching, to have no standard goals or standard ways, no orthodoxies and no codes. The stars are not herded and penned and shorn and made into mutton like so many voters! I decline to be bellwether, who am born a Lion! I will not be collie, who am quicker to bite than to bark. I refuse the office of shepherd, who bear not a crook but a club.

Wise in your generation, ye sheep, are ye to scamper away bleating when your ears catch my roar on the wind! Are ye not tended and fed and protected – until word come from the stockyard?

The lion's life for me! Let me live free, and die fighting!

Now one more point about the obeah and the wanga, the deed and the word of Magick.

Magick is the art of causing change in existing phenomena. This definition includes raising the dead, bewitching cattle, making rain, acquiring goods, fascinating judges, and all the rest of the programme. Good: but it also includes every act soever? Yes; I meant it to do so. It is not possible to utter word or do deed without producing the exact effect proper and necessary thereto. Thus Magick is the Art of Life itself.

Magick is the management of all we say and do, so that the effect is to change that part of our environment which dissatisfies us, until it does so no longer. We “remould it nearer to the heart's desire.”

Magick ceremonies proper are merely organized and concentrated attempts to impose our Will on certain parts of the Cosmos. They are only particular cases of the general law.

But all we say and do, however casually, adds up to more, far more, than our most strenuous Operations. “Take care of the pence, and the pounds will take care of themselves.” Your daily drippings fill a bigger bucket than your geysers of magical effort. The “ninety and nine that safely lay in the shelter of the fold” have no organized will at all; and their character, built of their words and deeds, is only a garbage-heap.

Remember, also, that, unless you know what your true will is, you may be devoting the most laudable energies to destroying yourself. Remember that every word and deed is a witness to thought, that therefore your mind must be perfectly organized, its sole duty to interpret circumstances in terms of the Will so that speech and action may be rightly directed to express the Will appropriately to the occasion. Remember that every word and deed which is not a definite expression of your Will counts against it, indifference worse than hostility. Your enemy is at least interested in you: you may make him your friend as you never can do with a neutral. Remember that Magick is the Art of Life, therefore of causing change in accordance with Will; therefore its law is “love under will”, and its every movement is an act of love.

Remember that every act of “love under will” is lawful as such; but that when any act is not directed unto Nuith, who is here the inevitable result of the whole Work, that act is waste, and breeds conflict within you, so that “the kingdom of God which is within you” is torn by civil war.

To the beginner I would offer this programme.

1. Furnish your mind as completely as possible with the knowledge of how to inspect and to control it.

2. Train your body to obey your mind, and not to distract its attention.

3. Control your mind to devote itself wholly to discover your true Will.

4. Explore the course of that Will till you reach its source, your Silent Self.

5. Unite the conscious will with the true Will, and the conscious Ego with the Silent Self. You must be utterly ruthless in discarding any atom of consciousness which is hostile or neutral.

6. Let this work freely from within, but heed not your environment, lest you make difference between one thing and another. Whatever it be, it is to be made one with you by Love.


Why am not I to learn and teach the work of the Cup and of the Disk? Is it because they are the feminine weapons? Shall the Scarlet Woman attend to these? The Book does not say so; the passives are ignored. I feel the omission as a lack of balance, the only case of the kind in the Book. This makes me certain that there is a special meaning. This wand and sword may not be the wand and sword, or rather dagger, of the elemental weapons. The Wand may be that of the Fool, the sword that of justice, whose letters are A & L; AL is the Key of the whole Book.

We may also take them as simple symbols, the one as that of Love, the other as that of War. But, looking back over sixteen years, what have I learnt and taught? Surely the work of the wand, the free use of the Will to create, and the way to give power to the Will. I have set it up and caused men to worship it, for its name is God-in-action. As to the work of the sword, I have fought, I have shorn shams asunder, I have anatomized my mind as no man has done since Gautama. Last, I have shown how pure analysis leads to the highest Trance, and unveils the absolute Truth.

If this text imply more than this, I know not of it; I ask pardon of Them that fashioned me and chose me for Their minister.

AL I,38: “He must teach; but he may make severe the ordeals. ”

The Old Comment

38. The usual charge in a work of this kind. Every man has a right to attain; but it is equally the duty of the adept to see that he duly earns his reward, and to test and train his capacity and strength.

The New Comment

These ordeals are prepared by the Magical Power of The Beast. It is however not necessary for Him to know consciously what He is doing, and it is a very alert young Magician who knows what he is undergoing, and why.

AL I,39: “The word of the Law is Thelema.”

{“Thelema” is in Greek letters in the MS}

The Old Comment

39. Compare Rabelais. Also it may be translated, “Let Will and Action be in harmony.”

But {Thelema} also means Will in the Higher sense of Magical One-pointedness, and in the sense used by Schopenhauer and Fichte.

There is also most probably a very lofty secret interpretation.

I suggest:

The – the essential {Aleph-Taw}, Azoth, etc.

Word – Chokmah, Thoth, the Logos, the Second Emanation.

of – the Partative, Binah, the Great Mother,

the – Chesed, the paternal power, reflection of the “The” above.

Law – Geburah, the stern restriction.

is – Tiphereth, visible existence, the balanced harmony of the Worlds.

{Thelema} – The idea embracing all this sentence in a word.

Or: {Theta} The – {Teth}, the Lion “Thou shalt unite all these

symbols into the form of a Lion.”

{Epsilon} Word – {He}, the letter of Breath, the Logos.

{Lambda} of – {Lamed}, {Libra} the Equilibrium.

{Eta} the – {Cheth}, 418, Abrahadabra.

{Mu} Law – {Mem}, The Hanged Man, or Redeemer.

{Alpha} is – {Aleph} The 0 (Zero, Nuit, which is Existence).

{Thelema} – the sum of all.

The New Comment

By 'the word' one means the magical formula, symbol, or expression.

Study the whole nature of the number 93, that of {?Thelema?} in the Appendix. {WEH NOTE: Appendix not yet recovered.}

Liber Aleph has also much wisdom upon the Will. After absorbing “Berashith”, and seeing that Will has come by Chance, the question arises, is Chance in any way bound by Necessity? Is there a limit to possibility? Could there, for example, be a Something which is not resolvable into 0 to the 0 power? The question of {Alpha-Nu-Alpha-Gamma-Kappa-Eta} confronts the Magus in His meditations. For this verse, though, we may take things very simply and obviously: the change from the Osiris formula to that of Horus is intelligible enough. (See Comment on verse 49).

AL I,40: “Who calls us Thelemites will do no wrong, if he look but close into the word. For there are therein Three Grades, the Hermit, and the Lover, and the man of Earth. Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.”

The Old Comment

40. {Theta-epsilon}, the Hermit, {Yod} invisible, yet illuminating. The A.'. A.'.

{lambda-eta}, the Lover, {Zain} visible as is the lightning flash. The College of Adepts.

{mu-alpha}, The Man of Earth, {Pe}, the Blasted Tower. The 3 keys add up to 31 – {Lamed-Aleph}, Not and {Aleph-Lamed}, God. Thus is the whole of {Thelema} equivalent to Nuit, the all-embracing. 31 x 3 = 93. See the Tarot trumps for further study of these Grades.

{Theta-epsilon} = 14, the Pentagram, rule of Spirit over ordered Matter. Strength and Authority ( {Teth} and {He} ) and secretly 1 + 4 = 5, the Hierophant, {Vau}, V. Also {Leo Aries}, the Lion and the Ram. Cf. Isaiah. It is a “millennial” state.

{lambda-eta} = 38, the Key=word Abrahadabra, 418, divided by the number of its letters, 11. Justice or Balance and the Charioteer of Mastery. A state of progress; the church militant.

{mu-alpha} = 41, the Inverted Pentagram, matter dominating spirit. The Hanged Man and the Fool, the condition of those who are not adepts.

“Do what thou wilt” need not only be interpreted as license or even as liberty. It may for example be taken to mean Do what thou (Ateh) wilt; and Ateh is 406 = {Taw-Vau} = T, the sign of the cross. The passage might then be read as a charge to self-sacrifice or equilibrium.

I only put forward this suggestion to exhibit the profoundity of thought required to deal even with so plain a passage. All the meanings are true, if only the interpreter by illuminated; but if not, they are false, even as he is false.

(P.S. There was a sub-intention in the above paragraphs for the benefit of – Dwarfs!)

The New Comment

It is explained in Liber 418 that: “The man of earth is the adherent. The lover giveth his life unto the work among men. The hermit goeth solitary, and giveth only of his light unto men.”

Thus we have in the Order, the Mystic, the Magician, and the Devotee. These correspond closely to the Nuit – Hadit – Ra-Hoor-Khuit Triad.

This last sentence of this paragraph is in a sense the sum of this whole Book; for it is the threefold Book of Law. It is therefore the Message of the Beast, His word as a Magus that He must utter. It will be well therefore to reprint the substance of the Message which he first promulgated on his formal initiation into that Grade.

LIBER II.

THE MESSAGE OF THE MASTER THERION

“Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.”

“There is no Law beyond Do what thou wilt.”

{THELEMA} – Thelema – means Will.

The Key to this Message is this word – Will. The first obvious meaning of this Law is confirmed by antithesis; “The Word of Sin is Restriction.”

Again: ”… thou hast no right but to do thy will. Do that, and no other shall say nay. For pure will, unassuaged of purpose, delivered from the lust of result, is every way perfect.“

Take this carefully; it seems to imply a theory that if every man and every woman did his and her will – the true Will – there would be no clashing. “Every man and every woman is a star.”, and each star moves in an appointed path without interference. There is plenty of room for all; it is only disorder that creates confusion.

From these considerations it should be clear that “Do what thou wilt” does not mean “Do what you like.” It is the apotheosis of Freedom; but it is also the strictest possible bond.

Do what thou wilt – then do nothing else. Let nothing deflect thee from that austere and holy task. Liberty is absolute to do thy will; but seek to do any other thing whatever, and instantly obstacles must arise. Every act that is not in definite course of that one orbit is erratic, an hindrance. Will must not be two, but one.

Note further that this will is not only to be pure, that is, single, as explained above, but also “unassuaged of purpose”. This strange phrase must give us pause. It may mean that any purpose in the will would damp ti; clearly, the “lust of result” is a thing from which it must be delivered.

But the phrase may also be interpreted as if it read “with purpose unassuaged” – i.e. with tireless energy. The conception is, therefore, of an eternal motion, infinite and unalterable. It is Nirvana, only dynamic instead of static – and this comes to the same thing in the end.

The obvious practical task of the magician is then to discover what his will really is, so that he may do it in this manner, and he can best accomplish this by the practices of Liber Thisarb (see Equinox I, VII, 105) or such others as may from one time to another be appointed.

It should not be perfectly simple for everybody to understand the Message of the Master Therion.

Thou must (1) Find out what is thy Will, (2) Do that Will with (a) one-pointedness, (b) detachment, © peace.

Then, and then only, art thou in harmony with the Movement of Things, thy will part of, and therefore equal to, the Will of God. And since the will is but the dynamic aspect of the self, and since two different selves could not possess identical wills; then, if thy will be God's will, Thou art That.

There is but one other word to explain. Elsewhere it is written – surely for our great comfort – “Love is the law, love under will.”

This is to be taken as meaning that while Will is the Law, the nature of that Will is Love. But this Love is as it were a by-product of that Will; it does not contradict or supersede that Will; and if apparent contradiction should arise in any crisis, it is the Will that can guide us aright. Lo, while in the Book of the Law is much Love, there is no word of Sentimentality. Hate itself is almost like Love! Fighting most certainly is Love! “As brothers fight ye!” All the many races of the world understand this. The Love of Liber Legis is always bold, Virile, even orgiastic. There is delicacy, but it is the delicacy of strength. Mighty and terrible and glorious as it is, however, it is but the pennon upon the sacred lance of Will, the damascened inscription upon the swords of the knightmonks of Thelema.

Love is the law, love under will.”

There are many other mysteries in this Word, so that it is impossible to write a full commentary. The Book Aleph (Wisdom or Folly) is almost wholly devoted to its explanation.

Let every Star see to it that its own life is a wise comment on this word!

“Three grades”. There is a very curious parallel to this passage in Mr. Aldous Huxley's “Crome Yellow” Chap. XXII. He works out a theory of a “Rational State” on precisely these lines: {WEH NOTE: Warning to those intending publication of the Commentaries. Besides obtaining O.T.O. permission to use the O.T.O. copyright material, it may be necessary to obtain permission from the owner(s) of the following quoted material.}

“Mr. Scogan waved away the interruption. 'There's only one thing to be done', he said. 'The men of intelligence must combine, must conspire, and seize power from the imbeciles and maniacs who now direct us. They must found the Rational State'

“The heat that was slowly paralyzing all Denis's mental and bodily faculties seemed to bring to Mr. Scogan additional vitality. he talked with an ever-increasing energy, his hands moved in sharp, quick precise gestures, his eyes shown. Hard, dry, and continuous, his voice went on sounding and sounding in Denis's ears with the insistence of a mechanical noise.

”'In the Rational State', he heard Mr. Scogan saying, 'human beings will be separated out into distinct species, not according to the colour of their eyes or the shape of their skulls, but according to the qualities of their mind and temperament. Examining psychologists, trained to what would now seem an almost superhuman clairvoyance, will test each child that is born and assign it to its proper species. Duly labelled and docketed, the child will be given the education suitable to members of its species, and will be set, in adult life, to perform those functions which human being of his variety are capable of performing.'

”'How many species will there be?' asked Denis.“

”'A great many, no doubt,' Mr. Scogan answered: 'the classification will be subtle and elaborate. But is is not in the power of a prophet to go into details, nor is it his business. I will do no more than indicate the three main species into which the subjects of the Rational State will be divided. … The three main species, will be these: the Directing Intelligences, the Men of Faith, and the Herd. Among the Intelligences will be found all those capable of thought, those who know how to attain to a certain degree of freedom – and also, how limited, even among the most intelligent, that freedom is! – from the mental bondage of their time. A select body of Intelligences, drawn from among those who have turned their attention to the problems of practical life, will be the governors of the Rational State. They will employ as their instruments of power the second great species of humanity – the men of Faith, the Madmen, as I have been calling them, who believe in things unreasonably, with passion, and are ready to die for their beliefs and their desires. These wild men, with their fearful potentialities for good or for mischief, will no longer be allowed to react casually to a casual environment. There will be no more Caesar Borgias, no more Luthers and Mohammeds, no more Joanna Southcotts, no more Comstocks. The old-fasioned Man of Faith and Desire, that haphazard creature of brute circumstance, who might drive men to tears and repentance, or who might equally well set them on to cutting one another's throats, will be replaced by a new sort of madman, still externally the same, still bubbling with seemingly spontaneous enthusiasm, but, ah, how very different from the madman of the past! For the new Man of Faith will be expending his passion, his desire, and his enthusiasm in the propagation of some reasonable idea. He will be, all unawares, the tool of some superior intelligence.'

“Mr. Scogan chuckled maliciously: it was as though he were taking a revenge, in the name of reason, on the enthusiasts. 'From their earliest years, as soon, that is, as the examining psychologists have assigned them their place in the classified scheme, the Men of Faith will have had their special education under the eye of the Intelligences. Moulded by a long process of suggestion, they will go out into the world, preaching and practicing with a generous mania the coldly reasonable projects of the Directors from above. When these projects are accomplished, or when the ideas that were useful a decade ago have ceased to be useful, the Intelligences will inspire a new generation of madmen with a new eternal truth. The principal function of the Men of Faith will be to move and direct the Multitude, that third great species consisting of those countless millions who lack intelligence and are without valuable enthusiasm. When any particular effort is required of the Herd, when it is thought necessary, for the sake of solidarity, that humanity shall be kindled and united by some single enthusiastic desire or idea, the Men of Faith, primed with some simple and satisfying creed, will be sent out on a mission of evangelization. At ordinary times, when the high spiritual temperature of a Crusade would be unhealthy, the Men of Faith will be quietly and earnestly busy with the great work of education. In the upbringing of the Herd, humanity's almost boundless suggestibility will be scientifically exploited. Systematically, from the earliest infancy, its members will be assured that there is no happiness to be found except in work and obedience; they will be made to believe that they are happy, that they are tremendously important beings, and that everything they do is noble and significant. For the lower species the earth will be restored to the centre of the universe and man to preeminence on the earth. Oh, I envy the lot of the commonality in the Rational State! Working their eight hours a day, obeying their betters, convinced of their own grandeur and significance and immortality, they will be marvellously happy, happier than any race of men has ever been. They will go through life in a rosy state of intoxication, form which they will never awake. The Men of Faith will play the cup-bearers at this lifelong bacchanal, filling and ever filling again with the warm liquor that the Intelligences, in sad and sober privacy behind the scenes, will brew for the intoxication of their subjects.'”

{WEH NOTE: It is characteristic of Crowley's blind side that he saw no hint of satire in this passage. If success is the proof, all theories of utopian dependence on ant-like social order should be highly suspect. The flaw is four-fold: 1. omission of social mobility. 2. assumption of enduring intelligence linked with good will in the higher class. 3. preposterous ignorance of the limitations of tests and techniques. 4. failure to understand human motivation. All structured utopias are stagnating tyrannies. No utopian philosopher has yet devised a state which would have allowed that particular individual, the utopian philosopher himself, to survive childhood! Such fantasmogoria as these arise from the detritus of the elder age. Crowley himself once remarked to Grady McMurtry that he (Crowley) had been born before the age of Thelema and that it would take someone born in the age to fully comprehend the age.}

AL I,41: “The word of Sin is Restriction. O man! refuse not thy wife, if she will! O lover, if thou wilt, depart! There is no bond that can unite the divided but love: all else is a curse. Accursed! Accursed be it to the aeons! Hell.”

The Old Comment

41, 42. Interference with the will of another is the great sin, for it predicates the existence of another. In this duality sorrow consists. I think that possibly the higher meaning is still attributed to will.

The New Comment

The first paragraph is a general statement or definition of Sin or Error. Anything soever that binds the will, hinders it, or diverts it, is Sin. That is, Sin is the appearance of the Dyad. Sin is impurity.«One cannot say that it was “Sin” for Naught to restrict itself within the form of Two; on the contrary. But sin is to resist the operation of the reversion to Naught. “The wages of Sin is Death;” for Life is a continual harmonious and natural Change. See Liber 418 and Liber Aleph.

Sin (See Skeat's Ety. Dict.) is connected with the root “es”, to be. This throws a new light on the passage. Sin is restriction, that is, it is 'being' as opposed to 'becoming'. The fundamental idea of wrong is the static as opposed to the dynamic conception of the Universe. This explanation is not only in harmony with the general teaching of the Book of the Law, bit shows how profoundly the author understands Himself.»

The remainder of the paragraph takes a particular case as an example. There shall be no property in human flesh. The sex-instinct is one of the most deeply-seated expressions of the will; and it must not be restricted, either negatively by preventing its free function, or positively by insisting on its false function.

What is more brutal than to stunt natural growth or to deform it?

What is more absurd than to seek to interpret this holy instinct as a gross animal act, to separate it from the spiritual enthusiasm without which it is so stupid as not even to be satisfactory to the persons concerned?

The sexual act is a sacrament of Will. To profane it is the great offence. All true expression of it is lawful; all suppression or distortion is contrary to the Law of Liberty. To use legal or financial constraint to compel either abstention or submission, is entirely horrible, unnatural and absurd. Physical constraint, up to a certain point, is not so seriously wrong; for it has its roots in the original sex-conflict which we see in animals, and has often the effect of exciting Love in his highest and noblest shape. Some of the most passionate and permanent attachments have begun with rape.{WEH NOTE: but see the New Comment on verse 51.} Rome was actually founded thereon. Similarly, murder of a faithless partner is ethically excusable, in a certain sense; for there may be some stars whose Nature is extreme violence. The collision of galaxies is a magnificent spectacle, after all. But there is nothing inspiring in a visit to one's lawyer. Of course this is merely my personal view; a star who happened to be a lawyer might see things otherwise! Yet Nature's unspeakable variety, though it admits cruelty and selfishness, offers us no example of the puritan and the prig! {WEH NOTE: Crowley's determined ignorance of Natural History as a subject of study is ably presented by his own direct affirmation in several of his works. Harem oriented species, including seals, sheep, cows, … have a puritanical prig at the top of the pecking order. Pack and colony animals, such as wolves and meercats, often allow sex between only two individuals in the pack. At least it's not as bad as the parish priest who denounced homosexuality with the observation that it did not occur in animals, including dogs!}

However, to the mind of Law there is an Order of Going; and a machine is more beautiful, save to the Small Boy, when it works than when it smashes. Now the Machine of Matter-Motion is an explosive machine, with pyrotechnic effects; but these are only incidentals.

Laws against adultery are based upon the idea that woman is a chattel, so that to make love to a married woman is to deprive the husband of her services. It is the frankest and most crass statement of a slave-situation. To us, every woman is a star. She has therefore an absolute right to travel in her own orbit. There is no reason why she should not be the ideal hausfrau, if that chance to be her will. But society has no right to insist upon that standard. It was, for practical reasons, almost necessary to set up such taboos in small communities, savage tribes, where the wife was nothing but a general servant, where the safety of the people depended upon a high birth-rate. But to-day woman is economically independent, becomes more so every year. The result is that she instantly asserts her right to have as many or as few men or babies as she wants or can get; and she defies the world to interfere with her. More power to her – elbow!

The War has seen this emancipation flower in four years. Primitive people, the Australian troops for example, are saying that they will not marry English girls, because English girls like a dozen men a week. Well, who wants them to marry? Russia has already formally abrogated marriage. Germany and France have tried to 'save their faces' in a thoroughly Chinese manner, by 'marrying' pregnant spinsters to dead soldiers!

England has been too deeply hypocritical, of course, to do more than “hush things up”; and is pretending 'business as usual', though every pulpit is aquake with the clamour of bat-eyed bishops, squeaking of the awful immorality of everybody but themselves and their choristers. Englishwomen over 30 have the vote; when the young 'uns get it, good-bye to the old marriage system.

America has made marriage a farce by the multiplication and confusion of the Divorce Laws. A friend of mine who had divorced her husband was actually, three years later, sued by him for divorce!!!

But America never waits for laws; her people go ahead. The emancipated, self-supporting American woman already acts exactly like the 'bachelor-boy'. Sometimes she loses her head, and stumbles into marriage, and stubs her toe. She will soon get tired of the folly. She will perceive how imbecile it is to hamstring herself in order to please her parents, or to legitimatize her children, or to silence her neighbours.

She will take the men she wants as simply as she buys a newspaper; and if she doesn't like the Editorials, or the Comic Supplement, it's only two cents gone, and she can get another.

Blind asses! who pretend that women are naturally chaste! The Easterns know better; all the restrictions of the harem, of public opinion, and so on, are based upon the recognition of the fact that woman is only chaste when there is nobody around. She will snatch the babe from its cradle, or drag the dog from its kennel, to prove the old saying: “Natura abhorret a vacuo. For she is the Image of the Soul of Nature, the Great Mother, the Great Whore.

It is to be well noted that the Great Women of History have exercised unbounded freedom in Love. Sappho, Semiramis, Messalina, Cleopatra, Ta Chhi, Pasiphae, Clytaemnaestra, Helen of Troy, and in more recent times Joan of Arc (by Shakespeare's account), Catherine II of Russia, Queen Elizabeth of England, George Sand, “George Eliot.” Against these we can put only Emily Bronte, whose sex-suppression was due to her environment, and so burst out in the incredible violence of her art, and the regular religious mystics, Saint Catherine, Saint Teresa, and so on, the facts of whose sex-life have been carefully camouflaged in the interests of the slave-gods. But, even on that showing, the sex-life was intense, for the writings of such women are overloaded with sexual expression passionate and perverted, even to morbidity and to actual hallucination.

Sex is the main expression of the Nature of a person; great Natures are sexually strong; and the health of any person will depend upon the freedom of that function.

(See “Liber CI”, “de Lege Libellum”, Cap. IV, in “The Equinox” III (1).)

AL I,42: “Let it be that state of manyhood bound and loathing. So with thy all; thou hast no right but to do thy will.”

The New Comment

“Manyhood bound and loathing.” An organized state is a free association for the common weal. My personal will to cross the Atlantic, for example, is made effective by co-operation with others on agreed terms. But the forced association of slaves is another thing.

A man who is not doing his will is like a man with cancer, an independent growth in him, yet one from which he cannot get free. The idea of self-sacrifice is a moral cancer in exactly this sense.

Similarly, one may say that not to do one's will is evidence of mental or moral insanity. When “duty points one way, and inclination the other”, it is proof that you are not one, but two. You have not centralized your control. This dichotomy is the beginning of conflict, which may result in a Jekyll-Hyde effect. Stevenson suggests that man may be discovered to be a “mere polity” of many individuals. The sages knew it long since. But the name of this polity is Choronzon, mob rule, unless every individual is absolutely disciplined to serve his own, and the common, purpose without friction.

It is of course better to expel or destroy an irreconcilable. “If thine eye offend thee, cut it out.” The error in the interpretation of this doctrine has been that it has not been taken as it stands. It has been read: If thine eye offend some artificial standard of right, cut it out. The curse of society has been Procrustean morality, the ethics of the herd-men. One would have thought that a mere glance at Nature would have sufficed to disclose Her scheme of Individuality made possible by Order.

AL I,43: “Do that, and no other shall say nay.”

The Old Comment

43. No other shall say nay may mean – NO-Other (Nuit) shall pronounce the word No, uniting the Aspirant with Herself by denying and so destroying that which he is.

The New Comment

The general meaning of this verse is that so great is the power of asserting one's right that it will not long be disputed. For by doing so one appeals to the Law. In practice it is found that people who are ready to fight for their rights are respected, and let alone. The slave-spirit invites oppression.

AL I,44: “For pure will, unassuaged of purpose, delivered from the lust of result, is every way perfect.”

The Old Comment

44. Recommends “non-attachment.” Students will understand how in meditation the mind which attaches itself to hope of success is just as bound as if it were to attach itself to some base material idea. It is a bond and the aim is freedom.

I recommend serious study of the word unassuaged which appears not very intelligible.

The New Comment

This verse is best interpreted by defining 'pure will' as the true expression of the Nature, the proper or inherent motion of the matter, concerned. It is unnatural to aim at any goal. The student is referred to “Liber LXV”, Cap. II, v. 24, and to the “Tao Teh King”. This becomes particularly important in high grades. One is not to do Yoga, etc., in order to get Samadhi, like a schoolboy or a shopkeeper; but for its own sake, like an artist.

“Unassuaged” means “its edge taken off by” or “dulled by”. The pure student does not think of the result of the examination.

AL I,45: “The Perfect and the Perfect are one Perfect and not two; nay, are none!”

The Old Comment

45. Perhaps means that adding perfection to perfection results in unity and ultimately the Negativity. But I think there is much more than this.

The New Comment

Here begins one of the characteristically difficult passages of this Book. The author, Aiwaz, is careful to identify Himself at intervals by such Speech. The interpretation, when thoroughly grasped, is invariably quite overwhelming by its simplicity. It is for this reason that this Book should be studied with all assiduity; at any moment the answer to your own deepest problem may be signalled to you from the Stars.

AL I,46: “Nothing is a secret key of this law. Sixty-one the Jews call it; I call it eight, eighty, four hundred & eighteen.”

The Old Comment

46. 61 = {Aleph-Vau-Nun}. But the True Nothing of Nuit is 8, 80, 418. Now 8 is {Cheth}, which spelt fully is 418 – {Cheth-Yod-Taw}. And 418 is Abrahadabra, the word of Ra-Hoor-Khuit. Now 80 is {Pe}, the letter of Ra-Hoor-Khuit. (Qy. this?) (Could 80 = {infinity} 0. Infinity x Zero?)

The New Comment

See Appendix {WEH NOTE: Appendix not yet recovered.}

AL I,47: “But they have the half: unite by thine art so that all disappear.”

The Old Comment

47. Let us, however, add the Jewish half, 61.

8 + 80 + 418 = 506. Cf. Verses 24, 25.

506 + 61 = 567 = 27 x 21 = ?

But writing 506 qabalistically backwards we get 605, and 605 + 61 = 666.

666 = 6 x 111, and 11 = {?Aleph?} = 0 in Taro.

666 = 1 + 2 + … 36, the sum of the numbers in the Magic Square of Sol.

666 = the Number of the Beast.

Or, taking the keys, 8, 80, 418, we get VII, XVI, VII, adding to 30.

30 + 61 = 91 = {Aleph-Mem-Nun}, Amen.

This may unite Nuit with Amoun the negative and concealed. Yet to my mind, she is the greater conception, that of which Amoun is but a reflection.

The New Comment

See Appendix {WEH NOTE: Appendix not yet recovered.}

AL I,48: “My prophet is a fool with his one, one, one; are not they the Ox, and none by the Book?”

The Old Comment

48. See above for 111.

“My prophet is a fool,” i.e. my prophet has the highest of all grades, since the Fool is {Aleph}.

I note later (An V, Sol in Aquarius) that v. 48 means that all disappears when 61 + 8, 80, 418, are reduced to 1. And this may indicate some practical mystic method of annihilation. I am sure (Sol in Libra, An VII) that is is by no means the perfect solution of these marvellous verses.

The New Comment

I think that the surface meaning of this verse is to answer the unspoken criticism of the scribe, who did not see how to find a zero value for such an equation. It assured him that it was only necessary to find a Unity Value.

AL I,49: “Abrogate are all rituals, all ordeals, all words and signs. Ra-Hoor-Khuit hath taken his seat in the East at the Equinox of the Gods; and let Asar be with Isa, who also are one. But they are not of me. Let Asar be the adorant, Isa the sufferer; Hoor in his secret name and splendour is the Lord initiating.”

The Old Comment

49. Declares a New System of Magic, and initiation. Asar-Isa is now the Candidate, not the Hierophant. Hoor – see Cap. III – is the Initiator.

The New Comment

This verse declares that the old formula of Magick – the Osiris-Adonis-Jesus-Marsyas-Dionysus-Attis-etcetera formula of the Dying God – is no longer efficacious. It rested on the ignorant belief that the Sun died every day, and every year, and that its resurrection was a miracle.

The Formula of the New Aeon recognizes Horus, the Child crowned and conquering, as God. We are all members of the Body of God, the Sun; and about our System is the Ocean of Space. This formula is then to be based upon these facts. Our “Evil”, “Error”, “Darkness”, “Illusion”, whatever one chooses to call it, is simply a phenomenon of accidental and temporary separateness. If you are “walking in darkness”, do not try to make the sun rise by self-sacrifice, but wait in confidence for the dawn, and enjoy the pleasures of the night meanwhile.

The general illusion is to the Equinox Ritual of the G.'. D.'. where the officer of the previous six months, representing Horus, took the place of the retiring Hierophant, who had represented Osiris.

Isa is the Legendary “Jesus”, for which Canidian concoction the prescription is to be found in my book bearing that title, “Liber DCCCLXXXVIII”.

AL I,50: “There is a word to say about the Hierophantic task. Behold! there are three ordeals in one, and it may be given in three ways. The gross must pass through fire; let the fine be tried in intellect, and the lofty chosen ones in the highest. Thus ye have star & star, system & system; let not one know well the other!”

The Old Comment

50. Our system of initiation is to be triune. For the outer, tests of labour, pain, etc. For the inner, intellectual tests. For the elect of the A.'.A.'., spiritual tests. Further the Order is not to hold Lodges, but to have a chain-system.{WEH NOTE: This was written when Crowley had not yet joined O.T.O. and before he chartered O.T.O. lodges}

The New Comment

It would be improper to make extended commentary on this verse, since the nature of the ordeals is not to be written. It is only necessary to say that these ordeals are singularly thorough in all ways, and cannot be dodged. They are real, not formal, tests of the candidate.

Persons accustomed to the schoolboy jokes of Freemasonry please take notice.

AL I,51: “There are four gates to one palace; the floor of that palace is of silver and gold; lapis lazuli & jasper are there; and all rare scents; jasmine & rose, and the emblems of death. Let him enter in turn or at once the four gates; let him stand on the floor of the palace. Will he not sink? Amn. Ho! warrior, if thy servant sink? But there are means and means. 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.”

The Old Comment

51. The candidate will be brought through his ordeals in divers ways. The order is to be of freemen and nobles.

The New Comment

The first section of this verse is connected with the second only by the word 'therefore'. It appears to describe an initiation, or perhaps The initiation, in general terms. I would suggest that the palace is the 'Holy House' or Universe of the Initiate of the New Law. The four gates are perhaps Light, Life, Love, Liberty – see “De Lege Libellum”. Lapis Lazuli is a symbol of Nuit, Jasper of Hadit. The rare scents are possibly various ecstasies or Samadhis. Jasmine and Rose are Hieroglyphs of the two main Sacraments, while the emblems of death may refer to certain secrets of a well known exoteric school of initiation whose members, with the rarest exceptions, do not know what it is all about.{WEH NOTE: Probably a slap against Freemasonry in decadence.}

The question then arises as to whether the initiate is able to stand firmly in this Place of Exaltation. It seems to me as if this refers to the ascetic life, commonly considered as an essential condition of participation in these mysteries. The answer is that “there are means and means”, implying that no one rule is essential. This is in harmony with our general interpretation of the Law; it has as many rules as there are individuals.

This word 'therefore' is easy to understand. We are to enjoy life thoroughly in an absolutely normal way, exactly as all the free and great have always done. The only point to remember is that one is a 'Member of the Body of God', a Star in the Body of Nuith. This being sure, we are urged to the fullest expansion of our several Natures, with special attention to those pleasures which not only express the soul, but aid it to reach the higher developments of that expression.

The act of Love is to the bourgeois (as the 'Christian' is called now-a-days) a gross animal gesture which shames his boasted humanity. The appetite drags him at its hoofs; it tires him, disgusts him, diseases him, makes him ridiculous even in his own eyes. It is the source of nearly all his neuroses.

Against this monster he has devised two protections. Firstly, he pretends that it is a Fairy Prince disguised, and hangs it with the rags and tinsel of romance, sentiment, and religion. He calls it Love, denies its strength and truth, and worships this wax figure of him with all sorts of amiable lyrics and leers.

Secondly, he is so certain, despite all his theatrical-wardrobe-work, that it is a devouring monster, that he resents with insane ferocity the existence of people who laugh at his fears, and tell him that the monster he fears is in reality not a fire-breathing worm, but a spirited horse, well trained to the task of the bridle. They tell him not to be a gibbering coward, but to learn to ride. Knowing well how abject he is, the kindly manhood of the advice is, to him, the bitterest insult he can imagine, and he calls on the mob to stone the blasphemer. He is therefore particularly anxious to keep intact the bogey he so dreads; the demonstration that Love is a general passion, pure in itself, and the redeemer of all them that put their trust in Him, is to tear open the raw ulcer of his soul.

We of Thelema are not the slaves of Love. “Love under will” is the Law. We refuse to regard love as shameful and degrading, as a peril to body and soul. We refuse to accept it as the surrender of the divine to the animal; to us it is the means by which the animal may be made the Winged Sphinx which shall bear man aloft to the House of the Gods.

We are then particularly careful to deny that the object of love is the gross physiological object which happens to be Nature's excuse for it. Generation is a sacrament of the physical Rite, by which we create ourselves anew in our own image, weave in a new flesh-tapestry the Romance of our own Soul's History. But also Love is a sacrament of trans-substantiation whereby we initiate our own souls; it is the Wine of Intoxication as well as the Bread of Nourishment. “Nor is he for priest designed Who partakes only in one kind.”

We therefore heartily cherish those forms of Love in which no question of generation arises; we use the stimulating effects of physical enthusiasm to inspire us morally and spiritually. Experience teaches that passions thus employed do serve to refine and to exalt the whole being of man or woman. Nuith indicates the sole condition: “But always unto me.”

The epicure is not a Monster of gluttony, nor the amateur of Beethoven a 'degenerate' from the 'normal' man whose only music is the tom-tom. So also the poisons which shook the bourgeois are not indulgences, but purifications; the brute whose furtive lust demands that he be drunk and in darkness that he may surrender to his shame, and that he lie about it with idiot mumblings ever after, is hardly the best judge even of Phryne. How much less should he venture to criticize such men and women whose imaginations are so free from grossness that the element of attraction which serves to electrify their magnetic coil is independent of physical form? To us the essence of Love is that it is a sacrament unto Nuith, a gate of grace and a road of righteousness to Her High Palace, the abode of peerless purity whose lamps are the Stars.

“As ye will.” It should be abundantly clear from the foregoing remarks that each individual has an absolute and indefeasible right to use his sexual vehicle in accordance with its own proper character, and that he is responsible only to himself. But he should not injure himself and his right aforesaid; acts invasive of another individual's equal rights are implicitly self-aggressions. A thief can hardly complain on theoretical grounds if he is himself robbed. Such acts as rape, and the assault or seduction of infants, may therefore be justly regarded as offences against the Law of Liberty, and repressed in the interests of that Law.

It is also excluded from “as ye will” to compromise the liberty of another person indirectly, as by taking advantage of the ignorance or good faith of another person to expose that person to the constraint of sickness, poverty, social detriment, or childbearing, unless with the well-informed and uninfluenced free will of that person.

One must moreover avoid doing another injury by deforming his nature; for instance, to flog children at or near puberty may distort the sensitive nascent sexual character, and impress it with the stamp of masochism. Again, homosexual practices between boys may in certain cases actually rob them of their virility, psychically or even physically.

Trying to frighten adolescents about sex by the bogeys of Hell, Disease, and Insanity, may warp the moral nature permanently, and produce hypochondria or other mental maladies, with perversions of the enervated and thwarted instinct.

Repression of the natural satisfaction may result in addition to secret and dangerous vices which destroy their victim because they are artificial and unnatural aberrations. Such moral cripples resemble those manufactured by beggars by compressing one part of the body so that it is compensated by a monstrous exaggeration in another part.

But on the other hand we have no right to interfere with any type of manifestation of the sexual impulse on a priori grounds. We must recognize that the Lesbian leanings of idle and voluptuous women whose refinement finds the grossness of the average male repugnant, are as inexpungably entrenched in Righteousness as the parallel pleasures of the English Aristocracy and Clergy whose aesthetics find women disgusting, and whose self-respect demands that love should transcend animal impulse, excite intellectual intimacy, and inspire spirituality by directing it towards an object whose attainment cannot inflict the degradation of domesticity, and the bestiality of gestation.

Every one should discover, by experience of every kind, the extent and intention of his own sexual Universe. He must be taught that all roads are equally royal, and that the only question for him is “Which road is mine?” All details are equally likely to be of the essence of his personal plan, all equally 'right' in themselves, his own choice of the one as correct as, and independent of, his neighbour's preference for the other.

He must not be ashamed or afraid of being homosexual if he happens to be so at heart; he must not attempt to violate his own true nature because public opinion, or mediaeval morality, or religious prejudice would wish he were otherwise. The oyster stays shut in his shell for all Darwin may say about his “low stage of evolution”, or Puritans about his priapistic character, or idealists about his unfitness for civic government.

The advocates of homosexuality - “primus inter pares”, John Addington Symonds! – hammer away like Hercules at the spiritual, social, moral, and intellectual advantages of cultivating the caresses of a comrade who combines Apollo with Achilles and Antinous at the expense of escaping from a Chimaera with Circe's head, Cleopatra's body, and Cressida's character.

Why can't they let one alone? I agree to agree; I only stipulate to be allowed to be inconsistent. I will confess their creed, so long as I may play the part of Peter until the cock crow thrice.

They urge more strenuously still the claims of homosexuality to heal the hurts and horrors of humanity, almost the 'complete cohort'. On this point I concur that they argue indiscutably, with sober sense to support and stress of suffering to spur them. They prove with Euler's exactness and Hinton's passion that heterosexuality entrains an infinity of ills; jealousies, abortions, diseases, infanticides, frauds, intrigues, quarrels, poverty, prostitution, persecution, idleness, self-indulgence, social stress, over-population, sex-antagonism. They show with Poincare's precision that Jesus and Paul struck at the heart of hell when they proclaimed marriage a scourge, and offered the testimony of John and Timothy to support the plea of Plato on behalf of paederastic passion. Out of the Court there slunk Mark Antony, his toga to his face, one of the legion of lost souls that woman had withered; behind him groped blind Samson, disinherited Adam, feeling his way along the table where they had piled countless papyri writ with woes of kings and sages woman-wrecked, and many a map of towns and temples torn and trampled beneath the feet of Love, their ashes smouldering still, and smoky with song to witness how Astarte's breath had kindled and consumed them. Extinguished empires owned that their doom was the device of Venus, her vengeance on virility.

By Paul sat Buddha smiling, Ananda's arm about his neck, while Mohammed paced the floor impatiently between two warrior comrades, his belt bearing an iron key, a whip and a sword, wherewith to limit women's liberty, their love their life, lest to his loss they lure him.

The Beast is there also, aloof, attentive. He will not weigh the evidence in the balances of any particular kind of advantage. He will not admit any standard as adequate to assess the absolute. To him, the pettiest personal whimsy outweighs all wisdom, all philosophy, all private profit and all public prudence. The sexual obol of the meanest is stamped with the signature of his own sovereign soul, lawful and current coin no less than the gold talent of his neighbour. The derelict moon has the same right to drift round Earth as Regulus to blaze in the heart of the Lion.

Collision is the only crime in the cosmos.

The Beast refuses therefore to assent to any argument as to the propriety of any fashion of formulating the soul in symbols of sex. A canon is no less deadly in love than in art or literature; its acceptance stifles style, and its enforcement extinguishes sincerity.

It is better for a person of heterosexual nature to suffer every possible calamity as the indirect environment-evoked result of his doing his true will in that respect than to enjoy health, wealth and happiness by means either of suppressing sex altogether, of debauching it to the service of Sodom or Gommorrah.

Equally it is better for the androgyne, the urning, or their feminine counterparts to endure blackmailers private and public, the terrors of police persecution, the disgust, contempt and loathing of the vulgar, and the self-torture of suspecting the peculiarity to be a symptom of a degenerate nature, than to wrong the soul by damning it to the hell of abstinence, or by defiling it with the abhorred embraces of antipathetic arms.

Every star must calculate its own orbit. All is Will, and yet all is Necessity. To swerve is ultimately impossible; to seek to swerve is to suffer.

The Beast 666 ordains by His authority that every man, and every woman, and every intermediately-sexed individual, shall be absolutely free to interpret and communicate Self by means of any sexual practices soever, whether direct or indirect, rational or symbolic, physiologically, legally, ethically, or religiously approved or no, provided only that all parties to any act are fully aware of all implications and responsibilities thereof, and heartily agree thereto.

Moreover, the Beast 666 adviseth that all children shall be accustomed from infancy to witness every type of sexual act, as also the process of birth, lest falsehood fog, and mystery stupefy, their minds, whose error else might thwart and misdirect the growth of their subconscious system of soul-symbolism.

“when, where, and with whom ye will!”

The phrase “with whom” has been practically covered by the comment on “as ye will”. One need no more than distinguish that the earlier phrase permits all manner of acts, the latter all possible partners. There would have been no Furies for Oedipus, no disaster for Othello, Romeo, Pericles of Tyre, Laon and Cythna, if it were only agreed to let sleeping dogs lie, and mind one's own business. In real life, we have seen in our own times Oscar Wilde, Sir Charles Dilke, Parnell, Canon Aitken and countless others, many of them engaged in first-rate work for the world, all wasted because the mob must make believe to be “moral”. This phrase abolishes the Eleventh Commandment, Not to be Found Out, by authorizing Incest, Adultery, and Paederasty, which every one now practices with humiliating precautions, which perpetuate the schoolboy's enjoyment of an escapade, and make shame, slyness, cowardice and hypocrisy the conditions of success in life.

It is also the fact that the tendency of any individual to sexual irregularity is emphasised by the preoccupation with the subject which follows its factitious importance in modern society.

It is to be observed that Politeness has forbidden any direct reference to the subject of sex to secure no happier result than to allow Sigmund Freud and others to prove that our every thought, speech, and gesture, conscious or unconscious, is an indirect reference!

Unless one wants to wreck the neighbourhood, it is best to explode one's gunpowder in an unconfined space.

There are very few cases of “perverted hunger-instinct” in moderately healthy communities. War restrictions on food created dishonest devices to procure dainties, and artificial attempts to appease the ache of appetite by chemical counterfeits.

The South-Sea Islanders, pagan, amoral and naked, are temperate lovers, free from hysterical “crimes of passion”, sex obsessions, and puritan persecution-mania; perversion is practically unknown, and monogamy is the general custom.

Even the civilized psychopaths of cities, forced into every kind of excess by the omnipresence of erotic suggestions and the contact of crazed crowds seething with suppressed sexuality, are not wholly past physic. They are no sooner released from the persistent pressure by escaping to some place where the inhabitants treat the reproductive and the respiratory organs as equally innocent than they begin insensibly to forget their 'fixed idea' forced on them by the fog-horn of Morality, so that their perversions perish, just as a coiled spring straightens itself when the external compulsion is removed. They revert to their natural sex-characters, which only in rare cases are other than simple, pure, and refined. More, sex itself ceases to play Principal Boy in the Pantomime of Life. Other interests resume their proper proportions.

We may now inquire why the Book is at pains to admit as to love “when” and “where” we will. Few people, surely, have been seriously worried by restrictions of time and place. One can only think of lovers who live with fearsome families or in inhospitable lodgings, on a rainy night, buffeted from one police-bullied hotel to another.

Perhaps this permission is intended to indicate the propriety of performing the sexual act without shame or fear, not waiting for darkness or seeking secrecy, but by daylight in public places, as serenely as if it were a natural incident in a morning stroll.

Custom would soon surfeit curiosity, and copulation attract less attention than a new fashion in frocks. For the existing interest in sexual matters is chiefly because, common as the act is, it is closely concealed. Nobody is excited by seeing others eat. A “naughty” book is as dull as a volume of sermons; only genius can vitalize either.

Beyond this, once love is taken for granted, the morbid fascination of its mystery will vanish.

The pander, the prostitute, the parasite will find their occupation gone.

Disease will go straight to the doctor instead of to the quack, as it does; the altars of Mrs. Grundy run red with the blood of her faithful!

The ignorance or carelessness of a raw youth will no longer hound him to hell. A blighted career or a ruined constitution will no more be the penalty of a moment's exuberance.

Above all, the world will begin to appreciate the true nature of the sexual process, its physical insignificance as one among many parts of the body, its transcendent importance as the vehicle of the True Will and the first of the sheaths of the Self.

Hitherto our sexual tabus have kept far ahead of Gilbert and Sullivan. We have made love the lackey to property, as who should pay his rent by sneezing. We have swaddled it in politeness, as who should warn God off the grass.

We have muddled it up with morality, as who should frown at the Himalayas on the one hand, and, on the other, regulate his behaviour by that of an ant-heap.

The Law of Thelema is here!

(It appears pertinent to add that the above ethical theories have stood the test of practice. Experiment shows that complete removal – in the most radical manner – of all the usual restrictions on conduct results, after a brief period of uneasiness of various kinds, in the subject dropping entirely into the background; the parties concerned became natural, and led what would conventionally be called 'strictly moral' lives without even knowing that they were doing so.)

As - Postcript, let me contrast with the above theories two actual cases of Marriage as it is in England.

No.1. Mr. W., a solicitor and gentleman farmer of considerable wealth: a Plymouth Brother. Called, in Southsea, Hants., where he practised: “The Honest Lawyer.” Every time that his wife gave birth to a child, or miscarried, she lay for weeks – often months – between life and death, with peri-typhlitis or peritonitis set up by the difficulties of parturition. Yet this man, knowing this well, had gone on and on remorselessly. When I knew him he had 18 children living, and two more were born during that period. It was evidently his view that he had an absolute Right to impregnate his wife, and that it was her business whether she lived or died. During all these years she was no sooner well enough to leave her bed than she was again “in the family way”. Thus in 25 years, she was never permitted so much as a month's good health. This Mr. W. was a most kindly genial man, devoted to her and his family, genuinely pious and tenderhearted. But it never occured to him to refrain from exercising the Right which he possessed to endanger her life every year. (He suffered intensely with anxiety for his wife's health.)

No. 2. Mr. H., a very skilful engraver and die-sinker, a man of refined tastes and delicate feelings, sensitive beyond the common even of men in a far higher station of life and with a much better education. Since childhood he had suffered continually from an incurable form of Psoriasis. This kept him in a state of almost constant irritation, spoilt his sleep, and made him lament that he was “a leper”. In fact, the scales of the eruption were so plentiful that his sheets had to be cleaned every morning with a dustpan and brush! He could only obtain relief (before trying to sleep) by being rubbed with oil of wintergreen, which filled his whole house with a loathsome, stench. One would have thought that the first wish of a man thus afflicted would be to sleep alone, that it would be utterly repugnant and revolting to him to sleep with another person, for his own sake, apart from any consideration for her. But his wife, herself an invalid – a huge obese greasy woman (of middle age when I knew the family) suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, tubercular trouble in the arms, etc. etc. – was his Wife, she must be immediately available should Mr. H. want to exercise his conjugal Right. (In this case, too, Mrs. H. was likely to die if impregnated.) The extraordinary feature is that so extremely sensitive and refined a man could be so disgustingly callous on such a matter. Even vulgar people fear to appear physically repulsive to the person whom they love. It seems as if the fact of Marriage destroys every natural characteristic, and has a set of rules of its own diametrically opposed in spirit and letter to those which govern Love. I confidently appeal to impartial observers to say whether the ideals of the Book are not cleaner, more wholesome, more human, and more truly moral than those of Marriage as it is.

AL I,52: “If this be not aright; if ye confound the space-marks, saying: They are one; or saying, They are many; if the ritual be not ever unto me: then expect the direful judgments of Ra Hoor Khuit!”

The Old Comment

52. But distinctions must not be made before Nuit, either intellectually, morally, or personally.

Metaphysics, too, is intellectual bondage; avoid it!

Otherwise on falls back to the Law of Hoor from the perfect emancipation of Nuit. This is a great mystery, only to be understood by those who have fully attained Nuit and her secret Initiation.

The New Comment

It is not true to say either that we are separate Stars, or One Star. Each Star is individual, yet each is bound to the others by Law. This Freedom under Law is one of the most difficult yet important doctrines of this Book. So too the ritual – our lives – must be unto Nuith; for She is the Ultimate to which we tend, the asymptote of our curve. Failure in this one-pointedness sets up the illusion of duality, which leads to excision and destruction.

“Direful:” because Ra-Hoor-Khuit is a “God of war and vengeance;” See Cap. III.

The doctrine of the previous verses, which appears not merely to allow sexual liberty in the ordinary sense, but even to advocate it in a sense which is calculated to shock the most abandoned libertine, can do no less than startle and alarm the magician, and that only the more so as he is familiar with the theory and practice of his art. “What is this, in the name of Adonai?” I hear him exclaim: “is it not the immemorial and unchallenged tradition that the exorcist who would apply himself to the most elementary operations of our Art is bound to prepare himself by a course of chastity? Is it not notorious that virginity is by its own virtue one of the most powerful means, and one of the most essential conditions, of all Magical works? This is no question of technical formula such as may, with propriety, be modulated in the event of an Equinox of the Gods. It is one of those eternal truths of Nature which persist, no matter what the environment, in respect of place or period.”

To these remarks I can but smile my most genial assent. The only objection that I can take to them is to point out that the connotation of the word 'chastity' may have been misunderstood from a scientific point of view, just as modern science has modified our conception of the relations of the earth and the sun without presuming to alter one jot or tittle of the observed facts of Nature. So we may assert that modern discoveries in physiology have rendered obsolete the Osirian conceptions of the sexual process which interpreted chastity as physical abstinence, small regard being paid to the mental and moral concomitants of the refusal to act, still less to the physical indications. The root of the error lies in the dogma of original sin, as a result of which pollution was actually excused as being in the nature of involuntary offence, just as if one were to assert that a sleep-walker who has fallen over a precipice were any less dead than Empedocles or Sappho.

The doctrine of Thelema resolves the whole question in conformity with the facts observed by science and the proprieties prescribed by Magick. It must be obvious to the most embryonic tyro in alchemy that if there be any material substance soever endowed with magical properties, one must class, primus inter pares, that vehicle of essential humanity which is the first matter of that Great Work wherein our race shares the divine prerogative of creating man in its own image, male and female.

It is evidently of minor importance whether the will to create be consciously formulated. Lot in his drunkenness served the turn of his two daughters, no less than Jupiter, who prolonged the night to forty-eight hours in order to give himself time to beget Hercules.

Man is in actual possession of this supreme talisman. It is his “pearl of great price,” in comparison with which all other jewels are but gew-gaws. It is his prime duty to preserve the integrity of this substance. He must no allow its quality to be impaired either by malnutrition or by disease. he must not destroy it like Origen and Klingsor. He must not waste it like Onan.

But physiology informs us that we are bound to waste it, no matter what be our continence, so long as we are liable to sleep; and Nature, whether by precaution or by prodigality, provides us with so great an excess of the substance that the reproduction of the human race need not slacken, though the proportion of men to women were no more than 3 to the 1000. The problem of efficiency consequently appears practically insoluble.

We are now struck with the fact that Nuit commands us to exercise the utmost freedom in our choice of the method of utilizing the services of this our first, our finest and our fieriest talisman; the license appears at first sight unconditioned in the most express and explicit terms that it is possible to employ. The caveat, “but always unto me,” sounds like an afterthought. We are almost shocked when, in the following verse, we discover a menace, none the less dread because of the obscurity of its terms.

Our first consideration only adds to our sense of surprised repugnance. It becomes evident that one type of act is forbidden, with the penalty of falling altogether from the law of liberty to the code of crime; and our amazement and horror only increase as we recognize that this single gesture which is held damnable, is the natural exercise of the most fatidical function of nature, the innocent indulgence of irresistible impulse. We glance back to the previous verse – we examine our charter. We are permitted to take our fill and will of love as we will, when, where and with whom we will, but there is nothing said about why we will. On the contrary, despite the infinite variety of lawful means, there is one end held lawful, and no more than one. The act has only one legitimate object; it must be performed unto Nuit. Further reflection reassures us to some extent, not directly, in the manner of the jurist, but indirectly, by calling our attention to the facts of Nature which underlie the ethics of the question. Nuit is that from which we have come, that to which we must return. Evasion of the issue is no more possible than was alternation of the antecedent. From Nuit we received this talisman, which conveys our physical identity through the ages of time. To Nuit, therefore, we woe it; and to defile any portion of that purest and divinest quintessence of ourselves is evidently the supreme blasphemy. Nothing in nature can be misapplied. It is our first duty to ourselves to preserve the treasure entrusted to us: “What shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul?”

The nature of man is individual. No two faces are identical, still less are two individuals. Unspeakable is the variety of form and immeasurable the diversity of beauty, but in all is the seal of unity, inasmuch as all cometh from the womb of Nuit – to it returneth all. The apprehension of this sublimity is the mark of divinity. Knowing this, all is liberty; ignorant of this, all is bondage. As no two individuals are identical, so also, there can be no identity between the quintessential expressions of the will of any two persons; and the expression of each person, in the first instance, as his purely physical prerogative, is his sexual gesture.

One cannot say that any significance of that gesture is forbidden, for “There is no law beyond Do what thou wilt.” But this may and shall be said, that a significance with indicates ignorance or forgetfulness of the central truth of the Universe, is an acquiescence in that opacity caused by the confusion of the veils which conceal the soul from the consciousness, and thus create the illusion which the aspirant calls Sorrow, and the uninitiate, Evil.

The sexual act, even to the grossest of mankind, is the agent which dissipates the fog of self for one ecstatic moment. It is the instinctive feeling that the physical spasm is symbolic of that miracle of the Mass, by which the material wafer, composed of the passive elements, earth and water, is transmuted into the substance of the Body of God, that makes the wise man dread lest so sublime a sacrament suffer profanation. It is this that has caused him, in half-instinctive, half-iontellectual half-comprehension of the nature of the truth, which has driven him to fence the act about with taboos. But a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. His fear has created phantoms, and his malobservation suggested precautions scarce worthy to be called empirical. We see him combat analogous difficulties in a precisely similar manner. History shows us the physician defending mankind against plague, with exorcisms on the one hand and useless herbs on the other. A charred stake is driven through the heart of a vampire, and his victim is protected with garlic. The strength of God, who can doubt? The strength of taste and of smell are know facts. So they measured strength against strength without considering whether the one was appropriate to the other, any more than as if one were to ward off the strength of steel swords by the strength of the colour of one's armour. Modern science, by correct classification, has expounded the doctrine of the magical link. We no longer confuse the planes. We manipulate physical phenomena by physical means; mental by mental. We trace things to their true causes, and no longer seek to cut the Gordian knot of our ignorance by the sword of a postulated Pantheon.

Physiology leaves us in no doubt as to the power of our inherited talisman. And modern discoveries in psychology have made it clear enough that the sexual peculiarities of people are hieroglyphs, obscure yet not unintelligible, revealing their histories in the first place, in the second, their relations with environment in the present, and, in the third, their possibilities with regard to the modification of the future.

In these supremely important verses of the Book of the Law, it becomes clear that Nuit is aware of all these facts, and that she regards them as no less than the combination of the lock of the strong room of the future. “This” (doctrine) shall regenerate the world, the little world, my sister.” The misunderstanding of sex, the ignorant fear like a fog, the ignorant lust like a miasma, these things have done more to keep back humanity from realization of itself, and from intelligent cooperation with its destiny, than any other dozen things put together. The vileness and falseness or religion itself have been the monsters aborted from the dark womb of its infernal mystery.

There is nothing unclean or degrading in any manifestation soever of the sexual instinct, because, without exception, every act is an impulsively projected image of the Will of the individual who, whether man or woman, is a star; the Pennsylvanian with his pig no less than the Spirit with Mary; Sappho with Atthis and Apollo with Hyacinth as perfect as Daphnis with Chloe or as Galahad vowed to the Graal. The one thing needful, the all-perfect means of purification, consecration, and sanctification, is independent of the physical and moral accidents circumstantial of the particular incident, is the realization of love as a sacrament. The use of the physical means as a Magical Operation whose formula is that of uniting two opposites, by dissolving both, annihilating both, to create a third thing which transcends that opposition, the phase of duality which constitutes the consciousness of imperfection, is perceived as the absolute negative whose apprehension is identical with that duality, is the accomplishment of the Great Work.

The anacephalepsis of these considerations is this:

1. The accidents of any act of love, such as its protagonist and their peculiarities of expression on whatever plane, are totally immaterial to the magical import of the act. Each person is responsible to himself, being a star, to travel in his own orbit, composed of his own elements, to shine with his own light, with the colour proper to his own nature, to revolve and to rush with his own inherent motion, and to maintain his own relation with his own galaxy in its own place in the Universe. His existence is his sole and sufficient justification for his own matter and manner.

2. His only possible error is to withdraw himself from this consciousness of himself as both unique in himself and necessary to the norm of nature.

To bring down this doctrine to a practical rule for every man or woman by which they may enjoy, in perfection, their sexual life and make it what it rightly is, the holiest part of the religious life, I say 'holiest' because it redeems even physical grossness to partake with spiritual saintship, the intention of this Book of The Law is perfectly simple. Whatever your sexual predelictions may be, you are free, by the Law of Thelema, to the the star you are, to go your own way rejoicing. It is not indicated here in this text, thought it is elsewhere implied, that only one symptom warns that you have mistaken your true Will, and this, if you should imagine that in pursuing your way you interfere with that of another star. It may, therefore, be considered improper, as a general rule, for your sexual gratification to destroy, deform, or displease any other star. Mutual consent to the act is the condition thereof. It must, of course, be understood that such consent is not always explicit. There are cases when seduction or rape may be emancipation or initiation to another. Such acts can only be judged by their results.

The most important condition of the act, humanly speaking, is that the attraction should be spontaneous and irresistible; a leaping up of the will to create with lyrical frenzy. this first condition once recognized, it should be surrounded with every circumstance of worship. Study and experience should furnish a technique of love. All science, all art, every elaboration should emphasize and adorn the expression of the enthusiasm. All strength and all skill should be summoned to fulfil the frenzy, and life itself should be flung with a spendthrift gesture on the counter of the Merchant of Madness. On the steel of your helmet let there be gold inlaid with the motto “Excess.”

The above indications are taken from a subsequent passage of the third chapter of this Book.

The supreme and absolute injunction, the crux of your knightly oath, is that you lay your lance in rest to the glory of your Lady, the Queen of the Stars, Nuit. Your knighthood depends upon your refusal to fight in any lesser cause. That is what distinguishes you from the brigand and the bully. You give your life on Her altar. You make yourself worthy of Her by your readiness to fight at any time, in any place, with any weapon, and at any odds. For her, from Whom you come, of Whom you are, to Whom you go, your life is no more and no less than one continuous sacrament. You have no word but Her praise, no thought but love of Her. You have only one cry, of inarticulate ecstasy, the intense spasm, possession of Her, and Death, to Her. You have no act but the priest's gesture that makes your body Hers. The wafer is the disk of the Sun, the star in Her body. Your blood is split from your heart with every beat of your pulse into her cup. It is the wine of Her life crushed from the grapes of your sun-ripened vine. On this wine you are drunk. It washes your corpse that is as the fragment of the Host, broken by you, the Priest, into Her golden chalice. You, Knight and Priest of the Order of the Temple, saying Her mass, become god in Her, by love and death. This act of love, thought in its form it be with a horse like Caligula, with a mob like Messalina, with a giant like Heliogabalus, with a pollard like Nero, with a monster like Baudelaire, though with de Sade it gloat on blood, with Sacher-Masoch crave for whips and furs, with Yvette Guilbert crave the glove, or dote on babes like E.T,Reed of “Punch”; whether one love oneself, disdaining every other like Narcissus, offer oneself loveless to every love like Catherine, or find the body so vain as to enclose one's lust in the soul and make one lifelong spinthria unassuaged in the imagination like Aubrey Beardsley, the means matter no whit. Bach takes one way, Keats one, Goya one. The end is everything: that by the act, whatever it is, one worships, loves, possesses, and becomes Nuit.

The act of love can no more “trammel up his consequence” than any other act. As long as you possess the talisman, it must be used from time to time, whether you will or no. If you injure the quality, or diminish the quantity, of that quintessence, you blaspheme yourself, and betray the trust reposed in you when you accepted the obligation of that austerely chivalrous Order called Manhood. The powers of the talisman are irresistible like every other natural force. Every time they are used, a child must be begotten. this child must be in your own image, a symbol of your nature, an expression of your true subconscious Will.

It is, of course, only once in many times that the conditions allow of the production of a human child. What happens when (either by chance or by design) that obvious effect is prevented? The materialist may imagine that with the destruction of the complex, it becomes harmless, its potentialities aborted, just as the violence of sulphuric acid comes to naught if it be neutralized by caustic soda. But he is a very poor materialist if he says so. The full possibilities of the acid must be accounted for in one way or another. If it does not dissolve a metal, it may carbonize a sugar, generate a gas, give off heat, or in one way or another fulfill absolutely every possibility which it inherited from the forces that went to make it. It is manifestly a contradiction of the laws of the Conservation of matter and energy, that a substance should lose by being transformed. I is contrary to Nature that a man, with potentialities which can transform the face of the earth, should become nothing but inert carrion when he happens to die. Everything that he was must inevitably persist; and if the manifestation be not to one set of senses, why then, to another! The idea of creation from nothing of something and the destruction of something to nothing, exploded with the theory of Phlogiston.

It stands plain, even to sceptical reason – indeed, most of all to the sceptic – that our talisman, one microscopic serpent of which can build for itself such a house as to rule men's bodies for a generation like Alexander, or their minds for an epoch like Plato, cannot be destroyed or diminished by any conceivable force.

When this talisman comes forth from its fortress, its action begins. The ancient Jewish Rabbins knew this, and taught that before Eve was given to Adam, the demon Lilith conceived by the spilth of his dreams, so that the hybrid races of satyrs, elves and the like began to populate those secret places of the earth which are not sensible by the organs of the normal man.

I take it as certain that every offering of this talisman infallibly begets children on one plane or another of this our cosmos, whose matter is so varied in kind. Such a child must partake of its father's nature; and its character will be determined, partly by the environment in which it is bred to manifestation, lives, and ultimately changes in what we call death, and partly by the inmost will of the father, perhaps modified to some extent by his conscious will at the time of his slipping the leash.

This being so, it becomes tremendously important to a man that he should become conscious of his true inmost wills, of his essential nature. This is the Great Work whose attainment constitutes adeptship, provided that the consciousness recognizes that its own dependence on circumstance makes it no more than a troubled image in foul water of the sun which is that Silent Self. If such a man wants to develop his powers, he must use this tremendous talisman to create in his own image.

Although this talisman has such miraculous might, it is also intensely sensitive. Put in an unsuitable environment, it may produce grotesque or malignant perversions of its father's Word. We are all aware that fine children are born of healthy mothers who are true and worthy mates of their husbands. The children of hate, of debauch, of sickness, nearly always bear witness in body and mind to the abuse of the talisman. Not only the sins of the father but those of the mother, yes, more those of their social surroundings, are visited on the children to the third and fourth generation. Nay, more, the mischief can never be mended. A man can destroy in a minute his kingdom, inherited from unnumbered dynasties of biological prudence.

It will also be admitted, without reference to Magick, that the abuse of the talisman leads to moral, mental and spiritual misfortune. Crime and insanity, as well as disease and debility, are constantly seen as the direct result of mismanaging the sexual life, either tactically, strategically, or both.

The Book of the Law emphasizes the importance of these considerations. The act of love must be spontaneous, in absolute freedom. The man must be true to himself. Romeo must not be thrust on Rosaline for family, social, or financial reasons. Desdemona must not be barred from Othello for reasons of race or religion. The homosexual must not blaspheme his nature and commit spiritual suicide by suppressing love or attempting to pervert it, as ignorance and fear, shame and weakness, so often induce him to do. Whatever the act which expresses the soul, that act and no other is right.

But, on the other hand, whatever the act may be it is always a sacrament; and, however profaned, it is always efficient. To profane it is only to turn food into poison. The act must be pure and passionate. It must be held as the union with God in the heart of the Holy of Holies. One must never forget that a child will be born of that deed. One must choose the environment appropriate to the particular child which one wills to create. One must make sure that the conscious will is written, on the pure waters of a mind unstirred, in letters of fire, by the Sun of the Soul. One must not create confusion in the talisman, which belongs to the Silent Self, by letting the speaking self deny the purpose which produced it. If one's true Will, the reason of one's incarnation, be to bring peace on earth, one must not perform an act of love with motives of jealousy or emulation.

One must fortify one's body to the utmost, and protect it from every disaster, so that the substance of the talisman may be as perfect as possible. One must calm the mind, increasing its knowledge, organizing its powers, resolving its tangles, so that it may truly apprehend the Silent Self, judge partial pleas and unbalanced opinions, while supporting the concentration of the Will by its fortified frontiers, and, with unanimous enthusiasm, acclaiming the Lordship of the thought which expresses the act. The Will must seal itself upon the substance of the talisman. It must be, in alchemical language, the Sulphur which fixes the Mercury which determines the nature of the Salt. The whole man, from his inmost Godhead to the tip of his tiniest eye-lash, must be one engine, cumbered with nothing useless, nothing inharmonious; a thunderbolt from the hand of Jove. It must give itself utterly in the one act of love. It must cease to know itself as anything but the Will. It must not have the will; it must transform itself completely to be the Will.

Last of all, the act must be supreme. It must do and it must die. From that death it must rise again, purged of that Will, having accomplished it so perfectly that nothing is left thereof in its elements. It must have emptied itself into the vehicle. So shall the child be whole of spirit.

But this is not enough. The ground in which the seed is cast must be suitable for its reception. The climate must be favorable, the soil must be prepared, and the enemies of the young child that seek its life must be driven beyond range of malice. These points are obvious enough, if applied to the ordinary affair of breeding children. One needs the right woman, and the right conditions for her. It applies even more closely to other acts, for woman is protected by generations of biological adaption, whereas spiritual children are more easily diseased and deformed, being of subtler and more sensitive matter. So infinitely varied are the possibilities of creation that each adept must work out each problem for himself as best he can. There are magical methods of making a link between the force generated and the matter on which it is desired to act; but these are, for the most part, best communicated by private instruction and developed but personal practice. The crude description is a bare frame-work, and (even so) more often misleads than not.

But the general rule is to arrange all the conditions beforehand with intent to facilitate the manifestation of the thing willed, and to prevent the dangers of abortion by eliminating discordant elements.

For instance: a man seeking to regain health should assist his Magical Will by taking all possible hygenic and medical measures proper to amend his malady. A man wishing to develop his genius as a sculptor will devote himself to study and training, will surround himself with beautiful forms, and, if possible, live in a place where nature herself testifies to the touch of the thumb of the Great Architect.

He will choose the object of his passion at the nod of his Silent Self. He will not allow the prejudice, either of sense, emotion, or rational judgement, to obscure the Sun of his Soul. In the first place, mutual magnetism, despite the masks of mind, should be unmistakable. Unless it exists, a puissant purity of passion, there is no Magical basis for the Sacrament. Yet, such magnetism is only the first condition. Where two people become intimate, each crisis of satisfaction between the terminals leaves them in a proximity which demands mutual observation; and the intense clarity of the mind which results from the discharge of the electric force makes such observation abnormally critical. The higher the type of mind, the more certain this is, and the greater the danger of finding some antipathetic trifle which experience tells us will one day be the only thing left to observe; just as a wart on the nose is remembered when the rest of the face is forgotten.

The object of Love must therefore be one with the lover in something more than the Will to unite magnetically; it must be in passionate partnership with the Will of which the Will-to-love is only the Magical symbol. Perhaps no two wills can be identical, but at least they can be so sympathetic that the manifestations are not likely to clash. It is not enough to have a partner of the passive type who bleats “Thy will is done” - that ends in contempt, boredom and distrust. One wants a passion that can blend with one's own. Where this is the case, it does not matter so much whether the mental expression is syndromic; it is, indeed, better when two entirely different worlds of thought and experience have led to sister conclusions. But it is essential that the habit of mind should be sympathetic, that the machinery should be constructed on similar principles. The psychology of the one should be intelligible to the other.

Social position and physical appearance and habits are of far less importance, especially in a society which has accepted the Law of Thelema. Tolerance itself produces suavity, and suavity soon relieves the strain on tolerance. In any case, most people, especially women, adapt themselves adroitly enough to their environment. I say “Especially women”, for women are nearly always conscious of an important part of their true Will; the bearing of children. To them nothing else is serious in comparison, and they dismiss questions which do not bear on this as trifles, adopting the habits required of them in the interest of the domestic harmony which they recognize as a condition favourable to reproduction.

I have outlined ideal conditions. Rarely indeed can we realize even a third of our possibilities. Our Magical engine is mighty indeed when its efficiency reaches 50% of its theoretical horse-power. But the enormous majority of mankind have no idea whatever of taking Love as a sacred and serious thing, of using the eye of the microscopist, or the heart and brain of the artist. Their ignornace and their shame have made Love a carcass of pestilence; and Love has avenged the outrage by crushing their lives when they pull down the temple upon them.

The chance of finding a suitable object of Love has been reduced well nigh to zero by substituting for the actual conditions, as stated in the above paragraphs, a totally artificial and irrelevant series; the restrictions on the act itself, marriage, opinion, the conspiracy of silence, criminal laws, financial fetters, selections limited by questions of race, nationality, caste, religion, social and political cliqueishness, even family exclusiveness. Out of the millions of humanity the average person is lucky if he can take his pick of a couple of score of partners.

I will here add one further pillar to my temple. It happens only too often that two people, absolutely fitted in every way to love each other, are totally debarred from expressing themselves by sheer ignorance of the technique of the act. What Nature declares as the climax of the Mass, the manifestation of God in the flesh, when the flesh is begotten, is so gross, clumsy and brutal that it disappoints and disgusts. They are horribly conscious that something is wrong. They do not know how to amend it. They are ashamed to discuss it. They have neither the experience to guide nor the imagination to experiment. Countless thousands of delicate-minded lovers turn against Love and blaspheme Him. Countless millions, not quite so fixed in refinement, accept the fact, acquiesce in the foulness, till Love is degraded to guilty grovelling. They are dragged in the dirt of the night-cart which ought to have been their “chariot of fire and the horses thereof”.

This whole trouble comes from humanity's horror of Love. For the last hundred years, every first-rate writer on morals has sent forth his lightnings and thunders, hailstones and coals of fire, to burn up Gommorrah and Sodom where Love is either shameful and secret, or daubed with dung of sentiment in order that the swinish citizens may recognize their ideal therein. We do not tell the artist that his art is so sacred, so disgusting, so splendid and so disgraceful that he must not on any account learn the use of the tools of his trade, and study in school how to see with his eye, and record what he sees with his hand. We do not tell the man who would heal disease that he must not know his subject, from anatomy to Pathology; or bid him undertake to remove an appendix from a valued Archbishop the first time he takes scalpel in hand.

But love is an art no less than Rembrandt's, a science no less than Lister's. The mind must make the heart articulate, and the body the temple of the soul. The animal instinct in man is the twin of the ape's or the bull's. Yet this is the one thing lawful in the code of the bourgeois. He is right to consider the act, as he knows it, degrading. It is, indeed for him, an act ridiculous, obscene, gross, beastly; a wallowing unworthy either of the dignity of man or of the majesty of the God within him. So is the guzzling and the swilling of the savage as he crams his enemy's raw liver into his mouth, or tilts the bottle of trade gin, and gulps. Because his meal is loathly, must we insist that any methods but his are criminal? How did we come to Laperouse and Nichol from the cannibal's cauldron unless by critical care and vigorous research?

The act of Love, to the bourgeois, is a physical relief like defaecation, and a moral relief from the strain of the drill of decency; a joyous relapse into the brute he has to pretend he despises. It is a drunkenness which drugs his shame of himself, yet leaves him deeper in disgust. It is an unclean gesture, hideous and grotesque. It is not his own act, but forced on him by a giant who holds him helpless; he is half madman, half automaton when he performs it. It is a gawky stumbling across a black foul bog, oozing a thousand dangers. It threatens him with death, disease, disaster in all manner of forms. He pays the coward's price of fear and loathing when pedlar Sex holds out his Rat-Poison in the lead-paper wrapping he takes for silver; he pays again with vomiting and with colic when he has gulped it in his greed.

All this he knows, only too well; he is right, by his own lights, to loathe and fear the act, to hide it from his eyes, to swear he knows it not. With tawdry rags of sentiment, sacksful of greasy clouts, he swathes the corpse of Love, and, smirking, sputters that Love had never a naked limb; then as the brute in him stirs sleepily, he plasters Love with mire, and leering grunts that Love was never a God in the Temple Man, but a toothsome lump of carrion in the corner of his own stye.

But we of Thelema, like the artist, the true lover of Love, shameless and fearless, seeing God face to face alike in our own souls within and in all Nature without, though we use, as the bourgeois does, the word Love, we hold not the word “too often profaned for us to profane it;” it burns inviolate in its sanctuary, being reborn immaculate with every breath of life. But by 'Love' we mean a thing which the eye of the bourgeois hath not seen, nor his ear heard; neither hath his heart conceived it. We have accepted Love as the meaning of Change, Change being the Life of all Matter soever in the Universe. And we have accepted Love as the mode of Motion of the Will to Change. To us every act, as implying Change, is an act of Love. Life is a dance of delight, its rhythm an infinite rapture that never can weary or stale. Our personal pleasure in it is derived not only from our own part in it, but from our conscious apprehension of its total perfections. We study its structure, we expand ourselves as we lose ourselves in understanding it, and so becoming one with it. With the Egyptian initiate we exclaim “There is no part of us that is not of the Gods;” and add the antistrophe: “There is no part of the Gods that is not also of us.”

Therefore, the Love that is Law is no less Love in the petty personal sense; for Love that makes two One is the engine whereby even the final Two, Self and Not-Self, may become One, in the mystic marriage of the Bride, the Soul, with Him appointed from eternity to espouse her; yea, even the Most High, God All-in-All, the Truth.

Therefore we hold Love holy, our heart's religion, our mind's science. Shall He not have His ordered Rite, His priests and poets, His makers of beauty in colour and form to adorn Him, His makers of music to praise Him? Shall not His theologians, divining His nature, declare Him? Shall not even those who but sweep the courts of His temple, partake thereby of His person? And shall not our science lay hands on Him, measure Him, discover the depths, calculate the heights, and decipher the laws of His nature?

Also: to us of Thelema, thus having trained our hearts and minds to be expert engineers of the sky-cleaver Love, the ship to soar to the Sun, to us the act of Love is the consecration of the body to Love. We burn the body on the altar of Love, that even the brute may serve the Will of the Soul. We must then study the art of Bodily Love. We must not balk or bungle. We must be cool and competent as surgeons; brain, eye and hand the perfectly trained instruments of Will.

We must study the subject openly and impersonally, we must read text-books, listen to lectures, watch demonstrations, earn our diplomas ere we enter practice.

We do not mean what the bourgeois means when we say “the act of love”. To us it is not the gross gesture as of a man in a seizure, a snorting struggle, a senseless spasm, and a sudden revulsion of shame, as it is to him.

We have an art of expression; we are trained to interpret the soul and the spirit in terms of the body. We do not deny the existence of the body, or despise it; but we refuse to regard it in any other light than this: it is the organ of the Self. It must nevertheless be ordered according to its own laws; those of the mental or moral Self do not apply to it. We love; that is, we will to unite: then the one must study the other, divine every butterfly thought as it flits, and offer the flower it most fancies. The vocabulary of Love is small, and its terms are hackneyed; to seek new words and phrases is to be affected, stilted. It chills.

But the language of the body is never exhausted; one may talk for an hour by means of an eye-lash. There art intimate, delicate things, shadows of the leaves of the Tree of the Soul that dance in the breeze of Love, so subtle that neither Keats nor Heine in words, neither Brahms nor Debussy in music, could give them body. It is the agony of every artist, the greater he the more fierce his despair, that he cannot compass expression. And what they cannot do, not once in a life of ardour, is done in all fulness by the body that, loving, hath learnt the lesson of how to love.

“Addendum”: More generally, any act soever may be used to attain any end soever by the magician who knows how to make the necessary links.

AL I,53: “This shall regenerate the world, the little world my sister, my heart & my tongue, unto whom I send this kiss. Also, o scribe and prophet, though thou be of the princes, it shall not assuage thee nor absolve thee. But ecstasy be thine and joy of earth: ever To me! To me!”

The Old Comment

53. The prophet is retained as the link wither the lower. Again the word “Assuage” is used in a sense unintelligible to me.

The New Comment

It is clear that this 'kiss' (i.e. this Book) will regenerate Earth by establishing the Law of Liberty. 'My heart and my tongue' seems a mere phrase of endearment; but has possibly some deep significance which at present escapes me.

The second paragraph is perhaps in answer to some unspoken thought of my own that my work was accomplished. No: though I be 'of the princes' with the right to enter into my reward, it is my destiny to continue my Work.«“assuage thee:” satisfy thing aspiration to attainment. “absolve thee:” relieve thee from further duty.» I am however promised ecstasy, i.e. Samadhi and joy of earth; and this promise has been fulfilled without limit. The last words “ever To me! To me!” have a double sense. My motto at that time was OV MH – “No! certainly not,” the “Not That! Not That!” of certain very exalted Hindu mystics. Our Lady of the Stars not only calls me to Her, but bestows upon me as a name 'To me' – To {Mu-eta} – “The Not”, the Attainment of that Aspiration expressed in my motto. And {To Mu-eta} adds to 418!

Note, yet a third time, the word 'prince' as applied to the Beast.

AL I,54: “Change not as much as the style of a letter; for behold! thou, o prophet, shalt not behold all these mysteries hidden therein.”

The Old Comment

54, 55, 56 to the word “child.”

A prophecy not yet (May, 1909 O.S.) fulfilled, as far as I know. I take it in its obvious sense. (Fulfilled An. XII, Sun in 0 degrees Cancer).

The New Comment

The subject changes most abruptly, perhaps answering some unspoken comment of the scribe on the capital T's in 'To me'.

This injunction was most necessary, for had I been left to myself, I should have wanted to edit the Book ruthlessly. I find in it what I consider faults of style, and even of grammar; much of the matter was at the time of writing most antipathetic. But the Book proved itself greater than the scribe; again and again have the 'mistakes' proved themselves to be devices for transmitting a Wisdom beyond the scope of ordinary language.

AL I,55: The child of thy bowels, he shall behold them.

The New Comment

Here is the first reference to a 'child' who will complete the Work connected with this Book. It is only necessary to say that this Child has indeed appeared, fulfilling in a very remarkable way the peculiar conditions indicated in this Book. The full account is too elaborate to insert in this place; it will be found in the Record of my Initiation to the Grade of Magus. here I note only the time of his conception, An. XII, Sun in 0 degrees Cancer.

The matter of this child is exceedingly obscure; and it may prove difficult to determine between rival claimants. Frater Lampada Tradam had not a bad case. I believe that many candidates may appear; Time and the Hour run through the roughest day; and there is one very definite test which can hardly be evaded.

It is evident, moreover, from Chapter II, verse 39, that there is more than one 'child'. Further comment on this matter is to be found in the appropriate places.

An XVI, Sun in Capricornus. I decide to summarize the essential facts of this matter as follows:

In the Magical Diaries of The Beast, we find that during the beginning of 1914, again at the end of that year, and finally between March 26 and May 30 of that year, he made three separate series of Magical Operations. The First two unconsciously, and the last one more or less consciously, toward the attainment of the Grade of Magus.

As a result of these operations, he met a series of persons who acted as officers in the ceremony of his initiation. We are here only concerned with Jeanne Robert Foster, nee Jeanne Julie Ollivier.

On july 8, 10, 13, 14, 23, Sept. 12 (2 operations) Sept. 16, Magical Operations were performed with the object of begetting a child. On Sept. 23, this woman, who had taken the mystic name of Soror Hilarion, assisted The Beast in obtaining the word of the Equinox, this word being, so to speak, a concentrated symbolic representation of the events of the six months following. This word obtained by her was “Mebulae” which, though it was not apparent at the time, is evidently suggestive of the birth of a Star.

Exactly nine months later than this Equinox, Frater Achad became a Babe of the Abyss, as is described very fully indeed in his record, some of the essential part of which will be found in the Appendix {WEH NOTE: The Appendix has not been recovered. See Frater Achad's Liber XXXI, not the same as Crowley's Liber XXXI, for more information.} As it turned out, this child justified his identification as such, not only in the cipher (there cometh one – i.e. Achad – to follow thee) but by discovering “the key of it all.”

AL I,56: “Expect him not from the East, nor from the West; for from no expected house cometh that child. Aum! All words are sacred and all prophets true; save only that they understand a little; solve the first half of the equation, leave the second unattacked. But thou hast all in the clear light, and some, though not all, in the dark.”

The Old Comment

56. From the word “Aum”.

All religions have some truth.

We possess all intellectual truth, and some, not all, mystic truth.

The New Comment

All previous systems have been sectarian, based on a traditional cosmography both gross and incorrect. Our system is based on absolute science and philosophy. We have “all in the clear light”, that of Reason, because our Mysticism is based on an absolute Scepticism. But at the time of this writing I had very little mystic experience indeed, as my record shows. The Fact is that I was far, far from the Grade even of Master of the Temple. So I could not properly understand this Book; how then could I effectively promulgate it? I comprehended but dimly that it contained my Word; for the Grade of Magus then seemed to me unthinkably high above me. Also, let me say that the True Secrets of this Grade are unfathomable and awful beyond all expression; the process of initiation thereto was continuous over years, and contained the most sublime mystic experiences – beyond any yet recorded by man – as mere incidents in its terrific Pageant.

The “equation” is the representation of Truth by Word.

AL I,57: “Invoke me under my stars! Love is the law, love under will. Nor let the fools mistake love; for there are love and love. There is the dove, and there is the serpent. Choose ye well! He, my prophet, hath chosen, knowing the law of the fortress, and the great mystery of the House of God.

All these old letters of my Book are aright; but * is not the Star. This also is secret: my prophet shall reveal it to the wise.”

{*In MS, a mark in this place is commonly read as the Hebrew letter Tzaddi.}

The Old Comment

57. “Invoke me” etc. I take literally. See Liber NV for this ritual.

Love under will – no casual pagan love; not love under fear, as the Christians do. But love magically directed and used as a spiritual formula.

The fools (not here implying {Aleph} fools, for III, 57, says, All fools despise) may mistake.

This love, then, should be the serpent love, the awakening of the Kundalini. The further mystery is of {Pe} and unsuited to the grade in which this comment is written.

The last paragraph confirms the Tarot attributions as given in 777, with one secret exception.

The New Comment

“Love is the law, love under will”, is an interpretation of the general law of Will. It is dealt with fully in the Book “Aleph”.

I here insert a few pertinent passages from that Book.

“This is the evident and final Solvent of the Knot Philosophical concerning Fate and Freewill, that it is thine own Self, omniscient and omnipotent, sublime in Eternity, that first didst order the Course of thine own Orbit, so that that which befalleth thee by Fate is indeed the necessary Effect of thine own Will. These two, then, that like Gladiators have made War in Philosophy through these many Centuries, art made One by the Love under Will which is the Law of Thelema.

O my Son, there is no Doubt that resolveth not in Certainty and Rapture at the Touch of the Wand of our Law, and thou apply it with Wit. Do thou grow constantly in the Assimilation of the Law, and thou shalt be made perfect.

Behold, there is a Pageant of Triumph as each Star, free from Confusion, sweepeth free in its right Orbit; all Heaven acclaimeth thee as thou goest, transcendental in Joy and in Splendour; and thy Light is as a Beacon to them that Wander afar, strayed in the Night. Amoun.”

The “old comment” covers the rest of this verse sufficiently for the present purpose.

I see no harm in revealing the mystery of Tzaddi to 'the wise'; others will hardly understand my explanations.

Tzaddi is the letter of The Emperor, the Trump IV, and He is the Star, the Trump XVII. Aquarius and Aries are therefore counterchanged, revolving on the pivot of Pisces, just as, in the Trumps VIII and XI, Leo and Libra do about Virgo. This last revelation makes our Tarot attributions sublimely, perfectly, flawlessly symmetrical.

The fact of its so doing is a most convincing proof of the superhuman Wisdom of the author of this Book to those who have laboured for years, in vain, to elucidate the problems of the Tarot.

AL I,58: “I give unimaginable joys on earth: certainty, not faith, while in life, upon death; peace unutterable, rest, ecstasy; nor do I demand aught in sacrifice.”

The Old Comment

58. The Grace of Our Lady of the Stars.

The New Comment

These joys are principally (1) the Beatific Vision, in which Beauty is constantly present to the recipient of Her grace, together with a calm and unutterable joy; (2) the Vision of Wonder, in which the whole Mystery of the Universe is constantly understood and admired for its Ingenium and Wisdom. (1) is referred to Tiphereth, the Grade of Adept; (2) to Binah, the grade of Master of the Temple.

The certainty concerning death is conferred by the Magical Memory, and various Experiences without which Life is unintelligible.

“Peace unutterable” is given by the Trance in which Matter is destroyed; “rest” by that which finally equilibrates Motion.

“Ecstasy” refers to a Trance which combines these.

“Nor do I demand aught in sacrifice” – The ritual of worship is Samadhi. But see later, verse 61.

AL I,59: My incense is of resinous woods & gums; and there is no blood therein: because of my hair the trees of Eternity.

The Old Comment

59. “Because”, etc. This mystical phrase doubtless refers to some definite spiritual experience connected with the Knowledge of Nuit.

The New Comment

It seems possible that Our Lady describes Her hair as “the trees of Eternity” because of the tree-like structure of the Cosmos. This is observed in the 'Star-Sponge' Vision. I must explain this by giving a comparatively full account of this vision.

The 'Star-Sponge' Vision.

There is a vision of a peculiar character which has been of cardinal importance in my interior life, and to which constant reference is made in my magical diaries. So far as I know, there is no extant description of this vision anywhere, and I was surprised on looking through my records to find that I had given no clear account of it myself. The reason apparently is that it is so necessary a part of myself that I unconsciously assume it to be a matter of common knowledge, just as one assumes that everybody knows that one possesses a pair of lungs, and therefore abstains from mentioning the fact directly, although perhaps alluding to the matter often enough.

It appears very essential to describe this vision as well as is possible, considering the difficulty of language, and the fact that the phenomena involve logical contradictions, the conditions of consciousness being other than those obtaining normally.

The vision developed gradually. It was repeated on so many occasions that I am unable to say at what period it may be called complete. The beginning, however, is clear enough in my memory.

I was on a retirement in a cottage overlooking Lake Pasquaney in New Hampshire. I lost consciousness of everything but an universal space in which were innumerable bright points, and I realized this as a physical representation of the Universe, in what I may call its essential structure. I exclaimed: “Nothingness, with twinkles!” I concentrated upon this vision, with the result that the void space which had been the principal element of it diminished in importance; space appeared to be ablaze, yet the radiant points were not confused, and I thereupon completed my sentence with the exclamation “But what Twinkles!”

The next stage of this vision led to an identification of the blazing points with the stars of the firmament, with ideas, souls, etc. I perceived also that each star was connected by a ray of light with each other star. In the world of ideas, each thought possessed a necessary relation with each other thought; each such relation is of course a thought in itself; each such ray is itself a star. It is here that logical difficulty first presents itself. The seer has a direct perception of infinite series. Logically, therefore, it would appear as if the entire space must be filled up with a homogeneous blaze of light. This however is not the case. The space is completely full; yet the monads which fill it are perfectly distinct. The ordinary reader might well exclaim that such statements exhibit symptoms of mental confusion. The subject demands more than cursory examination. I can do no more than refer the critic to the Hon. Bertrand Russell's “Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy”, where the above position is thoroughly justified, as also certain positions which follow. At the time I had not read this book; and I regard it as a striking proof of the value of mystical attainment, that its results should have led a mind such as mine, whose mathematical training was of the most elementary character, to the immediate consciousness of some of the most profound and important mathematical truths; to the acquisition of the power to think in a manner totally foreign to the normal mind, the rare possession of the greatest thinkers in the world.

A further development of the vision brought the consciousness that the structure of the universe was highly organized, that certain stars were of greater magnitude and brilliancy than the rest. I began to seek similes to help me to explain myself. Several such attempts are mentioned later in this note. Here again are certain analogies with some of the properties of infinite series. The reader must not be shocked at the idea of a number which is not increased by addition or multiplication, a series of infinite series, each one of which may be twice as long as its predecessor, and so on. There is no “mystical humbug” about this. As Mr. Russell shows, truths of this order are more certain than the most universally accepted axioms; in fact, many axioms accepted by the intellect of the average man are not true at all. But in order to appreciate these truths, it is necessary to educate the mind to thought of an order which is at first sight incompatible with rationality.

I may here digress for a moment in order to demonstrate how this vision led directly to the understanding of the mechanism of certain phenomena which have hitherto been dismissed with a shrug of the shoulders as incomprehensible.

“Example No. 1”. I began to become aware of my own mental processes; I thought of my consciousness as the Commander-in-Chief of an army. There existed a staff of specialists to deal with various contingencies. There was an intelligence department to inform me of my environment. There was a council which determined the relative importance of the data presented to them – it required only a slight effort of imagination to think of this council as in debate; I could picture to myself some tactically brilliant proposal being vetoed by the Quarter-Master-General. It was only one step to dramatize the scene, and it flashed upon me in a moment that here was the explanation of 'double personality': that illusion was no more than a natural personification of internal conflict, just as the savage attributes consciousness to trees and rocks.

“Example No. 2.” While at Montauk I had put my sleeping bag to dry in the sun. When I went to take it in, I remarked, laughingly, “Your bedtime, Master Bag,” as if it were a small boy and I its nurse. This was entirely frivolous, but the thought flashed into my mind that after all the bag was in one sense a part of myself. The two ideas came together with a snap, and I understood the machinery of a man's delusion that he is a teapot.

These two examples may give some idea to the reader of the light which mystical attainment throws upon the details of the working of the human mind.

Further developments of this vision emphasized the identity between the Universe and the mind. The search for similes deepened. I had a curious impression that the thing I was looking for was somehow obvious and familiar. Ultimately it burst upon me with fulminating conviction that the simile for which I was seeking was the nervous system. I exclaimed: “The mind is the nervous system,” with all the enthusiasm of Archimedes, and it only dawned on me later, with a curious burst of laughter at my naivete, that my great discovery amounted to a platitude.

From this I came to another discovery: I perceived why platitudes were stupid. The reason was that they represented the summing up of trains of thought, each of which was superb in every detail at one time. A platitude was like a wife after a few years; she has lost none of her charms, and yet one prefers some perfectly worthless woman.

I now found myself able to retrace the paths of thought which ultimately come together in a platitude. I would start with some few simple ideas and develop them. Each stage in the process was like the joy of a young eagle soaring from height to height in ever increasing sunlight as dawn breaks, foaming, over the purple hem of the garment of ocean, and, when the many coloured rays of rose and gold and green gathered themselves together and melted into the orbed glory of the sun, with a rapture that shook the soul with unimaginable ecstasy, that sphere of rushing light was recognized as a common-place idea, accepted unquestioningly and treated with drab indifference because it had so long been assimilated as a natural and necessary part of the order of Nature. At first I was shocked and disgusted to discover that a series of brilliant researches should culminate in a commonplace. But I soon understood that what I had done was to live over again the triumphant career of conquering humanity; that I had experienced in my own person the succession of winged victories that had been sealed by a treaty of peace whose clauses might be summed up in some such trite expression as “Beauty depends upon form”.

It would be quite impracticable to go fully into the subject of this vision of the Star-Sponge, if only because its ramifications are omniform. It must suffice to reiterate that it has been the basis of most of my work for the last five years, and to remind the reader that the essential form of it is “Nothingness with twinkles”.

I conclude this note, therefore, by quoting certain chapters of Liber Aleph, in which I have described various cognate forms of the vision.

“De Gramine Sanctissimo Arabico.”

“Recall, o my Son, the Fable of the Hebrews, which they brought from the City of Babylon, how Nebuchadnezzar the Great King, being afflicted in his Spirit, did depart from among Men for Seven Years' Space, eating Grass as doth an Ox. Now this Ox is the Letter Aleph, and is that Atu of Thoth whose Number is Zero, and whose Name is Maat, Truth, or Maut, the Vulture, the All-Mother, being an image of Our Lady Nuith, but also it is called the Fool, who is Parsifal, 'der reine Thor', and so referreth to him that walketh in the Way of the Tao. Also, he is Harpocrates, the Child Horus, walking (as saith David, the Badawi that became King, in his Psalms) upon the Lion and the Dragon; that is, he is in Unity with his own Secret Nature, as I have shewn thee in my Word concerning the Sphinx. O my Son, yester Eve came the Spirit upon me that I also should eat the Grass of the Arabs, and by virtue of the Bewitchment thereof behold that which might be appointed for the Enlightenment of mine Eyes. Now then of this may I not speak, seeing that it involveth the Mystery of the Transcending of Time, so that in One hour of our Terrestrial Measure did I gather the Harvest of an Aeon, and in Ten Lives I could not declare it.”

“De quibusdam Mysteriis, quae vidi.”

“Yet even as a Man may set up a Memorial or Symbol to import Ten thousand Times Ten Thousand, so may I strive to inform thine Understanding by Hieroglyph. And here shall thine own Experience serve us, because a Token of Remembrance sufficeth him that is familiar with a Matter, which to him that knoweth it not should not be made manifest, no, not in an Year of Instruction. Here first then is one amid the Uncounted Wonders of that Vision: upon a Field Blacker and Richer than Velvet was the Sun of all Being, alone. Then about Him were little Crosses, Greek, overrunning the Heaven. These changed from Form to Form geometrical, Marvel devouring Marvel, a Thousand Times a Thousand in their Course and Sequence, until by their Movement was the Universe churned into the Quintessence of Light. Moreover at another Time did I behold All Things as Bubbles, iridescent and luminous, self-shining in every Colour and every Combination of Colour, Myriad pursuing Myriad until by their perpetual Beauty they exhausted the Virtue of my Mind to receive them, and whelmed it, so that I was fain to withdraw myself from the Burden of that Brilliance. Yet, o my Son, the Sum of all this ammounteth not to the Worth of one Dawn-Glimmer of Our True Vision of Holiness.”

“De quodam Modo Meditationis.”

“Now for the Chief of that which was granted unto me, it was the Apprehension of those willed Changes or Transmutations of the Mind which lead into Truth, being as Ladders unto Heaven, or so I called them at that Time, seeking for a Phrase to admonish the Scribe that attended on my Words, to grave a Balustre upon the Stele of my Working. But I make Effort in vein, o My Son, to record this Matter in Detail; for it is the Quality of the Grass to quicken the Operation of Thought it may be a Thousandfold, and moreover to figure each Step in Images complex and overpowering in Beauty, so that one hath not Time wherein to conceive, much less to utter, any Word for a Name of any one of them. Also, such was the Multiplicity of these Ladders, and their Equivalence, that the Memory holdeth no more any one of them, but only a certain Comprehension of the Method, wordless by Reason of its Subtility. Now therefore must I make by my Will a Concentration mighty and terrible of my Thought that I may bring forth this Mystery in Expression. For this Method is of Virtue and Profit; by it mayst thou come easily and with Delight to the Perfection of Truth, it is no Odds from what Thought thou makest the first Leap in thy Meditation, so that thou mayst know how every Road endeth in Monsalvat, and the Temple of the Sangraal.”

“Sequitur de hac re.”

“I believe generally, on Ground both of Theory and Experience, so little as I have, that a Man must first be Initiate, and established in Our Law, before he may use this Method. For in it is an Implication of our Secret Enlightenment, concerning the Universe, how its Nature is utterly Perfection. Now every Thought is a Separation, and the Medicine of that is to marry Each one with its Contradiction, as I have showed formerly in many Writings. And thou shalt clasp the one to the other with Vehemence of Spirit, swiftly as Light itself, that the Ecstasy be Spontaneous. So therefore it is expedient that thou have travelled already in this Path of Antithesis, knowning perfectly the Answer to every Griph or Problem, and thy Mind ready therewith. For by the Property of the Grass all passeth with Speed incalculable of Wit, and an Hesitation should confound thee, breaking down thy Ladder, and throwing back thy Mind to receive Impression from Environment, as at thy first Beginning. Verily, the Nature of this Method is Solution, and the Destruction of every Complexity by Explosion of Ecstasy, as every Element thereof is fulfilled by its Correlative, and is annihilated (since it loseth Separate Existence) in the Orgasm that is consummated within the Bed of thy Mind.”

“Sequitur de hac re.”

“Thou knowest right well, o my Son, how a Thought is imperfect in two Dimensions, being separate from its Contradiction, but also constrained in its Scope, because by that Contradiction we do not (commonly) complete the Universe, save only that of its Discourse. Thus if we contrast Health with Sickness, we include in their Sphere of Union no more than one Quality that may be predicted of all Things. Furthermore, it is for the most Part not easy to find or to formulate the True Contradiction of any Thought as a positive Idea, but only as a Formal Negation in vague Terms, so that the ready Answer is but Antithesis. Thus to White one putteth not the phrase “All that which is not White,” for this is void, formless, and not clear, simple, and positive in Conception. But one answereth Black, for this hath an Image of his Significance. So then the Cohesion of Antitheticals destroyeth them only in Part, and one becometh instantly conscious of the Residue that is unsatisfied or unbalanced, whose Eidolon leapeth in thy Mind with Splendour and Joy unspeakable. Let not this deceive thee, for its Existence proveth its Imperfection, and thou must call forth its Mate, and destroy them by Love, as with the former. This Method is continuous, and proceedeth ever from the Gross to the Fine, and from the Particular to the General, dissolving all Things into the One Substance of Light.”

“Conclusio de hoc Modo Sanctitatis.”

“Learn now that Impressions of Sense have Opposites readily conceived, as long to short, or light to dark; and so with Emotions and Perceptions, as love to hate, or false to true; but the more Violent is the Antagonism, the more is it bound in Illusion, determined by Relation. Thus, the Word “long” hath no Meaning save it be referred to a Standard; but Love is not thus obscure, because Hate is its twin, partaking bountifully of a Common Nature therewith. Now, hear this: it was given unto me in my Visions of the Aethyrs, when I was in the Desert of Sahara, by Tolga, that above the Abyss, Contradiction is Unity, and that nothing could be true save by Virtue of the Contradiction that is contained in itself. Behold therefore, in this Method thou shalt come presently to Ideas of this Order, that include in themselves their own Contradiction, and have no Antithesis. Here then is thy Lever of Antinomy broken in thine Hand; yet, being in true Balance, thou mayst soar, passionate and eager, from Heaven to Heaven, by the Expansion of thine Idea, and its Exaltation, or Concentration as thou understandest by thy Studies in the Book of the Law, the Word thereof concerning Our Lady Nuith, and Hadith that is the Core of every Star. And this last Going upon thy Ladder is easy, if thou be truly Initiate, for the Momentum of thy Force in Transcendental Antithesis serveth to propel thee, and the Emancipation from the Fetters of Thought that thou hast won in that Praxis of Art maketh the Whirlpool and Gravitation of Truth of Competence to draw thee unto itself.”

AL I,60: “My number is 11, as all their numbers who are of us. The Five Pointed Star, with a Circle in the Middle, & the circle is Red. My colour is black to the blind, but the blue & gold are seen of the seeing. Also I have a secret glory for them that love me.”

The Old Comment

60. Nu = 56 and 5 + 6 = 11.

The Circle in the Pentagram? See Liber NV.

The uninitiated perceive only darkness in Night; the wise perceive the golden stars in the vault of azure.

Concerning that Secret Glory it is not here fitting to discourse.

The New Comment

The general significance of the number 11 is Magick, particularly that form of it which is Love under Will; for it unites the 5 and the 6. Thus Abrahadabra has 11 letters; and 418 = 11 x 38.

This number must be thoroughly studied by the Qabalah. See Appendix {WEH NOTE: Appendix not yet recovered.}

In the original MSS. the second paragraph begins “The shape of my star is” – and then breaks off – the Scribe was unable to hear what was being said. This was presumably because his mind was so full of preconceived ideas about the different kinds of stars appropriate to various ideas. An alternate phrase was subsequently dictated to the Scarlet Woman, and inserted in the manuscript by her own hand.

This star is the pentagram, with the single point at the top. The points touch the parts of Nuith's body as shown in the Stele. The earth-point marks the position of her feet, the fire-point, that of her hands, the other three points – air, spirit, and water respectively – refer to “my secret centre, my heart, and my tongue.”

AL I,61: “But to love me is better than all things: if under the night-stars in the desert thou presently burnest mine incense before me, invoking me with a pure heart, and the Serpent flame therein, thou shalt come a little to lie in my bosom. For one kiss wilt thou then be willing to give all; but whoso gives one particle of dust shall lose all in that hour. Ye shall gather goods and store of women and spices; ye shall wear rich jewels; ye shall exceed the nations of the earth in splendour & pride; but always in the love of me, and so shall ye come to my joy. I charge you earnestly to come before me in a single robe, and covered with a rich headdress. I love you! I yearn to you! Pale or purple, veiled or voluptuous, I who am all pleasure and purple, and drunkenness of the innermost sense, desire you. Put on the wings, and arouse the coiled splendour within you: come unto me!”

The Old Comment

61. Practical and literal; yet it may be doubted whether “to lose all in that hour” may not refer to the supreme attainment, and that therefore to give one particle of dust (perhaps the Ego) or the central atom Hadit, her complement, is the act to achieve. (For 'dust' see Liber 418.)

The New Comment

This ritual has been thoroughly worked out as an Official Instruction of A.'.A.'. Liber NV, sub figura XI, see Equinox I, VII, page 11.

AL I,62: At all my meetings with you shall the priestess say-and her eyes shall burn with desire as she stands bare and rejoicing in my secret temple-To me! To me! calling forth the flame of the hearts of all in her love-chant.

The Old Comment

62, 63. Again practical and literal. Yet the “Secret Temple” refers also to knowledge incommunicable – save by experience.

The New Comment

It is evident that Our Lady, in her Personality, contemplates some more or less open form of worship suited for the laity. With the establishment of the Law something of this sort may become possible. It is only necessary to kill out the sense of 'sin', with its false shame and its fear of nature. P.S. The Gnostic Mass is intended to supply this need. “Liber XV”. It has been said continuously in California for some years.

AL I,63: “Sing the rapturous love-song unto me! Burn to me perfumes! Wear to me jewels! Drink to me, for I love you! I love you!”

The New Comment

All those acts which excite the divine in man are proper to the Rite of Invocation.

Religion, as understood by the vile Puritan, is the very opposite of all this. He – it – seems to wish to kill his – its – soul by forbidding every expression of it, and every practice which might awaken it to expression. To hell with this Verbotenism!

In particular, let me exhort all men and all women, for they are Stars! Heed well this holy Verse!

True Religion is intoxication, in a sense. We are told elsewhere to intoxicate the innermost, not the outermost; but I think that the word “wine” should be taken in its widest sense as meaning that which brings out the soul. Climate, soil, and race change conditions; each man or woman must find and choose the fit intoxicant. Thus hashish in one or the other of its forms seems to suit the Moslem, to go with dry heat; opium is right for the Mongol; whiskey for the dour temperament and damp cold climate of the Scot.

Sex-expression, too, depends on climate and so on, so that we must interpret the Law to suit a Socrates, a Jesus, and a Burton, or a Marie Antoinette and a de Lamballe, as well as our own Don Juans and Faustines.

With this expansion, to the honour and glory of Them, of Their Natures, we acclaim therefore our helpers, Dionysus, Aphrodite, Apollo, Wine, Woman, and song.

Intoxication, that is, ecstasy, is the key to Reality. It is explained in “Energized Enthusiasm” “The Equinox” I(9)) that there are three Gods whose function is to bring the Soul to the Realization of its own glory: Dionysus, Aphrodite, Apollo; Wine, Woman, and Song.

The ancients, both in the highest civilizations, as in Greece and Egypt, and in the most primitive savagery, as among the Buriats and the Papuans, were well aware of this, and made their religious ceremonies 'orgia', “Works”. Puritan foulness, failing to understand what was happening, degraded the word 'orgies' to mean debauches. It is the old story of the Fox who lost his tail. If you cannot do anything, call it impossible; or, if that be evidently absurd, call it wicked!

It is critics who deny poetry, people without capacity for Ecstasy and Will who call Mysticism moonshine and Magick delusion. It is manless old cats, geldings, and psychopaths, who pretend to detest Love, and persecute Free Women and Free Men.

Verbotenism has gone so far in certain slave-communities that the use of wine is actually prohibited by law!

I wish here to emphasise that the Law of Thelema definitely enjoins us, as a necessary act of religion, to “drink sweet wines and wines that foam”. Any free man or woman who resides in any community where this is verboten has a choice between two duties: insurrection and emigration.

The furtive disregard of Restriction is not Freedom. It tends to make men slaves and hypocrites, and to destroy respect for Law. {WEH NOTE: Evidently Crowley wrote this around the time of the American Prohibition. He denies virtue in illegal use, but advocates vigorous effort to change law.}

Have no fear: two years after Vodka was verboten, Russia, which had endured a thousand lesser tyrannies with patience, rose in Revolution.

Religious ecstasy is necessary to man's soul. Where this is attained by mystical practices, directly, as it should be, people need no substitutes. Thus the Hindus remain contentedly sober, and care nothing for the series of Invaders who have occupied their country from time to time and governed them. But where the only means of obtaining this ecstasy, or a simulacrum of it, known to the people, is alcohol, they must have alcohol. Deprive them of wine, or beer, or whatever their natural drink may be, and they replace it by morphia, cocaine, or something easier to conceal, and to take without detection.

Stop that, and it is Revolution. As long as a man can get rid of his surplus Energy in enjoyment, he finds life easy, and submits. Deprive him of Pleasure, of Ecstasy, and his mind begins to worry about the way in which he is exploited and oppressed. Very soon he begins furtively to throw bombs; and, gathering strength, to send his tyrants to the gallows.

AL I,64: “I am the blue-lidded daughter of Sunset; I am the naked brilliance of the voluptuous night-sky.”

The Old Comment

64. The supreme affirmation.

AL I,65: “To me! To me!”

The Old Comment

65. The supreme adjuration.

AL I,65: “The Manifestation of Nuit is at an end.”

The Old Comment