Chapter I

The Old Comment to AL (Liber Legis) The Book of the Law

LIBER LEGIS

THE COMMENT«dates in brackets, giving solar position (An 0. Sun in Aries being March 21, 1904, ΨΧ), refer to the time of writing particular parts of this 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. See the Sepher Sephiroth and “The Wake-World” in “Konx Om Pax” for further details on 65.

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

Or counting NV 56 HAD 10, we get 66, which is Sigma (1 - 11).

Had is further the centre of the Key-Word “Abrahadabra.”

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

3. This should not be understood in the spiritualistic sense. It means that in each person is the sublime starry nature, a consciousness to be attained by the prescribed methods.

[Yet it may mean some real connection between a given person and a given star. Why not? Still, this is not in my knowledge. See Lib. 418.]

4. The limited is a mere mask; the illimitable is the only truth.

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.

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.

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 in the Silence. {387}

8. Here begins 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 case “cf. v.” 3.

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

Nobis Regnum Dei.

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.

10. This is the rule of Thelema, that its adepts shall be invisible rulers.

This, it may be remarked, has always been the case.

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

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.”

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 to be found in the Bhagavad Gita.

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.

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 (HB:V and HB:G), else it would be difficult to understand the next verse.

16. 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 (the 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.

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

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

19. Nuit herself will overshadow them. {388}

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

21. Refers to the actual picture on the stele. Nuit is a conception immeasurably beyond all men have ever thought of the Divine. Thus she is not the mere star-goddess, but a far higher thing, dimly veiled by the unutterable glory. This knowledge is only to be attained by adepts; the outer cannot reach to it.

22. A promise—not yet fulfilled. [Since (Sun in Sagittarius, An V.) fulfilled.]

A charge to destroy the faculty of discriminating between illusions.

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

24. Nu HB:NV = 6 + 50 = 56.

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 = 300, HB:Sh 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.

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.

27-31. Here is a profound philosophical dogma, in a sense possibly an 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.

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

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

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. {389}

35. Definition of this book.

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 by initiated wisdom.

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

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.

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

But Θελημα also means Will in the higher sense of Magical One-pointedness, and in the sense used by Schopenhauer and Fichte.

I suggest —

  The   the essential HB:ATh, Azoth, etc., =  Θε.
  Word  Chokmah, Thoth, the Logos, the Second Emanation.
  of    the Partitive, 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.
Θελημα  The idea embracing all this sentence in a word.

Or —

 Θ the   = HB:T the Lion, "Thou shalt unite all these symbols into the form of a Lion."
 ε Word  = HB:H the letter of Breath, the Logos.
 λ of    = HB:L Libra the Equilibrium.
 η the   = HB:Ch 418, Abrahadabra.
 μ Law   = HB:M the Hanged Man, or Redeemer.
 α is    = HB:A the 0 (zero, Nuit, which is Existence).
 Θελημα  the sum of all.

40. Θε, the Hermit, HB:Y invisible, yet illuminating. The A ∴ A ∴
λη, the Lover, HB:Z visible as is the lightning flash. The College of Adepts.
… μα, the Man of Earth, HB:P the Blasted Tower. The 3 Keys add up to 31 = HB:LA Not and HB:AL God. Thus is the whole of
Θελημα equivalent to Nuit, the all-embracing. {390}

See the Tarot Trumps for further study of these grades.

Θε = 14, the Pentagram, rule of Spirit over ordered Matter. Strength and Authority (HB:T and HB:H) and secretly 1 + 4 = 5, the Hierophant HB:V. V. Also: Leo Aries, the Lion and the Ram. “Cf.” Isaiah. It is a “millennial” state.

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

μα = 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 licence or even as liberty. It may for example be taken to mean Do what thou (Ateh) wilt; and Ateh is 406 = HB:ThAV = 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 profundity of thought required to deal even with so plain a passage.

All the meanings are true, if only the interpreter be illuminated; but if not, they are all false, even as he is false.

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.”

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.

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.

45. Perhaps means that adding perfection to perfection results in the unity and ultimately the Negativity.

But I think there is much more than this.

46. 61 = HB:AYN. But the True Nothing of Nuit is 8, 80, 418. Now 8 is HB:Ch, which spelt fully, HB:ChYTh, is 418. And 418 is Abrahadabra, the word of Ra-Hoor-Khuit. Now 80 is HB:P, the letter of Ra-Hoor-Khuit. [Qy. this.]

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. {391}

666 = 6 x 111, and 111 = HB:A = 0 in Taro
= 1 + 2 + … + 36, the sum of the numbers in the Magic Square of
Sol.
= the Number of the Beast

Or, taking the keys of 8, 80, 418, we get vii., xvi., vii., adding to 30.
30 + 61 = 91 = HB:AMN, Amen.

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

48. See above for 111. “My prophet is a fool,” “i.e.” my prophet has the highest of all grades, since the Fool is HB:A.

I note later (An V., Sun. 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 (Sun in Libra, An VII.) that this is by no means the perfect solution of these marvellous verses.

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.

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.

51. The candidate will be brought through his ordeals in divers ways.

The Order is to be of freemen and nobles.

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

Metaphysics, too, is intellectual bondage; avoid it!

Otherwise one 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.

53. The prophet is retained as the link with the lower.

Again the word “assuage” used in a sense unintelligible to me.

54, 55, 56 to the word “child.”

A prophecy, not yet (May 1909 O.S.) fulfilled, so far as I know. I take it in its obvious sense.

56 from the word “Aum.”

All religions have some truth.

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

57. Invoke me,—etc.—I take literally. See Liber NV for this ritual. {392}

Love under will—no casual pagan love; nor love under fear, as the Christians do. But love magically directed, and used as a spiritual formula.

The fools (not here implying HB:A 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 HB:P 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.

58. The Grace of our Lady of the Stars.

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

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.

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.

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

64. The supreme affirmation.

65. The supreme adjuration.

66. The end.