Esoteric vs. Exoteric Analysis of Liber OZ



From a previous post titled “Karma & the Ethics of Thelema” – “the nature of ethics lies firstly in the differentiation between acts and intentions, secondly in the evaluation of whether an act aligns with a society or culture, thirdly whether an act aligns with intent, and lastly whether an intention aligns with one’s Great Work.”

Using the Five Precepts/Virtues of Buddhism: No killing, stealing, sexual misconduct, lying, and the taking of intoxicants – Crowley’s essay, Pansil explains the invalidity and impossibility of avoiding these acts, and how the 5 Precepts are “sarcastic and biting criticisms on existence, illustrations of the First Noble Truth; reasons, as it were, for the apotheosis of annihilation.” I would add that although they are just that, the Law of Thelema, being Do What Thou Wilt – adds the perfect “ethical” intention to the degrees of doing these things.

Compare the 5 Precepts with the 5 Points in Liber OZ, which would mean the same thing, if not for Liber OZ’s emphasis on Will:

– No killing vs (5). “Man has the right to kill those who would thwart these rights.”
– No stealing vs (1). “Man has the right to live by his own law.”
– No sexual misconduct vs (4). “Man has the right to love as he will.”
– No lying vs (3). “Man has the right to think what he will.”
– No taking of intoxicants vs (2). “Man has the right to eat what he will.”

The intentions, that one might have for performing any of these acts, however, must always be in accordance with one’s True Will. Therefore,

(1) “Man has the right to live by his own law,” allows him to take what he needs according to his Will, since there are no such things as “thieves” to the universe.


The Second Precept is directed against theft. Theft is the appropriation to one’s own use of that to which another has a right. Let us see therefore whether or no the Buddha was a thief. The answer is of course in the affirmative. For to issue a command is to attempt to deprive another of his most precious possession—the right to do as he will; that is, unless, with the predestinarians, we hold that action is determined absolutely, in which case, of course, a command is as absurd as it is unavoidable. Excluding this folly, therefore, we may conclude that if the command be obeyed—and those of Buddha have gained a far larger share of obedience that those of any other teacher—the Enlightened One was not only a potential but an actual thief. Further, all voluntary action limits in some degree, however minute, the volition of others. If I breathe, I diminish the stock of oxygen available on the planet. In those far distant ages when Earth shall be as dead as the moon is to-day, my breathing now will have robbed some being then living of the dearest necessity of life.

That the theft is minute, incalculably trifling, is no answer to the moralist, to whom degree is not known; nor to the scientist, who sees the chain of nature miss no link.

   If, on the other hand, the store of energy in the universe be indeed constant (whether infinite or no), if personality be indeed delusion, then theft becomes impossible, and to forbid it is absurd. We may argue that even so temporary theft may exist; and that this is so is to my mind no doubt the case. All theft is temporary, since even a millionaire must die; also it is universal, since even a Buddha must breathe.



(2) “Man has the right to eat what he will,” allows him to be intoxicated according to his Will, since there is no such thing as not being affected by the universe.


At last we arrive at the end of our weary journey—surely in this weather we may have a drink! East of Suez,† Trombone Macaulay (as I may surely say, when Browning writes Banjo-Byron‡) tells us, a man may raise a Thirst. No, shrieks the Blessed One, the Perfected One, the Enlightened One, do not drink! It is like the streets of Paris when they were placarded with rival posters—

Ne buvez pas de l’Alcool !
L’Alcool est un poison !
Buvez de l’Alcool !
L’Alcool est un aliment !

We know now that alcohol is a food up to a certain amount; the precept, good enough for a rough rule as it stands, will not bear close inspection. What Buddha really commands with that grim humour of his, is: Avoid Intoxication.

But what is intoxication? unless it be the loss of power to use perfectly a truth-telling set of faculties. If I walk unsteadily it is owing to nervous lies—and so for all the phenomena of drunkenness. But a lie involves the assumption of some true standard, and this can nowhere be found. A doctor would tell you, moreover, that all food intoxicates: all, here as in all the universe, of every subject and in every predicate, is a matter of degree.

Our faculties never tell us true; our eyes say flat when our fingers say round; our tongue sends a set of impressions to our brain which our hearing declares non-existent—and so on.

What is this delusion of personality but a profound and centrally-seating intoxication of
the consciousness ? I am intoxicated as I address these words; you are drunk—beastly drunk !—as you read them; Buddha was as drunk as a British officer when he uttered his besotted command. There, my dear children, is the conclusion to which we are brought if you insist that he was serious!

I answer No ! Alone among men then living, the Buddha was sober, and saw Truth. He, who was freed from the coils of the reat serpent Theli coiled round the universe, he knew how deep the slaver of that snake had entered into us, infecting us, rotting our very bones with poisonous drunkenness. And so his cutting irony—drink no intoxicating drinks!
* Quoted in “Science and Buddhism”, s. IV., note.
† “Ship me somewhere East of Suez, where a man can raise a thirst.”—R. KIPLING.
‡ “While as for Quilp Hop o’ my Thumb there Banjo-Byron that twangs the strum-strum there.” —BROWNING, Pachiarotto (said of A. Austin)



(3) “Man has the right to think what he will,” allows him to express his thoughts according to his Will, since the very construct from which he thinks with, is a lie of the ego to his ego, to begin with.


Here we come to what in a way is the fundamental joke of these precepts. A command is not a lie, of course; possibly cannot be; yet surely an allegorical order is one in essence, and I have no longer a shadow of a doubt that these so-called “precepts” are a species of savage practical joke.

Apart from this there can hardly be much doubt, when critical exegesis has done its damnedest on the Logia of our Lord, that Buddha did at some time commit himself to some statement. “(Something called) Consciousness exists” is, said Huxley, the irreducible minimum of the pseudo-syllogism, false even for an enthymeme, “Cogito, ergo sum !” This proposition he bolsters up by stating that whoso should pretend to doubt it, would thereby but confirm it. Yet might it not be said “(Something called) Consciousness appears to itself to exist,” since Consciousness is itself the only witness to that confirmation?

Not that even now we can deny some kind of existence to consciousness, but that it should be a more real existence than that of a reflection is doubtful, incredible, even inconceivable. If by consciousness we mean the normal consciousness,
it is definitely untrue, since the Dhyanic consciousness includes it and denies it. No doubt “something called” acts as a kind of caveat to the would-be sceptic, though the phrase is bad, implying a “calling.” But we can guess what Huxley means.

No doubt Buddha’s scepticism does not openly go quite so far as mine—it must be remembered that “scepticism” is merely the indication of a possible attitude, not a belief, as so many good fool folk thing; but Buddha not only denies “Cogito, ergo sum”; but “Cogito, ergo non sum.” See Sabbasava Sutta, par. 10.*

At any rate, Sakkyaditthi, the delusion of personality, is in the very forefront of his doctrines; and it is this delusion that is constantly and inevitably affirmed in all normal consciousness. That Dhyanic thought avoids it is doubtful; even so, Buddha is here represented as giving precepts to ordinary people. And if personality be delusion, a lie is involved in the command of one to another. In short, we all lie all the time; we are compelled to it by the nature of things themselves—paradoxical as that seems—and the Buddha knew it!
* Quoted in “Science and Buddhism”, s. IV., note.


(4) “Man has the right to love as he will,” allows him to give his love freely according to his Will, since love has no restrictions, all being one – to violate oneself is not love, but the withholding of.


This precept, against adultery, I shall touch but lightly. Not that I consider the subject unpleasant—far from it!—but since the English section of my readers, having unclean minds, will otherwise find a fulcrum therein for their favourite game of slander. Let it suffice if I say that the Buddha—in spite of the ridiculous membrane legend (Membrum virile illius in membrana inclusum esse aiunt, ne copulare posset) one of those foul follies which idiot devotees invent only too freely— was a confirmed and habitual adulterer. It would be easy to argue with Hegel-Huxley that he who thinks of an act commits it (cf. Jesus also in this connection, though he only knows the creative value of desire), and that since A and not-A are mutually limiting, therefore interdependent, therefore identical,
he who forbids an act commits it; but I feel that this is no place for metaphysical hairsplitting; let us prove what we have to prove in the plainest way.

I would premise in the first place that to commit adultery in the Divorce Court sense is not here in question.

It assumes too much proprietary right of a man over a woman, that root of all abomination!—the whole machinery of inheritance, property, and all the labyrinth of law. We may more readily assume that the Buddha was (apparently at least) condemning incontinence.

We know that Buddha had abandoned his home ; true, but Nature has to be reckoned with. Volition is no necessary condition of offence. “I didn’t mean to” is a poor excuse for an officer failing to obey an order.

Enough of this—in any case a minor question; since even on the lowest moral grounds— and we, I trust, soar higher!—the error in question may be resolved into a mixture of murder, theft and intoxication. (We consider the last under the Fifth Precept.)


and lastly,


(5) “Man has the right to kill those who would thwart these rights,” allows him to sever the efforts according to his Will, which no longer serve his Will; or in fact seek to disrupt it.


This forbids the taking of life in any form.* What we have to note is the impossibility of performing this; if we can prove it to be so, either Buddha was a fool, or his command was rhetorical, like those of Yahweh to Job, or of Tannhäuser to himself—

“ Go! seek the stars and count them and explore!
Go! sift the sands beyond a starless sea!”

Let us consider what the words can mean. The “taking of life” can only mean the reduction of living protoplasm to dead matter: or, in a truer and more psychological sense, the destruction of personality.

Now, in the chemical changes involved in Buddha’s speaking this command, living protoplasm was changed into dead matter. Or, on the other horn, the fact (insisted upon most strongly by the Buddha himself, the central and cardinal point of his doctrine, the shrine of that Metaphysic which isolates it absolutely from all other religious metaphysic, which allies it with Agnostic Metaphysis) that the Buddha who had spoken this command was not the same as the Buddha before he had spoken it, lies the proof that the Buddha, by speaking this command, violated it. More, not only did he slay himself; he breathed in millions of living organisms and slew them. He could nor eat nor drink nor breathe without murder implicit in each act. Huxley cites the “pitiless microsco-pist” who showed a drop of water to the Brahmin who boasted himself “Ahimsa” harmless. So among the “rights” of a Bhikkhu is medicine. He who takes quinine does so with the deliber-ate intention of destroying innumerable living beings; whether this is done by stimulating the phagocytes, or directly, is morally indifferent.

How such a fiend incarnate, my dear brother Ananda Maitriya, can call him “cruel and cowardly” who only kills a tiger, is a study in the philosophy of the mote and the beam!†

 Far be it from me to suggest that this is a defence of breathing, eating and drinking. By no means; in all these ways we bring suffering and death to others, as to ourselves. But since these are inevitable acts, since suicide would be a still more cruel alternative (especially in case something should subsist below mere Rupa), the command is not to achieve the impossible, the already violated in the act of commanding, but a bitter commentary on the foul evil of this aimless, hopeless universe, this compact of misery, meanness, and cruelty. Let us pass on.
* Fielding, in “The Soul of a People,” has reluctantly to confess that he can find no trace of this idea in Buddha’s own work, and called the superstition the “echo of an older Faith.”—A.C.
† The argument that the “animals are our brothers” is merely intended to mislead one who has never been in a Buddhist country. The average Buddhist would, of course, kill his brother for five rupees, or less.— A. C.


The exoteric analysis of the tenets in Liber OZ is simpler, and aims to avoid the acquisition of negative Karma for all that follow the 5 Precepts simply, at face value. “[…] before we know our Wills, we can only escape Karma by means of a strict regimen like this system, or that of the Noble 8-Fold Path. This helps us not step off the path and spiral down into negativity.”



“But, Lord,” said the Five Hundred Thousand and One Arahats in a breath, “thou art then guilty of six violent deaths !

Nay, thou hast hounded one soul from death to death through all these incarnations ! What of this First Precept2 of yours ?”

“Children,” answered the Glorious One, “do not be so foolish as to think that death is necessarily an evil. I have not come to found a Hundred Years Club, and to include mosquitoes in the membership. In this case to have kept Perdu’ R Abu alive was to have played into the hands of his enemies. My First Precept is merely a general rule.3 In the bulk of cases one should certainly abstain from destroying life, that is, wantonly and wilfully: but I cannot drink a glass of water without killing countless myriads of living beings. If you knew as I do, the conditions of existence: struggle deadly and inevitable, every form of life the inherent and immitigable foe of every other form, with few, few exceptions, you would not only cease to talk of the wickedness of causing death, but you would perceive the First Noble Truth, that no existence can be free from sorrow ; the second, that the desire for existence only leads to sorrow ; that the ceasing from existence is the ceasing of sorrow (the third) ; and you would seek in the fourth the Way, the Noble Eightfold Path.

“I know, O Arahats, that you do not need this instruction : but my words will not stay here : they will go forth and illuminate the whole system of ten thousand worlds, where Arahats do not grow on every tree. Little brothers, the night is fallen : it were well to sleep.”
2 Here is the little rift within the lute which alienated Crowley from active work on Buddhist lines; the orthodox failing to see his attitude.
3 A more likely idea that the brilliantly logical nonsense of “Pansil,” supra.

By following the Noble 8-fold Path, we avoid the desire for existence, and therefore sorrow. But keep in mind, Liber AL II:

70. There is help & hope in other spells. Wisdom says: be strong! Then canst thou bear more joy. Be not animal; refine thy rapture! If thou drink, drink by the eight and ninety rules of art: if thou love, exceed by delicacy; and if thou do aught joyous, let there be subtlety therein!

71. But exceed! exceed!

72. Strive ever to more! and if thou art truly mine – and doubt it not, an if thou art ever joyous! – death is the crown of all.

73. ah! ah! Death! Death! thou shalt long for death. Death is forbidden, o man, unto thee.


74. The length of thy longing shall be the strength of its glory. He that lives long & desires death much is ever the King among the Kings.

Flux & Stillness

Concerning the dualities of:
I. All is flux; “One can never step into the same river twice.”
II. There is no flux; everything is stagnant; “Change is an illusion.”

“The circumstances of temporal physicality depend upon the mind which grasps it (and remembers it insofar as to reference it at a later time). Permanence is therefore only relevant to the perceiver so long as he can distinguish any such change; ‘the world is real’ can only mean that the world he remembers is always in some form consistent with the world he presently resides, and one may assume also, that he does not expect these circumstances of temporal physicality to change in the future.”

The nature of our consciousness (mind) records events and categorizes them in relation to its perception of time. Time itself is a measurement of change; and change being a measurement of time. Both conceptions are based upon subjective perception.
What we feel is “real” a.k.a. “permanent,” is also an illusion dependent upon our conceptions of “what hasn’t changed” according to our mental records (which make sense of life).

When we understand that all perceptions and conceptions reliant upon our consciousness/ontology itself are ultimately illusions, we arrive at point II;

“Case 29: Two monks were watching a flag flapping in the wind. One said to the other, ‘The flag is moving.’ The other replied, ‘The wind is moving.’ Huineng overheard this. He said, “Not the flag, not the wind; mind is moving.”

“Stillness” and “flux” are both categorized in the mind as “objective” and “subjective.” Even further so, “objective” and “subjective” become categorized in the mind as “no-mind” and “mind” which is why there seems to be confusion/contradiction. (Confusion/contradiction can only occur with a ‘mind’ to begin with!) ALL is “no-mind” AND “mind,” the key being that which is “no-mind” allows “mind” to bridge what is “only-conceivable/’objective” with what is “only-perceptible/’subjective.”

Therefore, I. (Flux) depends on the mind’s ability to distinguish events by the use of time, and II. (Stillness) depends upon the mind’s ability to un-distinguish events by overlapping particular conceptions of time. Ultimately, the distinguishing/un-distinguishing of events is fabricated by the mind itself.

“Change” is a concept we use to make sense of smaller, subjective scales of experience. “Stillness” is a concept we use to align ourselves with our conceptions of objectivity; the extremes of “change” occurring are both “stillness.”

[Stillness] – (inperceptible change).
Slow change + short duration of change. – (slow and boring change, to the point where you doubt anything is actually occuring).
Moderate change + moderate duration of change. – (when you can be sure something is changing).
Fast change + long duration of change. – (things are changing so much and over such a long period of time that the concept of “things” stop existing)
[Stillness] – (when there’s nothing except perceived change, you realize that by everything always being in flux, this in itself means nothing is happening to anything; “what” exactly is being changed if “it’s” always changing?)


Being is the Noun; Form is the adjective.
Matter is the Noun; Motion is the Verb.
Wherefore hath Being clothed itself with Form?
Wherefore hath Matter manifested itself in Motion?
Answer not, O silent one! For THERE is no “wherefore,” no “because.”
The name of THAT is not known; the Pronoun
interprets it, that is, misinterprets It.
Time and Space are adverbs.
Duality begat the Conjunction.
The Conditioned is Father of the Preposition.
The Article also marketh Division; but the Inter-
jection is the sound that endeth in Silence.
Destroy therefore the Eight Parts of Speech; the
Ninth is nigh unto Truth.
This must also be destroyed before thou enterest into Silence.

Hate Sex


I BRUISED your body with the whip
Its wheals stand out in ridgéd azure.
The savage blood upon your lip
Images hurt, and hurt’s erasure.

The pain transmuted into passion;
And passion.s ruin was not pain;
But my pain wears another fashion;
My dead men do not rise again.

You hurt me, and the silent skin
Whispers no word of bleeding bruises;
Your subtle hate, your cunning skin
Brands and corrodes me where it chooses

I fear not them that kill the body,
But rather them that hurt the soul:
My soul with your disdain is bloody;
Your stripes are none to make me whole.

Could you but see my vitals torn,
My nerves on rack, my tortured spirit.
Of all the ills to mortals born
This is the sorest to inherit.

If you could see the branded token
Of your invisible whip, the scars
Of your intangible knife, the unspoken
Agonies, silent as the stars!

Then you should count the agéd lines
That wrinkle up my boy’s blithe beauty:.
The Judge of all the Earth divines
My wrongs and yours, and does his duty.

For you in heaven shall bloom and burgeon,
And I in hell shall howl and groan.
Ah! God is an unskilful surgeon;
We both shall weep to be alone!

For we are one and may not part;
And though we hurt, we love, believe me!
Nor would I in my inmost heart
Of one of all your stabs bereave me.

No man can hurt the indifferent stranger,
No woman wound the casual friend.
There is a glory born of danger;
What anger gat, desire may end.

Give me the phrenzy of your lip!
My heart accepts your usurpature.
Your body leaps beneath the whip;
Our pain is in love’s very nature.

It is enough. The woe is over,
The woe begins; the vial brims,
And all the anguish of your lover
And you is hidden in wrestling limbs.

Drain the black cup of bruiséd blood!
Its bitter shall beget devotion,
And Bacchus sweep its frenzied flood
Into the Eleusinian ocean!

Elaboration upon the dualities of Love and Hate:

These two emotions are not actually opposites in the normal sense, since the opposite of both love and hate are indifference; both love and hate are on the extreme end of the emotional scale itself. Love is the acknowledgement and acceptance of both parts Beast/Babalon within another person. It is a constant balancing effort on both parts within the self, and with another, which if genuine, is the perfect balance of pleasure for the ego/Beast and non-ego/Babalon. Hence, Love under Will. Hate occurs when there is an imbalance; if regarding the Beast/Babalon within one’s self, this hate is directed inwards. When there is an imbalance regarding another person, this hate is directed at them. Most people will react in anger, perhaps even hate, towards the external trigger which does not do anything but show the internal imbalance there was, prior to the trigger. If there was no imbalance present, there would not have been any defensive reaction.

“Love” and “hate” both require some level of attachment to that which is the target of our emotions. The difference being that Love contains both the Will to Live/Dove/henosis/(development of Babalon and self-sacrifice of the Beast in order to accept another’s Beast) and the Will to Die/Serpent/apotheosis/(development of Beast and suppression of Babalon in order to be consumed by another’s Babalon).

Hate directed at a person drives us to get away from them as far as possible, because the nature of the Beast is fueled by ego. It is undesirable for a sensitive/developed ego to be poked at; more specifically, the individual’s ego is recognizing itself in another, and attempting to compete. If given a worthy enough challenge, the ego will either be required to submit (die) or recognize the futility of its efforts and also die. There is nothing more provoking nor fearful for the ego than the death of itself. Therefore, external hate usually occurs if one person’s Will to Die comes into conflict with another’s Will to Die. Beast vs Beast. A forced reflection upon the ego where the only escape is death either way–the progression into the Right Hand Path for balance.

Hate which occurs internally is due to a misalignment in Will and Action; this is usually due to external oppression of the individual’s Beast, which leads the ego to attack itself. It is not a true development of one’s Babalon, and the individual will most likely require a lot of Left Hand Path workings before finding his/her way to achieve balance.

The nature of sex is always an interplay of the permutations between Beast and Babalon, and results in death. From these two dynamics also comes an odd mixture of pleasure: the Babalon in one person gets along with the Babalon with another; the nature of Babalon/Nuit is passive, accepting, and all-encompassing. If two people are Babalon-dominant, there is no need for sex. Metaphorically speaking, they are neither alive nor dead and therefore have no inclination to die. This is why it is important to emphasize that Babalon =/= women and Beast =/= men. When two women have sex, they either take turns unleashing their Beast, or one woman has a inclination towards Beast, and the other towards Babalon. However, when two separate (worthy and equal) Beasts meet and are unable to escape, they will fight and suffer–but also seek to die together; in other words, they have hate-sex. There comes a time when both see the futility of their actions and decide that the only way to achieve joy together is to surrender together.

The frustration that arises with any energy-expending battle can easily be transformed into sexual tension. The attraction is not always due to physical appearance, since the attraction itself is from the fact that both Beasts have been forced to surrender, causing them to seek each other for pleasure.

Usually, hate-sex happens when one Beast is able to recognize the power of the other, or in momentary stalemates instead of the end of the battle. The acknowledgement of one Beast from another is what is labeled “sexy;” it is the awareness that the other person has within them, the potential to kill the individual’s ego. Nowadays, society has brainwashed people into accepting an image/form of what’s sexy, causing a reinforcement loop within their minds so concrete that when one asks someone what they believe to be sexy, they can only explain through prescribed imagery. Prescribed imagery, if never questioned, will never allow the individual to see beyond their social accretions.

True Fear & True Love

A jealous god is a feared god, and I see now the relation between True Fear and True Love. These dualities apply to the dualities of the ego and non-ego; the contradiction occurs in the minds of those who, because of fear cannot face fear and cannot move past towards love.

Exodus 20:4-5. “You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God…”

I:51. “…Also, take your fill and will of love as ye will, when, and with whom ye will! But always unto me.
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!”

“Jealousy,” and “direful judgments” all directly address the individual’s ego, and are not to be mistaken as corresponding to the non-ego/Higher self/HGA/God. (The latter obviously does not apply; the non-ego is devoid of ego/judgment/jealousy). The individual’s ego fears retribution from an external “higher power,” whether it is a parent when one is young, society, societal laws, deities, etc.; but what it is actually fearing is the Union with the Higher self/HGA/God within them, once again, because the ego knows it must submit.

The psychological process that occurs (usually when dealing with the monotheistic God) is opposite to Identifying-Objectifying-Banishing a demon/aspect of ego. Here, what is occuring is the automatic ego Objectification (of the HGA into external deities)-Avoidance (denial of external deities)- Incomprehension (of what was actually the issue).

The declaration of any given god to appear ego-full and not just ego-less, therefore, either causes the individual to react with more Mercy, or to Objectify-Avoid-Incomprehend the issue. (Then again, all attacks against the ego can invoke this response.) The individual who is aware that they feel fear regardless of how ludicrous the stimulus (like words on paper from a god), is then given the chance to be honest and inquire within themselves; if they feel fear, there is something to be afraid of (a higher power); and there is something that is feeling the fear (their ego). This is also the function of the Tunis Comment.

The appearance of contradiction in an ego-full and ego-less God have been elaborated upon: when you Love everyone, you hate everyone. Love supersedes all facets of the projection of existence. The individual whom accepts God’s Love sees no contradiction between his jealousy and his Love. One understands that this jealousy is merely an attack upon the individual’s ego, and it is only the ego whom acknowledges this jealousy.


Emotional (and physical) pruritus; another balance to be sought–pain is so often times intense and brief that one finds humor in the situation more quickly than a drawn-out instance of itch, or boredom. These sensations are one in the same, and also the opposite of one another; the only remedy for either is by quieting the mind and detaching significance from the body. Life is suffering; both painful and boring, and humans have long since admired tragedy and drama as counter-measures. What is ingeniusly ironic is that the act of enjoying a tragedy brings evokes suffering within one’s self; it reaffirms one’s own existence and allows the individual to acknowledge their own frailty.

Catharsis works the same way as medicines do; in small amounts, a poison is a poison. In large amounts of poison, the structure is apparent; the cure is within the poison to be extracted and synthesized from in order to produce a beneficial effect. The key to catharsis is in suffering itself, and the nature of suffering is that of existence.

To perceive Joy as merely occurring during times of good health, or favorable events is to misconstrue it. The individual is only busy, their mental capabilities occupied, distracted, and their brain releases chemicals that tell it that it’s happy. The nature of Joy is that it has the potential to be present all the time, and it only depends upon the individual to allow themselves to experience it. Happiness is being completely in the present moment, regardless of the situation, without emotional attachment.

The Nature of Restriction

All existence is sin.

Chubby buddha Bo-Tei, is the physical manifestation of the tenet, “existence/life/being is suffering;” he is obese, “restricted” by his own physical form, under his own Will. 

But look how his existence/being is Joyous and smiling! “Rub his tummy for happiness,” they say. I say, touch upon thine own existence, feel its nature as Restriction; there is Joy to be Had in this!

The Key to Joy is in Sorrow itself; the mass accumulation of existential anxiety at the doorway to the Abyss, and then the grief, the relief, and the return of existential anxiety coupled with a fragmented sense of self–Who is even feeling this anxiety? The answer, No-One.
And how does one defeat the Mighty Lord Choronzon in a place where he reigns? The Thelemite maketh Love to him, because that is what Thelemites do. Love is the LAW; the Law from which shine Light, Life, Love and Liberty.

“Now Love is the enkindling in ecstasy of Two that will to become One. It is thus a Universal formula of High Magick. For see now how all things, being in sorrow caused by dividuality, must of necessity will Oneness as their medicine…. Let him also practice the art of the Analysis of Ideas, and that of refusing to allow the mind its natural reaction to them, pleasant or unpleasant, thus fixing himself in Simplicity and Indifference. These things being achieved in their ripe season, be it known to you that all ideas will have become equal to your apprehension, since each is simple and each indifferent; any one of them remaining in the mind at Will without stirring or striving, or tending to pass on to any other. But each idea will possess one special quality common to all: this, that no one of any of them is The Self, inasmuch as it is perceived by The Self as Something Opposite….”

The adept that accepts his own defeat, defeats Choronzon by giving himself to him; by Loving him. He achieves the Gate of Babalon–(Babalon is on just the other side, beckoning). Does not Choronzon seek to unite by subjugating True Will into his own Being? Is this not Love, also? If the adept pours his blood into Her graal, he becomes impregnated in Her. The sacrament of suffering. He becomes She. And in Her womb, is him. And it is an ecstasy in which there is no trace of pain.


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 Bliss.
The Man delights in uniting with the Woman; the Woman in parting with the Child.
The Brothers of A.’.A.’. are Women; the Aspirants to A.’.A.’. are Men.

The Nature of Restriction:
Existence in itself is a Restriction (which we suffer by nature of consciousness as it arises);
Our actions below the Abyss are littered with Restrictions (first there are ego-wants, then there is the structure of Thelema itself, and lastly our HGA, if we are lucky);
We strip ourselves of ego-wants, we make good use of the Restriction called Thelema, and in the Abyss, Choronzon devours our HGA, along with whatever ego-wants we tried to hoard. — Choronzon cannot devour the Restriction called Thelema without also devouring himself. The Restriction called Thelema created him, but he does not dwell there; he IS a Restriction. He is capable of doing so, but only in the most dire cases; if Choronzon were to do so, we would end up begrudging Thelema and be lost in Daath, for it would seem better than to face Choronzon again; little would we know that we will never have to face Choronzon again, because he now IS us.

For the rest, we have Understood that the Restriction of Thelema is useful and beneficial, and continue with it. We grow up as our HGA within the womb of Babalon, as Babes.

Our ego grows back within us, and we Master it with all the lessons from the Spheres.

The nature of our Restriction called Existence is no longer perceived as a Restriction; we have aligned our Existence with Existence itself (Universal Will). The Infinite does not move; the illusion of our individual existences moving all in different directions only appear to do so because the nature of our consciousnesses have separated themselves from that which it has not yet recognized; itself in the ALL.

 This is why all Existence is Joy– these guided Restrictions lead one to the Wisdom of That, which is This; (just like the key to a cure is within the poison; the key to catharsis is within the suffering); and the key to Thelema itself is Nothingness/Ayin/131/Experiential knowledge–the Wisdom of That is the key to the Wisdom of This.

“Each 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.”

Our actions above the Abyss are therefore [all Restrictions, including our existence] under Will (Joy!).

On the Nature of Free Will

By assimilation of the internal of the external; the result is that these results are fluid and modify each other. Free will and determinism are also not opposites, but functions of mind; we utilize free will to change the course (the course itself is limited by determinism), and we utilize determinism to know that the course will go as it ought – part of Thelema is figuring out what phenomena applies to free will, and what phenomena applies to determinism. 

On a macrocosmic scale, all is determined (as all is as it ought, TAO, Our Lady Babalon, the unconscious mind, etc.) but on the microcosmic scale, we make decisions every moment by constricting this flow. This, being the relationship of the Beast and of Babalon.

Liber Aleph. 57. DE NECESSITATE VOLUNTATIS. (On the Necessity of the Will)

And how then (sayest thou) shall I reconcile this Art Magick with that Way of the Tao which achieveth all Things by doing nothing? But this have I already declared to thee in Part, showing that thou canst do no Magick save it be thy Nature to do Magick and so the true Nothing for thee. For to do nothing signifieth to interfere with nothing so that for a Magician to do no Magick is to commit Violence on himself. Yet learn also that all Action is in some sense Magick, being an essential Part of that Great Magical Work which we call Nature. Then thou hast no free Will? Verily, thou hast said. Yet nevertheless it is thy necessary Destiny to act with that free Will. Thou canst do nothing save in accordance with that true Nature of thine and of all Things, and every Phenomenon is the Resultant of the Totality of Forces; Amen. Then thou needest take no Thought and make no Effort? Thou sayest sooth; yet, art thou not compelled to Thought and Effort in the Way of Nature? Yea, I, thy Father, work for thee solicitously, and also I laugh at thy Perplexities; for so was it foreordained that I should do, by Me, from the Beginning.

Turtles All the Way Down:
If billiard ball A strikes billiard ball B with a certain velocity, mass, and angle of impact, and the frictional characteristics of the surface they are both supported by are specified, then certain things are knowable:

  1. The final resting places of A and B.
  2.  Independent of the particular values of A and B with respect to mass, speed, and angle of impact, one may state with confidence that the second law of thermodynamics will be respected, i.e., the physical energy embodied in the original moving billiard ball, prior to impact, will be preserved (accounted for) in the ensuing collision.

In other words, in non-living systems, there is a conservation of energy—a pattern apparently universally present. Contrast this with an analogous interaction in living systems. If I specify for you the starting position, velocity, mass, and angle and point of contact of my foot and my dog. Spirit, you will not be able to predict much. It’s not even obvious that my foot will end up on the end of my leg as opposed to ending up in Spirit’s mouth some distance away from the rest of my leg. To distinguish this non-conservative interaction—the typical one in living systems—from its counterpart in the physical world, Bateson referred to this as collateral energy.

Or again, his brilliant insight that both Darwin and Lamark were correct—Darwin’s evolutionary contracts fit adequately the presently known world of biological forms and Lamark’s evolutionary constructs are the drivers in the cultural world of ideas—is another example of his steadfast insistence that different patterns were operating in the physical world and the world of mind. While Bateson was unwavering in his perception that the patterns and laws which specify the structure of the world of mind and the physical were distinct, he never proposed a mechanism to explain how this difference came about. Bateson’s thesis itself is strongly supported by a contemporary of his—the man usually considered the leading physicist of the 20th century.

John: There are profound differences between the living and nonliving systems. One of the differences is given by the fact that the second law of thermodynamics—conservation of energy—applies absolutely unequivocally, no exceptions known at this moment, in the world of mechanical nonliving systems. So the basic unit in which you can inventory a mechanical system is energy, in the physical sense of energy—not the Santa Cruzian sense of energy . . .
Judy; . . . that’s cosmic energy; that’s something else . . .

John: It’s definitely something else. But in the case of living systems… So if I kick my dog two things occur. At the level of the physical body John and the physical body Spirit, my dog, when I kick my dog she will actually physically move and the first part other movement, unless she sees me coming, will be absolutely predictable by the laws of physics. That is, there is a certain amount of energy I put into the kick, a certain amount is received, there’s friction at the interface and her body moves a certain distance . . .

Judy: I have to disagree with that. John: Oh, do you?
Judy; I’m sorry, I really have to disagree with that. If you kick a ball I would say that the law of physics would apply. But because Spirit is a living system in herself there’s a degree of unpredictability.

John; . . . and where does the unpredictability come from?
Judy: From the fact that you don’t know which way Spirit’s going to run. And not only that, the conservation of energy is violated. Dogs always move further that the kick would move them. (Laughter)

John; Too true. If I kick the ball there’s a deterministic system. If I kick another living organism the system becomes nonde-terministic. Take the famous croquet game that Alice got involved in. The rules of the game of croquet are known And in so far as the humans who entered the frame of interaction called croquet agree to abide by these rules we have a deterministic system—that is, for any situation which can legitimately arise within the game there are specified procedures which determine the next move. There are different logical levels of rules. At the elementary level, certain elements of the game are identified as mobile—the croquet balls, the mallets, the players. Other elements are fixed—the stakes and hoops, the surface on which the entire game occurs … And, of course, more complex rules… If player A’s ball passes through hoop n prior to player B’s ball then a penalty pass is awarded to … But what was poor Alice to do when she found herself gripping a flamingo with which she was to strike a hedgehog? Energy in living systems has a different function and it’s called collateral energy. The distance the hedgehog rolls is simply not predictable from a measurement of the direction and energy with which Alice swings the flamingo!

Liber Aleph. 142. DE HARMONIA VOLUNTATIS CUM DESTINIA. (On the Harmony of Will and Fate)

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 the 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, are 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, an 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 his 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.

Objective vs Subjective

The answers lie in the reformation of one’s questions and the challenge is perseverance in actively assimilating opposites.

The Work never ends, and stagnation in any aspect is detrimental to the whole. Balance is key, and true balance is harmony. The tao is forever in flux; the equilibrium and unification of the pentagram and hexagram being the goal of the magickian. 

What is considered the “objective reality” or that which can be known a priori, the universal, self-evident, consistent and singular truths are objective insofar as we can conceive of them; and “subjective reality” or that which is known a posteriori, including every construct made from experience, be it social accretions, religious systems, ethics, etc. exists insofar as we can perceive them– but the concepts of objectivity and subjectivity are merely distinctions made within the mind.

 The harmonious unification of the microcosm and macrocosm can be symbolized as the integration of the only-conceivable with the only-perceptible. The only way to preserve Truth is to not claim to Know it; thus Qabalah is a diagram of the universe at scales which man can know and utilize. 

Man is neither above the universe nor trapped within it, but is part of the system–the Magickian utilizing the elements to do the Great Work.

“Kether is in Malkuth and Malkuth is in Kether, but after another manner, Malkuth reflects Kether, for that which is above is like that which is below, and that which is below is like that which is above.”