On the Development of the Khu

A cultured man lives far from nature, far from natural conditions of existence, in artificial conditions of life, developing his personality [Khu] at the expense of his essence [Khabs]. A less cultured man, living in more normal and more natural conditions, develops his essence at the expense of his personality. A successful beginning of work on oneself requires the happy occurrence of an equal development of personality and essence . . .

A lot of the work is still centered around breaking the illusion that man can “do” which seems to be a contradiction (why learn these things if there is nothing that can be done about them?) but the truth is that man cannot will on his own until he has assimilated his whole being in another’s will (hence, obedience to the master no matter what) which will allow him to know the forces present in himself. In his own observance and practice in mastering those forces to be one with his master’s will, he is able to know, when the time comes, how to master the forces to be one with his will.

In a simple analogy: a parent tells a child to do the dishes. In doing the dishes, the child learns how to be conscious of themselves; utilize the center of thought, and control his desires (and repulsion), uniting himself in one task. When the child grows up and wishes to do the dishes, he therefore knows how to use his mind, emotions, and body to accomplish this. This is all in preparation of the Khu. The preparation of the Khabs requires help from the parent (or master) but most importantly, the attention of the child. The child must not only listen to the will of the parent but be able to deduce the conditions or context in which the will appears: the child notices the kitchen is a mess and the family has nothing to eat off of; ergo, the parent tells the child to do the dishes.

A. How the child ought not to act:

  1. be angry with the parent, conditions, other family members, etc. This is a failure in the emotional center.
  2. do the dishes improperly. This is a failure in the thinking center.
  3. do the necessary functions to prep the Khu without understanding the reason or context for it, i.e. fail to prep the Khabs. This is a failure of the consciousness center.
  4. cheat, and pretend to do the dishes. This is the worst and is a failure in every center.

B. How the child ought to act in response to these challenges:

  1. be grateful for the opportunity. Easier said than done, as the child will probably not understand until years later
  2. learn to do them right and speak up if they require assistance. Also hard, as pride solely in oneself is detrimental to the task.
  3. be vigilant in everything. Difficulty is due to tedium.
  4. pretty obvious

C. How the child can progress from A to B:

  1. acquire patience, but “seeing” results and then remembering them goes a long way.
  2. take pride in oneself as part of the accomplishment of the task instead of just taking pride in oneself.
  3. always assume there’s more to life than what there appears to be. This isn’t a “be positive” thing, but rather the igniting of something bigger than oneself. Hence, be vigilant or else you’ll miss the cool stuff.
  4. always be honest with oneself.

D.) How the Thelemite ceremonial magician accomplishes C:

  1. LIRP, invoking that memory of self and by repeated practice, acquiring patience.
  2. LBRP, banishing negative influences including that stream of nonsensical, egoistic thought that keeps thinking it is more than what it is, and also “strengthening the aura of the magician” to do what seem like unimportant, useless tasks.
  3. Liber Resh, 4x a day. In case you forgot, the purpose of this ritual is to “remind the aspirant at regular intervals of the Great Work; secondly, to bring him into conscious personal relation with the centre of our system; and thirdly, for advanced students, to make actual magical contact with the spiritual energy of the sun and thus to draw actual force from him.” It is also “particularly useful against the fear of death” and shows true dedication to the Great Work.
  4. Journal.

Notice there is no failure of the body or instinctual center. I intentionally did not use the names of the sephiroth because when consciousness (or Tiphareth) is active, Yesod (instinct) is not. #3 is specifically a failure if the child’s Yesod “is active” instead of Tiphareth. Only after repeated practice and you literally default to Tiphareth (marry the sun and the moon), will Yesod (instinct) mirror that of Tiphareth’s functions. All four; Tiphareth, Netzach, Hod, and Yesod, are of course in Malkuth, where this the will is being manifested in the world of Assiah.

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Gnothi Seauton

Liber E vel Exercitiorum sub figura IX: Part VII — A Course of Reading

Upon first glance, this part appears simple and straightforward. For the most part, it is. However, I’d like to elaborate upon each point for this part in order to show the importance of narrative sensemaking as well as describe how it aids one in the journey to come.

What is Narrative Sensemaking?

Gary A. Klein (2006) presented a theory of sensemaking as a set of processes that is initiated when an individual recognizes the inadequacy of their current understanding of events (i.e. cognitive dissonance). This builds upon Cohen’s (1996) recognition-metacognition model which describes the processes that are used by individuals to build, verify, and modify stories in situational awareness to account for a foreign experience, and Piaget’s (1977) processes of assimilation and accommodation in his theory of cognitive development. Sensemaking is an active two-way process of fitting data into a mental model and fitting a frame around the data. Data evokes frames and the frames select and connect data. When there is no adequate fit, the data is either reconsidered or revised (through the Path of Pe!)

This means that in a Thelemic context, the practitioner actively participates in new experiences (e.g. by following the course of the A.’.A.’. system) to understand the symbolism for himself, which then allows for deeper experiences and so on and so forth.

Enter Liber CLVII: The Soldier(!) and the Hunchback(?)

Note: 148 = NTzCh [Netzach; victory], MAZNIM(f) [Libra; the scales], BNI ALHIM(f) [Beni Elohim; Sons of the Gods (the angelic choir of Hod)], AHIH IH IHVH ALHIM(f) [A name of God]

In a nutshell, Liber CLVII teaches us the importance of skepticism and samadhi. The “true skeptic” is a man of science, eager, alert, and without bias. He devises some means of answering his first question, and its answer is another question. We can expect our skepticism to continue spinning words and never answer any questions, but this is simply the swing of the pendulum. No combination of thoughts can be greater than the thinking brain itself. However, skepticism along the path ensures that we keep questioning in order to progress towards the attainment of personal truth without bias, which is its ultimate function.

On the other hand, samadhi is a breakthrough in levels of consciousness to a higher plane and therefore leads to the Knowledge and Conversation of the HGA by providing clarity and objectivity; it is the Point from which the pendulum of !s and ?s hang. The purpose of living (and the meaning of living a Victorious Life) is so that we may attain the K&C of the HGA, that the ! may lie in harmony with the ? and that we may find Joy in the swing of the pendulum between the two.

To apply Liber CLVII to the concept of narrative sensemaking means to vigilantly question our understandings and test our experiences while finding Joy in this process, which is, in fact, the Victorious Life.

So what does this have to do with Liber E, Part VII?

Here’s a summary of the first point: No, you’re not wasting your time reading this list of books. But the second point is much more vague:

2. That you may gain some insight into the nature of the Great Work which lies beyond these elementary trifles, however, we should mention that an intelligent person may gather more than a hint of its nature from the following books, which are to be taken as serious and learned contributions to the study of nature, though not necessarily to be implicitly relied upon.

The third point is obvious, the fourth point rings similar to Liber CDLXXIV, and the fifth point needs no elucidation. However, the sixth through to the ninth are kind of interesting, so I’ll summarize below:

6. Find and attach yourself to a competent master, but don’t give up on how hard it will be to find one.

7. Whatever you do, don’t rely on that master (even though you just searched the ends of the earth for him/her). You “must rely entirely upon [yourself], and credit nothing whatever but that which lies within [your] own knowledge and experience.”

8. Your records are your only lifeline.

9. And thus, let the work be duly accomplished.

Once again, no. 7 alludes to the idea of Victory, Netzach and Liber 148. No. 6, 8, and 9 are easy to correspond with Tiphareth, Hod, and Yesod, and all four of these represent the directions of Liber Resh, which if you have been doing for a while aids in one’s understanding of Liber E in its totality. In conclusion, the purpose of Part VII is not only gain practical insights to how to perform the Great Work, but more importantly, how each individual, by use of their symbol set (frame) and experiences (data) have done so, including one’s own master.

To reiterate, the goal is to do this as honestly and accurately (through skepticism and samadhi) as one can.

If you recall in the previous post, my “lesson” from Part II of Liber E:

The harder one tries, the more out of sync the results. Also; that you don’t know what the hell is happening but the more you do it, the more variables in the operation are known (i.e. superstitions are being created, and thus, useful to you). Siddhis appear when these variables are in the right condition–

But most importantly, when one arrives at the City of the Pyramids, this narrative of superstition and variables (otherwise known as narrative sensemaking frames and data, symbol sets, etc) will be the only real thing in the end, since you can place their beginning and creator; oneself.

So Liber E is, quite literally, the Foundation of all your Work.

Veritas

Although this post is titled, “Truth,” its contents are going to deal with its opposite: the Ultimate Illusion. I hope to keep the Truth sacred and unspoken by this attempt to provide an accurate description of Falsehood below.

First, Soror N.O.’s lessons from Liber E vel Exercitiorum sub figura IX:

  • Part I: Record meticulously and don’t lie to yourself.

  • Part II: The harder one tries, the more out of sync the results. Also; that you don’t know what the hell is happening but the more you do it, the more variables in the operation are known (i.e. superstitions are being created, and thus, useful to you). Siddhis appear when these variables are in the right condition.

  • Part III: Sheer mental willpower dies in the ass of the person who fails to unite body with mind (i.e. you’re better off trying to sleep through the discomfort than to treat it like the last kilometer in a marathon). To absorb energy is to conserve that which is already present in the body.

  • Part IV: The anticipation of the count decreases your capacity for breathing, so breathe first, count second.

  • Part V: Tighten the sphere of thought gradually so that a ten random thoughts become a few and by that time, you realize that those few thoughts can be eliminated (or altered) as one.

  • Part VI: There is a difference between what you can override your body to do with the mind (and vice versa) and that which is natural to your body.

  • Part VII: (A Course of Reading)

These lessons are relevant because one learns the effect of the consciousness in processes of thought, emotion, and body; and therefore, one learns how to not interfere in them. A special thing happens with siddhis, or “supernatural/psychical feats,” like predicting the future, moving things with your mind, etc: the experience of them leads to the awareness of the One Moment through the overlapping of things like time — past, present, future all in One.

Because this ties into a few more things like free will and determinism, here is an excerpt from The Brazen Serpent, for the Path of Lamed:

By now, there should be a rather concrete understanding of how the world works according to the magician’s influence on it, and how it influences himself – even if this understanding is not explicitly bound by language in his mind. In a nutshell, it can be summed up like this: Good work leads to more work. When one ascends a plane of consciousness, there are more difficult and more subtle tasks, both in the higher planes and the lower. Theurgy is all about expanding both the heights and depths of the planes in which one travels, eventually purifying them thoroughly enough to bridge them all together. And yet, it may seem in one perspective that this leads the individual nowhere, and certainly not closer to Divinity – but in a more encompassing perspective, one sees that the path to Divinity is not in a straight one-way elevation up the Tree, but rather is embedded in the Circle of the Infinite which surrounds all of manifestation. By performing the Great Work, the Great Work performs “us.” The Work creates in the individual more relations that he is to grasp and understand, therefore making these relations automatic in his processing and in turn, make him more sensitive to his own missteps as he refines his being. The individual becomes stronger in his flexibility and adaptation yet with each task accomplished, his senses become more sensitive and therefore more prone to more work. The closer one gets to performing True Will, the more “free will”, yet less “free will” one gets.

What is “free will?” The mundane kind of conception of free will is actually of the Illusion of free will. E.g. all is determined ahead of time, and because one cannot consciously relate every factor and variable affecting his every move, there is this feeling like the “I” really is making things happen. However, by taking into account not just a linear, two-dimensional understanding of existence and learn to perceive in the higher planes, there lies a few curious observations:

1. The linear timeline of one’s physical existence in the world of Assiah from birth to death is determined, because we have only learned to see the past.

2. When one’s consciousness rises from Assiah to Yetzirah, we are able to see a little ahead of the linear timeline called life, either through divination, direct feats of psychism, the acquisition of siddhis, etc – giving one a chance to change an event that was “prescribed.” By refining the senses to pick up on these chances, and learning to follow them, one breaks through to Briah.

3. As one reaches Briatic consciousness, we not only see a little ahead of our timeline, but begin to witness the forces which create the timeline. The individual lives in conjunction with these forces, establishing the link between his consciousness and the timeline as a whole.

4. At the level of Atziluth, viewing the entire timeline of our mundane existence, one becomes the forces which inform Briah, which propels him to take action in Yetzirah, which changes the course as it appears in Assiah.

In conclusion, the linear timeline of one’s physical existence in Assiah is absolutely determined, but it is determined by the individual himself, assimilating both concepts of determinism and free will. In Atziluth, the entire timeline appears as a single moment. In Assiah, the individual places themselves at a point somewhere on the timeline, unaware of what the future holds. Spirit always firstly “moves downwards” into manifestation because manifestation is simply the grossest form of spirit. How else can we attempt K&C with the HGA, seeing as how the HGA is but our higher selves? As the spirit within learns (or, more accurately, remembers) how to rise back up, the lower planes are automatically affected, therefore leaving us with the duty of assimilation above and below.

The True Will is thus both determined by its equations, and free because those equation are simply its own name, spelt out fully. His sense of being under bondage comes from his inability to read it; his sense that evil exists to thwart him arises when he begins to learn to read, reads wrong, and is obstinate that his error is an improvement.

(Book 4)

To “see into the future” is to prove a certain degree of synchronicity, but more importantly, it shows that the Truth is Maya and that we all share it. The siddhis show us the simulation of the One as all these things and that this is what we call “reality.”

So what is “reality”?

Now, returning briefly to Liber E: personally and through the discipline of meditation, I know it takes me approximately 46 minutes for any kind of emotion (whether it is anger, excitement, anxiety, etc.) to naturally cycle out of my consciousness. The thought remains if not changed but the feeling itself wanes regardless of what I was thinking. What that means is that whatever I thought was really worth starting a fist fight with someone twice my size for, will fade by the time I’ve been pulverized and have been left lying on the floor.

This also applies to less dramatic but still damaging situations like choosing to insult someone instead of staying quiet.

The bottom line is that we must attempt to treat others as if they are to die tomorrow.

The convergence of time not only means that to be rude to someone is being rude to yourself but to fall prey to the Ultimate Illusion of reality, and the nature of that reality, being Separation.

And when we must shun someone away, we should do it solely with the intention of directing them towards a path more suitable to their Will, and not out of our own fear, hatred, jealousy, or anger.

Book Review: ADEPTUS EXEMPTUS THESIS (2015)

So this is my first book review and I’d like to get started on the book in question: ADEPTUS EXEMPTUS THESIS (first printed Spring Equinox 2015) by Amun Atum, found here [https://www.amazon.com/adeptus-exemptus-thesis-amun-atum/dp/1329020219].

It is comprised of three large sections: the first, titled “Crowley’s Magick,” is the author’s journal entries spanning his grades of Student to Adeptus Exemptus as a self-taught and solitary practitioner of the A.’.A.’. system of Thelema and magick. It contains vivid imagery and a well-established symbol set inspired by major themes proposed in Thelema and Egyptian mysticism. It ends with a neat section on personalized rituals that include the Egyptian Lesser Rituals of the Pentagram and Hexagram. Here is my favorite one to give you an idea of what it entails, even though it is very different from the one I regularly perform:

Egyptian Lesser Ritual of the Hexagram

Touching the forehead say “Au N’natik”

Touching the waistline say “Tauy”

Touching the right shoulder say “Wazer”

Touching the left shoulder say “Nefrau”

Clasping the hands upon the breast say “Jet r Nah-ah Amun”

With the magical weapon trace the Hexagram of Air in the East, vibrating, “Abrahadabra,” All hexagrams consist of two equilateral triangles. Begin the Air hexagram at the top of the upper triangle and trace it in a dextro-rotary direction. The bases of the triangles coincide, forming a diamond.

Trace the Hexagram of Fire in the South, vibrating “Abrahadabra.” The triangles of this hexagram both point upwards. The top of the lower triangle should coincide with the central point of the upper triangle.

Trace the Hexagram of Water in the West, vibrating “Abrahadabra.” This hexagram has the lower triangle placed above the upper, so that their apices coincide.

Trace the Hexagram of Earth in the North, vibrating “Abrahadabra.” This hexagram has the apex of the lower triangle pointing downward, and it should be capable of inscription in a circle.

Stand upright, feet together, left arm at side, right across body, holding the wand or other weapon upright in the median line. Then face East and say:

I.N.R.I. Yod, Nun, Resh, Yod.

Virgo, Aset, Mighty Mother

Scorpio, Apep, Destroyer

Sol, Asar, Slain and Risen

Aset, Apep, Asar, I-A-O

Extend the arms in the form of a cross and say: “The Sign of Asar Slain,”

Raise the right arm to point upwards, keeping the elbow square, and lower the left arm to point downwards, keeping the elbow square while turning the head over the left shoulder looking down so that the eyes follow the left forearm and say, “The Sign of the Mourning of Aset,”

Raise the arms at an angle of sixty degrees to each other above the head, which is thrown back and say, “The Sign of Apep,”

Cross the arms on the breast, bow the head and say, “The Sign of Asar Risen,”

Extend the arms again and cross them again saying, “L.V.X., LUX, the Light of the Cross.”

Touching the forehead say “Au N’natik”

Touching the waistline say “Tauy”

Touching the right shoulder say “Wazer”

Touching the left shoulder say “Nefrau”

Clasping the hands upon the breast say “Jet r Nah-ah Amun”

(Copyright 2014 Amun Atum. All rights reserved).

This section, “Crowley’s Magick,” is a good enough reason to read the book if you have considered or are working the A.’.A.’. system as a solitary practitioner. The journal entries are regular (between 1 to 5 days between entries) and they provide an account of detailed chakra work, tattwa meditations, and a helpful study of the astral plane. What I especially enjoyed was the author’s display of a highly dedicated work ethic, organization skills in planning (and sticking to) practices, and adjusting them accordingly as he progressed in the system. There is no doubt that the author did the work, and anyone who reads it will find a likeness of themselves in the common struggles, dry spells, and complaints one has (but tells no one about) when practicing daily. By using light humor and candid commentaries on the libri of Aleister Crowley that all Thelemites can empathize with, he provides both an entertaining read and a distinct idea of what it’s like to have Knowledge and Conversation with the HGA throughout the gradual progression up the Tree of Life.

The only criticisms of this section I can give are based off of my own personal way of writing in a magical journal. I would like to have read more detailed descriptions of the physical sensations or time elapsed during practices, what foods were consumed that day, what astrological conditions were relevant and such. The author does, however, note well the gematria of personally significant messages and the Thelemic notation of time in between each oath. Another possible concern is that the time elapsed during each grade is relatively short, and it is impossible (as I don’t have the right) for me to judge whether it was honest progression or not. For example, the author’s Student grade spanned an approximate 4 months, Probationer = 3 months, Neophyte = 1 month, Zelator = 3 months, Practicus = 3 months, Philosophus = 3 months, Dominus Liminis = 2 months, Adeptus Minor = 1 month, Adeptus Major = 13 months, Adeptus Exemptus = 9 months. Although there is no minimum or maximum attainment requirements for the grades after Neophyte, these beginning grades are, in my opinion, the most important. (The consensus for minimum time spent in the grade of Probation is 1 year, and for the Neophyte, 8 months).

At the end of his Practicus grade (pg 116-117), he makes a rather fascinating observation that I’d like to comment on here:

July 21 – [. . .] here are the approximate contents for a book on the Qabalah that I wish someone would write: [list of the individual sephiroth in all four worlds], Parts of the Individual: [list of the five parts of the soul], [. . .] Additional QBL Terms: Adam Kadmon, Archetypal Man; Arik Anpin, vast countenance in Kether; Malkah, the Bride, a young girl, the unredeemed soul; bride of the Microprosophus (in Malkuth); Serpent Nechushtan, Serpent of Wisdom; Zeir Anpin, lesser countenance in Tiphareth, etc. (I’m sure there’s plenty more terms and concepts)

As a studious practitioner of the system, one does run into these issues. Fortunately, most, if not all of these questions are answered in Regardie’s Complete System of the Golden Dawn, which condenses Qabalah taken from sources like The Zohar, The Sepher Yetzirah, and so on. It is easy to overlook the fact that reading authors like Dion Fortune and Gareth Knight, we are getting only a secondary source from individuals who have been, in one form or another, students of the Golden Dawn system. It is my personal (but informed) hypothesis that in order to do the A.’.A.’. system to the best of one’s ability, you do need some kind of Golden Dawn background. Whether this is independent study or following an initiatory track, it is inevitable to run into gaps in one’s learning due to overlooking Crowley’s own training in the Golden Dawn system. This is one of the main reasons why I wrote a book on Thelemic Qabalah: to synthesize the information of the past with that of the A.’.A.’. system.

Now, returning back to the review. As you can see, for his grades of Adeptus Major and Adeptus Exemptus, the author took considerably longer in his work. Unsurprising, the journal entries in the book for these grades are the most enriching to read as well. Here is another excerpt (pg 182-183):

January 17 – I have returned to ritual work in a light way. “Liber Samekh” was well done. My Angel was present. She still answers my call. I am not getting a set series of instructions from her, but she is answering my call, and she is being very encouraging.

My thoughts keep returning to “Equilibration of Himself.” I really want to fulfill this requirement. I don’t want to give it short shrift. It’s about balance.

I agree with what I wrote above, but somehow it should go deeper; it should be more fully recognized.

Sometimes Depression can give you “no preference for any one course of conduct over another.”

Yeah . . . whatever!

Maybe this is just a falsity. Maybe it’s something you can’t claim to the degree Crowley says you can; not if you live in the real world! [. . .]

Crowley wrote about the True Will and the Holy Guardian Angel being synonymous, about having identical goals. At first I disagreed, but now I see them as being a sort of reflection of each other.

Your True Will is in you, buried deep in your subconscious. It is “higher” than all your wants and desires; you really have to aspire to it.

We get deceived along the way, thinking some of our desires are our True Will, but they’re not. We have to aspire to more, we have to reach further.

It is up there, but still within us; we must accept no substitute.

While the True Will is in us, and is our highest self; the Holy Guardian Angel is like a reflection of that Will! Crowley’s final worlds on the HGA was that it is outside of us. That is why I say the two are a reflection of each other: the True Will within, the HGA without. They speak with a different voice. The True Will is logical, imperious, formless, emotionless. The HGA is the opposite: she is passionate, loving; emotional to the extreme. The HGA encourages us. The HGA has faith in us; the HGA believes in us. They are opposites, but complimentary opposites. They have one goal: our success, our attainment! [. . .]

When you lose everything; when everything you have has been stripped away, when layer after layer has been removed . . . all you have left is your Honor. So live by a Personal Code of Honor; for in the final tally, that is all you have.

The next major section of the book, titled “Crowley’s Law,” is pretty straightforward. This section consists of insightful commentaries on major Thelemic concepts as well as explanations for a lot of jargon often taken for granted (I am certainly guilty of this). Even if you are well-versed in Crowley’s work, this part of the book is still useful in comparing and contrasting one’s own interpretations. To the beginner, it is full of helpful tidbits that elucidate some of the inner mysteries of Crowley’s work and provide practical advice on doing the work itself.

The last section of the book contains the Adeptus Exemptus Thesis itself. As is known, the requirements to proceed to the passage called Babe of the Abyss is to “prepare and publish a thesis setting forth His knowledge of the Universe, and his proposals for its welfare and progress. He will thus be known as the leader of a school of thought. He will have attained all but the supreme summits of meditation, and should be already prepared to perceive that the only possible course for him is to devote himself utterly to helping his fellow creatures.” It seems that the only other publicly available (and seriously attempted, in my humble opinion) examples of this that have been set forth by other Thelemites are J. Daniel Gunther’s Initiation in the Aeon of the Child, J. Edward Cornelius’s The Magikal Essence of Aleister Crowley, and Ray Eales’s Magick Revised. This is the author’s own response to the requirements: “I see a lot of injustice. I see a lot of pig-headedness. I see a lot of selfishness that is just hurting people. Certainly there is a better way that things can be done: procedures and methodologies (so to speak) that wouldn’t destroy our world and murder the people living in it. I really see things as being dire, but I also see that we have a choice of what to do, of how to treat people. It can be a better world.”

What follows in this last section is a theory of politics and re-shaping of the world that should be read in the Light of the Great Work, regardless of one’s own personal political affiliation. As a proposed Thesis, it is to be respected. I am not qualified in political theory to provide an in-depth analysis of the Thesis itself, but I can honestly say that it is a genuine effort that rings true to the spirit of the task of Adeptus Exemptus. In conclusion, this book was a wonderfully candid study of a magical journal with many insights and commonalities I think all practitioners of the system of A.’.A.’. will find true, no matter if you work alone, in one lineage, order, or another. The author’s Thesis was unique, practical, and refreshing in the sense that it involves recognizing and attempting to rectify the mundane world for the betterment of all human beings.

In Memorial: Frater Adamas

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

On Wednesday the 15th of March, 2017 Frater Adamas 161, my long time mentor and friend passed away in New Zealand, survived by his wife, Soror Neirika, and family.

For over fourteen years Fr. Adamas played a significant role in my life as the founder and self-proclaimed Magus of the Temple of Baphomtr (spelling intentional).

Having initiated me into his syncratic guerilla A.’.A.’. System in 2003, (in a ceremony that literally made me laugh and cry) Adamas proscribed a modified version of the original A.’.A.’. system, suplimented with Maat Magick, Typhonian Magick, Vodoo (and other systems) along with his own blunt, direct techniques of attaing True Will and approaching The Abyss.

These techniques–which consisted of chemo-gnosis and sex-magick, along with shock-space techniques like self-piercing etc–were designed to strip social accretions and programming at an alarming, sometimes even traumatic rate. In my personal experience, I found them to be sound but often extraordinarily painful. They did, however, absolutely work.

Adamas’ system was not for the faint hearted. Nonetheless, without pretention or ornamentation he drove me forward towards Ultimate Truth.

The Temple itself, being designed along A.’.A.’. lines, consisted of a short lineage taking its cues and instruction directly from The Secret Chiefs. There was no claim of official sanction. Moreso, Frater Adamas shunned the idea of official lines.

Initiation to the ToB was by invitation only and diligence was taken to ensure an understanding of the difference between Crowley the Prophet and Crowley the Man. While the Holy Books were in line with the Universal, Self-Evident and Consistent forces of nature, ‘Crowley the man’ often had other, personal agendas. Idolatry was not a tenant of the ToB.

Before he died, Frater Adamas sent me an email asking me to take his mandate to assume his position as chief officer of the Temple. I kindly refused.

In the long run, I have learned that for me at least, the traumas induced by Adamas’ path were beyond my capacity to sustain–I would not inflict them on anyone else. After a long period of reflection, I have arisen from the ash of that incarnation of Self and I have chosen a slower, safer, proven route that is allowing me to finish integrating many of the lessons Adamas taught me.

Despite his human flaws, Adamas was an exceptional individual and what he accomplished was astounding and utterly profound (Especially in context). I have no regrets for the work (and it was indeed work) that we performed. His efforts went above and beyond the realm of duty. He was indeed a King, a true psychonaut, explorer and pioneer. He will always have a place in my heart.

Now it seems that Fr. Adamas has achieved his Great Work and his Greater Feast is done. Never was there a braver, bolder magickian who ‘desired death much’, to walk the firmament of Nu.

Frater Adamas 161, may you find your place among the Stars.

Love is the Law. Love under Will.

Source: In Memorial: Frater Adamas

Karma & the Ethics of Thelema

Confucius

 
KARMA & THE ETHICS OF THELEMA

“How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.”

Wayne W. Dyer

Not all popular wisdom is wisdom; and in my life I seek to question everything until experience speaks for itself (to the best of my ability to remain neutral), not bound by the expectation of fulfilling a cognitively biased truth. Wisdom for me is an extraction from many different singular sources, rearranged into oneself hand in hand with experience. This essay is not going to be a long analysis comparing and contrasting Buddhist and Hindu doctrines and ethics with every line of Crowley’s writings – Frater IAO131 has done a thorough job with ethical themes in Thelema, and Erwin Hessle has written a solid composition on what it means to Do what thou wilt. The purpose of this essay is to share what I’ve learned about ethics and Karma AS a Thelemite who has had to face my own faults. My hope to anyone reading this blog is that they can relate and find some insights to apply in their Work.

 
Here is what my experience has shown me in matters Karma:

 

  1.  No negativity “comes back to bite me” if I act for the sake of the act, i.e. honestly without guilt.
  2.  Others may treat you as they’d like to be treated, but that is not always how you wish to be treated, no matter how far you go out of your way to understand them.
  3.  Some don’t treat you the way they’d like to be treated at all no matter how well you treat them.

 
Here are my understandings of the points above:

 
1. Ethics, as mainstream society understands them to be, are constructs in order to imbue us with a sense of “shoulds” and “should nots” to keep our acts aligned with the relative harmony of any given society.

 
I posit that 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.

 
The benefit/damage of any intention depends on the Sephirotic/Qliphotic balance of the individual, and therefore an intention with the least amount of inner conflict is a better one. Hence, the transcendence of ethics into aesthetics. Thelema is very much a system that focuses on the purification of intentions in order to keep an individual from restricting his potential and higher self. We then act (or not act) based upon our intent. In this way, living ethically becomes self-liberating, without promise of “negativity coming to those who do you harm” or “positivity coming to you” because you think you’re doing God’s work by giving some money to a hobo. This is how savior complexes begin. What you are really receiving is a lesson from yourself to yourself in generosity and gratitude. That although you can not know for sure whether he will use the money to help himself, or kill himself, you have done your work in letting go, and planted a seed that will blossom when you are shown the same generosity one day.

 
On a more abstract note, the Crowley quote “It is necessary that we stop, once and for all, this ignorant meddling with other people’s business. Each individual must be.” applies not only to obvious interference but subtle ones.

 
I was sitting outside on the steps having a cigarette break with my husband, and saw a limping crow amongst a murder, all searching for food individually. The others did not help the injured crow, nor was the injured crow crying out for attention and pity. We humans unlike animals, with our variety of hoarded resources have the capacity to help one another, but only in ways we can (and as our balance allows) – when we cannot, but still try to “treat others the way we wish to be treated,” we are actually acquiring negative Karma. We begin to resent the world and frustratingly ask, “why do they not help me when I have given everything to help others?” This problem in our society today has even evolved into “Why are they not helping [insert arbitrary group here] when I have worked so hard to help [said group]?”

 
2. This brings us to a neat transition into the next observation. Negative Karma has a way of reinforcing ideals which cannot be met, sending one spiraling into more negative Karma. The first step “off the path” has a lot of potential to disorientate, especially when it happens quickly from lack of mindfulness.

 
The problem occurs when we have expectations of the actions of others. These expectations arise when we are not acting from balanced intention, and project our discontent with ourselves externally to other people.

 
When we do NOT “do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” we are attempting to rebalance our past acts made from imbalanced intentions. Unfortunately, this never works because we need to console ourselves internally, not project them externally.

 
Ethics only exist in context of a goal – in this case, the Great Work, which relies on individual rectification, i.e. the “orbit of each star.” One must remember that “There are no ‘standards of Right’. Ethics is balderdash. Each Star must go on its own orbit. To hell with ‘moral principle’; there is no such thing.” A.C. As humans, unpredictability unnerves us – it is a glimpse of a truth we all know but hide to ourselves; that ultimately we have no control over anything. We would like for people to fit our ideals, and we would like to pretend that somehow the universe is on our side, rewarding the “good” and punishing the “bad.” Karma in popular wisdom, and even in Thelemic circles has devolved as a concept, placing the priority to avoid stepping on anyone’s toes instead of promoting Each Star finding and going with its own orbit. The argument I hear most often is that Thelemites “need the liberty” of having their toes not stepped on in order to find their orbit – but it is from the Law that Liberty shines through, and I daresay it will be their first task as a Thelemite to protect their own feet.

 
It would be nice if everyone avoided stepping on anyone’s toes, you say. But would it? This may be positive Karma for some and negative Karma for others.

 

 

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.

3. By following one’s orbit, one avoids negative Karma anyway. But 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. You can only beat the system if you can master it.

We create our heavens and our hells, and I’m inclined to believe the existence of an afterlife is absolutely irrelevant to my existence. Depending on the definition of reincarnation, I either believe in it or don’t – I believe parts of us are reborn all the time, and we are constantly changing. This is the view from “below.” However, I believe in this one lifetime of mine, that the present is all that exists, and if we look at the timeline of history from “above”, we will not see linear reincarnations, but everybody and everything in manifestation all at once. Magickal memory is therefore not tapping into the past, but tapping into the planes above. Similarly, divination and premonitions are also getting a glimpse from above. Synchronicities become a sign of alignment with the above; a sign that one is manifesting these things by means of magick, with all things being under Will.

So woe is he, who feels the world treats him unfairly – but once we learn to be grateful for the pain and disillusionment that has triggered our transcendence, we are forced to understand suffering in a multi-faceted way. Sometimes we have no choice but to bring others pain. The same pain that we face can either weaken us or strengthen us and it is up to the responsibility of the individual star to decide that. All else is out of our hands.

Selflessness & the Drive of Self

Man develops his image of himself by imagining how Divinity (first, in the form of his Mother) wishes him to be so that he may return (and be desired by the Mother). In this first act of man’s creation, three concepts must be in his nature, that is, of Divine nature; Imagination – construction of ideas through ideas, Symbolism/Language – the formulation of ideas themselves, and Self/Consciousness – the awareness of these processes (which leads him to attribute these processes to his own being).

 
He seeks IT/Divinity/Mother because he realizes that there is something outside of him that he needs, that can not be freely taken; the metaphor often given is that of the mother’s breast. If man was complete in all that he needed, he would be Conscious/United Divinity. Instead, he is conscious only of his humanity, and must Work to be conscious of his Divinity. This is the same Fall within Creation itself, happening as each man becomes conscious of his consciousness; every man being a “split subject” due to the gap in his mind between his consciousness and the unconscious. His drive to unite with his Mother/Divinity itself is synonymous with seeking to be conscious of his unconscious. This essential drive is the same with all man, manifested through forms that are more or less obvious, depending upon the amount of transitions (and the success/failures thereof) that each individual has had to make (due to environmental circumstances).

 
The psychological metaphor continues with the child, witnessing his father receiving the love he seeks from the Mother, aiming to become his father – but can never get close enough due to two things: Castration fear, which occurs when there is a threat to man’s self-concept of himself (in this case, being too similar to his father, or recognizing that he will never succeed), and the father’s Law, which bans incest with the mother and provides the child with his first ethical code of “good” and “evil.” The Mother, whom is fulfilled as Mother once she bears a child, does not “need” him anymore; she may desire him, but this is an excess of need in which there is no satisfaction. Only in parting with the child may she find joy.

 
Usually, the child grows to incorporate society’s laws and ethics into his Law and seeks more or less obvious replacements of affection from his Mother. This continues throughout adulthood, but the pattern remains the same. The individual adapts his self-concept (which includes both the influence from his Law and his drive for acknowledgment/affection) accordingly as situations change.

 
Notice how the father’s Law has created such a strong repulsion in our society to the idea of incest, even with people that don’t concern us, and even if their relations are consensual. We are perceiving ourselves in their situations through the eyes of our own biased ethical codes.

 
It is an instinctual disgust reaction for every individual to think sexually of their own parents for physical, evolutionary reasons – but this is NOT to be confused with the psychological “incestuous” drive to replace our parents with our partners (and ourselves) which is absolutely natural and should not bring shame. Anyone who believes otherwise will be sorely disappointed once they realize that life is centered around these concepts and that they can only keep replacing the language with which these concepts are described. Sexuality in the New Aeon should be accepting of consensual roleplay regarding parental figures and children; the acknowledgement of the origin of this taboo and the exploration of it is progress to understanding ourselves and of Divinity.

 
The separation in man’s consciousness bringing forth his self-concept/ego, is the key to uniting with Divinity. Both the process of it coming into being, and the being itself is the cycle of Creation; man’s ego is as man is to God. The man who rids of his ego for any period of time is not “knowing God” but becomes God’s Knowing. God Knowing Himself; “God is God only insofar as he knows himself; but in addition his self-knowledge is the self-knowledge that he has as man; and the knowledge that he has of himself as God.” It is in these moments (gnosis) in between Creating a new self-concept/ego and having a previously constructed one “die” that God is God – with every change we make to our self-concept, we are God. “The eye with which God sees me is the eye with which I see Him; my eye and His eye are one and the same. In righteousness I am weighed in God and He in me. If God did not exist nor would I; if I did not exist, nor would He.” This means, in a man without a self-concept/ego, there exists neither ego (obviously) nor “man” – for the concept of this man as a man is included in his ego.

 
The Great Work is creating a space for the individual (God) to Know Himself, so that the individual may then align his self-concept to his unconscious, attaining joy. Joy is not a fixed destination, but the result of continually acting upon drives which leads us to break our consciousness/self-concept. The drives of man are only Qliphotic in nature when they are not balanced, which lead to desire. Desires are drives that have been bound in forms/ideas, further removed from the unconscious and more elaborate due to the mind’s use of language in communicating them to oneself. Both drives and desires arise from an excess of need/demand; that which we “need” is merely that which can be satisfied. By expressing our need in language, it becomes a demand. The greatest desire of every individual is for another to acknowledge their desire; the Mother to imagine what she could be/do to make her son happy. What the magician is doing when he re-creates his self-concept, is acknowledging his own desires, ridding of the excess (therefore “eliminating” desire/transforming it into need), and fixing his Law in order to fulfill his needs.

 
True Will, therefore, is a drive within our unconscious minds with many forms, the form which surfaces depending upon each individual, and receives a ranking of necessity based on past experiences (and neuroses). Once achieved, one’s True Will “changes” to a form more directly related to the drive in the unconscious.

 
In conclusion, the True Will of every man is ultimately to unite his consciousness with his own unconscious mind; the Great Work itself that is eternal – and every man having the burden/blessing of a divided consciousness knowingly or unknowingly seeks to fill this gap, for God’s own existence.

Compassion for Self and Others

The ego shards, and the shells of the qliphoth, too must be nourished properly in order to protect the spheres. The process of alchemy is never a straight path; one must return again and again to refine the salt, and the same must be done with the shells. It is ALWAYS balance. To seek compassion for one’s ego is not negative, in and of itself. Like all things, context is what defines the proper means and ends.

Not everyone needs the same treatment, and the idea of treating everyone equally does not mean treat everyone the same. Some people need more love, and some appreciate harder challenges. 
Acting under Will requires that we think and make careful judgments about how we treat others. The shells need LVX just as the spheres do. The only evil comes from imbalance. Pathworking requires both the stripping of aspects of the ego and proper nourishment to purify the ego.