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.