Ancestral Veneration 

I have decided that there must be reconciliation for the current concept of the individual regarding the death of the many parts of himself in this life. I believe in reincarnation in regards to parts of the soul which need it, and that this happens on a microcosmic scale while we are living. After all, the Invokation of the “Bornless” (Head-less) One before the evokation of the Goetia is a bringing forth of the archetype of the “be-headed” King and Queen in the Chymical Wedding, of the myth of Osiris, etc. This is an archetype of the Higher Self, the HGA which commands the “dead” parts of us (shells of the personal unconscious, spirits of the Goetia) to rise and be guided under Will. There appears a literal connection to these ideas and that of the old depictions of Atu XX; the dead rising from their tombs and are given eternal life.

I’ve looked forward so much that I seem to have forgotten how I got here. There is an undeniable aspect of energy in ancestral workings (harnessed primarily for thaumaturgical purposes) but albeit powerful and has been dominant throughout the centuries.

To the theurgist, although all parts of the self end up in Sheol, they are either resurrected for the purposes of the Great Work, or abide as Qliphotic aspects of self which must continue to be rectified–both for our sake, and “theirs.” It is interesting that by understanding the microcosm in this manner, we understand that these aspects of our self contain in themselves a type of base consciousness; a persistence to exist and stubborness to attempt to avoid change or the death of itself.

This is essentially what our individual manifestations are to the macrocosm.

The aspects of self which are “righteous” i.e. in alignment with the True Will of the Individual, having been resurrected, can be interpreted to be living in Heaven/the Supernals/in Harmony with the All.

When we venerate our ancestors, we are acknowledging the continuation of the cycle and drawing forth all the energy of the transformations they’ve made throughout time, feeling the energy of the All propelling us forth into the Light. Therefore any progress made in the present is never ours, nor our ancestors, but the permutation of the One. 

The Unconscious Mind

THE UNCONSCIOUS MIND.

 

In my essay regarding the Drive of Self, I concluded – “the True Will of every man is ultimately to unite his consciousness with his own unconscious mind.” Here, I will aim to elaborate on the nature of the unconscious mind/personal unconscious and what this means in relation to the central tenets of Thelema. This essay will first begin with linear diagrams and a theory to how a singular individual’s unconscious mind functions in relation to his subconscious and consciousness, and show this model mirrored in the macrocosm’s collective unconscious, that which we call “reality,” and the present moment.

 
For quick & dirty reference to a previous post titled Flux & Stillness:

Flux&Stillness Diagram

The conscious mind/consciousness of the individual is, more or less, synchronized with the present moment. Our attention functions as a mirror reflecting the mind/microcosm and the universe/macrocosm. Nothing can be revealed to itself without opposition – without the context of either side, the self/ego cannot exist. By definition, the ego is the result of the separation of heaven and earth. Its utility lies in its ability to balance and affect both parts.

 
The unconscious mind/collective unconscious informs and creates the subconscious and reality, from which consciousness can alter the subconscious/reality by taking (or if you prefer, “remembering”) directly from the unconscious/collective unconscious. The subconscious tends to perform its tasks quickly, hence the appearance of time passing quickly when one is overcome with emotion, or letting the mind wander freely. Reality being both the seen and unseen patterns, memes, and sensory data appears to move quite slowly; the sun passing overhead, the seasons changing, the economy pulling itself above water, and so on. Hence the ego’s usual offense and seeking to influence the world we see, to speed it up, avoid boredom, and satisfy the subconscious mind. Even when we mean well, there are unforseen consequences because our conscious sight is so narrow.

 
Hence, the advice to keep one’s ego in check in order to do one’s True Will relies upon learning to expand one’s sight (seeing in LVX) to encompass rays from the unconscious mind (mirrored/mirroring the collective unconscious), the source of True Will.

 
The unconscious mind is comprised of three parts which influence each other. The first, Self – is awareness of these processes. The second, Imagination – is the reformation of ideas. The third, Symbolism – is the ideas themselves and the formation of them.

 
The nature of the collective unconscious is as follows; the first – Self defined through Law [LOVE]. The second – [LAW], being the ethics of the language. The third – language, to express the Law [WILL].

Love Under Will Diagram

The collective unconscious of the macrocosm:

 

  1. LOVE – Self defined through Law: awareness and equal appreciation of all things, the unity subject and object.
  2. LAW – the ethics of language: “ethics” here refer to the principles of the universe that guide language in order to express the need for all things to return to unity, and that they are united. These principles themselves are reformations of symbols and ideas that stem from the One. Love is the law –  the Law is the necessity of Love put forth through communication.
  3. WILL – language, to express the Law:  Language here is to mean the representation of all things as they are, including separation, no thing, contradictions, and that which is inconceivable by our minds. In order for language to exist, there must be an Other to comprehend. This Other is not “us,” per say, but our unconscious minds.

 
In the unconscious mind, this part is Symbolism – symbols have a language of their own, the language of WILL. This is the unknown factor of True Will we struggle to reason with and attempt to put into words. Will sometimes requires us to take “leaps of faith” – because we cannot yet understand the language of the Law, usually until after the “leap.” This discourse also gives rise to synchronicities of our being and the universe to help us strive ever to more.

 

Liber AL II:26. I am the secret Serpent coiled about to spring: in my coiling there is joy. If I lift my head, I and my Nuit are one. If I droop down mine head, and shoot forth venom, then is rapture of the earth, and I and the earth are one.
II:27. There is great danger in me; for who doth not understand these runes shall make a great miss. He shall fall into the pit called Because, and there he shall perish with the dogs of Reason.

 
The top half of the diagram is of the macrocosm/heaven, the bottom half being the microcosm/earth. The three parts of each half refer to the supernal triad Kether-Chokmah-Binah. I will leave the details of the sephiroth of the microprosopus/macroprosopus as they correspond to the rest of the diagram in another essay, but from above the Abyss lies the first emanation to be reflected into the next triad Tiphareth-Chesed-Geburah, and the Veil of Paroketh further reflecting down to Yesod-Netzach-Hod. That which is above is like that which is below.

 
When we begin the Great Work “in the interior of the earth,” we notice these mirrors more and more. We perceive reality mixed in with the contents of our subconscious minds. It takes mindfulness, and therefore internal reflection to realize the subtle differences. The conscious mind constantly constricts and allows aspects of reality based on what the subconscious desires. We train to separate the two in order to change.

 
In the microcosm, Love is under Will; Love is Self – the awareness of the processes in the triad. Law is Imagination – the reformation of ideas, and Will is Symbolism – the ideas themselves and the formation of them. It is commonly accepted that through Law “sprang four Rays or Emmanations,” these being Light, Life, Love, and Liberty which correspond to the points of the pentagram, powers of the sphinx, elements, kerubs, etc. These are examples of the “reformation of ideas,” as there were four rays and not none. “Rays,” “four,” “existence of,” etc. are all ideas residing in the unconscious mind, a reflection of the language that the universe uses to aid us in understanding it. Will is the vector which binds the properties of each ray so that they may be rays, and because that which is done for the sake of itself IS itself, the individual whom does his Will is his Will. Love is all matter; and all matter is the motion of light. It is literally everything and everywhere.
“…this Love is the force that uniteth things diverse, for the contemplation in Light of
their Oneness.” Liber 150.

time vs eternity diagram

In summary,

 
DO WHAT THOU WILT SHALL BE THE WHOLE OF THE LAW – The individual must listen to the language of his unconscious mind expressed through symbolism, i.e. the Voice of the Silence. In order to listen to the Silence, he must train all his faculties to pick up, filter, rearrange, prioritize, transmute, and align the aspects of his mind with that of the universe.

 
LOVE IS THE LAW – The message/ends and the means/acts of communicating the message are one and the same. This is the creation cycle of the breath-in (compressing everything by dividing an area into parts and focusing both to a point) and breath-out (where their union releases their compression and they expand to the area from which they began.)

 
LOVE UNDER WILL – From awareness of unity comes the Will to unite. Love powers Will, and we become aware of unity when we listen to and follow Will.

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.