Liber AL comment, by Aleister Crowley






AL I,1: "Had! The manifestation of Nuit."

THE OLD COMMENT

1. Compare II,1c201, the complement of this verse. In Nu is Had concealed;
by Had is Nu manifested. Nu being 56 and Had 9, their conjunction results
in 65, Adonai, the Holy Guardian Angel. Also Hoor, who combines the force
of the Sun with that of Mars. Adonai is primarily Solar, but 65 is a number
sacred to Mars. See the "Sepher Sephiroth" ,and "The Wake World" in "Konx
Om Pax" for further details on 65. Note moreover, the sixty-five pages of
the MS. of Liber Legis. Or, counting NV 56, Had 10, we get 66, which is
(1-11). Had is further the centre of the Key-Word ABRAHADABRA.

THE NEW COMMENT

The theogony of our Law is entirely scientific, Nuit is Matter, Hadit is
Motion, in their full physical sense.<> They are the Tao and Teh of Chinese
Philosophy; or, to put it very simply, the Noun and Verb in grammar. Our
central Truth -- beyond other philosophies -- is that these two infinities
cannot exist apart. This extensive subject must be studied in our other
writings, notably "Berashith", my own Magical Diaries, especially those of
1919, 1920 and 1921, and "The Book of Wisdom or Folly". See also "The
Soldier and the Hunchback". Further information concerning Nuit and Hadit
is given in the course of this Book; but I must here mention that the
Brother mentioned in connexion with the "Wizard Amalantrah" etc. (Samuel
bar Aiwaz) identifies them with ANU and ADAD the supreme Mother and Father
deities of the Sumerians. Taken in connexion with the AIWAZ identification,
this is very striking indeed.

It is also to be considered that Nu is connected with North, while Had is
Sad, Set, Satan, Sat (equals "Being" in Sanskrit), South. He is then the
Sun, one point concentrating Space, as also is any other star. The word
ABRAHADABRA is from Abrasax, Father Sun, which adds to 365. For the
North-South antithesis see Fabre d'Olivet's "Hermeneutic Interpretation of
the Origin of the Social State in Man". Note "Sax" also as a Rock, or
Stone, whence the symbol of the Cubical Stone, the Mountain Abiegnus, and
so forth. Nu is also reflected in Naus, Ship, etc., and that whole
symbolism of Hollow Space which is familiar to all. There is also a
question of identifying Nu with On, Noah, Oannes, Jonah, John, Dianus,
Diana, and so on. But these identifications are all partial only, different
facets of the Diamond Truth. We may neglect all these questions, and remain
in the simplicity of this Her own Book.

AL I,2: "The unveiling of the company of heaven."

THE OLD COMMENT

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

THE NEW COMMENT

This explains the general theme of this revelation: gives the Dramatis
Personae, so to speak. It is cosmographically, the conception of the two
Ultimate Ideas; Space, and That which occupies Space. It will however
appear later that these two ideas may be resolved into one, that of Matter;
with Space, its 'Condition' or 'form', included therein. This leaves the
idea of 'Motion' for Hadit, whose interplay with Nuit makes the Universe.
Time should perhaps be considered as a particular kind or dimension of
Space.<>

Further, this verse is to be taken with the next. The 'company of heaven'
is Mankind, and its 'unveiling' is the assertion of the independent godhead
of every man and every woman! Further, as Khabs (see verse 8c108) is
"Star", there is a further meaning; this Book is to reveal the Secret Self
of a man, i.e. to initiate him.

AL I,3: "Every man and every woman is a star."

THE NEW COMMENT

This thesis is fully treated in "The Book of Wisdom or Folly". Its main
statement is that each human being is an Element of the Cosmos,
self-determined and supreme, co-equal with all other Gods.

From this the Law "Do what thou wilt" follows logically. One star
influences another by attraction, of course; but these are incidents of
self-predestined orbits. There is, however, a mystery of the planets,
revolving about a star of whom they are parts; but I shall not discuss it
fully in this place.

Man is the Middle Kingdom. The Great Kingdom is Heaven, with each star as
an unit; the Little Kingdom is the Molecule, with each Electron as an unit.
(The Ratio of these three is regularly geometrical, each being 10 to the 22
times greater in size than its neighbour.)

See "The Book of the Great Auk" for the demonstration that each 'star' is
the Centre of the Universe to itself, and that a 'star' simple, original,
absolute, can add to its omnipotence, omniscience and omnipresence without
ceasing to be itself; that its one way to do this is to gain experience,
and that therefore it enters into combinations in which its true Nature is
for awhile disguised, even from itself. Analogously, an atom of carbon may
pass through myriad Proteus-phases, appearing in Chalk, Chloroform, Sugar,
Sap, Brain and Blood, not recognizable as "itself" the black amorphous
solid, but recoverable as such, unchanged by its adventures.

This theory is the only one which explains "why" the Absolute limited
itself, and why It does not recognize Itself during its cycle of
incarnations. It disposes of "Evil" and the Origin of Evil; without denying
Reality to "Evil", or insulting our daily observation and our common sense.

I here quote (with one or two elucidatory insertions) the original note
originally made by Me on this subject.

May 14, 1919, 6.30 p.m.

All elements must at one time have been separate -- that would be the case
with great heat. Now when atoms get to the sun, when we get to the sun, we
get that immense, extreme heat, and all the elements are themselves again.
Imagine that each atom of each element possesses the memory of all his
adventures in combination. By the way, that atom, fortified with that
memory, would not be the same atom; yet it is, because it has gained
nothing from anywhere except this memory. Therefore, by the lapse of time
and by virtue of memory, a thing (although originally an Infinite
Perfection) could become something more than itself; and thus a real
development is possible. One can then see a reason for any element deciding
to go through this series of incarnations (god, that was a magnificent
conception!) because so, and only so, can he go; and he suffers the lapse
of memory of His own Reality of Perfection which he has during these
incarnations, because he knows he will come through unchanged.

Therefore you have an infinite number of gods, individual and equal though
diverse, each one supreme and utterly indestructible. This is also the only
explanation of how a being could create a world in which war, evil, "etc".
exist. Evil is only an appearance because, like "good", it cannot affect
the substance itself, but only multiply its combinations. This is something
the same as mystic monism, but the objection to that theory is that God has
to create things which are all parts of himself, so that their interplay is
false. If we presuppose many elements, their interplay is natural. It is no
objection to this theory to ask who made the elements -- the elements are
at least there; and God, when you look for him, is not there. Theism is
"obscurum per obscurius". A male star is built up from the centre outwards,
a female star from the circumference inwards. This is what is meant when we
say that woman has no soul. It explains fully the difference between the
sexes.

{WEH NOTE: Although Crowley evidently felt that this characterization was
true simply, it should be noted that this comment is not CLASS A. The idea
of center outwards and circumference inwards may actually have described
the impression received by a male of the Victorian age in regard to men and
women. Certainly every male mystic has the state here described as
"circumference inward", "...no soul" and "female" at the time of reception
--- vide Liber LXV. Equally, every woman who acts positively from awareness
of her identity would qualify for "center outwards", "soul" and "male" in
this sense. What Crowley identified as sex-linked may better be considered
as modality linked, with the sexual linkage as much an accident of culture
as anything else.}

AL I,4: "Every number is infinite; there is no difference."

THE NEW COMMENT

This is a great and holy mystery. Although each star has its own number,
each number is equal and supreme. Every man and every woman is not only a
part of God, but the Ultimate God. "The Centre is everywhere and the
circumference nowhere". The old definition of God takes new meaning for us.
Each one of us is the One God. This can only be understood by the initiate;
one must acquire certain high states of consciousness to appreciate it.

I have tried to put it simply in the note to the last verse. I may add that
in the Trance called by me the "Star-Sponge" -- see note to v. 59c159 --
this apprehension of the Universe is seen as an astral Vision. It began as
"Nothingness with Sparkles" in 1916 E.V. by Lake Pasquaney in New
Hampshire, U.S.A. and developed into fullness on various subsequent
occasions. Each 'Star' is connected directly with every other star, and the
Space being Without Limit (Ain Soph) the Body of Nuith, any one star is as
much the Centre as any other. Each man instinctively feels that he is the
Centre of the Cosmos, and philosophers have jeered at his presumption. But
it was he that was precisely right. The yokel is no more 'petty' than the
King, nor the earth than the Sun. Each simple elemental Self is supreme,
Very God of Very God. Ay, in this Book is Truth almost insufferably
splendid, for Man has veiled himself too long from his own glory: he fears
the abyss, the ageless Absolute. But Truth shall make him free!

It must be understood from the beginning that this book contains the keys
of all the knowledge necessary for the operation of the Magical Formulae of
the world during the Aeon which it initiates. In this very early verse is
already given a Master Key to mathematics and metaphysics. On applying this
to current problems of thought, it will be discovered that the long-fast
doors fly open at a touch.

Let use briefly examine the implications of this statement. It should not
occasion surprise to find that the Book of the Law not only anticipates the
conclusion of the greatest modern mathematicians like Poincare, but goes
beyond them. It was necessary that this should be the case, so that the
book might be, beyond question, the expression of a mind possessed of
superior powers to any incarnated mind soever.

It may clarify the subject if we venture to paraphrase the text. The first
statement "Every number is infinite" is, on the face of it, a contradiction
in terms. But that is only because of the accepted idea of a number as not
being a thing in itself but merely a term in series homogeneous in
character. All orthodox mathematical argument is based on definitions
involving this conception. For example, it is fundamental to admit the
identity of 2 plus 1 with 1 plus 2. The Book of the Law presents an
altogether different conception of the nature of number.

Mathematical ideas involve what is called a continuum, which is,
superficially at least, of a different character to the physical continuum.
For instance, in the physical continuum, the eye can distinguish between
the lengths of one-inch stick and a two-inch stick, but not between these
which measure respectively one thousand miles and one thousand miles and on
inch, though the difference in each case is equally an inch. The inch
difference is either perceptible or not perceptible, according to the
conditions. Similarly, the eye can distinguish either the one-inch or the
two-inch stick from one of an inch and a half. But we cannot continue this
process indefinitely -- we can always reach a point where the extremes are
distinguishable from each other but their mean from neither of the
extremes. Thus, in the physical continuum, if we have three terms, A, B,
and C, A appears equal to B, and B to C, yet C appears greater than A. Our
reason tells us that this conclusion is an absurdity, that we have been
deceived by the grossness of our perceptions. It is useless for us to
invent instruments which increase the accuracy of our observations, for
though they enable us to distinguish between the three terms of our series,
and to restore the theoretical Hierarchy, we can always continue the
process of division until we arrive at another series: A', B', C', where A'
and C' are distinguishable from each other, but where neither is
distinguishable from B'.

On the above grounds, modern thinkers have endeavoured to create a
distinction between the mathematical and the physical continuum, yet it
should surely be obvious that the defect in our organs of sense, which is
responsible for the difficulty, shows that our method of observation debars
us from appreciating the true nature of things by this method of
observation.

However, in the case of the mathematical continuum, its character is such
that we can continue indefinitely the process of division between any two
mathematical expressions so-ever, without interfering in any way with the
regularity of the process, or creating a condition in which two terms
become indistinguishable from each other. The mathematical continuum,
moreover, is not merely a question of series of integral numbers, but of
other types of numbers, which, like integers, express relations between
existing ideas, yet are not measurable in terms of that series. Such
numbers are themselves parts of a continuum of their own, which
interpenetrates the series of integers without touching it, at least
necessarily.

For example: the tangents of angles made by the separation of two lines
from coincidence to perpendicularity, increases constantly from zero to
infinity. But almost the only integral value is found at the angle of 45
degrees where it is unity.

It may be said that there is an infinite number of such series, each
possessing the same property of infinite divisibility. The ninety tangents
of angles differing by one degree between zero and ninety may be multiplied
sixty fold by taking the minute instead of the degree as the co-efficient
of the progression, and these again sixty fold by introducing the second to
divide the minute. So on ad infinitum.

All these considerations depend upon the assumption that every number is no
more than a statement of relation. The new conception, indicated by the
Book of the Law, is of course in no way contradictory of the orthodox view;
but it adds to it in the most practically important manner. A statistician
computing the birth-rate of the eighteenth century makes no special mention
of the birth of Napoleon. This does not invalidate his results; but it
demonstrates how exceedingly limited is their scope even with regard to
their own object, for the birth of Napoleon had more influence on the
death-rate than another other phenomenon included in his calculations.

A short digression is necessary. There may be some who are still unaware of
the fact, but the mathematical and physical sciences are in no sense
concerned with absolute truth, but only with the relations between observed
phenomena and the observer. The statement that the acceleration of falling
bodies is thirty-two feet per second, is only the roughest of approximation
at the best. In the first place, it applies to earth. As most people know,
in the Moon the rate is only one-sixth as great. But, even on earth, it
differs in a marked manner between the poles and the equator, and not only
so, but it is affected by so small a matter as the neighborhood of a
mountain.

It is similarly inaccurate to speak of "repeating" an experiment. The exact
conditions never recur. One cannot boil water twice over. The water is not
the same, and the observer is not the same. When a man says that he is
sitting still, he forgets that he is whirling through space with
vertiginous rapidity.

It is possibly such considerations that led earlier thinkers to admit that
there was no expectation of finding truth in anything but mathematics, and
they rashly supposed that the apparent ineluctability of her laws
constitutes a guarantee of their coherence with truth. But mathematics is
entirely a matter of convention, no less so than the rules of Chess or
Baccarat. When we say that "two straight lines cannot enclose a space", we
mean no more than we are unable to think of them as doing so. The truth of
the statement depends, consequently, on that of the hypothesis that our
minds bear witness to truth. Yet the insane man may be unable to think that
he is not the victim of mysterious persecution. We find that no reason for
believing him. It is useless to reply that mathematical truths receive
universal consent, because they do not. It is a matter of elaborate and
tedious training to persuade even the few people when we teach of the truth
of the simplest theorems in Geometry. There are very few people living who
are convinced -- or even aware -- of the more recondite results of
analysis. It is no reply to this criticism to say that all men can be
convinced if they are sufficiently trained, for who is to guarantee that
such training does not warp the mind?

But when we have brushed away these preliminary objections, we find that
the nature of the statement itself is not, and cannot be, more than a
statement of correspondences between our ideas. In the example chosen, we
have five ideas; those of duality, of straightness, of a line, of
enclosing, and of space. None of these are more than ideas. Each one is
meaningless until it is defined as corresponding in a certain manner to
certain other ideas. We cannot define any word soever, except by
identifying it with two or more equally undefined words. To define it by a
single word would evidently constitute a tautology.

We are thus forced to the conclusion that all investigation may be
stigmatized as obscurum per obscurium. Logically, our position is even
worse. We define A as BC, where B is DE, and C is FG. Not only does the
process increase the number of our unknown quantities in Geometrical
progression at every step, but we must ultimately arrive at a point where
the definition of Z involves the term A. Not only is all argument confined
within a vicious circle, but so is the definition of the terms on which any
argument must be based.

It might be supposed that the above chain of reasoning made all conclusions
impossible. But this is only true when we investigate the ultimate validity
of our propositions. We can rely on water boiling at 100 degrees
Centigrade,<> although, for mathematical accuracy, water never boils twice
running at precisely the same temperature, and although, logically, the
term water is an incomprehensible mystery.

To return to our so-called axiom; Two straight lines cannot enclose a
space. It has been one of the most important discoveries of modern
mathematics, that this statement, even if we assume the definition of the
various terms employed, is strictly relative, not absolute; and that common
sense is impotent to confirm it as in the case of the boiling water. For
Bolyai, Lobatschewsky, and Riemann have shown conclusively that a
consistent system of geometry can be erected on any arbitrary axiom soever.
If one chooses to assume that the sum of the interior angles of a triangle
is either greater than or less than two right angles, instead of equal to
them, we can construct two new systems of Geometry, each perfectly
consistent with itself, and we possess no means soever of deciding which of
the three represents truth.

I may illustrate this point by a simple analogy. We are accustomed to
assert that we go from France to China, a form of expression which assumes
that those countries are stationary, while we are mobile. But the fact
might be equally well expressed by saying that France left us and China
came to us. In either case there is no implication of absolute motion, for
the course of the earth through space is not taken into account. We
implicitly refer to a standard of repose which, in point of fact, we know
not to exist. When I say that the chair in which I am sitting has remained
stationary for the last hour, I mean only "stationary in respect to myself
and my house". In reality, the earth's rotation has carried it over one
thousand miles, and the earth's course some seventy thousand miles, from
its previous position. All that we can expect of any statement is that it
should be coherent with regard to a series of assumption which we know
perfectly well to be false and arbitrary.

It is commonly imagined, by those who have not examined the nature of the
evidence, that our experience furnishes a criterion by which we may
determine which of the possible symbolic representations of Nature is the
true one. They suppose that Euclidean Geometry is in conformity with Nature
because the actual measurements of the interior angles of a triangle tell
us that their sum is in fact equal to two right angles, just as Euclid
tells us that theoretical considerations declare to be the case. They
forget that the instruments which we use for our measurements are
themselves conceived of as in conformity with the principles of Euclidean
Geometry. In other words, them measure ten yards with a piece of wood about
which they really known nothing but that its length is one-tenth of the ten
yards in question.

The fallacy should be obvious. The most ordinary reflection should make it
clear that our results depend upon all sorts of condition. If we inquire,
"What is the length of the thread of quicksilver in a thermometer?", we can
only reply that it depends on the temperature of the instrument. In fact,
we judge temperature by the difference of the coefficients of expansion due
to heat of the two substances, glass and mercury.

Again, the divisions of the scale of the thermometer depend upon the
temperature of boiling water, which is not a fixed thing. It depends on the
pressure of the earth's atmosphere, which varies (according to time and
place) to the extent of over twenty per cent. Most people who talk of
"scientific accuracy" are quite ignorant of elementary facts of this kind.

It will be said, however, that having defined a yard as the length of a
certain bar deposited in the Mint in London, under given conditions of
temperature and pressure, we are at least in a position to measure the
length of other objects by comparison, directly or indirectly, with that
standard. In a rough and ready way, that is more or less the case. But if
it should occur that the length of things in general were halved or
doubled, we could not possibly be aware of the other so-called laws of
Nature. We have no means so-ever of determining even so simple a matter as
to whether one of two events happens before or after the other.

Let us take an instance. It is well known that the light of the sun
requires some eight minutes to reach the earth. Simultaneous <> {WEH NOTE:
SIC. This is page 51 in Eddington, op. cit. 1920 edition, 1959 reprint:
"The denial of absolute simultaneity is a natural complement to the denial
of absolute motion ..."} phenomena in the two bodies would therefore appear
to be separated in time to that extent; and, from a mathematical
standpoint, the same discrepancy theoretically exists, even if we suppose
the two bodies in question to be only a few yards one more remote than the
other. Recent consideration of these facts has show the impossibility of
determining the fact of priority, so that it may be just as reasonable to
assert that a dagger-thrust is caused by a wound as vice versa. Lewis
Carroll has an amusing parable to this effect in "Through the
Looking-Glass", which work, by the way, with its predecessor, is packed
with examples of philosophical paradox. <>

We may now return to our text "Every number is infinite". The fact that
every number is a term in a mathematical continuum is no more an adequate
definition than if we were to describe a picture as Number So-and-So in the
catalogue. Every number is a thing in itself,<> possessing an infinite
number of properties peculiar to itself.

Let us consider, for a moment, the numbers 8 and 9. 8 is the number of
cubes measuring one inch each way in a cube which measures two inches each
way; while 9 is the number of squares measuring one inch each way in a
square measuring three inches each way. There is a sort of reciprocal
correspondence between them in this respect.

By adding one to eight, we obtain nine, so that we might define unity as
that which has the property of transforming a three-dimensional expansion
of two into a two-dimensional expansion of three. But if we add unity to
nine, unity appears as that which has the power of transforming the
two-dimensional expansion of three aforesaid into a mere oblong measuring 5
by 2. Unity thus appears as in possession of two totally different
properties. Are we then to conclude that it is not the same unity? How are
we to describe unity, how know it? Only by experiment can we discover the
nature of its action on any given number. In certain minor respects, this
action exhibits regularity. We know, for example, that it uniformly
transforms an odd number into an even one, and vice versa, but that is
practically the limit of what we can predict as to its action.

We can go further, and state that any number soever possesses this infinite
variety of powers to transform any other number, even by the primitive
process of addition. We observe also how the manipulation of any two
numbers can be arranged so that the result is incommensurable with either,
or even so that ideas are created of a character totally incompatible with
our original conception of numbers as a series of positive integers. We
obtain unreal and irrational expressions, ideas of a wholly different
order, by a very simple juxtaposition of such apparently comprehensible and
commonplace entities as integers.

There is only one conclusion to be drawn from these various considerations.
It is that the nature of every number is a thing peculiar to itself, a
thing inscrutable and infinite, a thing inexpressible, even if we could
understand it.

In other words, a number is a soul, in the proper sense of the term, an
unique and necessary element in the totality of existence.

We may not turn to the second phrase of the text: "there is no difference".
It must strike the student immediately that this is, on the face of it, a
point blank contradiction of all that has been said above. What have we
done but insist upon the essential difference between any tow numbers, and
show that even their sequential relation is little more than arbitrary,
being indeed rather a convenient way of regarding them for the purpose of
coordinating them with out understanding than anything else? On a similar
principle, we number public vehicles or telephones without implication even
of necessary sequence. The appellation denotes nothing beyond membership of
a certain class of objects, and is indeed expressly chosen to avoid being
entangled in considerations of any characteristics of the individual so
designated except that cursory designation.

when it is said that there is no difference between numbers (for in this
sense I think we must understand the phrase), we must examine the meaning
of the word 'difference'. Difference is the denial of identity in the first
place, but the word is not properly applied to discriminate between objects
which have no similarity. One does not ask, "What is the difference between
a yard and a minute?" in practical life. We do ask the difference between
two things of the same kind. The Book of the Law is trying to emphasize the
doctrine that each number is unique and absolute. Its relations with other
numbers are therefore in the nature of illusion. They are the forms of
presentation under which we perceive their semblances; and it is to the
last degree important to realize that these semblances only indicate the
nature of the realities behind them in the same way in which the degrees on
a thermoetric scale indicate heat. It is quite unphilosophical to say that
50 degrees Centigrade is hotter than 40 degrees. Degrees of temperature are
simply conventions invented by ourselves to describe physical states of a
totally different order; and, while the heat of a body may be regarded as
an inherent property of its own, our measure of that heat in no way
concerns it.

We use instruments of science to inform us of the nature of the various
objects which we wish to study; but our observations never reveal the thing
as it is in itself. They only enable us to compare unfamiliar with familiar
experiences. The use of an instrument necessarily implies the imposition of
alien conventions. To take the simplest example: when we say that we see a
thing, we only mean that our consciousness is modified by its existence
according to a particular arrangement of lenses and other optical
instruments, which exist in our eyes and not in the object perceived. So
also, the fact that the sum of 2 and 1 is three, affords us but a single
statement of relations symptomatic of the presentation to us of those
numbers.

We have, therefore, no means soever of determining the difference between
any two numbers, except in respect of a particular and very limited
relation. Furthermore, in view of the infinity of every number, it seems
not unlikely that the apparent differences observed by us would tend to
disappear with the disappearance of the arbitrary conditions which we
attach to them to facilitate, as we think, our examination. We may also
observe that each number, being absolute, is the centre of its universe, so
that all other numbers, so far as they are related to it, are its
appanages. Each number is, therefore, the totality of the universe, and
there cannot be any difference between one infinite universe and another.
The triangle ABC may look very different from the standpoints of A, B, and
C respectively; each view is true, absolutely; yet it is the same triangle.

The above interpretation of the text is of a revolutionary character, from
the point of view of science and mathematics. Investigation of the lines
here laid down will lead to the solution of these grave problems which have
so long baffled the greatest minds of the world, on account of the initial
error of attaching them on lines which involve self-contradiction. The
attempt to discover the nature of things by a study of the relations
between them is precisely parallel with the ambition to obtain a finite
value of Pi. Nobody wishes to deny the practical value of the limited
investigations which have so long preoccupied the human mind. But it is
only quite recently that even the best thinkers have begun to recognize
that their work was only significant within a certain order. It will soon
be admitted on all hands that the study of the nature of things in
themselves is a work for which the human reason is incompetent; for the
nature of reason is such that it must always formulate itself in
proportions which merely assert a positive or negative relation between a
subject and a predicate. Men will thus be led to the development of a
faculty, superior to reason, whose apprehension is independent of the
hieroglyphic representations of which reason so vainly makes use.<> {This
then will} be the foundation of the true spiritual science which is the
proper tendency of the evolution of man. This Science will clarify, without
superseding, the old; but it will free men from the bondage of mind, little
by little, just as the old science has freed them from the bondage of
matter.

This science is the proper and particular study of initiates, and its
principia are formulated in the Book of the Law. This Book may therefore be
regarded as indicating a complete revolution in human affairs, for it
advances mankind in the most radical manner. The road of attainment to
self-realisation is made open as never before has been done in the history
of the planet.

AL I,5: "Help me, o warrior lord of Thebes, in my unveiling before the
Children of men!"

THE OLD COMMENT

5. Nu, to unveil herself, needs a mortal intermediary, in the first
instance.

It is to be supposed that ankh-f-n-khonsu, the warrior lord of Thebes,
priest of Men Tu, is in some subtle manner identical with either Aiwass or
the Beast.

THE NEW COMMENT

Here Nuit appeals, simply and directly, recognizing the separate function
of each Star of her Body. Though all is One, each part of that One has its
own special work, each Star its particular Orbit.

In addressing me as warrior lord of Thebes, it appears as if She perceived
a certain continuity or identity of myself with Ankh-f-n-khonsu, whose
Stele is the Link with Antiquity of this Revelation. See Equinox I, VII,
pp. 363-400a, for the account of this event.

The unveiling is the Proclamation of the Truth previously explained, that
the Body of Nuith occupies Infinite Space, so that every Star thereof is
Whole in itself, an independent and absolute Unit. They differ as Carbon
and Calcium differ, but each is a simple "immortal" Substance, or at least
a form of some simpler Substance. Each soul is thus absolute, and 'good' or
'evil' are merely terms descriptive of relations between destructible
combinations. Thus Quinine is 'good' for a malarial patient, but 'evil' for
the germ of the disease. Heat is 'bad' for ice-cream and 'good' for coffee.
The indivisible essence of things, their 'souls', are indifferent to all
conditions soever, for none can in any way affect them.

AL I,6: "Be thou Hadit, my secret centre, my heart & my tongue!"

THE OLD COMMENT

6. The recipient of this knowledge is to identify himself with Hadit, and
thus fully express the thoughts of her heart in her very language.

THE NEW COMMENT

Nuit formulates me as Hadit, especially in the three centres of
consciousness of her Being. IN this way, for this purpose, I became the
complement of Her.

These centres are those of Love, Life and language. Duality is the
condition of all three. It will appear later how it is that None and Two
are identical; they are distinct in our minds only because those minds are
conscious, and therefore think of "two" as their own state. But the
unconscious mind thinks Nothing, and is Nothing. Yet it is the same mind.

Nuith selects three centres of Her Body to become "Two" with Hadit; for she
asks me to declare Her in these three. Infinite freedom, all-embracing, for
physical Love; boundless continuity for Life; and the silent rhythm of the
Stars for Language. These three conceptions are Her gift to us.

AL I,7: "Behold! it is revealed by Aiwass the minister of Hoor-paar-kraat."

THE OLD COMMENT

7. Aiwass -- see Introduction. He is 78, Mezla, the "influence" from the
Highest Crown, and the number of cards in the Tarot, Rota, the
all-embracing Wheel.

Hoor-paar-Kraat -- see II, 8c208.

Aiwass is called the minister of Hoor-paar-Kraat, the God of Silence; for
his word is the Speech of the Silence.

THE NEW COMMENT

Aiwass is the name given by Ouarda the Seer as that of the Intelligence
Communicating. See note to Title.

Hoor-paar-Kraat or Harpocrates, the "Babe in the Egg of Blue", is not
merely the God of Silence in a conventional sense. He represents the Higher
Self, the Holy Guardian Angel. The connexion is with the symbolism of the
Dwarf in Mythology. He contains everything in Himself, but is unmanifested.
See II:8c208.

He is the First Letter of the Alphabet, Aleph, whose number is One, and his
card in the Tarot is The Fool, numbered Zero. Aleph is attributed to the
"Element" (in the old classification of things) of Air.

Now as "One" or Aleph he represents the Male Principle, the First Cause,
and the free breath of Life, the sound of the vowel A being made with the
open throat and mouth.

As Zero he represents the female Principle, the fertile Mother. (An old
name for the card is Mat, from the Italian 'Matto', fool, but earlier also
from Maut, the Egyptian Vulture-Mother-Goddess). Fertile, for the 'Egg of
Blue' is the Uterus, and in the Macrocosm the Body of Nuith, and it
contains the Unborn Babe, helpless yet protected and nourished against the
crocodiles and tigers shown on the card, just as the womb is sealed during
gestation. He sits on a lotus, the yoni, which floats on the 'Nile', the
amniotic fluid.

In his absolute innocence and ignorance he is "The Fool"; he is the
'Saviour', being the Son who shall trample on the crocodiles and tigers,
and avenge his father Osiris. Thus we see him as the "Great Fool" of Celtic
legend, the "Pure Fool" of Act I of "Parsifal", and, generally speaking,
the insane person whose words have always been taken for oracles.

But to be 'Saviour' he must be born and grow to manhood; thus Parsifal
acquires the Sacred Lance, emblem of virility. He usually wears the 'Coat
of many colours' like Joseph the 'dreamer'; so he is also now the Green Man
of spring festivals. But his 'folly' is now not innocence but inspiration
of wine; he drinks from the Graal, offered to him by the Priestess.

So we see him fully armed as Bacchus Diphues, male and female in one,
bearing the Thyrsus-rod, and a cluster of grapes or a wineskin, while a
tiger leaps up by his side. This form is suggested in the Taro card, where
'The fool' is shown with a long wand and carrying a sack; his coat is
motley. Tigers and Crocodiles follow him, thus linking this image with that
of Harpocrates.

Almost identical symbols are those of the secret God of the Templars, the
bi-sexual Baphomet, and of Zeus Arrhenothelus, equally bi-sexual, the
Father-Mother of All in One Person. (He is shown in this full form in the
Tarot Trump XV, "the Devil".) Now Zeus being lord of Air, we are reminded
that Aleph is the letter of Air.

As Air we find the "Wandering Fool" pure wanton Breath, yet creative. Wind
was supposed of old to impregnate the Vulture, which therefore was chosen
to symbolize the Mother-Goddess.

He is the Wandering Knight or Prince of Fairy Tales who marries the King's
Daughter. This legend is derived from certain customs among exogamic
tribes, for which see "The Golden Bough".

Thus one Europa, Semele and others claimed that Zeus -- Air< It seems as if
this great division, which has wrought such appalling havoc upon the Earth,
were originally no more than a distinction adopted for convenience. It is
indeed the task of this Book to reduce Theology to the interplay of the
Dyad Nuith and Hadith, these being themselves conceived as complementary,
as Two equivalent to Naught, "divided for lvoe's sake, for the chance of
union.">> -- had enjoyed them in the form of a beast, bird, or what not;
while later Mary attributed her condition to the agency of a Spirit --
Spiritus, breath, or air -- in the shape of a dove.

But the "Small Person" of Hindu mysticism, the Dwarf insane yet crafty of
many legends in many lands, is also this same "Holy Ghost", or Silent Self
of a man, or his Holy Guardian Angel.

He is almost the "Unconscious" of Freud, unknown, unaccountable, the silent
Spirit, blowing "whither it listeth, but thou canst not tell whence it
cometh or whither it goeth". It commands with absolute authority when it
appears at all, despite conscious reason and judgment.

Aiwass is then, as this verse 7 states, the "minister" of this
Hoor-paar-Kraat, that is of the Saviour of the World in the larger sense,
and of mine own "Silent Self" in the lesser. A "minister" is one who
performs a service, in this case evidently that of revealing; He was the
intelligible medium between the Babe God -- the New Aeon about to be born
-- and myself. This Book of the Law is the Voice of his Mother, His Father,
and Himself. But on His appearing, He assumes the active form twin to
Harpocrates, that of Ra-Hoor-Khuit. The Concealed Child becomes the
Conquering Child, the armed Horus avenging his father Osiris. So also our
own Silent Self, helpless and witless, hidden within us, will spring forth,
if we have craft to loose him to the Light, spring lustily forward with his
cry of Battle, the Word of our True Wills.

This is the Task of the Adept, to have the Knowledge and Conversation of
His Holy Guardian Angel, to become aware of his nature and his purpose,
fulfilling them.

Why is Aiwass thus spelt, when Aiwaz is the natural transliteration of
OIVZ{WEH NOTE: This word is not certain.}? Perhaps because he was not
content with identifying Himself with Thelema, Agape, etc. by the number
93, but wished to express his nature by six letters (Six being the number
of the Sun, the God-Man, etc.) whose value in Greek should be A=1, I=10,
F=6, A=1, S=200, S=200: total 418, the number of Abrahadabra, the Magical
Formula of the new Aeon! Note that I and V are the letters of the Father
and the Son, also of the Virgin and the Bull, (See "Liber 418") protected
on either side by the letter of AIR, and followed by the letter of Fire
twice over.

AL I,8: "The Khabs is in the Khu, not the Khu in the Khabs."

THE OLD COMMENT

8. Here beings the text.

Khabs is the secret Light or L.V.X.; the Khu is the magical entity of a
man.

I find later (Sun in Virgo, An VII) that Khabs means star. In which chase
cf. v.5c105.

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

THE NEW COMMENT

We are not to regard ourselves as base beings, without whose sphere is
Light or "God". Our minds and bodies are veils of the Light within. The
uninitiate is a "Dark Star", and the Great Work for him is to make his
veils transparent by 'purifying' them. This 'purification' is really
'simplification'; it is not that the veil is dirty, but that the complexity
of its folds makes it opaque. The Great Work therefore consists principally
in the solution of complexes. Everything in itself is perfect, but when
things are muddled, they become 'evil'. (This will be understood better in
the Light of "The Hermit of Esopus Island", q.v.) The Doctrine is evidently
of supreme importance, from its position as the first 'revelation' of
Aiwass.

This 'star' or 'Inmost Light' is the original, individual, eternal essence.
The Khu is the magical garment which it weaves for itself, a 'form' for its
Being Beyond Form, by use of which it can gain experience through
self-consciousness, as explained in the note to verses 2c102 and 3c103.
This Khu is the first veil, far subtler than mind or body, and truer; for
its symbolic shape depends on the nature of its Star.

Why are we told that the Khabs is in the Khu, not the Khu in the Khabs? Did
we then suppose the converse? I think that we are warned against the idea
of a Pleroma, a flame of which we are Sparks, and to which we return when
we 'attain'. That would indeed be to make the whole curse of separate
existence ridiculous, a senseless and inexcusable folly. It would throw us
back on the dilemma of Manichaeism. The idea of incarnations "perfecting" a
thing originally perfect by definition is imbecile. The only sane solution
is as given previously, to suppose that the Perfect enjoys experience of
(apparent) Imperfection. (There are deeper resolutions of this problem
appropriate to the highest grades of initiation; but the above should
suffice the average intelligence.)

AL I,9: "Worship then the Khabs, and behold my light shed over you!"

THE OLD COMMENT

9. That Khabs is declared to be the light of Nu. It being worshipped in the
centre, the light also fills the circumference, so that all is light.

THE NEW COMMENT

We are to pay attention to this Inmost Light; then comes the answering
Light of Infinite Space. Note that the Light of Space is what men call
Darkness; its nature is utterly incomprehensible to our uninitiated minds.
It is the 'veils' mentioned previously in this comment that obstruct the
relation between Nuit and Hadit.

We are not to worship the Khu, to fall in love with our Magical Image. To
do this -- we have all done it -- is to forget our Truth. If we adore Form,
it becomes opaque to Being, and may soon prove false to itself. The Khu in
each of us includes the Cosmos as he knows it. To me, even another Khabs is
only part of my Khu. Our own Khabs is our one sole Truth.

AL I,10: "Let my servants be few & secret: they shall rule the many & the
known."

THE OLD COMMENT

10. This is the rule of Thelema, that its adepts shall be invisible rulers.
This, it may be remarked, has always been the case.

THE NEW COMMENT

The nature of magical power is quite incomprehensible to the vulgar. The
prophet Ezekiel besieging a tile in order to destroy Jerusalem, and the
adventure of Hosea with Gomer, seem as absurd to the 'practical' man as do
the researches of any other scientific man until the Sunday Newspapers have
furnished him with a plausible explanation which explains nothing. ("Book
4", Part III, must be read in this connexion.)

"My servants"; not those of the Lord of the Aeon. "The Law is for all";
there can be no secrecy about that. The verse refers to specially chosen
'servants'; perhaps those who, worshipping the Khabs, have beheld Her light
shed over them. Such persons indeed consummate the marriage of Nuit and
Hadit in themselves; in that case they are aware of certain Ways to Power.

There is also a mystical sense in this verse. We are to organize our minds
thoroughly, appointing few and secret chiefs, serving Nuit, to discipline
the varied departments of the conscious thought.

AL I,11: "These are fools that men adore; both their Gods & their men are
fools."

THE OLD COMMENT

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

THE NEW COMMENT

It is a fact of meditation that everything which becomes manifest is
instantly recognized as unreal. All perfect unveiling solves, wholly or in
part, the equation "Something equals 0/0." (See comment on verse 28c128.)
Adeptship is little more than ability to perceive this 0/0 phase of
"Something" in respect of larger and larger "Somethings".

A verse with so sacred a number as 11 is likely to mean very deep things.
Probably much concerning the function of The Fool is concealed in it.

It has been shewn in a previous note that the principal Gods, and men, that
men have adored, are in one way or another represented in the Tarot card
"The Fool". The statement in the text is, superficially, either a platitude
or a petulance; neither sounds like the tone of Nuit. A third alternative?
Can we have "phrased" it carelessly, or punctuated it incorrectly? Or is
there a Qabalistic puzzle or a mystic submeaning concealed? The subject
changes instantly, as it seems. I prefer to suggest that these "fools" are
"Silent selves", impotent babes unborn; then verse 12 continues "Come
forth!", that is, bring your Holy Guardian Angel from the womb of your
subconsciousness. Then, "take your fill of love"; that is, do your True
Will, whose mode of fulfillment is love, as explained later in this
chapter.

AL I,12: "Come forth, o children, under the stars, & take your fill of
love!"

THE OLD COMMENT

12. The Key of the worship of Nu. The uniting of consciousness with
infinite space by the exercise of love, pastoral or pagan love. But vide
infra.

THE NEW COMMENT

The whole doctrine of 'love' is discussed in the Book "Aleph (Wisdom or
Folly)" and should be studied therein. But note further how this Verse
agrees with the comment above, how every Star is to come forth from its
veils, that it may revel with the whole World of Stars. This is again also
a call to unite or 'love', thus formulating the Equation 1 (-1) = 0<>,
which is the general magical formula in our Cosmos.

"Come forth" -- from what are you hiding? "under the stars", that is,
openly. Also, let love be 'under' or 'unto' the Body of Nuith. But above
all, be open! What is this shame? Is Love Hideous, that men should cover
him with lies? Is Love so sacred that others must not intrude? Nay, 'under
the stars', at night, what eye but theirs may see? Or, if one see, should
not your worship wake the cloisters of his soul to echo sanctity for that
so lovely a deed and gracious you have done?

AL I,13: "I am above you and in you. My ecstasy is in yours. My joy is to
see your joy."

THE OLD COMMENT

13. This doctrine implies some mystic bond which I imagine is only to be
understood by experience; this human ecstasy and that divine ecstasy
interact. A similar doctrine is found in the Bhagavad Gita.

THE NEW COMMENT

Note that Space is omnipresent.<> The cause of 'sorrow' is the 'imaginary'
solutions of continuity in this substance. Ecstasy is produced by the
resolution of these illusions. Observe well that to beings in a state of
strain or sorrow the "Great Work" is bound to appear in the guise of a
relief or joy. But this is not to assert Samadhi, that unity with the
universe which brings relief and joy by "love", as an "absolute good". It
is only good relatively to our present condition as beings divided by
Illusion from Nuit. When one returns to the 'simple' state, one soon begins
to think out a new route through the Universe, and devise new combinations
in the Great Game called Seeing Life.

In Nature few elements are lone wolves. Most of them are being thrown in
and out of combination constantly; on suns this occurs with lordly
vehemence.

Note that Nuith, although She is Infinite Space, speaks as an individual
might do, often enough. This is not that She is 'talking down to our
level'; it is a fact. In the Cosmos almost any aggregation can think and
act as an Ego. For instance, the cells of our bodies are each units,
diverse in composition and character, living each a life of its own. Yet we
think and act for them, and say "I". The stars are the cells of Her Body.
Each one of us is such a cell; not less itself but more because of its
secret function in Her.

It should be evident that Nuith obtains the satisfaction of Her Nature when
the parts of Her Body fulfil their own Nature. The sacrament of live is not
only so from the point of view of the celebrants, but from that of the
divinity invoked.

It is said that for every step one takes towards one's Holy Guardian Angel,
He takes two towards his client.

What do I mean by "beings divided by Illusion from Nuith", in the first
paragraph? This, that we are limited mentally, that we realize only an
infinitesimal fraction of the possible forms of expression. We can hardly
even imagine ourselves as living on another planet, or in the Sun; much
less as apprehending the Universe by means of a totally different set of
senses. Yet most of us who are not mere placental amnoites possess an
instinct which persistently regrets our incapacities. It is bad enough to
be dependent on scientific instruments for our knowledge of all but the
grossest of the wonders and splendours of the Universe; but worse that we
are aware of an infinite variety of order of phenomena, such as
electricity, magnetism, chemical action, and a host of others, which we can
explore only by indirect means, interpret only by obviously inadequate
symbols, and understand only in terms of arbitrary relations with our
animal-sense-perceptions. We know theoretically that every object must
react to every other object; and it is evident that each type of reaction
may be as overwhelmingly interesting as those which happen to affect us.
What unimaginable rapture to be able to observe magnetic fields or
molecular movements as directly as we do the Ocean and the Ant-heap! It is
the task of the Initiate to adapt himself to the Totality of Existence, and
to develop in himself the means of apprehending it wholly and fully.

AL I,14: "Above, the gemmed azure is

The naked splendour of Nuit;

She bends in ecstasy to kiss

The secret ardours of Hadit.

The winged globe, the starry blue,

Are mine, O Ankh-af-na-khonsu!"

THE OLD COMMENT

14. This verse is a direct translation of the first section of the stele.
It conceals a certain secret ritual of the highest rank, connected with the
two previous verses.

THE NEW COMMENT

This is a poetic description of the symbolism of the Stele. It is suitable
fore such minds as approach Truth in this manner rather than by way of
Science or Philosophy.

It contains a Formula of Magick Art, connected with the Stele. Also, less
ineffably, it boasts the consummation of the marriage of Hadit and Nuit in
the priest. That is, he has freed Hadit, in the core of his Star, from the
illusion-veils of the Khu, so that the two Infinities become one, and none;
and create, in the manner shortly to be described, a new Finite.

This Finite will evidently be an expression of the particular mood of its
Father and Mother at the moment of its conception. Obviously, this "Child"
cannot add to the Universe; it is therefore inevitably twin (Horus and
Harpocrates, Osiris and Typhon, Jesus and Barabbas) in Nature, formed of
equal and opposite elements. When the Operation is mystical in character,
the "Child" does not appear at all in this manifested form as Two, but as
Naught. In the consciousness of the Adept, this is called Samadhi. He has
united himself with, and lost himself in, Nuit. When the "Child" appears as
Two, it is Magick, as the other is Mysticism. This is the essential
difference between these Arts.

AL I,15: "Now ye shall know that the chosen priest & apostle of infinite
space is the prince-priest the Beast; and in his woman called the Scarlet
Woman is all power given. They shall gather my children into their fold:
they shall bring the glory of the stars into the hearts of men."

THE OLD COMMENT

15. The authority of the Beast rests upon this verse; but it is to be taken
in conjunction with certain later verses which I shall leave to the
research of students to interpret. I am inclined, however, to believe that
"the Beast" and "the Scarlet Woman" do not denote persons, but are titles
of office, that of Hierophant and High Priestess ( Vau and Gimel ), else it
would be difficult to understand the next verse.

THE NEW COMMENT

The definition of "infinite space" offered in the Comment on verse 13c113
is useful here. My Work is in great part to insist upon the infinite
possibilities of human development. Man has too slavishly acquiesced in his
limitations. Science itself has shewn itself almost as intolerant as
Religion toward certain lines of research. Indeed, every element of society
has added its energy to the opposition which bars each pioneer with
undiscriminating stupidity. Darwin, Pasteur, Lister, and Jenner met with
the same ferocious cowardice as Shelly and Luther; they were assailed on
every ground from Religion and Morality upwards; every falsehood that
malice could invent was circulated about them. In short, they were treated
then as I am being treated now; and I am resolute to prosecute my Work now
as they were resolute then.

That which is beneath is like that which is above. The Beast and the
Scarlet Woman are avatars of Tao and Teh, Shiva and Sakti. This Law is then
an exact image of the Great Law of the Cosmos; this is an assurance of its
Perfection.

It is necessary to say here that The` Beast appears to be a definite
individual; to wit, the man Aleister Crowley. But the Scarlet Woman is an
officer replaceable as need arises. Thus to this present date of writing,
Anno XVI, Sun in Sagittarius, there have been several holders of the title.

1. Rose Edith Crowley nee Kelly, my wife. Put me in touch with Aiwas; see
Equinox 1, 7, "The Temple of Solomon the King." Failed as elsewhere is on
record.

2. A doubtful case. Mary d'Este Sturges nee Dempsey. Put me in touch with
Abuldiz; hence helped with Book 4. Failed from personal jealousies.

3. Jeanne Robert Foster nee Oliver. Bore the "child" to whom this Book
refers later. Failed from respectability.

4. Roddie Minor. Brought me in touch with Amalantrah. Failed from
indifference to the Work.

5. A doubtful case, Marie Rohling nee Lavroff. Helped to inspire Liber CXI.
Failed from indecision.

6. A doubtful case, Bertha Almira Prykryl nee Bruce. Delayed assumption of
duties, hence made way for No. 7.

7. Lea Hersig. Assisted me in actual initiation; still at my side, An XVII,
Sol in Sagittarius. (P.S. & An XIX, Sol in Aries).

"Prince-priest" is an unusual word, and not in tone with other references
to me. I suspect therefore a secret cipher of some sort. For one thing, it
is an anagram of PRINCEPS ITER, not bad for Alastor the Wanderer, or
PRINCIPS ERIT, he shall be the chief (see verse 23c123). But such Qabalah
is hardly to be considered serious. The recurrence of the letters PRI is
however curious and may be significant. The combination PR in most Aryan
Languages gives the idea of "Before." P and R are the letters of Mars and
Sol respectively. Now Mars is referred to the number 5, and Sol to the
number 6; both to the idea "Force and Fire", though in different ways. Now
"Force and Fire" is the attribute of Ra-Hoor-Khuit, Lord of the Aeon; and 5
and 6 are mystically mated to represent the Accomplishment of the Great
Work in Abrahadabra, the Word of the Aeon. (See, for this Word, infra
Qabalistic Appendix). The termination ST is the coronal combination XXXI
which we shall notice often enough later on.

The Beast, besides 666 correspondences, is by English sound, the Magus
(Beth, Mercury, etc.) of this ST. S has in the Tarot the card numbered XX,
which represents the Stele of Revealing, and is called the Judgment; i.e.,
the ending of an Aeon. T has the card numbered XI and is called Strength.
It is the card of Leo and represents Babalon and the Beast conjoined.

"Their fold"; not only a sheepfold, but as if it were written "their
embrace".

AL I,16: "For he is ever a sun, and she a moon. But to him is the winged
secret flame, and to her the stooping starlight."

THE OLD COMMENT

15. In II, 16c216, we find that HAD is to be taken as 11 (see II, 16,
comment). Then Hadit = 421, Nuit = 466.

421 - 3 (the moon) = 418

466 + 200 (sun) = 666

These are the two great numbers of the Qabalistic system that enabled me to
interpret the signs leading to this revelation.

The winged secret flame is Hadit; the stooping starlight is Nuit; these are
their true natures, and their functions in the supreme ritual referred to
above.

THE NEW COMMENT

The sun and moon, in their occult sense, are secondary representatives of
this original duality which is a phase of the Qabalistic Zero. Other
correspondences are Yun {SIC, s.b. "Yang" ?WEH} and Yin, Yod and He, etc.
But most such dualities have been conceived in very gross and
unphilosophical forms. Of course, it is impossible to grasp this subject
properly by reason; only the understanding developed by meditation and
spiritual experience avails. Initiation is pantomorphously progressive.

Note that the Secret Divine Letter ShT which is the key of this book is by
shape the Sun united with the Moon C = Sh, O = t CO = Sht. {WEH NOTE:
Elsewhere Crowley calls this sign "the secret sigil of the Beast" and it is
depicted by a crescent attached to the left side of a circle. Sometimes the
circle is dotted. Sometimes the Greek lower case letters sigma-theta are
written connectively for this (vide. Liber MCCLXIV, value 209, first
edition, OTONL-6 and note 28).}

AL I,17: "But ye are not so chosen."

THE OLD COMMENT

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

THE NEW COMMENT

That is, there is a special incarnation of Nuit and Hadit for the Beast and
the Scarlet Woman, as opposed to the general truth that every man and woman
are images of these ineffable Beings.

Note that a woman, having no soul of her own, can be used always as a
'Form' for any Being. This explains why Nuit can incarnate at will in
successive women, careless of the physical limits of life. {WEH NOTE:
Crowley's opinion regarding the soul-less state of women refers to a matter
of expression. He believed it more generally, but probably based it on
Victorian male conceptions of "unliberated women". The Comment to this and
the previous verse may say more about the defensive insecurity of Crowley
the man than the verses of Liber AL. In Chapter I Comment, remember that
all this is a male mind trying to contemplate the revelations of a goddess.
Square peg and round hole problems may arise.}

I feel a certain necessity to explain that an 'avatar' implies rather a
release from the limits of personality than anything else. The Scarlet
Woman and I are peculiarly representative of Nuit and Hadit by virtue of
our attainments in making our consciousness omniform as They re. It must
not be supposed that our original individualities can claim any special
prerogatives as such.

AL I,18: "Burn upon their brows, o splendrous serpent!"

THE OLD COMMENT

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

THE NEW COMMENT

For the images in this and the next verse see the Stele of Revealing, to
which they allude.

The Serpent is the Uraeus, with the powers of Life and Death, wise,
ecstatic, immortal; winged and hooded, that he may go as a god swiftly and
silently. It refers in this place especially to Hadit.

# $k + AL I,19: "O azure-lidded woman, bend upon them!"

THE OLD COMMENT

19. Nuit herself will overshadow them.

THE NEW COMMENT

These two verses 18, 19, seem to be interpolated by Aiwaz, invoking the
Gods to The Beast and The Scarlet Woman, perhaps as a formal Consecration.

AL I,20: "The key of the rituals is in the secret word which I have given
unto him."

THE OLD COMMENT

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

THE NEW COMMENT

For this word see Appendix {WEH NOTE: The Appendix has not yet been
recovered. Kenneth Grant, in his "Magical and Philosophical Commentaries
..." pp. 105-108 has a lengthy extension here. The providence of the
extension is not definitely known to be Crowley at this writing, hence
cannot be included here.}. ABRAHADABRA is "The key of the rituals" because
it expresses the Magical Formulae of uniting various complementary ideas;
especially the Five of the Microcosm with the Six of the Macrocosm.

AL I,21: "With the God & the Adorer I am nothing: they do not see me. They
are as upon the earth; I am Heaven, and there is no other God than me, and
my lord Hadit."

THE OLD COMMENT

21. Refers to the actual picture on the stele. Nuit is a conception
immeasurably beyond all men have even thought of the Divine. thus she is
not the mere star-goddess, but a far higher thing, dimly veiled by that
unutterable glory.

This knowledge is also to be attained by adepts; the outer cannot reach to
it.

THE NEW COMMENT

The importance of this verse lies in the assertion of the metaphysical
entity of Our Lady, Her incomprehensibility to normal sense.

The Method of invoking Nuit is given in Liber XI (see Equinox I, VII). Note
the initials of God and Adorer GA, the Earth.

Note that Heaven is not a place where Gods Live; Nuit is Heaven, itself.
And "Heaven" is of course "a place wherein one may fulfil oneself",
conformably to the definition of Nuit as Space previously offered.

AL I,22: "Now, therefore, I am known to ye by my name Nuit, and to him by a
secret name which I will give him when at last he knoweth me. Since I am
Infinite Space, and the Infinite Stars thereof, do ye also thus. Bind
nothing! Let there be no difference made among you between any one thing &
any other thing; for thereby there cometh hurt."

THE OLD COMMENT

22. A promise -- not yet fulfilled. P.S. since (An V) fulfilled) A charge
to destroy the faculty of discriminating between illusions.

THE NEW COMMENT

We have here a further conception of the cosmographical scheme. Nuit is All
that which exists, and the condition of that existence. Hadit is the
Principle which causes modifications in this Being. This explains how one
may call Nuit Matter, and Hadit Motion, in the highest
physico-philosophical sense of those terms.

We are asked to axquiesce in this Law of Nature. That is, we are not to
oppose resistance to the perfect fluidity of the "Becoming" of Nature.
Similarly, we are not to attach more importance to any one momentary
appearance than to any other.

For, the moment we do so, we confirm illusion of Duality. We assert
Imperfection as absolute instead of as a device of Perfection for
self-appreciation.

The Secret name was revealed in the Sahara desert -- see Liber 418, 12
Aethyr, Equinox I, V, Suppl. pp. 82-87.

This question of making "no difference" as ordained is to regard the whole
of the non-Ego or universe apparently external to the Self as a single
phenomenon; Samadhi on any one thing becomes therefore Samadhi on The
Whole. The mystic who "availeth in this" can then perform his Great Work of
"love under will" in a single operation instead of being obliged to unite
himself with the non-Ego piecemeal. But see also the Comment on verse
4c103, above.

Notice the word "hurt", from he French "heurter", meaning to knock against
an obstacle. There is thus a strictly technical accuracy in the choice of
the term.

(Insert quotations from Essay of AN XIX March 31 - April 11 showing how all
is the same to Nuit, though not to partial views.)

AL I,23: "But whoso availeth in this, let him be the chief of all!"

THE OLD COMMENT

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

THE NEW COMMENT

This chief is of course no more or less than others. The limitations of our
dualistic language obscure the meaning of these loftier Words.
Chieftainship is to be understood as one of the illusions; but, in respect
of that plane, a fact. The facts of Nature are perfectly true in so far as
their mutual relation is concerned; their invalidity refers only to their
total relation with the philosophical canon of Truth.

The word "all" is not to be taken as elliptical for "all men"; it means
that such an one is completely master of his universe. For when one has
become indifferent to phenomena, and accepts any one of them as necessary,
indeed as an essential part of the whole, he has made himself Lord of the
Whole as such. In fact, it is obvious on quite rational grounds that this
must be the case. My discrimination between artichokes and arsenic puts me
at the mercy of a million circumstances, from my cook to my wife.

AL I,24: "I am Nuit, and my word is six and fifty."

THE OLD COMMENT

24. Nu = 6 + 50 = 56.

THE NEW COMMENT

One must observe the special significance of these numbers, not only
conjoined, but separate. For 6, Vau, is the Bull; and 50, Nun, the
Scorpion. But 6 is also the number of the Sun, our Star. The N of Nu is
therefore the Dragon -- "Infinite Space" -- and V is "the Infinite Stars"
thereof. The ITH is the honorific termination representing Her fulfilment
of Creative Force. "I" being the Inmost Force, and "Th" its Extension.

The Dragon in current symbolism refers to the North or Hollow of Heaven;
thus to the Womb of Space, which is the container and breeder of all that
exists.

Liber Aleph should be consulted for further information as to the magical
import of Scorpio and Taurus.

AL I,25: "Divide, add, multiply, and understand."

THE OLD COMMENT

25. Dividing 6/50 = 0.12.

0, the circumference, Nuit.

., the centre, Hadit.

1, the Unity proceeding, Ra-Hoor-Khuit.

2, the Coptic H, whose shape closely resembles the Arabic figure 2, the
breath of Life, inspired and expired. Human consciousness, Thoth.

Adding 50 + 6 = 56, Nu, and

Concentrating 5 + 6 = 11, Abrahadabra, etc.

Multiplying 50 x 6 = Shin, and Ruach Elohim, the Holy Spirit.

I am inclined to believe that there is a further mystery concealed in this
verse, possibly those of 418 and 666 again.

THE NEW COMMENT

See Qabalistic Appendix. {WEH NOTE: Appendix not yet recovered. K. Grant,
op. cit., adds several paragraphs here which appear to come from Crowley.
This is not provided in this text for lack of certainty of the providence.}

AL I,26: "Then saith the prophet and slave of the beauteous one: Who am I,
and what shall be the sign? So she answered him, bending down, a lambent
flame of blue, all-touching, all penetrant, her lovely hands upon the black
earth, & her lithe body arched for love, and her soft feet not hurting the
little flowers: Thou knowest! And the sign shall be my ecstasy, the
consciousness of the continuity of existence, the omnipresence of my body."

THE OLD COMMENT

26. The prophet demanding a sign of his mission, it is promised; a Samadhi
upon the Infinite.

This promise was later fulfilled -- see "The Temple of Solomon the King",
which proposes to deal with the matter in its due season. (P.S. It did so,
vide Equinox I.)

THE NEW COMMENT

In the MSS., the last 5 words of this verse do not occur. The original
reading is 'the unfragmentary non-atomic fact of my universality'.

This phrase was totally beyond the comprehension of the scribe, and he said
mentally -- with characteristic self-conceit -- "People will never be able
to understand this." Aiwass then replied,

"Write this in whiter words. But go forth on."

He was willing that the phrase should be replaced by an equivalent, but did
not wish the dictation to be interrupted by a discussion at the moment. it
was therefore altered (a little later) to "the omnipresence of my body."

It is extremely interesting to note that in the light of the cosmic theory
explained in the notes to verse 3c102 and 4c104, the original phrase of
Aiwass was exquisitely and exactly appropriate to his meaning.

It take this opportunity of quoting from Professor Eddington, Op. Cit., a
passage which should make it perfectly clear that the "mystical",
"irrational", "paradoxical" conception of Nuit expressed in this chapter
has a parallel in the sober calculations of a perfectly orthodox astronomer
in the undeniably practical University -- a poor thing, but mine own -- of
Cambridge:

"Whenever there is matter there is action and therefore curvature; and it
is interesting to notice that in ordinary matter the curvature of the
space-time world is by no means insignificant. for example, in water of
ordinary density the curvature is the same as that of space in the form of
a sphere of radius 570,000,000 kilometers. The result is even more
surprising if expressed in time unites; the radius is about half-an-hour.

"It is difficult to picture quite what this means; but at least we can
predict that a Globe of water 570,000,000 km. radius would have
extraordinary properties. Presumably there must be an upper limit to the
possible size of a globe of water. So far as I can make out a homogeneous
mass of water of about this size (and no larger) could exist. It would have
no centre, and no boundry, every point of it being in the same position
with respect to the whole mass as every other point of it -- like points
ion the surface of a sphere with respect to the surface. Any ray of light
after travelling for an hour or two would come back to the starting point.
Nothing could enter or leave the mass, because there is no boundary to
enter or leave by; in fact, it is coextensive with space. There could not
be any other world anywhere else because there isn't an 'anywhere else'.

"The mass of this volume of water is not so great as the most moderate
estimates of the mass of the stellar system".

AL I,27: "Then the priest answered & said unto the Queen of Space, kissing
her lovely brows, and the dew of her light bathing his whole body in a
sweet-smelling perfume of sweat: O Nuit, continuous one of Heaven, let it
be ever thus; that men speak not of Thee as One but as None; and let them
speak not of thee at all, since thou art continuous!"

THE OLD COMMENT

27 - 31. Here is a profound philosophical dogma, in a sense possibly and
explanation and Illumination of the propositions in "Berashith".

The dyad (or universe) is created with little pain in order to make the
bliss of dissolution possible. Thus the pain of life may be atoned for by
the bliss of death.

This delight is, however, only for the chosen servants of Nu. Outsiders may
be looked on much as the Cartesians looked on animals. Yet, of course, this
is only on the plane of Illusion. One must not discriminate between the
space marks. (P.S. The Crhistian is one who has acquiesced in his own
dishonour; a renegade from manhood).

THE NEW COMMENT

The physical description of the onset of this ecstasy refers to the actual
facts at the period of receiving this knowledge.

The attempt to resolve All into One is a philosophical blunder. It explains
nothing; neither how One came to be, nor how Two came to be. The only sound
conception is that of "Zero not extended" with a phase of "Something" ("0
degree = X") which makes the answer to both questions self-evident.

The idea "One" is intelligible enough as the result of the resolutions of
Two. But in itself it is meaningless because of the absence of any
co-ordinates. A point can heave no qualities except as it is related to a
second point. It is only 'high' if there be another which is 'low'. It
cannot even be said to exist unless there be something which does not
exist.

Note the word 'continuous' repeated. It suggests the "continuum" of modern
mathematical philosophy.

On the other hand, the constitution of Nuit is 'atomic' (verse 26c126) or
discontinuous. She is in fact the reconciliation of these contradictory
ideas. It is important for us to grasp the philosophical situation
formally; and this demands a some-what close analysis. The definitions of
Cantorian and Dedekindian continuity should be sought in Bertrand Russell,
Op. Cit.; it is sufficient here to explain that by the continuity of Nuit I
conceive conditions similar to those of the sphere of water described in
the quotation in the note to verse 25c125. Any point in this sphere would
be indistinguishable from any other point in a certain sense; or at least
the distinction might be considered as arbitrary and illusory. Yet there is
no reason why we should not choose to fix our attention on any particular
point or system of points for the purpose of amusing ourselves --
analogously to the explanation above put forward (notes on vv. 3c103 &
4c104) of incarnation. The constitution of our illusion will evidently be
atomic. The facts that {...}, and that the subtraction of (a) the inductive
numbers, (b) the inductive numbers greater than n, (c) the odd numbers,
from {...} give respectively zero, n and {...} as the result, do not
interfere with the finite character of the relation between n and n 1. The
transfinite properties of {...} do not destroy the atomic character of the
series of which it is the sum.

Let us investigate the nature of existing ideas a little more closely.
First of all, Nuit, being the totality of possibilities of Form, is not
only one series, but the sum of all series. We are justified in conceiving
any collection of ideas soever as a homologous series, for we have the
right to choose the function which will serve to arrange them as our design
requires. To protest that such a choice is arbitrary, fantastic or
irrational is to assert the authority of some self-appointed "normal mind"
as absolute in Nature. The failure of philosophers to transcend their own
mental limitations has reduced all their systems to circular arguments, and
all their ontologies to Solipsism, however elaborately they have
endeavoured to to cloak the fact with sophistries. You cannot tie a true
knot in a cord with a closed circuit. All knowledge is relative to the mind
which contains it.

Consider "incommensurable" numbers, such as 1 and 2. This coy surd is
insensible to the fascinations of the deftest Dedekindian Cult. It may be
approached within limits as narrow as we choose to appoint; yet there
remains a "great gulf fixed" which is utterly impassable. The surd is
simply not in the series; you might as well try to find Consciousness by
making microtome sections of the brain. Yet the relation between 1 and 2 is
perfectly clear and simple; there is no incommensurability about it at all.
It is (for one thing) the ratio of the hypoteneuse of a right-angled
isoceles triangle to one of the other sides, in Euclidian geometry. The
difficulty of commensuration can exist only in minds obsessed by the
atavistic necessity of counting cowries or wives on the fingers.

Let me then maintain that such collections as "The thoughts of a man's
lifetime" constitute a series in the same sense as the inductive numbers.
This collection conforms perfectly with Peano's 'ideas' and 'proposition'.
Every thought is a thing in itself; it is determined by its predecessors
and determines its successors; it is concatenated with them by
'psychological time'. Briefly, it fulfils every condition required by the
definition. (The 'recurrenee' of a thought is no objection, for the
identity is superficial, like that of a digit in a long decimal. "My aunt",
whom I now think of, is not the aunt I thought of last year, any more than
the 4 in the second place of .0494 is the same as that in the fourth
place.)

Any thought in this series possesses a chain of sub-thoughts which connect
it with its neighbours; these may be discovered by the proper psychological
methods. "The Words of the insane are mountain-tops"; two successive
thoughts may be compared to two snow summits rising above cloud-banks; they
are not isolated, but joined by certain geologically necessary formations.
But each pair of such sub-thoughts may be similarly investigated, and so on
ad infinitum. Each thought is inevitably itself, although it is related to
all other possible thoughts. There are not two thoughts of which we can say
that one either merges into, or necessarily begets, the other. Any series
of thoughts is therefore a true inductive series, exactly as the "natural
numbers" are, with the added properties that it is real and omniform. It is
atomic, its elements being intrinsically individual; and yet a continuum,
since its intervals are susceptible of subdivision indefinitely prolonged
without producing any diminution of these properties of the original
series. The difference between successive thoughts and successive numbers
is that by inserting r terms between p and q -- p:p : p 2 : --- p (2 -1) :
q -- we apparently approximate the members, so that p-q (p 2)-(p ); while
the sub-thoughts which intervene between my impression on waking "A fine
frosty morning" and my reaction "I'll go skating" come to me from very
various departments of my mind, and no two of them are in any way more
closely connected than their culmination in consciousness is to its
forerunner. But this difference is in reality an illusion born of the
obsession already diagnosed; 2 is nearer to 1 and to 3 than 3 is to 1 only
in respect of one particular function. Full comprehension of the true
nature of number, as conceived by this Book, should enable the mind to
transcend its "normal" trammels.

It will no doubt be objected that these speculations, even if correct, are
sterile; or, even worse, discouraging to that study of the relations
between phenomena which has been the basis of all advance in knowledge.

I might deny the reality of the progress, since it has only exposed the
self-contradictions, and emphasized the mysteries, which beset us. But I
prefer to take my stand on the ground that we have been totally wrong,
hitherto, in our fundamental attitude to the Universe. The only possible
issue from the vicious circle wherein we are penned is to refuse resolutely
to allow ourselves to accept (1) the evidence of our senses, (2) the
pleadings of our minds, (3) the reactions between phenomena as tokens of
Truth. All objects are equally capable of conveying any given impression to
us; it is merely a question of arranging the conditions of the experiments.
We can add or subtract any conceivable quality at will. Thus, "there is no
difference"; and each existence is inscrutably itself. We are only the more
deceived as it multiplies its Protean projections.

Our proper course is to destroy the instruments of perception which we at
present possess, recognizing that they are no more than personal prejudices
which limit and delude us in every way. Our senses assure us that the earth
is flat, and that the Sun moves across it, until we amend their assertions
by the aid of instruments, and of reason. Yet the astronomer with his
telescope is no less arbitrary than the cave-man with his eye. We are like
the Snark in the Barrister's dream, witnesses, lawyers, and judge in one.
We have no standard independent or ourselves; and we know only too well
that our witnesses, the senses, are neither competent, clear, trustworthy,
intelligent, or even capable of giving evidence on the actual issues.

The mid is in even worse plight. Obviously, its judgments must be based on
its own laws, and we have no shadow of reason for supposing that these
possess any authority beyond their own jurisdiction. We know that the
Structure of the brain has been determined by the animal struggle to
survive: it is adapted to the conditions of environment. It is the serf of
brute passions, the ape of atavism, the dupe of sense, and the automaton of
accident. We have no right to assert that its internal reactions correspond
to the external world in any way whatever. Officially recognized thinkers
are only just beginning to realize what mystics have known since the
Morning Star glimmered through the haze on the horizon of History, that the
Laws of Thought are only expressions of the bondage of the thinker. Apart
from the dependence of mind upon the unreliable, symbolically communicated,
and fragamentary affidavits of sense, apart from the imperfections
inseparable from its origin, our judgments are necessarily no more than
representations of the consistency of one part of our internal structure
with another. We cannot lift ourselves by pulling at our toes. We now know
that our most fixed axioms are as arbitrary as a madman's delusions. There
is nothing to prevent a man from asserting that "Things which are both
equal to the same thing are both greater than each other" and constructing
a geometry conformable thereto: neither by reasoning nor by experience
could it be proved that his system was not the "truth" of Nature. More, the
word "truth" itself has proved on analysis to contain no intelligible
significance, but to be an empirical symbol of what can only be described
as symptoms of cerebral inadequacy.

Still worse, even so far as the conclusions of reason express the relations
of an animal with itself, they disclose not the consistency which is the
test of the fulfilment of this limited function, but an inherent
self-contradition which shatters the validity of the entire process. For
the "Law of Contradiction" is the Court of final Appeal which has been the
authority for every step. I quote once more from the Hon. Bertrand Russell,
Op. Cit.:

"The comprehensive class we are considering, which is to embrace
everything, must embrace itself as one of its members. In other words, if
there is such a things as "everything", then "everything" is something, and
is a member of the class "everything". But normally a class is not a member
of itself. Mankind, for example, is not a man. Form now the assemblage of
all classes which are not members of themselves. This is a class: is it a
member of itself or not? If it is, it is one of those classes that are not
members of themselves, i.e. it is a member of itself. Thus of the two
hypotheses -- that it is, and that it is not, a member of itself -- each
implies its contradictory. This is a contradiction, similar contradictions
ad lib." {WEH NOTE: I'm sorry. I just can't keep shut. This is just the
bloody fallacy of FOUR TERMS!}

This author, perhaps the mightiest mind of its type now living, proceeds
gallantly to go "over the top". But he is always, sooner or later, drowned
in the "blood" of a new contradiction, or the "mud" of mystery. He finds
himself constantly compelled to assume some axiom which has been proved to
be incapable of being proved, or crushed by the certainty that even in the
event of his proving all his propositions, the sum of their statement
amounts to this, that, so far as he is anybody or anything, he is himself.

Professor Eddington, in the masterly exposition of modern thought already
quoted, presents, clearly enough, the case against supposing that any
phenomenon soever is a "fact" in any absolute sense.

Each account of it must be incomplete, symbolic, and variable with the
position and faculties of the observer.

"By his theory of relativity, Albert Einstein has provoked a revolution of
thought in physical science."

"The achievement consists essentially in this: -- Einstein has succeeded in
separating far more completely than hitherto the share of the observer and
the share of external nature in the things we see happen. The perception of
an object by an observer depends on his own situation and circumstances;
for example, distance will make it appear smaller and dimmer. We make
allowance for this almost unconsciously in interpreting what we see. But it
now appears that the allowance made for the motion of the observer has
hitherto been too crude, -- a fact overlooked because in practice all
observers share nearly the same motion, that of the earth. Physical space
and time are found to be closely bound up with this motion of the observer;
and only an amorphous combination of the two is left inherent in the
external world. When space and time are relegated to their proper source --
the observer -- the world of nature which remains appears strangely
unfamiliar; but it is in reality simplified, and the underlying unity of
the principal phenomena from this new outlook have, with one doubtful
exception, been confirmed when tested by experiment."

I must confess that I was amazed with every amazement when so the the
eminent astronomer failed to follow up this brilliant outburst by turning
the devastation of his artillery upon the ramparts of the citadel whose
outlying defenses he had shattered with such stupendous thunderbolts. Now
came it that the very act of detecting so subtly, and removing so
skillfully, the mote in his neighbour's eye, did not suggest to him that he
might be incommoded by the beam of his own? Aware of the errors introduced
into his calculations by the comparatively steady, regular, and
imperceptible motion of his earth-borne body, how not to be stricken aghast
to contemplate the possible consequences of taking, as a fixed and absolute
point for the base of his triangulations, and unknown and uncontrollable
engine in violent, erratic and incalculable action, neither to be mastered
nor measured, his mind? Who dare presume to set limits to the
eccentricities of a brain which is the logical conclusion for a
love-harried, witch-burning, god-fearing, fox-hunting, cannibal ape, spice
with tubercle, syphilis, insanity and the rest of the poisons for one
premise and an unintelligible and accidental environment for the other? Is
not every thought determined, and its validity indeterminable, especially
by its owner? Who then shall decide what "trustworthy reasoning" may mean?

At the very least, we must eliminate as far as possible very obvious source
of error, such as personality (in particular) involves. But further, we
must regulate the motion of the mind, control it, bring it to a standstill.
It may be -- I know that it is -- that as soon as thought is prevented from
bewildering us with its torrential turmoil, we may become aware that we
posses a subtler and steadier organ of apprehension. This is in fact one of
the principal points of initiation.

AL I,28: "None, breathed the light, faint & faery, of the stars, and two."

THE NEW COMMENT

Now appears the plain statement of the Perfect Metaphysick. It may be as
well to quote the essential passages from 'Bereshith' in connexion with
this matter.

"I ASSERT THE ABSOLUTENESS OF THE QABALISTIC ZERO."

When we say that the Cosmos sprang from 0, what kind of 0 do we mean? By 0
in the ordinary sense of the term we mean "absence of extension in any of
the categories".

When I say "No cat has two tails" I do not mean, as the old fallacy runs,
that "Absense-of-cat possesses two tails"; but that "In the category of
two-tailed things, there is no extension of cat".

Nothingness is that about which no positive proposition is valid. We cannot
truly affirm: "Nothingness is green, or heavy, or sweet".

Let us call time, space, being, heaviness, hunger, the categories. If a man
be heavy and hungry, he is extended in all these, besides, of course, many
more. But let us suppose these five are all. Call the man X; his formula is
then

t s b h h

X . If he now eat he will cease to be extended in hunger; if he be cut off
from time and gravitation as well, he will now be represented by the
formula

s b

X . Should he cease to occupy space and to exist, his formula would then be

0

X . This expansion is equal to 1; whatever X may represent, if it be raised
to the power of 0 (this meaning mathematically "If it be extended in no
dimension or category"), the result is Unity, and the unknown factor X is
eliminated.

Now if there was in truth 0, "before the beginning of years", THAT 0 WAS
EXTENDED IN NONE OF THE CATEGORIES, FOR THERE COULD HAVE BEEN NO CATEGORIES
IN WHICH IT COULD EXTEND! If our 0 was the ordinary 0 of mathematics, there
was not truly absolute 0, for 0 is, as I have shown, dependent on the idea
of categories. If these existed, then the whole question is merely thrown
back; we must reach a state in which 0 is absolute. Not only must we get
rid of all subjects, but of all predicates. By 0 (in mathematics) we really
mean 0 to the n, where n is the final term of a natural scale of
dimensions, categories, or predicates. Our Cosmic Gee, then, from which the
present universe arose, was Nothingness, extended in no categories, or,
graphically, 0 to the 0. This expression is in its present form
meaningless. Let us discover its value by a simple mathematical process.

0 1-1

0 = 0 = 01/01 ( Multiply by 1 = n/n ) Then 01/n x n/01 = 0 x infinity

Now the multiplying of the infinitely great by the infinitely small results
in SOME UNKNOWN FINITE NUMBER EXTENDED IN AN UNKNOWN NUMBER OF CATEGORIES.
It happened, when this our Great Inversion took place, from the essence of
all nothingness to finity extended in innumerable categories, that an
incalculably vast system was produced. Merely by chance, chance in he
truest sense of the term, we are found with gods, men, stars, planets,
devils, colours, forces, and all the materials of the cosmos; and with
time, space, and causality, the conditions limiting and involving them all.

Remember that it is not true to say that our 0 to the 0 existed; nor that
it did not exist. The idea of existence was just as much unformulated as
that of toasted cheese.

But 0 to the 0 is a finite expression, or has a finite phase, and our
universe is a finite universe; its categories are themselves finite, and
the expression "infinite space" is a contradiction it terms. The idea of an
absolute and of an infinite God is relegated to the limbo of all similar
idle and pernicious perversions of truth. Infinity remains; but only as a
mathematical conception as impossible in nature as the square root of -1."

This passage was written in 1902, E.V., before the revelation of the Law.
It remains true that 'infinite space is a contradiction in terms', and so
on; but this is no argument against the Cosmogeny of this Book. For above
the Abyss every idea soever is necessarily a contradiction in terms; see
Liber 418 for the demonstration of this.

There is much more on these points in Liber Aleph, and in "The Urn".

"Breathed" and "light" are highly significant words, implying the duality
of creation in breath -- inspiration and expiration -- and that of
vibratory light; while breath is also Aleph, whose card is numbered Zero;
and Light is L.V.X. 120, the Rosy Cross, wherein the Positive is dissolved
in the Negative.

# $k + AL I,29: "For I am divided for love's sake, for the chance of
union."

THE NEW COMMENT

I quote from "The Book of Lies (falsely so-called)".

THE OYSTER

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 beyond Bliss.

The Man delights in uniting with the Woman;

the Woman in parting from the child

The Brothers of A\A\ are Women; the Aspirants

to A\A\ Are Men."

In order to have Motion one must have Change. In fact, one must have this
in order to have anything at all. Now this Change is what we call Love.
thus "love under will" is the Law of Motion. The re-entrant character of
this Motion is difficult to conceive; but the Aspirant is urged to try to
assimilate the idea. A Hindu might compare the Cosmic process to a churn
which out of milk made butter to feed a milk-producing woman, every step in
the cycle being a Progress of Joy.

Time is necessarily created by us in order to make room for the apparent
existence of the duality which we devise for the presentation of unity, or
nihility.

"Two things" must evidently exist either in two places, or at two times, or
both; else they would be indistinguishable.

Two phenomena which differ in time would be considered simultaneous if
separated in space so that our observation of the former were delayed, for
several reasons; and it is fairly easy to realize the possibility. But it
seems as if separation in space were somehow more intractable. I can see no
priori reason for this distinction; I think it arises from the fact that
space is directly presented to our senses, while time is proper to the
mental apprehension of impressions.

Our universe is (after all) in one place, so far as we are concerned, i.e.,
in our sensoria, so that any two impressions can only be registered by us
as consecutive. Even when we are aware of their simultaneity, we are
compelled to place them in sequence. Our sensorium makes no distinction
between concrete and abstract ideas in this respect. Sensory impressions
and general ideas are equally grist for the mill. But we make a distinction
between our record of events whose sequence is a necessary part of our
comprehension of them, and those which are independent of our history. We
insist on the sequence of school and college, but our general judgments are
recognized as independent of time. This is peculiarly the case with our
idea of the Ego, which we instinctively regard as if it were eternal and
unchanging, though in fact it grows and decays continually. Yet we think of
the incidents of boyhood as having occurred to the Ego, forming part of its
character.

Now since this Ego is only conscious by virtue of having formulated itself,
or the Universe (as it happens to view the case), in the form of Duality,
and since all the experiences of the Ego are necessary to it, as all
phenomena soever are necessary, it is permissible to regard the totality of
the experience of the Ego as the presentation in duality of a single
simultaneous fact.

In other words, life is an attempt to realize one's own nature in one's own
soul.

The man who fails to recognize it as such is hopelessly bewildered by the
irrational character of the universe, which he takes to be real; and he
cannot but regard it as aimless and absurd. The adventures of his body and
mind, with their desires for material and moral well-being, are obviously
as foredoomed to disaster as Don Quixote's. He must be a fool if he
struggles on (against inexorable fate) to obtain results which he knows can
only end in catastrophe, a climax the more bitter as he clings the more
closely to his impossible ideals.

But once he acquiesces in the necessity of the course of events, and
considers his body and mind as no more than the instruments which interpret
himself to himself by means of dualistic presentation, he should soon
acquire a complete indifference to the nature of the incidents which occur
to him.

It is not surprising that these incidents should occur in an apparent
disorderly sequence any more than that the coours of a picture, or the
words of a story, should not be disturbed according to an a priori
classification, as in a Lexicon or a colourman's catalogue. His task as a
connoisseur is to recognize the idea of the artist, and this he can only do
by appreciation of the complete work. he must analyze the assemblage of
elements, and assign the correct value to each, comprehending the intention
of each relative to the finished design.

It will be said that nobody can realize himself so long as the presentation
is imperfect, that is, so long as he is incarnated. This is no doubt true
in all rigour; but one can obtain an approximation to the intended
self-knowledge by withdrawing for a time to the monistic form of
self-consciousness, which does not distinguish between the Ego and the
Non-Ego; in other words, by attaining Samadhi. But the first experience of
Samadhi will then naturally be an ecstasy devoid of name or form, and
containing no elements distinguishable as such; and we know this to be the
case. One has simply deprived oneself of the means of expression, and all
dual consciousness disappears, together with its forms, time and space. One
concludes from this that the Universe is identical with the Ego, and all
things dissolve into a formless essence characterized by knowledge and
bliss. But this early stage of Samadhi is an illusion, a sort of drunken
dizziness. (So in sexual love, the ecstasy abolishes the Ego, apparently;
it forgets that duality was its cause, and must be equally real with
itself, in one sense or another). But subsequent Samadhi teaches the adept
that his universal instantaneous Unity exists as "None and Two"; and he
learns that his Samadhi is peculiar to himself as well as common to all.

He becomes able to experience the truth of the statements in the Book of
the Law, the nature of Nuith and Hadith, and of himself as a Star, unique,
individual, and eternal, but yet a part of the Body of Nuith, and therefore
identical with all other stars in that respect.

He realizes himself as the "bed in working" of Nuith and Hadit, as a
particular form assumed by the latter for the sake of Variety in his "play"
with the former; and he partakes in this play by his self-realization,
which he synthesizes from the "events of his life".

He understands that these events are the resultant of the Universe as
applied to him, so that his experience is equally unique and universal,
each star being the centre of the cosmos, and the Cosmos applicable as a
whole to each star.

The experiences of each angle of a triangle are common to all, for one can
express any relation as a function of any angle, at will. Each may be taken
as the starting-point of the study of the properties to the triangle. But
each angle is necessary to the triangle, and each is equally important to
its existence. Each is bound to the others, and moreover each is in a sense
illusory in respect of the triangle, which is an idea, simple and ideal,
whose unity is compelled to express itself and manifest its properties by
extension as a plane figure. For no triangle can express the idea of a
triangle. Any triangle must be either equilateral, isosceles or scalene,
either acute, right-angled, or obtuse; and no one triangle can be all these
at once; while the idea of a triangle includes all these, and infinite
other, possibilities.

In a similar way, Nuith and Hadith include all possible forms of existence;
they can only realize Themselves by creating an infinite variety of forms
of Themselves, each one real as it is Their image, illusory as it is a
partial and divided aspect of Them.

Each such Star is intelligible to Them, as a poem is to its author as a
part of this soul mirrored by his mind. But it is not intelligible to
itself, because it has no relation with any other ideas; it only knows
itself as the babe of its mother Nuith, to whom it yearns, being stirred by
its father Hadith to express that instinctive attachment by inarticulate
cries.

To know itself, each such Star, or Soul, must eat of the Fruit of the Tree
of Knowledge of Good and Evil, by accepting labour and pain as its portion,
and death as its doom. That is, it must reveal its nature to itself by
formulating that nature as duality. It must express itself by a series of
symbolic gestures ostensibly external to it, just as a painter reveals one
facet of his Delight-Diamond by covering a canvas with colours in such a
way that the picture seems at first sight to represent something outside
himself. It must, in fact, repeat for itself the original Magick of Nuith
and Hadith which created it.

As They made Themselves visible piecemeal by fashioning particular Souls,
expressing the Impersonal and Absolute Homogeneity by means of Personal
Relative Heterogeneity, so, not forgetting their true nature as forms of
the Infinite, whereby they are one with all, must the stars devise methods
of studying themselves.

They must make images of themselves, apparently external, and they must
represent their highly complex qualities in a duality involving space and
time. For each Star is of necessity related to every other star, so that no
influence is alien to its individuality; it must therefore observer its
reaction to every other star.

Just so are most chemical elements possessed of but few qualities directly
appreciable by our senses; we must learn their natures by putting them into
relation with the other Elements in turn. (Note well that this knowledge
were impossible unless there were a variety of elements; so also the fact
of our self-consciousness proves the existence of individual souls; all
related, all parts of the One Soul, in one sense, but none the less
independent in themselves, eternal entities expressing particular elements
of existence).

Each star is in itself immune and innocent; its proper consciousness is
monistic; it must therefore employ a body and mind as the instruments for
interpreting its relations with other souls, and comparing its nature with
theirs. For the mind perceives the contrast of the Self and the not-Self,
and presents its experiences, classified and judged, to the soul as
documents for the dossier; and the body reports to the mind the impressions
received from its contact with alien forms as the senses receive them.

It must naturally require many incarnations for the soul to begin to know
itself with any degree of perfection; and one may recognize advanced souls
by their minds, which understand the a nature of their work, are
indifferent to the body's preference for any special forms of experience,
and seek eagerly after novel adventures (like a philatelist after rare
stamps) to complete the collection. They are also as a rule both very
careful and very careless about their bodily welfare, taking pains to
preserve their powers for the purpose of gaining new experiences, but
utterly indifferent to them as valuable in themselves. They rule them with
a rod of iron, and train them like pugilists; but they risk them recklessly
whenever the Work demands it.

It is important to understand the necessity of our present Universe.
Perfection could do not otherwise than create Imperfection. But was there
not original Imperfection? No; for Perfection is hardly more than that
original state, since we cannot conceive the total as susceptible of
addition.<> This is another view of the God going through the combinations,
on a larger scale, and shows not only why He does it, but why He must do
it. But is not all this based on the accident that I personally am bored by
omniscience on any given matter? Yes, but Imperfection is a fact, and a God
whom Perfection did not bore would not have created Imperfection. But why
not suppose a wicked God, or a foolish God? Things which seem to me wrong,
or stupid, are so because I am the sole judge. But these things are not my
creations, but those of other Gods. True, but those Gods are all part of
me, so far as I know them. So then, in my own nature are these contrary
Gods, which (as above said) I have created in myself to give variety. You
see that you cannot conceive these divers 'Gods without conceiving also a
Whole, in which the entire equation cancels out to Naught. One cannot
conceive it as a Unity, because 1 to the 0 power like 1 to the first power,
1 to the 2nd power, etc., is only one, 1, and cannot become 2 by
reflection, as I thought 75 {WEH NOTE: Sic. This is not possible and must
be a typo in the TS. Grant Op. Cit. gives "18".}years ago, because there is
nothing else to reflect it, or it could not be both All and One. (A
heterogeneous One, with a mirror in its All, would be two). Now Evil is
only minus to anyone's Plus; you cannot have an Evil to destroy the Whole
(or we have Two again.) Therefore no Evil can possibly do any harm; it can
only be part of the Play. The Whole is destroyed as soon as understood;
that is, it is conceived as zero to the zero power again; this then bursts
forth in some new combination, with no gain or loss except (perhaps ? ?)
the gain due to Time, as explained elsewhere. But in this case what is
Time? It is a fundamental condition of experience, to say nothing of
memory, so is necessary to the Finity Phase of zero to the zero power, that
is, to any Universe where change occurs. Is there any possible connexion
between two successive such Phases? No; they must be alike in one respect
that they each cancel out, so Balance is a necessary principle. More so
than time; for one could have a Samadhis Phase which developed Nirvi-Kalpa
instantly. But if no Time, then a Unity, which could never become Naught;
no such Phase is possible. Duality is therefore the nature of any
manifested Universe.

1 exists, true; but only by a fiction; for there is always a -1 to cancel
it. But we get the illusion of 1 when we add 1/2 to 1/2 or 1/3 to 2/3,
etc., things -- each conscious of its fractional character -- seeking to be
whole. Now the bigger any 'One' gets, the more conscious it is of its
"Minus One' wife, the more clearly it sees that 'One; is illusion, and had
better cancel out. The general process of Initiation is therefore the same
for all possible universes.

From the standpoint of Physics, the original Inertia expresses itself as
two complementary forms of Energy -- the small active Negative Electron
(Hadit) and the large passive Positive Electron (Nuit). (It has recently
been shown that the mass of Matter is zero). When these satisfy each other,
two phenomena occur: (1) their opposed equalities cancel out to Zero.
(Perhaps even to 0 to the 0 power, thus restoring the original
Indeterminate Nothing). (2) a "child" is born of the union; i.e., a
positive phenomenon is ;produced, whose nature is entirely different from
that of either of its 'parents'; for it is finite, and possesses
limitations and qualities of its own. Groups of such primaeval units form
the various kinds of 'atom', according to the number and geometric
disposition thereof. (This involves projection in space and time, ideas
which are not necessary to the Electrons, they being simply ideas posited
to serve as a basis for any dualistic expression to which Zero may be
equated, such as Being and Form, Matter and Motion. We invent Space, Time,
Sense-Impression, etc. to enable us to distinguish between "experiences" to
express our conception of the multiplicity of the possibilities contained
in the Idea of Zero. Each human consciousness being a case of one
particular way of grouping elements, its conception of the Cosmos is
limited by the necessary relations of that group to other groups. It grows
by "union" with such groups, and is glad, partly because it satisfied its
Oedipus-complex by thus approaching Nuit, partly because it fulfils its
natural function of Creation.

AL I,30: "This is the creation of the world, that the pain of division is
as nothing, and the joy of dissolution all."

THE NEW COMMENT

This verse is written for men who are still in division, and sore about it;
the pain is only in their idea of it. One should compare this thought with
the Freudian psychology, which regards all separation from the 'Mother' as
heroic but painful. But has a hero really no compensations? Besides,
separation is itself a relief, just so soon as the strain becomes irksome,
as in parturition.

As to "the joy of dissolution" the reference is to Samadhi, the trance in
which Subject and Object become one. In this orgiastic ecstasy is
experienced at first; later, the character of the consciousness changes to
continuously calm delight, and later still, the delight deepens in a manner
wholly indescribable. The technical terms used by Oriental Initiates to
denote these conditions are untranslatable; in any case, they serve rather
to darken counsel.

There is a Qabalistic aphorism concerning the words 'nothing' and 'all';
for this and similar matters see the Appendix. {WEH NOTE: The Appendix has
not yet been recovered}.

AL I,31: "For these fools of men and their woes care not thou at all! They
feel little; what is, is balanced by weak joys; but ye are my chosen ones."

THE NEW COMMENT

All this talk about 'suffering humanity' is principally drivel based on the
error of transferring one's own psychology to one's neighbour. The Golden
Rule is silly. If Lord Alfred Douglas (for example) did to others what he
would like them to do to him, many would resent his action.

The development of the Adept is by Expansion -- out to Nuit -- in all
directions equally. The small man has little experience, little capacity
for either pain or pleasure. The bourgeois is a clod. I know better (at
least) than to suppose that to torture him is either beneficial or amusing
to myself.

This thesis concerning compassion is of the most palmary importance in the
ethics of Thelema. It is necessary that we stop, once for all, this
ignorant meddling with other people's business. Each individual must be
left free to follow his own path. America is peculiarly insane on these
points. Her people are desperately anxious to make the Cingalese wear furs,
and the Tibetans vote, and the whole world chew gum, utterly dense to the
fact that most other nations, especially the French and British, regard
'American institutions' as the lowest savagery, and forgetful or ignorant
of the circumstance that the original brand of American freedom -- which
really was Freedom -- contained the precept to leave other people severely
alone, and thus assured the possibility of expansion on his own lines to
every man.

AL I,32: "Obey my prophet! follow out the ordeals of my knowledge! seek me
only! Then the joys of my love will redeem ye from all pain. This is so: I
swear it by the vault of my body; by my sacred heart and tongue; by all I
can give, by all I desire of ye all."

THE OLD COMMENT

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

THE NEW COMMENT

It is proper to obey The Beast, because His Law is pure Freedom, and He
will give no command which is other than a Right Interpretation of this
Freedom. But it is necessary for the development of Freedom itself to have
an organization; and every organization must have a highly-centralized
control. This is especially necessary in time of war, as even the so-called
'democratic' nations have been taught by Experience, since they would not
learn from Germany. Now this age is pre-eminently a 'time of war', most of
all now, when it is our Work to overthrow the slave-gods.

The injunction "seek me only" is emphasized with an oath, and a special
promise is made in connection with it. By seeking lesser ideals one makes
distinctions, thereby affirming implicitly the very duality from which one
is seeking to escape. Note also that "me" may imply the Greek MH, "not".
The word 'only' might be taken as '{?Ayin-Lamed-Nun-Vau?}' with the number
of 156, that of the Secret Name BABALON of Nuith. There are presumably
further hidden meanings in the key-word 'all'.

AL I,33: "Then the priest fell into a deep trance or swoon, & said unto the
Queen of Heaven; Write unto us the ordeals; write unto us the rituals;
write unto us the law!"

THE OLD COMMENT

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

THE NEW COMMENT

Law, in the common sense of the word, should be a formulation of the
customs of a people, as Euclid's propositions are the formulation of
geometrical facts. But modern knavery conceived the idea of artificial law,
as if one should try to square the circle by tyranny. Legislators try to
force the people to change their customs, so that the "business men" whose
greed they are bribed to serve may increase their profits.

'Law' in Greek, is NOMOC, from NEM , and means strictly "anything assigned,
that which one has in use or possession"; hence "custom, usage", and also
"a musical strain". The literal equivalence of NEM and the Latin NEMO is
suggestive. In Hebrew, 'Law' is ThORA and equivalent to words meaning "The
Gate of the Kingdom" and "The Book of Wisdom".

AL I,34: "But she said: the ordeals I write not: the rituals shall be half
known and half concealed: the Law is for all."

THE OLD COMMENT

34. The first demand is refused, or, it may be, is to be communicated by
another means than writing.

(It has since been communicated)

The second is partially granted; or, if fully granted, is not to be made
wholly public.

The third is granted unconditionally.

THE NEW COMMENT

The Ordeals are at present carried out unknown to the Candidate by the
secret Magick Power of The Beast. Those who are accepted by Him for
initiation testify that these Ordeals are frequently independent of His
conscious care. They are not, like the traditional ordeals, formal, or
identical for all; the Candidate finds himself in circumstances which
afford a real test of conduct, and compel him to discover his own nature,
to become aware of himself by bringing his secret motives to the surface.

Some of the Rituals have been made accessible, that is, the Magical
Formulae have been published. See "The Rites of Eleusis", "Energized
Enthusiasm", "Book 4, Part III", "etc".

Note the reference to 'not' and 'all'. Also the word 'known' contains the
root GN, 'to beget' and 'to know'; while 'concealed' indicates the other
half of the Human Mystery.

AL I,35: "This that thou writest is the threefold book of Law."

THE OLD COMMENT

35. Definition of this book.

THE NEW COMMENT

The instruction to write for three days from noon to one o'clock each day
had already been given to The Beast. (See Preface to this Commentary).

AL I,36: "My scribe Ankh-af-na-khonsu, the priest of the princes, shall not
in one letter change this book; but lest there be folly, he shall comment
thereupon by the wisdom of Ra-Hoor-Khu-it."

THE OLD COMMENT

36. The first strict charge not to tamper with a single letter of this
book.

The comment is to be written "by the wisdom of Ra-Hoor-Khuit", i.e., by
open, not initiated wisdom.

THE NEW COMMENT

Again we find the words Prince and Priest, but differently placed in their
phrase.

The Beast is here definitely identified with the priest of the 26th Dynasty
whose Stele forms the Pantacle (so to speak) of the new Magick. He is
moreover identified with the scribe. It is of immense importance to the
stability of the Law to have a Book not merely verbally but literally
inspired, so that even errors in spelling and grammar have a secret
significance. (That this must be so is guaranteed by the literary
preeminence and impeccable orthography of the Beast as a man). But the
great thing is the Standard to which all disputes may be referred. It is
also necessary to give weight to the authority of The Beast, lest
ignorance, folly, or cunning misinterpret the text.

AL I,37: "Also the mantras and spells; the obeah and the wanga; the work of
the wand and the work of the sword; these he shall learn and teach."

THE OLD COMMENT

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

THE NEW COMMENT

Mantras may be defined as sentences proper to concentration of the mind by
virtue of their constant repetition. (See Book 4, Part I, Chapter II).

Spells are methods of communicating the will to other beings. (See Book 4,
Part III).

The Obeah is the magick of the Secret Light with special reference to acts;
the wanga is the verbal or mental correspondence of the same. The work of
the wand is that of Union; of the sword, Division; these correspond to the
two Phases of the Cosmic cycle described above. (See Book 4, Part II and
III).

For the root OB (AVB = 9), see Appendix;{WEH NOTE: Appendix not yet
recovered} it may be connected with the word "Obey".

The "obeah" being the acts, and the "Wanga" the words, proper to Magick,
the two cover the whole world of external expression.

"The Equinox" and "Book 4" are full of instruction on all these matters in
great detail, and the student must make them his guide.

But I feel bound to observe that they must be studied merely as classics,
just as a musician studies Bach and Others. He cannot compose by copying or
combining their works; they serve him only as indications of the art of
expression. He must master the technique, theory and practice, of music,
til the general principles are absorbed, and he has command of the
language, to use it to express his Will.

So with Magick; the student must understand and assimilate the basic
propositions, and he must be expert in the drill of the practical details.

But that is merely ground-work: he must then conceive his own expression,
and execute it in his own style. Each star is unique, and each orbit apart;
indeed, that is the corner-stone of my teaching, to have no standard goals
or standard ways, no orthodoxies and no codes. The stars are not herded and
penned and shorn and made into mutton like so many voters! I decline to be
bellwether, who am born a Lion! I will not be collie, who am quicker to
bite than to bark. I refuse the office of shepherd, who bear not a crook
but a club.

Wise in your generation, ye sheep, are ye to scamper away bleating when
your ears catch my roar on the wind! Are ye not tended and fed and
protected -- until word come from the stockyard?

The lion's life for me! Let me live free, and die fighting!

Now one more point about the obeah and the wanga, the deed and the word of
Magick.

Magick is the art of causing change in existing phenomena. This definition
includes raising the dead, bewitching cattle, making rain, acquiring goods,
fascinating judges, and all the rest of the programme. Good: but it also
includes every act soever? Yes; I meant it to do so. It is not possible to
utter word or do deed without producing the exact effect proper and
necessary thereto. Thus Magick is the Art of Life itself.

Magick is the management of all we say and do, so that the effect is to
change that part of our environment which dissatisfies us, until it does so
no longer. We "remould it nearer to the heart's desire."

Magick ceremonies proper are merely organized and concentrated attempts to
impose our Will on certain parts of the Cosmos. They are only particular
cases of the general law.

But all we say and do, however casually, adds up to more, far more, than
our most strenuous Operations. "Take care of the pence, and the pounds will
take care of themselves." Your daily drippings fill a bigger bucket than
your geysers of magical effort. The "ninety and nine that safely lay in the
shelter of the fold" have no organized will at all; and their character,
built of their words and deeds, is only a garbage-heap.

Remember, also, that, unless you know what your true will is, you may be
devoting the most laudable energies to destroying yourself. Remember that
every word and deed is a witness to thought, that therefore your mind must
be perfectly organized, its sole duty to interpret circumstances in terms
of the Will so that speech and action may be rightly directed to express
the Will appropriately to the occasion. Remember that every word and deed
which is not a definite expression of your Will counts against it,
indifference worse than hostility. Your enemy is at least interested in
you: you may make him your friend as you never can do with a neutral.
Remember that Magick is the Art of Life, therefore of causing change in
accordance with Will; therefore its law is "love under will", and its every
movement is an act of love.

Remember that every act of "love under will" is lawful as such; but that
when any act is not directed unto Nuith, who is here the inevitable result
of the whole Work, that act is waste, and breeds conflict within you, so
that "the kingdom of God which is within you" is torn by civil war.

To the beginner I would offer this programme.

1. Furnish your mind as completely as possible with the knowledge of how to
inspect and to control it.

2. Train your body to obey your mind, and not to distract its attention.

3. Control your mind to devote itself wholly to discover your true Will.

4. Explore the course of that Will till you reach its source, your Silent
Self.

5. Unite the conscious will with the true Will, and the conscious Ego with
the Silent Self. You must be utterly ruthless in discarding any atom of
consciousness which is hostile or neutral.

6. Let this work freely from within, but heed not your environment, lest
you make difference between one thing and another. Whatever it be, it is to
be made one with you by Love.

----------------

Why am not I to learn and teach the work of the Cup and of the Disk? Is it
because they are the feminine weapons? Shall the Scarlet Woman attend to
these? The Book does not say so; the passives are ignored. I feel the
omission as a lack of balance, the only case of the kind in the Book. This
makes me certain that there is a special meaning. This wand and sword may
not be the wand and sword, or rather dagger, of the elemental weapons. The
Wand may be that of the Fool, the sword that of justice, whose letters are
A & L; AL is the Key of the whole Book.

We may also take them as simple symbols, the one as that of Love, the other
as that of War. But, looking back over sixteen years, what have I learnt
and taught? Surely the work of the wand, the free use of the Will to
create, and the way to give power to the Will. I have set it up and caused
men to worship it, for its name is God-in-action. As to the work of the
sword, I have fought, I have shorn shams asunder, I have anatomized my mind
as no man has done since Gautama. Last, I have shown how pure analysis
leads to the highest Trance, and unveils the absolute Truth.

If this text imply more than this, I know not of it; I ask pardon of Them
that fashioned me and chose me for Their minister.

AL I,38: "He must teach; but he may make severe the ordeals."

THE OLD COMMENT

38. The usual charge in a work of this kind. Every man has a right to
attain; but it is equally the duty of the adept to see that he duly earns
his reward, and to test and train his capacity and strength.

THE NEW COMMENT

These ordeals are prepared by the Magical Power of The Beast. It is however
not necessary for Him to know consciously what He is doing, and it is a
very alert young Magician who knows what he is undergoing, and why.

AL I,39: "The word of the Law is qelhma."

THE OLD COMMENT

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

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

There is also most probably a very lofty secret interpretation.

I suggest:

The the essential {Aleph-Taw}, Azoth, etc.

Word Chokmah, Thoth, the Logos, the Second Emanation.

of the Partative, Binah, the Great Mother,

the Chesed, the paternal power, reflection of the "The" above.

Law Geburah, the stern restriction.

is Tiphereth, visible existence, the balanced harmony of the Worlds.

qelhma - The idea embracing all this sentence in a word.

Or:

q The -- {Teth}, the Lion "Thou shalt unite all these

symbols into the form of a Lion."

e Word -- {He}, the letter of Breath, the Logos.

l of -- {Lamed}, {Libra d}the Equilibrium.

h the -- {Cheth}, 418, Abrahadabra.

m Law -- {Mem}, The Hanged Man, or Redeemer.

a is -- {Aleph} The 0 (Zero, Nuit, which is Existence).

qelhma -- the sum of all.

THE NEW COMMENT

By 'the word' one means the magical formula, symbol, or expression.

Study the whole nature of the number 93, that of qelhma in the Appendix.
{WEH NOTE: Appendix not yet recovered.}

Liber Aleph has also much wisdom upon the Will. After absorbing
"Berashith", and seeing that Will has come by Chance, the question arises,
is Chance in any way bound by Necessity? Is there a limit to possibility?
Could there, for example, be a Something which is not resolvable into 0 to
the 0 power? The question of {Alpha-Nu-Alpha-Gamma-Kappa-Eta} confronts the
Magus in His meditations. For this verse, though, we may take things very
simply and obviously: the change from the Osiris formula to that of Horus
is intelligible enough. (See Comment on verse 49c149).

AL I,40: "Who calls us Thelemites will do no wrong, if he look but close
into the word. For there are therein Three Grades, the Hermit, and the
Lover, and the man of Earth. Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the
Law."

THE OLD COMMENT

40. qe, the Hermit, {Yod} invisible, yet illuminating. The A\A\

lh, the Lover, {Zain} visible as is the lightning flash. The College of
Adepts.

ma, The Man of Earth, {Pe}, the Blasted Tower. The 3 keys add up to 31 --
{Lamed-Aleph}, Not and {Aleph-Lamed}, God. Thus is the whole of qelhma
equivalent to Nuit, the all-embracing. 31 x 3 = 93. See the Tarot trumps
for further study of these Grades.

qe = 14, the Pentagram, rule of Spirit over ordered Matter. Strength and
Authority ( {Teth} and {He} ) and secretly 1 + 4 = 5, the Hierophant,
{Vau}, V. Also {Leo Aries}, the Lion and the Ram. Cf. Isaiah. It is a
"millennial" state.

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

ma = 41, the Inverted Pentagram, matter dominating spirit. The Hanged Man
and the Fool, the condition of those who are not adepts.

"Do what thou wilt" need not only be interpreted as license or even as
liberty. It may for example be taken to mean Do what thou (Ateh) wilt; and
Ateh is 406 = {Taw-Vau} = T, the sign of the cross. The passage might then
be read as a charge to self-sacrifice or equilibrium.

I only put forward this suggestion to exhibit the profoundity of thought
required to deal even with so plain a passage. All the meanings are true,
if only the interpreter by illuminated; but if not, they are false, even as
he is false.

(P.S. There was a sub-intention in the above paragraphs for the benefit of
-- Dwarfs!)

THE NEW COMMENT

It is explained in Liber 418 that: "The man of earth is the adherent. The
lover giveth his life unto the work among men. The hermit goeth solitary,
and giveth only of his light unto men."

Thus we have in the Order, the Mystic, the Magician, and the Devotee. These
correspond closely to the Nuit -- Hadit -- Ra-Hoor-Khuit Triad.

This last sentence of this paragraph is in a sense the sum of this whole
Book; for it is the threefold Book of Law. It is therefore the Message of
the Beast, His word as a Magus that He must utter. It will be well
therefore to reprint the substance of the Message which he first
promulgated on his formal initiation into that Grade.

LIBER II.

THE MESSAGE OF THE MASTER THERION

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

"There is no Law beyond Do what thou wilt."

qelhma -- means Will.

The Key to this Message is this word -- Will. The first obvious meaning of
this Law is confirmed by antithesis; "The Word of Sin is Restriction."

Again: "... thou hast no right but to do thy will. Do that, and no other
shall say nay. For pure will, unassuaged of purpose, delivered from the
lust of result, is every way perfect."

Take this carefully; it seems to imply a theory that if every man and every
woman did his and her will -- the true Will -- there would be no clashing.
"Every man and every woman is a star.", and each star moves in an appointed
path without interference. There is plenty of room for all; it is only
disorder that creates confusion.

From these considerations it should be clear that "Do what thou wilt" does
not mean "Do what you like." It is the apotheosis of Freedom; but it is
also the strictest possible bond.

Do what thou wilt -- then do nothing else. Let nothing deflect thee from
that austere and holy task. Liberty is absolute to do thy will; but seek to
do any other thing whatever, and instantly obstacles must arise. Every act
that is not in definite course of that one orbit is erratic, an hindrance.
Will must not be two, but one.

Note further that this will is not only to be pure, that is, single, as
explained above, but also "unassuaged of purpose". This strange phrase must
give us pause. It may mean that any purpose in the will would damp ti;
clearly, the "lust of result" is a thing from which it must be delivered.

But the phrase may also be interpreted as if it read "with purpose
unassuaged" -- i.e. with tireless energy. The conception is, therefore, of
an eternal motion, infinite and unalterable. It is Nirvana, only dynamic
instead of static -- and this comes to the same thing in the end.

The obvious practical task of the magician is then to discover what his
will really is, so that he may do it in this manner, and he can best
accomplish this by the practices of Liber Thisarb (see Equinox I, VII, 105)
or such others as may from one time to another be appointed.

It should not be perfectly simple for everybody to understand the Message
of the Master Therion.

Thou must (1) Find out what is thy Will, (2) Do that Will with (a)
one-pointedness, (b) detachment, (c) peace.

Then, and then only, art thou in harmony with the Movement of Things, thy
will part of, and therefore equal to, the Will of God. And since the will
is but the dynamic aspect of the self, and since two different selves could
not possess identical wills; then, if thy will be God's will, Thou art
That.

There is but one other word to explain. Elsewhere it is written -- surely
for our great comfort -- "Love is the law, love under will."

This is to be taken as meaning that while Will is the Law, the nature of
that Will is Love. But this Love is as it were a by-product of that Will;
it does not contradict or supersede that Will; and if apparent
contradiction should arise in any crisis, it is the Will that can guide us
aright. Lo, while in the Book of the Law is much Love, there is no word of
Sentimentality. Hate itself is almost like Love! Fighting most certainly is
Love! "As brothers fight ye!" All the many races of the world understand
this. The Love of Liber Legis is always bold, Virile, even orgiastic. There
is delicacy, but it is the delicacy of strength. Mighty and terrible and
glorious as it is, however, it is but the pennon upon the sacred lance of
Will, the damascened inscription upon the swords of the knightmonks of
Thelema.

Love is the law, love under will."

There are many other mysteries in this Word, so that it is impossible to
write a full commentary. The Book Aleph (Wisdom or Folly) is almost wholly
devoted to its explanation.

Let every Star see to it that its own life is a wise comment on this word!

"Three grades". There is a very curious parallel to this passage in Mr.
Aldous Huxley's "Crome Yellow" Chap. XXII. He works out a theory of a
"Rational State" on precisely these lines: {WEH NOTE: Warning to those
intending publication of the Commentaries. Besides obtaining O.T.O.
permission to use the O.T.O. copyright material, it may be necessary to
obtain permission from the owner(s) of the following quoted material.}

"Mr. Scogan waved away the interruption. 'There's only one thing to be
done', he said. 'The men of intelligence must combine, must conspire, and
seize power from the imbeciles and maniacs who now direct us. They must
found the Rational State'

"The heat that was slowly paralyzing all Denis's mental and bodily
faculties seemed to bring to Mr. Scogan additional vitality. he talked with
an ever-increasing energy, his hands moved in sharp, quick precise
gestures, his eyes shown. Hard, dry, and continuous, his voice went on
sounding and sounding in Denis's ears with the insistence of a mechanical
noise.

"'In the Rational State', he heard Mr. Scogan saying, 'human beings will be
separated out into distinct species, not according to the colour of their
eyes or the shape of their skulls, but according to the qualities of their
mind and temperament. Examining psychologists, trained to what would now
seem an almost superhuman clairvoyance, will test each child that is born
and assign it to its proper species. Duly labelled and docketed, the child
will be given the education suitable to members of its species, and will be
set, in adult life, to perform those functions which human being of his
variety are capable of performing.'

"'How many species will there be?' asked Denis."

"'A great many, no doubt,' Mr. Scogan answered: 'the classification will be
subtle and elaborate. But is is not in the power of a prophet to go into
details, nor is it his business. I will do no more than indicate the three
main species into which the subjects of the Rational State will be divided.
... The three main species, will be these: the Directing Intelligences, the
Men of Faith, and the Herd. Among the Intelligences will be found all those
capable of thought, those who know how to attain to a certain degree of
freedom -- and also, how limited, even among the most intelligent, that
freedom is! -- from the mental bondage of their time. A select body of
Intelligences, drawn from among those who have turned their attention to
the problems of practical life, will be the governors of the Rational
State. They will employ as their instruments of power the second great
species of humanity -- the men of Faith, the Madmen, as I have been calling
them, who believe in things unreasonably, with passion, and are ready to
die for their beliefs and their desires. These wild men, with their fearful
potentialities for good or for mischief, will no longer be allowed to react
casually to a casual environment. There will be no more Caesar Borgias, no
more Luthers and Mohammeds, no more Joanna Southcotts, no more Comstocks.
The old-fasioned Man of Faith and Desire, that haphazard creature of brute
circumstance, who might drive men to tears and repentance, or who might
equally well set them on to cutting one another's throats, will be replaced
by a new sort of madman, still externally the same, still bubbling with
seemingly spontaneous enthusiasm, but, ah, how very different from the
madman of the past! For the new Man of Faith will be expending his passion,
his desire, and his enthusiasm in the propagation of some reasonable idea.
He will be, all unawares, the tool of some superior intelligence.'

"Mr. Scogan chuckled maliciously: it was as though he were taking a
revenge, in the name of reason, on the enthusiasts. 'From their earliest
years, as soon, that is, as the examining psychologists have assigned them
their place in the classified scheme, the Men of Faith will have had their
special education under the eye of the Intelligences. Moulded by a long
process of suggestion, they will go out into the world, preaching and
practicing with a generous mania the coldly reasonable projects of the
Directors from above. When these projects are accomplished, or when the
ideas that were useful a decade ago have ceased to be useful, the
Intelligences will inspire a new generation of madmen with a new eternal
truth. The principal function of the Men of Faith will be to move and
direct the Multitude, that third great species consisting of those
countless millions who lack intelligence and are without valuable
enthusiasm. When any particular effort is required of the Herd, when it is
thought necessary, for the sake of solidarity, that humanity shall be
kindled and united by some single enthusiastic desire or idea, the Men of
Faith, primed with some simple and satisfying creed, will be sent out on a
mission of evangelization. At ordinary times, when the high spiritual
temperature of a Crusade would be unhealthy, the Men of Faith will be
quietly and earnestly busy with the great work of education. In the
upbringing of the Herd, humanity's almost boundless suggestibility will be
scientifically exploited. Systematically, from the earliest infancy, its
members will be assured that there is no happiness to be found except in
work and obedience; they will be made to believe that they are happy, that
they are tremendously important beings, and that everything they do is
noble and significant. For the lower species the earth will be restored to
the centre of the universe and man to preeminence on the earth. Oh, I envy
the lot of the commonality in the Rational State! Working their eight hours
a day, obeying their betters, convinced of their own grandeur and
significance and immortality, they will be marvellously happy, happier than
any race of men has ever been. They will go through life in a rosy state of
intoxication, form which they will never awake. The Men of Faith will play
the cup-bearers at this lifelong bacchanal, filling and ever filling again
with the warm liquor that the Intelligences, in sad and sober privacy
behind the scenes, will brew for the intoxication of their subjects.'"

{WEH NOTE: It is characteristic of Crowley's blind side that he saw no hint
of satire in this passage. If success is the proof, all theories of utopian
dependence on ant-like social order should be highly suspect. The flaw is
four-fold: 1. omission of social mobility. 2. assumption of enduring
intelligence linked with good will in the higher class. 3. preposterous
ignorance of the limitations of tests and techniques. 4. failure to
understand human motivation. All structured utopias are stagnating
tyrannies. No utopian philosopher has yet devised a state which would have
allowed that particular individual, the utopian philosopher himself, to
survive childhood! Such fantasmogoria as these arise from the detritus of
the elder age. Crowley himself once remarked to Grady McMurtry that he
(Crowley) had been born before the age of Thelema and that it would take
someone born in the age to fully comprehend the age.}

AL I,41: "The word of Sin is Restriction. O man! refuse not thy wife, if
she will! O lover, if thou wilt, depart! There is no bond that can unite
the divided but love: all else is a curse. Accursed! Accursed be it to the
aeons! Hell."

THE OLD COMMENT

41, 42. Interference with the will of another is the great sin, for it
predicates the existence of another. In this duality sorrow consists. I
think that possibly the higher meaning is still attributed to will.

THE NEW COMMENT

The first paragraph is a general statement or definition of Sin or Error.
Anything soever that binds the will, hinders it, or diverts it, is Sin.
That is, Sin is the appearance of the Dyad. Sin is impurity.< Sin (See
Skeat's Ety. Dict.) is connected with the root "es", to be. This throws a
new light on the passage. Sin is restriction, that is, it is 'being' as
opposed to 'becoming'. The fundamental idea of wrong is the static as
opposed to the dynamic conception of the Universe. This explanation is not
only in harmony with the general teaching of the Book of the Law, bit shows
how profoundly the author understands Himself.>>

The remainder of the paragraph takes a particular case as an example. There
shall be no property in human flesh. The sex-instinct is one of the most
deeply-seated expressions of the will; and it must not be restricted,
either negatively by preventing its free function, or positively by
insisting on its false function.

What is more brutal than to stunt natural growth or to deform it?

What is more absurd than to seek to interpret this holy instinct as a gross
animal act, to separate it from the spiritual enthusiasm without which it
is so stupid as not even to be satisfactory to the persons concerned?

The sexual act is a sacrament of Will. To profane it is the great offence.
All true expression of it is lawful; all suppression or distortion is
contrary to the Law of Liberty. To use legal or financial constraint to
compel either abstention or submission, is entirely horrible, unnatural and
absurd. Physical constraint, up to a certain point, is not so seriously
wrong; for it has its roots in the original sex-conflict which we see in
animals, and has often the effect of exciting Love in his highest and
noblest shape. Some of the most passionate and permanent attachments have
begun with rape.{WEH NOTE: but see THE NEW COMMENT on verse 51c151.} Rome
was actually founded thereon. Similarly, murder of a faithless partner is
ethically excusable, in a certain sense; for there may be some stars whose
Nature is extreme violence. The collision of galaxies is a magnificent
spectacle, after all. But there is nothing inspiring in a visit to one's
lawyer. Of course this is merely my personal view; a star who happened to
be a lawyer might see things otherwise! Yet Nature's unspeakable variety,
though it admits cruelty and selfishness, offers us no example of the
puritan and the prig! {WEH NOTE: Crowley's determined ignorance of Natural
History as a subject of study is ably presented by his own direct
affirmation in several of his works. Harem oriented species, including
seals, sheep, cows, ... have a puritanical prig at the top of the pecking
order. Pack and colony animals, such as wolves and meercats, often allow
sex between only two individuals in the pack. At least it's not as bad as
the parish priest who denounced homosexuality with the observation that it
did not occur in animals, including dogs!}

However, to the mind of Law there is an Order of Going; and a machine is
more beautiful, save to the Small Boy, when it works than when it smashes.
Now the Machine of Matter-Motion is an explosive machine, with pyrotechnic
effects; but these are only incidentals.

Laws against adultery are based upon the idea that woman is a chattel, so
that to make love to a married woman is to deprive the husband of her
services. It is the frankest and most crass statement of a slave-situation.
To us, every woman is a star. She has therefore an absolute right to travel
in her own orbit. There is no reason why she should not be the ideal
hausfrau, if that chance to be her will. But society has no right to insist
upon that standard. It was, for practical reasons, almost necessary to set
up such taboos in small communities, savage tribes, where the wife was
nothing but a general servant, where the safety of the people depended upon
a high birth-rate. But to-day woman is economically independent, becomes
more so every year. The result is that she instantly asserts her right to
have as many or as few men or babies as she wants or can get; and she
defies the world to interfere with her. More power to her -- elbow!

The War has seen this emancipation flower in four years. Primitive people,
the Australian troops for example, are saying that they will not marry
English girls, because English girls like a dozen men a week. Well, who
wants them to marry? Russia has already formally abrogated marriage.
Germany and France have tried to 'save their faces' in a thoroughly Chinese
manner, by 'marrying' pregnant spinsters to dead soldiers!

England has been too deeply hypocritical, of course, to do more than "hush
things up"; and is pretending 'business as usual', though every pulpit is
aquake with the clamour of bat-eyed bishops, squeaking of the awful
immorality of everybody but themselves and their choristers. Englishwomen
over 30 have the vote; when the young 'uns get it, good-bye to the old
marriage system.

America has made marriage a farce by the multiplication and confusion of
the Divorce Laws. A friend of mine who had divorced her husband was
actually, three years later, sued by him for divorce!!!

But America never waits for laws; her people go ahead. The emancipated,
self-supporting American woman already acts exactly like the
'bachelor-boy'. Sometimes she loses her head, and stumbles into marriage,
and stubs her toe. She will soon get tired of the folly. She will perceive
how imbecile it is to hamstring herself in order to please her parents, or
to legitimatize her children, or to silence her neighbours.

She will take the men she wants as simply as she buys a newspaper; and if
she doesn't like the Editorials, or the Comic Supplement, it's only two
cents gone, and she can get another.

Blind asses! who pretend that women are naturally chaste! The Easterns know
better; all the restrictions of the harem, of public opinion, and so on,
are based upon the recognition of the fact that woman is only chaste when
there is nobody around. She will snatch the babe from its cradle, or drag
the dog from its kennel, to prove the old saying: "Natura abhorret a vacuo.
For she is the Image of the Soul of Nature, the Great Mother, the Great
Whore.

It is to be well noted that the Great Women of History have exercised
unbounded freedom in Love. Sappho, Semiramis, Messalina, Cleopatra, Ta
Chhi, Pasiphae, Clytaemnaestra, Helen of Troy, and in more recent times
Joan of Arc (by Shakespeare's account), Catherine II of Russia, Queen
Elizabeth of England, George Sand, "George Eliot." Against these we can put
only Emily Bronte, whose sex-suppression was due to her environment, and so
burst out in the incredible violence of her art, and the regular religious
mystics, Saint Catherine, Saint Teresa, and so on, the facts of whose
sex-life have been carefully camouflaged in the interests of the
slave-gods. But, even on that showing, the sex-life was intense, for the
writings of such women are overloaded with sexual expression passionate and
perverted, even to morbidity and to actual hallucination.

Sex is the main expression of the Nature of a person; great Natures are
sexually strong; and the health of any person will depend upon the freedom
of that function.

(See "Liber CI", "de Lege Libellum", Cap. IV, in "The Equinox" III (1).)

AL I,42: "Let it be that state of manyhood bound and loathing. So with thy
all; thou hast no right but to do thy will."

THE NEW COMMENT

"Manyhood bound and loathing." An organized state is a free association for
the common weal. My personal will to cross the Atlantic, for example, is
made effective by co-operation with others on agreed terms. But the forced
association of slaves is another thing.

A man who is not doing his will is like a man with cancer, an independent
growth in him, yet one from which he cannot get free. The idea of
self-sacrifice is a moral cancer in exactly this sense.

Similarly, one may say that not to do one's will is evidence of mental or
moral insanity. When "duty points one way, and inclination the other", it
is proof that you are not one, but two. You have not centralized your
control. This dichotomy is the beginning of conflict, which may result in a
Jekyll-Hyde effect. Stevenson suggests that man may be discovered to be a
"mere polity" of many individuals. The sages knew it long since. But the
name of this polity is Choronzon, mob rule, unless every individual is
absolutely disciplined to serve his own, and the common, purpose without
friction.

It is of course better to expel or destroy an irreconcilable. "If thine eye
offend thee, cut it out." The error in the interpretation of this doctrine
has been that it has not been taken as it stands. It has been read: If
thine eye offend some artificial standard of right, cut it out. The curse
of society has been Procrustean morality, the ethics of the herd-men. One
would have thought that a mere glance at Nature would have sufficed to
disclose Her scheme of Individuality made possible by Order.

AL I,43: "Do that, and no other shall say nay."

THE OLD COMMENT

43. No other shall say nay may mean -- NO-Other (Nuit) shall pronounce the
word No, uniting the Aspirant with Herself by denying and so destroying
that which he is.

THE NEW COMMENT

The general meaning of this verse is that so great is the power of
asserting one's right that it will not long be disputed. For by doing so
one appeals to the Law. In practice it is found that people who are ready
to fight for their rights are respected, and let alone. The slave-spirit
invites oppression.

AL I,44: "For pure will, unassuaged of purpose, delivered from the lust of
result, is every way perfect."

THE OLD COMMENT

44. Recommends "non-attachment." Students will understand how in meditation
the mind which attaches itself to hope of success is just as bound as if it
were to attach itself to some base material idea. It is a bond and the aim
is freedom.

I recommend serious study of the word unassuaged which appears not very
intelligible.

THE NEW COMMENT

This verse is best interpreted by defining 'pure will' as the true
expression of the Nature, the proper or inherent motion of the matter,
concerned. It is unnatural to aim at any goal. The student is referred to
"Liber LXV", Cap. II, v. 24, and to the "Tao Teh King". This becomes
particularly important in high grades. One is not to do Yoga, etc., in
order to get Samadhi, like a schoolboy or a shopkeeper; but for its own
sake, like an artist.

"Unassuaged" means "its edge taken off by" or "dulled by". The pure student
does not think of the result of the examination.

AL I,45: "The Perfect and the Perfect are one Perfect and not two; nay, are
none!"

THE OLD COMMENT

45. Perhaps means that adding perfection to perfection results in unity and
ultimately the Negativity. But I think there is much more than this.

THE NEW COMMENT

Here begins one of the characteristically difficult passages of this Book.
The author, Aiwaz, is careful to identify Himself at intervals by such
Speech. The interpretation, when thoroughly grasped, is invariably quite
overwhelming by its simplicity. It is for this reason that this Book should
be studied with all assiduity; at any moment the answer to your own deepest
problem may be signalled to you from the Stars.

AL I,46: "Nothing is a secret key of this law. Sixty-one the Jews call it;
I call it eight, eighty, four hundred & eighteen."

THE OLD COMMENT

46. 61 = {Aleph-Vau-Nun}. But the True Nothing of Nuit is 8, 80, 418. Now 8
is {Cheth}, which spelt fully is 418 -- {Cheth-Yod-Taw}. And 418 is
Abrahadabra, the word of Ra-Hoor-Khuit. Now 80 is {Pe}, the letter of
Ra-Hoor-Khuit. (Qy. this?) (Could 80 = 0. Infinity x Zero?)

THE NEW COMMENT

See Appendix {WEH NOTE: Appendix not yet recovered.}

AL I,47: "But they have the half: unite by thine art so that all
disappear."

THE OLD COMMENT

47. Let us, however, add the Jewish half, 61.

8 + 80 + 418 = 506. Cf. Verses 24, 25.

506 + 61 = 567 = 27 x 21 = ?

But writing 506 qabalistically backwards we get 605, and 605 + 61 = 666.

666 = 6 x 111, and 11 = {?Aleph?} = 0 in Taro.

666 = 1 + 2 + ... 36, the sum of the numbers in the Magic Square of Sol.

666 = the Number of the Beast.

Or, taking the keys, 8, 80, 418, we get VII, XVI, VII, adding to 30.

30 + 61 = 91 = {Aleph-Mem-Nun}, Amen.

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

THE NEW COMMENT

See Appendix {WEH NOTE: Appendix not yet recovered.}

AL I,48: "My prophet is a fool with his one, one, one; are not they the Ox,
and none by the Book?"

THE OLD COMMENT

48. See above for 111.

"My prophet is a fool," i.e. my prophet has the highest of all grades,
since the Fool is {Aleph}.

I note later (An V, Sol in Aquarius) that v. 48 means that all disappears
when 61 + 8, 80, 418, are reduced to 1. And this may indicate some
practical mystic method of annihilation. I am sure (Sol in Libra, An VII)
that is is by no means the perfect solution of these marvellous verses.

THE NEW COMMENT

I think that the surface meaning of this verse is to answer the unspoken
criticism of the scribe, who did not see how to find a zero value for such
an equation. It assured him that it was only necessary to find a Unity
Value.

AL I,49: "Abrogate are all rituals, all ordeals, all words and signs.
Ra-Hoor-Khuit hath taken his seat in the East at the Equinox of the Gods;
and let Asar be with Isa, who also are one. But they are not of me. Let
Asar be the adorant, Isa the sufferer; Hoor in his secret name and
splendour is the Lord initiating."

THE OLD COMMENT

49. Declares a New System of Magic, and initiation. Asar-Isa is now the
Candidate, not the Hierophant. Hoor -- see Cap. III -- is the Initiator.

THE NEW COMMENT

This verse declares that the old formula of Magick -- the
Osiris-Adonis-Jesus-Marsyas-Dionysus-Attis-etcetera formula of the Dying
God -- is no longer efficacious. It rested on the ignorant belief that the
Sun died every day, and every year, and that its resurrection was a
miracle.

The Formula of the New Aeon recognizes Horus, the Child crowned and
conquering, as God. We are all members of the Body of God, the Sun; and
about our System is the Ocean of Space. This formula is then to be based
upon these facts. Our "Evil", "Error", "Darkness", "Illusion", whatever one
chooses to call it, is simply a phenomenon of accidental and temporary
separateness. If you are "walking in darkness", do not try to make the sun
rise by self-sacrifice, but wait in confidence for the dawn, and enjoy the
pleasures of the night meanwhile.

The general illusion is to the Equinox Ritual of the G\D\ where the officer
of the previous six months, representing Horus, took the place of the
retiring Hierophant, who had represented Osiris.

Isa is the Legendary "Jesus", for which Canidian concoction the
prescription is to be found in my book bearing that title, "Liber
DCCCLXXXVIII".

AL I,50: "There is a word to say about the Hierophantic task. Behold! there
are three ordeals in one, and it may be given in three ways. The gross must
pass through fire; let the fine be tried in intellect, and the lofty chosen
ones in the highest. Thus ye have star & star, system & system; let not one
know well the other!"

THE OLD COMMENT

50. Our system of initiation is to be triune. For the outer, tests of
labour, pain, etc. For the inner, intellectual tests. For the elect of the
A\A\, spiritual tests. Further the Order is not to hold Lodges, but to have
a chain-system.{WEH NOTE: This was written when Crowley had not yet joined
O.T.O. and before he chartered O.T.O. lodges}

THE NEW COMMENT

It would be improper to make extended commentary on this verse, since the
nature of the ordeals is not to be written. It is only necessary to say
that these ordeals are singularly thorough in all ways, and cannot be
dodged. They are real, not formal, tests of the candidate.

Persons accustomed to the schoolboy jokes of Freemasonry please take
notice.

AL I,51: "There are four gates to one palace; the floor of that palace is
of silver and gold; lapis lazuli & jasper are there; and all rare scents;
jasmine & rose, and the emblems of death. Let him enter in turn or at once
the four gates; let him stand on the floor of the palace. Will he not sink?
Amn. Ho! warrior, if thy servant sink? But there are means and means. Be
goodly therefore: dress ye all in fine apparel; eat rich foods and drink
sweet wines and wines that foam! Also, take your fill and will of love as
ye will, when, where and with whom ye will! But always unto me."

THE OLD COMMENT

51. The candidate will be brought through his ordeals in divers ways. The
order is to be of freemen and nobles.

THE NEW COMMENT

The first section of this verse is connected with the second only by the
word 'therefore'. It appears to describe an initiation, or perhaps The
initiation, in general terms. I would suggest that the palace is the 'Holy
House' or Universe of the Initiate of the New Law. The four gates are
perhaps Light, Life, Love, Liberty -- see "De Lege Libellum". Lapis Lazuli
is a symbol of Nuit, Jasper of Hadit. The rare scents are possibly various
ecstasies or Samadhis. Jasmine and Rose are Hieroglyphs of the two main
Sacraments, while the emblems of death may refer to certain secrets of a
well known exoteric school of initiation whose members, with the rarest
exceptions, do not know what it is all about.{WEH NOTE: Probably a slap
against Freemasonry in decadence.}

The question then arises as to whether the initiate is able to stand firmly
in this Place of Exaltation. It seems to me as if this refers to the
ascetic life, commonly considered as an essential condition of
participation in these mysteries. The answer is that "there are means and
means", implying that no one rule is essential. This is in harmony with our
general interpretation of the Law; it has as many rules as there are
individuals.

This word 'therefore' is easy to understand. We are to enjoy life
thoroughly in an absolutely normal way, exactly as all the free and great
have always done. The only point to remember is that one is a 'Member of
the Body of God', a Star in the Body of Nuith. This being sure, we are
urged to the fullest expansion of our several Natures, with special
attention to those pleasures which not only express the soul, but aid it to
reach the higher developments of that expression.

The act of Love is to the bourgeois (as the 'Christian' is called
now-a-days) a gross animal gesture which shames his boasted humanity. The
appetite drags him at its hoofs; it tires him, disgusts him, diseases him,
makes him ridiculous even in his own eyes. It is the source of nearly all
his neuroses.

Against this monster he has devised two protections. Firstly, he pretends
that it is a Fairy Prince disguised, and hangs it with the rags and tinsel
of romance, sentiment, and religion. He calls it Love, denies its strength
and truth, and worships this wax figure of him with all sorts of amiable
lyrics and leers.

Secondly, he is so certain, despite all his theatrical-wardrobe-work, that
it is a devouring monster, that he resents with insane ferocity the
existence of people who laugh at his fears, and tell him that the monster
he fears is in reality not a fire-breathing worm, but a spirited horse,
well trained to the task of the bridle. They tell him not to be a gibbering
coward, but to learn to ride. Knowing well how abject he is, the kindly
manhood of the advice is, to him, the bitterest insult he can imagine, and
he calls on the mob to stone the blasphemer. He is therefore particularly
anxious to keep intact the bogey he so dreads; the demonstration that Love
is a general passion, pure in itself, and the redeemer of all them that put
their trust in Him, is to tear open the raw ulcer of his soul.

We of Thelema are not the slaves of Love. "Love under will" is the Law. We
refuse to regard love as shameful and degrading, as a peril to body and
soul. We refuse to accept it as the surrender of the divine to the animal;
to us it is the means by which the animal may be made the Winged Sphinx
which shall bear man aloft to the House of the Gods.

We are then particularly careful to deny that the object of love is the
gross physiological object which happens to be Nature's excuse for it.
Generation is a sacrament of the physical Rite, by which we create
ourselves anew in our own image, weave in a new flesh-tapestry the Romance
of our own Soul's History. But also Love is a sacrament of
trans-substantiation whereby we initiate our own souls; it is the Wine of
Intoxication as well as the Bread of Nourishment. "Nor is he for priest
designed Who partakes only in one kind."

We therefore heartily cherish those forms of Love in which no question of
generation arises; we use the stimulating effects of physical enthusiasm to
inspire us morally and spiritually. Experience teaches that passions thus
employed do serve to refine and to exalt the whole being of man or woman.
Nuith indicates the sole condition: "But always unto me."

The epicure is not a Monster of gluttony, nor the amateur of Beethoven a
'degenerate' from the 'normal' man whose only music is the tom-tom. So also
the poisons which shook the bourgeois are not indulgences, but
purifications; the brute whose furtive lust demands that he be drunk and in
darkness that he may surrender to his shame, and that he lie about it with
idiot mumblings ever after, is hardly the best judge even of Phryne. How
much less should he venture to criticize such men and women whose
imaginations are so free from grossness that the element of attraction
which serves to electrify their magnetic coil is independent of physical
form? To us the essence of Love is that it is a sacrament unto Nuith, a
gate of grace and a road of righteousness to Her High Palace, the abode of
peerless purity whose lamps are the Stars.

"As ye will." It should be abundantly clear from the foregoing remarks that
each individual has an absolute and indefeasible right to use his sexual
vehicle in accordance with its own proper character, and that he is
responsible only to himself. But he should not injure himself and his right
aforesaid; acts invasive of another individual's equal rights are
implicitly self-aggressions. A thief can hardly complain on theoretical
grounds if he is himself robbed. Such acts as rape, and the assault or
seduction of infants, may therefore be justly regarded as offences against
the Law of Liberty, and repressed in the interests of that Law.

It is also excluded from "as ye will" to compromise the liberty of another
person indirectly, as by taking advantage of the ignorance or good faith of
another person to expose that person to the constraint of sickness,
poverty, social detriment, or childbearing, unless with the well-informed
and uninfluenced free will of that person.

One must moreover avoid doing another injury by deforming his nature; for
instance, to flog children at or near puberty may distort the sensitive
nascent sexual character, and impress it with the stamp of masochism.
Again, homosexual practices between boys may in certain cases actually rob
them of their virility, psychically or even physically.

Trying to frighten adolescents about sex by the bogeys of Hell, Disease,
and Insanity, may warp the moral nature permanently, and produce
hypochondria or other mental maladies, with perversions of the enervated
and thwarted instinct.

Repression of the natural satisfaction may result in addition to secret and
dangerous vices which destroy their victim because they are artificial and
unnatural aberrations. Such moral cripples resemble those manufactured by
beggars by compressing one part of the body so that it is compensated by a
monstrous exaggeration in another part.

But on the other hand we have no right to interfere with any type of
manifestation of the sexual impulse on a priori grounds. We must recognize
that the Lesbian leanings of idle and voluptuous women whose refinement
finds the grossness of the average male repugnant, are as inexpungably
entrenched in Righteousness as the parallel pleasures of the English
Aristocracy and Clergy whose aesthetics find women disgusting, and whose
self-respect demands that love should transcend animal impulse, excite
intellectual intimacy, and inspire spirituality by directing it towards an
object whose attainment cannot inflict the degradation of domesticity, and
the bestiality of gestation.

Every one should discover, by experience of every kind, the extent and
intention of his own sexual Universe. He must be taught that all roads are
equally royal, and that the only question for him is "Which road is mine?"
All details are equally likely to be of the essence of his personal plan,
all equally 'right' in themselves, his own choice of the one as correct as,
and independent of, his neighbour's preference for the other.

He must not be ashamed or afraid of being homosexual if he happens to be so
at heart; he must not attempt to violate his own true nature because public
opinion, or mediaeval morality, or religious prejudice would wish he were
otherwise. The oyster stays shut in his shell for all Darwin may say about
his "low stage of evolution", or Puritans about his priapistic character,
or idealists about his unfitness for civic government.

The advocates of homosexuality - "primus inter pares", John Addington
Symonds! -- hammer away like Hercules at the spiritual, social, moral, and
intellectual advantages of cultivating the caresses of a comrade who
combines Apollo with Achilles and Antinous at the expense of escaping from
a Chimaera with Circe's head, Cleopatra's body, and Cressida's character.

Why can't they let one alone? I agree to agree; I only stipulate to be
allowed to be inconsistent. I will confess their creed, so long as I may
play the part of Peter until the cock crow thrice.

They urge more strenuously still the claims of homosexuality to heal the
hurts and horrors of humanity, almost the 'complete cohort'. On this point
I concur that they argue indiscutably, with sober sense to support and
stress of suffering to spur them. They prove with Euler's exactness and
Hinton's passion that heterosexuality entrains an infinity of ills;
jealousies, abortions, diseases, infanticides, frauds, intrigues, quarrels,
poverty, prostitution, persecution, idleness, self-indulgence, social
stress, over-population, sex-antagonism. They show with Poincare's
precision that Jesus and Paul struck at the heart of hell when they
proclaimed marriage a scourge, and offered the testimony of John and
Timothy to support the plea of Plato on behalf of paederastic passion. Out
of the Court there slunk Mark Antony, his toga to his face, one of the
legion of lost souls that woman had withered; behind him groped blind
Samson, disinherited Adam, feeling his way along the table where they had
piled countless papyri writ with woes of kings and sages woman-wrecked, and
many a map of towns and temples torn and trampled beneath the feet of Love,
their ashes smouldering still, and smoky with song to witness how Astarte's
breath had kindled and consumed them. Extinguished empires owned that their
doom was the device of Venus, her vengeance on virility.

By Paul sat Buddha smiling, Ananda's arm about his neck, while Mohammed
paced the floor impatiently between two warrior comrades, his belt bearing
an iron key, a whip and a sword, wherewith to limit women's liberty, their
love their life, lest to his loss they lure him.

The Beast is there also, aloof, attentive. He will not weigh the evidence
in the balances of any particular kind of advantage. He will not admit any
standard as adequate to assess the absolute. To him, the pettiest personal
whimsy outweighs all wisdom, all philosophy, all private profit and all
public prudence. The sexual obol of the meanest is stamped with the
signature of his own sovereign soul, lawful and current coin no less than
the gold talent of his neighbour. The derelict moon has the same right to
drift round Earth as Regulus to blaze in the heart of the Lion.

Collision is the only crime in the cosmos.

The Beast refuses therefore to assent to any argument as to the propriety
of any fashion of formulating the soul in symbols of sex. A canon is no
less deadly in love than in art or literature; its acceptance stifles
style, and its enforcement extinguishes sincerity.

It is better for a person of heterosexual nature to suffer every possible
calamity as the indirect environment-evoked result of his doing his true
will in that respect than to enjoy health, wealth and happiness by means
either of suppressing sex altogether, of debauching it to the service of
Sodom or Gommorrah.

Equally it is better for the androgyne, the urning, or their feminine
counterparts to endure blackmailers private and public, the terrors of
police persecution, the disgust, contempt and loathing of the vulgar, and
the self-torture of suspecting the peculiarity to be a symptom of a
degenerate nature, than to wrong the soul by damning it to the hell of
abstinence, or by defiling it with the abhorred embraces of antipathetic
arms.

Every 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.

The Beast 666 ordains by His authority that every man, and every woman, and
every intermediately-sexed individual, shall be absolutely free to
interpret and communicate Self by means of any sexual practices soever,
whether direct or indirect, rational or symbolic, physiologically, legally,
ethically, or religiously approved or no, provided only that all parties to
any act are fully aware of all implications and responsibilities thereof,
and heartily agree thereto.

Moreover, the Beast 666 adviseth that all children shall be accustomed from
infancy to witness every type of sexual act, as also the process of birth,
lest falsehood fog, and mystery stupefy, their minds, whose error else
might thwart and misdirect the growth of their subconscious system of
soul-symbolism.

"when, where, and with whom ye will!"

The phrase "with whom" has been practically covered by the comment on "as
ye will". One need no more than distinguish that the earlier phrase permits
all manner of acts, the latter all possible partners. There would have been
no Furies for Oedipus, no disaster for Othello, Romeo, Pericles of Tyre,
Laon and Cythna, if it were only agreed to let sleeping dogs lie, and mind
one's own business. In real life, we have seen in our own times Oscar
Wilde, Sir Charles Dilke, Parnell, Canon Aitken and countless others, many
of them engaged in first-rate work for the world, all wasted because the
mob must make believe to be "moral". This phrase abolishes the Eleventh
Commandment, Not to be Found Out, by authorizing Incest, Adultery, and
Paederasty, which every one now practices with humiliating precautions,
which perpetuate the schoolboy's enjoyment of an escapade, and make shame,
slyness, cowardice and hypocrisy the conditions of success in life.

It is also the fact that the tendency of any individual to sexual
irregularity is emphasised by the preoccupation with the subject which
follows its factitious importance in modern society.

It is to be observed that Politeness has forbidden any direct reference to
the subject of sex to secure no happier result than to allow Sigmund Freud
and others to prove that our every thought, speech, and gesture, conscious
or unconscious, is an indirect reference!

Unless one wants to wreck the neighbourhood, it is best to explode one's
gunpowder in an unconfined space.

There are very few cases of "perverted hunger-instinct" in moderately
healthy communities. War restrictions on food created dishonest devices to
procure dainties, and artificial attempts to appease the ache of appetite
by chemical counterfeits.

The South-Sea Islanders, pagan, amoral and naked, are temperate lovers,
free from hysterical "crimes of passion", sex obsessions, and puritan
persecution-mania; perversion is practically unknown, and monogamy is the
general custom.

Even the civilized psychopaths of cities, forced into every kind of excess
by the omnipresence of erotic suggestions and the contact of crazed crowds
seething with suppressed sexuality, are not wholly past physic. They are no
sooner released from the persistent pressure by escaping to some place
where the inhabitants treat the reproductive and the respiratory organs as
equally innocent than they begin insensibly to forget their 'fixed idea'
forced on them by the fog-horn of Morality, so that their perversions
perish, just as a coiled spring straightens itself when the external
compulsion is removed. They revert to their natural sex-characters, which
only in rare cases are other than simple, pure, and refined. More, sex
itself ceases to play Principal Boy in the Pantomime of Life. Other
interests resume their proper proportions.

We may now inquire why the Book is at pains to admit as to love "when" and
"where" we will. Few people, surely, have been seriously worried by
restrictions of time and place. One can only think of lovers who live with
fearsome families or in inhospitable lodgings, on a rainy night, buffeted
from one police-bullied hotel to another.

Perhaps this permission is intended to indicate the propriety of performing
the sexual act without shame or fear, not waiting for darkness or seeking
secrecy, but by daylight in public places, as serenely as if it were a
natural incident in a morning stroll.

Custom would soon surfeit curiosity, and copulation attract less attention
than a new fashion in frocks. For the existing interest in sexual matters
is chiefly because, common as the act is, it is closely concealed. Nobody
is excited by seeing others eat. A "naughty" book is as dull as a volume of
sermons; only genius can vitalize either.

Beyond this, once love is taken for granted, the morbid fascination of its
mystery will vanish.

The pander, the prostitute, the parasite will find their occupation gone.

Disease will go straight to the doctor instead of to the quack, as it does;
the altars of Mrs. Grundy run red with the blood of her faithful!

The ignorance or carelessness of a raw youth will no longer hound him to
hell. A blighted career or a ruined constitution will no more be the
penalty of a moment's exuberance.

Above all, the world will begin to appreciate the true nature of the sexual
process, its physical insignificance as one among many parts of the body,
its transcendent importance as the vehicle of the True Will and the first
of the sheaths of the Self.

Hitherto our sexual tabus have kept far ahead of Gilbert and Sullivan. We
have made love the lackey to property, as who should pay his rent by
sneezing. We have swaddled it in politeness, as who should warn God off the
grass.

We have muddled it up with morality, as who should frown at the Himalayas
on the one hand, and, on the other, regulate his behaviour by that of an
ant-heap.

The Law of Thelema is here!

(It appears pertinent to add that the above ethical theories have stood the
test of practice. Experiment shows that complete removal -- in the most
radical manner -- of all the usual restrictions on conduct results, after a
brief period of uneasiness of various kinds, in the subject dropping
entirely into the background; the parties concerned became natural, and led
what would conventionally be called 'strictly moral' lives without even
knowing that they were doing so.)

As - Postcript, let me contrast with the above theories two actual cases of
Marriage as it is in England.

No.1. Mr. W., a solicitor and gentleman farmer of considerable wealth: a
Plymouth Brother. Called, in Southsea, Hants., where he practised: "The
Honest Lawyer." Every time that his wife gave birth to a child, or
miscarried, she lay for weeks -- often months -- between life and death,
with peri-typhlitis or peritonitis set up by the difficulties of
parturition. Yet this man, knowing this well, had gone on and on
remorselessly. When I knew him he had 18 children living, and two more were
born during that period. It was evidently his view that he had an absolute
Right to impregnate his wife, and that it was her business whether she
lived or died. During all these years she was no sooner well enough to
leave her bed than she was again "in the family way". Thus in 25 years, she
was never permitted so much as a month's good health. This Mr. W. was a
most kindly genial man, devoted to her and his family, genuinely pious and
tenderhearted. But it never occured to him to refrain from exercising the
Right which he possessed to endanger her life every year. (He suffered
intensely with anxiety for his wife's health.)

No. 2. Mr. H., a very skilful engraver and die-sinker, a man of refined
tastes and delicate feelings, sensitive beyond the common even of men in a
far higher station of life and with a much better education. Since
childhood he had suffered continually from an incurable form of Psoriasis.
This kept him in a state of almost constant irritation, spoilt his sleep,
and made him lament that he was "a leper". In fact, the scales of the
eruption were so plentiful that his sheets had to be cleaned every morning
with a dustpan and brush! He could only obtain relief (before trying to
sleep) by being rubbed with oil of wintergreen, which filled his whole
house with a loathsome, stench. One would have thought that the first wish
of a man thus afflicted would be to sleep alone, that it would be utterly
repugnant and revolting to him to sleep with another person, for his own
sake, apart from any consideration for her. But his wife, herself an
invalid -- a huge obese greasy woman (of middle age when I knew the family)
suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, tubercular trouble in the arms, etc.
etc. -- was his Wife, she must be immediately available should Mr. H. want
to exercise his conjugal Right. (In this case, too, Mrs. H. was likely to
die if impregnated.) The extraordinary feature is that so extremely
sensitive and refined a man could be so disgustingly callous on such a
matter. Even vulgar people fear to appear physically repulsive to the
person whom they love. It seems as if the fact of Marriage destroys every
natural characteristic, and has a set of rules of its own diametrically
opposed in spirit and letter to those which govern Love. I confidently
appeal to impartial observers to say whether the ideals of the Book are not
cleaner, more wholesome, more human, and more truly moral than those of
Marriage as it is.

AL I,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!"

THE OLD COMMENT

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

Metaphysics, too, is intellectual bondage; avoid it!

Otherwise on falls back to the Law of Hoor from the perfect emancipation of
Nuit. This is a great mystery, only to be understood by those who have
fully attained Nuit and her secret Initiation.

THE NEW COMMENT

It is not true to say either that we are separate Stars, or One Star. Each
Star is individual, yet each is bound to the others by Law. This Freedom
under Law is one of the most difficult yet important doctrines of this
Book. So too the ritual -- our lives -- must be unto Nuith; for She is the
Ultimate to which we tend, the asymptote of our curve. Failure in this
one-pointedness sets up the illusion of duality, which leads to excision
and destruction.

"Direful:" because Ra-Hoor-Khuit is a "God of war and vengeance;" See Cap.
IIIChapterThree.

The doctrine of the previous verses, which appears not merely to allow
sexual liberty in the ordinary sense, but even to advocate it in a sense
which is calculated to shock the most abandoned libertine, can do no less
than startle and alarm the magician, and that only the more so as he is
familiar with the theory and practice of his art. "What is this, in the
name of Adonai?" I hear him exclaim: "is it not the immemorial and
unchallenged tradition that the exorcist who would apply himself to the
most elementary operations of our Art is bound to prepare himself by a
course of chastity? Is it not notorious that virginity is by its own virtue
one of the most powerful means, and one of the most essential conditions,
of all Magical works? This is no question of technical formula such as may,
with propriety, be modulated in the event of an Equinox of the Gods. It is
one of those eternal truths of Nature which persist, no matter what the
environment, in respect of place or period."

To these remarks I can but smile my most genial assent. The only objection
that I can take to them is to point out that the connotation of the word
'chastity' may have been misunderstood from a scientific point of view,
just as modern science has modified our conception of the relations of the
earth and the sun without presuming to alter one jot or tittle of the
observed facts of Nature. So we may assert that modern discoveries in
physiology have rendered obsolete the Osirian conceptions of the sexual
process which interpreted chastity as physical abstinence, small regard
being paid to the mental and moral concomitants of the refusal to act,
still less to the physical indications. The root of the error lies in the
dogma of original sin, as a result of which pollution was actually excused
as being in the nature of involuntary offence, just as if one were to
assert that a sleep-walker who has fallen over a precipice were any less
dead than Empedocles or Sappho.

The doctrine of Thelema resolves the whole question in conformity with the
facts observed by science and the proprieties prescribed by Magick. It must
be obvious to the most embryonic tyro in alchemy that if there be any
material substance soever endowed with magical properties, one must class,
primus inter pares, that vehicle of essential humanity which is the first
matter of that Great Work wherein our race shares the divine prerogative of
creating man in its own image, male and female.

It is evidently of minor importance whether the will to create be
consciously formulated. Lot in his drunkenness served the turn of his two
daughters, no less than Jupiter, who prolonged the night to forty-eight
hours in order to give himself time to beget Hercules.

Man is in actual possession of this supreme talisman. It is his "pearl of
great price," in comparison with which all other jewels are but gew-gaws.
It is his prime duty to preserve the integrity of this substance. He must
no allow its quality to be impaired either by malnutrition or by disease.
he must not destroy it like Origen and Klingsor. He must not waste it like
Onan.

But physiology informs us that we are bound to waste it, no matter what be
our continence, so long as we are liable to sleep; and Nature, whether by
precaution or by prodigality, provides us with so great an excess of the
substance that the reproduction of the human race need not slacken, though
the proportion of men to women were no more than 3 to the 1000. The problem
of efficiency consequently appears practically insoluble.

We are now struck with the fact that Nuit commands us to exercise the
utmost freedom in our choice of the method of utilizing the services of
this our first, our finest and our fieriest talisman; the license appears
at first sight unconditioned in the most express and explicit terms that it
is possible to employ. The caveat, "but always unto me," sounds like an
afterthought. We are almost shocked when, in the following verse, we
discover a menace, none the less dread because of the obscurity of its
terms.

Our first consideration only adds to our sense of surprised repugnance. It
becomes evident that one type of act is forbidden, with the penalty of
falling altogether from the law of liberty to the code of crime; and our
amazement and horror only increase as we recognize that this single gesture
which is held damnable, is the natural exercise of the most fatidical
function of nature, the innocent indulgence of irresistible impulse. We
glance back to the previous verse -- we examine our charter. We are
permitted to take our fill and will of love as we will, when, where and
with whom we will, but there is nothing said about why we will. On the
contrary, despite the infinite variety of lawful means, there is one end
held lawful, and no more than one. The act has only one legitimate object;
it must be performed unto Nuit. Further reflection reassures us to some
extent, not directly, in the manner of the jurist, but indirectly, by
calling our attention to the facts of Nature which underlie the ethics of
the question. Nuit is that from which we have come, that to which we must
return. Evasion of the issue is no more possible than was alternation of
the antecedent. From Nuit we received this talisman, which conveys our
physical identity through the ages of time. To Nuit, therefore, we woe it;
and to defile any portion of that purest and divinest quintessence of
ourselves is evidently the supreme blasphemy. Nothing in nature can be
misapplied. It is our first duty to ourselves to preserve the treasure
entrusted to us: "What shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world and
lose his own soul?"

The nature of man is individual. No two faces are identical, still less are
two individuals. Unspeakable is the variety of form and immeasurable the
diversity of beauty, but in all is the seal of unity, inasmuch as all
cometh from the womb of Nuit -- to it returneth all. The apprehension of
this sublimity is the mark of divinity. Knowing this, all is liberty;
ignorant of this, all is bondage. As no two individuals are identical, so
also, there can be no identity between the quintessential expressions of
the will of any two persons; and the expression of each person, in the
first instance, as his purely physical prerogative, is his sexual gesture.

One cannot say that any significance of that gesture is forbidden, for
"There is no law beyond Do what thou wilt." But this may and shall be said,
that a significance with indicates ignorance or forgetfulness of the
central truth of the Universe, is an acquiescence in that opacity caused by
the confusion of the veils which conceal the soul from the consciousness,
and thus create the illusion which the aspirant calls Sorrow, and the
uninitiate, Evil.

The sexual act, even to the grossest of mankind, is the agent which
dissipates the fog of self for one ecstatic moment. It is the instinctive
feeling that the physical spasm is symbolic of that miracle of the Mass, by
which the material wafer, composed of the passive elements, earth and
water, is transmuted into the substance of the Body of God, that makes the
wise man dread lest so sublime a sacrament suffer profanation. It is this
that has caused him, in half-instinctive, half-iontellectual
half-comprehension of the nature of the truth, which has driven him to
fence the act about with taboos. But a little knowledge is a dangerous
thing. His fear has created phantoms, and his malobservation suggested
precautions scarce worthy to be called empirical. We see him combat
analogous difficulties in a precisely similar manner. History shows us the
physician defending mankind against plague, with exorcisms on the one hand
and useless herbs on the other. A charred stake is driven through the heart
of a vampire, and his victim is protected with garlic. The strength of God,
who can doubt? The strength of taste and of smell are know facts. So they
measured strength against strength without considering whether the one was
appropriate to the other, any more than as if one were to ward off the
strength of steel swords by the strength of the colour of one's armour.
Modern science, by correct classification, has expounded the doctrine of
the magical link. We no longer confuse the planes. We manipulate physical
phenomena by physical means; mental by mental. We trace things to their
true causes, and no longer seek to cut the Gordian knot of our ignorance by
the sword of a postulated Pantheon.

Physiology leaves us in no doubt as to the power of our inherited talisman.
And modern discoveries in psychology have made it clear enough that the
sexual peculiarities of people are hieroglyphs, obscure yet not
unintelligible, revealing their histories in the first place, in the
second, their relations with environment in the present, and, in the third,
their possibilities with regard to the modification of the future.

In these supremely important verses of the Book of the Law, it becomes
clear that Nuit is aware of all these facts, and that she regards them as
no less than the combination of the lock of the strong room of the future.
"This" (doctrine) shall regenerate the world, the little world, my sister."
The misunderstanding of sex, the ignorant fear like a fog, the ignorant
lust like a miasma, these things have done more to keep back humanity from
realization of itself, and from intelligent cooperation with its destiny,
than any other dozen things put together. The vileness and falseness or
religion itself have been the monsters aborted from the dark womb of its
infernal mystery.

There is nothing unclean or degrading in any manifestation soever of the
sexual instinct, because, without exception, every act is an impulsively
projected image of the Will of the individual who, whether man or woman, is
a star; the Pennsylvanian with his pig no less than the Spirit with Mary;
Sappho with Atthis and Apollo with Hyacinth as perfect as Daphnis with
Chloe or as Galahad vowed to the Graal. The one thing needful, the
all-perfect means of purification, consecration, and sanctification, is
independent of the physical and moral accidents circumstantial of the
particular incident, is the realization of love as a sacrament. The use of
the physical means as a Magical Operation whose formula is that of uniting
two opposites, by dissolving both, annihilating both, to create a third
thing which transcends that opposition, the phase of duality which
constitutes the consciousness of imperfection, is perceived as the absolute
negative whose apprehension is identical with that duality, is the
accomplishment of the Great Work.

The anacephalepsis of these considerations is this:

1. The accidents of any act of love, such as its protagonist and their
peculiarities of expression on whatever plane, are totally immaterial to
the magical import of the act. Each person is responsible to himself, being
a star, to travel in his own orbit, composed of his own elements, to shine
with his own light, with the colour proper to his own nature, to revolve
and to rush with his own inherent motion, and to maintain his own relation
with his own galaxy in its own place in the Universe. His existence is his
sole and sufficient justification for his own matter and manner.

2. His only possible error is to withdraw himself from this consciousness
of himself as both unique in himself and necessary to the norm of nature.

To bring down this doctrine to a practical rule for every man or woman by
which they may enjoy, in perfection, their sexual life and make it what it
rightly is, the holiest part of the religious life, I say 'holiest' because
it redeems even physical grossness to partake with spiritual saintship, the
intention of this Book of The Law is perfectly simple. Whatever your sexual
predelictions may be, you are free, by the Law of Thelema, to the the star
you are, to go your own way rejoicing. It is not indicated here in this
text, thought it is elsewhere implied, that only one symptom warns that you
have mistaken your true Will, and this, if you should imagine that in
pursuing your way you interfere with that of another star. It may,
therefore, be considered improper, as a general rule, for your sexual
gratification to destroy, deform, or displease any other star. Mutual
consent to the act is the condition thereof. It must, of course, be
understood that such consent is not always explicit. There are cases when
seduction or rape may be emancipation or initiation to another. Such acts
can only be judged by their results.

The most important condition of the act, humanly speaking, is that the
attraction should be spontaneous and irresistible; a leaping up of the will
to create with lyrical frenzy. this first condition once recognized, it
should be surrounded with every circumstance of worship. Study and
experience should furnish a technique of love. All science, all art, every
elaboration should emphasize and adorn the expression of the enthusiasm.
All strength and all skill should be summoned to fulfil the frenzy, and
life itself should be flung with a spendthrift gesture on the counter of
the Merchant of Madness. On the steel of your helmet let there be gold
inlaid with the motto "Excess."

The above indications are taken from a subsequent passage of the third
chapter of this Book.

The supreme and absolute injunction, the crux of your knightly oath, is
that you lay your lance in rest to the glory of your Lady, the Queen of the
Stars, Nuit. Your knighthood depends upon your refusal to fight in any
lesser cause. That is what distinguishes you from the brigand and the
bully. You give your life on Her altar. You make yourself worthy of Her by
your readiness to fight at any time, in any place, with any weapon, and at
any odds. For her, from Whom you come, of Whom you are, to Whom you go,
your life is no more and no less than one continuous sacrament. You have no
word but Her praise, no thought but love of Her. You have only one cry, of
inarticulate ecstasy, the intense spasm, possession of Her, and Death, to
Her. You have no act but the priest's gesture that makes your body Hers.
The wafer is the disk of the Sun, the star in Her body. Your blood is split
from your heart with every beat of your pulse into her cup. It is the wine
of Her life crushed from the grapes of your sun-ripened vine. On this wine
you are drunk. It washes your corpse that is as the fragment of the Host,
broken by you, the Priest, into Her golden chalice. You, Knight and Priest
of the Order of the Temple, saying Her mass, become god in Her, by love and
death. This act of love, thought in its form it be with a horse like
Caligula, with a mob like Messalina, with a giant like Heliogabalus, with a
pollard like Nero, with a monster like Baudelaire, though with de Sade it
gloat on blood, with Sacher-Masoch crave for whips and furs, with Yvette
Guilbert crave the glove, or dote on babes like E.T,Reed of "Punch";
whether one love oneself, disdaining every other like Narcissus, offer
oneself loveless to every love like Catherine, or find the body so vain as
to enclose one's lust in the soul and make one lifelong spinthria
unassuaged in the imagination like Aubrey Beardsley, the means matter no
whit. Bach takes one way, Keats one, Goya one. The end is everything: that
by the act, whatever it is, one worships, loves, possesses, and becomes
Nuit.

The act of love can no more "trammel up his consequence" than any other
act. As long as you possess the talisman, it must be used from time to
time, whether you will or no. If you injure the quality, or diminish the
quantity, of that quintessence, you blaspheme yourself, and betray the
trust reposed in you when you accepted the obligation of that austerely
chivalrous Order called Manhood. The powers of the talisman are
irresistible like every other natural force. Every time they are used, a
child must be begotten. this child must be in your own image, a symbol of
your nature, an expression of your true subconscious Will.

It is, of course, only once in many times that the conditions allow of the
production of a human child. What happens when (either by chance or by
design) that obvious effect is prevented? The materialist may imagine that
with the destruction of the complex, it becomes harmless, its
potentialities aborted, just as the violence of sulphuric acid comes to
naught if it be neutralized by caustic soda. But he is a very poor
materialist if he says so. The full possibilities of the acid must be
accounted for in one way or another. If it does not dissolve a metal, it
may carbonize a sugar, generate a gas, give off heat, or in one way or
another fulfill absolutely every possibility which it inherited from the
forces that went to make it. It is manifestly a contradiction of the laws
of the Conservation of matter and energy, that a substance should lose by
being transformed. I is contrary to Nature that a man, with potentialities
which can transform the face of the earth, should become nothing but inert
carrion when he happens to die. Everything that he was must inevitably
persist; and if the manifestation be not to one set of senses, why then, to
another! The idea of creation from nothing of something and the destruction
of something to nothing, exploded with the theory of Phlogiston.

It stands plain, even to sceptical reason -- indeed, most of all to the
sceptic -- that our talisman, one microscopic serpent of which can build
for itself such a house as to rule men's bodies for a generation like
Alexander, or their minds for an epoch like Plato, cannot be destroyed or
diminished by any conceivable force.

When this talisman comes forth from its fortress, its action begins. The
ancient Jewish Rabbins knew this, and taught that before Eve was given to
Adam, the demon Lilith conceived by the spilth of his dreams, so that the
hybrid races of satyrs, elves and the like began to populate those secret
places of the earth which are not sensible by the organs of the normal man.

I take it as certain that every offering of this talisman infallibly begets
children on one plane or another of this our cosmos, whose matter is so
varied in kind. Such a child must partake of its father's nature; and its
character will be determined, partly by the environment in which it is bred
to manifestation, lives, and ultimately changes in what we call death, and
partly by the inmost will of the father, perhaps modified to some extent by
his conscious will at the time of his slipping the leash.

This being so, it becomes tremendously important to a man that he should
become conscious of his true inmost wills, of his essential nature. This is
the Great Work whose attainment constitutes adeptship, provided that the
consciousness recognizes that its own dependence on circumstance makes it
no more than a troubled image in foul water of the sun which is that Silent
Self. If such a man wants to develop his powers, he must use this
tremendous talisman to create in his own image.

Although this talisman has such miraculous might, it is also intensely
sensitive. Put in an unsuitable environment, it may produce grotesque or
malignant perversions of its father's Word. We are all aware that fine
children are born of healthy mothers who are true and worthy mates of their
husbands. The children of hate, of debauch, of sickness, nearly always bear
witness in body and mind to the abuse of the talisman. Not only the sins of
the father but those of the mother, yes, more those of their social
surroundings, are visited on the children to the third and fourth
generation. Nay, more, the mischief can never be mended. A man can destroy
in a minute his kingdom, inherited from unnumbered dynasties of biological
prudence.

It will also be admitted, without reference to Magick, that the abuse of
the talisman leads to moral, mental and spiritual misfortune. Crime and
insanity, as well as disease and debility, are constantly seen as the
direct result of mismanaging the sexual life, either tactically,
strategically, or both.

The Book of the Law emphasizes the importance of these considerations. The
act of love must be spontaneous, in absolute freedom. The man must be true
to himself. Romeo must not be thrust on Rosaline for family, social, or
financial reasons. Desdemona must not be barred from Othello for reasons of
race or religion. The homosexual must not blaspheme his nature and commit
spiritual suicide by suppressing love or attempting to pervert it, as
ignorance and fear, shame and weakness, so often induce him to do. Whatever
the act which expresses the soul, that act and no other is right.

But, on the other hand, whatever the act may be it is always a sacrament;
and, however profaned, it is always efficient. To profane it is only to
turn food into poison. The act must be pure and passionate. It must be held
as the union with God in the heart of the Holy of Holies. One must never
forget that a child will be born of that deed. One must choose the
environment appropriate to the particular child which one wills to create.
One must make sure that the conscious will is written, on the pure waters
of a mind unstirred, in letters of fire, by the Sun of the Soul. One must
not create confusion in the talisman, which belongs to the Silent Self, by
letting the speaking self deny the purpose which produced it. If one's true
Will, the reason of one's incarnation, be to bring peace on earth, one must
not perform an act of love with motives of jealousy or emulation.

One must fortify one's body to the utmost, and protect it from every
disaster, so that the substance of the talisman may be as perfect as
possible. One must calm the mind, increasing its knowledge, organizing its
powers, resolving its tangles, so that it may truly apprehend the Silent
Self, judge partial pleas and unbalanced opinions, while supporting the
concentration of the Will by its fortified frontiers, and, with unanimous
enthusiasm, acclaiming the Lordship of the thought which expresses the act.
The Will must seal itself upon the substance of the talisman. It must be,
in alchemical language, the Sulphur which fixes the Mercury which
determines the nature of the Salt. The whole man, from his inmost Godhead
to the tip of his tiniest eye-lash, must be one engine, cumbered with
nothing useless, nothing inharmonious; a thunderbolt from the hand of Jove.
It must give itself utterly in the one act of love. It must cease to know
itself as anything but the Will. It must not have the will; it must
transform itself completely to be the Will.

Last of all, the act must be supreme. It must do and it must die. From that
death it must rise again, purged of that Will, having accomplished it so
perfectly that nothing is left thereof in its elements. It must have
emptied itself into the vehicle. So shall the child be whole of spirit.

But this is not enough. The ground in which the seed is cast must be
suitable for its reception. The climate must be favorable, the soil must be
prepared, and the enemies of the young child that seek its life must be
driven beyond range of malice. These points are obvious enough, if applied
to the ordinary affair of breeding children. One needs the right woman, and
the right conditions for her. It applies even more closely to other acts,
for woman is protected by generations of biological adaption, whereas
spiritual children are more easily diseased and deformed, being of subtler
and more sensitive matter. So infinitely varied are the possibilities of
creation that each adept must work out each problem for himself as best he
can. There are magical methods of making a link between the force generated
and the matter on which it is desired to act; but these are, for the most
part, best communicated by private instruction and developed but personal
practice. The crude description is a bare frame-work, and (even so) more
often misleads than not.

But the general rule is to arrange all the conditions beforehand with
intent to facilitate the manifestation of the thing willed, and to prevent
the dangers of abortion by eliminating discordant elements.

For instance: a man seeking to regain health should assist his Magical Will
by taking all possible hygenic and medical measures proper to amend his
malady. A man wishing to develop his genius as a sculptor will devote
himself to study and training, will surround himself with beautiful forms,
and, if possible, live in a place where nature herself testifies to the
touch of the thumb of the Great Architect.

He will choose the object of his passion at the nod of his Silent Self. He
will not allow the prejudice, either of sense, emotion, or rational
judgement, to obscure the Sun of his Soul. In the first place, mutual
magnetism, despite the masks of mind, should be unmistakable. Unless it
exists, a puissant purity of passion, there is no Magical basis for the
Sacrament. Yet, such magnetism is only the first condition. Where two
people become intimate, each crisis of satisfaction between the terminals
leaves them in a proximity which demands mutual observation; and the
intense clarity of the mind which results from the discharge of the
electric force makes such observation abnormally critical. The higher the
type of mind, the more certain this is, and the greater the danger of
finding some antipathetic trifle which experience tells us will one day be
the only thing left to observe; just as a wart on the nose is remembered
when the rest of the face is forgotten.

The object of Love must therefore be one with the lover in something more
than the Will to unite magnetically; it must be in passionate partnership
with the Will of which the Will-to-love is only the Magical symbol. Perhaps
no two wills can be identical, but at least they can be so sympathetic that
the manifestations are not likely to clash. It is not enough to have a
partner of the passive type who bleats "Thy will is done" - that ends in
contempt, boredom and distrust. One wants a passion that can blend with
one's own. Where this is the case, it does not matter so much whether the
mental expression is syndromic; it is, indeed, better when two entirely
different worlds of thought and experience have led to sister conclusions.
But it is essential that the habit of mind should be sympathetic, that the
machinery should be constructed on similar principles. The psychology of
the one should be intelligible to the other.

Social position and physical appearance and habits are of far less
importance, especially in a society which has accepted the Law of Thelema.
Tolerance itself produces suavity, and suavity soon relieves the strain on
tolerance. In any case, most people, especially women, adapt themselves
adroitly enough to their environment. I say "Especially women", for women
are nearly always conscious of an important part of their true Will; the
bearing of children. To them nothing else is serious in comparison, and
they dismiss questions which do not bear on this as trifles, adopting the
habits required of them in the interest of the domestic harmony which they
recognize as a condition favourable to reproduction.

I have outlined ideal conditions. Rarely indeed can we realize even a third
of our possibilities. Our Magical engine is mighty indeed when its
efficiency reaches 50% of its theoretical horse-power. But the enormous
majority of mankind have no idea whatever of taking Love as a sacred and
serious thing, of using the eye of the microscopist, or the heart and brain
of the artist. Their ignornace and their shame have made Love a carcass of
pestilence; and Love has avenged the outrage by crushing their lives when
they pull down the temple upon them.

The chance of finding a suitable object of Love has been reduced well nigh
to zero by substituting for the actual conditions, as stated in the above
paragraphs, a totally artificial and irrelevant series; the restrictions on
the act itself, marriage, opinion, the conspiracy of silence, criminal
laws, financial fetters, selections limited by questions of race,
nationality, caste, religion, social and political cliqueishness, even
family exclusiveness. Out of the millions of humanity the average person is
lucky if he can take his pick of a couple of score of partners.

I will here add one further pillar to my temple. It happens only too often
that two people, absolutely fitted in every way to love each other, are
totally debarred from expressing themselves by sheer ignorance of the
technique of the act. What Nature declares as the climax of the Mass, the
manifestation of God in the flesh, when the flesh is begotten, is so gross,
clumsy and brutal that it disappoints and disgusts. They are horribly
conscious that something is wrong. They do not know how to amend it. They
are ashamed to discuss it. They have neither the experience to guide nor
the imagination to experiment. Countless thousands of delicate-minded
lovers turn against Love and blaspheme Him. Countless millions, not quite
so fixed in refinement, accept the fact, acquiesce in the foulness, till
Love is degraded to guilty grovelling. They are dragged in the dirt of the
night-cart which ought to have been their "chariot of fire and the horses
thereof".

This whole trouble comes from humanity's horror of Love. For the last
hundred years, every first-rate writer on morals has sent forth his
lightnings and thunders, hailstones and coals of fire, to burn up Gommorrah
and Sodom where Love is either shameful and secret, or daubed with dung of
sentiment in order that the swinish citizens may recognize their ideal
therein. We do not tell the artist that his art is so sacred, so
disgusting, so splendid and so disgraceful that he must not on any account
learn the use of the tools of his trade, and study in school how to see
with his eye, and record what he sees with his hand. We do not tell the man
who would heal disease that he must not know his subject, from anatomy to
Pathology; or bid him undertake to remove an appendix from a valued
Archbishop the first time he takes scalpel in hand.

But love is an art no less than Rembrandt's, a science no less than
Lister's. The mind must make the heart articulate, and the body the temple
of the soul. The animal instinct in man is the twin of the ape's or the
bull's. Yet this is the one thing lawful in the code of the bourgeois. He
is right to consider the act, as he knows it, degrading. It is, indeed for
him, an act ridiculous, obscene, gross, beastly; a wallowing unworthy
either of the dignity of man or of the majesty of the God within him. So is
the guzzling and the swilling of the savage as he crams his enemy's raw
liver into his mouth, or tilts the bottle of trade gin, and gulps. Because
his meal is loathly, must we insist that any methods but his are criminal?
How did we come to Laperouse and Nichol from the cannibal's cauldron unless
by critical care and vigorous research?

The act of Love, to the bourgeois, is a physical relief like defaecation,
and a moral relief from the strain of the drill of decency; a joyous
relapse into the brute he has to pretend he despises. It is a drunkenness
which drugs his shame of himself, yet leaves him deeper in disgust. It is
an unclean gesture, hideous and grotesque. It is not his own act, but
forced on him by a giant who holds him helpless; he is half madman, half
automaton when he performs it. It is a gawky stumbling across a black foul
bog, oozing a thousand dangers. It threatens him with death, disease,
disaster in all manner of forms. He pays the coward's price of fear and
loathing when pedlar Sex holds out his Rat-Poison in the lead-paper
wrapping he takes for silver; he pays again with vomiting and with colic
when he has gulped it in his greed.

All this he knows, only too well; he is right, by his own lights, to loathe
and fear the act, to hide it from his eyes, to swear he knows it not. With
tawdry rags of sentiment, sacksful of greasy clouts, he swathes the corpse
of Love, and, smirking, sputters that Love had never a naked limb; then as
the brute in him stirs sleepily, he plasters Love with mire, and leering
grunts that Love was never a God in the Temple Man, but a toothsome lump of
carrion in the corner of his own stye.

But we of Thelema, like the artist, the true lover of Love, shameless and
fearless, seeing God face to face alike in our own souls within and in all
Nature without, though we use, as the bourgeois does, the word Love, we
hold not the word "too often profaned for us to profane it;" it burns
inviolate in its sanctuary, being reborn immaculate with every breath of
life. But by 'Love' we mean a thing which the eye of the bourgeois hath not
seen, nor his ear heard; neither hath his heart conceived it. We have
accepted Love as the meaning of Change, Change being the Life of all Matter
soever in the Universe. And we have accepted Love as the mode of Motion of
the Will to Change. To us every act, as implying Change, is an act of Love.
Life is a dance of delight, its rhythm an infinite rapture that never can
weary or stale. Our personal pleasure in it is derived not only from our
own part in it, but from our conscious apprehension of its total
perfections. We study its structure, we expand ourselves as we lose
ourselves in understanding it, and so becoming one with it. With the
Egyptian initiate we exclaim "There is no part of us that is not of the
Gods;" and add the antistrophe: "There is no part of the Gods that is not
also of us."

Therefore, the Love that is Law is no less Love in the petty personal
sense; for Love that makes two One is the engine whereby even the final
Two, Self and Not-Self, may become One, in the mystic marriage of the
Bride, the Soul, with Him appointed from eternity to espouse her; yea, even
the Most High, God All-in-All, the Truth.

Therefore we hold Love holy, our heart's religion, our mind's science.
Shall He not have His ordered Rite, His priests and poets, His makers of
beauty in colour and form to adorn Him, His makers of music to praise Him?
Shall not His theologians, divining His nature, declare Him? Shall not even
those who but sweep the courts of His temple, partake thereby of His
person? And shall not our science lay hands on Him, measure Him, discover
the depths, calculate the heights, and decipher the laws of His nature?

Also: to us of Thelema, thus having trained our hearts and minds to be
expert engineers of the sky-cleaver Love, the ship to soar to the Sun, to
us the act of Love is the consecration of the body to Love. We burn the
body on the altar of Love, that even the brute may serve the Will of the
Soul. We must then study the art of Bodily Love. We must not balk or
bungle. We must be cool and competent as surgeons; brain, eye and hand the
perfectly trained instruments of Will.

We must study the subject openly and impersonally, we must read text-books,
listen to lectures, watch demonstrations, earn our diplomas ere we enter
practice.

We do not mean what the bourgeois means when we say "the act of love". To
us it is not the gross gesture as of a man in a seizure, a snorting
struggle, a senseless spasm, and a sudden revulsion of shame, as it is to
him.

We have an art of expression; we are trained to interpret the soul and the
spirit in terms of the body. We do not deny the existence of the body, or
despise it; but we refuse to regard it in any other light than this: it is
the organ of the Self. It must nevertheless be ordered according to its own
laws; those of the mental or moral Self do not apply to it. We love; that
is, we will to unite: then the one must study the other, divine every
butterfly thought as it flits, and offer the flower it most fancies. The
vocabulary of Love is small, and its terms are hackneyed; to seek new words
and phrases is to be affected, stilted. It chills.

But the language of the body is never exhausted; one may talk for an hour
by means of an eye-lash. There art intimate, delicate things, shadows of
the leaves of the Tree of the Soul that dance in the breeze of Love, so
subtle that neither Keats nor Heine in words, neither Brahms nor Debussy in
music, could give them body. It is the agony of every artist, the greater
he the more fierce his despair, that he cannot compass expression. And what
they cannot do, not once in a life of ardour, is done in all fulness by the
body that, loving, hath learnt the lesson of how to love.

"Addendum": More generally, any act soever may be used to attain any end
soever by the magician who knows how to make the necessary links.

AL I,53: "This shall regenerate the world, the little world my sister, my
heart & my tongue, unto whom I send this kiss. Also, o scribe and prophet,
though thou be of the princes, it shall not assuage thee nor absolve thee.
But ecstasy be thine and joy of earth: ever To me! To me!"

THE OLD COMMENT

53. The prophet is retained as the link wither the lower. Again the word
"Assuage" is used in a sense unintelligible to me.

THE NEW COMMENT

It is clear that this 'kiss' (i.e. this Book) will regenerate Earth by
establishing the Law of Liberty. 'My heart and my tongue' seems a mere
phrase of endearment; but has possibly some deep significance which at
present escapes me.

The second paragraph is perhaps in answer to some unspoken thought of my
own that my work was accomplished. No: though I be 'of the princes' with
the right to enter into my reward, it is my destiny to continue my
Work.<<"assuage thee:" satisfy thing aspiration to attainment. "absolve
thee:" relieve thee from further duty.>> I am however promised ecstasy,
i.e. Samadhi and joy of earth; and this promise has been fulfilled without
limit. The last words "ever To me! To me!" have a double sense. My motto at
that time was OV MH -- "No! certainly not," the "Not That! Not That!" of
certain very exalted Hindu mystics. Our Lady of the Stars not only calls me
to Her, but bestows upon me as a name 'To me' -- To {Mu-eta} -- "The Not",
the Attainment of that Aspiration expressed in my motto. And {To Mu-eta}
adds to 418!

Note, yet a third time, the word 'prince' as applied to the Beast.

AL I,54: "Change not as much as the style of a letter; for behold! thou, o
prophet, shalt not behold all these mysteries hidden therein."

THE OLD COMMENT

54, 55, 56 to the word "child."

A prophecy not yet (May, 1909 O.S.) fulfilled, as far as I know. I take it
in its obvious sense. (Fulfilled An. XII, Sun in 0 degrees Cancer).

THE NEW COMMENT

The subject changes most abruptly, perhaps answering some unspoken comment
of the scribe on the capital T's in 'To me'.

This injunction was most necessary, for had I been left to myself, I should
have wanted to edit the Book ruthlessly. I find in it what I consider
faults of style, and even of grammar; much of the matter was at the time of
writing most antipathetic. But the Book proved itself greater than the
scribe; again and again have the 'mistakes' proved themselves to be devices
for transmitting a Wisdom beyond the scope of ordinary language.

AL I,55: "The child of thy bowels, he shall behold them."

THE NEW COMMENT

Here is the first reference to a 'child' who will complete the Work
connected with this Book. It is only necessary to say that this Child has
indeed appeared, fulfilling in a very remarkable way the peculiar
conditions indicated in this Book. The full account is too elaborate to
insert in this place; it will be found in the Record of my Initiation to
the Grade of Magus. here I note only the time of his conception, An. XII,
Sun in 0 degrees Cancer.

The matter of this child is exceedingly obscure; and it may prove difficult
to determine between rival claimants. Frater Lampada Tradam had not a bad
case. I believe that many candidates may appear; Time and the Hour run
through the roughest day; and there is one very definite test which can
hardly be evaded.

It is evident, moreover, from Chapter II, verse 39c239, that there is more
than one 'child'. Further comment on this matter is to be found in the
appropriate places.

An XVI, Sun in Capricornus. I decide to summarize the essential facts of
this matter as follows:

In the Magical Diaries of The Beast, we find that during the beginning of
1914, again at the end of that year, and finally between March 26 and May
30 of that year, he made three separate series of Magical Operations. The
First two unconsciously, and the last one more or less consciously, toward
the attainment of the Grade of Magus.

As a result of these operations, he met a series of persons who acted as
officers in the ceremony of his initiation. We are here only concerned with
Jeanne Robert Foster, nee Jeanne Julie Ollivier.

On july 8, 10, 13, 14, 23, Sept. 12 (2 operations) Sept. 16, Magical
Operations were performed with the object of begetting a child. On Sept.
23, this woman, who had taken the mystic name of Soror Hilarion, assisted
The Beast in obtaining the word of the Equinox, this word being, so to
speak, a concentrated symbolic representation of the events of the six
months following. This word obtained by her was "Mebulae" which, though it
was not apparent at the time, is evidently suggestive of the birth of a
Star.

Exactly nine months later than this Equinox, Frater Achad became a Babe of
the Abyss, as is described very fully indeed in his record, some of the
essential part of which will be found in the Appendix {WEH NOTE: The
Appendix has not been recovered. See Frater Achad's Liber XXXI, not the
same as Crowley's Liber XXXI, for more information.} As it turned out, this
child justified his identification as such, not only in the cipher (there
cometh one -- i.e. Achad -- to follow thee) but by discovering "the key of
it all."

AL I,56: "Expect him not from the East, nor from the West; for from no
expected house cometh that child. Aum! All words are sacred and all
prophets true; save only that they understand a little; solve the first
half of the equation, leave the second unattacked. But thou hast all in the
clear light, and some, though not all, in the dark."

THE OLD COMMENT

56. From the word "Aum".

All religions have some truth.

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

THE NEW COMMENT

All previous systems have been sectarian, based on a traditional
cosmography both gross and incorrect. Our system is based on absolute
science and philosophy. We have "all in the clear light", that of Reason,
because our Mysticism is based on an absolute Scepticism. But at the time
of this writing I had very little mystic experience indeed, as my record
shows. The Fact is that I was far, far from the Grade even of Master of the
Temple. So I could not properly understand this Book; how then could I
effectively promulgate it? I comprehended but dimly that it contained my
Word; for the Grade of Magus then seemed to me unthinkably high above me.
Also, let me say that the True Secrets of this Grade are unfathomable and
awful beyond all expression; the process of initiation thereto was
continuous over years, and contained the most sublime mystic experiences --
beyond any yet recorded by man -- as mere incidents in its terrific
Pageant.

The "equation" is the representation of Truth by Word.

AL I,57: "Invoke me under my stars! Love is the law, love under will. Nor
let the fools mistake love; for there are love and love. There is the dove,
and there is the serpent. Choose ye well! He, my prophet, hath chosen,
knowing the law of the fortress, and the great mystery of the House of God.

All these old letters of my Book are aright; but * is not the Star. This
also is secret: my prophet shall reveal it to the wise."

{*In MS, a mark in this place is commonly read as the Hebrew letter
Tzaddi.}

THE OLD COMMENT

57. "Invoke me" etc. I take literally. See Liber NV for this ritual.

Love under will -- no casual pagan love; not love under fear, as the
Christians do. But love magically directed and used as a spiritual formula.

The fools (not here implying {Aleph} fools, for III, 57 c357, says, All
fools despise) may mistake.

This love, then, should be the serpent love, the awakening of the
Kundalini. The further mystery is of {Pe} and unsuited to the grade in
which this comment is written.

The last paragraph confirms the Tarot attributions as given in 777, with
one secret exception.

THE NEW COMMENT

"Love is the law, love under will", is an interpretation of the general law
of Will. It is dealt with fully in the Book "Aleph".

I here insert a few pertinent passages from that Book.

"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 that 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, art made 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, and 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 its 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. Amoun."

The "old comment" covers the rest of this verse sufficiently for the
present purpose.

I see no harm in revealing the mystery of Tzaddi to 'the wise'; others will
hardly understand my explanations.

Tzaddi is the letter of The Emperor, the Trump IV, and He is the Star, the
Trump XVII. Aquarius and Aries are therefore counterchanged, revolving on
the pivot of Pisces, just as, in the Trumps VIII and XI, Leo and Libra do
about Virgo. This last revelation makes our Tarot attributions sublimely,
perfectly, flawlessly symmetrical.

The fact of its so doing is a most convincing proof of the superhuman
Wisdom of the author of this Book to those who have laboured for years, in
vain, to elucidate the problems of the Tarot.

AL I,58: "I give unimaginable joys on earth: certainty, not faith, while in
life, upon death; peace unutterable, rest, ecstasy; nor do I demand aught
in sacrifice."

THE OLD COMMENT

58. The Grace of Our Lady of the Stars.

THE NEW COMMENT

These joys are principally (1) the Beatific Vision, in which Beauty is
constantly present to the recipient of Her grace, together with a calm and
unutterable joy; (2) the Vision of Wonder, in which the whole Mystery of
the Universe is constantly understood and admired for its Ingenium and
Wisdom. (1) is referred to Tiphereth, the Grade of Adept; (2) to Binah, the
grade of Master of the Temple.

The certainty concerning death is conferred by the Magical Memory, and
various Experiences without which Life is unintelligible.

"Peace unutterable" is given by the Trance in which Matter is destroyed;
"rest" by that which finally equilibrates Motion.

"Ecstasy" refers to a Trance which combines these.

"Nor do I demand aught in sacrifice" -- The ritual of worship is Samadhi.
But see later, verse 61c161.

AL I,59: "My incense is of resinous woods & gums; and there is no blood
therein: because of my hair the trees of Eternity."

THE OLD COMMENT

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

THE NEW COMMENT

It seems possible that Our Lady describes Her hair as "the trees of
Eternity" because of the tree-like structure of the Cosmos. This is
observed in the 'Star-Sponge' Vision. I must explain this by giving a
comparatively full account of this vision.

The 'Star-Sponge' Vision.

There is a vision of a peculiar character which has been of cardinal
importance in my interior life, and to which constant reference is made in
my magical diaries. So far as I know, there is no extant description of
this vision anywhere, and I was surprised on looking through my records to
find that I had given no clear account of it myself. The reason apparently
is that it is so necessary a part of myself that I unconsciously assume it
to be a matter of common knowledge, just as one assumes that everybody
knows that one possesses a pair of lungs, and therefore abstains from
mentioning the fact directly, although perhaps alluding to the matter often
enough.

It appears very essential to describe this vision as well as is possible,
considering the difficulty of language, and the fact that the phenomena
involve logical contradictions, the conditions of consciousness being other
than those obtaining normally.

The vision developed gradually. It was repeated on so many occasions that I
am unable to say at what period it may be called complete. The beginning,
however, is clear enough in my memory.

I was on a retirement in a cottage overlooking Lake Pasquaney in New
Hampshire. I lost consciousness of everything but an universal space in
which were innumerable bright points, and I realized this as a physical
representation of the Universe, in what I may call its essential structure.
I exclaimed: "Nothingness, with twinkles!" I concentrated upon this vision,
with the result that the void space which had been the principal element of
it diminished in importance; space appeared to be ablaze, yet the radiant
points were not confused, and I thereupon completed my sentence with the
exclamation "But what Twinkles!"

The next stage of this vision led to an identification of the blazing
points with the stars of the firmament, with ideas, souls, etc. I perceived
also that each star was connected by a ray of light with each other star.
In the world of ideas, each thought possessed a necessary relation with
each other thought; each such relation is of course a thought in itself;
each such ray is itself a star. It is here that logical difficulty first
presents itself. The seer has a direct perception of infinite series.
Logically, therefore, it would appear as if the entire space must be filled
up with a homogeneous blaze of light. This however is not the case. The
space is completely full; yet the monads which fill it are perfectly
distinct. The ordinary reader might well exclaim that such statements
exhibit symptoms of mental confusion. The subject demands more than cursory
examination. I can do no more than refer the critic to the Hon. Bertrand
Russell's "Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy", where the above
position is thoroughly justified, as also certain positions which follow.
At the time I had not read this book; and I regard it as a striking proof
of the value of mystical attainment, that its results should have led a
mind such as mine, whose mathematical training was of the most elementary
character, to the immediate consciousness of some of the most profound and
important mathematical truths; to the acquisition of the power to think in
a manner totally foreign to the normal mind, the rare possession of the
greatest thinkers in the world.

A further development of the vision brought the consciousness that the
structure of the universe was highly organized, that certain stars were of
greater magnitude and brilliancy than the rest. I began to seek similes to
help me to explain myself. Several such attempts are mentioned later in
this note. Here again are certain analogies with some of the properties of
infinite series. The reader must not be shocked at the idea of a number
which is not increased by addition or multiplication, a series of infinite
series, each one of which may be twice as long as its predecessor, and so
on. There is no "mystical humbug" about this. As Mr. Russell shows, truths
of this order are more certain than the most universally accepted axioms;
in fact, many axioms accepted by the intellect of the average man are not
true at all. But in order to appreciate these truths, it is necessary to
educate the mind to thought of an order which is at first sight
incompatible with rationality.

I may here digress for a moment in order to demonstrate how this vision led
directly to the understanding of the mechanism of certain phenomena which
have hitherto been dismissed with a shrug of the shoulders as
incomprehensible.

"Example No. 1". I began to become aware of my own mental processes; I
thought of my consciousness as the Commander-in-Chief of an army. There
existed a staff of specialists to deal with various contingencies. There
was an intelligence department to inform me of my environment. There was a
council which determined the relative importance of the data presented to
them -- it required only a slight effort of imagination to think of this
council as in debate; I could picture to myself some tactically brilliant
proposal being vetoed by the Quarter-Master-General. It was only one step
to dramatize the scene, and it flashed upon me in a moment that here was
the explanation of 'double personality': that illusion was no more than a
natural personification of internal conflict, just as the savage attributes
consciousness to trees and rocks.

"Example No. 2." While at Montauk I had put my sleeping bag to dry in the
sun. When I went to take it in, I remarked, laughingly, "Your bedtime,
Master Bag," as if it were a small boy and I its nurse. This was entirely
frivolous, but the thought flashed into my mind that after all the bag was
in one sense a part of myself. The two ideas came together with a snap, and
I understood the machinery of a man's delusion that he is a teapot.

These two examples may give some idea to the reader of the light which
mystical attainment throws upon the details of the working of the human
mind.

Further developments of this vision emphasized the identity between the
Universe and the mind. The search for similes deepened. I had a curious
impression that the thing I was looking for was somehow obvious and
familiar. Ultimately it burst upon me with fulminating conviction that the
simile for which I was seeking was the nervous system. I exclaimed: "The
mind is the nervous system," with all the enthusiasm of Archimedes, and it
only dawned on me later, with a curious burst of laughter at my naivete,
that my great discovery amounted to a platitude.

From this I came to another discovery: I perceived why platitudes were
stupid. The reason was that they represented the summing up of trains of
thought, each of which was superb in every detail at one time. A platitude
was like a wife after a few years; she has lost none of her charms, and yet
one prefers some perfectly worthless woman.

I now found myself able to retrace the paths of thought which ultimately
come together in a platitude. I would start with some few simple ideas and
develop them. Each stage in the process was like the joy of a young eagle
soaring from height to height in ever increasing sunlight as dawn breaks,
foaming, over the purple hem of the garment of ocean, and, when the many
coloured rays of rose and gold and green gathered themselves together and
melted into the orbed glory of the sun, with a rapture that shook the soul
with unimaginable ecstasy, that sphere of rushing light was recognized as a
common-place idea, accepted unquestioningly and treated with drab
indifference because it had so long been assimilated as a natural and
necessary part of the order of Nature. At first I was shocked and disgusted
to discover that a series of brilliant researches should culminate in a
commonplace. But I soon understood that what I had done was to live over
again the triumphant career of conquering humanity; that I had experienced
in my own person the succession of winged victories that had been sealed by
a treaty of peace whose clauses might be summed up in some such trite
expression as "Beauty depends upon form".

It would be quite impracticable to go fully into the subject of this vision
of the Star-Sponge, if only because its ramifications are omniform. It must
suffice to reiterate that it has been the basis of most of my work for the
last five years, and to remind the reader that the essential form of it is
"Nothingness with twinkles".

I conclude this note, therefore, by quoting certain chapters of Liber
Aleph, in which I have described various cognate forms of the vision.

"De Gramine Sanctissimo Arabico."

"Recall, o my Son, the Fable of the Hebrews, which they brought from the
City of Babylon, how Nebuchadnezzar the Great King, being afflicted in his
Spirit, did depart from among Men for Seven Years' Space, eating Grass as
doth an Ox. Now this Ox is the Letter Aleph, and is that Atu of Thoth whose
Number is Zero, and whose Name is Maat, Truth, or Maut, the Vulture, the
All-Mother, being an image of Our Lady Nuith, but also it is called the
Fool, who is Parsifal, 'der reine Thor', and so referreth to him that
walketh in the Way of the Tao. Also, he is Harpocrates, the Child Horus,
walking (as saith David, the Badawi that became King, in his Psalms) upon
the Lion and the Dragon; that is, he is in Unity with his own Secret
Nature, as I have shewn thee in my Word concerning the Sphinx. O my Son,
yester Eve came the Spirit upon me that I also should eat the Grass of the
Arabs, and by virtue of the Bewitchment thereof behold that which might be
appointed for the Enlightenment of mine Eyes. Now then of this may I not
speak, seeing that it involveth the Mystery of the Transcending of Time, so
that in One hour of our Terrestrial Measure did I gather the Harvest of an
Aeon, and in Ten Lives I could not declare it."

"De quibusdam Mysteriis, quae vidi."

"Yet even as a Man may set up a Memorial or Symbol to import Ten thousand
Times Ten Thousand, so may I strive to inform thine Understanding by
Hieroglyph. And here shall thine own Experience serve us, because a Token
of Remembrance sufficeth him that is familiar with a Matter, which to him
that knoweth it not should not be made manifest, no, not in an Year of
Instruction. Here first then is one amid the Uncounted Wonders of that
Vision: upon a Field Blacker and Richer than Velvet was the Sun of all
Being, alone. Then about Him were little Crosses, Greek, overrunning the
Heaven. These changed from Form to Form geometrical, Marvel devouring
Marvel, a Thousand Times a Thousand in their Course and Sequence, until by
their Movement was the Universe churned into the Quintessence of Light.
Moreover at another Time did I behold All Things as Bubbles, iridescent and
luminous, self-shining in every Colour and every Combination of Colour,
Myriad pursuing Myriad until by their perpetual Beauty they exhausted the
Virtue of my Mind to receive them, and whelmed it, so that I was fain to
withdraw myself from the Burden of that Brilliance. Yet, o my Son, the Sum
of all this ammounteth not to the Worth of one Dawn-Glimmer of Our True
Vision of Holiness."

"De quodam Modo Meditationis."

"Now for the Chief of that which was granted unto me, it was the
Apprehension of those willed Changes or Transmutations of the Mind which
lead into Truth, being as Ladders unto Heaven, or so I called them at that
Time, seeking for a Phrase to admonish the Scribe that attended on my
Words, to grave a Balustre upon the Stele of my Working. But I make Effort
in vein, o My Son, to record this Matter in Detail; for it is the Quality
of the Grass to quicken the Operation of Thought it may be a Thousandfold,
and moreover to figure each Step in Images complex and overpowering in
Beauty, so that one hath not Time wherein to conceive, much less to utter,
any Word for a Name of any one of them. Also, such was the Multiplicity of
these Ladders, and their Equivalence, that the Memory holdeth no more any
one of them, but only a certain Comprehension of the Method, wordless by
Reason of its Subtility. Now therefore must I make by my Will a
Concentration mighty and terrible of my Thought that I may bring forth this
Mystery in Expression. For this Method is of Virtue and Profit; by it mayst
thou come easily and with Delight to the Perfection of Truth, it is no Odds
from what Thought thou makest the first Leap in thy Meditation, so that
thou mayst know how every Road endeth in Monsalvat, and the Temple of the
Sangraal."

"Sequitur de hac re."

"I believe generally, on Ground both of Theory and Experience, so little as
I have, that a Man must first be Initiate, and established in Our Law,
before he may use this Method. For in it is an Implication of our Secret
Enlightenment, concerning the Universe, how its Nature is utterly
Perfection. Now every Thought is a Separation, and the Medicine of that is
to marry Each one with its Contradiction, as I have showed formerly in many
Writings. And thou shalt clasp the one to the other with Vehemence of
Spirit, swiftly as Light itself, that the Ecstasy be Spontaneous. So
therefore it is expedient that thou have travelled already in this Path of
Antithesis, knowning perfectly the Answer to every Griph or Problem, and
thy Mind ready therewith. For by the Property of the Grass all passeth with
Speed incalculable of Wit, and an Hesitation should confound thee, breaking
down thy Ladder, and throwing back thy Mind to receive Impression from
Environment, as at thy first Beginning. Verily, the Nature of this Method
is Solution, and the Destruction of every Complexity by Explosion of
Ecstasy, as every Element thereof is fulfilled by its Correlative, and is
annihilated (since it loseth Separate Existence) in the Orgasm that is
consummated within the Bed of thy Mind."

"Sequitur de hac re."

"Thou knowest right well, o my Son, how a Thought is imperfect in two
Dimensions, being separate from its Contradiction, but also constrained in
its Scope, because by that Contradiction we do not (commonly) complete the
Universe, save only that of its Discourse. Thus if we contrast Health with
Sickness, we include in their Sphere of Union no more than one Quality that
may be predicted of all Things. Furthermore, it is for the most Part not
easy to find or to formulate the True Contradiction of any Thought as a
positive Idea, but only as a Formal Negation in vague Terms, so that the
ready Answer is but Antithesis. Thus to White one putteth not the phrase
"All that which is not White," for this is void, formless, and not clear,
simple, and positive in Conception. But one answereth Black, for this hath
an Image of his Significance. So then the Cohesion of Antitheticals
destroyeth them only in Part, and one becometh instantly conscious of the
Residue that is unsatisfied or unbalanced, whose Eidolon leapeth in thy
Mind with Splendour and Joy unspeakable. Let not this deceive thee, for its
Existence proveth its Imperfection, and thou must call forth its Mate, and
destroy them by Love, as with the former. This Method is continuous, and
proceedeth ever from the Gross to the Fine, and from the Particular to the
General, dissolving all Things into the One Substance of Light."

"Conclusio de hoc Modo Sanctitatis."

"Learn now that Impressions of Sense have Opposites readily conceived, as
long to short, or light to dark; and so with Emotions and Perceptions, as
love to hate, or false to true; but the more Violent is the Antagonism, the
more is it bound in Illusion, determined by Relation. Thus, the Word "long"
hath no Meaning save it be referred to a Standard; but Love is not thus
obscure, because Hate is its twin, partaking bountifully of a Common Nature
therewith. Now, hear this: it was given unto me in my Visions of the
Aethyrs, when I was in the Desert of Sahara, by Tolga, that above the
Abyss, Contradiction is Unity, and that nothing could be true save by
Virtue of the Contradiction that is contained in itself. Behold therefore,
in this Method thou shalt come presently to Ideas of this Order, that
include in themselves their own Contradiction, and have no Antithesis. Here
then is thy Lever of Antinomy broken in thine Hand; yet, being in true
Balance, thou mayst soar, passionate and eager, from Heaven to Heaven, by
the Expansion of thine Idea, and its Exaltation, or Concentration as thou
understandest by thy Studies in the Book of the Law, the Word thereof
concerning Our Lady Nuith, and Hadith that is the Core of every Star. And
this last Going upon thy Ladder is easy, if thou be truly Initiate, for the
Momentum of thy Force in Transcendental Antithesis serveth to propel thee,
and the Emancipation from the Fetters of Thought that thou hast won in that
Praxis of Art maketh the Whirlpool and Gravitation of Truth of Competence
to draw thee unto itself."

AL I,60: "My number is 11, as all their numbers who are of us. The Five
Pointed Star, with a Circle in the Middle, & the circle is Red. My colour
is black to the blind, but the blue & gold are seen of the seeing. Also I
have a secret glory for them that love me."

THE OLD COMMENT

60. Nu = 56 and 5 + 6 = 11.

The Circle in the Pentagram? See Liber NV.

The uninitiated perceive only darkness in Night; the wise perceive the
golden stars in the vault of azure.

Concerning that Secret Glory it is not here fitting to discourse.

THE NEW COMMENT

The general significance of the number 11 is Magick, particularly that form
of it which is Love under Will; for it unites the 5 and the 6. Thus
Abrahadabra has 11 letters; and 418 = 11 x 38.

This number must be thoroughly studied by the Qabalah. See Appendix {WEH
NOTE: Appendix not yet recovered.}

In the original MSS. the second paragraph begins "The shape of my star is"
-- and then breaks off -- the Scribe was unable to hear what was being
said. This was presumably because his mind was so full of preconceived
ideas about the different kinds of stars appropriate to various ideas. An
alternate phrase was subsequently dictated to the Scarlet Woman, and
inserted in the manuscript by her own hand.

This star is the pentagram, with the single point at the top. The points
touch the parts of Nuith's body as shown in the Stele. The earth-point
marks the position of her feet, the fire-point, that of her hands, the
other three points -- air, spirit, and water respectively -- refer to "my
secret centre, my heart, and my tongue."

AL I,61: "But to love me is better than all things: if under the
night-stars in the desert thou presently burnest mine incense before me,
invoking me with a pure heart, and the Serpent flame therein, thou shalt
come a little to lie in my bosom. For one kiss wilt thou then be willing to
give all; but whoso gives one particle of dust shall lose all in that hour.
Ye shall gather goods and store of women and spices; ye shall wear rich
jewels; ye shall exceed the nations of the earth in splendour & pride; but
always in the love of me, and so shall ye come to my joy. I charge you
earnestly to come before me in a single robe, and covered with a rich
headdress. I love you! I yearn to you! Pale or purple, veiled or
voluptuous, I who am all pleasure and purple, and drunkenness of the
innermost sense, desire you. Put on the wings, and arouse the coiled
splendour within you: come unto me!"

THE OLD COMMENT

61. Practical and literal; yet it may be doubted whether "to lose all in
that hour" may not refer to the supreme attainment, and that therefore to
give one particle of dust (perhaps the Ego) or the central atom Hadit, her
complement, is the act to achieve. (For 'dust' see Liber 418.)

THE NEW COMMENT

This ritual has been thoroughly worked out as an Official Instruction of
A\A\ Liber NV, sub figura XI, see Equinox I, VII, page 11.

# $k + AL I,62: "At all my meetings with you shall the priestess say -- and
her eyes shall burn with desire as she stands bare and rejoicing in my
secret temple -- To me! To me! calling forth the flame of the hearts of all
in her love-chant."

THE OLD COMMENT

62, 63. Again practical and literal. Yet the "Secret Temple" refers also to
knowledge incommunicable -- save by experience.

THE NEW COMMENT

It is evident that Our Lady, in her Personality, contemplates some more or
less open form of worship suited for the laity. With the establishment of
the Law something of this sort may become possible. It is only necessary to
kill out the sense of 'sin', with its false shame and its fear of nature.
P.S. The Gnostic Mass is intended to supply this need. "Liber XV". It has
been said continuously in California for some years.

AL I,63: "Sing the rapturous love-song unto me! Burn to me perfumes! Wear
to me jewels! Drink to me, for I love you! I love you!"

THE NEW COMMENT

All those acts which excite the divine in man are proper to the Rite of
Invocation.

Religion, as understood by the vile Puritan, is the very opposite of all
this. He -- it -- seems to wish to kill his -- its -- soul by forbidding
every expression of it, and every practice which might awaken it to
expression. To hell with this Verbotenism!

In particular, let me exhort all men and all women, for they are Stars!
Heed well this holy Verse!

True Religion is intoxication, in a sense. We are told elsewhere to
intoxicate the innermost, not the outermost; but I think that the word
"wine" should be taken in its widest sense as meaning that which brings out
the soul. Climate, soil, and race change conditions; each man or woman must
find and choose the fit intoxicant. Thus hashish in one or the other of its
forms seems to suit the Moslem, to go with dry heat; opium is right for the
Mongol; whiskey for the dour temperament and damp cold climate of the Scot.

Sex-expression, too, depends on climate and so on, so that we must
interpret the Law to suit a Socrates, a Jesus, and a Burton, or a Marie
Antoinette and a de Lamballe, as well as our own Don Juans and Faustines.

With this expansion, to the honour and glory of Them, of Their Natures, we
acclaim therefore our helpers, Dionysus, Aphrodite, Apollo, Wine, Woman,
and song.

Intoxication, that is, ecstasy, is the key to Reality. It is explained in
"Energized Enthusiasm" "The Equinox" I(9)) that there are three Gods whose
function is to bring the Soul to the Realization of its own glory:
Dionysus, Aphrodite, Apollo; Wine, Woman, and Song.

The ancients, both in the highest civilizations, as in Greece and Egypt,
and in the most primitive savagery, as among the Buriats and the Papuans,
were well aware of this, and made their religious ceremonies 'orgia',
"Works". Puritan foulness, failing to understand what was happening,
degraded the word 'orgies' to mean debauches. It is the old story of the
Fox who lost his tail. If you cannot do anything, call it impossible; or,
if that be evidently absurd, call it wicked!

It is critics who deny poetry, people without capacity for Ecstasy and Will
who call Mysticism moonshine and Magick delusion. It is manless old cats,
geldings, and psychopaths, who pretend to detest Love, and persecute Free
Women and Free Men.

Verbotenism has gone so far in certain slave-communities that the use of
wine is actually prohibited by law!

I wish here to emphasise that the Law of Thelema definitely enjoins us, as
a necessary act of religion, to "drink sweet wines and wines that foam".
Any free man or woman who resides in any community where this is verboten
has a choice between two duties: insurrection and emigration.

The furtive disregard of Restriction is not Freedom. It tends to make men
slaves and hypocrites, and to destroy respect for Law. {WEH NOTE: Evidently
Crowley wrote this around the time of the American Prohibition. He denies
virtue in illegal use, but advocates vigorous effort to change law.}

Have no fear: two years after Vodka was verboten, Russia, which had endured
a thousand lesser tyrannies with patience, rose in Revolution.

Religious ecstasy is necessary to man's soul. Where this is attained by
mystical practices, directly, as it should be, people need no substitutes.
Thus the Hindus remain contentedly sober, and care nothing for the series
of Invaders who have occupied their country from time to time and governed
them. But where the only means of obtaining this ecstasy, or a simulacrum
of it, known to the people, is alcohol, they must have alcohol. Deprive
them of wine, or beer, or whatever their natural drink may be, and they
replace it by morphia, cocaine, or something easier to conceal, and to take
without detection.

Stop that, and it is Revolution. As long as a man can get rid of his
surplus Energy in enjoyment, he finds life easy, and submits. Deprive him
of Pleasure, of Ecstasy, and his mind begins to worry about the way in
which he is exploited and oppressed. Very soon he begins furtively to throw
bombs; and, gathering strength, to send his tyrants to the gallows.

AL I,64: "I am the blue-lidded daughter of Sunset; I am the naked
brilliance of the voluptuous night-sky."

THE OLD COMMENT

64. The supreme affirmation.

AL I,65: "To me! To me!"

THE OLD COMMENT

65. The supreme adjuration.

# $ k AL I,66: "The Manifestation of Nuit is at an end."

THE OLD COMMENT

66. The end.


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