For some reason or other, Pranayama is quite easy. Concentrating on Adonai, I was in Kambhakham for a whole minute without distress.
It is true, by the way. I was — and am — in some danger of looking on this Record as a Book; i.e., of emphasising things for their literary effect, and diminishing the importance of others which lend themselves less obviously.
But the answer to this, friend Satan! is that the Canon of Art is Truth, and the Canon of Magic is Truth; my true record will make a good book, and my true book will make a good record.
Ekam evam advaitam! friend Satan! One and not two. Hua allahu alazi lailaha illa Hua!
But what shall by my "considerations" for this week? I am so absolutely become as a pantomorphous Lynx that all things look alike to me; there are just as many pros and cons to Pranayama as to Ceremonial, etc. etc., — and the pros and cons are so numerous and far reaching that I simply dare not start discussing even one. I can see an endless avenue in every case. In short, like the hashish-drunkard in full blast, I am overwhelmed by the multitude of my own magical Images. I have become the great Magician — Mayan, the Maker of Illusion — the Lord of the Brethren of the Left-hand Path.
I don't "wear my iniquity as an aureole, deathless in Spiritual Evil," as Mr. Waite thinks; but it's nearly as bad as that. There seems only one reply to this great question of the Hunchback (I like to symbolize the spirit of Questioning by "?" — a little crooked thing that asks questions) and that is to keep on affirming Adonai, and refusing to be obsessed by any images of discipline or magic.
Of course! but this is just the difficulty — as it was in the Beginning, is now, and every shall be, world without end! My beautiful answer to the question, How will you become a millionaire? is: I will possess a million pounds. The "answer" is not an answer; it is a begging of the question.
What a fool I am! and people think me clever. Ergo, perhaps!
Anyhow I will now (12.37) go quietly to sleep — as I am always saying, and never do when I say it! — in the hope that daylight may bring counsel.
But I went on with the mantra, and made some Reflections upon Kamma.
I will now have a Yogin coffee and sandwich, and return to my illumination of the Ritual.
In the desert of my soul, where no herb grows, there is yet one little spring. I am still one-pointed, at least in the lower sense that I have no desire or ambition but this of accomplishing the Great Work.
Barren is this soul of mine, in these 3½ years of drought (the 3½ coils of the Kundalini are implied by this) and this Ekagrata is the little cloud like a hand (Yod, the Lingam of great Shiva). And, though I catch up my robe and run before the chariot of the King into Jezreel, it may be that before I reach those gates the whole sky may be one black flame of thundercloud, and the violet swords of the lightning may split asunder its heavy womb, and the rain, laughing like a young child, may dance upon the desert!
I think I will read through the whole Record to date and see if I can find an Ariadne-clue.
I think the entries 1.25 and 3.35 A.M. explain it. "Hugging myself, as it were." How fatally accurate! I wrote it and never saw the hellish snare! I ought to have risen up and prepared myself ceremonially as a bride, and waited in the proper magical manner. Also I was too pleased with the Heralds of my Lord's coming — the vision of Khephra, etc. It was perhaps this subtle self-satisfaction that lost me … so I fell to the shocking abyss of last night!
The Dweller of the Threshold is never visible until after one has fallen; he is a Veiled God and smites like the Evil Knight in Malory, riding and slaying — and no man seeth him. But when you are tumbled headlong into Hell, where he lives, then he unveils his Face, and blasts you with its horror!
Very good, John St. John, now you know! You are plain John St. John and you have to climb right up again through the paths to the Threshold; and remember this time to mortify that self- satisfaction! Go at it more reverently and humbly — oh, you dog, how I loathe you for your Vileness! To have risen so high, and — now — to be thus fallen!
Asceticism notoriously fosters egoism; how good am I to go without dinner! Now noble! What renunciation!
On the other hand,the good wine in one says: "A fine fellow I have made my coffin of!"
The answer is simple, the old answer: think not of St. John and his foolishness; think of Adonai! Exactly: the one difficulty!
My best way out will be to concentrate on the New Ritual, learn it perfectly by heart, work it at the right moment….
I will go, with this idea, to have a Citron pressé; thence to my Secret Restaurant, and dine, always learning the Ritual.
I will leave off the mantra, though it is nearly as much part of me as my head by now; and instead repeat over and over again the words of the Ritual so that I can do it in the end with perfect fluency and comprehension. And this time may Adonai build the House!
I know the New Ritual down to the end of the Confession.
It was hard to stop the mantra — the moment my thought wandered, up it popped!
I continue learning the Ritual.
Lo! I was travelling on the paths of Lamed and of Mem, of Justice and the Hanged Man, and I fell into both the pitfalls thereof. Instead of the Great Balance firmly held, I found only Libra, the house of Venus and of the exaltation of Saturn; and these evil planets, smiling and frowning, overcame me. And so for the sublime Path of Man; instead of that symbol of the Adept, his foot set firmly upon heaven, his whole figure showing forth the Reconciler with the Invisible, I found but the stagnant and bitter water of selfishness, the Dead Sea of the Soul. For all is Illusion. Who saith "I" denieth Adonai, save only if he mean Adonai. And Daleth the Door of the Pylon, is that Tree whereon the Adept of Man hangeth, and Daleth is Love Supernal, that if it be inserted in the word ANI, "I," giveth ADNI, Adonai.
Subtle art thou and deadly, O Dweller of the Threshold (P.S. — This name is a bad one. "Dweller beside the Pylon" is a better term; for he is not in the straight path, which is simple and easy and open. He is never "overcome"; to meet him is the proof of having strayed. The Key fits the Door perfectly; but he who is drunken on the bad wine of Sense and Thought fumbles thereat.
And of course there is a great deal of door, and very little key- hole), who dost use my very love of Adonai to destroy me!
Yet how shall I approach Him, if not with reverent joy, with a delicious awe? I must wash His feet with my tears; I must die at His gateway; I must … I know not what…
Adonai, be thou tender unto me Thy slave, and keep my footsteps in the Way of Truth! … I will return and humble myself before the Lord Adonai.
I feel slack; and I feel that I have been slack, though probably the Record shows a fair amount of work done. But I am terribly bruised by the Great Fall; these big things leave the body and mind no worse, apparently; but they hurt the Self, and later that is reflected into the lower parts of the man as insanity or death.
I must attain, or … an end of John St. John.
An end of him, one way or the other, then!
I will just try and do a little Pranayama, to see if I can stay doing any one simple thing for ten minutes at a stretch!
But it is a good rule; when in doubt play Pranayama. For one can no longer worry about the Path: the Question is reduced to the simple problem: Am, I, or am I not, going to burst?
I got all the sweating and trembling of the body that heart could desire; but no "jumping about like a frog" or levitation. A pity!