Nobody is better aware than myself that this account of my Retirement labours under most serious disadvantages.
The scene should have been laid in an inaccessible lamaserai in Tibet, perched on stupendous crags; and my familiarity with Central Asia would have enabled me to do it quite nicely.
One should really have had an attendant Sylph; and one's Guru, a man of incredible age and ferocity, should have frequently appeared at the dramatic moment.
A gigantic magician on a coal-black steed would have added to the effect: strange voices, uttering formidable things, should have issued from unfathomable caverns. A mountain shaped like a Svastika with a Pillar of Flame would have been rather taking; herds of impossible yaks, ghost-dogs, gryphons....
But my good friends, this is not the way things happen. Paris is as wonderful as Lhassa, and there are just as many miracles in London as in Luang Prabang.
I did not even think it necessary to go into the Bois de Boulogne and meet those Three Adepts who cause bleeding at the nose, familiar to us from the writings of MacGregor Mathers.
The Universe of Magic is in the mind of a man: the setting is but Illusion even to the thinker.
Humanity is progressing; formerly men dwelt habitually in the exterior world; nothing less than giants and Paynim and men-at-arms and distressed ladies, vampires and succubi, could amuse them. Their magicians brought demons from the smoke of blood, and made gold from baser metals.
In this they succeeded; the intelligent perceived that the gold and the lead were but shadows of thought. It became probable that the elements were but isomers of one element; matter was seen to be but a modification of mind, or (at least) that the two things matter and mind must be joined before either could be perceived. All knowledge comes through the senses, on the one hand; on the other, it is only through the senses that knowledge comes.
We then continue our conquest of matter; and we are getting pretty expert. It took much longer to perfect the telescope than the motor-car. And though, of course, there are limitations, we know enough to be able to predict them.
We know in what progression the Power to Speed coefficient of a steamboat rises — and so on.
But in our conquest of Nature, which we are making principally by the use of the rational intelligence of the mind, we have become aware of that world itself, so much so that educated men spend nine-tenths of their waking lives in that world, only descending to feed and dress and so on at the imperative summons of their physical constitution.
Now to us who thus live the world of mind seems almost as savage and unexplored as the world of Nature seemed to the Greeks.
There are countless worlds of wonder unpath'd and uncomprehended — and even unguessed, we doubt not.
Therefore we set out diligently to explore and map these
untrodden regions of the mind.
Surely our adventures may be as exciting as those of Cortes or Cook!
It is for this reason that I invite with confidence the attention of humanity to this record of my journey.
But another set of people will find another disappointment. I am hardly an heroic figure. I am not The Good Young Man That Died. I do not remain in holy meditation, balanced on my left eyelash, for forty years, restoring exhausted nature by a single grain of rice at intervals of several months.
You will perceive in these pages a man with all his imperfections thick upon him trying blindly, yet with all his force, to control the thoughts of his mind, so that he shall be able to say "I will think this thought and not that thought" at any moment, as easily as (having conquered Nature) we are all able to say "I will drink this wine, and not that wine."
For, as we have now learnt, our happiness does not at all depend upon our possessions or our power. We would all rather be dead than be a millionaire who lives in daily dread of murder or blackmail.
Our happiness depends upon our state of mind. It is the mastery of these things that the Magicians of to-day have set out to obtain for humanity; they will not turn back, or turn aside.
It is with the object of giving the reins into the hands of others that I have written this record, not without pain.
Others, reading it, will see the sort of way one sets to work; they will imitate and improve upon it; they will attain to the Magistry; they will prepare the Red Tincture and the Elixir of Life — for they will discover what Life means.
And if I fail herein, may my pyramid be profaned, and the Eye be closed upon me!
This was about 8.45; and now (10.10) I have written thus far.
It seems only necessary to cut off definitely dispersive things, aimless chatter and such; for the Operation itself will guide one, leading to disgust for too much food and so on. If there be upon my limbs any chain that requires a definite effort to break it, perhaps sleep is that chain. But we shall see — solvitur ambulando. If any asceticism be desirable later on, true wariness will soon detect any danger, and devise a means to meet it and overcome it.
The distaste for food has already begun.
I was getting into Asana and thinking "I record this fact," when I saw a jockey being weighed.
[Odd memoranda during lunch.
Insist on pupils writing down their whole day; the play as well as the work. "By this means they will become ashamed, and prate no longer of 'beasts.'"]
I am now well away on the ascetic current, devising all sorts of privations and thoroughly enjoying the idea.
Will sit down and do Asana, etc.
I continue meditating simply.
I bought two pears, half a pound of Garibaldi biscuits, and a packet of Gaufrettes. I had a citron pressé, too, at the Dôme.
At the risk of violating the precepts of Zoroaster 170 and 144 I propose to do a Tarot divination for this Operation.
Thus, then, is Adonai hidden from me. I know where He lives; I know I shall be welcome if I call; but I do not know whether He will invite me to a banquet or ask me to go out with him for a long journey.
It may be that the Rota will give me some hint.
I am never content with such divinations; trustworthy enough in material concerns, in the things of the Spirit one rarely obtains good results.
The first operation was rather meaningless; but one must allow (a) that it was a new way of dealing those cards for the opening of an operation; (b) that I had had two false starts.
The final operation is certainly most favourable; we shall see if it comes true. I can hardly believe it possible.
All this I did with reluctance, I did with reluctance, as an act of self-denial or asceticism, lest my desire to concentrate on the mystic path should run away with me.
Therefore I think it may fairly be counted unto me for righteousness.
I now drink a final coffee and retire, to do I hope a more straightforward type of meditation.
So mote it be.
Naked, Maryt looks like Correggio's Antiope. Her eyes are a strange grey, and her hair a very wonderful reddish gold — a colour I have never seen before and cannot properly describe. She has Jewish blood in her, I fancy; this, and her method of illustrating the axiom "Post coitum animal triste" made me think of Baudelaire's "Une nuit que j'etais près d'une affreuse Juive": and the last line
Obscurcir la splendeur des tres froides prunelles.
Let me continue this work; for it is written that unto the persevering mortal the Blessed Immortals are swift…
What then should happen to a persevering Immortal like myself?
But the irrational character of said visions is not bad. They come from nowhere; it is much worse when your own controlled brain breaks loose.
The Voice of the Nadi began to resound.
I now take a few minutes "off" to make "considerations."
I firmly believe that the minutest dose of the Elixir would operate as a "detonator." I seem to be perfectly ready for illumination, if only because I am so perfectly dark. Yet my power to create magical images is still with me.
But when I returned from a visit to B—e on an errand of comradeship — 1½ hours' talk to cut out of this mantra-yoga — I found all sorts of people at the Dôme, where I drank a citron presse: they detained me in talk, and at 6.30 Maryt turned up and I had to chew a sandwich and drink coffee while she dined.
I feel a little headache; it will pass.
She is up here now with me, but I shall try to meditate. Charming as she is, I don't want to make love to her.
However, having got rid of her for the moment, one may continue.
My head really aches a good deal.
I must add one or two remarks. In my walk I discovered that my mantra Hua allahu, etc., really belongs to the Visuddhi Cakkram; so I allowed the thought to concentrate itself there.
Also, since others are to read this, one must mention that almost from the beginning of this Working of Magick Art the changed aspect of the world whose culmination is the keeping of the oath "I will interpret every phenomenon as a particular dealing of God with my soul" was present with me. This aspect is difficult to describe; one is indifferent to everything and yet interested in it. The meaning of things is lost, pending the inception of their Spiritual Meaning; just as, on putting one's eye to the microscope, the drop of water on the slide is gone, and a world of life discovered, though the real import of that world is not apprehended, until one's knowledge becomes far greater than a single glance can make it.
A good simile (by the way) for the Yogi is to say that he watches his thought like a cat watching a mouse. The paw ready to strike the instant Mr. Mouse stir.
I have chewed a Gaufrette and drunk a little water, in case the headache is from hunger. (P.S. — It was so; the food cured it at once.)
In trying to look at the Cakkram, I saw that.
Query: What is the connection, which appeared absolute and essential? I had been specially impressed by that gate two days ago, with its knot of mourners. Could the scene have been recorded in a brain-cell adjoining that which records the Visuddhi-idea? Or did I at that time unconsciously think of my throat for some other reason? Bother! These things are all dog-faced demons! To work!
And indeed, though I tried to continue the mantra with its high aspiration to know Adonai, I must have slept almost at once.
One should here note that there may perhaps be some essential difference in the operation of the Moslem and Hindu mantrams. The latter boom; the former ripple. I have never tried the former at all seriously until now.
It cannot be too clearly understood that nearly all the work hitherto has been preliminary; the intention is to get the Chittam (thought-stuff) flowing evenly in one direction. Also one practises detaching it from the Virttis (impressions). One looks at everything without seeing it.
O coffee! By the mighty Name of Power do I invoke thee, consecrating thee to the Service of the Magic of Light. Let the pulsations of my heart be strong and regular and slow! Let my brain be wakeful and active in its supreme task of self-control! That my desired end may be effected through Thy strength, Adonai, unto Whom be the Glory for ever! Amen without lie, and Amen, and Amen of Amen.
O oysters! be ye unto me strength that I formulate the 12 rays of the Crown of Hva! I conjure ye, and very potently command.
Even by Him who ruleth Life from the Throne of Tahuti unto the Abyss of Amennti, even by Ptah the swathed one, that unwrappeth the mortal from the immortal, even by Amoun the giver of Life, and by Khem the mighty, whose Phallus is like the Pillar in Karnak! Even by myself and my male power do I conjure ye. Amen.
I am — as often before — in the state described by Paul (not my masseur; the other Paul!) in his Epistle to the Romans, cap. vii. v. 19.
I shall rise and go forth.
Difficult, though, to keep mantram going.
To explain. Normally, if the thought be energetically directed to almost any point in the body, that point is felt to pulse and even to ache. Especially this is the case if one vibrates a mantra or Magical name in a nerve-centre. At present I cannot do this at all. The Prana seems equilibrated in the whole organism: I am very peaceful — just as a corpse is.
It is terribly annoying, in a sense, because this condition is just the opposite of Dharana; yet one knows that it is a stage on the way to Samadhi.
So I rise and give confidently the Sign of Apophis and Typhon, and will then regard the reflection of the sweet October Sun in the kissing waters of the fountain. (P.S. — I now remember that I forgot to rise and give the Sign.)
Yet now — ah now! — I am but a dead man. Within me and without still stirs that life of sense that is not life, but is as the worms that feast upon my corpse…. Adonai! Adonai! my Lord Adonai! indeed, Thou hast forsaken me. Nay! thou liest, O weak soul! Abide in the meditation; unite all thy symbols into the form of a Lion, and be lord of thy jungle, travelling through the servile Universe even as Mau the Lion very lordly, the Sun in His strength that travelleth over the heaven of Nu in His bark in the mid-career of Day.
For all these thoughts are vain; there is but One thought, though that thought be not yet born — He only is God, and there is none other God than He!
A good thing; for it calms me.
This remark, one should notice, is truly characteristic of the man John St. John. I see how funny it is; but I'm quite serious withal. Ye dull dogs!
I now feel alive again. It was very strange how calm and balanced I was: yet now I am again energised; may it be to the point of Enthusiasm!
People will most assuredly smile at this exalted mystic; his life seems made up of sleep and love-making. Indeed, to-day I have been shockingly under the power of Tamas, the dark sphere. But that is clearly a fatigue-effect from having worked so hard.
Oh Lord, how long?
At least, I now solemnly express a pious wish that the Crocodile of the West may eat up the Sun once and for all, that Set may defile the Holy Place, that the supreme Blasphemy may be spoken by Python in the ears of Isis.
I want trouble. I want to say Indra's mantram till his throne gets red-hot and burns his lotus-buttocks; I want to pinch little Harpocrates till he fairly yells … and I will too! Somehow!
I can't make up my mind whether to starve or sandwich or gorge the beast St. John. He's not the least bit hungry, though he's had nothing to call a Meal since Thursday lunch. The Hatha-Yoga feeding game is certainly marvellous.
I should like to work marching and breathing with this mantra as I did of old with Aum Tat Sat Aum. Perhaps two steps to a mantra, and 4-8-16 steps to a breath-cycle? This would mean 28 seconds for a breath-cycle; quite enough for a marching man. We might try 4-8-8 to start; or even 8-8-8 (for the Chariot, wherein the Geburah of me rises to Binah — Strength winning the Wings of Understanding).
11 hours with no real break — not bad.
The bad part of to-day seems the Asana, and the deadness. Or, perhaps worse, I fail to apprehend the true magical purport of my work: hence all sort of aimless formulae, leading — naturally enough — to no result.
It just strikes me — it may be this Isis Apophis Osiris IAO formula that I have preached so often. Certainly the first two days were Isis — natural, pleasant, easy events. Most certainly too to-day has been Apophis! Think of the wild cursing and black magic, etc. … we must hope for the Osiris section to-morrow or next day. Birth, death, resurrection! IAO!
I will therefore now (11.50) sit down again and invoke really hard on these same lines, while the Perfume and the Vision are yet formulated, though insensibly, about me. And thus shall end the Third day of my retirement.
Oh Adonai my Lord, surely I did invoke Thee with fervour; yet Thou camest not utterly to the tryst. And yet I know that Thou wast there; and it may be that the morning may being rememberance of Thee which this consciousness does not now contain.
But I swear by Thine own glory that I will not be satisfied with this, that I will go on even unto madness and death if it be Thy will — but I will know Thee as Thou art.
It is strange how my cries died down; how I found myself quite involuntarily swinging back to the old mantra that I worked all yesterday.
However, I shall try a little longer in the Position of the Hanged Man, although sleep is again attacking me. I am weary, yet content, as if some great thing had indeed happened. But if I lost consciousness — a thing no man can be positive about from the nature of things — it must have happened so quietly that I never knew. Certainly I should not have thought that I had gone on for 25 minutes, as I did.
But I do indeed ask for a Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel which is not left so much to be inferred from the good results in my life and work; I want the Perfume and the the Vision….
Why am I so materially wallowing in grossness? It matters little; the fact remains that I do wallow. I want that definite experience in the very same sense as Abramelin had it; and what's more, I mean to go on till I get it.
How ashamed I should be, though! For an earthly lover one would be on tiptoe of excitement, trembling at every sound, eager, afraid…
I will, however, rise and open (as for a symbol) the door and the window. Oh that the door of my heart were ever open! For He is always there, and always eager to come in.
… May it be granted unto me in the daylight of this day to construct from DCLXXI a perfect ritual of self-initiation, so as to avoid the constant difficulty of assuming various God-forms. Then let that ritual be a constant and perfect link between Us … so that at all times I may be perfect in Thy Knowledge and Conversation, O mine Holy Guardian Angel! to whom I have aspired these ten years past.
One of the matters that came up last night with Dr. R—d was that of writing rubbish for magazines. He thought that one could do it in the intervals of serious work; but I do not think that one should take the risk. I have spent these many years training my mind to think cleanly and express beautifully. Am I to prostitute myself for a handful of bread?
I swear by Thyself, O Thou who art myself, that I will not write save to glorify Thee, that I will write only in beauty and melody, that I will give unto the world as Thou givest unto me, whether it be a consuming fire, or a cup of the wine of Iacchus, or a glittering dagger, or a disk brighter than the sun. I will starve in the street before I pander to the vileness of the men among whom I live — oh my Lord Adonai, be with me, give me the purest poesy, keep me to this vow! And if I turn aside, even for a moment, I pray Thee, warn me by some signal chastisement, that Thou art a jealous god, and that Thou wilt keep me veiled, cherished, guarded in Thine harem a pure and perfect spouse, like a slender fountain playing in Thy courts of marble and of malachite, of jasper, of topaz, and of lapis lazuli.
And by my magick power I summon all the inhabitants of the ten thousand worlds to witness this mine oath.
I shall try and describe Ritual DCLXXI; since its nature is important to this great ceremony of initiation. Those who understand a little about the Path of the Wise may receive some hint of the method of operation of the L.V.X.
And I think that a description will help me to collect myself for the proper adaptation of this Ritual to the purpose of Self- initiation.
Oh, how soft is the air, and how serene the sky, to one who has passed through the black rule of Apophis! How infinitely musical are the voices of Nature, those that are heard and those that are not heard! What Understanding of the Universe, what Love is the prize of him that hath performed all things and endured all things!
The first operation of Ritual DCLXXI is the preparation of the Place.
There are two forces; that of Death and that of Natural Life.
Death begins the Operation by a knock, to which Life answers.
Then Death, banishing all forces external to the operation, declares the Speech in the Silence.
Both officers go from their thrones and form the base of a triangle whose apex is the East. They invoke the Divine Word, and then Death slays with the knife, and embalms with the oil, his sister Life.
Life, thus prepared, invokes, at the summons of Death, the forces necessary to the Operation. The Word takes its station in the East and the officers salute it both by speech and silence in their signs; and they pronounce the secret Word of power that riseth from the Silence and returneth thereunto.
All this they affirm; and in affirming the triangular base of the Pyramid, find that they have mysteriously affirmed the Apex thereof whose name is Ecstasy.
This also is sealed by that secret word; for that Word containeth All.
Into this prepared Pyramid of divine Light there cometh a certain darkling wight, who knoweth not either his own nature, or his origin or destiny, or even the name of that which he desireth. Before he can enter the Pyramid, therefore, four ordeals are required of him.
So, bound and blinded, he stumbles forward, and passes through the wrath of the Four Great Princes of the Evil of the World, whose Terror is about him on every side. Yet since he has followed the voice of the Officer who has prepared him, in this part of the Ritual no longer merely Nature, the great Mother, but Neschamah (his aspiration) and the representative of Adonai, he may pass through all. Yea, in spite of the menace of the Hiereus, whose function is now that of his fear and of his courage, he goes on and enters the Pyramid. But there he is seized and thrown down by both officers as one unworthy to enter. His aspiration purifies him with steel and fire; and there as he lies shattered by the force of the ritual, he hears — even as a corpse that hears the voice of Israfel — the Hegemon that chants a solemn hymn of praise to that glory which is at the Apex, and who invisibly rules and governs the whole Pyramid.
Now then that darkling wight is lifted by the officers and brought to the altar in the centre; and there the Hiereus accuses him of the two and twenty Basenesses, while the Hegemon lifting up his chained arms cries again and again against his enemy that he is under the Shadow of the Eternal Wings of the Holy One. Yet at the end, at the supreme accusation, the Hiereus smites him into death. The same answer avails him, and in its strength he is uplifted by his aspiration — and now he stands upright.
Now then he makes a journey in his new house, and perceives at stated times, each time preceded by a new ordeal and equilibration, the forces that surround him. Death he sees, and the Life of Nature whose name is Sorrow, and the Word that quickeneth these, and his own self — and when he hath recognised these four in their true nature he passes to the altar once more and as the apex of a descending triangle is admitted to the lordship of the Double Kingdom. Thus is he a member of the visible triad that is crossed with the invisible — behold the hexagram of Solomon the King! All this the Hiereus seals with a knock and at the Hegemon's new summons he — to his surprise — finds himself as the Hanged Man of the Tarot.
Each point of the figure thus formed they crown with light, until he glitters with the Flame of the Spirit.
Thus and not otherwise is he made a partaker of the Mysteries, and the Lightning Flash strikes him. The Lord hath descended from heaven with a shout and with the Voice of the Archangel, and the trump of God.
He is installed in the Throne of the Double Kingdom, and he wields the Wand of Double Power by the sings of the grade.
He is recognized an initiate, and the word of Secret Power, and the silent administration of the Sacrament of Sword and Flame, acknowledge him.
Then, the words being duly spoken and the deeds duly done, all is symbolically sealed by the Thirty Voices, and the Word that vibrateth from the Silence to the Speech, and from the Speech again unto the Silence. Then the Pyramid is sealed up, even as it was opened; yet in the sealing thereof the three men partake in a certain mystical manner of the Eucharist of the Four Elements that are consumed for the Perfection of the Oil.
Knox Om Pax.
One thing strikes me as worthy of mention. Last night when I went into the restaurant to speak to R—d, my distaste for food was so intense that the smell of it caused real nausea. To-day, I am perfectly balanced, neither hungry nor nauseated. This is indeed more important than it seems; it is a sure sign when one sees a person take up fads that he is under the black rule of Apophis. In the Kingdom of Osiris there is freedom and light. To-day I shall eat neither with the frank gluttony of Isis nor with the severe asceticism of Apophis. I shall eat as much and as little as I fancy; these violent means are no longer necessary. Like Count Fosco, I shall "go on my way sustained by my sublime confidence, self-balanced by my impenetrable calm."
I now sit down to meditate on this new ritual.
The following, so it appears, should be the outlines — damn it, I've a good mind to write it straight off — no! I'll be patient and tease the Spirit a little. I will be coquettish as a Spanish catamite.
Sealing as for opening; but insert Sacrament.
Now more mantra, though by the Lord I'm getting sick of it.
P.S. — But notice, please! Normally half a bottle of Burgundy excites me notably; while doing this magic is like so much water. A "transvaluation of all values!"
(P.S. — Distinction is to be made between attainment of this grade in the natural and in the spiritual world. The former I long since possessed.)
The Ritual DCLXXI will still be applicable: indeed, it may be considered sufficient; but of course it must be lived as well as performed.
(I must here complain of serious trouble with fountain pens, and the waste of priceless time fixing them up. They have been wrong throughout the whole operation, a thing that has not happened to me for near eight years. I hope I've got a good one at last — yes, thank God! this one writes decently.)
Let Adonai the Lord oversee the Work, that it be perfect, a sure link with Him, a certain and infallible Conjuration, and Spell, and Working of true Magick Art, that I may invoke Him with success whenever seemeth good unto Him.
Unto Him; not unto Me! Is it not written that Except Adonai build the House, they labour in vain that build it?
My dinner is to be Bisque d'Ecrevisses, Tournedos Rossini, a Coupe Jack, half a bottle of Meursault, and Coffee. All should now acquit adepts of the charge of not knowing how to do themselves well.
This is rather important. I have purposely abstained from anything that might be called a drug, until now, for fear of confusing the effects.
With my knowledge of hashish-effects, I could very likely have broken up the Apophis-kingdom of yesterday in a moment, and the truth of it would have been 5 per cent. drug and 95 per cent. magic; but nobody would have believed me. Remember that this record is for the British Public, "who may like me yet." God forbid! for I cannot echo Browning's hope. Their greasiness, hypocrisy, and meanness are such that their appreciation could only mean my vileness, not their redemption. Sorry if I seem pessimistic about them! A nasty one for me, by the way, if they suddenly started buying me! I should have, in mere consistency, to cut my throat!
Calm yourself, my friend! There is no danger.
Meditation — of the "rational' sort — on this leads me to suggest that active "radiant" thought may be incompatible with the mantra, itself being (?) active. One can read and understand quite easily with the mantra going; one can remember things.
For example, I see my watch chain; I think. "Gold. Au, 196 atomic weight. AuCl3, £3 10s. 0d. an ounce" and so on ad infinitum; but the act of writing down these things stops the mantra. This may be (partly) because I always say under my breath each word as I write it. [P.S. — But I do so, though less possibly, as I read.]
I notice they give a second stage — trembling of the body — as preliminary to the jumping about like a frog — I had omitted this, as one is so obviously the germ of the other.
The Hindus seem to lack a sense of proportion. When the Yogi, by turning his tongue back for one half-minute, has conquered old age, disease and death; then instead of having good time he patiently (and rather pathetically, I think!) devotes his youthful immortality to trying to "drink the air through the crow-bill" ........ in the hope of curing a consumption of the lungs which he probably never had and which was in any case cured by his former effort!
Concerning the Visuddi Cakkram which is "of brilliant gold or smoke colour and has sixteen petals corresponding to the sixteen vowel sounds," one might make a good mantra of the English vowel sounds, or the Hebrew.
"Curiouser and curiouser!" The Yogis identify the Varana (Ganges) with the Ida-Nadi, the Asi (?) with the Pingala-Nadi, and Benares with the space between them. Like my identification of my throat with the Gate of the cimetiere du Montparnasse.
Well, it requires very considerable discrimination and a good sound foundation of knowledge, if one means to get any sense at all out of these Hindu books.
'Tis difficult to explain; the best simile I can get is that of a motor running with the clutch out; or of a man cycling on a suspended machine.
There's no grip to it.
The fact of the matter is, I am quite unconcentrated. Evidently the Osiris Risen stage is over; and I think it is a case for violent measures.
If one were to slack off now and hope for the morning, like a shipwrecked Paul, one would probably wake up a mere man of the world.
The Question then arises: What shall I do to be saved?
The only answer — and one which is quite unconnected with the question — is that a Ritual of Adeptus Major should display the Birth of Horus and Slaying of Typhon. Here again Horus and Harpocrates — the twins of the twin signs of 0° = 0□ ritual — are the slayers of Typhon. So all the rituals get mixed: the symbols recur, though in a different aspect. Anyway, one wants something a deal better than the path of Pe in 4° = 7□ ritual.
I think the postulant should be actually scourged, tortured, branded by fire for his equilibrations at the various "Stations of the Cross" or points upon his mystic journey. He must assuredly drink blood for the sacrament — ah! now I see it all so well! The Initiator must kill him, Osiris; he must rise again as Horus and kill the Initiator, taking his place in the ceremony thence to the end. A bit awkward technically, but 'twill yield to science. They did it of old by a certain lake in Italy!
Well, all this is dog-faced demon, ever seducing me from the Sacred Mysteries. I can't go out and kill anybody at this time o'night! We might make a start, though, with a little scourging, torturing, and branding by fire.…
Anything for a quiet life!
This, then, is a possible form of self-martyrdom. Similarly, mutilations; though it is perhaps just to observe that all these people are mad when they do these things, and their standard of pleasure and pain consequently so different from the sane man's as to be incomprehensible.
Look at my Uncle Tom! who goes about the world bragging of his chastity. The maniac is probably happy — a peacock who is all tail! And squawk. Look at the Vegetarians and Wallaceites and all that crew of lunatics. They are paid in the coin of self-conceit. I shall waste no pity on them!
The only thing to do in short is to go steadily on, with a little extra courage and energy — no harm in that! — on the same old lines. The Winding of the Way must necessarily lead me just where it may happen to go. Why deliberately go off to Geburah? Why not aspire direct by the Path of the Moon-Ray unto the Ineffable Crown? Modesty is misplaced here!
Very good. Then how aspire? Who is it that standeth in the Moon-Ray? The Holy Guardian Angel. Aye! O my Lord Adonai, Thou art the Beginning and the End of the Path. For as Thou אתה thou art also 406 = תו Tau the material world, the Omega. And as He הוא Thou art 12, the rays of the Ineffable Crown. (A disaster has occurred; viz., a sudden and violent attack of that which demands a tabloid of Pepsin, Bismuth, and Charcoal — and gets it. On my return, 11.34, I continue.)
And as אני Ani "I" thou art also אין the Negative, that is beyond these on either side!
But this illness is a nuisance. I must have got a little chill somehow. Its imminence would account for my lack of concentration. And I could doubtless go on gloriously, but that another disaster has occurred!
Enter Maryt, sitting and clothed and in her right mind — or comparatively so!
Let me get into Asana.
My Prana, however, seems feverish and unbalanced. So I eat a biscuit or two and drink some water and will put it right with the Pentagram Ritual.
Done, but oh! how hard. Sleep fights me as Apollyon fought Christian! but I will up and take him by the throat.
(See; 'tis 2.30. Twelve minutes to do that little in!) And look at the handwriting!
Satan trembles when he sees
The weakest saint upon his knees;
Satan flees, exclaiming "Damn!"
When any saint starts Pranayam!
So happy, indeed, was I in the practice that I devoted myself by the Waiting formula to Adonai; and that I got to "neighbourhood- concentration" is shewn by the fact that I several times forgot altogether about Adonai, and found myself saying the silly old Mantram.
I despair of asking my readers to distinguish between the common phenomenon of wandering thought and this phenomenon which is at the very portal of true and perfect concentration; yet it is most important that the distinction should be seized. The further difficulty will occur — I hope! — of distinguishing between the vacancy of the idiot, and that destruction of thought which we call Shivadarshana, or Nirvikalpa-samadhi.
The only diagnostic I can think of is this; that there is (I can't be sure about it) no rational connection between the thought one left behind one and the new thought. In a simple wandering during the practice of concentration one can very nearly always (especially with a little experience) trace the chain. With neighbourhood-concentration this is not so. Perhaps there is a chain, but so great already is the power of preventing the impressions from rising into consciousness that one has no knowledge of the links, each one having been automatically slaughtered on the threshold of the consciousness.
Of course, the honest and wary practitioner will have no difficulty in recognising the right kind of wandering; with this explanation there is no excuse for him if he does.
I have another theory, though. Perhaps this is not a wandering at all, but a complete annihilation of all thought. Affirming Adonai, I lop off the heads of all others; and Adonai's own head falls. But in the momentary pause which this causes, some old habitual thought (to- night my mantra) rises up. A case of the Closure followed by the Moving of the Previous Question.
Oh Lord! when wilt Thou carry a Motion to Adjourn, nay, to Prorogue, nay! to Dissolve this Parliament?
However, let me be vigilant now.
Though I performed it none too well (failing, e.g., to make use of the Geometric Progression on the Mahalingam formula in the Ieou section, and not troubling even to formulate carefully the Elemental Hosts, or to marshal them about the circle) I yet, by the favour of IAO, obtained a really good effect, losing all sense of personality and being exalted in the Pillar. Peace and ecstasy enfolded me. It is well.
I should like to to remark that the suggestions in the "Herb Dangerous" for a ritual seem the wrong way round. It seems to me that the Eastern methods are very arid, and chiefly valuable as a training of the Will, while the Ceremonies of the Magic of Light tune up the soul to that harmony when it is but one step to the Crown.
The real plan is, then, to train the Will into as formidable an engine as possible, and then, at the moment in the Ritual when the real work should be done, to fling forth flying that concentrated Will "whirling forth with re-echoing Roar, so that it may comprehend with invincible Will ideas omniform, which flying forth from that one Fountain issued: whose Foundation is One, One and Alone."
As therefore Discipline of whatever kind is only one way of going into a wood at midnight on Easter Eve and cutting the magic wand with a single blow of the magic knife, etc. etc. etc., we can regard the Western system as the essential one. Yet of course Pranayama, for one thing, has its own definite magical effect, apart from teaching the practitioner that he must last out those three seconds — those deadly long last three seconds — even if he burst in the process.
All this I am writing during breakfast.
My devotees may note, by the way, how the desire to sleep is breaking up.
|Night||I.||7½ hours, unbroken from 12.30.|
|"||II.||7 hours nearly, with dreams.|
|"||III.||8 hours nearly; but woke three or four times, and if I had not been a worm would have scattered it like chaff!|
|"||IV.||6½ hours; and I wake fresh.|
|"||V.||1¾ + 4½ + 1 hour; and real good work done in the intervals.|
|"||VI.||Probably 4 hours.|
|"||VII.||2 + 2 + ½ hours.|
|"||VIII.||6 hours much broken.|
|"||IX.||1½ + 2 + 2 hours.|
|"||X.||4 + 1¼ hours.|
|"||XI.||1¾ + 4½ hours.|
|"||XII.||Back to the normal — 7 hours perfect sleep.|
I must now copy out the new Ritual.
This, you will readily perceive, is all wrong. Theoretically, everything should be ready by the beginning of the Operation; and one should simply do it and be done with it.
But this is a very shallow view. One never knows what may be required; i.e., a beginner like myself doesn't. Further, one cannot write an effective Ritual till one is already in a fairly exalted state … and so on.
We must just do the best we can, now as always.
Coming back from lunch (a dozen Marennes Vertes and an Andouillette aux Pommes) I met Zelina Visconti, more lovely-ugly than ever in her wild way. She says that she is favourably disposed towards me, on the recommendation of her concierge!!!
"The tongue of good report hath already been heard in his favour. Advance, free and of good report!"
Please the pigs, the Visconti will cheer me up in the evening; and I shall get a good day in to-morrow.
But I do it on purpose, making each thing I do into that Magic Will.
So if you ask me "Are you correcting Liber DCCCCLXIII.?" I reply, "No! I am Adonai!"
To-day I began ill, full of spiritual pride — look at the records of my early hours! One might have thought me a great master of magic loftily condescending to explain a few elementary truths suited to the capacity of his disciples.
The fact is that I am a toad, ugly and venomous, and if I do wear a precious jewel in my hand, that jewel is Adonai, and — well, come to think of it, I am Adonai. But St. John is not Adonai; and St. John had better do a little humiliation to-morrow.
Nothing being more humiliating than Prana Yama, I will begin with that.
He does with great difficulty (and no interior performance) just four breath-cycles.
Somebody once remarked that it had taken a hundred million years to produce me; I may add that I hope it will be another hundred million before God makes such another cur.
The result fair. One gets better magical sight and feeling when one is performing a ritual in one's Astral Body, so called. For one is on the same plane as the things one's dealing with.
If, however, serious work is wanted, one must be all there. To get "materialized" "spirits" — pardon the absurd language! — one should (nay, must!) work inside one's body. So, too, I think, for the highest spiritual work; for that Work extends from Malkuth to Kether.
Here is the great value of the rationalistic Eastern systems. [P.S. Of course scientifically worked with pencil, note-book, and stop-watch. The Yogi is usually in practice just as vague a dreamer as the mystic.] They keep one always balanced by common sense. One might go off on lines of pleasing illusion for years, until one was lost on the "Astral Plane."
All this, observe, is very meaningless, very vague at the best. What is the Astral Plane? Is there such a thing? How do its phantoms differ from those of absinthe, reverie, and love, and so on?
We may admit their unsubstantiality without denying their power; the phantoms of absinthe and love are potent enough to drive a man to death or marriage; while reverie may end in anti- vivisectionism or nut-food-madness.
On the whole, I prefer to explain the many terrible catastrophes I have seen caused by magic misunderstood by supposing that in magic one is working with some very subtle and essential function of the brain, whose disease may mean for one man paralysis, for another mania, for a third melancholia, for a fourth death. It is not à priori absurd to suggest that there may be some one particular thought that would cause death. In the man with heart disease, for instance, the thought "I will run quickly upstairs" might cause death quite as directly as "I will shoot myself."
Yet of course this thought acts through the will and the apparatus of nerves and muscles. But might not a sudden fear cause the heart to stop? I think cases are on record.
But all this is unknown ground, or, as Frank Harris would say, Unpath'd Waters. We are getting dangerously near "mental arsenic" and "all — god — good — bones — truth — lights — liver — mind — blessing — heart — one and not of a series — ante and pass the buck."
The common sense of the practical man of the world is good enough for me!
Is this a common experience?
I connect it with my faculty of knowing direction, which all mountaineers and travellers who have been with me admit to be quite exceptional.
If I leave my tent or hut by a door facing, say, South-West, throughout that whole day, over all kinds of ground, through any imaginable jungle, in all kinds of weather, fog, blizzard, blight, by night or day, I know within 5° (usually within 2°) the direction in which I faced when I left that tent or hut. And if I happen to have observed its compass bearing, of course I can deduce North by mere judgment of angle, at which I am very accurate.
Further, I keep a mental record, quite unconsciously, of the time occupied on a march; so that I can always tell the time within five minutes or so without consulting my watch.
Further, I have another automatic recorder which maps out distance plus direction. Suppose I were to start from Scott's and walk (or drive; it's all the same to me) to Haggerston Town Hall (wherever Haggerston may be; but say it's N.E.), thence to Maida Vale. From Maida Vale I could take a true line for Piccadilly again and not go five minutes walk out of my way, bar blind alleys, etc., and I should know when I got close to Scott's again before I recognised any of the surroundings.
It always seems to me that I get an intuition of the direction and length of line A (Scott's to Haggerston bee-line; in spite of any winding, it would make little odds if I went via Poplar), another intuition of line B (Haggerston to Maida Vale), and obtained my line C (back to Scott's) by "Subliminal trigonometry."
In this example I am assuming that I had never been in London before. I have done precisely similar work in dozens of strange cities, even a twisted warren like Tangier or Cairo. I am worse in Paris than anywhere else; I think because the main thoroughfares radiate from stars, and so the angles puzzle one. The power, too, suits ill with civilized life; it fades as I live in towns, revives as I get back to God's good earth. A seven- foot tent and the starlight — who wants more?
Will go and break my fast and do my business.
Lord Adonai, how far I wander from the gardens of thy beauty, where play the fountains of the Elixir!
I will rest — if I can! In the Hanged Man posture.
It is useless to persist…. Yet I persist.
…. What a fool I am, by the way! I say that "He is God, and that there is no other God than He" 1800 times an hour; but I don't "think" it even once a day.
Was it that Hatha-Yoga sandwich?
I go on copying the Ritual.
I am disinclined to use the Ritual until it is beautifully coloured. As Zoroaster saith: "God is never so much turned away from man, and never so much sendeth him new paths, as when he maketh ascent to divine speculations or works, in a confused or disordered manner, and (as the oracle adds) with unhallowed lips, or unwashed feet. For of those who are thus negligent the progress is imperfect, the impulses are vain, and the paths are dark."
Instead I thought myself such a fine fellow that to get into Asana for a few minutes every midnight and the rest go-as-you- please would be enough. I am well punished.
One should use strictly corporeal methods to tame the body; strictly mental methods to control the mind. This latter restriction is not so vitally important. Any weapon is legitimate against a public enemy like the mind. No truce nor quarter! On the contrary, to use the spiritual forces to secure health, as certain persons attempt to do to-day, is the vilest black magic. This is one of the numerous reasons for supposing that Jesus Christ was a Brother of the Left-Hand Path. Now my body has been treating me well, waking nicely at convenient hours, sleeping at suitable times, keeping itself to itself … an admirable body. Then why shouldn't I take it out and give it the best dinner Lavenue can serve? … Provided that it doesn't stop saying that mantra!
It would be so easy to trick myself into the belief that I had attained! It would be so easy to starve myself until there was "visions about"! It would be so easy to write a sun-splendid tale of Adonai my Lord and my lover, so as to convince the world and myself that I had found Him! With my poetic genius, could I not outwrite St. John (my namesake) and Mrs. Dr. Anna Bonus Kingsford? Yea, I could deceive myself if I did not train and fortify my scepticism at every point. That is the great usefulness of this record; one will be able to see afterwards whether there is any trace of poetic or other influence. But this is my sheet-anchor: I cannot wrote a lie, either in poetry or about magic. These are serious things that constitute my personality; and I could more easily blow out my brains that write a poem which I did not feel. The apparent exception is in case of irony.
[P.S. I wonder whether it would be possible to draw up a mathematical table, showing curves of food (and digestion), drink, other physical impulses, weather, and so on, and comparing them with the curve of mystic enthusiasm and attainment. Through it is perhaps true that perfect health and "bien-être" are the bases of any true trance or rapture, it seems unlikely that mere exuberance of the former can excite the latter.
In other words there is probably some first matter of the work which is not anything we know of as bodily. On my return to London, I must certainly put the matter before more experienced mathematicians, and if possible, get a graphic analysis of the kind indicated.]
Come where the booze is cheaper!
Come where the pots hold more!
How I wish I had written them!
pausing to cast one last glance back
O'er the safe road — 'twas gone!
I must come out of it either an Adept or a maniac. Thank the Lord for that! It saves trouble.
The Incense has arrived from London; and I feel its magical effects most favourable.
O creature of Incense! I conjure thee by Him that sitteth upon the Holy Throne and liveth and reigneth for ever as the Balance of Righteousness and Truth, that thou comfort and exalt my soul with Thy sweet perfume, that I may be utterly devoted to this Work of the Invocation of my Lord Adonai, that I may fully attain thereto, beholding Him face to face — as it is written "Before there was Equilibrium, Countenance beheld not Countenance" — yea, being utterly absorbed in His ineffable Glory — yea, being That of which there is no Image either in speech or thought.
…. I wish I knew where I was! I don't at all recognise what Path I am on; it doesn't seem like a Path at all. As far as I can see, I am drifting rudderless and sailless on a sea of no shore — the False Sea of the Qliphoth. For in my stupidity I began to try a certain ritual of the Evil Magic, so called….
Not evil in truth, because only that is evil (in one sense) which does not lead to Adonai. (In another sense, all is evil which is not Adonai.) And of course I had the insane idea that this ritual would serve to stimulate my devotion. For the information of the Z.A.M., I may explain that this ritual pertained to Saturn in Libra; and, though right enough in its own plane, is a dog-faced demon in this operation. Is it, though? I am so blind that I can no longer decide the simplest problems. Else, I see so well, and am so balanced, that I see both sides of every question.
In chess-blindness one used to abjure the game. I never tried to stick it through; I wish I had. Anyhow, I have to stick this through!
O Lord of the Eye, let thine Eye be ever open upon me! For He that watcheth Israel doth not slumber nor sleep!
Lord Shiva, open Thou the Eye upon me, and consume me altogether in its brilliance!
Destroy this Universe! Eat up thine hermit in thy terrible jaws!
Dance Thou upon this prostrate saint of Thine!
… I suffer from thirst … it is a thirst of the body … yet the thirst of the soul is deeper, and impossible to quench.
Lord Adonai! Let the Powers of Geburah plunge me again and again into the Fires of Pain, so that my steel may be tempered to that Sword of Magic that invoketh Thy Knowledge and Thy Conversation.
Hoor! Elohim Gibor! Kamael! Seraphim! Graphiel!
Bartzabel! Madim! I conjure ye in the Number Five.
By the Flaming Star of my Will! By the Senses of my Body! By the Five Elements of my Being! Rise! Move! Appear! Come ye forth unto me and torture me with your fierce pangs … for why? because I am the Servant of the Same your God, the True Worshipper of the Highest.
Ol sonuf vaoresaji, gono ladapiel, elonusaha cælazod.
I rule above ye, said the Lord of Lords, exalted in power.
I hope I shall be able to live up to this!
So mote it be!
Now, O, my Lord Adonai, thou Self-Glittering One, wilt Thou not manifest unto Thy chosen one? For see me! I am as a little white dove trembling upon thine altar, its throat stretched out to the knife. I am as a young child bought in the slave market … and night is fallen! I await Thee, O my Lord, with a great longing, stronger than Life; yet am I as patient as Death.
There was a certain Darwesh whose turban a thief stole. But when they said to him, "See! he hath taken the road to Damascus!" that holy man answered, as he went quietly to the cemetery, "I will await him here!"
So, therefore, there is one place, O thou thief of my heart's love, Adonai, to which thou must come at last; and that place is the tomb in which lie buried all my thoughts and emotions, all that which is "I, and Me, and Mine." There will I lay myself and await thee, even as our Father Christian Rosenkreutz that laid himself in the Pastos in the Vault of the Mountain of the Caverns, Abiegnus, on whose portal did he cause to be written the words, "Post Lux Crucis Annos Patebo." So Thou wilt enter in (as did Frater N. N. and his companions) and open the Pastos; and with thy Winged Globe thou wilt touch the Rosy Cross upon my breast, and I shall wake into life — the true life that is Union with Thee.
So therefore — perinde ac cadaver — I await Thee.
It is as silly as rising at midnight, and saying, "I will go out and sleep in the sun."
But I am an Irishman, and if you offer me a donkey-ride at a shilling the first hour and sixpence the second, you must not be surprised at the shrewd silliness of my replying that I will take the second hour first.
But that is always the way; the love of besting our dearest friends in a bargain is native to us: and so, even in religion, when we are dealing with our own souls, we try to cheat. I go out to cut an almond rod at midnight, and, finding it inconvenient, I "magically affirm" that ash is almond and that seven o'clock is twelve. It seems a pity to have become a magician, capable of forcing Nature to accommodate herself to your statements, for no better use to be made of the power than this!
Miracles are only legitimate when there is no other issue possible. It is waste of power (the most expensive kind of power) to "make the spirits bring us all kinds of food" when we live next door to the Savoy; that Yogi was a fool who spent forty years learning to walk across the Ganges when all his friends did it daily for two pice; and that man does ill when he invokes Tahuti to cure a cold in the head while Mr. Lowe's shop is so handy in Stafford Street.
But miracles may be performed in an extremity; and are.
This brings us round in a circle; the miracle of the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel is only to be performed when the magus has rowed himself completely out; in the language of the Tarot, when the Magus has become the Fool. But for my faith in the Ritual DCLXXI. I should be at the end of my spells.
Well? We shall see in the upshot.
For I lay down quite free of worry or anxiety (hugging myself, as it were), perfectly sure of Him in the simple non-assertive way that a child is sure of its mother, in a state of pleased expectancy, my thoughts quite suppressed in an intent listening, as it were for the noise of the wind of His chariot, as it were for the rustle of His wings.
For lo! through the heaven of Nu He rideth in His chariot — soon, soon He will be here!
Into this state of listening come certain curious things — formless flittings, I know not what. Also, what I used to call "telephone-cross" voices — voices of strange people saying quite absurd commonplace things — "Here, let's feel it!" "What about lunch?" "So I said to him: Did you —" and so on; just as if one were overhearing a conversation in a railway carriage. I beheld also Kephra, the Beetle God, the Glory of Midnight. But let me compose myself again to sleep, as did the child Samuel.
If He should choose to come, He can easily awaken me.
The dream changed, too, to a liner; where Japanese stole my pipe in a series of adventures of an annoying type — every one acted as badly as he knew how, and as unexpectedly.
Waking just now, and instantly concentrating on Adonai, I found my body seized with a little quivering, very curious and pleasant, like
trembling leaves in a continuous air.
I think I have heard this state of Interior Trembling described in some mystic books. I think the Shakers and Quakers had violent shudderings. Abdullah Haji of Shiraz writes: —
Just as the body shudders when the Soul
Gives up to Allah in its quick career
It is the tiniest, most intimate trembling, not unlike that of Kambhakham or "Vindu-siddhi" properly performed; but of a female quality. I feel as if I were being shaken; in the other cases I recognize my own ardour as the cause. It is very gentle and sweet.
So now I may turn back to wait for Him.
This time a house where I, like a new Bluebeard, have got to conceal my wives from each other. But my foolish omission to knife them brings it about that I have thirty-nine secret chambers, and only one open one in each case.
Oh, yards of it! And all sorts of people come in to supper — which there isn't any, and we have to do all sorts of shifts — and all the wives think themselves neglected — as they are bound to do, if one is insane enough to have forty — and I loathed them all so! it was terrible having to fly round and comfort and explain; the difficulty increases (I should judge) as about the fifth power of the number of wives… I'm glad I'm awake!
Yea, and how glad when I am indeed awake from this glamour life, awake to the love my Lord Adonai!
It is bitter chill at dawn. A consecrating cold it seems to me — yet I will not confront it and rejoice in it — I am already content, having ceased to strive.
I seem like one convalescent after a fever; very calm, very clean, rather weak, too weak, indeed, to be actually happy: but content.
I spent the morning posing for Michael Brenner, a sculptor who will one day be heard of. Very young yet, but I think the best man of his generation — of those whose work I have seen. By the way, I am suffering from a swollen finger, since yesterday morning or possibly earlier. I have given it little attention, but it is painful.
I want to explain why I have so carefully recorded the somewhat banal details of all I have eaten and drunk.
If a chemist wants to prepare copper sulphate from its oxide, he does not hesitate on the ground that sulphuric acid, thrown in the eyes, hurts people. So I use the moral drug which will produce the desired result, whether that drug be what people commonly call poison or no. In short, I act like a sensible man; and I think I deserve every credit for introducing this completely new idea into religion.
In Hindu phrase, the thought-stuff, painfully forced all these days into one channel, has acquired the habit I am Ekâgrata — one-pointed.
Just as if one arranges a siphon, one has to suck and suck for a while, and then when the balance in the two arms of the tube is attained, the fluid goes on softly and silently of its own act. Gravitation which was against us is now for us.
So now the whole destiny of the Universe is by me overcome; I am impelled, with ever-gathering and irresistible force, toward Adonai.
Vi Veri Vniversvm Vivvs Vici!
Also to the chemist's to have my finger attended to.
The Concourse of the Forces has become the Harmony of the Forces; the word Tetragrammation is spoken and ended; the holy letter Shin is descended into it. For the roaring God of Sinai we have the sleeping Babe of Bethlehem. A fulfilment, not a destroying, of the Law.
It would be just like me, if there were only one possible mistake to make, to make it! I was perfect, had I only watched. But I let my faith run away with me…. I wonder.
On the contrary, it will leave the reason quite intact, supreme Lord of its own plane. Mixing up the planes is the sad fate of many a mystic. How many do I know in my own experience who tell me that, obedient to the Heavenly Vision, they will shoot no more rabbits! Thus they found a system on trifles, and their Lord and God is some trumpery little elemental masquerading as the Almighty.
I remember my Uncle Tom telling me that he was sure God would be displeased to see me in a blue coat on Sunday. And to-day he is surprised and grieved that I do not worship his god — or even my own tailor, as would be surely more reasonable!
And the Visconti may turn up! …
Eli, Eli, lama sabacthani!
In this wise. First, I found that I did not want sleep — I couldn't stop "Waiting." Next, I said "Since last night that Black Ritual (see entry 10.55) did at least serve to turn all my thoughts to the One Thought, I will try it again…"
Then I said: "No; to do so is not pure 'waiting.;'"
And then — as by a flash of lightning — the Abyss of the Pit opened, and my whole position was turned. I saw my life from the dawn of consciousness till now as a gigantic "pose"; my very love of truth assumed for the benefit of my biographer! All these strange things suffered and enjoyed for no better purpose than to seem a great man. One cannot express the horror of this thought; it is The thought that murders the soul — and there is no answer to it. So universal is it that it is impossible to prove the contrary. So one must play the man, and master it and kill it utterly, burying it in that putrid hell from which it sprang. Luckily I have dealt with it before. Once when I lived at Paddington J—s and F—r were with me taking, and, when they went, thoughtfully left this devil-thought behind — the agony is with me yet. That, though, was only a young mild devil, though of the same bad brood. It said: "Is there any Path or Attainment? Have you been fooled all along?"
But to-night's thought struck at my own integrity, at the inmost truth of the soul and of Adonai.
As I said, there is no answer to it; and as these seven days have left me fairly master of the fortress, I caught him young, and assigned him promptly to the oubliette.
I put down this — not as a "pose" — but because the business is so gigantic. It encourages me immensely; for if my Dweller on the Threshold be that most formidable devil, how vast must be the Pylon that shelters him, and how glorious must be the Temple just beyond!
I started to attempt to awaken the Kundalini — the magical serpent that sleeps at the base of the spine; coiled in three coils and a half around the Sushumna; and instead of pumping the Prana up and down the Sushumna until Siva was united with Sakti in the Sahasrara-Cakkram, I tried — God knows why; I'm stupider than an ass or H… C…. — to work the whole operation in Muladhara — with the obvious result.
There are only two more idiocies to perform — one, to take a big dose of Hashish and record the ravings as if they were Samadhi; and two, to go to church. I may as well give up.
Yet here answers me the everlasting Yea and Amen: Thou canst not give up, for I will bring thee through. Yet here I lie, stripped of all magic force, doubting my own peace and faith, farther from Adonai than ever before — and yet — and yet —
Do I not know that every error is a necessary step in the Path? The longest way round is the shortest way home. But it is disgusting! There's a grim humour in it, too. The real Devil of the Operation must be sitting with sardonic grin upon his face, enjoying my perplexity —
For that Dweller-of-the-Threshold-thought was not as dead as I supposed; as I write he comes again and again, urging me to quit the Path, to abandon the unequal contest. Luckily, friend Dweller, you prove too much! Your anxiety shows me that I am not as far from attainment as my own feelings would have me think. At least, though, I am thrown into the active again; I shall rise and chant the Enochian Calls and invoke the Bornless One, and clear a few of the devils away, and get an army of mighty angels around me — in short, make another kind of fool of myself, I wonder?
Anyway, I'll do it. Not a bad idea to ask Thoth to send me Taphtatharath with a little information as to the route — I do not know where I am at all. This is a strange country, and I am very lonely.
This shall be my ritual.
To work, then!
The L.V.X. came, too but not enough to pierce the awful shroud of darkness that by my folly I have woven for myself.
So at the end I found myself on the floor, so like Rodin's Cruche Cassée Danaide Girl as never was … As I ought to have been in the beginning! Well, one thing I got (again!), that is, that when all is said and done, I am that I am, and all these thoughts of mine, angels and devils both, are only fleeting moods of me. The one true self of me is Adonai. Simple! Yet I cannot remain in that simplicity.
I got this "revelation" through the Egyptian plane, a partial illumination of the reason. It has cleared up the mind; but alas! the mind is still there. This is the strength and weakness both of the Egyptian plane, that it is so lucid and spiritual and yet so practical. When I say weakness, I mean that it appeals to my weakness; I am easily content with the smaller results, so that they seduce me from going on to the really big ones. I am quite happy as a result of my little ceremony — whereas I ought to be taking new and terrible oaths! Yet why should Tahuti be so kind to me, and Asar Un-nefer so unkind? The answer comes direct from Tahuti himself: Because you have learned to write perfectly, but have not yet taught yourself to suffer.
True enough, the last part!
Asar Un-nefer, thou perfected One, teach me Thy mysteries! Let my members be torn by Set and devoured by Sebek and Typhon! Let my blood be poured out upon Nile, and my flesh be given to Besz to devour! Let my Phallus be concealed in the maw of Mati, and my Crown be divided among my brethren! Let the jaws of Apep grind me into poison! Let the sea of poison swallow me wholly up!
Let Asi my mother rend her robes in anguish, and Nepti weep for me unavailing.
Then shall Asi being forth Hoor, and Heru-pa-kraat shall leap glad from her womb. The Lord of Vengeance shall awaken; Sekhet shall roar, and Pasht cry aloud. Then shall my members be gathered together, and my bonds shall be unloosed; and my khu shall be mighty in Khem for ever and ever!
These are indeed the Qliphoth, the Qliphoth of Kether, the Thaumiel, twin giant heads that hate and tear each other.
For the horror and darkness have been unbelievable; yet again, the light and brilliance have been almost insupportable.
I was never so far, and never so near … But the hour approaches. Let me collect myself, and begin the new day in affirmation of my Unity with my Lord Adonai!
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!
… Now I hope that I shall; surely the Reaction of Nature against the Magical Will must be wearing down at last!
During his Kambhakham he willed Adonai with all his might. Let him sleep, invoking Adonai!
The last entry should extend to 3.30 or thereabouts; probably later; for, invoking Adonai, he again got the beginnings of the Light, and the "telephone-cross" voices very strongly. But this time he was fortunately able to concentrate on Adonai with some fervour, and these things ceased to trouble. But the Perfume and the Vision came not, nor any full manifestation of the L.V.X., the Secret Light, the light that shineth in darkness.
John St. John is again very sleepy. He will try and concentrate on Adonai without doing Pranayama — much harder of course. It is a supreme effort to keep both eyes open together.
He must do his best. He does not wish to wake too thoroughly, either, lest afterward he oversleep himself, and miss his appointment with Michael Brenner to continue moulding Siddhasana.
It will be best to get up and do some kind of work; for the beast would sleep.
Then Brenner said: "Let us take a little rest!" — oh irony! — and he came down from his throne, staggering with fatigue….
If you can conceive all his anger and despair! His pen, writing this, forms a letter badly, and through clenched teeth he utters a fierce curse.
Oh Lord Adonai, look with favour upon him!
Adonai, look with favour upon Thy slave!
He will arise, and take a drink — a citron pressé — at the Dôme; for the day is yet exceeding hot, and he has had little.
Every small snatch of sleep, without exception, in the last three or four days, has these images.
The ideal condition seems likely to be perfect oblivion — or (in the Adept) is the Tamo-Guna, the Power of elemental Darkness, broken once and for ever, so that His sleep is vivid and rational as another man's waking; His waking another man's Samadhi; His Samadhi — to which He ever strives — ?????
At least this later view is suggested by the Rosicrucian formula of Reception:
May thy mind be open unto the Higher!
May thy heart be the Centre of Light!
May thy body be the Temple of the Rosy Cross!
and by the Hindu statement that in the attained Yogin the Kundalini sleeps in the Svadistthana, no more in the Muladhara Cakkram.
See also the Rosicrucian lecture on the Microcosmos, where this view is certainly upheld, the Qliphoth of an Adept being balanced and trained to fill his Malkuth, vacated by the purified Nephesch which has gone up to live in Tiphereth.
Or so O.M. read it.
The other idea of the Light descending and filling each principle with its glory is, it seems to him, less fertile, and less in accord with any idea of Evolution.
(What would Judas McCabbage think?)
And one can so readily understand how tremendous a task is that of the postulant, since he has to glorify and initiate all his principles and train them to their new and superior tasks. This surely explains better the terrible dangers of the path….
Some years back, on the Red River in China, John St. John saw at every corner of that swift and dangerous stream a heap of wreckage.
… He, himself in danger, thought of his magical career.
Alcoholism, insanity, disease, faddism, death, knavery, prison — every earthly hell, reflection of some spiritual blunder, had seized his companions. By dozens had that band been swept away, dashed to pieces on one rock or another. He, alone almost upon that angry stream, still held on, his life each moment the plaything of giant forces, so enormous as to be (once they were loose) quite out of proportion to all human wit or courage or address — and he held on his course, humbly, not hopelessly, not fearfully, but with an abiding certainty that he would endure unto the end.
In this great Magical Retirement he has struck many rocks, sprung many leaks; the waters of the False Sea foam over the bow, ride and carry the quarter — is he perchance already wrecked, his hopeless plight concealed from him as yet by his own darkness?
For, dazzled as he is by the blinding brilliance of this morning's Spiritual Sun, which yet he beheld but darkly, to him now even the light of earth seems dark. Reason the rudder was long since unshipped; the power of his personality has broken down, yet under the tiny storm-sail of his Will to Adonai, the crazy bark holds way, steered by the oar of Discipline — Yea, he holds his course. Adonai! Adonai! is not the harbour yet in sight?
The atmosphere is full of vitality, sweetened and strengthened; the soul naturally and simply turns to the holy task with vigour and confidence; the black demons of doubt and despair flee away; one respires already a foretaste of the Perfume, and obtains almost a premonition of the Vision.
So, let the work go on.
Well, he has got to get up more steam somehow, though the boiler bursts. Perhaps early dinner, with Ritual, may induce that Enthusiastic Energy of which the Gnostics write.
This morning the whole Sankhara-dhatu (the tendency of the being John St. John) was operating aright. Now by no effort of will can he flog his tired cattle along the trail.
So poor a thing is he that he will even seek an Oracle from the book of Zoroaster.
Done. Zoroaster respectfully wishes to point out that "The most mystic of discourses informs us — his wholeness is in the Supra-Mundane Order; for there a Solar World and Boundless light subsist, as the Oracles of the Chaldeans affirm."
Not very helpful, is it?
As if divination could ever help on such exalted planes! As if the trumpery elementals that operate these things possessed the Secrets of the Destiny of an Adept, or could help him in his agony!
For this reason, divination should be discarded from the start: it is only a "mere toy, the basis of mercenary fraud" as Zoroaster more practically assures us.
Yet one can get the right stuff out of the Tarot (or other inconvenient method) by spiritualising away all the meaning, until the intuition pierces that blank wall of ignorance.
Let O.M. meditate upon this Oracle on his way to feed John St. John's body — and thus feed his own!
"Adonai, ply Thou thy scourge! Adonai, load Thou the chain!"
Yea, Lord Adonai! but the full moon means much to John St. John; he fears ("fears," O Lord of the Western Pylon!) lest, of once that full moon pass, he may not win through….
"The harvest is over, the summer is ended, and we are not saved!" Yet hath not Abramelin lashed the folly of limiting the spiritual paths by the motions of the planets? And Zoroaster, in that same oracle just quoted?
The truth is that the Chittam is excited and racing, the control being impaired; and the Ego is springing up again.
Worse, the beast is pleased and excited at the novelty of the sensation, and takes delight in recording it.
It may have been a snare — may the Lord Adonai keep him in the Path.
(P.S. — Add that the "ultra-violet" or "astral" light in the room was such that it seemed bright as daylight. He hath never seen the like, even in the ceremony which he performed in the Great Pyramid of Gizeh.)
The Vision of the Holy Guardian Angel itself; yet was He seen as from afar, not intimately….
Therefore is O.M. not content with all this wonder; but will now orderly close the temple, that at the Beginning of the Tenth Day — and Ten are the Holy Sephiroth, the Emanations of the Crown; Blessed be He! … He may make new considerations of this Operation whereby he may discover through what error he is thus betrayed again and again into failure. Failure. Failure.
Now the, O Lord Adonai! Let the Tenth Day be favourable unto O. M. For in the struggle he is as nothing worth. Nor valiant, nor fortunate, nor skilful — except Thou fight by his side, cover his breast with Thy shield, second his blows with Thy spear and with Thy sword.
Aye! let the Ninth Day close in silence and in darkness, and let O.M. be found watching and waiting and willing Thy Presence. Adonai! Adonai! O Lord Adonai! Let Thy Light illumine the Path of that darkling wight John St. John, that being who, separate from Thee, is separate from all
Light, Life, Love.
Adonai! Adonai! let it be written of O. M. that "The Lord Adonai is about him like a thunderbolt and like a Pylon and like a Serpent and like a Phallus — and in the midst thereof like the Woman that jetteth the Milk of the Stars from Her paps; yea, the Milk of the Stars from Her paps."
(P.S. — Doubt has arisen about this perfume, as to whether there was not a commonplace cause. On the balance of the evidence, carefully considered, one would pronounce for the mystic theory.)
One should add a curious omen. On sitting down for the great struggle (11.14) John St. John found a nail upon the floor, at his feet. Now a nail is Vau in Hebrew, and the Tarot Trump corresponding to Vau is the Hierophant or Initiator — whereby is O. M. greatly comforted.
So poor a thing hath he become!
Even as a little child groping feebly for the breast of its mother, so gropeth Thy little child after Thee, O thou Self- Glittering One!
… He is too tired to understand what he reads. He will, despite of all, do a little Pranayama, and then sleep, ever willing Adonai.
For Pranayama with its intense physical strain is a great medicine for the mind. Even as the long trail of the desert and the life with the winds and the stars, the daily march and its strife with heat, thirst, fatigue, cure all the ills of the soul, so does Pranayama clear away the phantoms that Mayan, dread maker of Illusion, hath cumbered it withal.
He will read through the Ritual once, and then sleep. (The Pranayama precipitated a short attack of diarrhoea, started by the chill of the Ceremony.)
John St. John is horribly tired; the "control" is worn to a thread. He takes five minutes to make up his mind to go through with it, five more to wash and write this up. And he has a million excuses for not doing Pranayama.
The brain is cool and lucid; but no energy is in it. At least no Sammaváyamo. And at present the Superscription on John St. John's Cross is
Marvellous and manifold as are his results, he hath renounced them and esteemeth them as dross…. This is right, John St. John! yet how is it that there is place for the great hunchbacked devil to whisper in thine ear the doubt: Is there in truth any mystic path at all? Is it all disappointment and illusion?
And the "Poor Thing" John St. John moves off shivering and sad, like a sot who has tried to get credit at a tavern and is turned away — and that on Christmas Eve!
There is no money in his purse, no steam in his boilers — that's what's the matter with John St. John. It is clear enough, what happened yesterday. He failed at the four Pylons in turn; in the morning Fear stopped him at that of Horus and so on; while in the evening he either failed at the Pylon of Thoth, i.e., was obsessed by the necessity (alleged) of recording his results, or failed to overcome the duality of Thoth. Otherwise, even if he comprehended the base, he certainly failed at the apex of the Pyramid.
In any case, he cannot blame the Ceremony, which is most potent; one or two small details may need correction, but no more.
Here then he is down at the bottom of the hill again, a Rosicrucian Sisyphus with the Stone of the Philosophers! An Ixion bound to the Wheel of Destiny and of the Samsara, unable to reach the centre, where is Rest.
He must add to the entry 1.13 that the "telephone-cross" voices came as he composed himself to sleep, in the Will to Adonai.
This time he detached a body of cavalry to chase them to oblivion. Perhaps an unwise division of his forces; yet he was so justly indignant at the eternal illusions that he may be excused.
Excused! To whom? Thou must succeed or fail! O Batsman, with thy frail fortress of Three-in-One, the Umpire cries "Out"; and thou explainest to thy friends in the pavilion. But thy friends have heard that story before, and thy explanation will not appear in the score. Mr. J. St. John, b. Maya, o, they will read in the local newspaper. There is no getting away from that!
Failure! Failure! Failure!
Now then let me (7.35) take the position of the Hanged Man and invoke Adonai.
The rain comes wearily down, not chasing the dryness, but soddening the streets.
The rain of autumn, not the rain of spring!
So is it in this soul, Lord Adonai. The thought of Thee is heavy and uneasy, flabby and loose, like an old fat woman stupid-drunk in her slum; which was as a young maiden in a field of lilies, arrow-straight, sun-strong, moon-pure, a form all litheness and eagerness, dancing, dancing for her own excess of life.
The brain is in revolt; it has been compressed too long. Yet it is impossible to rest. It is too late. The Irresistible God, whose name is Destiny, has been invoked, and He hath answered. The matter is in His hands; He must end it, either with that mighty spiritual Experience which I have sought, or else with black madness, or with death. By the Body of God, swear thou that death would come — welcome, welcome, welcome! And to Thee, and from Thee, O thou great god Destiny, there is no appeal. Thou turnest not one hair's breadth from Thy path appointed.
That which "John St. John" means (else is it a blank name) is that which he must be — and what is that? The issue is with Thee — cannot one wait with fortitude, whether it be for the King's Banqueting-House or for the Headsman and the Block?
Curse all the Gods and all the demons — all those things in short which go to make up John St. John. For that — as he now knows — is the Name of the great Enemy, the Dweller upon the Threshold. It was that mighty spirit whose formless horror beat him back, for it was he!
So now to return to concentration and the Will toward Adonai.
Whatever impression reaches the consciousness is turned by it into a symbol or a simile of the Work.
… To interpret this Record aright, it must, however, be understood that the "Standard of Living" goes up at an incredible rate. The same achievement would, say five days ago, have been entered as "High degree of concentration; unhoped-for success."
The phenomena which to-day one dismisses with annoyed contempt are the same which John St. John worked four years continuously to attain, and when attained seemed almost to outstrip the possible of glory. The flood of the Chittam is again being heaped up by the dam of Discipline. There is less headache, and more sense of being on the Path — that is the only way one finds of expressing it.
In despair returned to a simple practice, the holding of the mind to a single imagined object; in this case the Triangle surmounted by the Cross. It seems quite easy to do nowadays; why shouldn't it lead to the Result? It used to be supposed to do so.
Might be worth trying anyway; things can hardly be worse than they are.
Or, one might go over to the Hammam, and have a long bath and sleep — but who can tell whether it would refresh, or merely destroy the whole edifice built up so laboriously in these ten days?
John St. John is aching all over, cannot get comfortable anyhow; is hungry, and has no appetite; thirsty, and loathes the thought of drinking!
He must do something — something pretty drastic, or he will find himself in serious trouble of body and mind, the shadows of his soul, that is sick unto death. For "where are now their gods?" Where is the Lord, the Lord Adonai?
Perhaps a "café, cognac, et cigare" may tune him up to the point of either going back to work, or across Paris to the Hammam. He will make the experiment, reading through his proofs the while.
One good thing; the Chittam is moving slowly. The waiters all hurry him — what a contrast to last night!
A café c18egrave;me, forty minutes at the Academie Marcelle — a gruelling bout without gloves — and J. St. J. is at the Luxembourg to look at the pretty pictures.
One might justly object to any Results of this Ten days' strain. But if abundant health and new capacity to do great work be the after-effect, who then will dare to cast a stone?
Not that it matters a turnip-top to the Adept himself. But others may be deterred from entering the Path by the foolish talk of the ignorant, and thus may flowers be lost that should go to make the fadeless wreath of Adonai. Ah, Lord, pluck me up utterly by the root, and set that which Thou pluckest as a flower upon thy brow!
Adonai is that thought which informs and strengthens and purifies, supreme sanity in supreme genius. Anything that is not that is not Adonai.
Hence the refusal of all other Results, however glorious; for they are all relative, partial, impure. Anicca, Dukkha, Anatta: Change, sorrow, Unsubstantiality; these are their characteristics, however much they may appear to be Atman, Sat, Chit, Ananda, Soul, Being, Knowledge, Bliss.
But the main consideration was one of expediency. Has not John St. John possibly been stuffing himself both with Methods and Results?
Certainly this morning was more like the engorgement of the stomach with too much food than like the headache after a bout of drunkenness.
A less grave fault, by far; it is easy and absurd to get a kind of hysterical ecstasy over religion, love, or wine. A German will take off his hat and dance and jodel to the sunrise — and nothing comes of it! Darwin studies Nature with more reverence and enthusiasm, but without antics — and out comes the Law of Evolution. So it is written "By their fruits ye shall know them." But about this question of spiritual overfeeding — what did Darwin do when he got to the stage (as he did, be sure! many a time) when he wished every pigeon in the world at the devil! Now this wish has never really arisen in John St. John; however bad he feels, he always feels that Attainment is the only possible way out of it. This is the good Karma of his ten years' constant striving.
Well, in the upshot, he will get back to Work at once, and hope that his few hours in the world may prove a true strategic movement to the rear, and not a euphemism for rout!
The Next Step for humanity in general was then "the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel."
One thing at a time.
But here he finds himself discussing and disputing with himself the nature of that Knowledge.
Better far act as hitherto, and aspire simply and directly, as one person to another, careless of the critical objections (quite insuperable, of course) to this or any other conception.
For as this experience transcends reason, it is fruitless to argue about it.
Adonai, I invoke Thee!
Simpler, then, to go back to the Egoistic diction, only remembering always that by "I" is meant John St. John, or O. M., or Adonai according to the context.
Therefore will I kindle the holy Incense, and turn myself again to the One Thought.
As bad as it was on the very first day!
I don't care.
I write a letter to F—r and sign myself with a broken pentagram.
It makes me think of a "busted flush." …
But through all the sunlight peeps: e.g., These six snails were my six inferior souls; the seventh, the real soul, cannot be eaten by the devourer.
How's that for high?
Aum Tat Sat Aum
and give the Hindus a chance.
We can but try.
So I begin at once.
'Tis very hard to stick to it. I find myself, at the end of above sentence, automatically crawling into bed. No John!
Another failure, but an excusable one.
I will now beseech Adonai as best I may to give me back my lost powers.
For I am no more even a magician! So lost am I in the illusions that I have made in the Search for Adonai, that I am become the vilest of them all!
The fact is, all is over! I am done! I have tried for the Great Initiation and I have failed: I am swept away into strange hells.
Lord Adonai! let the fires be informing; let them "balance, assain assoil."
I suppose this rash attempt will end in Locomotor Ataxia or G. P. I.
Let it! I'm going on.
The shame of it! The torture of it!
I slept in patches as a man sleeps that is deadly ill. I am only afraid of failing to wake for the End of the day.
God! what a day!
…I dare not trust my will to keep me awake; so I rise, wash, and will walk about till time to get into my Asana.
Thirst! Oh how I thirst!
I had not thought that there could be such suffering.
The powers of Asana and Pranayama return. I did 21 Breath-cycles without fatigue.
Energy returns, and Keenness to pursue the Path — all fruits of that one little victory over sleep.
How delicate are these powers, so simple as they seem! Let me be very humble, now and for every more! Surely at least that lesson has been burnt into me.
And how gladly I would give all these powers for the One Power!
… It is really extraordinary how the smallest success awakes a monstrous horde of egoistic devils, vain, strutting peacocks, preening and screaming!
This is simply damnable. Egoism is the spur of all energy, in a way; and in this particular case it is the one thing that is not Adonai (whatever else may be) and so the antithesis of the Work. Bricks without straw, Indeed! That's nothing to it. This job is like being asked to judge a Band contest and being told that one may do anything but listen. Only worse! One could form some idea of how they were playing through other senses; in this case " "every" faculty is the enemy of the Work. At first sight the problem seems insoluble. It may be so, for me. At least, I have not solved it. Yet I have come very near it, many a time, of old; have solved it indeed, though in a less important sense than now I seek. I am not to be content with little or with much; but only with the Ultimate Attainment.
Apparently the method is just this; to store up — no matter how — great treasures of energy and purity, until they begin to do the work themselves (in the way that the Hindus call Sukshma). Just so the engineer — five feet six in his boots — and his men build the dam. The snows melt on the mountains, the river rises, and the land is irrigated, in a way that is quite independent of the physical strength of that Five foot Six of engineer. The engineer might even be swept away and drowned by the forces he had himself organized. So also the Kingdom of Heaven.
And now (12.57) John St. John will turn himself to sleep, invoking Adonai.
Instead grotesque "astral" images of a quite base gargoylish type.
I suppose I shall have to pentagram them off like a damned neophyte. Je m'emmerde!
It will therefore now be lawful again to sleep.
Made also considerations concerning the Nature of the Path.
The upshot is that it does not matter. Acquire full power of Concentration; the rest is only leather and prunella.
Don't worry; work!
I shall now make a pantacle to aid the said faculty of concentration.
The Voice of the Nadi (by the way) is resounding well, and the Chittam is a little better under control. 1.5. Have worked well on the Pantacle, thinking of Adonai. Of course we are now reduced to a "low anthropomorphic conception" — but what odds? Once the Right Thought comes it will transcend any and all conceptions. The objection is as silly as the objection to illustrating Geometry by Diagrams, on the ground that printed lines are thick — and so on.
This is the imbecility of the "Protestant" objection to images.
What fools these mortals be!
The Greeks, too, after exhausting all their sublimest thoughts of Zeus and Hades and Poseidon, found that they could not find a fitting image of the All, the supreme — so they just carved a goat-man, saying: Let this represent Pan!
Also in the holiest place of the most secret temple there is an empty shrine.
But whoso goes there in the first instance thinks; There is no God.
He who goes there at the End, when he has adored all the other deities, knoweth that No God.
So also I go through all the Ritual, and try all the Means; at the End it may be I shall find No rituals and No means, but an act or a silence so simple that it cannot be told or understood.
Lord Adonai, bring me to the End!
Rumpsteak aux pommes soufflées, poire, ½ Evian, and the three Cs.
Was meditating on asceticism. John Tweed once told me that Swami Vivekananda, towards the end of his life, wrote a most pathetic letter deploring that his sanctity forbad his "going on the bust."
What a farce is such sanctity! How much wiser for the man to behave as a man, the God as a God!
This is my real bed-rock objection to the Eastern systems. They decry all manly virtue as dangerous and wicked; and they look upon Nature as evil. True enough, everything is evil relatively to Adonai; for all stain is impurity. A bee's swarm is evil — inside one's clothes. "Dirt is matter in the wrong place." It is dirt to connect sex with statuary, morals with art.
Only Adonai, who is in a sense the True Meaning of everything, cannot defile any idea. This is a hard saying, though true, for nothing of course is dirtier than to try and use Adonai as a fig- leaf for one's shame.
To seduce women under pretence of religion is unutterable foulness; though both adultery and religion are themselves clean.
To mix jam and mustard is a messy mistake.
Reward is the direct and immediate consequence of Work.
Of all the holy illuminated Men of God of my acquaintance, I am the only one that holds this opinion.
But I think that this Record, when I have time to go through it, and stand at some distance, to get the perspective, will be proved a conclusive proof of my thesis. I think that every failure will be certainly traceable to my own dam foolishness; every little success to courage, skill, wit, tenacity.
If I had but a little more of these!
I believe "Attainment" to be a simple supreme sane state of the human brain. I do not believe in miracles; I do not think that God could cause a monkey, clergyman, or rationalist to attain. I am taking all this trouble of the Record principally in hope that it will show exactly what mental and physical conditions precede, accompany, and follow "attainment" so that others may reproduce, through those conditions, that Result I believe in the Law of Cause and Effect — and I loathe the cant alike of the Superstitionist and the Rationalist.
The Confession of St. Judas McCabbage
I believe in Charles Darwin Almighty, maker of Evolution; and in Ernst Haeckel, his only son our Lord Who for us men and for our salvation came down from Germany: who was conceived of Weissmann, born of Büchner, suffered under du Bois-Raymond, was printed, bound, and shelved: who was raised again into English (of sorts), ascended into the Pantheon of the Literary Guide and sitteth on the right hand of Edward Clodd: whence he shall come to judge the thick in the head.
I believe in Charles Watts; the Rationalist Press Association; the annual dinner at the Trocadero Restaurant; the regularity of subscriptions, the resurrection in a sixpenny edition, and the Book-stall everlasting.
At Dôme to drink a citron pressé.
Reflections have been in my mind upon the grossness of the Theistic conception, as shewn even in such pictures as Raphael's and Fra Angelico's.
How infinitely subtler and nobler is the contemplation of
The Utmost God
Hid i' th' middle o'matter,
the inscrutable mystery of the nature of common things. With what awe does the wise man approach a speck of dust!
And it is this Mystery that I approach!
For Thou, Adonai, art the immanent and essential Soul of Things; not separate from them, or from me; but That which is behind the shadow-show, the Cause of all, the Quintessence of all, the Transcender of all.
And Thee I seek insistently; though Thou hide Thyself in the Heaven, there will I seek Thee out; though Thou wrap Thyself in the Flames of the Abyss, even there will I pursue Thee; Though Thou make Thee a secret place in the Heart of the Rose or at the Arms of the Cross that spanneth all-embracing Space; though Thou be in the inmost part of matter, or behind the Veil of mind; Thee will I follow; Thee will I overtake; Thee will I gather into my being.
So thus as I chase Thee from fastness to fastness of my brain, as Thou throwest out against me Veil after Magic Veil of glory, or of fear, or of despair, or of desire; it matters nothing; at the End I shall attain to Thee — oh my Lord Adonai!
And even as the Capture is delight, is not the Chase also delight? For we are lovers from the Beginning, though it pleasure Thee to play the Syrinx to my Pan. Is it not the springtide, and are these not the Arcadian groves?
The sleep, too, was deep and refreshing. I will go to dinner.
I am now able to concentrate off the Path for a little.
Whether this means that I am simply slipping back into the world, or that I am more balanced on, and master of, the Path, I cannot say.
As I crossed the boulevard, I looked to the bright moon, high and stately in the east, for a message. And there came to me this passage from the Book of Abramelin:
"And thou wilt begin to inflame thyself in praying" …
It is the sentence which goes on to declare the Result. (P.S. — With this rose that curious feeling of confidence, sure premonition of success, that one gets in most physical tasks, but especially when one is going to get down a long putt or a tricky one. Whether it means more than that perception and execution have got into unison (for once) and know it, I cannot say.)
It is well that thus should close this eleventh day of my Retirement, and the thirty-third year of my life.
Thirty and three years was this temple in building…. It has always been my custom on this night to look back over the year, and to ask: What have I done?
The answer is invariably "Nothing."
Yet of what men count deeds I have done no small share. I have travelled a bit, written a bit … I seem to have been hard at it all the time — and to have got nothing finished or successful.
One Tragedy — one little comedy — two essays — a dozen poems or so — two or three short stories — odds and ends of one sort and another: it's a miserable record, though the Tragedy is good enough to last a life. It marks an epoch in literature, though nobody else will guess it for fifty years yet.
The travel, too, has been rubbish. It's been a petty, peddling year.
The one absolute indication is: on no account live otherwise than alone.
But it is 10.35; these considerations, though in a way pertaining to the Work, are not the Work itself.
Let me "begin to inflame myself in praying!"
And the Chamber was filled with that wondrous glow of ultra- violet light self-luminous, without a source, that hath no counterpart in Nature unless it be in that Dawn of the North….
And there were reveled unto me certain Words of Power…
And I invoked my Lord and recited the Book Ararita at the Altar…
This holy inspired book (delivered unto me in the winter of last year) was now at last understanded of me; for it is, though I knew it not, a complete scheme of this Operation.
For this cause I will add this book Ararita at the end of the Manuscript. I also demanded of mine Angel the Writing upon the Lamen of Silver; a Writing of the veritable Elixir and supernal Dew. And it was granted unto me.
Then subtly, easily, simply, imperceptibly gliding, I passed away into nothing. And I was wrapped in the black brilliance of my Lord, that interpenetrated me in every part, fusing its light with my darkness, and leaving there no darkness, but pure light.
Also I beheld my Lord in a figure and I felt the interior trembling kindle itself into a Kiss — and I perceived the true Sacraments — and I beheld in one moment all the mystic visions in one; and the Holy Graal appeared unto me, and many other inexpressible things were know of me.
Also I was given to enjoy the subtle Presence of my Lord interiorly during the whole of this twelfth day.
Then I besought the Lord that He would take me into His presence eternally even now.
But He withdrew Himself, for that I must do that which I was sent hither to do; namely, to rule the earth.
Therefore with sweetness ineffable He parted from me; yet leaving a comfort not to be told, a Peace … the Peace. And the Light and the Perfume do certainly yet remain with me in the little Chamber, and I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth.
For I am He that liveth, and was dead; and behold! I am alive for evermore, and have the Keys of Hell and of Death. I am Amoun the Sun in His rising; I have passed from darkness into Light. I am Asar Un-nefer the Perfected One. I am the Lord of Life, triumphant over death….
There is no part of me that is not of the Gods….
The dead man Ankh-af-na-khonsu
Saith with his voice of truth and calm:
OhThou that hast a single arm!
O Thou that glitterest in the moon!
I weave Thee in the spinning charm;
I lure thee with the billowy tune.
The dead man Ankh-af-na-khonsu
Hath parted from the darkling crowds,
Hath joined the dwellers of the light,
Opening Duant, the star-abodes;
Their keys receiving.
The dead man Ankh-af-na-khonsu
Hath made his passage into night,
His pleasure on the earth to do
Among the living.
Amen without lie
Amen, and Amen of Amen.
For to me now sleep is the same as waking, and life the same as death.
In Thy L.V.X. are not light and darkness but twin children that chase each other in their play?
Yet the light which I behold is still more than sunlight. My eyes too are quite weak from the Vision; I cannot bear the brilliance of things.
The clock of the Senate strikes; and my ears are ravished with> its mysterious melody. It is the infinite interior movement of things, secured by the co-extension of their sum with the all, that transcends the deadly opposites; change which implies decay, stability which spells monotony.
I understand all the Psalms of Benediction; there is spontaneous praise, a fountain in my heart. The authors of the Psalms must have known something of this Illumination when they wrote them.
Of course my rational memory picking out details finds otherwise. But I seem to have two memories almost as if belonging to two strata of being. In Qabalastic language, my native consciousness is now Neschamah, not Ruach or Nephesch.
… I really cannot write more. This writing is a descent into Ruach, and I want to abide where I am.
The consciousness again died and was reborn as the divine, always without shock or stress.
How easy is magic, once the way is found!
How still is the soul! The turbid spate of emotion has ceased; the heavy particles of thought have sunk to the bottom; how limpid, how lucid is its glimmer Only from above, from the overshadowing Tree of Life, whose leaves glisten and quiver in the shining wind of the Spirit, drops ever and anon, self- luminous, the Dew of Immortality.
Many and wonderful also were the Visions and powers offered unto me in this hour; but I refused them all; for being in my Lord and He in me, there is no need of these toys.
Possibly the Proof, that I had demanded, the Writing on the Lamen…
One would have been much better off with a proper Magical Cabinet, a disciple to look after things, proper magical food ceremonially prepared, a private garden to walk in … and so on. But at least it is useful and important to know that things can be done at a pinch in a great city and a small room.
I read through this volume of the Record; and I dissolve my being into quintessential laughter.
The entries are some of them so funny! … Previously, this had escaped me.
"The Lord Adonai is about me as a Thunderbolt and as a Pylon and as a Serpent and as a Phallus." …
Much less, then, satiated.
About 10.30 the rapture began to carry me away; yet I withstood it and went on with my game of Billiards, for politeness' sake.
And even there in the Café du Dôme was the glory within me, and I therein; so that every time that I failed at a stroke and stood up and drank in that ambrosial air, I was night falling for that intense sweetness that dissolved away the soul. Even as a lover that swoons with excess of pleasure at the first kiss of the belovéd, even so was I, oh my Lord Adonai!
Wherefore I am come hither to my chamber to enflame myself in praying at the Altar that I have set up.
And I am ready, robed, armed, anointed….
 Including the Prologue, but not the Preface. — Ed.
 The action or process of swallowing.
 "He is God and there is no other God than He."
 any sacred sentence, whose constant repetition produces many strange effects upon the mind. — Ed.
 Legs rossed, arms below head, like the figure of the Hanged Man in the Tarot Cards. — Ed.
 The nature of this Ritual is explained later. — Ed.
 Lemon juice.
 We have omitted the details of this divination. — Ed.
 Preparation or an arrangement for dealing with something; or the protection of a person, building, or organization against crime or attack.
 Vajroli Mudra is one of the ways in yoga which can help you deal with premature ejaculation and urinary disorders. Advanced practice can lead to one being able to control the ejaculation of semen and even ability to pull back the ejaculated semen.
 After coitus the animal is sad.
 "One night when I was near a terrible Jew"
 Obscure the splendor of very cold eyes
 We omit this poem. — Ed.
 A Pratyeka-Buddha attains the Supreme Reward for himself alone; a Dhamma-Buddha renounces it and returns to hell (earth) to teach others the Way. — Ed.
 A wafer of crisply fried potato cut to resemble a small waffle
 For this see the Shiva Sanhita, and other of the Holy Sanskrit Tantras. — Ed.
 Prana Yama. — Ed.
 The Visuddhi-Cakkram: the "nerve centre," in Hindu mystic physiology, opposite the larynx. — Ed.
 "same game"
 "For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do."
 The "Akasic Egg" is the sphere of the personality of man. A theosophic term. — Ed.
 These symbols, allusions, and references will all be found in 777, just published by "The Equinox" — see advt. — Ed.
 Beyt Allah, the Mosque at Mecca, means "House of God" — Ed.
 With these mystic words the Mysteries Eleusinian were sealed. — Ed.
 the heart; a nerve-centre in Hindu mystical physiology. — Ed.
 We must again refer the reader to the Hindu classics. — Ed.
 We cannot understand this passage. It presumably refers to the "Preliminary Invocation" in the "Goetia" of King Solomon, published S.P.R.T., Boleskine Foyers, N.B., 1904. — Ed
 We hope to publish this essay in No. 2 of "The Equinox" — Ed.
 To be published shortly by "The Equinox." — Ed.
 Scin-Laeca. See Lord Lytton's "Strange Story." — Ed.
 Egypt. — Ed.
 From Dr. Dee's MSS. — Ed.
 "as well as the body"
 — this was not the case.
 see the Shiva Sanhita. — Ed.
 i.e., of flowing naturally in it. — Ed.
 These will appear in No. 2, "Liber O." — Ed.
 See the "Goetia." — Ed.
 This has not been permitted. The Book Ararita will be issued by the A∴ A∴ in due course. — Ed.