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Had! The manifestation of Nuit

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   AL I,1
Subject: Had! The manifestation of Nuit
   1. Compare II,1c201, the complement of this verse. In Nu is Had
   concealed; by Had is Nu manifested. Nu being 56 and Had 9, their
   conjunction results in 65, Adonai, the Holy Guardian Angel. Also Hoor,
   who combines the force of the Sun with that of Mars. Adonai is
   primarily Solar, but 65 is a number sacred to Mars. See the "Sepher
   Sephiroth" ,and "The Wake World" in "Konx Om Pax" for further details
   on 65. Note moreover, the sixty-five pages of the MS. of Liber Legis.
   Or, counting NV 56, Had 10, we get 66, which is (1-11). Had is further
   the centre of the Key-Word ABRAHADABRA.
   The theogony of our Law is entirely scientific, Nuit is Matter, Hadit
   is Motion, in their full physical sense.> They are the Tao and Teh of
   Chinese Philosophy; or, to put it very simply, the Noun and Verb in
   grammar. Our central Truth -- beyond other philosophies -- is that
   these two infinities cannot exist apart. This extensive subject must
   be studied in our other writings, notably "Berashith", my own Magical
   Diaries, especially those of 1919, 1920 and 1921, and "The Book of
   Wisdom or Folly". See also "The Soldier and the Hunchback". Further
   information concerning Nuit and Hadit is given in the course of this
   Book; but I must here mention that the Brother mentioned in connexion
   with the "Wizard Amalantrah" etc. (Samuel bar Aiwaz) identifies them
   with ANU and ADAD the supreme Mother and Father deities of the
   Sumerians. Taken in connexion with the AIWAZ identification, this is
   very striking indeed.
   It is also to be considered that Nu is connected with North, while Had
   is Sad, Set, Satan, Sat (equals "Being" in Sanskrit), South. He is
   then the Sun, one point concentrating Space, as also is any other
   star. The word ABRAHADABRA is from Abrasax, Father Sun, which adds to
   365. For the North-South antithesis see Fabre d'Olivet's "Hermeneutic
   Interpretation of the Origin of the Social State in Man". Note "Sax"
   also as a Rock, or Stone, whence the symbol of the Cubical Stone, the
   Mountain Abiegnus, and so forth. Nu is also reflected in Naus, Ship,
   etc., and that whole symbolism of Hollow Space which is familiar to
   all. There is also a question of identifying Nu with On, Noah, Oannes,
   Jonah, John, Dianus, Diana, and so on. But these identifications are
   all partial only, different facets of the Diamond Truth. We may
   neglect all these questions, and remain in the simplicity of this Her
   own Book.
   AL I,2: "The unveiling of the company of heaven."
   This book is a new revelation, or unveiling of the holy ones.
   This explains the general theme of this revelation: gives the Dramatis
   Personae, so to speak. It is cosmographically, the conception of the
   two Ultimate Ideas; Space, and That which occupies Space. It will
   however appear later that these two ideas may be resolved into one,
   that of Matter; with Space, its 'Condition' or 'form', included
   therein. This leaves the idea of 'Motion' for Hadit, whose interplay
   with Nuit makes the Universe. Time should perhaps be considered as a
   particular kind or dimension of Space.>
   Further, this verse is to be taken with the next. The 'company of
   heaven' is Mankind, and its 'unveiling' is the assertion of the
   independent godhead of every man and every woman! Further, as Khabs
   (see verse 8c108) is "Star", there is a further meaning; this Book is
   to reveal the Secret Self of a man, i.e. to initiate him.
   AL I,3: "Every man and every woman is a star."
   This thesis is fully treated in "The Book of Wisdom or Folly". Its
   main statement is that each human being is an Element of the Cosmos,
   self-determined and supreme, co-equal with all other Gods.
   From this the Law "Do what thou wilt" follows logically. One star
   influences another by attraction, of course; but these are incidents
   of self-predestined orbits. There is, however, a mystery of the
   planets, revolving about a star of whom they are parts; but I shall
   not discuss it fully in this place.
   Man is the Middle Kingdom. The Great Kingdom is Heaven, with each star
   as an unit; the Little Kingdom is the Molecule, with each Electron as
   an unit. (The Ratio of these three is regularly geometrical, each
   being 10 to the 22 times greater in size than its neighbour.)
   See "The Book of the Great Auk" for the demonstration that each 'star'
   is the Centre of the Universe to itself, and that a 'star' simple,
   original, absolute, can add to its omnipotence, omniscience and
   omnipresence without ceasing to be itself; that its one way to do this
   is to gain experience, and that therefore it enters into combinations
   in which its true Nature is for awhile disguised, even from itself.
   Analogously, an atom of carbon may pass through myriad Proteus-phases,
   appearing in Chalk, Chloroform, Sugar, Sap, Brain and Blood, not
   recognizable as "itself" the black amorphous solid, but recoverable as
   such, unchanged by its adventures.
   This theory is the only one which explains "why" the Absolute limited
   itself, and why It does not recognize Itself during its cycle of
   incarnations. It disposes of "Evil" and the Origin of Evil; without
   denying Reality to "Evil", or insulting our daily observation and our
   common sense.
   I here quote (with one or two elucidatory insertions) the original
   note originally made by Me on this subject.
   May 14, 1919, 6.30 p.m.
   All elements must at one time have been separate -- that would be the
   case with great heat. Now when atoms get to the sun, when we get to
   the sun, we get that immense, extreme heat, and all the elements are
   themselves again. Imagine that each atom of each element possesses the
   memory of all his adventures in combination. By the way, that atom,
   fortified with that memory, would not be the same atom; yet it is,
   because it has gained nothing from anywhere except this memory.
   Therefore, by the lapse of time and by virtue of memory, a thing
   (although originally an Infinite Perfection) could become something
   more than itself; and thus a real development is possible. One can
   then see a reason for any element deciding to go through this series
   of incarnations (god, that was a magnificent conception!) because so,
   and only so, can he go; and he suffers the lapse of memory of His own
   Reality of Perfection which he has during these incarnations, because
   he knows he will come through unchanged.
   Therefore you have an infinite number of gods, individual and equal
   though diverse, each one supreme and utterly indestructible. This is
   also the only explanation of how a being could create a world in which
   war, evil, "etc". exist. Evil is only an appearance because, like
   "good", it cannot affect the substance itself, but only multiply its
   combinations. This is something the same as mystic monism, but the
   objection to that theory is that God has to create things which are
   all parts of himself, so that their interplay is false. If we
   presuppose many elements, their interplay is natural. It is no
   objection to this theory to ask who made the elements -- the elements
   are at least there; and God, when you look for him, is not there.
   Theism is "obscurum per obscurius". A male star is built up from the
   centre outwards, a female star from the circumference inwards. This is
   what is meant when we say that woman has no soul. It explains fully
   the difference between the sexes.
   {WEH NOTE: Although Crowley evidently felt that this characterization
   was true simply, it should be noted that this comment is not CLASS A.
   The idea of center outwards and circumference inwards may actually
   have described the impression received by a male of the Victorian age
   in regard to men and women. Certainly every male mystic has the state
   here described as "circumference inward", " soul" and "female" at
   the time of reception --- vide Liber LXV. Equally, every woman who
   acts positively from awareness of her identity would qualify for
   "center outwards", "soul" and "male" in this sense. What Crowley
   identified as sex-linked may better be considered as modality linked,
   with the sexual linkage as much an accident of culture as anything
   AL I,4: "Every number is infinite; there is no difference."
   This is a great and holy mystery. Although each star has its own
   number, each number is equal and supreme. Every man and every woman is
   not only a part of God, but the Ultimate God. "The Centre is
   everywhere and the circumference nowhere". The old definition of God
   takes new meaning for us. Each one of us is the One God. This can only
   be understood by the initiate; one must acquire certain high states of
   consciousness to appreciate it.
   I have tried to put it simply in the note to the last verse. I may add
   that in the Trance called by me the "Star-Sponge" -- see note to v.
   59c159 -- this apprehension of the Universe is seen as an astral
   Vision. It began as "Nothingness with Sparkles" in 1916 E.V. by Lake
   Pasquaney in New Hampshire, U.S.A. and developed into fullness on
   various subsequent occasions. Each 'Star' is connected directly with
   every other star, and the Space being Without Limit (Ain Soph) the
   Body of Nuith, any one star is as much the Centre as any other. Each
   man instinctively feels that he is the Centre of the Cosmos, and
   philosophers have jeered at his presumption. But it was he that was
   precisely right. The yokel is no more 'petty' than the King, nor the
   earth than the Sun. Each simple elemental Self is supreme, Very God of
   Very God. Ay, in this Book is Truth almost insufferably splendid, for
   Man has veiled himself too long from his own glory: he fears the
   abyss, the ageless Absolute. But Truth shall make him free!
   It must be understood from the beginning that this book contains the
   keys of all the knowledge necessary for the operation of the Magical
   Formulae of the world during the Aeon which it initiates. In this very
   early verse is already given a Master Key to mathematics and
   metaphysics. On applying this to current problems of thought, it will
   be discovered that the long-fast doors fly open at a touch.
   Let use briefly examine the implications of this statement. It should
   not occasion surprise to find that the Book of the Law not only
   anticipates the conclusion of the greatest modern mathematicians like
   Poincare, but goes beyond them. It was necessary that this should be
   the case, so that the book might be, beyond question, the expression
   of a mind possessed of superior powers to any incarnated mind soever.
   It may clarify the subject if we venture to paraphrase the text. The
   first statement "Every number is infinite" is, on the face of it, a
   contradiction in terms. But that is only because of the accepted idea
   of a number as not being a thing in itself but merely a term in series
   homogeneous in character. All orthodox mathematical argument is based
   on definitions involving this conception. For example, it is
   fundamental to admit the identity of 2 plus 1 with 1 plus 2. The Book
   of the Law presents an altogether different conception of the nature
   of number.
   Mathematical ideas involve what is called a continuum, which is,
   superficially at least, of a different character to the physical
   continuum. For instance, in the physical continuum, the eye can
   distinguish between the lengths of one-inch stick and a two-inch
   stick, but not between these which measure respectively one thousand
   miles and one thousand miles and on inch, though the difference in
   each case is equally an inch. The inch difference is either
   perceptible or not perceptible, according to the conditions.
   Similarly, the eye can distinguish either the one-inch or the two-inch
   stick from one of an inch and a half. But we cannot continue this
   process indefinitely -- we can always reach a point where the extremes
   are distinguishable from each other but their mean from neither of the
   extremes. Thus, in the physical continuum, if we have three terms, A,
   B, and C, A appears equal to B, and B to C, yet C appears greater than
   A. Our reason tells us that this conclusion is an absurdity, that we
   have been deceived by the grossness of our perceptions. It is useless
   for us to invent instruments which increase the accuracy of our
   observations, for though they enable us to distinguish between the
   three terms of our series, and to restore the theoretical Hierarchy,
   we can always continue the process of division until we arrive at
   another series: A', B', C', where A' and C' are distinguishable from
   each other, but where neither is distinguishable from B'.
   On the above grounds, modern thinkers have endeavoured to create a
   distinction between the mathematical and the physical continuum, yet
   it should surely be obvious that the defect in our organs of sense,
   which is responsible for the difficulty, shows that our method of
   observation debars us from appreciating the true nature of things by
   this method of observation.
   However, in the case of the mathematical continuum, its character is
   such that we can continue indefinitely the process of division between
   any two mathematical expressions so-ever, without interfering in any
   way with the regularity of the process, or creating a condition in
   which two terms become indistinguishable from each other. The
   mathematical continuum, moreover, is not merely a question of series
   of integral numbers, but of other types of numbers, which, like
   integers, express relations between existing ideas, yet are not
   measurable in terms of that series. Such numbers are themselves parts
   of a continuum of their own, which interpenetrates the series of
   integers without touching it, at least necessarily.
   For example: the tangents of angles made by the separation of two
   lines from coincidence to perpendicularity, increases constantly from
   zero to infinity. But almost the only integral value is found at the
   angle of 45 degrees where it is unity.
   It may be said that there is an infinite number of such series, each
   possessing the same property of infinite divisibility. The ninety
   tangents of angles differing by one degree between zero and ninety may
   be multiplied sixty fold by taking the minute instead of the degree as
   the co-efficient of the progression, and these again sixty fold by
   introducing the second to divide the minute. So on ad infinitum.
   All these considerations depend upon the assumption that every number
   is no more than a statement of relation. The new conception, indicated
   by the Book of the Law, is of course in no way contradictory of the
   orthodox view; but it adds to it in the most practically important
   manner. A statistician computing the birth-rate of the eighteenth
   century makes no special mention of the birth of Napoleon. This does
   not invalidate his results; but it demonstrates how exceedingly
   limited is their scope even with regard to their own object, for the
   birth of Napoleon had more influence on the death-rate than another
   other phenomenon included in his calculations.
   A short digression is necessary. There may be some who are still
   unaware of the fact, but the mathematical and physical sciences are in
   no sense concerned with absolute truth, but only with the relations
   between observed phenomena and the observer. The statement that the
   acceleration of falling bodies is thirty-two feet per second, is only
   the roughest of approximation at the best. In the first place, it
   applies to earth. As most people know, in the Moon the rate is only
   one-sixth as great. But, even on earth, it differs in a marked manner
   between the poles and the equator, and not only so, but it is affected
   by so small a matter as the neighborhood of a mountain.
   It is similarly inaccurate to speak of "repeating" an experiment. The
   exact conditions never recur. One cannot boil water twice over. The
   water is not the same, and the observer is not the same. When a man
   says that he is sitting still, he forgets that he is whirling through
   space with vertiginous rapidity.
   It is possibly such considerations that led earlier thinkers to admit
   that there was no expectation of finding truth in anything but
   mathematics, and they rashly supposed that the apparent ineluctability
   of her laws constitutes a guarantee of their coherence with truth. But
   mathematics is entirely a matter of convention, no less so than the
   rules of Chess or Baccarat. When we say that "two straight lines
   cannot enclose a space", we mean no more than we are unable to think
   of them as doing so. The truth of the statement depends, consequently,
   on that of the hypothesis that our minds bear witness to truth. Yet
   the insane man may be unable to think that he is not the victim of
   mysterious persecution. We find that no reason for believing him. It
   is useless to reply that mathematical truths receive universal
   consent, because they do not. It is a matter of elaborate and tedious
   training to persuade even the few people when we teach of the truth of
   the simplest theorems in Geometry. There are very few people living
   who are convinced -- or even aware -- of the more recondite results of
   analysis. It is no reply to this criticism to say that all men can be
   convinced if they are sufficiently trained, for who is to guarantee
   that such training does not warp the mind?
   But when we have brushed away these preliminary objections, we find
   that the nature of the statement itself is not, and cannot be, more
   than a statement of correspondences between our ideas. In the example
   chosen, we have five ideas; those of duality, of straightness, of a
   line, of enclosing, and of space. None of these are more than ideas.
   Each one is meaningless until it is defined as corresponding in a
   certain manner to certain other ideas. We cannot define any word
   soever, except by identifying it with two or more equally undefined
   words. To define it by a single word would evidently constitute a
   We are thus forced to the conclusion that all investigation may be
   stigmatized as obscurum per obscurium. Logically, our position is even
   worse. We define A as BC, where B is DE, and C is FG. Not only does
   the process increase the number of our unknown quantities in
   Geometrical progression at every step, but we must ultimately arrive
   at a point where the definition of Z involves the term A. Not only is
   all argument confined within a vicious circle, but so is the
   definition of the terms on which any argument must be based.
   It might be supposed that the above chain of reasoning made all
   conclusions impossible. But this is only true when we investigate the
   ultimate validity of our propositions. We can rely on water boiling at
   100 degrees Centigrade,> although, for mathematical accuracy, water
   never boils twice running at precisely the same temperature, and
   although, logically, the term water is an incomprehensible mystery.
   To return to our so-called axiom; Two straight lines cannot enclose a
   space. It has been one of the most important discoveries of modern
   mathematics, that this statement, even if we assume the definition of
   the various terms employed, is strictly relative, not absolute; and
   that common sense is impotent to confirm it as in the case of the
   boiling water. For Bolyai, Lobatschewsky, and Riemann have shown
   conclusively that a consistent system of geometry can be erected on
   any arbitrary axiom soever. If one chooses to assume that the sum of
   the interior angles of a triangle is either greater than or less than
   two right angles, instead of equal to them, we can construct two new
   systems of Geometry, each perfectly consistent with itself, and we
   possess no means soever of deciding which of the three represents
   I may illustrate this point by a simple analogy. We are accustomed to
   assert that we go from France to China, a form of expression which
   assumes that those countries are stationary, while we are mobile. But
   the fact might be equally well expressed by saying that France left us
   and China came to us. In either case there is no implication of
   absolute motion, for the course of the earth through space is not
   taken into account. We implicitly refer to a standard of repose which,
   in point of fact, we know not to exist. When I say that the chair in
   which I am sitting has remained stationary for the last hour, I mean
   only "stationary in respect to myself and my house". In reality, the
   earth's rotation has carried it over one thousand miles, and the
   earth's course some seventy thousand miles, from its previous
   position. All that we can expect of any statement is that it should be
   coherent with regard to a series of assumption which we know perfectly
   well to be false and arbitrary.
   It is commonly imagined, by those who have not examined the nature of
   the evidence, that our experience furnishes a criterion by which we
   may determine which of the possible symbolic representations of Nature
   is the true one. They suppose that Euclidean Geometry is in conformity
   with Nature because the actual measurements of the interior angles of
   a triangle tell us that their sum is in fact equal to two right
   angles, just as Euclid tells us that theoretical considerations
   declare to be the case. They forget that the instruments which we use
   for our measurements are themselves conceived of as in conformity with
   the principles of Euclidean Geometry. In other words, them measure ten
   yards with a piece of wood about which they really known nothing but
   that its length is one-tenth of the ten yards in question.
   The fallacy should be obvious. The most ordinary reflection should
   make it clear that our results depend upon all sorts of condition. If
   we inquire, "What is the length of the thread of quicksilver in a
   thermometer?", we can only reply that it depends on the temperature of
   the instrument. In fact, we judge temperature by the difference of the
   coefficients of expansion due to heat of the two substances, glass and
   Again, the divisions of the scale of the thermometer depend upon the
   temperature of boiling water, which is not a fixed thing. It depends
   on the pressure of the earth's atmosphere, which varies (according to
   time and place) to the extent of over twenty per cent. Most people who
   talk of "scientific accuracy" are quite ignorant of elementary facts
   of this kind.
   It will be said, however, that having defined a yard as the length of
   a certain bar deposited in the Mint in London, under given conditions
   of temperature and pressure, we are at least in a position to measure
   the length of other objects by comparison, directly or indirectly,
   with that standard. In a rough and ready way, that is more or less the
   case. But if it should occur that the length of things in general were
   halved or doubled, we could not possibly be aware of the other
   so-called laws of Nature. We have no means so-ever of determining even
   so simple a matter as to whether one of two events happens before or
   after the other.
   Let us take an instance. It is well known that the light of the sun
   requires some eight minutes to reach the earth. Simultaneous > {WEH
   NOTE: SIC. This is page 51 in Eddington, op. cit. 1920 edition, 1959
   reprint: "The denial of absolute simultaneity is a natural complement
   to the denial of absolute motion ..."} phenomena in the two bodies
   would therefore appear to be separated in time to that extent; and,
   from a mathematical standpoint, the same discrepancy theoretically
   exists, even if we suppose the two bodies in question to be only a few
   yards one more remote than the other. Recent consideration of these
   facts has show the impossibility of determining the fact of priority,
   so that it may be just as reasonable to assert that a dagger-thrust is
   caused by a wound as vice versa. Lewis Carroll has an amusing parable
   to this effect in "Through the Looking-Glass", which work, by the way,
   with its predecessor, is packed with examples of philosophical
   paradox. >
   We may now return to our text "Every number is infinite". The fact
   that every number is a term in a mathematical continuum is no more an
   adequate definition than if we were to describe a picture as Number
   So-and-So in the catalogue. Every number is a thing in itself,>
   possessing an infinite number of properties peculiar to itself.
   Let us consider, for a moment, the numbers 8 and 9. 8 is the number of
   cubes measuring one inch each way in a cube which measures two inches
   each way; while 9 is the number of squares measuring one inch each way
   in a square measuring three inches each way. There is a sort of
   reciprocal correspondence between them in this respect.
   By adding one to eight, we obtain nine, so that we might define unity
   as that which has the property of transforming a three-dimensional
   expansion of two into a two-dimensional expansion of three. But if we
   add unity to nine, unity appears as that which has the power of
   transforming the two-dimensional expansion of three aforesaid into a
   mere oblong measuring 5 by 2. Unity thus appears as in possession of
   two totally different properties. Are we then to conclude that it is
   not the same unity? How are we to describe unity, how know it? Only by
   experiment can we discover the nature of its action on any given
   number. In certain minor respects, this action exhibits regularity. We
   know, for example, that it uniformly transforms an odd number into an
   even one, and vice versa, but that is practically the limit of what we
   can predict as to its action.
   We can go further, and state that any number soever possesses this
   infinite variety of powers to transform any other number, even by the
   primitive process of addition. We observe also how the manipulation of
   any two numbers can be arranged so that the result is incommensurable
   with either, or even so that ideas are created of a character totally
   incompatible with our original conception of numbers as a series of
   positive integers. We obtain unreal and irrational expressions, ideas
   of a wholly different order, by a very simple juxtaposition of such
   apparently comprehensible and commonplace entities as integers.
   There is only one conclusion to be drawn from these various
   considerations. It is that the nature of every number is a thing
   peculiar to itself, a thing inscrutable and infinite, a thing
   inexpressible, even if we could understand it.
   In other words, a number is a soul, in the proper sense of the term,
   an unique and necessary element in the totality of existence.
   We may not turn to the second phrase of the text: "there is no
   difference". It must strike the student immediately that this is, on
   the face of it, a point blank contradiction of all that has been said
   above. What have we done but insist upon the essential difference
   between any tow numbers, and show that even their sequential relation
   is little more than arbitrary, being indeed rather a convenient way of
   regarding them for the purpose of coordinating them with out
   understanding than anything else? On a similar principle, we number
   public vehicles or telephones without implication even of necessary
   sequence. The appellation denotes nothing beyond membership of a
   certain class of objects, and is indeed expressly chosen to avoid
   being entangled in considerations of any characteristics of the
   individual so designated except that cursory designation.
   when it is said that there is no difference between numbers (for in
   this sense I think we must understand the phrase), we must examine the
   meaning of the word 'difference'. Difference is the denial of identity
   in the first place, but the word is not properly applied to
   discriminate between objects which have no similarity. One does not
   ask, "What is the difference between a yard and a minute?" in
   practical life. We do ask the difference between two things of the
   same kind. The Book of the Law is trying to emphasize the doctrine
   that each number is unique and absolute. Its relations with other
   numbers are therefore in the nature of illusion. They are the forms of
   presentation under which we perceive their semblances; and it is to
   the last degree important to realize that these semblances only
   indicate the nature of the realities behind them in the same way in
   which the degrees on a thermoetric scale indicate heat. It is quite
   unphilosophical to say that 50 degrees Centigrade is hotter than 40
   degrees. Degrees of temperature are simply conventions invented by
   ourselves to describe physical states of a totally different order;
   and, while the heat of a body may be regarded as an inherent property
   of its own, our measure of that heat in no way concerns it.
   We use instruments of science to inform us of the nature of the
   various objects which we wish to study; but our observations never
   reveal the thing as it is in itself. They only enable us to compare
   unfamiliar with familiar experiences. The use of an instrument
   necessarily implies the imposition of alien conventions. To take the
   simplest example: when we say that we see a thing, we only mean that
   our consciousness is modified by its existence according to a
   particular arrangement of lenses and other optical instruments, which
   exist in our eyes and not in the object perceived. So also, the fact
   that the sum of 2 and 1 is three, affords us but a single statement of
   relations symptomatic of the presentation to us of those numbers.
   We have, therefore, no means soever of determining the difference
   between any two numbers, except in respect of a particular and very
   limited relation. Furthermore, in view of the infinity of every
   number, it seems not unlikely that the apparent differences observed
   by us would tend to disappear with the disappearance of the arbitrary
   conditions which we attach to them to facilitate, as we think, our
   examination. We may also observe that each number, being absolute, is
   the centre of its universe, so that all other numbers, so far as they
   are related to it, are its appanages. Each number is, therefore, the
   totality of the universe, and there cannot be any difference between
   one infinite universe and another. The triangle ABC may look very
   different from the standpoints of A, B, and C respectively; each view
   is true, absolutely; yet it is the same triangle.
   The above interpretation of the text is of a revolutionary character,
   from the point of view of science and mathematics. Investigation of
   the lines here laid down will lead to the solution of these grave
   problems which have so long baffled the greatest minds of the world,
   on account of the initial error of attaching them on lines which
   involve self-contradiction. The attempt to discover the nature of
   things by a study of the relations between them is precisely parallel
   with the ambition to obtain a finite value of Pi. Nobody wishes to
   deny the practical value of the limited investigations which have so
   long preoccupied the human mind. But it is only quite recently that
   even the best thinkers have begun to recognize that their work was
   only significant within a certain order. It will soon be admitted on
   all hands that the study of the nature of things in themselves is a
   work for which the human reason is incompetent; for the nature of
   reason is such that it must always formulate itself in proportions
   which merely assert a positive or negative relation between a subject
   and a predicate. Men will thus be led to the development of a faculty,
   superior to reason, whose apprehension is independent of the
   hieroglyphic representations of which reason so vainly makes use.>
   {This then will} be the foundation of the true spiritual science which
   is the proper tendency of the evolution of man. This Science will
   clarify, without superseding, the old; but it will free men from the
   bondage of mind, little by little, just as the old science has freed
   them from the bondage of matter.
   This science is the proper and particular study of initiates, and its
   principia are formulated in the Book of the Law. This Book may
   therefore be regarded as indicating a complete revolution in human
   affairs, for it advances mankind in the most radical manner. The road
   of attainment to self-realisation is made open as never before has
   been done in the history of the planet.
   AL I,5: "Help me, o warrior lord of Thebes, in my unveiling before the
   Children of men!"
   5. Nu, to unveil herself, needs a mortal intermediary, in the first
   It is to be supposed that ankh-f-n-khonsu, the warrior lord of Thebes,
   priest of Men Tu, is in some subtle manner identical with either
   Aiwass or the Beast.
   Here Nuit appeals, simply and directly, recognizing the separate
   function of each Star of her Body. Though all is One, each part of
   that One has its own special work, each Star its particular Orbit.
   In addressing me as warrior lord of Thebes, it appears as if She
   perceived a certain continuity or identity of myself with
   Ankh-f-n-khonsu, whose Stele is the Link with Antiquity of this
   Revelation. See Equinox I, VII, pp. 363-400a, for the account of this
   The unveiling is the Proclamation of the Truth previously explained,
   that the Body of Nuith occupies Infinite Space, so that every Star
   thereof is Whole in itself, an independent and absolute Unit. They
   differ as Carbon and Calcium differ, but each is a simple "immortal"
   Substance, or at least a form of some simpler Substance. Each soul is
   thus absolute, and 'good' or 'evil' are merely terms descriptive of
   relations between destructible combinations. Thus Quinine is 'good'
   for a malarial patient, but 'evil' for the germ of the disease. Heat
   is 'bad' for ice-cream and 'good' for coffee. The indivisible essence
   of things, their 'souls', are indifferent to all conditions soever,
   for none can in any way affect them.
   AL I,6: "Be thou Hadit, my secret centre, my heart & my tongue!"
   6. The recipient of this knowledge is to identify himself with Hadit,
   and thus fully express the thoughts of her heart in her very language.
   Nuit formulates me as Hadit, especially in the three centres of
   consciousness of her Being. IN this way, for this purpose, I became
   the complement of Her.
   These centres are those of Love, Life and language. Duality is the
   condition of all three. It will appear later how it is that None and
   Two are identical; they are distinct in our minds only because those
   minds are conscious, and therefore think of "two" as their own state.
   But the unconscious mind thinks Nothing, and is Nothing. Yet it is the
   same mind.
   Nuith selects three centres of Her Body to become "Two" with Hadit;
   for she asks me to declare Her in these three. Infinite freedom,
   all-embracing, for physical Love; boundless continuity for Life; and
   the silent rhythm of the Stars for Language. These three conceptions
   are Her gift to us.
   AL I,7: "Behold! it is revealed by Aiwass the minister of
   7. Aiwass -- see Introduction. He is 78, Mezla, the "influence" from
   the Highest Crown, and the number of cards in the Tarot, Rota, the
   all-embracing Wheel.
   Hoor-paar-Kraat -- see II, 8c208.
   Aiwass is called the minister of Hoor-paar-Kraat, the God of Silence;
   for his word is the Speech of the Silence.
   Aiwass is the name given by Ouarda the Seer as that of the
   Intelligence Communicating. See note to Title.
   Hoor-paar-Kraat or Harpocrates, the "Babe in the Egg of Blue", is not
   merely the God of Silence in a conventional sense. He represents the
   Higher Self, the Holy Guardian Angel. The connexion is with the
   symbolism of the Dwarf in Mythology. He contains everything in
   Himself, but is unmanifested. See II:8c208.
   He is the First Letter of the Alphabet, Aleph, whose number is One,
   and his card in the Tarot is The Fool, numbered Zero. Aleph is
   attributed to the "Element" (in the old classification of things) of
   Now as "One" or Aleph he represents the Male Principle, the First
   Cause, and the free breath of Life, the sound of the vowel A being
   made with the open throat and mouth.
   As Zero he represents the female Principle, the fertile Mother. (An
   old name for the card is Mat, from the Italian 'Matto', fool, but
   earlier also from Maut, the Egyptian Vulture-Mother-Goddess). Fertile,
   for the 'Egg of Blue' is the Uterus, and in the Macrocosm the Body of
   Nuith, and it contains the Unborn Babe, helpless yet protected and
   nourished against the crocodiles and tigers shown on the card, just as
   the womb is sealed during gestation. He sits on a lotus, the yoni,
   which floats on the 'Nile', the amniotic fluid.
   In his absolute innocence and ignorance he is "The Fool"; he is the
   'Saviour', being the Son who shall trample on the crocodiles and
   tigers, and avenge his father Osiris. Thus we see him as the "Great
   Fool" of Celtic legend, the "Pure Fool" of Act I of "Parsifal", and,
   generally speaking, the insane person whose words have always been
   taken for oracles.
   But to be 'Saviour' he must be born and grow to manhood; thus Parsifal
   acquires the Sacred Lance, emblem of virility. He usually wears the
   'Coat of many colours' like Joseph the 'dreamer'; so he is also now
   the Green Man of spring festivals. But his 'folly' is now not
   innocence but inspiration of wine; he drinks from the Graal, offered
   to him by the Priestess.
   So we see him fully armed as Bacchus Diphues, male and female in one,
   bearing the Thyrsus-rod, and a cluster of grapes or a wineskin, while
   a tiger leaps up by his side. This form is suggested in the Taro card,
   where 'The fool' is shown with a long wand and carrying a sack; his
   coat is motley. Tigers and Crocodiles follow him, thus linking this
   image with that of Harpocrates.
   Almost identical symbols are those of the secret God of the Templars,
   the bi-sexual Baphomet, and of Zeus Arrhenothelus, equally bi-sexual,
   the Father-Mother of All in One Person. (He is shown in this full form
   in the Tarot Trump XV, "the Devil".) Now Zeus being lord of Air, we
   are reminded that Aleph is the letter of Air.
   As Air we find the "Wandering Fool" pure wanton Breath, yet creative.
   Wind was supposed of old to impregnate the Vulture, which therefore
   was chosen to symbolize the Mother-Goddess.
   He is the Wandering Knight or Prince of Fairy Tales who marries the
   King's Daughter. This legend is derived from certain customs among
   exogamic tribes, for which see "The Golden Bough".
   Thus one Europa, Semele and others claimed that Zeus -- Air It seems
   as if this great division, which has wrought such appalling havoc upon
   the Earth, were originally no more than a distinction adopted for
   convenience. It is indeed the task of this Book to reduce Theology to
   the interplay of the Dyad Nuith and Hadith, these being themselves
   conceived as complementary, as Two equivalent to Naught, "divided for
   lvoe's sake, for the chance of union.">> -- had enjoyed them in the
   form of a beast, bird, or what not; while later Mary attributed her
   condition to the agency of a Spirit -- Spiritus, breath, or air -- in
   the shape of a dove.
   But the "Small Person" of Hindu mysticism, the Dwarf insane yet crafty
   of many legends in many lands, is also this same "Holy Ghost", or
   Silent Self of a man, or his Holy Guardian Angel.
   He is almost the "Unconscious" of Freud, unknown, unaccountable, the
   silent Spirit, blowing "whither it listeth, but thou canst not tell
   whence it cometh or whither it goeth". It commands with absolute
   authority when it appears at all, despite conscious reason and
   Aiwass is then, as this verse 7 states, the "minister" of this
   Hoor-paar-Kraat, that is of the Saviour of the World in the larger
   sense, and of mine own "Silent Self" in the lesser. A "minister" is
   one who performs a service, in this case evidently that of revealing;
   He was the intelligible medium between the Babe God -- the New Aeon
   about to be born -- and myself. This Book of the Law is the Voice of
   his Mother, His Father, and Himself. But on His appearing, He assumes
   the active form twin to Harpocrates, that of Ra-Hoor-Khuit. The
   Concealed Child becomes the Conquering Child, the armed Horus avenging
   his father Osiris. So also our own Silent Self, helpless and witless,
   hidden within us, will spring forth, if we have craft to loose him to
   the Light, spring lustily forward with his cry of Battle, the Word of
   our True Wills.
   This is the Task of the Adept, to have the Knowledge and Conversation
   of His Holy Guardian Angel, to become aware of his nature and his
   purpose, fulfilling them.
   Why is Aiwass thus spelt, when Aiwaz is the natural transliteration of
   OIVZ{WEH NOTE: This word is not certain.}? Perhaps because he was not
   content with identifying Himself with Thelema, Agape, etc. by the
   number 93, but wished to express his nature by six letters (Six being
   the number of the Sun, the God-Man, etc.) whose value in Greek should
   be A=1, I=10, F=6, A=1, S=200, S=200: total 418, the number of
   Abrahadabra, the Magical Formula of the new Aeon! Note that I and V
   are the letters of the Father and the Son, also of the Virgin and the
   Bull, (See "Liber 418") protected on either side by the letter of AIR,
   and followed by the letter of Fire twice over.
   AL I,8: "The Khabs is in the Khu, not the Khu in the Khabs."
   8. Here beings the text.
   Khabs is the secret Light or L.V.X.; the Khu is the magical entity of
   a man.
   I find later (Sun in Virgo, An VII) that Khabs means star. In which
   chase cf. v.5c105.
   The doctrine here taught is that that Light is innermost, essential
   man. Intra (not Extra) Nobis Regnum Dei.
   We are not to regard ourselves as base beings, without whose sphere is
   Light or "God". Our minds and bodies are veils of the Light within.
   The uninitiate is a "Dark Star", and the Great Work for him is to make
   his veils transparent by 'purifying' them. This 'purification' is
   really 'simplification'; it is not that the veil is dirty, but that
   the complexity of its folds makes it opaque. The Great Work therefore
   consists principally in the solution of complexes. Everything in
   itself is perfect, but when things are muddled, they become 'evil'.
   (This will be understood better in the Light of "The Hermit of Esopus
   Island", q.v.) The Doctrine is evidently of supreme importance, from
   its position as the first 'revelation' of Aiwass.
   This 'star' or 'Inmost Light' is the original, individual, eternal
   essence. The Khu is the magical garment which it weaves for itself, a
   'form' for its Being Beyond Form, by use of which it can gain
   experience through self-consciousness, as explained in the note to
   verses 2c102 and 3c103. This Khu is the first veil, far subtler than
   mind or body, and truer; for its symbolic shape depends on the nature
   of its Star.
   Why are we told that the Khabs is in the Khu, not the Khu in the
   Khabs? Did we then suppose the converse? I think that we are warned
   against the idea of a Pleroma, a flame of which we are Sparks, and to
   which we return when we 'attain'. That would indeed be to make the
   whole curse of separate existence ridiculous, a senseless and
   inexcusable folly. It would throw us back on the dilemma of
   Manichaeism. The idea of incarnations "perfecting" a thing originally
   perfect by definition is imbecile. The only sane solution is as given
   previously, to suppose that the Perfect enjoys experience of
   (apparent) Imperfection. (There are deeper resolutions of this problem
   appropriate to the highest grades of initiation; but the above should
   suffice the average intelligence.)
   AL I,9: "Worship then the Khabs, and behold my light shed over you!"
   9. That Khabs is declared to be the light of Nu. It being worshipped
   in the centre, the light also fills the circumference, so that all is
   We are to pay attention to this Inmost Light; then comes the answering
   Light of Infinite Space. Note that the Light of Space is what men call
   Darkness; its nature is utterly incomprehensible to our uninitiated
   minds. It is the 'veils' mentioned previously in this comment that
   obstruct the relation between Nuit and Hadit.
   We are not to worship the Khu, to fall in love with our Magical Image.
   To do this -- we have all done it -- is to forget our Truth. If we
   adore Form, it becomes opaque to Being, and may soon prove false to
   itself. The Khu in each of us includes the Cosmos as he knows it. To
   me, even another Khabs is only part of my Khu. Our own Khabs is our
   one sole Truth.
   AL I,10: "Let my servants be few & secret: they shall rule the many &
   the known."
   10. This is the rule of Thelema, that its adepts shall be invisible
   rulers. This, it may be remarked, has always been the case.
   The nature of magical power is quite incomprehensible to the vulgar.
   The prophet Ezekiel besieging a tile in order to destroy Jerusalem,
   and the adventure of Hosea with Gomer, seem as absurd to the
   'practical' man as do the researches of any other scientific man until
   the Sunday Newspapers have furnished him with a plausible explanation
   which explains nothing. ("Book 4", Part III, must be read in this
   "My servants"; not those of the Lord of the Aeon. "The Law is for
   all"; there can be no secrecy about that. The verse refers to
   specially chosen 'servants'; perhaps those who, worshipping the Khabs,
   have beheld Her light shed over them. Such persons indeed consummate
   the marriage of Nuit and Hadit in themselves; in that case they are
   aware of certain Ways to Power.
   There is also a mystical sense in this verse. We are to organize our
   minds thoroughly, appointing few and secret chiefs, serving Nuit, to
   discipline the varied departments of the conscious thought.
   AL I,11: "These are fools that men adore; both their Gods & their men
   are fools."
   11. "The many and the known" both among Gods and men, are revered;
   this is folly.
   It is a fact of meditation that everything which becomes manifest is
   instantly recognized as unreal. All perfect unveiling solves, wholly
   or in part, the equation "Something equals 0/0." (See comment on verse
   28c128.) Adeptship is little more than ability to perceive this 0/0
   phase of "Something" in respect of larger and larger "Somethings".
   A verse with so sacred a number as 11 is likely to mean very deep
   things. Probably much concerning the function of The Fool is concealed
   in it.
   It has been shewn in a previous note that the principal Gods, and men,
   that men have adored, are in one way or another represented in the
   Tarot card "The Fool". The statement in the text is, superficially,
   either a platitude or a petulance; neither sounds like the tone of
   Nuit. A third alternative? Can we have "phrased" it carelessly, or
   punctuated it incorrectly? Or is there a Qabalistic puzzle or a mystic
   submeaning concealed? The subject changes instantly, as it seems. I
   prefer to suggest that these "fools" are "Silent selves", impotent
   babes unborn; then verse 12 continues "Come forth!", that is, bring
   your Holy Guardian Angel from the womb of your subconsciousness. Then,
   "take your fill of love"; that is, do your True Will, whose mode of
   fulfillment is love, as explained later in this chapter.
   AL I,12: "Come forth, o children, under the stars, & take your fill of
   12. The Key of the worship of Nu. The uniting of consciousness with
   infinite space by the exercise of love, pastoral or pagan love. But
   vide infra.
   The whole doctrine of 'love' is discussed in the Book "Aleph (Wisdom
   or Folly)" and should be studied therein. But note further how this
   Verse agrees with the comment above, how every Star is to come forth
   from its veils, that it may revel with the whole World of Stars. This
   is again also a call to unite or 'love', thus formulating the Equation
   1 (-1) = 0>, which is the general magical formula in our Cosmos.
   "Come forth" -- from what are you hiding? "under the stars", that is,
   openly. Also, let love be 'under' or 'unto' the Body of Nuith. But
   above all, be open! What is this shame? Is Love Hideous, that men
   should cover him with lies? Is Love so sacred that others must not
   intrude? Nay, 'under the stars', at night, what eye but theirs may
   see? Or, if one see, should not your worship wake the cloisters of his
   soul to echo sanctity for that so lovely a deed and gracious you have
   AL I,13: "I am above you and in you. My ecstasy is in yours. My joy is
   to see your joy."
   13. This doctrine implies some mystic bond which I imagine is only to
   be understood by experience; this human ecstasy and that divine
   ecstasy interact. A similar doctrine is found in the Bhagavad Gita.
   Note that Space is omnipresent.> The cause of 'sorrow' is the
   'imaginary' solutions of continuity in this substance. Ecstasy is
   produced by the resolution of these illusions. Observe well that to
   beings in a state of strain or sorrow the "Great Work" is bound to
   appear in the guise of a relief or joy. But this is not to assert
   Samadhi, that unity with the universe which brings relief and joy by
   "love", as an "absolute good". It is only good relatively to our
   present condition as beings divided by Illusion from Nuit. When one
   returns to the 'simple' state, one soon begins to think out a new
   route through the Universe, and devise new combinations in the Great
   Game called Seeing Life.
   In Nature few elements are lone wolves. Most of them are being thrown
   in and out of combination constantly; on suns this occurs with lordly
   Note that Nuith, although She is Infinite Space, speaks as an
   individual might do, often enough. This is not that She is 'talking
   down to our level'; it is a fact. In the Cosmos almost any aggregation
   can think and act as an Ego. For instance, the cells of our bodies are
   each units, diverse in composition and character, living each a life
   of its own. Yet we think and act for them, and say "I". The stars are
   the cells of Her Body. Each one of us is such a cell; not less itself
   but more because of its secret function in Her.
   It should be evident that Nuith obtains the satisfaction of Her Nature
   when the parts of Her Body fulfil their own Nature. The sacrament of
   live is not only so from the point of view of the celebrants, but from
   that of the divinity invoked.
   It is said that for every step one takes towards one's Holy Guardian
   Angel, He takes two towards his client.
   What do I mean by "beings divided by Illusion from Nuith", in the
   first paragraph? This, that we are limited mentally, that we realize
   only an infinitesimal fraction of the possible forms of expression. We
   can hardly even imagine ourselves as living on another planet, or in
   the Sun; much less as apprehending the Universe by means of a totally
   different set of senses. Yet most of us who are not mere placental
   amnoites possess an instinct which persistently regrets our
   incapacities. It is bad enough to be dependent on scientific
   instruments for our knowledge of all but the grossest of the wonders
   and splendours of the Universe; but worse that we are aware of an
   infinite variety of order of phenomena, such as electricity,
   magnetism, chemical action, and a host of others, which we can explore
   only by indirect means, interpret only by obviously inadequate
   symbols, and understand only in terms of arbitrary relations with our
   animal-sense-perceptions. We know theoretically that every object must
   react to every other object; and it is evident that each type of
   reaction may be as overwhelmingly interesting as those which happen to
   affect us. What unimaginable rapture to be able to observe magnetic
   fields or molecular movements as directly as we do the Ocean and the
   Ant-heap! It is the task of the Initiate to adapt himself to the
   Totality of Existence, and to develop in himself the means of
   apprehending it wholly and fully.
   AL I,14: "Above, the gemmed azure is
   The naked splendour of Nuit;
   She bends in ecstasy to kiss
   The secret ardours of Hadit.
   The winged globe, the starry blue,
   Are mine, O Ankh-af-na-khonsu!"
   14. This verse is a direct translation of the first section of the
   stele. It conceals a certain secret ritual of the highest rank,
   connected with the two previous verses.
   This is a poetic description of the symbolism of the Stele. It is
   suitable fore such minds as approach Truth in this manner rather than
   by way of Science or Philosophy.
   It contains a Formula of Magick Art, connected with the Stele. Also,
   less ineffably, it boasts the consummation of the marriage of Hadit
   and Nuit in the priest. That is, he has freed Hadit, in the core of
   his Star, from the illusion-veils of the Khu, so that the two
   Infinities become one, and none; and create, in the manner shortly to
   be described, a new Finite.
   This Finite will evidently be an expression of the particular mood of
   its Father and Mother at the moment of its conception. Obviously, this
   "Child" cannot add to the Universe; it is therefore inevitably twin
   (Horus and Harpocrates, Osiris and Typhon, Jesus and Barabbas) in
   Nature, formed of equal and opposite elements. When the Operation is
   mystical in character, the "Child" does not appear at all in this
   manifested form as Two, but as Naught. In the consciousness of the
   Adept, this is called Samadhi. He has united himself with, and lost
   himself in, Nuit. When the "Child" appears as Two, it is Magick, as
   the other is Mysticism. This is the essential difference between these
   AL I,15: "Now ye shall know that the chosen priest & apostle of
   infinite space is the prince-priest the Beast; and in his woman called
   the Scarlet Woman is all power given. They shall gather my children
   into their fold: they shall bring the glory of the stars into the
   hearts of men."
   15. The authority of the Beast rests upon this verse; but it is to be
   taken in conjunction with certain later verses which I shall leave to
   the research of students to interpret. I am inclined, however, to
   believe that "the Beast" and "the Scarlet Woman" do not denote
   persons, but are titles of office, that of Hierophant and High
   Priestess ( Vau and Gimel ), else it would be difficult to understand
   the next verse.
   The definition of "infinite space" offered in the Comment on verse
   13c113 is useful here. My Work is in great part to insist upon the
   infinite possibilities of human development. Man has too slavishly
   acquiesced in his limitations. Science itself has shewn itself almost
   as intolerant as Religion toward certain lines of research. Indeed,
   every element of society has added its energy to the opposition which
   bars each pioneer with undiscriminating stupidity. Darwin, Pasteur,
   Lister, and Jenner met with the same ferocious cowardice as Shelly and
   Luther; they were assailed on every ground from Religion and Morality
   upwards; every falsehood that malice could invent was circulated about
   them. In short, they were treated then as I am being treated now; and
   I am resolute to prosecute my Work now as they were resolute then.
   That which is beneath is like that which is above. The Beast and the
   Scarlet Woman are avatars of Tao and Teh, Shiva and Sakti. This Law is
   then an exact image of the Great Law of the Cosmos; this is an
   assurance of its Perfection.
   It is necessary to say here that The` Beast appears to be a definite
   individual; to wit, the man Aleister Crowley. But the Scarlet Woman is
   an officer replaceable as need arises. Thus to this present date of
   writing, Anno XVI, Sun in Sagittarius, there have been several holders
   of the title.
   1. Rose Edith Crowley nee Kelly, my wife. Put me in touch with Aiwas;
   see Equinox 1, 7, "The Temple of Solomon the King." Failed as
   elsewhere is on record.
   2. A doubtful case. Mary d'Este Sturges nee Dempsey. Put me in touch
   with Abuldiz; hence helped with Book 4. Failed from personal
   3. Jeanne Robert Foster nee Oliver. Bore the "child" to whom this Book
   refers later. Failed from respectability.
   4. Roddie Minor. Brought me in touch with Amalantrah. Failed from
   indifference to the Work.
   5. A doubtful case, Marie Rohling nee Lavroff. Helped to inspire Liber
   CXI. Failed from indecision.
   6. A doubtful case, Bertha Almira Prykryl nee Bruce. Delayed
   assumption of duties, hence made way for No. 7.
   7. Lea Hersig. Assisted me in actual initiation; still at my side, An
   XVII, Sol in Sagittarius. (P.S. & An XIX, Sol in Aries).
   "Prince-priest" is an unusual word, and not in tone with other
   references to me. I suspect therefore a secret cipher of some sort.
   For one thing, it is an anagram of PRINCEPS ITER, not bad for Alastor
   the Wanderer, or PRINCIPS ERIT, he shall be the chief (see verse
   23c123). But such Qabalah is hardly to be considered serious. The
   recurrence of the letters PRI is however curious and may be
   significant. The combination PR in most Aryan Languages gives the idea
   of "Before." P and R are the letters of Mars and Sol respectively. Now
   Mars is referred to the number 5, and Sol to the number 6; both to the
   idea "Force and Fire", though in different ways. Now "Force and Fire"
   is the attribute of Ra-Hoor-Khuit, Lord of the Aeon; and 5 and 6 are
   mystically mated to represent the Accomplishment of the Great Work in
   Abrahadabra, the Word of the Aeon. (See, for this Word, infra
   Qabalistic Appendix). The termination ST is the coronal combination
   XXXI which we shall notice often enough later on.
   The Beast, besides 666 correspondences, is by English sound, the Magus
   (Beth, Mercury, etc.) of this ST. S has in the Tarot the card numbered
   XX, which represents the Stele of Revealing, and is called the
   Judgment; i.e., the ending of an Aeon. T has the card numbered XI and
   is called Strength. It is the card of Leo and represents Babalon and
   the Beast conjoined.
   "Their fold"; not only a sheepfold, but as if it were written "their
   AL I,16: "For he is ever a sun, and she a moon. But to him is the
   winged secret flame, and to her the stooping starlight."
   15. In II, 16c216, we find that HAD is to be taken as 11 (see II, 16,
   comment). Then Hadit = 421, Nuit = 466.
   421 - 3 (the moon) = 418
   466 + 200 (sun) = 666
   These are the two great numbers of the Qabalistic system that enabled
   me to interpret the signs leading to this revelation.
   The winged secret flame is Hadit; the stooping starlight is Nuit;
   these are their true natures, and their functions in the supreme
   ritual referred to above.
   The sun and moon, in their occult sense, are secondary representatives
   of this original duality which is a phase of the Qabalistic Zero.
   Other correspondences are Yun {SIC, s.b. "Yang" ?WEH} and Yin, Yod and
   He, etc. But most such dualities have been conceived in very gross and
   unphilosophical forms. Of course, it is impossible to grasp this
   subject properly by reason; only the understanding developed by
   meditation and spiritual experience avails. Initiation is
   pantomorphously progressive.
   Note that the Secret Divine Letter ShT which is the key of this book
   is by shape the Sun united with the Moon C = Sh, O = t CO = Sht. {WEH
   NOTE: Elsewhere Crowley calls this sign "the secret sigil of the
   Beast" and it is depicted by a crescent attached to the left side of a
   circle. Sometimes the circle is dotted. Sometimes the Greek lower case
   letters sigma-theta are written connectively for this (vide. Liber
   MCCLXIV, value 209, first edition, OTONL-6 and note 28).}
   AL I,17: "But ye are not so chosen."
   17. "Ye" refers to the other worshippers of Nuit, who must seek out
   their own election.
   That is, there is a special incarnation of Nuit and Hadit for the
   Beast and the Scarlet Woman, as opposed to the general truth that
   every man and woman are images of these ineffable Beings.
   Note that a woman, having no soul of her own, can be used always as a
   'Form' for any Being. This explains why Nuit can incarnate at will in
   successive women, careless of the physical limits of life. {WEH NOTE:
   Crowley's opinion regarding the soul-less state of women refers to a
   matter of expression. He believed it more generally, but probably
   based it on Victorian male conceptions of "unliberated women". The
   Comment to this and the previous verse may say more about the
   defensive insecurity of Crowley the man than the verses of Liber AL.
   In Chapter I Comment, remember that all this is a male mind trying to
   contemplate the revelations of a goddess. Square peg and round hole
   problems may arise.}
   I feel a certain necessity to explain that an 'avatar' implies rather
   a release from the limits of personality than anything else. The
   Scarlet Woman and I are peculiarly representative of Nuit and Hadit by
   virtue of our attainments in making our consciousness omniform as They
   re. It must not be supposed that our original individualities can
   claim any special prerogatives as such.
   AL I,18: "Burn upon their brows, o splendrous serpent!"
   18. The serpent is the symbol of divinity and royalty. It is also a
   symbol of Hadit, invoked upon them.
   For the images in this and the next verse see the Stele of Revealing,
   to which they allude.
   The Serpent is the Uraeus, with the powers of Life and Death, wise,
   ecstatic, immortal; winged and hooded, that he may go as a god swiftly
   and silently. It refers in this place especially to Hadit.
   # $k + AL I,19: "O azure-lidded woman, bend upon them!"
   19. Nuit herself will overshadow them.
   These two verses 18, 19, seem to be interpolated by Aiwaz, invoking
   the Gods to The Beast and The Scarlet Woman, perhaps as a formal
   AL I,20: "The key of the rituals is in the secret word which I have
   given unto him."
   20. This word is perhaps ABRAHADABRA, the sacred word of 11 letters.
   For this word see Appendix {WEH NOTE: The Appendix has not yet been
   recovered. Kenneth Grant, in his "Magical and Philosophical
   Commentaries ..." pp. 105-108 has a lengthy extension here. The
   providence of the extension is not definitely known to be Crowley at
   this writing, hence cannot be included here.}. ABRAHADABRA is "The key
   of the rituals" because it expresses the Magical Formulae of uniting
   various complementary ideas; especially the Five of the Microcosm with
   the Six of the Macrocosm.
   AL I,21: "With the God & the Adorer I am nothing: they do not see me.
   They are as upon the earth; I am Heaven, and there is no other God
   than me, and my lord Hadit."
   21. Refers to the actual picture on the stele. Nuit is a conception
   immeasurably beyond all men have even thought of the Divine. thus she
   is not the mere star-goddess, but a far higher thing, dimly veiled by
   that unutterable glory.
   This knowledge is also to be attained by adepts; the outer cannot
   reach to it.
   The importance of this verse lies in the assertion of the metaphysical
   entity of Our Lady, Her incomprehensibility to normal sense.
   The Method of invoking Nuit is given in Liber XI (see Equinox I, VII).
   Note the initials of God and Adorer GA, the Earth.
   Note that Heaven is not a place where Gods Live; Nuit is Heaven,
   itself. And "Heaven" is of course "a place wherein one may fulfil
   oneself", conformably to the definition of Nuit as Space previously
   AL I,22: "Now, therefore, I am known to ye by my name Nuit, and to him
   by a secret name which I will give him when at last he knoweth me.
   Since I am Infinite Space, and the Infinite Stars thereof, do ye also
   thus. Bind nothing! Let there be no difference made among you between
   any one thing & any other thing; for thereby there cometh hurt."
   22. A promise -- not yet fulfilled. P.S. since (An V) fulfilled) A
   charge to destroy the faculty of discriminating between illusions.
   We have here a further conception of the cosmographical scheme. Nuit
   is All that which exists, and the condition of that existence. Hadit
   is the Principle which causes modifications in this Being. This
   explains how one may call Nuit Matter, and Hadit Motion, in the
   highest physico-philosophical sense of those terms.
   We are asked to axquiesce in this Law of Nature. That is, we are not
   to oppose resistance to the perfect fluidity of the "Becoming" of
   Nature. Similarly, we are not to attach more importance to any one
   momentary appearance than to any other.
   For, the moment we do so, we confirm illusion of Duality. We assert
   Imperfection as absolute instead of as a device of Perfection for
   The Secret name was revealed in the Sahara desert -- see Liber 418, 12
   Aethyr, Equinox I, V, Suppl. pp. 82-87.
   This question of making "no difference" as ordained is to regard the
   whole of the non-Ego or universe apparently external to the Self as a
   single phenomenon; Samadhi on any one thing becomes therefore Samadhi
   on The Whole. The mystic who "availeth in this" can then perform his
   Great Work of "love under will" in a single operation instead of being
   obliged to unite himself with the non-Ego piecemeal. But see also the
   Comment on verse 4c103, above.
   Notice the word "hurt", from he French "heurter", meaning to knock
   against an obstacle. There is thus a strictly technical accuracy in
   the choice of the term.
   (Insert quotations from Essay of AN XIX March 31 - April 11 showing
   how all is the same to Nuit, though not to partial views.)
   AL I,23: "But whoso availeth in this, let him be the chief of all!"
   23. The chief, then, is he who has destroyed this sense of duality.
   This chief is of course no more or less than others. The limitations
   of our dualistic language obscure the meaning of these loftier Words.
   Chieftainship is to be understood as one of the illusions; but, in
   respect of that plane, a fact. The facts of Nature are perfectly true
   in so far as their mutual relation is concerned; their invalidity
   refers only to their total relation with the philosophical canon of
   The word "all" is not to be taken as elliptical for "all men"; it
   means that such an one is completely master of his universe. For when
   one has become indifferent to phenomena, and accepts any one of them
   as necessary, indeed as an essential part of the whole, he has made
   himself Lord of the Whole as such. In fact, it is obvious on quite
   rational grounds that this must be the case. My discrimination between
   artichokes and arsenic puts me at the mercy of a million
   circumstances, from my cook to my wife.
   AL I,24: "I am Nuit, and my word is six and fifty."
   24. Nu = 6 + 50 = 56.
   One must observe the special significance of these numbers, not only
   conjoined, but separate. For 6, Vau, is the Bull; and 50, Nun, the
   Scorpion. But 6 is also the number of the Sun, our Star. The N of Nu
   is therefore the Dragon -- "Infinite Space" -- and V is "the Infinite
   Stars" thereof. The ITH is the honorific termination representing Her
   fulfilment of Creative Force. "I" being the Inmost Force, and "Th" its
   The Dragon in current symbolism refers to the North or Hollow of
   Heaven; thus to the Womb of Space, which is the container and breeder
   of all that exists.
   Liber Aleph should be consulted for further information as to the
   magical import of Scorpio and Taurus.
   AL I,25: "Divide, add, multiply, and understand."
   25. Dividing 6/50 = 0.12.
   0, the circumference, Nuit.
   ., the centre, Hadit.
   1, the Unity proceeding, Ra-Hoor-Khuit.
   2, the Coptic H, whose shape closely resembles the Arabic figure 2,
   the breath of Life, inspired and expired. Human consciousness, Thoth.
   Adding 50 + 6 = 56, Nu, and
   Concentrating 5 + 6 = 11, Abrahadabra, etc.
   Multiplying 50 x 6 = Shin, and Ruach Elohim, the Holy Spirit.
   I am inclined to believe that there is a further mystery concealed in
   this verse, possibly those of 418 and 666 again.
   See Qabalistic Appendix. {WEH NOTE: Appendix not yet recovered. K.
   Grant, op. cit., adds several paragraphs here which appear to come
   from Crowley. This is not provided in this text for lack of certainty
   of the providence.}
   AL I,26: "Then saith the prophet and slave of the beauteous one: Who
   am I, and what shall be the sign? So she answered him, bending down, a
   lambent flame of blue, all-touching, all penetrant, her lovely hands
   upon the black earth, & her lithe body arched for love, and her soft
   feet not hurting the little flowers: Thou knowest! And the sign shall
   be my ecstasy, the consciousness of the continuity of existence, the
   omnipresence of my body."
   26. The prophet demanding a sign of his mission, it is promised; a
   Samadhi upon the Infinite.
   This promise was later fulfilled -- see "The Temple of Solomon the
   King", which proposes to deal with the matter in its due season. (P.S.
   It did so, vide Equinox I.)
   In the MSS., the last 5 words of this verse do not occur. The original
   reading is 'the unfragmentary non-atomic fact of my universality'.
   This phrase was totally beyond the comprehension of the scribe, and he
   said mentally -- with characteristic self-conceit -- "People will
   never be able to understand this." Aiwass then replied,
   "Write this in whiter words. But go forth on."
   He was willing that the phrase should be replaced by an equivalent,
   but did not wish the dictation to be interrupted by a discussion at
   the moment. it was therefore altered (a little later) to "the
   omnipresence of my body."
   It is extremely interesting to note that in the light of the cosmic
   theory explained in the notes to verse 3c102 and 4c104, the original
   phrase of Aiwass was exquisitely and exactly appropriate to his
   It take this opportunity of quoting from Professor Eddington, Op.
   Cit., a passage which should make it perfectly clear that the
   "mystical", "irrational", "paradoxical" conception of Nuit expressed
   in this chapter has a parallel in the sober calculations of a
   perfectly orthodox astronomer in the undeniably practical University
   -- a poor thing, but mine own -- of Cambridge:
   "Whenever there is matter there is action and therefore curvature; and
   it is interesting to notice that in ordinary matter the curvature of
   the space-time world is by no means insignificant. for example, in
   water of ordinary density the curvature is the same as that of space
   in the form of a sphere of radius 570,000,000 kilometers. The result
   is even more surprising if expressed in time unites; the radius is
   about half-an-hour.
   "It is difficult to picture quite what this means; but at least we can
   predict that a Globe of water 570,000,000 km. radius would have
   extraordinary properties. Presumably there must be an upper limit to
   the possible size of a globe of water. So far as I can make out a
   homogeneous mass of water of about this size (and no larger) could
   exist. It would have no centre, and no boundry, every point of it
   being in the same position with respect to the whole mass as every
   other point of it -- like points ion the surface of a sphere with
   respect to the surface. Any ray of light after travelling for an hour
   or two would come back to the starting point. Nothing could enter or
   leave the mass, because there is no boundary to enter or leave by; in
   fact, it is coextensive with space. There could not be any other world
   anywhere else because there isn't an 'anywhere else'.
   "The mass of this volume of water is not so great as the most moderate
   estimates of the mass of the stellar system".
   AL I,27: "Then the priest answered & said unto the Queen of Space,
   kissing her lovely brows, and the dew of her light bathing his whole
   body in a sweet-smelling perfume of sweat: O Nuit, continuous one of
   Heaven, let it be ever thus; that men speak not of Thee as One but as
   None; and let them speak not of thee at all, since thou art
   27 - 31. Here is a profound philosophical dogma, in a sense possibly
   and explanation and Illumination of the propositions in "Berashith".
   The dyad (or universe) is created with little pain in order to make
   the bliss of dissolution possible. Thus the pain of life may be atoned
   for by the bliss of death.
   This delight is, however, only for the chosen servants of Nu.
   Outsiders may be looked on much as the Cartesians looked on animals.
   Yet, of course, this is only on the plane of Illusion. One must not
   discriminate between the space marks. (P.S. The Crhistian is one who
   has acquiesced in his own dishonour; a renegade from manhood).
   The physical description of the onset of this ecstasy refers to the
   actual facts at the period of receiving this knowledge.
   The attempt to resolve All into One is a philosophical blunder. It
   explains nothing; neither how One came to be, nor how Two came to be.
   The only sound conception is that of "Zero not extended" with a phase
   of "Something" ("0 degree = X") which makes the answer to both
   questions self-evident.
   The idea "One" is intelligible enough as the result of the resolutions
   of Two. But in itself it is meaningless because of the absence of any
   co-ordinates. A point can heave no qualities except as it is related
   to a second point. It is only 'high' if there be another which is
   'low'. It cannot even be said to exist unless there be something which
   does not exist.
   Note the word 'continuous' repeated. It suggests the "continuum" of
   modern mathematical philosophy.
   On the other hand, the constitution of Nuit is 'atomic' (verse 26c126)
   or discontinuous. She is in fact the reconciliation of these
   contradictory ideas. It is important for us to grasp the philosophical
   situation formally; and this demands a some-what close analysis. The
   definitions of Cantorian and Dedekindian continuity should be sought
   in Bertrand Russell, Op. Cit.; it is sufficient here to explain that
   by the continuity of Nuit I conceive conditions similar to those of
   the sphere of water described in the quotation in the note to verse
   25c125. Any point in this sphere would be indistinguishable from any
   other point in a certain sense; or at least the distinction might be
   considered as arbitrary and illusory. Yet there is no reason why we
   should not choose to fix our attention on any particular point or
   system of points for the purpose of amusing ourselves -- analogously
   to the explanation above put forward (notes on vv. 3c103 & 4c104) of
   incarnation. The constitution of our illusion will evidently be
   atomic. The facts that {...}, and that the subtraction of (a) the
   inductive numbers, (b) the inductive numbers greater than n, (c) the
   odd numbers, from {...} give respectively zero, n and {...} as the
   result, do not interfere with the finite character of the relation
   between n and n 1. The transfinite properties of {...} do not destroy
   the atomic character of the series of which it is the sum.
   Let us investigate the nature of existing ideas a little more closely.
   First of all, Nuit, being the totality of possibilities of Form, is
   not only one series, but the sum of all series. We are justified in
   conceiving any collection of ideas soever as a homologous series, for
   we have the right to choose the function which will serve to arrange
   them as our design requires. To protest that such a choice is
   arbitrary, fantastic or irrational is to assert the authority of some
   self-appointed "normal mind" as absolute in Nature. The failure of
   philosophers to transcend their own mental limitations has reduced all
   their systems to circular arguments, and all their ontologies to
   Solipsism, however elaborately they have endeavoured to to cloak the
   fact with sophistries. You cannot tie a true knot in a cord with a
   closed circuit. All knowledge is relative to the mind which contains
   Consider "incommensurable" numbers, such as 1 and 2. This coy surd is
   insensible to the fascinations of the deftest Dedekindian Cult. It may
   be approached within limits as narrow as we choose to appoint; yet
   there remains a "great gulf fixed" which is utterly impassable. The
   surd is simply not in the series; you might as well try to find
   Consciousness by making microtome sections of the brain. Yet the
   relation between 1 and 2 is perfectly clear and simple; there is no
   incommensurability about it at all. It is (for one thing) the ratio of
   the hypoteneuse of a right-angled isoceles triangle to one of the
   other sides, in Euclidian geometry. The difficulty of commensuration
   can exist only in minds obsessed by the atavistic necessity of
   counting cowries or wives on the fingers.
   Let me then maintain that such collections as "The thoughts of a man's
   lifetime" constitute a series in the same sense as the inductive
   numbers. This collection conforms perfectly with Peano's 'ideas' and
   'proposition'. Every thought is a thing in itself; it is determined by
   its predecessors and determines its successors; it is concatenated
   with them by 'psychological time'. Briefly, it fulfils every condition
   required by the definition. (The 'recurrenee' of a thought is no
   objection, for the identity is superficial, like that of a digit in a
   long decimal. "My aunt", whom I now think of, is not the aunt I
   thought of last year, any more than the 4 in the second place of .0494
   is the same as that in the fourth place.)
   Any thought in this series possesses a chain of sub-thoughts which
   connect it with its neighbours; these may be discovered by the proper
   psychological methods. "The Words of the insane are mountain-tops";
   two successive thoughts may be compared to two snow summits rising
   above cloud-banks; they are not isolated, but joined by certain
   geologically necessary formations. But each pair of such sub-thoughts
   may be similarly investigated, and so on ad infinitum. Each thought is
   inevitably itself, although it is related to all other possible
   thoughts. There are not two thoughts of which we can say that one
   either merges into, or necessarily begets, the other. Any series of
   thoughts is therefore a true inductive series, exactly as the "natural
   numbers" are, with the added properties that it is real and omniform.
   It is atomic, its elements being intrinsically individual; and yet a
   continuum, since its intervals are susceptible of subdivision
   indefinitely prolonged without producing any diminution of these
   properties of the original series. The difference between successive
   thoughts and successive numbers is that by inserting r terms between p
   and q -- p:p : p 2 : --- p (2 -1) : q -- we apparently approximate the
   members, so that p-q (p 2)-(p ); while the sub-thoughts which
   intervene between my impression on waking "A fine frosty morning" and
   my reaction "I'll go skating" come to me from very various departments
   of my mind, and no two of them are in any way more closely connected
   than their culmination in consciousness is to its forerunner. But this
   difference is in reality an illusion born of the obsession already
   diagnosed; 2 is nearer to 1 and to 3 than 3 is to 1 only in respect of
   one particular function. Full comprehension of the true nature of
   number, as conceived by this Book, should enable the mind to transcend
   its "normal" trammels.
   It will no doubt be objected that these speculations, even if correct,
   are sterile; or, even worse, discouraging to that study of the
   relations between phenomena which has been the basis of all advance in
   I might deny the reality of the progress, since it has only exposed
   the self-contradictions, and emphasized the mysteries, which beset us.
   But I prefer to take my stand on the ground that we have been totally
   wrong, hitherto, in our fundamental attitude to the Universe. The only
   possible issue from the vicious circle wherein we are penned is to
   refuse resolutely to allow ourselves to accept (1) the evidence of our
   senses, (2) the pleadings of our minds, (3) the reactions between
   phenomena as tokens of Truth. All objects are equally capable of
   conveying any given impression to us; it is merely a question of
   arranging the conditions of the experiments. We can add or subtract
   any conceivable quality at will. Thus, "there is no difference"; and
   each existence is inscrutably itself. We are only the more deceived as
   it multiplies its Protean projections.
   Our proper course is to destroy the instruments of perception which we
   at present possess, recognizing that they are no more than personal
   prejudices which limit and delude us in every way. Our senses assure
   us that the earth is flat, and that the Sun moves across it, until we
   amend their assertions by the aid of instruments, and of reason. Yet
   the astronomer with his telescope is no less arbitrary than the
   cave-man with his eye. We are like the Snark in the Barrister's dream,
   witnesses, lawyers, and judge in one. We have no standard independent
   or ourselves; and we know only too well that our witnesses, the
   senses, are neither competent, clear, trustworthy, intelligent, or
   even capable of giving evidence on the actual issues.
   The mid is in even worse plight. Obviously, its judgments must be
   based on its own laws, and we have no shadow of reason for supposing
   that these possess any authority beyond their own jurisdiction. We
   know that the Structure of the brain has been determined by the animal
   struggle to survive: it is adapted to the conditions of environment.
   It is the serf of brute passions, the ape of atavism, the dupe of
   sense, and the automaton of accident. We have no right to assert that
   its internal reactions correspond to the external world in any way
   whatever. Officially recognized thinkers are only just beginning to
   realize what mystics have known since the Morning Star glimmered
   through the haze on the horizon of History, that the Laws of Thought
   are only expressions of the bondage of the thinker. Apart from the
   dependence of mind upon the unreliable, symbolically communicated, and
   fragamentary affidavits of sense, apart from the imperfections
   inseparable from its origin, our judgments are necessarily no more
   than representations of the consistency of one part of our internal
   structure with another. We cannot lift ourselves by pulling at our
   toes. We now know that our most fixed axioms are as arbitrary as a
   madman's delusions. There is nothing to prevent a man from asserting
   that "Things which are both equal to the same thing are both greater
   than each other" and constructing a geometry conformable thereto:
   neither by reasoning nor by experience could it be proved that his
   system was not the "truth" of Nature. More, the word "truth" itself
   has proved on analysis to contain no intelligible significance, but to
   be an empirical symbol of what can only be described as symptoms of
   cerebral inadequacy.
   Still worse, even so far as the conclusions of reason express the
   relations of an animal with itself, they disclose not the consistency
   which is the test of the fulfilment of this limited function, but an
   inherent self-contradition which shatters the validity of the entire
   process. For the "Law of Contradiction" is the Court of final Appeal
   which has been the authority for every step. I quote once more from
   the Hon. Bertrand Russell, Op. Cit.:
   "The comprehensive class we are considering, which is to embrace
   everything, must embrace itself as one of its members. In other words,
   if there is such a things as "everything", then "everything" is
   something, and is a member of the class "everything". But normally a
   class is not a member of itself. Mankind, for example, is not a man.
   Form now the assemblage of all classes which are not members of
   themselves. This is a class: is it a member of itself or not? If it
   is, it is one of those classes that are not members of themselves,
   i.e. it is a member of itself. Thus of the two hypotheses -- that it
   is, and that it is not, a member of itself -- each implies its
   contradictory. This is a contradiction, similar contradictions ad
   lib." {WEH NOTE: I'm sorry. I just can't keep shut. This is just the
   bloody fallacy of FOUR TERMS!}
   This author, perhaps the mightiest mind of its type now living,
   proceeds gallantly to go "over the top". But he is always, sooner or
   later, drowned in the "blood" of a new contradiction, or the "mud" of
   mystery. He finds himself constantly compelled to assume some axiom
   which has been proved to be incapable of being proved, or crushed by
   the certainty that even in the event of his proving all his
   propositions, the sum of their statement amounts to this, that, so far
   as he is anybody or anything, he is himself.
   Professor Eddington, in the masterly exposition of modern thought
   already quoted, presents, clearly enough, the case against supposing
   that any phenomenon soever is a "fact" in any absolute sense.
   Each account of it must be incomplete, symbolic, and variable with the
   position and faculties of the observer.
   "By his theory of relativity, Albert Einstein has provoked a
   revolution of thought in physical science."
   "The achievement consists essentially in this: -- Einstein has
   succeeded in separating far more completely than hitherto the share of
   the observer and the share of external nature in the things we see
   happen. The perception of an object by an observer depends on his own
   situation and circumstances; for example, distance will make it appear
   smaller and dimmer. We make allowance for this almost unconsciously in
   interpreting what we see. But it now appears that the allowance made
   for the motion of the observer has hitherto been too crude, -- a fact
   overlooked because in practice all observers share nearly the same
   motion, that of the earth. Physical space and time are found to be
   closely bound up with this motion of the observer; and only an
   amorphous combination of the two is left inherent in the external
   world. When space and time are relegated to their proper source -- the
   observer -- the world of nature which remains appears strangely
   unfamiliar; but it is in reality simplified, and the underlying unity
   of the principal phenomena from this new outlook have, with one
   doubtful exception, been confirmed when tested by experiment."
   I must confess that I was amazed with every amazement when so the the
   eminent astronomer failed to follow up this brilliant outburst by
   turning the devastation of his artillery upon the ramparts of the
   citadel whose outlying defenses he had shattered with such stupendous
   thunderbolts. Now came it that the very act of detecting so subtly,
   and removing so skillfully, the mote in his neighbour's eye, did not
   suggest to him that he might be incommoded by the beam of his own?
   Aware of the errors introduced into his calculations by the
   comparatively steady, regular, and imperceptible motion of his
   earth-borne body, how not to be stricken aghast to contemplate the
   possible consequences of taking, as a fixed and absolute point for the
   base of his triangulations, and unknown and uncontrollable engine in
   violent, erratic and incalculable action, neither to be mastered nor
   measured, his mind? Who dare presume to set limits to the
   eccentricities of a brain which is the logical conclusion for a
   love-harried, witch-burning, god-fearing, fox-hunting, cannibal ape,
   spice with tubercle, syphilis, insanity and the rest of the poisons
   for one premise and an unintelligible and accidental environment for
   the other? Is not every thought determined, and its validity
   indeterminable, especially by its owner? Who then shall decide what
   "trustworthy reasoning" may mean?
   At the very least, we must eliminate as far as possible very obvious
   source of error, such as personality (in particular) involves. But
   further, we must regulate the motion of the mind, control it, bring it
   to a standstill. It may be -- I know that it is -- that as soon as
   thought is prevented from bewildering us with its torrential turmoil,
   we may become aware that we posses a subtler and steadier organ of
   apprehension. This is in fact one of the principal points of
   AL I,28: "None, breathed the light, faint & faery, of the stars, and
   Now appears the plain statement of the Perfect Metaphysick. It may be
   as well to quote the essential passages from 'Bereshith' in connexion
   with this matter.
   When we say that the Cosmos sprang from 0, what kind of 0 do we mean?
   By 0 in the ordinary sense of the term we mean "absence of extension
   in any of the categories".
   When I say "No cat has two tails" I do not mean, as the old fallacy
   runs, that "Absense-of-cat possesses two tails"; but that "In the
   category of two-tailed things, there is no extension of cat".
   Nothingness is that about which no positive proposition is valid. We
   cannot truly affirm: "Nothingness is green, or heavy, or sweet".
   Let us call time, space, being, heaviness, hunger, the categories. If
   a man be heavy and hungry, he is extended in all these, besides, of
   course, many more. But let us suppose these five are all. Call the man
   X; his formula is then
   t s b h h
   X . If he now eat he will cease to be extended in hunger; if he be cut
   off from time and gravitation as well, he will now be represented by
   the formula
   s b
   X . Should he cease to occupy space and to exist, his formula would
   then be
   X . This expansion is equal to 1; whatever X may represent, if it be
   raised to the power of 0 (this meaning mathematically "If it be
   extended in no dimension or category"), the result is Unity, and the
   unknown factor X is eliminated.
   Now if there was in truth 0, "before the beginning of years", THAT 0
   CATEGORIES IN WHICH IT COULD EXTEND! If our 0 was the ordinary 0 of
   mathematics, there was not truly absolute 0, for 0 is, as I have
   shown, dependent on the idea of categories. If these existed, then the
   whole question is merely thrown back; we must reach a state in which 0
   is absolute. Not only must we get rid of all subjects, but of all
   predicates. By 0 (in mathematics) we really mean 0 to the n, where n
   is the final term of a natural scale of dimensions, categories, or
   predicates. Our Cosmic Gee, then, from which the present universe
   arose, was Nothingness, extended in no categories, or, graphically, 0
   to the 0. This expression is in its present form meaningless. Let us
   discover its value by a simple mathematical process.
   0 1-1
   0 = 0 = 01/01 ( Multiply by 1 = n/n ) Then 01/n x n/01 = 0 x infinity
   Now the multiplying of the infinitely great by the infinitely small
   CATEGORIES. It happened, when this our Great Inversion took place,
   from the essence of all nothingness to finity extended in innumerable
   categories, that an incalculably vast system was produced. Merely by
   chance, chance in he truest sense of the term, we are found with gods,
   men, stars, planets, devils, colours, forces, and all the materials of
   the cosmos; and with time, space, and causality, the conditions
   limiting and involving them all.
   Remember that it is not true to say that our 0 to the 0 existed; nor
   that it did not exist. The idea of existence was just as much
   unformulated as that of toasted cheese.
   But 0 to the 0 is a finite expression, or has a finite phase, and our
   universe is a finite universe; its categories are themselves finite,
   and the expression "infinite space" is a contradiction it terms. The
   idea of an absolute and of an infinite God is relegated to the limbo
   of all similar idle and pernicious perversions of truth. Infinity
   remains; but only as a mathematical conception as impossible in nature
   as the square root of -1."
   This passage was written in 1902, E.V., before the revelation of the
   Law. It remains true that 'infinite space is a contradiction in
   terms', and so on; but this is no argument against the Cosmogeny of
   this Book. For above the Abyss every idea soever is necessarily a
   contradiction in terms; see Liber 418 for the demonstration of this.
   There is much more on these points in Liber Aleph, and in "The Urn".
   "Breathed" and "light" are highly significant words, implying the
   duality of creation in breath -- inspiration and expiration -- and
   that of vibratory light; while breath is also Aleph, whose card is
   numbered Zero; and Light is L.V.X. 120, the Rosy Cross, wherein the
   Positive is dissolved in the Negative.
   # $k + AL I,29: "For I am divided for love's sake, for the chance of
   I quote from "The Book of Lies (falsely so-called)".
   The Brothers of A\A\ are one with the
   Mother of the child.
   The Many is as adorable to the One as the
   One is to the Many. This is the Love
   of These: creation-parturition is the
   Bliss of the One; coition-dissolution
   is the Bliss of the Many.
   The All, thus interwoven of These, is Bliss.
   Naught is beyond Bliss.
   The Man delights in uniting with the Woman;
   the Woman in parting from the child
   The Brothers of A\A\ are Women; the Aspirants
   to A\A\ Are Men."
   In order to have Motion one must have Change. In fact, one must have
   this in order to have anything at all. Now this Change is what we call
   Love. thus "love under will" is the Law of Motion. The re-entrant
   character of this Motion is difficult to conceive; but the Aspirant is
   urged to try to assimilate the idea. A Hindu might compare the Cosmic
   process to a churn which out of milk made butter to feed a
   milk-producing woman, every step in the cycle being a Progress of Joy.
   Time is necessarily created by us in order to make room for the
   apparent existence of the duality which we devise for the presentation
   of unity, or nihility.
   "Two things" must evidently exist either in two places, or at two
   times, or both; else they would be indistinguishable.
   Two phenomena which differ in time would be considered simultaneous if
   separated in space so that our observation of the former were delayed,
   for several reasons; and it is fairly easy to realize the possibility.
   But it seems as if separation in space were somehow more intractable.
   I can see no priori reason for this distinction; I think it arises
   from the fact that space is directly presented to our senses, while
   time is proper to the mental apprehension of impressions.
   Our universe is (after all) in one place, so far as we are concerned,
   i.e., in our sensoria, so that any two impressions can only be
   registered by us as consecutive. Even when we are aware of their
   simultaneity, we are compelled to place them in sequence. Our
   sensorium makes no distinction between concrete and abstract ideas in
   this respect. Sensory impressions and general ideas are equally grist
   for the mill. But we make a distinction between our record of events
   whose sequence is a necessary part of our comprehension of them, and
   those which are independent of our history. We insist on the sequence
   of school and college, but our general judgments are recognized as
   independent of time. This is peculiarly the case with our idea of the
   Ego, which we instinctively regard as if it were eternal and
   unchanging, though in fact it grows and decays continually. Yet we
   think of the incidents of boyhood as having occurred to the Ego,
   forming part of its character.
   Now since this Ego is only conscious by virtue of having formulated
   itself, or the Universe (as it happens to view the case), in the form
   of Duality, and since all the experiences of the Ego are necessary to
   it, as all phenomena soever are necessary, it is permissible to regard
   the totality of the experience of the Ego as the presentation in
   duality of a single simultaneous fact.
   In other words, life is an attempt to realize one's own nature in
   one's own soul.
   The man who fails to recognize it as such is hopelessly bewildered by
   the irrational character of the universe, which he takes to be real;
   and he cannot but regard it as aimless and absurd. The adventures of
   his body and mind, with their desires for material and moral
   well-being, are obviously as foredoomed to disaster as Don Quixote's.
   He must be a fool if he struggles on (against inexorable fate) to
   obtain results which he knows can only end in catastrophe, a climax
   the more bitter as he clings the more closely to his impossible
   But once he acquiesces in the necessity of the course of events, and
   considers his body and mind as no more than the instruments which
   interpret himself to himself by means of dualistic presentation, he
   should soon acquire a complete indifference to the nature of the
   incidents which occur to him.
   It is not surprising that these incidents should occur in an apparent
   disorderly sequence any more than that the coours of a picture, or the
   words of a story, should not be disturbed according to an a priori
   classification, as in a Lexicon or a colourman's catalogue. His task
   as a connoisseur is to recognize the idea of the artist, and this he
   can only do by appreciation of the complete work. he must analyze the
   assemblage of elements, and assign the correct value to each,
   comprehending the intention of each relative to the finished design.
   It will be said that nobody can realize himself so long as the
   presentation is imperfect, that is, so long as he is incarnated. This
   is no doubt true in all rigour; but one can obtain an approximation to
   the intended self-knowledge by withdrawing for a time to the monistic
   form of self-consciousness, which does not distinguish between the Ego
   and the Non-Ego; in other words, by attaining Samadhi. But the first
   experience of Samadhi will then naturally be an ecstasy devoid of name
   or form, and containing no elements distinguishable as such; and we
   know this to be the case. One has simply deprived oneself of the means
   of expression, and all dual consciousness disappears, together with
   its forms, time and space. One concludes from this that the Universe
   is identical with the Ego, and all things dissolve into a formless
   essence characterized by knowledge and bliss. But this early stage of
   Samadhi is an illusion, a sort of drunken dizziness. (So in sexual
   love, the ecstasy abolishes the Ego, apparently; it forgets that
   duality was its cause, and must be equally real with itself, in one
   sense or another). But subsequent Samadhi teaches the adept that his
   universal instantaneous Unity exists as "None and Two"; and he learns
   that his Samadhi is peculiar to himself as well as common to all.
   He becomes able to experience the truth of the statements in the Book
   of the Law, the nature of Nuith and Hadith, and of himself as a Star,
   unique, individual, and eternal, but yet a part of the Body of Nuith,
   and therefore identical with all other stars in that respect.
   He realizes himself as the "bed in working" of Nuith and Hadit, as a
   particular form assumed by the latter for the sake of Variety in his
   "play" with the former; and he partakes in this play by his
   self-realization, which he synthesizes from the "events of his life".
   He understands that these events are the resultant of the Universe as
   applied to him, so that his experience is equally unique and
   universal, each star being the centre of the cosmos, and the Cosmos
   applicable as a whole to each star.
   The experiences of each angle of a triangle are common to all, for one
   can express any relation as a function of any angle, at will. Each may
   be taken as the starting-point of the study of the properties to the
   triangle. But each angle is necessary to the triangle, and each is
   equally important to its existence. Each is bound to the others, and
   moreover each is in a sense illusory in respect of the triangle, which
   is an idea, simple and ideal, whose unity is compelled to express
   itself and manifest its properties by extension as a plane figure. For
   no triangle can express the idea of a triangle. Any triangle must be
   either equilateral, isosceles or scalene, either acute, right-angled,
   or obtuse; and no one triangle can be all these at once; while the
   idea of a triangle includes all these, and infinite other,
   In a similar way, Nuith and Hadith include all possible forms of
   existence; they can only realize Themselves by creating an infinite
   variety of forms of Themselves, each one real as it is Their image,
   illusory as it is a partial and divided aspect of Them.
   Each such Star is intelligible to Them, as a poem is to its author as
   a part of this soul mirrored by his mind. But it is not intelligible
   to itself, because it has no relation with any other ideas; it only
   knows itself as the babe of its mother Nuith, to whom it yearns, being
   stirred by its father Hadith to express that instinctive attachment by
   inarticulate cries.
   To know itself, each such Star, or Soul, must eat of the Fruit of the
   Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, by accepting labour and pain as
   its portion, and death as its doom. That is, it must reveal its nature
   to itself by formulating that nature as duality. It must express
   itself by a series of symbolic gestures ostensibly external to it,
   just as a painter reveals one facet of his Delight-Diamond by covering
   a canvas with colours in such a way that the picture seems at first
   sight to represent something outside himself. It must, in fact, repeat
   for itself the original Magick of Nuith and Hadith which created it.
   As They made Themselves visible piecemeal by fashioning particular
   Souls, expressing the Impersonal and Absolute Homogeneity by means of
   Personal Relative Heterogeneity, so, not forgetting their true nature
   as forms of the Infinite, whereby they are one with all, must the
   stars devise methods of studying themselves.
   They must make images of themselves, apparently external, and they
   must represent their highly complex qualities in a duality involving
   space and time. For each Star is of necessity related to every other
   star, so that no influence is alien to its individuality; it must
   therefore observer its reaction to every other star.
   Just so are most chemical elements possessed of but few qualities
   directly appreciable by our senses; we must learn their natures by
   putting them into relation with the other Elements in turn. (Note well
   that this knowledge were impossible unless there were a variety of
   elements; so also the fact of our self-consciousness proves the
   existence of individual souls; all related, all parts of the One Soul,
   in one sense, but none the less independent in themselves, eternal
   entities expressing particular elements of existence).
   Each star is in itself immune and innocent; its proper consciousness
   is monistic; it must therefore employ a body and mind as the
   instruments for interpreting its relations with other souls, and
   comparing its nature with theirs. For the mind perceives the contrast
   of the Self and the not-Self, and presents its experiences, classified
   and judged, to the soul as documents for the dossier; and the body
   reports to the mind the impressions received from its contact with
   alien forms as the senses receive them.
   It must naturally require many incarnations for the soul to begin to
   know itself with any degree of perfection; and one may recognize
   advanced souls by their minds, which understand the a nature of their
   work, are indifferent to the body's preference for any special forms
   of experience, and seek eagerly after novel adventures (like a
   philatelist after rare stamps) to complete the collection. They are
   also as a rule both very careful and very careless about their bodily
   welfare, taking pains to preserve their powers for the purpose of
   gaining new experiences, but utterly indifferent to them as valuable
   in themselves. They rule them with a rod of iron, and train them like
   pugilists; but they risk them recklessly whenever the Work demands it.
   It is important to understand the necessity of our present Universe.
   Perfection could do not otherwise than create Imperfection. But was
   there not original Imperfection? No; for Perfection is hardly more
   than that original state, since we cannot conceive the total as
   susceptible of addition.> This is another view of the God going
   through the combinations, on a larger scale, and shows not only why He
   does it, but why He must do it. But is not all this based on the
   accident that I personally am bored by omniscience on any given
   matter? Yes, but Imperfection is a fact, and a God whom Perfection did
   not bore would not have created Imperfection. But why not suppose a
   wicked God, or a foolish God? Things which seem to me wrong, or
   stupid, are so because I am the sole judge. But these things are not
   my creations, but those of other Gods. True, but those Gods are all
   part of me, so far as I know them. So then, in my own nature are these
   contrary Gods, which (as above said) I have created in myself to give
   variety. You see that you cannot conceive these divers 'Gods without
   conceiving also a Whole, in which the entire equation cancels out to
   Naught. One cannot conceive it as a Unity, because 1 to the 0 power
   like 1 to the first power, 1 to the 2nd power, etc., is only one, 1,
   and cannot become 2 by reflection, as I thought 75 {WEH NOTE: Sic.
   This is not possible and must be a typo in the TS. Grant Op. Cit.
   gives "18".}years ago, because there is nothing else to reflect it, or
   it could not be both All and One. (A heterogeneous One, with a mirror
   in its All, would be two). Now Evil is only minus to anyone's Plus;
   you cannot have an Evil to destroy the Whole (or we have Two again.)
   Therefore no Evil can possibly do any harm; it can only be part of the
   Play. The Whole is destroyed as soon as understood; that is, it is
   conceived as zero to the zero power again; this then bursts forth in
   some new combination, with no gain or loss except (perhaps ? ?) the
   gain due to Time, as explained elsewhere. But in this case what is
   Time? It is a fundamental condition of experience, to say nothing of
   memory, so is necessary to the Finity Phase of zero to the zero power,
   that is, to any Universe where change occurs. Is there any possible
   connexion between two successive such Phases? No; they must be alike
   in one respect that they each cancel out, so Balance is a necessary
   principle. More so than time; for one could have a Samadhis Phase
   which developed Nirvi-Kalpa instantly. But if no Time, then a Unity,
   which could never become Naught; no such Phase is possible. Duality is
   therefore the nature of any manifested Universe.
   1 exists, true; but only by a fiction; for there is always a -1 to
   cancel it. But we get the illusion of 1 when we add 1/2 to 1/2 or 1/3
   to 2/3, etc., things -- each conscious of its fractional character --
   seeking to be whole. Now the bigger any 'One' gets, the more conscious
   it is of its "Minus One' wife, the more clearly it sees that 'One; is
   illusion, and had better cancel out. The general process of Initiation
   is therefore the same for all possible universes.
   From the standpoint of Physics, the original Inertia expresses itself
   as two complementary forms of Energy -- the small active Negative
   Electron (Hadit) and the large passive Positive Electron (Nuit). (It
   has recently been shown that the mass of Matter is zero). When these
   satisfy each other, two phenomena occur: (1) their opposed equalities
   cancel out to Zero. (Perhaps even to 0 to the 0 power, thus restoring
   the original Indeterminate Nothing). (2) a "child" is born of the
   union; i.e., a positive phenomenon is ;produced, whose nature is
   entirely different from that of either of its 'parents'; for it is
   finite, and possesses limitations and qualities of its own. Groups of
   such primaeval units form the various kinds of 'atom', according to
   the number and geometric disposition thereof. (This involves
   projection in space and time, ideas which are not necessary to the
   Electrons, they being simply ideas posited to serve as a basis for any
   dualistic expression to which Zero may be equated, such as Being and
   Form, Matter and Motion. We invent Space, Time, Sense-Impression, etc.
   to enable us to distinguish between "experiences" to express our
   conception of the multiplicity of the possibilities contained in the
   Idea of Zero. Each human consciousness being a case of one particular
   way of grouping elements, its conception of the Cosmos is limited by
   the necessary relations of that group to other groups. It grows by
   "union" with such groups, and is glad, partly because it satisfied its
   Oedipus-complex by thus approaching Nuit, partly because it fulfils
   its natural function of Creation.
   AL I,30: "This is the creation of the world, that the pain of division
   is as nothing, and the joy of dissolution all."
   This verse is written for men who are still in division, and sore
   about it; the pain is only in their idea of it. One should compare
   this thought with the Freudian psychology, which regards all
   separation from the 'Mother' as heroic but painful. But has a hero
   really no compensations? Besides, separation is itself a relief, just
   so soon as the strain becomes irksome, as in parturition.
   As to "the joy of dissolution" the reference is to Samadhi, the trance
   in which Subject and Object become one. In this orgiastic ecstasy is
   experienced at first; later, the character of the consciousness
   changes to continuously calm delight, and later still, the delight
   deepens in a manner wholly indescribable. The technical terms used by
   Oriental Initiates to denote these conditions are untranslatable; in
   any case, they serve rather to darken counsel.
   There is a Qabalistic aphorism concerning the words 'nothing' and
   'all'; for this and similar matters see the Appendix. {WEH NOTE: The
   Appendix has not yet been recovered}.
   AL I,31: "For these fools of men and their woes care not thou at all!
   They feel little; what is, is balanced by weak joys; but ye are my
   chosen ones."
   All this talk about 'suffering humanity' is principally drivel based
   on the error of transferring one's own psychology to one's neighbour.
   The Golden Rule is silly. If Lord Alfred Douglas (for example) did to
   others what he would like them to do to him, many would resent his
   The development of the Adept is by Expansion -- out to Nuit -- in all
   directions equally. The small man has little experience, little
   capacity for either pain or pleasure. The bourgeois is a clod. I know
   better (at least) than to suppose that to torture him is either
   beneficial or amusing to myself.
   This thesis concerning compassion is of the most palmary importance in
   the ethics of Thelema. It is necessary that we stop, once for all,
   this ignorant meddling with other people's business. Each individual
   must be left free to follow his own path. America is peculiarly insane
   on these points. Her people are desperately anxious to make the
   Cingalese wear furs, and the Tibetans vote, and the whole world chew
   gum, utterly dense to the fact that most other nations, especially the
   French and British, regard 'American institutions' as the lowest
   savagery, and forgetful or ignorant of the circumstance that the
   original brand of American freedom -- which really was Freedom --
   contained the precept to leave other people severely alone, and thus
   assured the possibility of expansion on his own lines to every man.
   AL I,32: "Obey my prophet! follow out the ordeals of my knowledge!
   seek me only! Then the joys of my love will redeem ye from all pain.
   This is so: I swear it by the vault of my body; by my sacred heart and
   tongue; by all I can give, by all I desire of ye all."
   32. The rule and purpose of the Order; the promise of Nuit to her
   It is proper to obey The Beast, because His Law is pure Freedom, and
   He will give no command which is other than a Right Interpretation of
   this Freedom. But it is necessary for the development of Freedom
   itself to have an organization; and every organization must have a
   highly-centralized control. This is especially necessary in time of
   war, as even the so-called 'democratic' nations have been taught by
   Experience, since they would not learn from Germany. Now this age is
   pre-eminently a 'time of war', most of all now, when it is our Work to
   overthrow the slave-gods.
   The injunction "seek me only" is emphasized with an oath, and a
   special promise is made in connection with it. By seeking lesser
   ideals one makes distinctions, thereby affirming implicitly the very
   duality from which one is seeking to escape. Note also that "me" may
   imply the Greek MH, "not". The word 'only' might be taken as
   '{?Ayin-Lamed-Nun-Vau?}' with the number of 156, that of the Secret
   Name BABALON of Nuith. There are presumably further hidden meanings in
   the key-word 'all'.
   AL I,33: "Then the priest fell into a deep trance or swoon, & said
   unto the Queen of Heaven; Write unto us the ordeals; write unto us the
   rituals; write unto us the law!"
   33. The prophet then demanded instruction; ordeals, rituals, law.
   Law, in the common sense of the word, should be a formulation of the
   customs of a people, as Euclid's propositions are the formulation of
   geometrical facts. But modern knavery conceived the idea of artificial
   law, as if one should try to square the circle by tyranny. Legislators
   try to force the people to change their customs, so that the "business
   men" whose greed they are bribed to serve may increase their profits.
   'Law' in Greek, is NOMOC, from NEM , and means strictly "anything
   assigned, that which one has in use or possession"; hence "custom,
   usage", and also "a musical strain". The literal equivalence of NEM
   and the Latin NEMO is suggestive. In Hebrew, 'Law' is ThORA and
   equivalent to words meaning "The Gate of the Kingdom" and "The Book of
   AL I,34: "But she said: the ordeals I write not: the rituals shall be
   half known and half concealed: the Law is for all."
   34. The first demand is refused, or, it may be, is to be communicated
   by another means than writing.
   (It has since been communicated)
   The second is partially granted; or, if fully granted, is not to be
   made wholly public.
   The third is granted unconditionally.
   The Ordeals are at present carried out unknown to the Candidate by the
   secret Magick Power of The Beast. Those who are accepted by Him for
   initiation testify that these Ordeals are frequently independent of
   His conscious care. They are not, like the traditional ordeals,
   formal, or identical for all; the Candidate finds himself in
   circumstances which afford a real test of conduct, and compel him to
   discover his own nature, to become aware of himself by bringing his
   secret motives to the surface.
   Some of the Rituals have been made accessible, that is, the Magical
   Formulae have been published. See "The Rites of Eleusis", "Energized
   Enthusiasm", "Book 4, Part III", "etc".
   Note the reference to 'not' and 'all'. Also the word 'known' contains
   the root GN, 'to beget' and 'to know'; while 'concealed' indicates the
   other half of the Human Mystery.
   AL I,35: "This that thou writest is the threefold book of Law."
   35. Definition of this book.
   The instruction to write for three days from noon to one o'clock each
   day had already been given to The Beast. (See Preface to this
   AL I,36: "My scribe Ankh-af-na-khonsu, the priest of the princes,
   shall not in one letter change this book; but lest there be folly, he
   shall comment thereupon by the wisdom of Ra-Hoor-Khu-it."
   36. The first strict charge not to tamper with a single letter of this
   The comment is to be written "by the wisdom of Ra-Hoor-Khuit", i.e.,
   by open, not initiated wisdom.
   Again we find the words Prince and Priest, but differently placed in
   their phrase.
   The Beast is here definitely identified with the priest of the 26th
   Dynasty whose Stele forms the Pantacle (so to speak) of the new
   Magick. He is moreover identified with the scribe. It is of immense
   importance to the stability of the Law to have a Book not merely
   verbally but literally inspired, so that even errors in spelling and
   grammar have a secret significance. (That this must be so is
   guaranteed by the literary preeminence and impeccable orthography of
   the Beast as a man). But the great thing is the Standard to which all
   disputes may be referred. It is also necessary to give weight to the
   authority of The Beast, lest ignorance, folly, or cunning misinterpret
   the text.
   AL I,37: "Also the mantras and spells; the obeah and the wanga; the
   work of the wand and the work of the sword; these he shall learn and
   37. An entirely new system of magic is to be learnt and taught, as is
   now being done.
   Mantras may be defined as sentences proper to concentration of the
   mind by virtue of their constant repetition. (See Book 4, Part I,
   Chapter II).
   Spells are methods of communicating the will to other beings. (See
   Book 4, Part III).
   The Obeah is the magick of the Secret Light with special reference to
   acts; the wanga is the verbal or mental correspondence of the same.
   The work of the wand is that of Union; of the sword, Division; these
   correspond to the two Phases of the Cosmic cycle described above. (See
   Book 4, Part II and III).
   For the root OB (AVB = 9), see Appendix;{WEH NOTE: Appendix not yet
   recovered} it may be connected with the word "Obey".
   The "obeah" being the acts, and the "Wanga" the words, proper to
   Magick, the two cover the whole world of external expression.
   "The Equinox" and "Book 4" are full of instruction on all these
   matters in great detail, and the student must make them his guide.
   But I feel bound to observe that they must be studied merely as
   classics, just as a musician studies Bach and Others. He cannot
   compose by copying or combining their works; they serve him only as
   indications of the art of expression. He must master the technique,
   theory and practice, of music, til the general principles are
   absorbed, and he has command of the language, to use it to express his
   So with Magick; the student must understand and assimilate the basic
   propositions, and he must be expert in the drill of the practical
   But that is merely ground-work: he must then conceive his own
   expression, and execute it in his own style. Each star is unique, and
   each orbit apart; indeed, that is the corner-stone of my teaching, to
   have no standard goals or standard ways, no orthodoxies and no codes.
   The stars are not herded and penned and shorn and made into mutton
   like so many voters! I decline to be bellwether, who am born a Lion! I
   will not be collie, who am quicker to bite than to bark. I refuse the
   office of shepherd, who bear not a crook but a club.
   Wise in your generation, ye sheep, are ye to scamper away bleating
   when your ears catch my roar on the wind! Are ye not tended and fed
   and protected -- until word come from the stockyard?
   The lion's life for me! Let me live free, and die fighting!
   Now one more point about the obeah and the wanga, the deed and the
   word of Magick.
   Magick is the art of causing change in existing phenomena. This
   definition includes raising the dead, bewitching cattle, making rain,
   acquiring goods, fascinating judges, and all the rest of the
   programme. Good: but it also includes every act soever? Yes; I meant
   it to do so. It is not possible to utter word or do deed without
   producing the exact effect proper and necessary thereto. Thus Magick
   is the Art of Life itself.
   Magick is the management of all we say and do, so that the effect is
   to change that part of our environment which dissatisfies us, until it
   does so no longer. We "remould it nearer to the heart's desire."
   Magick ceremonies proper are merely organized and concentrated
   attempts to impose our Will on certain parts of the Cosmos. They are
   only particular cases of the general law.
   But all we say and do, however casually, adds up to more, far more,
   than our most strenuous Operations. "Take care of the pence, and the
   pounds will take care of themselves." Your daily drippings fill a
   bigger bucket than your geysers of magical effort. The "ninety and
   nine that safely lay in the shelter of the fold" have no organized
   will at all; and their character, built of their words and deeds, is
   only a garbage-heap.
   Remember, also, that, unless you know what your true will is, you may
   be devoting the most laudable energies to destroying yourself.
   Remember that every word and deed is a witness to thought, that
   therefore your mind must be perfectly organized, its sole duty to
   interpret circumstances in terms of the Will so that speech and action
   may be rightly directed to express the Will appropriately to the
   occasion. Remember that every word and deed which is not a definite
   expression of your Will counts against it, indifference worse than
   hostility. Your enemy is at least interested in you: you may make him
   your friend as you never can do with a neutral. Remember that Magick
   is the Art of Life, therefore of causing change in accordance with
   Will; therefore its law is "love under will", and its every movement
   is an act of love.
   Remember that every act of "love under will" is lawful as such; but
   that when any act is not directed unto Nuith, who is here the
   inevitable result of the whole Work, that act is waste, and breeds
   conflict within you, so that "the kingdom of God which is within you"
   is torn by civil war.
   To the beginner I would offer this programme.
   1. Furnish your mind as completely as possible with the knowledge of
   how to inspect and to control it.
   2. Train your body to obey your mind, and not to distract its
   3. Control your mind to devote itself wholly to discover your true
   4. Explore the course of that Will till you reach its source, your
   Silent Self.
   5. Unite the conscious will with the true Will, and the conscious Ego
   with the Silent Self. You must be utterly ruthless in discarding any
   atom of consciousness which is hostile or neutral.
   6. Let this work freely from within, but heed not your environment,
   lest you make difference between one thing and another. Whatever it
   be, it is to be made one with you by Love.
   Why am not I to learn and teach the work of the Cup and of the Disk?
   Is it because they are the feminine weapons? Shall the Scarlet Woman
   attend to these? The Book does not say so; the passives are ignored. I
   feel the omission as a lack of balance, the only case of the kind in
   the Book. This makes me certain that there is a special meaning. This
   wand and sword may not be the wand and sword, or rather dagger, of the
   elemental weapons. The Wand may be that of the Fool, the sword that of
   justice, whose letters are A & L; AL is the Key of the whole Book.
   We may also take them as simple symbols, the one as that of Love, the
   other as that of War. But, looking back over sixteen years, what have
   I learnt and taught? Surely the work of the wand, the free use of the
   Will to create, and the way to give power to the Will. I have set it
   up and caused men to worship it, for its name is God-in-action. As to
   the work of the sword, I have fought, I have shorn shams asunder, I
   have anatomized my mind as no man has done since Gautama. Last, I have
   shown how pure analysis leads to the highest Trance, and unveils the
   absolute Truth.
   If this text imply more than this, I know not of it; I ask pardon of
   Them that fashioned me and chose me for Their minister.
   AL I,38: "He must teach; but he may make severe the ordeals."
   38. The usual charge in a work of this kind. Every man has a right to
   attain; but it is equally the duty of the adept to see that he duly
   earns his reward, and to test and train his capacity and strength.
   These ordeals are prepared by the Magical Power of The Beast. It is
   however not necessary for Him to know consciously what He is doing,
   and it is a very alert young Magician who knows what he is undergoing,
   and why.
   AL I,39: "The word of the Law is qelhma."
   39. Compare Rabelais. Also it may be translated, "Let Will and Action
   be in harmony."
   But qelhma also means Will in the Higher sense of Magical
   One-pointedness, and in the sense used by Schopenhauer and Fichte.
   There is also most probably a very lofty secret interpretation.
   I suggest:
   The the essential {Aleph-Taw}, Azoth, etc.
   Word Chokmah, Thoth, the Logos, the Second Emanation.
   of the Partative, Binah, the Great Mother,
   the Chesed, the paternal power, reflection of the "The" above.
   Law Geburah, the stern restriction.
   is Tiphereth, visible existence, the balanced harmony of the Worlds.
   qelhma - The idea embracing all this sentence in a word.
   q The -- {Teth}, the Lion "Thou shalt unite all these
   symbols into the form of a Lion."
   e Word -- {He}, the letter of Breath, the Logos.
   l of -- {Lamed}, {Libra d}the Equilibrium.
   h the -- {Cheth}, 418, Abrahadabra.
   m Law -- {Mem}, The Hanged Man, or Redeemer.
   a is -- {Aleph} The 0 (Zero, Nuit, which is Existence).
   qelhma -- the sum of all.
   By 'the word' one means the magical formula, symbol, or expression.
   Study the whole nature of the number 93, that of qelhma in the
   Appendix. {WEH NOTE: Appendix not yet recovered.}
   Liber Aleph has also much wisdom upon the Will. After absorbing
   "Berashith", and seeing that Will has come by Chance, the question
   arises, is Chance in any way bound by Necessity? Is there a limit to
   possibility? Could there, for example, be a Something which is not
   resolvable into 0 to the 0 power? The question of
   {Alpha-Nu-Alpha-Gamma-Kappa-Eta} confronts the Magus in His
   meditations. For this verse, though, we may take things very simply
   and obviously: the change from the Osiris formula to that of Horus is
   intelligible enough. (See Comment on verse 49c149).
   AL I,40: "Who calls us Thelemites will do no wrong, if he look but
   close into the word. For there are therein Three Grades, the Hermit,
   and the Lover, and the man of Earth. Do what thou wilt shall be the
   whole of the Law."
   40. qe, the Hermit, {Yod} invisible, yet illuminating. The A\A\
   lh, the Lover, {Zain} visible as is the lightning flash. The College
   of Adepts.
   ma, The Man of Earth, {Pe}, the Blasted Tower. The 3 keys add up to 31
   -- {Lamed-Aleph}, Not and {Aleph-Lamed}, God. Thus is the whole of
   qelhma equivalent to Nuit, the all-embracing. 31 x 3 = 93. See the
   Tarot trumps for further study of these Grades.
   qe = 14, the Pentagram, rule of Spirit over ordered Matter. Strength
   and Authority ( {Teth} and {He} ) and secretly 1 + 4 = 5, the
   Hierophant, {Vau}, V. Also {Leo Aries}, the Lion and the Ram. Cf.
   Isaiah. It is a "millennial" state.
   lh = 38, the Key=word Abrahadabra, 418, divided by the number of its
   letters, 11. Justice or Balance and the Charioteer of Mastery. A state
   of progress; the church militant.
   ma = 41, the Inverted Pentagram, matter dominating spirit. The Hanged
   Man and the Fool, the condition of those who are not adepts.
   "Do what thou wilt" need not only be interpreted as license or even as
   liberty. It may for example be taken to mean Do what thou (Ateh) wilt;
   and Ateh is 406 = {Taw-Vau} = T, the sign of the cross. The passage
   might then be read as a charge to self-sacrifice or equilibrium.
   I only put forward this suggestion to exhibit the profoundity of
   thought required to deal even with so plain a passage. All the
   meanings are true, if only the interpreter by illuminated; but if not,
   they are false, even as he is false.
   (P.S. There was a sub-intention in the above paragraphs for the
   benefit of -- Dwarfs!)
   It is explained in Liber 418 that: "The man of earth is the adherent.
   The lover giveth his life unto the work among men. The hermit goeth
   solitary, and giveth only of his light unto men."
   Thus we have in the Order, the Mystic, the Magician, and the Devotee.
   These correspond closely to the Nuit -- Hadit -- Ra-Hoor-Khuit Triad.
   This last sentence of this paragraph is in a sense the sum of this
   whole Book; for it is the threefold Book of Law. It is therefore the
   Message of the Beast, His word as a Magus that He must utter. It will
   be well therefore to reprint the substance of the Message which he
   first promulgated on his formal initiation into that Grade.
   "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law."
   "There is no Law beyond Do what thou wilt."
   qelhma -- means Will.
   The Key to this Message is this word -- Will. The first obvious
   meaning of this Law is confirmed by antithesis; "The Word of Sin is
   Again: "... thou hast no right but to do thy will. Do that, and no
   other shall say nay. For pure will, unassuaged of purpose, delivered
   from the lust of result, is every way perfect."
   Take this carefully; it seems to imply a theory that if every man and
   every woman did his and her will -- the true Will -- there would be no
   clashing. "Every man and every woman is a star.", and each star moves
   in an appointed path without interference. There is plenty of room for
   all; it is only disorder that creates confusion.
   From these considerations it should be clear that "Do what thou wilt"
   does not mean "Do what you like." It is the apotheosis of Freedom; but
   it is also the strictest possible bond.
   Do what thou wilt -- then do nothing else. Let nothing deflect thee
   from that austere and holy task. Liberty is absolute to do thy will;
   but seek to do any other thing whatever, and instantly obstacles must
   arise. Every act that is not in definite course of that one orbit is
   erratic, an hindrance. Will must not be two, but one.
   Note further that this will is not only to be pure, that is, single,
   as explained above, but also "unassuaged of purpose". This strange
   phrase must give us pause. It may mean that any purpose in the will
   would damp ti; clearly, the "lust of result" is a thing from which it
   must be delivered.
   But the phrase may also be interpreted as if it read "with purpose
   unassuaged" -- i.e. with tireless energy. The conception is,
   therefore, of an eternal motion, infinite and unalterable. It is
   Nirvana, only dynamic instead of static -- and this comes to the same
   thing in the end.
   The obvious practical task of the magician is then to discover what
   his will really is, so that he may do it in this manner, and he can
   best accomplish this by the practices of Liber Thisarb (see Equinox I,
   VII, 105) or such others as may from one time to another be appointed.
   It should not be perfectly simple for everybody to understand the
   Message of the Master Therion.
   Thou must (1) Find out what is thy Will, (2) Do that Will with (a)
   one-pointedness, (b) detachment, (c) peace.
   Then, and then only, art thou in harmony with the Movement of Things,
   thy will part of, and therefore equal to, the Will of God. And since
   the will is but the dynamic aspect of the self, and since two
   different selves could not possess identical wills; then, if thy will
   be God's will, Thou art That.
   There is but one other word to explain. Elsewhere it is written --
   surely for our great comfort -- "Love is the law, love under will."
   This is to be taken as meaning that while Will is the Law, the nature
   of that Will is Love. But this Love is as it were a by-product of that
   Will; it does not contradict or supersede that Will; and if apparent
   contradiction should arise in any crisis, it is the Will that can
   guide us aright. Lo, while in the Book of the Law is much Love, there
   is no word of Sentimentality. Hate itself is almost like Love!
   Fighting most certainly is Love! "As brothers fight ye!" All the many
   races of the world understand this. The Love of Liber Legis is always
   bold, Virile, even orgiastic. There is delicacy, but it is the
   delicacy of strength. Mighty and terrible and glorious as it is,
   however, it is but the pennon upon the sacred lance of Will, the
   damascened inscription upon the swords of the knightmonks of Thelema.
   Love is the law, love under will."
   There are many other mysteries in this Word, so that it is impossible
   to write a full commentary. The Book Aleph (Wisdom or Folly) is almost
   wholly devoted to its explanation.
   Let every Star see to it that its own life is a wise comment on this
   "Three grades". There is a very curious parallel to this passage in
   Mr. Aldous Huxley's "Crome Yellow" Chap. XXII. He works out a theory
   of a "Rational State" on precisely these lines: {WEH NOTE: Warning to
   those intending publication of the Commentaries. Besides obtaining
   O.T.O. permission to use the O.T.O. copyright material, it may be
   necessary to obtain permission from the owner(s) of the following
   quoted material.}
   "Mr. Scogan waved away the interruption. 'There's only one thing to be
   done', he said. 'The men of intelligence must combine, must conspire,
   and seize power from the imbeciles and maniacs who now direct us. They
   must found the Rational State'
   "The heat that was slowly paralyzing all Denis's mental and bodily
   faculties seemed to bring to Mr. Scogan additional vitality. he talked
   with an ever-increasing energy, his hands moved in sharp, quick
   precise gestures, his eyes shown. Hard, dry, and continuous, his voice
   went on sounding and sounding in Denis's ears with the insistence of a
   mechanical noise.
   "'In the Rational State', he heard Mr. Scogan saying, 'human beings
   will be separated out into distinct species, not according to the
   colour of their eyes or the shape of their skulls, but according to
   the qualities of their mind and temperament. Examining psychologists,
   trained to what would now seem an almost superhuman clairvoyance, will
   test each child that is born and assign it to its proper species. Duly
   labelled and docketed, the child will be given the education suitable
   to members of its species, and will be set, in adult life, to perform
   those functions which human being of his variety are capable of
   "'How many species will there be?' asked Denis."
   "'A great many, no doubt,' Mr. Scogan answered: 'the classification
   will be subtle and elaborate. But is is not in the power of a prophet
   to go into details, nor is it his business. I will do no more than
   indicate the three main species into which the subjects of the
   Rational State will be divided. ... The three main species, will be
   these: the Directing Intelligences, the Men of Faith, and the Herd.
   Among the Intelligences will be found all those capable of thought,
   those who know how to attain to a certain degree of freedom -- and
   also, how limited, even among the most intelligent, that freedom is!
   -- from the mental bondage of their time. A select body of
   Intelligences, drawn from among those who have turned their attention
   to the problems of practical life, will be the governors of the
   Rational State. They will employ as their instruments of power the
   second great species of humanity -- the men of Faith, the Madmen, as I
   have been calling them, who believe in things unreasonably, with
   passion, and are ready to die for their beliefs and their desires.
   These wild men, with their fearful potentialities for good or for
   mischief, will no longer be allowed to react casually to a casual
   environment. There will be no more Caesar Borgias, no more Luthers and
   Mohammeds, no more Joanna Southcotts, no more Comstocks. The
   old-fasioned Man of Faith and Desire, that haphazard creature of brute
   circumstance, who might drive men to tears and repentance, or who
   might equally well set them on to cutting one another's throats, will
   be replaced by a new sort of madman, still externally the same, still
   bubbling with seemingly spontaneous enthusiasm, but, ah, how very
   different from the madman of the past! For the new Man of Faith will
   be expending his passion, his desire, and his enthusiasm in the
   propagation of some reasonable idea. He will be, all unawares, the
   tool of some superior intelligence.'
   "Mr. Scogan chuckled maliciously: it was as though he were taking a
   revenge, in the name of reason, on the enthusiasts. 'From their
   earliest years, as soon, that is, as the examining psychologists have
   assigned them their place in the classified scheme, the Men of Faith
   will have had their special education under the eye of the
   Intelligences. Moulded by a long process of suggestion, they will go
   out into the world, preaching and practicing with a generous mania the
   coldly reasonable projects of the Directors from above. When these
   projects are accomplished, or when the ideas that were useful a decade
   ago have ceased to be useful, the Intelligences will inspire a new
   generation of madmen with a new eternal truth. The principal function
   of the Men of Faith will be to move and direct the Multitude, that
   third great species consisting of those countless millions who lack
   intelligence and are without valuable enthusiasm. When any particular
   effort is required of the Herd, when it is thought necessary, for the
   sake of solidarity, that humanity shall be kindled and united by some
   single enthusiastic desire or idea, the Men of Faith, primed with some
   simple and satisfying creed, will be sent out on a mission of
   evangelization. At ordinary times, when the high spiritual temperature
   of a Crusade would be unhealthy, the Men of Faith will be quietly and
   earnestly busy with the great work of education. In the upbringing of
   the Herd, humanity's almost boundless suggestibility will be
   scientifically exploited. Systematically, from the earliest infancy,
   its members will be assured that there is no happiness to be found
   except in work and obedience; they will be made to believe that they
   are happy, that they are tremendously important beings, and that
   everything they do is noble and significant. For the lower species the
   earth will be restored to the centre of the universe and man to
   preeminence on the earth. Oh, I envy the lot of the commonality in the
   Rational State! Working their eight hours a day, obeying their
   betters, convinced of their own grandeur and significance and
   immortality, they will be marvellously happy, happier than any race of
   men has ever been. They will go through life in a rosy state of
   intoxication, form which they will never awake. The Men of Faith will
   play the cup-bearers at this lifelong bacchanal, filling and ever
   filling again with the warm liquor that the Intelligences, in sad and
   sober privacy behind the scenes, will brew for the intoxication of
   their subjects.'"
   {WEH NOTE: It is characteristic of Crowley's blind side that he saw no
   hint of satire in this passage. If success is the proof, all theories
   of utopian dependence on ant-like social order should be highly
   suspect. The flaw is four-fold: 1. omission of social mobility. 2.
   assumption of enduring intelligence linked with good will in the
   higher class. 3. preposterous ignorance of the limitations of tests
   and techniques. 4. failure to understand human motivation. All
   structured utopias are stagnating tyrannies. No utopian philosopher
   has yet devised a state which would have allowed that particular
   individual, the utopian philosopher himself, to survive childhood!
   Such fantasmogoria as these arise from the detritus of the elder age.
   Crowley himself once remarked to Grady McMurtry that he (Crowley) had
   been born before the age of Thelema and that it would take someone
   born in the age to fully comprehend the age.}
   AL I,41: "The word of Sin is Restriction. O man! refuse not thy wife,
   if she will! O lover, if thou wilt, depart! There is no bond that can
   unite the divided but love: all else is a curse. Accursed! Accursed be
   it to the aeons! Hell."
   41, 42. Interference with the will of another is the great sin, for it
   predicates the existence of another. In this duality sorrow consists.
   I think that possibly the higher meaning is still attributed to will.
   The first paragraph is a general statement or definition of Sin or
   Error. Anything soever that binds the will, hinders it, or diverts it,
   is Sin. That is, Sin is the appearance of the Dyad. Sin is impurity.
   Sin (See Skeat's Ety. Dict.) is connected with the root "es", to be.
   This throws a new light on the passage. Sin is restriction, that is,
   it is 'being' as opposed to 'becoming'. The fundamental idea of wrong
   is the static as opposed to the dynamic conception of the Universe.
   This explanation is not only in harmony with the general teaching of
   the Book of the Law, bit shows how profoundly the author understands
   The remainder of the paragraph takes a particular case as an example.
   There shall be no property in human flesh. The sex-instinct is one of
   the most deeply-seated expressions of the will; and it must not be
   restricted, either negatively by preventing its free function, or
   positively by insisting on its false function.
   What is more brutal than to stunt natural growth or to deform it?
   What is more absurd than to seek to interpret this holy instinct as a
   gross animal act, to separate it from the spiritual enthusiasm without
   which it is so stupid as not even to be satisfactory to the persons
   The sexual act is a sacrament of Will. To profane it is the great
   offence. All true expression of it is lawful; all suppression or
   distortion is contrary to the Law of Liberty. To use legal or
   financial constraint to compel either abstention or submission, is
   entirely horrible, unnatural and absurd. Physical constraint, up to a
   certain point, is not so seriously wrong; for it has its roots in the
   original sex-conflict which we see in animals, and has often the
   effect of exciting Love in his highest and noblest shape. Some of the
   most passionate and permanent attachments have begun with rape.{WEH
   NOTE: but see THE NEW COMMENT on verse 51c151.} Rome was actually
   founded thereon. Similarly, murder of a faithless partner is ethically
   excusable, in a certain sense; for there may be some stars whose
   Nature is extreme violence. The collision of galaxies is a magnificent
   spectacle, after all. But there is nothing inspiring in a visit to
   one's lawyer. Of course this is merely my personal view; a star who
   happened to be a lawyer might see things otherwise! Yet Nature's
   unspeakable variety, though it admits cruelty and selfishness, offers
   us no example of the puritan and the prig! {WEH NOTE: Crowley's
   determined ignorance of Natural History as a subject of study is ably
   presented by his own direct affirmation in several of his works. Harem
   oriented species, including seals, sheep, cows, ... have a puritanical
   prig at the top of the pecking order. Pack and colony animals, such as
   wolves and meercats, often allow sex between only two individuals in
   the pack. At least it's not as bad as the parish priest who denounced
   homosexuality with the observation that it did not occur in animals,
   including dogs!}
   However, to the mind of Law there is an Order of Going; and a machine
   is more beautiful, save to the Small Boy, when it works than when it
   smashes. Now the Machine of Matter-Motion is an explosive machine,
   with pyrotechnic effects; but these are only incidentals.
   Laws against adultery are based upon the idea that woman is a chattel,
   so that to make love to a married woman is to deprive the husband of
   her services. It is the frankest and most crass statement of a
   slave-situation. To us, every woman is a star. She has therefore an
   absolute right to travel in her own orbit. There is no reason why she
   should not be the ideal hausfrau, if that chance to be her will. But
   society has no right to insist upon that standard. It was, for
   practical reasons, almost necessary to set up such taboos in small
   communities, savage tribes, where the wife was nothing but a general
   servant, where the safety of the people depended upon a high
   birth-rate. But to-day woman is economically independent, becomes more
   so every year. The result is that she instantly asserts her right to
   have as many or as few men or babies as she wants or can get; and she
   defies the world to interfere with her. More power to her -- elbow!
   The War has seen this emancipation flower in four years. Primitive
   people, the Australian troops for example, are saying that they will
   not marry English girls, because English girls like a dozen men a
   week. Well, who wants them to marry? Russia has already formally
   abrogated marriage. Germany and France have tried to 'save their
   faces' in a thoroughly Chinese manner, by 'marrying' pregnant
   spinsters to dead soldiers!
   England has been too deeply hypocritical, of course, to do more than
   "hush things up"; and is pretending 'business as usual', though every
   pulpit is aquake with the clamour of bat-eyed bishops, squeaking of
   the awful immorality of everybody but themselves and their choristers.
   Englishwomen over 30 have the vote; when the young 'uns get it,
   good-bye to the old marriage system.
   America has made marriage a farce by the multiplication and confusion
   of the Divorce Laws. A friend of mine who had divorced her husband was
   actually, three years later, sued by him for divorce!!!
   But America never waits for laws; her people go ahead. The
   emancipated, self-supporting American woman already acts exactly like
   the 'bachelor-boy'. Sometimes she loses her head, and stumbles into
   marriage, and stubs her toe. She will soon get tired of the folly. She
   will perceive how imbecile it is to hamstring herself in order to
   please her parents, or to legitimatize her children, or to silence her
   She will take the men she wants as simply as she buys a newspaper; and
   if she doesn't like the Editorials, or the Comic Supplement, it's only
   two cents gone, and she can get another.
   Blind asses! who pretend that women are naturally chaste! The Easterns
   know better; all the restrictions of the harem, of public opinion, and
   so on, are based upon the recognition of the fact that woman is only
   chaste when there is nobody around. She will snatch the babe from its
   cradle, or drag the dog from its kennel, to prove the old saying:
   "Natura abhorret a vacuo. For she is the Image of the Soul of Nature,
   the Great Mother, the Great Whore.
   It is to be well noted that the Great Women of History have exercised
   unbounded freedom in Love. Sappho, Semiramis, Messalina, Cleopatra, Ta
   Chhi, Pasiphae, Clytaemnaestra, Helen of Troy, and in more recent
   times Joan of Arc (by Shakespeare's account), Catherine II of Russia,
   Queen Elizabeth of England, George Sand, "George Eliot." Against these
   we can put only Emily Bronte, whose sex-suppression was due to her
   environment, and so burst out in the incredible violence of her art,
   and the regular religious mystics, Saint Catherine, Saint Teresa, and
   so on, the facts of whose sex-life have been carefully camouflaged in
   the interests of the slave-gods. But, even on that showing, the
   sex-life was intense, for the writings of such women are overloaded
   with sexual expression passionate and perverted, even to morbidity and
   to actual hallucination.
   Sex is the main expression of the Nature of a person; great Natures
   are sexually strong; and the health of any person will depend upon the
   freedom of that function.
   (See "Liber CI", "de Lege Libellum", Cap. IV, in "The Equinox" III
   AL I,42: "Let it be that state of manyhood bound and loathing. So with
   thy all; thou hast no right but to do thy will."
   "Manyhood bound and loathing." An organized state is a free
   association for the common weal. My personal will to cross the
   Atlantic, for example, is made effective by co-operation with others
   on agreed terms. But the forced association of slaves is another
   A man who is not doing his will is like a man with cancer, an
   independent growth in him, yet one from which he cannot get free. The
   idea of self-sacrifice is a moral cancer in exactly this sense.
   Similarly, one may say that not to do one's will is evidence of mental
   or moral insanity. When "duty points one way, and inclination the
   other", it is proof that you are not one, but two. You have not
   centralized your control. This dichotomy is the beginning of conflict,
   which may result in a Jekyll-Hyde effect. Stevenson suggests that man
   may be discovered to be a "mere polity" of many individuals. The sages
   knew it long since. But the name of this polity is Choronzon, mob
   rule, unless every individual is absolutely disciplined to serve his
   own, and the common, purpose without friction.
   It is of course better to expel or destroy an irreconcilable. "If
   thine eye offend thee, cut it out." The error in the interpretation of
   this doctrine has been that it has not been taken as it stands. It has
   been read: If thine eye offend some artificial standard of right, cut
   it out. The curse of society has been Procrustean morality, the ethics
   of the herd-men. One would have thought that a mere glance at Nature
   would have sufficed to disclose Her scheme of Individuality made
   possible by Order.
   AL I,43: "Do that, and no other shall say nay."
   43. No other shall say nay may mean -- NO-Other (Nuit) shall pronounce
   the word No, uniting the Aspirant with Herself by denying and so
   destroying that which he is.
   The general meaning of this verse is that so great is the power of
   asserting one's right that it will not long be disputed. For by doing
   so one appeals to the Law. In practice it is found that people who are
   ready to fight for their rights are respected, and let alone. The
   slave-spirit invites oppression.
   AL I,44: "For pure will, unassuaged of purpose, delivered from the
   lust of result, is every way perfect."
   44. Recommends "non-attachment." Students will understand how in
   meditation the mind which attaches itself to hope of success is just
   as bound as if it were to attach itself to some base material idea. It
   is a bond and the aim is freedom.
   I recommend serious study of the word unassuaged which appears not
   very intelligible.

   This verse is best interpreted by defining 'pure will' as the true
   expression of the Nature, the proper or inherent motion of the matter,
   concerned. It is unnatural to aim at any goal. The student is referred
   to "Liber LXV", Cap. II, v. 24, and to the "Tao Teh King". This
   becomes particularly important in high grades. One is not to do Yoga,
   etc., in order to get Samadhi, like a schoolboy or a shopkeeper; but
   for its own sake, like an artist.
   "Unassuaged" means "its edge taken off by" or "dulled by". The pure
   student does not think of the result of the examination.
   AL I,45: "The Perfect and the Perfect are one Perfect and not two;
   nay, are none!"
   45. Perhaps means that adding perfection to perfection results in
   unity and ultimately the Negativity. But I think there is much more
   than this.
   Here begins one of the characteristically difficult passages of this
   Book. The author, Aiwaz, is careful to identify Himself at intervals
   by such Speech. The interpretation, when thoroughly grasped, is
   invariably quite overwhelming by its simplicity. It is for this reason
   that this Book should be studied with all assiduity; at any moment the
   answer to your own deepest problem may be signalled to you from the
   AL I,46: "Nothing is a secret key of this law. Sixty-one the Jews call
   it; I call it eight, eighty, four hundred & eighteen."
   46. 61 = {Aleph-Vau-Nun}. But the True Nothing of Nuit is 8, 80, 418.
   Now 8 is {Cheth}, which spelt fully is 418 -- {Cheth-Yod-Taw}. And 418
   is Abrahadabra, the word of Ra-Hoor-Khuit. Now 80 is {Pe}, the letter
   of Ra-Hoor-Khuit. (Qy. this?) (Could 80 =  0. Infinity x Zero?)
   See Appendix {WEH NOTE: Appendix not yet recovered.}
   AL I,47: "But they have the half: unite by thine art so that all
   47. Let us, however, add the Jewish half, 61.
   8 + 80 + 418 = 506. Cf. Verses 24, 25.
   506 + 61 = 567 = 27 x 21 = ?
   But writing 506 qabalistically backwards we get 605, and 605 + 61 =
   666 = 6 x 111, and 11 = {?Aleph?} = 0 in Taro.
   666 = 1 + 2 + ... 36, the sum of the numbers in the Magic Square of
   666 = the Number of the Beast.
   Or, taking the keys, 8, 80, 418, we get VII, XVI, VII, adding to 30.
   30 + 61 = 91 = {Aleph-Mem-Nun}, Amen.
   This may unite Nuit with Amoun the negative and concealed. Yet to my
   mind, she is the greater conception, that of which Amoun is but a
   See Appendix {WEH NOTE: Appendix not yet recovered.}
   AL I,48: "My prophet is a fool with his one, one, one; are not they
   the Ox, and none by the Book?"
   48. See above for 111.
   "My prophet is a fool," i.e. my prophet has the highest of all grades,
   since the Fool is {Aleph}.
   I note later (An V, Sol in Aquarius) that v. 48 means that all
   disappears when 61 + 8, 80, 418, are reduced to 1. And this may
   indicate some practical mystic method of annihilation. I am sure (Sol
   in Libra, An VII) that is is by no means the perfect solution of these
   marvellous verses.
   I think that the surface meaning of this verse is to answer the
   unspoken criticism of the scribe, who did not see how to find a zero
   value for such an equation. It assured him that it was only necessary
   to find a Unity Value.
   AL I,49: "Abrogate are all rituals, all ordeals, all words and signs.
   Ra-Hoor-Khuit hath taken his seat in the East at the Equinox of the
   Gods; and let Asar be with Isa, who also are one. But they are not of
   me. Let Asar be the adorant, Isa the sufferer; Hoor in his secret name
   and splendour is the Lord initiating."
   49. Declares a New System of Magic, and initiation. Asar-Isa is now
   the Candidate, not the Hierophant. Hoor -- see Cap. III -- is the
   This verse declares that the old formula of Magick -- the
   Osiris-Adonis-Jesus-Marsyas-Dionysus-Attis-etcetera formula of the
   Dying God -- is no longer efficacious. It rested on the ignorant
   belief that the Sun died every day, and every year, and that its
   resurrection was a miracle.
   The Formula of the New Aeon recognizes Horus, the Child crowned and
   conquering, as God. We are all members of the Body of God, the Sun;
   and about our System is the Ocean of Space. This formula is then to be
   based upon these facts. Our "Evil", "Error", "Darkness", "Illusion",
   whatever one chooses to call it, is simply a phenomenon of accidental
   and temporary separateness. If you are "walking in darkness", do not
   try to make the sun rise by self-sacrifice, but wait in confidence for
   the dawn, and enjoy the pleasures of the night meanwhile.
   The general illusion is to the Equinox Ritual of the G\D\ where the
   officer of the previous six months, representing Horus, took the place
   of the retiring Hierophant, who had represented Osiris.
   Isa is the Legendary "Jesus", for which Canidian concoction the
   prescription is to be found in my book bearing that title, "Liber
   AL I,50: "There is a word to say about the Hierophantic task. Behold!
   there are three ordeals in one, and it may be given in three ways. The
   gross must pass through fire; let the fine be tried in intellect, and
   the lofty chosen ones in the highest. Thus ye have star & star, system
   & system; let not one know well the other!"
   50. Our system of initiation is to be triune. For the outer, tests of
   labour, pain, etc. For the inner, intellectual tests. For the elect of
   the A\A\, spiritual tests. Further the Order is not to hold Lodges,
   but to have a chain-system.{WEH NOTE: This was written when Crowley
   had not yet joined O.T.O. and before he chartered O.T.O. lodges}
   It would be improper to make extended commentary on this verse, since
   the nature of the ordeals is not to be written. It is only necessary
   to say that these ordeals are singularly thorough in all ways, and
   cannot be dodged. They are real, not formal, tests of the candidate.
   Persons accustomed to the schoolboy jokes of Freemasonry please take
   AL I,51: "There are four gates to one palace; the floor of that palace
   is of silver and gold; lapis lazuli & jasper are there; and all rare
   scents; jasmine & rose, and the emblems of death. Let him enter in
   turn or at once the four gates; let him stand on the floor of the
   palace. Will he not sink? Amn. Ho! warrior, if thy servant sink? But
   there are means and means. Be goodly therefore: dress ye all in fine
   apparel; eat rich foods and drink sweet wines and wines that foam!
   Also, take your fill and will of love as ye will, when, where and with
   whom ye will! But always unto me."
   51. The candidate will be brought through his ordeals in divers ways.
   The order is to be of freemen and nobles.
   The first section of this verse is connected with the second only by
   the word 'therefore'. It appears to describe an initiation, or perhaps
   The initiation, in general terms. I would suggest that the palace is
   the 'Holy House' or Universe of the Initiate of the New Law. The four
   gates are perhaps Light, Life, Love, Liberty -- see "De Lege
   Libellum". Lapis Lazuli is a symbol of Nuit, Jasper of Hadit. The rare
   scents are possibly various ecstasies or Samadhis. Jasmine and Rose
   are Hieroglyphs of the two main Sacraments, while the emblems of death
   may refer to certain secrets of a well known exoteric school of
   initiation whose members, with the rarest exceptions, do not know what
   it is all about.{WEH NOTE: Probably a slap against Freemasonry in
   The question then arises as to whether the initiate is able to stand
   firmly in this Place of Exaltation. It seems to me as if this refers
   to the ascetic life, commonly considered as an essential condition of
   participation in these mysteries. The answer is that "there are means
   and means", implying that no one rule is essential. This is in harmony
   with our general interpretation of the Law; it has as many rules as
   there are individuals.
   This word 'therefore' is easy to understand. We are to enjoy life
   thoroughly in an absolutely normal way, exactly as all the free and
   great have always done. The only point to remember is that one is a
   'Member of the Body of God', a Star in the Body of Nuith. This being
   sure, we are urged to the fullest expansion of our several Natures,
   with special attention to those pleasures which not only express the
   soul, but aid it to reach the higher developments of that expression.
   The act of Love is to the bourgeois (as the 'Christian' is called
   now-a-days) a gross animal gesture which shames his boasted humanity.
   The appetite drags him at its hoofs; it tires him, disgusts him,
   diseases him, makes him ridiculous even in his own eyes. It is the
   source of nearly all his neuroses.
   Against this monster he has devised two protections. Firstly, he
   pretends that it is a Fairy Prince disguised, and hangs it with the
   rags and tinsel of romance, sentiment, and religion. He calls it Love,
   denies its strength and truth, and worships this wax figure of him
   with all sorts of amiable lyrics and leers.
   Secondly, he is so certain, despite all his theatrical-wardrobe-work,
   that it is a devouring monster, that he resents with insane ferocity
   the existence of people who laugh at his fears, and tell him that the
   monster he fears is in reality not a fire-breathing worm, but a
   spirited horse, well trained to the task of the bridle. They tell him
   not to be a gibbering coward, but to learn to ride. Knowing well how
   abject he is, the kindly manhood of the advice is, to him, the
   bitterest insult he can imagine, and he calls on the mob to stone the
   blasphemer. He is therefore particularly anxious to keep intact the
   bogey he so dreads; the demonstration that Love is a general passion,
   pure in itself, and the redeemer of all them that put their trust in
   Him, is to tear open the raw ulcer of his soul.
   We of Thelema are not the slaves of Love. "Love under will" is the
   Law. We refuse to regard love as shameful and degrading, as a peril to
   body and soul. We refuse to accept it as the surrender of the divine
   to the animal; to us it is the means by which the animal may be made
   the Winged Sphinx which shall bear man aloft to the House of the Gods.
   We are then particularly careful to deny that the object of love is
   the gross physiological object which happens to be Nature's excuse for
   it. Generation is a sacrament of the physical Rite, by which we create
   ourselves anew in our own image, weave in a new flesh-tapestry the
   Romance of our own Soul's History. But also Love is a sacrament of
   trans-substantiation whereby we initiate our own souls; it is the Wine
   of Intoxication as well as the Bread of Nourishment. "Nor is he for
   priest designed Who partakes only in one kind."
   We therefore heartily cherish those forms of Love in which no question
   of generation arises; we use the stimulating effects of physical
   enthusiasm to inspire us morally and spiritually. Experience teaches
   that passions thus employed do serve to refine and to exalt the whole
   being of man or woman. Nuith indicates the sole condition: "But always
   unto me."
   The epicure is not a Monster of gluttony, nor the amateur of Beethoven
   a 'degenerate' from the 'normal' man whose only music is the tom-tom.
   So also the poisons which shook the bourgeois are not indulgences, but
   purifications; the brute whose furtive lust demands that he be drunk
   and in darkness that he may surrender to his shame, and that he lie
   about it with idiot mumblings ever after, is hardly the best judge
   even of Phryne. How much less should he venture to criticize such men
   and women whose imaginations are so free from grossness that the
   element of attraction which serves to electrify their magnetic coil is
   independent of physical form? To us the essence of Love is that it is
   a sacrament unto Nuith, a gate of grace and a road of righteousness to
   Her High Palace, the abode of peerless purity whose lamps are the
   "As ye will." It should be abundantly clear from the foregoing remarks
   that each individual has an absolute and indefeasible right to use his
   sexual vehicle in accordance with its own proper character, and that
   he is responsible only to himself. But he should not injure himself
   and his right aforesaid; acts invasive of another individual's equal
   rights are implicitly self-aggressions. A thief can hardly complain on
   theoretical grounds if he is himself robbed. Such acts as rape, and
   the assault or seduction of infants, may therefore be justly regarded
   as offences against the Law of Liberty, and repressed in the interests
   of that Law.
   It is also excluded from "as ye will" to compromise the liberty of
   another person indirectly, as by taking advantage of the ignorance or
   good faith of another person to expose that person to the constraint
   of sickness, poverty, social detriment, or childbearing, unless with
   the well-informed and uninfluenced free will of that person.
   One must moreover avoid doing another injury by deforming his nature;
   for instance, to flog children at or near puberty may distort the
   sensitive nascent sexual character, and impress it with the stamp of
   masochism. Again, homosexual practices between boys may in certain
   cases actually rob them of their virility, psychically or even
   Trying to frighten adolescents about sex by the bogeys of Hell,
   Disease, and Insanity, may warp the moral nature permanently, and
   produce hypochondria or other mental maladies, with perversions of the
   enervated and thwarted instinct.
   Repression of the natural satisfaction may result in addition to
   secret and dangerous vices which destroy their victim because they are
   artificial and unnatural aberrations. Such moral cripples resemble
   those manufactured by beggars by compressing one part of the body so
   that it is compensated by a monstrous exaggeration in another part.
   But on the other hand we have no right to interfere with any type of
   manifestation of the sexual impulse on a priori grounds. We must
   recognize that the Lesbian leanings of idle and voluptuous women whose
   refinement finds the grossness of the average male repugnant, are as
   inexpungably entrenched in Righteousness as the parallel pleasures of
   the English Aristocracy and Clergy whose aesthetics find women
   disgusting, and whose self-respect demands that love should transcend
   animal impulse, excite intellectual intimacy, and inspire spirituality
   by directing it towards an object whose attainment cannot inflict the
   degradation of domesticity, and the bestiality of gestation.
   Every one should discover, by experience of every kind, the extent and
   intention of his own sexual Universe. He must be taught that all roads
   are equally royal, and that the only question for him is "Which road
   is mine?" All details are equally likely to be of the essence of his
   personal plan, all equally 'right' in themselves, his own choice of
   the one as correct as, and independent of, his neighbour's preference
   for the other.
   He must not be ashamed or afraid of being homosexual if he happens to
   be so at heart; he must not attempt to violate his own true nature
   because public opinion, or mediaeval morality, or religious prejudice
   would wish he were otherwise. The oyster stays shut in his shell for
   all Darwin may say about his "low stage of evolution", or Puritans
   about his priapistic character, or idealists about his unfitness for
   civic government.
   The advocates of homosexuality - "primus inter pares", John Addington
   Symonds! -- hammer away like Hercules at the spiritual, social, moral,
   and intellectual advantages of cultivating the caresses of a comrade
   who combines Apollo with Achilles and Antinous at the expense of
   escaping from a Chimaera with Circe's head, Cleopatra's body, and
   Cressida's character.
   Why can't they let one alone? I agree to agree; I only stipulate to be
   allowed to be inconsistent. I will confess their creed, so long as I
   may play the part of Peter until the cock crow thrice.
   They urge more strenuously still the claims of homosexuality to heal
   the hurts and horrors of humanity, almost the 'complete cohort'. On
   this point I concur that they argue indiscutably, with sober sense to
   support and stress of suffering to spur them. They prove with Euler's
   exactness and Hinton's passion that heterosexuality entrains an
   infinity of ills; jealousies, abortions, diseases, infanticides,
   frauds, intrigues, quarrels, poverty, prostitution, persecution,
   idleness, self-indulgence, social stress, over-population,
   sex-antagonism. They show with Poincare's precision that Jesus and
   Paul struck at the heart of hell when they proclaimed marriage a
   scourge, and offered the testimony of John and Timothy to support the
   plea of Plato on behalf of paederastic passion. Out of the Court there
   slunk Mark Antony, his toga to his face, one of the legion of lost
   souls that woman had withered; behind him groped blind Samson,
   disinherited Adam, feeling his way along the table where they had
   piled countless papyri writ with woes of kings and sages
   woman-wrecked, and many a map of towns and temples torn and trampled
   beneath the feet of Love, their ashes smouldering still, and smoky
   with song to witness how Astarte's breath had kindled and consumed
   them. Extinguished empires owned that their doom was the device of
   Venus, her vengeance on virility.
   By Paul sat Buddha smiling, Ananda's arm about his neck, while
   Mohammed paced the floor impatiently between two warrior comrades, his
   belt bearing an iron key, a whip and a sword, wherewith to limit
   women's liberty, their love their life, lest to his loss they lure
   The Beast is there also, aloof, attentive. He will not weigh the
   evidence in the balances of any particular kind of advantage. He will
   not admit any standard as adequate to assess the absolute. To him, the
   pettiest personal whimsy outweighs all wisdom, all philosophy, all
   private profit and all public prudence. The sexual obol of the meanest
   is stamped with the signature of his own sovereign soul, lawful and
   current coin no less than the gold talent of his neighbour. The
   derelict moon has the same right to drift round Earth as Regulus to
   blaze in the heart of the Lion.
   Collision is the only crime in the cosmos.
   The Beast refuses therefore to assent to any argument as to the
   propriety of any fashion of formulating the soul in symbols of sex. A
   canon is no less deadly in love than in art or literature; its
   acceptance stifles style, and its enforcement extinguishes sincerity.
   It is better for a person of heterosexual nature to suffer every
   possible calamity as the indirect environment-evoked result of his
   doing his true will in that respect than to enjoy health, wealth and
   happiness by means either of suppressing sex altogether, of debauching
   it to the service of Sodom or Gommorrah.
   Equally it is better for the androgyne, the urning, or their feminine
   counterparts to endure blackmailers private and public, the terrors of
   police persecution, the disgust, contempt and loathing of the vulgar,
   and the self-torture of suspecting the peculiarity to be a symptom of
   a degenerate nature, than to wrong the soul by damning it to the hell
   of abstinence, or by defiling it with the abhorred embraces of
   antipathetic arms.
   Every star must calculate its own orbit. All is Will, and yet all is
   Necessity. To swerve is ultimately impossible; to seek to swerve is to
   The Beast 666 ordains by His authority that every man, and every
   woman, and every intermediately-sexed individual, shall be absolutely
   free to interpret and communicate Self by means of any sexual
   practices soever, whether direct or indirect, rational or symbolic,
   physiologically, legally, ethically, or religiously approved or no,
   provided only that all parties to any act are fully aware of all
   implications and responsibilities thereof, and heartily agree thereto.
   Moreover, the Beast 666 adviseth that all children shall be accustomed
   from infancy to witness every type of sexual act, as also the process
   of birth, lest falsehood fog, and mystery stupefy, their minds, whose
   error else might thwart and misdirect the growth of their subconscious
   system of soul-symbolism.
   "when, where, and with whom ye will!"
   The phrase "with whom" has been practically covered by the comment on
   "as ye will". One need no more than distinguish that the earlier
   phrase permits all manner of acts, the latter all possible partners.
   There would have been no Furies for Oedipus, no disaster for Othello,
   Romeo, Pericles of Tyre, Laon and Cythna, if it were only agreed to
   let sleeping dogs lie, and mind one's own business. In real life, we
   have seen in our own times Oscar Wilde, Sir Charles Dilke, Parnell,
   Canon Aitken and countless others, many of them engaged in first-rate
   work for the world, all wasted because the mob must make believe to be
   "moral". This phrase abolishes the Eleventh Commandment, Not to be
   Found Out, by authorizing Incest, Adultery, and Paederasty, which
   every one now practices with humiliating precautions, which perpetuate
   the schoolboy's enjoyment of an escapade, and make shame, slyness,
   cowardice and hypocrisy the conditions of success in life.
   It is also the fact that the tendency of any individual to sexual
   irregularity is emphasised by the preoccupation with the subject which
   follows its factitious importance in modern society.
   It is to be observed that Politeness has forbidden any direct
   reference to the subject of sex to secure no happier result than to
   allow Sigmund Freud and others to prove that our every thought,
   speech, and gesture, conscious or unconscious, is an indirect
   Unless one wants to wreck the neighbourhood, it is best to explode
   one's gunpowder in an unconfined space.
   There are very few cases of "perverted hunger-instinct" in moderately
   healthy communities. War restrictions on food created dishonest
   devices to procure dainties, and artificial attempts to appease the
   ache of appetite by chemical counterfeits.
   The South-Sea Islanders, pagan, amoral and naked, are temperate
   lovers, free from hysterical "crimes of passion", sex obsessions, and
   puritan persecution-mania; perversion is practically unknown, and
   monogamy is the general custom.
   Even the civilized psychopaths of cities, forced into every kind of
   excess by the omnipresence of erotic suggestions and the contact of
   crazed crowds seething with suppressed sexuality, are not wholly past
   physic. They are no sooner released from the persistent pressure by
   escaping to some place where the inhabitants treat the reproductive
   and the respiratory organs as equally innocent than they begin
   insensibly to forget their 'fixed idea' forced on them by the fog-horn
   of Morality, so that their perversions perish, just as a coiled spring
   straightens itself when the external compulsion is removed. They
   revert to their natural sex-characters, which only in rare cases are
   other than simple, pure, and refined. More, sex itself ceases to play
   Principal Boy in the Pantomime of Life. Other interests resume their
   proper proportions.
   We may now inquire why the Book is at pains to admit as to love "when"
   and "where" we will. Few people, surely, have been seriously worried
   by restrictions of time and place. One can only think of lovers who
   live with fearsome families or in inhospitable lodgings, on a rainy
   night, buffeted from one police-bullied hotel to another.
   Perhaps this permission is intended to indicate the propriety of
   performing the sexual act without shame or fear, not waiting for
   darkness or seeking secrecy, but by daylight in public places, as
   serenely as if it were a natural incident in a morning stroll.
   Custom would soon surfeit curiosity, and copulation attract less
   attention than a new fashion in frocks. For the existing interest in
   sexual matters is chiefly because, common as the act is, it is closely
   concealed. Nobody is excited by seeing others eat. A "naughty" book is
   as dull as a volume of sermons; only genius can vitalize either.
   Beyond this, once love is taken for granted, the morbid fascination of
   its mystery will vanish.
   The pander, the prostitute, the parasite will find their occupation
   Disease will go straight to the doctor instead of to the quack, as it
   does; the altars of Mrs. Grundy run red with the blood of her
   The ignorance or carelessness of a raw youth will no longer hound him
   to hell. A blighted career or a ruined constitution will no more be
   the penalty of a moment's exuberance.
   Above all, the world will begin to appreciate the true nature of the
   sexual process, its physical insignificance as one among many parts of
   the body, its transcendent importance as the vehicle of the True Will
   and the first of the sheaths of the Self.
   Hitherto our sexual tabus have kept far ahead of Gilbert and Sullivan.
   We have made love the lackey to property, as who should pay his rent
   by sneezing. We have swaddled it in politeness, as who should warn God
   off the grass.
   We have muddled it up with morality, as who should frown at the
   Himalayas on the one hand, and, on the other, regulate his behaviour
   by that of an ant-heap.
   The Law of Thelema is here!
   (It appears pertinent to add that the above ethical theories have
   stood the test of practice. Experiment shows that complete removal --
   in the most radical manner -- of all the usual restrictions on conduct
   results, after a brief period of uneasiness of various kinds, in the
   subject dropping entirely into the background; the parties concerned
   became natural, and led what would conventionally be called 'strictly
   moral' lives without even knowing that they were doing so.)
   As - Postcript, let me contrast with the above theories two actual
   cases of Marriage as it is in England.
   No.1. Mr. W., a solicitor and gentleman farmer of considerable wealth:
   a Plymouth Brother. Called, in Southsea, Hants., where he practised:
   "The Honest Lawyer." Every time that his wife gave birth to a child,
   or miscarried, she lay for weeks -- often months -- between life and
   death, with peri-typhlitis or peritonitis set up by the difficulties
   of parturition. Yet this man, knowing this well, had gone on and on
   remorselessly. When I knew him he had 18 children living, and two more
   were born during that period. It was evidently his view that he had an
   absolute Right to impregnate his wife, and that it was her business
   whether she lived or died. During all these years she was no sooner
   well enough to leave her bed than she was again "in the family way".
   Thus in 25 years, she was never permitted so much as a month's good
   health. This Mr. W. was a most kindly genial man, devoted to her and
   his family, genuinely pious and tenderhearted. But it never occured to
   him to refrain from exercising the Right which he possessed to
   endanger her life every year. (He suffered intensely with anxiety for
   his wife's health.)
   No. 2. Mr. H., a very skilful engraver and die-sinker, a man of
   refined tastes and delicate feelings, sensitive beyond the common even
   of men in a far higher station of life and with a much better
   education. Since childhood he had suffered continually from an
   incurable form of Psoriasis. This kept him in a state of almost
   constant irritation, spoilt his sleep, and made him lament that he was
   "a leper". In fact, the scales of the eruption were so plentiful that
   his sheets had to be cleaned every morning with a dustpan and brush!
   He could only obtain relief (before trying to sleep) by being rubbed
   with oil of wintergreen, which filled his whole house with a
   loathsome, stench. One would have thought that the first wish of a man
   thus afflicted would be to sleep alone, that it would be utterly
   repugnant and revolting to him to sleep with another person, for his
   own sake, apart from any consideration for her. But his wife, herself
   an invalid -- a huge obese greasy woman (of middle age when I knew the
   family) suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, tubercular trouble in the
   arms, etc. etc. -- was his Wife, she must be immediately available
   should Mr. H. want to exercise his conjugal Right. (In this case, too,
   Mrs. H. was likely to die if impregnated.) The extraordinary feature
   is that so extremely sensitive and refined a man could be so
   disgustingly callous on such a matter. Even vulgar people fear to
   appear physically repulsive to the person whom they love. It seems as
   if the fact of Marriage destroys every natural characteristic, and has
   a set of rules of its own diametrically opposed in spirit and letter
   to those which govern Love. I confidently appeal to impartial
   observers to say whether the ideals of the Book are not cleaner, more
   wholesome, more human, and more truly moral than those of Marriage as
   it is.
   AL I,52: "If this be not aright; if ye confound the space-marks,
   saying: They are one; or saying, They are many; if the ritual be not
   ever unto me: then expect the direful judgments of Ra Hoor Khuit!"
   52. But distinctions must not be made before Nuit, either
   intellectually, morally, or personally.
   Metaphysics, too, is intellectual bondage; avoid it!
   Otherwise on falls back to the Law of Hoor from the perfect
   emancipation of Nuit. This is a great mystery, only to be understood
   by those who have fully attained Nuit and her secret Initiation.
   It is not true to say either that we are separate Stars, or One Star.
   Each Star is individual, yet each is bound to the others by Law. This
   Freedom under Law is one of the most difficult yet important doctrines
   of this Book. So too the ritual -- our lives -- must be unto Nuith;
   for She is the Ultimate to which we tend, the asymptote of our curve.
   Failure in this one-pointedness sets up the illusion of duality, which
   leads to excision and destruction.
   "Direful:" because Ra-Hoor-Khuit is a "God of war and vengeance;" See
   Cap. IIIChapterThree.
   The doctrine of the previous verses, which appears not merely to allow
   sexual liberty in the ordinary sense, but even to advocate it in a
   sense which is calculated to shock the most abandoned libertine, can
   do no less than startle and alarm the magician, and that only the more
   so as he is familiar with the theory and practice of his art. "What is
   this, in the name of Adonai?" I hear him exclaim: "is it not the
   immemorial and unchallenged tradition that the exorcist who would
   apply himself to the most elementary operations of our Art is bound to
   prepare himself by a course of chastity? Is it not notorious that
   virginity is by its own virtue one of the most powerful means, and one
   of the most essential conditions, of all Magical works? This is no
   question of technical formula such as may, with propriety, be
   modulated in the event of an Equinox of the Gods. It is one of those
   eternal truths of Nature which persist, no matter what the
   environment, in respect of place or period."
   To these remarks I can but smile my most genial assent. The only
   objection that I can take to them is to point out that the connotation
   of the word 'chastity' may have been misunderstood from a scientific
   point of view, just as modern science has modified our conception of
   the relations of the earth and the sun without presuming to alter one
   jot or tittle of the observed facts of Nature. So we may assert that
   modern discoveries in physiology have rendered obsolete the Osirian
   conceptions of the sexual process which interpreted chastity as
   physical abstinence, small regard being paid to the mental and moral
   concomitants of the refusal to act, still less to the physical
   indications. The root of the error lies in the dogma of original sin,
   as a result of which pollution was actually excused as being in the
   nature of involuntary offence, just as if one were to assert that a
   sleep-walker who has fallen over a precipice were any less dead than
   Empedocles or Sappho.
   The doctrine of Thelema resolves the whole question in conformity with
   the facts observed by science and the proprieties prescribed by
   Magick. It must be obvious to the most embryonic tyro in alchemy that
   if there be any material substance soever endowed with magical
   properties, one must class, primus inter pares, that vehicle of
   essential humanity which is the first matter of that Great Work
   wherein our race shares the divine prerogative of creating man in its
   own image, male and female.
   It is evidently of minor importance whether the will to create be
   consciously formulated. Lot in his drunkenness served the turn of his
   two daughters, no less than Jupiter, who prolonged the night to
   forty-eight hours in order to give himself time to beget Hercules.
   Man is in actual possession of this supreme talisman. It is his "pearl
   of great price," in comparison with which all other jewels are but
   gew-gaws. It is his prime duty to preserve the integrity of this
   substance. He must no allow its quality to be impaired either by
   malnutrition or by disease. he must not destroy it like Origen and
   Klingsor. He must not waste it like Onan.
   But physiology informs us that we are bound to waste it, no matter
   what be our continence, so long as we are liable to sleep; and Nature,
   whether by precaution or by prodigality, provides us with so great an
   excess of the substance that the reproduction of the human race need
   not slacken, though the proportion of men to women were no more than 3
   to the 1000. The problem of efficiency consequently appears
   practically insoluble.
   We are now struck with the fact that Nuit commands us to exercise the
   utmost freedom in our choice of the method of utilizing the services
   of this our first, our finest and our fieriest talisman; the license
   appears at first sight unconditioned in the most express and explicit
   terms that it is possible to employ. The caveat, "but always unto me,"
   sounds like an afterthought. We are almost shocked when, in the
   following verse, we discover a menace, none the less dread because of
   the obscurity of its terms.
   Our first consideration only adds to our sense of surprised
   repugnance. It becomes evident that one type of act is forbidden, with
   the penalty of falling altogether from the law of liberty to the code
   of crime; and our amazement and horror only increase as we recognize
   that this single gesture which is held damnable, is the natural
   exercise of the most fatidical function of nature, the innocent
   indulgence of irresistible impulse. We glance back to the previous
   verse -- we examine our charter. We are permitted to take our fill and
   will of love as we will, when, where and with whom we will, but there
   is nothing said about why we will. On the contrary, despite the
   infinite variety of lawful means, there is one end held lawful, and no
   more than one. The act has only one legitimate object; it must be
   performed unto Nuit. Further reflection reassures us to some extent,
   not directly, in the manner of the jurist, but indirectly, by calling
   our attention to the facts of Nature which underlie the ethics of the
   question. Nuit is that from which we have come, that to which we must
   return. Evasion of the issue is no more possible than was alternation
   of the antecedent. From Nuit we received this talisman, which conveys
   our physical identity through the ages of time. To Nuit, therefore, we
   woe it; and to defile any portion of that purest and divinest
   quintessence of ourselves is evidently the supreme blasphemy. Nothing
   in nature can be misapplied. It is our first duty to ourselves to
   preserve the treasure entrusted to us: "What shall it profit a man if
   he gain the whole world and lose his own soul?"
   The nature of man is individual. No two faces are identical, still
   less are two individuals. Unspeakable is the variety of form and
   immeasurable the diversity of beauty, but in all is the seal of unity,
   inasmuch as all cometh from the womb of Nuit -- to it returneth all.
   The apprehension of this sublimity is the mark of divinity. Knowing
   this, all is liberty; ignorant of this, all is bondage. As no two
   individuals are identical, so also, there can be no identity between
   the quintessential expressions of the will of any two persons; and the
   expression of each person, in the first instance, as his purely
   physical prerogative, is his sexual gesture.
   One cannot say that any significance of that gesture is forbidden, for
   "There is no law beyond Do what thou wilt." But this may and shall be
   said, that a significance with indicates ignorance or forgetfulness of
   the central truth of the Universe, is an acquiescence in that opacity
   caused by the confusion of the veils which conceal the soul from the
   consciousness, and thus create the illusion which the aspirant calls
   Sorrow, and the uninitiate, Evil.
   The sexual act, even to the grossest of mankind, is the agent which
   dissipates the fog of self for one ecstatic moment. It is the
   instinctive feeling that the physical spasm is symbolic of that
   miracle of the Mass, by which the material wafer, composed of the
   passive elements, earth and water, is transmuted into the substance of
   the Body of God, that makes the wise man dread lest so sublime a
   sacrament suffer profanation. It is this that has caused him, in
   half-instinctive, half-iontellectual half-comprehension of the nature
   of the truth, which has driven him to fence the act about with taboos.
   But a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. His fear has created
   phantoms, and his malobservation suggested precautions scarce worthy
   to be called empirical. We see him combat analogous difficulties in a
   precisely similar manner. History shows us the physician defending
   mankind against plague, with exorcisms on the one hand and useless
   herbs on the other. A charred stake is driven through the heart of a
   vampire, and his victim is protected with garlic. The strength of God,
   who can doubt? The strength of taste and of smell are know facts. So
   they measured strength against strength without considering whether
   the one was appropriate to the other, any more than as if one were to
   ward off the strength of steel swords by the strength of the colour of
   one's armour. Modern science, by correct classification, has expounded
   the doctrine of the magical link. We no longer confuse the planes. We
   manipulate physical phenomena by physical means; mental by mental. We
   trace things to their true causes, and no longer seek to cut the
   Gordian knot of our ignorance by the sword of a postulated Pantheon.
   Physiology leaves us in no doubt as to the power of our inherited
   talisman. And modern discoveries in psychology have made it clear
   enough that the sexual peculiarities of people are hieroglyphs,
   obscure yet not unintelligible, revealing their histories in the first
   place, in the second, their relations with environment in the present,
   and, in the third, their possibilities with regard to the modification
   of the future.
   In these supremely important verses of the Book of the Law, it becomes
   clear that Nuit is aware of all these facts, and that she regards them
   as no less than the combination of the lock of the strong room of the
   future. "This" (doctrine) shall regenerate the world, the little
   world, my sister." The misunderstanding of sex, the ignorant fear like
   a fog, the ignorant lust like a miasma, these things have done more to
   keep back humanity from realization of itself, and from intelligent
   cooperation with its destiny, than any other dozen things put
   together. The vileness and falseness or religion itself have been the
   monsters aborted from the dark womb of its infernal mystery.
   There is nothing unclean or degrading in any manifestation soever of
   the sexual instinct, because, without exception, every act is an
   impulsively projected image of the Will of the individual who, whether
   man or woman, is a star; the Pennsylvanian with his pig no less than
   the Spirit with Mary; Sappho with Atthis and Apollo with Hyacinth as
   perfect as Daphnis with Chloe or as Galahad vowed to the Graal. The
   one thing needful, the all-perfect means of purification,
   consecration, and sanctification, is independent of the physical and
   moral accidents circumstantial of the particular incident, is the
   realization of love as a sacrament. The use of the physical means as a
   Magical Operation whose formula is that of uniting two opposites, by
   dissolving both, annihilating both, to create a third thing which
   transcends that opposition, the phase of duality which constitutes the
   consciousness of imperfection, is perceived as the absolute negative
   whose apprehension is identical with that duality, is the
   accomplishment of the Great Work.
   The anacephalepsis of these considerations is this:
   1. The accidents of any act of love, such as its protagonist and their
   peculiarities of expression on whatever plane, are totally immaterial
   to the magical import of the act. Each person is responsible to
   himself, being a star, to travel in his own orbit, composed of his own
   elements, to shine with his own light, with the colour proper to his
   own nature, to revolve and to rush with his own inherent motion, and
   to maintain his own relation with his own galaxy in its own place in
   the Universe. His existence is his sole and sufficient justification
   for his own matter and manner.
   2. His only possible error is to withdraw himself from this
   consciousness of himself as both unique in himself and necessary to
   the norm of nature.
   To bring down this doctrine to a practical rule for every man or woman
   by which they may enjoy, in perfection, their sexual life and make it
   what it rightly is, the holiest part of the religious life, I say
   'holiest' because it redeems even physical grossness to partake with
   spiritual saintship, the intention of this Book of The Law is
   perfectly simple. Whatever your sexual predelictions may be, you are
   free, by the Law of Thelema, to the the star you are, to go your own
   way rejoicing. It is not indicated here in this text, thought it is
   elsewhere implied, that only one symptom warns that you have mistaken
   your true Will, and this, if you should imagine that in pursuing your
   way you interfere with that of another star. It may, therefore, be
   considered improper, as a general rule, for your sexual gratification
   to destroy, deform, or displease any other star. Mutual consent to the
   act is the condition thereof. It must, of course, be understood that
   such consent is not always explicit. There are cases when seduction or
   rape may be emancipation or initiation to another. Such acts can only
   be judged by their results.
   The most important condition of the act, humanly speaking, is that the
   attraction should be spontaneous and irresistible; a leaping up of the
   will to create with lyrical frenzy. this first condition once
   recognized, it should be surrounded with every circumstance of
   worship. Study and experience should furnish a technique of love. All
   science, all art, every elaboration should emphasize and adorn the
   expression of the enthusiasm. All strength and all skill should be
   summoned to fulfil the frenzy, and life itself should be flung with a
   spendthrift gesture on the counter of the Merchant of Madness. On the
   steel of your helmet let there be gold inlaid with the motto "Excess."
   The above indications are taken from a subsequent passage of the third
   chapter of this Book.
   The supreme and absolute injunction, the crux of your knightly oath,
   is that you lay your lance in rest to the glory of your Lady, the
   Queen of the Stars, Nuit. Your knighthood depends upon your refusal to
   fight in any lesser cause. That is what distinguishes you from the
   brigand and the bully. You give your life on Her altar. You make
   yourself worthy of Her by your readiness to fight at any time, in any
   place, with any weapon, and at any odds. For her, from Whom you come,
   of Whom you are, to Whom you go, your life is no more and no less than
   one continuous sacrament. You have no word but Her praise, no thought
   but love of Her. You have only one cry, of inarticulate ecstasy, the
   intense spasm, possession of Her, and Death, to Her. You have no act
   but the priest's gesture that makes your body Hers. The wafer is the
   disk of the Sun, the star in Her body. Your blood is split from your
   heart with every beat of your pulse into her cup. It is the wine of
   Her life crushed from the grapes of your sun-ripened vine. On this
   wine you are drunk. It washes your corpse that is as the fragment of
   the Host, broken by you, the Priest, into Her golden chalice. You,
   Knight and Priest of the Order of the Temple, saying Her mass, become
   god in Her, by love and death. This act of love, thought in its form
   it be with a horse like Caligula, with a mob like Messalina, with a
   giant like Heliogabalus, with a pollard like Nero, with a monster like
   Baudelaire, though with de Sade it gloat on blood, with Sacher-Masoch
   crave for whips and furs, with Yvette Guilbert crave the glove, or
   dote on babes like E.T,Reed of "Punch"; whether one love oneself,
   disdaining every other like Narcissus, offer oneself loveless to every
   love like Catherine, or find the body so vain as to enclose one's lust
   in the soul and make one lifelong spinthria unassuaged in the
   imagination like Aubrey Beardsley, the means matter no whit. Bach
   takes one way, Keats one, Goya one. The end is everything: that by the
   act, whatever it is, one worships, loves, possesses, and becomes Nuit.
   The act of love can no more "trammel up his consequence" than any
   other act. As long as you possess the talisman, it must be used from
   time to time, whether you will or no. If you injure the quality, or
   diminish the quantity, of that quintessence, you blaspheme yourself,
   and betray the trust reposed in you when you accepted the obligation
   of that austerely chivalrous Order called Manhood. The powers of the
   talisman are irresistible like every other natural force. Every time
   they are used, a child must be begotten. this child must be in your
   own image, a symbol of your nature, an expression of your true
   subconscious Will.
   It is, of course, only once in many times that the conditions allow of
   the production of a human child. What happens when (either by chance
   or by design) that obvious effect is prevented? The materialist may
   imagine that with the destruction of the complex, it becomes harmless,
   its potentialities aborted, just as the violence of sulphuric acid
   comes to naught if it be neutralized by caustic soda. But he is a very
   poor materialist if he says so. The full possibilities of the acid
   must be accounted for in one way or another. If it does not dissolve a
   metal, it may carbonize a sugar, generate a gas, give off heat, or in
   one way or another fulfill absolutely every possibility which it
   inherited from the forces that went to make it. It is manifestly a
   contradiction of the laws of the Conservation of matter and energy,
   that a substance should lose by being transformed. I is contrary to
   Nature that a man, with potentialities which can transform the face of
   the earth, should become nothing but inert carrion when he happens to
   die. Everything that he was must inevitably persist; and if the
   manifestation be not to one set of senses, why then, to another! The
   idea of creation from nothing of something and the destruction of
   something to nothing, exploded with the theory of Phlogiston.
   It stands plain, even to sceptical reason -- indeed, most of all to
   the sceptic -- that our talisman, one microscopic serpent of which can
   build for itself such a house as to rule men's bodies for a generation
   like Alexander, or their minds for an epoch like Plato, cannot be
   destroyed or diminished by any conceivable force.
   When this talisman comes forth from its fortress, its action begins.
   The ancient Jewish Rabbins knew this, and taught that before Eve was
   given to Adam, the demon Lilith conceived by the spilth of his dreams,
   so that the hybrid races of satyrs, elves and the like began to
   populate those secret places of the earth which are not sensible by
   the organs of the normal man.
   I take it as certain that every offering of this talisman infallibly
   begets children on one plane or another of this our cosmos, whose
   matter is so varied in kind. Such a child must partake of its father's
   nature; and its character will be determined, partly by the
   environment in which it is bred to manifestation, lives, and
   ultimately changes in what we call death, and partly by the inmost
   will of the father, perhaps modified to some extent by his conscious
   will at the time of his slipping the leash.
   This being so, it becomes tremendously important to a man that he
   should become conscious of his true inmost wills, of his essential
   nature. This is the Great Work whose attainment constitutes adeptship,
   provided that the consciousness recognizes that its own dependence on
   circumstance makes it no more than a troubled image in foul water of
   the sun which is that Silent Self. If such a man wants to develop his
   powers, he must use this tremendous talisman to create in his own
   Although this talisman has such miraculous might, it is also intensely
   sensitive. Put in an unsuitable environment, it may produce grotesque
   or malignant perversions of its father's Word. We are all aware that
   fine children are born of healthy mothers who are true and worthy
   mates of their husbands. The children of hate, of debauch, of
   sickness, nearly always bear witness in body and mind to the abuse of
   the talisman. Not only the sins of the father but those of the mother,
   yes, more those of their social surroundings, are visited on the
   children to the third and fourth generation. Nay, more, the mischief
   can never be mended. A man can destroy in a minute his kingdom,
   inherited from unnumbered dynasties of biological prudence.
   It will also be admitted, without reference to Magick, that the abuse
   of the talisman leads to moral, mental and spiritual misfortune. Crime
   and insanity, as well as disease and debility, are constantly seen as
   the direct result of mismanaging the sexual life, either tactically,
   strategically, or both.
   The Book of the Law emphasizes the importance of these considerations.
   The act of love must be spontaneous, in absolute freedom. The man must
   be true to himself. Romeo must not be thrust on Rosaline for family,
   social, or financial reasons. Desdemona must not be barred from
   Othello for reasons of race or religion. The homosexual must not
   blaspheme his nature and commit spiritual suicide by suppressing love
   or attempting to pervert it, as ignorance and fear, shame and
   weakness, so often induce him to do. Whatever the act which expresses
   the soul, that act and no other is right.
   But, on the other hand, whatever the act may be it is always a
   sacrament; and, however profaned, it is always efficient. To profane
   it is only to turn food into poison. The act must be pure and
   passionate. It must be held as the union with God in the heart of the
   Holy of Holies. One must never forget that a child will be born of
   that deed. One must choose the environment appropriate to the
   particular child which one wills to create. One must make sure that
   the conscious will is written, on the pure waters of a mind unstirred,
   in letters of fire, by the Sun of the Soul. One must not create
   confusion in the talisman, which belongs to the Silent Self, by
   letting the speaking self deny the purpose which produced it. If one's
   true Will, the reason of one's incarnation, be to bring peace on
   earth, one must not perform an act of love with motives of jealousy or
   One must fortify one's body to the utmost, and protect it from every
   disaster, so that the substance of the talisman may be as perfect as
   possible. One must calm the mind, increasing its knowledge, organizing
   its powers, resolving its tangles, so that it may truly apprehend the
   Silent Self, judge partial pleas and unbalanced opinions, while
   supporting the concentration of the Will by its fortified frontiers,
   and, with unanimous enthusiasm, acclaiming the Lordship of the thought
   which expresses the act. The Will must seal itself upon the substance
   of the talisman. It must be, in alchemical language, the Sulphur which
   fixes the Mercury which determines the nature of the Salt. The whole
   man, from his inmost Godhead to the tip of his tiniest eye-lash, must
   be one engine, cumbered with nothing useless, nothing inharmonious; a
   thunderbolt from the hand of Jove. It must give itself utterly in the
   one act of love. It must cease to know itself as anything but the
   Will. It must not have the will; it must transform itself completely
   to be the Will.
   Last of all, the act must be supreme. It must do and it must die. From
   that death it must rise again, purged of that Will, having
   accomplished it so perfectly that nothing is left thereof in its
   elements. It must have emptied itself into the vehicle. So shall the
   child be whole of spirit.
   But this is not enough. The ground in which the seed is cast must be
   suitable for its reception. The climate must be favorable, the soil
   must be prepared, and the enemies of the young child that seek its
   life must be driven beyond range of malice. These points are obvious
   enough, if applied to the ordinary affair of breeding children. One
   needs the right woman, and the right conditions for her. It applies
   even more closely to other acts, for woman is protected by generations
   of biological adaption, whereas spiritual children are more easily
   diseased and deformed, being of subtler and more sensitive matter. So
   infinitely varied are the possibilities of creation that each adept
   must work out each problem for himself as best he can. There are
   magical methods of making a link between the force generated and the
   matter on which it is desired to act; but these are, for the most
   part, best communicated by private instruction and developed but
   personal practice. The crude description is a bare frame-work, and
   (even so) more often misleads than not.
   But the general rule is to arrange all the conditions beforehand with
   intent to facilitate the manifestation of the thing willed, and to
   prevent the dangers of abortion by eliminating discordant elements.
   For instance: a man seeking to regain health should assist his Magical
   Will by taking all possible hygenic and medical measures proper to
   amend his malady. A man wishing to develop his genius as a sculptor
   will devote himself to study and training, will surround himself with
   beautiful forms, and, if possible, live in a place where nature
   herself testifies to the touch of the thumb of the Great Architect.
   He will choose the object of his passion at the nod of his Silent
   Self. He will not allow the prejudice, either of sense, emotion, or
   rational judgement, to obscure the Sun of his Soul. In the first
   place, mutual magnetism, despite the masks of mind, should be
   unmistakable. Unless it exists, a puissant purity of passion, there is
   no Magical basis for the Sacrament. Yet, such magnetism is only the
   first condition. Where two people become intimate, each crisis of
   satisfaction between the terminals leaves them in a proximity which
   demands mutual observation; and the intense clarity of the mind which
   results from the discharge of the electric force makes such
   observation abnormally critical. The higher the type of mind, the more
   certain this is, and the greater the danger of finding some
   antipathetic trifle which experience tells us will one day be the only
   thing left to observe; just as a wart on the nose is remembered when
   the rest of the face is forgotten.
   The object of Love must therefore be one with the lover in something
   more than the Will to unite magnetically; it must be in passionate
   partnership with the Will of which the Will-to-love is only the
   Magical symbol. Perhaps no two wills can be identical, but at least
   they can be so sympathetic that the manifestations are not likely to
   clash. It is not enough to have a partner of the passive type who
   bleats "Thy will is done" - that ends in contempt, boredom and
   distrust. One wants a passion that can blend with one's own. Where
   this is the case, it does not matter so much whether the mental
   expression is syndromic; it is, indeed, better when two entirely
   different worlds of thought and experience have led to sister
   conclusions. But it is essential that the habit of mind should be
   sympathetic, that the machinery should be constructed on similar
   principles. The psychology of the one should be intelligible to the
   Social position and physical appearance and habits are of far less
   importance, especially in a society which has accepted the Law of
   Thelema. Tolerance itself produces suavity, and suavity soon relieves
   the strain on tolerance. In any case, most people, especially women,
   adapt themselves adroitly enough to their environment. I say
   "Especially women", for women are nearly always conscious of an
   important part of their true Will; the bearing of children. To them
   nothing else is serious in comparison, and they dismiss questions
   which do not bear on this as trifles, adopting the habits required of
   them in the interest of the domestic harmony which they recognize as a
   condition favourable to reproduction.
   I have outlined ideal conditions. Rarely indeed can we realize even a
   third of our possibilities. Our Magical engine is mighty indeed when
   its efficiency reaches 50% of its theoretical horse-power. But the
   enormous majority of mankind have no idea whatever of taking Love as a
   sacred and serious thing, of using the eye of the microscopist, or the
   heart and brain of the artist. Their ignornace and their shame have
   made Love a carcass of pestilence; and Love has avenged the outrage by
   crushing their lives when they pull down the temple upon them.
   The chance of finding a suitable object of Love has been reduced well
   nigh to zero by substituting for the actual conditions, as stated in
   the above paragraphs, a totally artificial and irrelevant series; the
   restrictions on the act itself, marriage, opinion, the conspiracy of
   silence, criminal laws, financial fetters, selections limited by
   questions of race, nationality, caste, religion, social and political
   cliqueishness, even family exclusiveness. Out of the millions of
   humanity the average person is lucky if he can take his pick of a
   couple of score of partners.
   I will here add one further pillar to my temple. It happens only too
   often that two people, absolutely fitted in every way to love each
   other, are totally debarred from expressing themselves by sheer
   ignorance of the technique of the act. What Nature declares as the
   climax of the Mass, the manifestation of God in the flesh, when the
   flesh is begotten, is so gross, clumsy and brutal that it disappoints
   and disgusts. They are horribly conscious that something is wrong.
   They do not know how to amend it. They are ashamed to discuss it. They
   have neither the experience to guide nor the imagination to
   experiment. Countless thousands of delicate-minded lovers turn against
   Love and blaspheme Him. Countless millions, not quite so fixed in
   refinement, accept the fact, acquiesce in the foulness, till Love is
   degraded to guilty grovelling. They are dragged in the dirt of the
   night-cart which ought to have been their "chariot of fire and the
   horses thereof".
   This whole trouble comes from humanity's horror of Love. For the last
   hundred years, every first-rate writer on morals has sent forth his
   lightnings and thunders, hailstones and coals of fire, to burn up
   Gommorrah and Sodom where Love is either shameful and secret, or
   daubed with dung of sentiment in order that the swinish citizens may
   recognize their ideal therein. We do not tell the artist that his art
   is so sacred, so disgusting, so splendid and so disgraceful that he
   must not on any account learn the use of the tools of his trade, and
   study in school how to see with his eye, and record what he sees with
   his hand. We do not tell the man who would heal disease that he must
   not know his subject, from anatomy to Pathology; or bid him undertake
   to remove an appendix from a valued Archbishop the first time he takes
   scalpel in hand.
   But love is an art no less than Rembrandt's, a science no less than
   Lister's. The mind must make the heart articulate, and the body the
   temple of the soul. The animal instinct in man is the twin of the
   ape's or the bull's. Yet this is the one thing lawful in the code of
   the bourgeois. He is right to consider the act, as he knows it,
   degrading. It is, indeed for him, an act ridiculous, obscene, gross,
   beastly; a wallowing unworthy either of the dignity of man or of the
   majesty of the God within him. So is the guzzling and the swilling of
   the savage as he crams his enemy's raw liver into his mouth, or tilts
   the bottle of trade gin, and gulps. Because his meal is loathly, must
   we insist that any methods but his are criminal? How did we come to
   Laperouse and Nichol from the cannibal's cauldron unless by critical
   care and vigorous research?
   The act of Love, to the bourgeois, is a physical relief like
   defaecation, and a moral relief from the strain of the drill of
   decency; a joyous relapse into the brute he has to pretend he
   despises. It is a drunkenness which drugs his shame of himself, yet
   leaves him deeper in disgust. It is an unclean gesture, hideous and
   grotesque. It is not his own act, but forced on him by a giant who
   holds him helpless; he is half madman, half automaton when he performs
   it. It is a gawky stumbling across a black foul bog, oozing a thousand
   dangers. It threatens him with death, disease, disaster in all manner
   of forms. He pays the coward's price of fear and loathing when pedlar
   Sex holds out his Rat-Poison in the lead-paper wrapping he takes for
   silver; he pays again with vomiting and with colic when he has gulped
   it in his greed.
   All this he knows, only too well; he is right, by his own lights, to
   loathe and fear the act, to hide it from his eyes, to swear he knows
   it not. With tawdry rags of sentiment, sacksful of greasy clouts, he
   swathes the corpse of Love, and, smirking, sputters that Love had
   never a naked limb; then as the brute in him stirs sleepily, he
   plasters Love with mire, and leering grunts that Love was never a God
   in the Temple Man, but a toothsome lump of carrion in the corner of
   his own stye.
   But we of Thelema, like the artist, the true lover of Love, shameless
   and fearless, seeing God face to face alike in our own souls within
   and in all Nature without, though we use, as the bourgeois does, the
   word Love, we hold not the word "too often profaned for us to profane
   it;" it burns inviolate in its sanctuary, being reborn immaculate with
   every breath of life. But by 'Love' we mean a thing which the eye of
   the bourgeois hath not seen, nor his ear heard; neither hath his heart
   conceived it. We have accepted Love as the meaning of Change, Change
   being the Life of all Matter soever in the Universe. And we have
   accepted Love as the mode of Motion of the Will to Change. To us every
   act, as implying Change, is an act of Love. Life is a dance of
   delight, its rhythm an infinite rapture that never can weary or stale.
   Our personal pleasure in it is derived not only from our own part in
   it, but from our conscious apprehension of its total perfections. We
   study its structure, we expand ourselves as we lose ourselves in
   understanding it, and so becoming one with it. With the Egyptian
   initiate we exclaim "There is no part of us that is not of the Gods;"
   and add the antistrophe: "There is no part of the Gods that is not
   also of us."
   Therefore, the Love that is Law is no less Love in the petty personal
   sense; for Love that makes two One is the engine whereby even the
   final Two, Self and Not-Self, may become One, in the mystic marriage
   of the Bride, the Soul, with Him appointed from eternity to espouse
   her; yea, even the Most High, God All-in-All, the Truth.
   Therefore we hold Love holy, our heart's religion, our mind's science.
   Shall He not have His ordered Rite, His priests and poets, His makers
   of beauty in colour and form to adorn Him, His makers of music to
   praise Him? Shall not His theologians, divining His nature, declare
   Him? Shall not even those who but sweep the courts of His temple,
   partake thereby of His person? And shall not our science lay hands on
   Him, measure Him, discover the depths, calculate the heights, and
   decipher the laws of His nature?
   Also: to us of Thelema, thus having trained our hearts and minds to be
   expert engineers of the sky-cleaver Love, the ship to soar to the Sun,
   to us the act of Love is the consecration of the body to Love. We burn
   the body on the altar of Love, that even the brute may serve the Will
   of the Soul. We must then study the art of Bodily Love. We must not
   balk or bungle. We must be cool and competent as surgeons; brain, eye
   and hand the perfectly trained instruments of Will.
   We must study the subject openly and impersonally, we must read
   text-books, listen to lectures, watch demonstrations, earn our
   diplomas ere we enter practice.
   We do not mean what the bourgeois means when we say "the act of love".
   To us it is not the gross gesture as of a man in a seizure, a snorting
   struggle, a senseless spasm, and a sudden revulsion of shame, as it is
   to him.
   We have an art of expression; we are trained to interpret the soul and
   the spirit in terms of the body. We do not deny the existence of the
   body, or despise it; but we refuse to regard it in any other light
   than this: it is the organ of the Self. It must nevertheless be
   ordered according to its own laws; those of the mental or moral Self
   do not apply to it. We love; that is, we will to unite: then the one
   must study the other, divine every butterfly thought as it flits, and
   offer the flower it most fancies. The vocabulary of Love is small, and
   its terms are hackneyed; to seek new words and phrases is to be
   affected, stilted. It chills.
   But the language of the body is never exhausted; one may talk for an
   hour by means of an eye-lash. There art intimate, delicate things,
   shadows of the leaves of the Tree of the Soul that dance in the breeze
   of Love, so subtle that neither Keats nor Heine in words, neither
   Brahms nor Debussy in music, could give them body. It is the agony of
   every artist, the greater he the more fierce his despair, that he
   cannot compass expression. And what they cannot do, not once in a life
   of ardour, is done in all fulness by the body that, loving, hath
   learnt the lesson of how to love.
   "Addendum": More generally, any act soever may be used to attain any
   end soever by the magician who knows how to make the necessary links.
   AL I,53: "This shall regenerate the world, the little world my sister,
   my heart & my tongue, unto whom I send this kiss. Also, o scribe and
   prophet, though thou be of the princes, it shall not assuage thee nor
   absolve thee. But ecstasy be thine and joy of earth: ever To me! To
   53. The prophet is retained as the link wither the lower. Again the
   word "Assuage" is used in a sense unintelligible to me.
   It is clear that this 'kiss' (i.e. this Book) will regenerate Earth by
   establishing the Law of Liberty. 'My heart and my tongue' seems a mere
   phrase of endearment; but has possibly some deep significance which at
   present escapes me.
   The second paragraph is perhaps in answer to some unspoken thought of
   my own that my work was accomplished. No: though I be 'of the princes'
   with the right to enter into my reward, it is my destiny to continue
   my Work.> I am however promised ecstasy, i.e. Samadhi and joy of
   earth; and this promise has been fulfilled without limit. The last
   words "ever To me! To me!" have a double sense. My motto at that time
   was OV MH -- "No! certainly not," the "Not That! Not That!" of certain
   very exalted Hindu mystics. Our Lady of the Stars not only calls me to
   Her, but bestows upon me as a name 'To me' -- To {Mu-eta} -- "The
   Not", the Attainment of that Aspiration expressed in my motto. And {To
   Mu-eta} adds to 418!
   Note, yet a third time, the word 'prince' as applied to the Beast.
   AL I,54: "Change not as much as the style of a letter; for behold!
   thou, o prophet, shalt not behold all these mysteries hidden therein."
   54, 55, 56 to the word "child."
   A prophecy not yet (May, 1909 O.S.) fulfilled, as far as I know. I
   take it in its obvious sense. (Fulfilled An. XII, Sun in 0 degrees
   The subject changes most abruptly, perhaps answering some unspoken
   comment of the scribe on the capital T's in 'To me'.
   This injunction was most necessary, for had I been left to myself, I
   should have wanted to edit the Book ruthlessly. I find in it what I
   consider faults of style, and even of grammar; much of the matter was
   at the time of writing most antipathetic. But the Book proved itself
   greater than the scribe; again and again have the 'mistakes' proved
   themselves to be devices for transmitting a Wisdom beyond the scope of
   ordinary language.
   AL I,55: "The child of thy bowels, he shall behold them."
   Here is the first reference to a 'child' who will complete the Work
   connected with this Book. It is only necessary to say that this Child
   has indeed appeared, fulfilling in a very remarkable way the peculiar
   conditions indicated in this Book. The full account is too elaborate
   to insert in this place; it will be found in the Record of my
   Initiation to the Grade of Magus. here I note only the time of his
   conception, An. XII, Sun in 0 degrees Cancer.
   The matter of this child is exceedingly obscure; and it may prove
   difficult to determine between rival claimants. Frater Lampada Tradam
   had not a bad case. I believe that many candidates may appear; Time
   and the Hour run through the roughest day; and there is one very
   definite test which can hardly be evaded.
   It is evident, moreover, from Chapter II, verse 39c239, that there is
   more than one 'child'. Further comment on this matter is to be found
   in the appropriate places.
   An XVI, Sun in Capricornus. I decide to summarize the essential facts
   of this matter as follows:
   In the Magical Diaries of The Beast, we find that during the beginning
   of 1914, again at the end of that year, and finally between March 26
   and May 30 of that year, he made three separate series of Magical
   Operations. The First two unconsciously, and the last one more or less
   consciously, toward the attainment of the Grade of Magus.
   As a result of these operations, he met a series of persons who acted
   as officers in the ceremony of his initiation. We are here only
   concerned with Jeanne Robert Foster, nee Jeanne Julie Ollivier.
   On july 8, 10, 13, 14, 23, Sept. 12 (2 operations) Sept. 16, Magical
   Operations were performed with the object of begetting a child. On
   Sept. 23, this woman, who had taken the mystic name of Soror Hilarion,
   assisted The Beast in obtaining the word of the Equinox, this word
   being, so to speak, a concentrated symbolic representation of the
   events of the six months following. This word obtained by her was
   "Mebulae" which, though it was not apparent at the time, is evidently
   suggestive of the birth of a Star.
   Exactly nine months later than this Equinox, Frater Achad became a
   Babe of the Abyss, as is described very fully indeed in his record,
   some of the essential part of which will be found in the Appendix {WEH
   NOTE: The Appendix has not been recovered. See Frater Achad's Liber
   XXXI, not the same as Crowley's Liber XXXI, for more information.} As
   it turned out, this child justified his identification as such, not
   only in the cipher (there cometh one -- i.e. Achad -- to follow thee)
   but by discovering "the key of it all."
   AL I,56: "Expect him not from the East, nor from the West; for from no
   expected house cometh that child. Aum! All words are sacred and all
   prophets true; save only that they understand a little; solve the
   first half of the equation, leave the second unattacked. But thou hast
   all in the clear light, and some, though not all, in the dark."
   56. From the word "Aum".
   All religions have some truth.
   We possess all intellectual truth, and some, not all, mystic truth.
   All previous systems have been sectarian, based on a traditional
   cosmography both gross and incorrect. Our system is based on absolute
   science and philosophy. We have "all in the clear light", that of
   Reason, because our Mysticism is based on an absolute Scepticism. But
   at the time of this writing I had very little mystic experience
   indeed, as my record shows. The Fact is that I was far, far from the
   Grade even of Master of the Temple. So I could not properly understand
   this Book; how then could I effectively promulgate it? I comprehended
   but dimly that it contained my Word; for the Grade of Magus then
   seemed to me unthinkably high above me. Also, let me say that the True
   Secrets of this Grade are unfathomable and awful beyond all
   expression; the process of initiation thereto was continuous over
   years, and contained the most sublime mystic experiences -- beyond any
   yet recorded by man -- as mere incidents in its terrific Pageant.
   The "equation" is the representation of Truth by Word.
   AL I,57: "Invoke me under my stars! Love is the law, love under will.
   Nor let the fools mistake love; for there are love and love. There is
   the dove, and there is the serpent. Choose ye well! He, my prophet,
   hath chosen, knowing the law of the fortress, and the great mystery of
   the House of God.
   All these old letters of my Book are aright; but * is not the Star.
   This also is secret: my prophet shall reveal it to the wise."
   {*In MS, a mark in this place is commonly read as the Hebrew letter
   57. "Invoke me" etc. I take literally. See Liber NV for this ritual.
   Love under will -- no casual pagan love; not love under fear, as the
   Christians do. But love magically directed and used as a spiritual
   The fools (not here implying {Aleph} fools, for III, 57 c357, says,
   All fools despise) may mistake.
   This love, then, should be the serpent love, the awakening of the
   Kundalini. The further mystery is of {Pe} and unsuited to the grade in
   which this comment is written.
   The last paragraph confirms the Tarot attributions as given in 777,
   with one secret exception.
   "Love is the law, love under will", is an interpretation of the
   general law of Will. It is dealt with fully in the Book "Aleph".
   I here insert a few pertinent passages from that Book.
   "This is the evident and final Solvent of the Knot Philosophical
   concerning Fate and Freewill, that it is thine own Self, omniscient
   and omnipotent, sublime in Eternity, that first didst order the Course
   of thine own Orbit, so that that which befalleth thee by Fate is
   indeed the necessary Effect of thine own Will. These two, then, that
   like Gladiators have made War in Philosophy through these many
   Centuries, art made One by the Love under Will which is the Law of
   O my Son, there is no Doubt that resolveth not in Certainty and
   Rapture at the Touch of the Wand of our Law, and thou apply it with
   Wit. Do thou grow constantly in the Assimilation of the Law, and thou
   shalt be made perfect.
   Behold, there is a Pageant of Triumph as each Star, free from
   Confusion, sweepeth free in its right Orbit; all Heaven acclaimeth
   thee as thou goest, transcendental in Joy and in Splendour; and thy
   Light is as a Beacon to them that Wander afar, strayed in the Night.
   The "old comment" covers the rest of this verse sufficiently for the
   present purpose.
   I see no harm in revealing the mystery of Tzaddi to 'the wise'; others
   will hardly understand my explanations.
   Tzaddi is the letter of The Emperor, the Trump IV, and He is the Star,
   the Trump XVII. Aquarius and Aries are therefore counterchanged,
   revolving on the pivot of Pisces, just as, in the Trumps VIII and XI,
   Leo and Libra do about Virgo. This last revelation makes our Tarot
   attributions sublimely, perfectly, flawlessly symmetrical.
   The fact of its so doing is a most convincing proof of the superhuman
   Wisdom of the author of this Book to those who have laboured for
   years, in vain, to elucidate the problems of the Tarot.
   AL I,58: "I give unimaginable joys on earth: certainty, not faith,
   while in life, upon death; peace unutterable, rest, ecstasy; nor do I
   demand aught in sacrifice."
   58. The Grace of Our Lady of the Stars.
   These joys are principally (1) the Beatific Vision, in which Beauty is
   constantly present to the recipient of Her grace, together with a calm
   and unutterable joy; (2) the Vision of Wonder, in which the whole
   Mystery of the Universe is constantly understood and admired for its
   Ingenium and Wisdom. (1) is referred to Tiphereth, the Grade of Adept;
   (2) to Binah, the grade of Master of the Temple.
   The certainty concerning death is conferred by the Magical Memory, and
   various Experiences without which Life is unintelligible.
   "Peace unutterable" is given by the Trance in which Matter is
   destroyed; "rest" by that which finally equilibrates Motion.
   "Ecstasy" refers to a Trance which combines these.
   "Nor do I demand aught in sacrifice" -- The ritual of worship is
   Samadhi. But see later, verse 61c161.
   AL I,59: "My incense is of resinous woods & gums; and there is no
   blood therein: because of my hair the trees of Eternity."
   59. "Because", etc. This mystical phrase doubtless refers to some
   definite spiritual experience connected with the Knowledge of Nuit.
   It seems possible that Our Lady describes Her hair as "the trees of
   Eternity" because of the tree-like structure of the Cosmos. This is
   observed in the 'Star-Sponge' Vision. I must explain this by giving a
   comparatively full account of this vision.
   The 'Star-Sponge' Vision.
   There is a vision of a peculiar character which has been of cardinal
   importance in my interior life, and to which constant reference is
   made in my magical diaries. So far as I know, there is no extant
   description of this vision anywhere, and I was surprised on looking
   through my records to find that I had given no clear account of it
   myself. The reason apparently is that it is so necessary a part of
   myself that I unconsciously assume it to be a matter of common
   knowledge, just as one assumes that everybody knows that one possesses
   a pair of lungs, and therefore abstains from mentioning the fact
   directly, although perhaps alluding to the matter often enough.
   It appears very essential to describe this vision as well as is
   possible, considering the difficulty of language, and the fact that
   the phenomena involve logical contradictions, the conditions of
   consciousness being other than those obtaining normally.
   The vision developed gradually. It was repeated on so many occasions
   that I am unable to say at what period it may be called complete. The
   beginning, however, is clear enough in my memory.
   I was on a retirement in a cottage overlooking Lake Pasquaney in New
   Hampshire. I lost consciousness of everything but an universal space
   in which were innumerable bright points, and I realized this as a
   physical representation of the Universe, in what I may call its
   essential structure. I exclaimed: "Nothingness, with twinkles!" I
   concentrated upon this vision, with the result that the void space
   which had been the principal element of it diminished in importance;
   space appeared to be ablaze, yet the radiant points were not confused,
   and I thereupon completed my sentence with the exclamation "But what
   The next stage of this vision led to an identification of the blazing
   points with the stars of the firmament, with ideas, souls, etc. I
   perceived also that each star was connected by a ray of light with
   each other star. In the world of ideas, each thought possessed a
   necessary relation with each other thought; each such relation is of
   course a thought in itself; each such ray is itself a star. It is here
   that logical difficulty first presents itself. The seer has a direct
   perception of infinite series. Logically, therefore, it would appear
   as if the entire space must be filled up with a homogeneous blaze of
   light. This however is not the case. The space is completely full; yet
   the monads which fill it are perfectly distinct. The ordinary reader
   might well exclaim that such statements exhibit symptoms of mental
   confusion. The subject demands more than cursory examination. I can do
   no more than refer the critic to the Hon. Bertrand Russell's
   "Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy", where the above position is
   thoroughly justified, as also certain positions which follow. At the
   time I had not read this book; and I regard it as a striking proof of
   the value of mystical attainment, that its results should have led a
   mind such as mine, whose mathematical training was of the most
   elementary character, to the immediate consciousness of some of the
   most profound and important mathematical truths; to the acquisition of
   the power to think in a manner totally foreign to the normal mind, the
   rare possession of the greatest thinkers in the world.
   A further development of the vision brought the consciousness that the
   structure of the universe was highly organized, that certain stars
   were of greater magnitude and brilliancy than the rest. I began to
   seek similes to help me to explain myself. Several such attempts are
   mentioned later in this note. Here again are certain analogies with
   some of the properties of infinite series. The reader must not be
   shocked at the idea of a number which is not increased by addition or
   multiplication, a series of infinite series, each one of which may be
   twice as long as its predecessor, and so on. There is no "mystical
   humbug" about this. As Mr. Russell shows, truths of this order are
   more certain than the most universally accepted axioms; in fact, many
   axioms accepted by the intellect of the average man are not true at
   all. But in order to appreciate these truths, it is necessary to
   educate the mind to thought of an order which is at first sight
   incompatible with rationality.
   I may here digress for a moment in order to demonstrate how this
   vision led directly to the understanding of the mechanism of certain
   phenomena which have hitherto been dismissed with a shrug of the
   shoulders as incomprehensible.
   "Example No. 1". I began to become aware of my own mental processes; I
   thought of my consciousness as the Commander-in-Chief of an army.
   There existed a staff of specialists to deal with various
   contingencies. There was an intelligence department to inform me of my
   environment. There was a council which determined the relative
   importance of the data presented to them -- it required only a slight
   effort of imagination to think of this council as in debate; I could
   picture to myself some tactically brilliant proposal being vetoed by
   the Quarter-Master-General. It was only one step to dramatize the
   scene, and it flashed upon me in a moment that here was the
   explanation of 'double personality': that illusion was no more than a
   natural personification of internal conflict, just as the savage
   attributes consciousness to trees and rocks.
   "Example No. 2." While at Montauk I had put my sleeping bag to dry in
   the sun. When I went to take it in, I remarked, laughingly, "Your
   bedtime, Master Bag," as if it were a small boy and I its nurse. This
   was entirely frivolous, but the thought flashed into my mind that
   after all the bag was in one sense a part of myself. The two ideas
   came together with a snap, and I understood the machinery of a man's
   delusion that he is a teapot.
   These two examples may give some idea to the reader of the light which
   mystical attainment throws upon the details of the working of the
   human mind.
   Further developments of this vision emphasized the identity between
   the Universe and the mind. The search for similes deepened. I had a
   curious impression that the thing I was looking for was somehow
   obvious and familiar. Ultimately it burst upon me with fulminating
   conviction that the simile for which I was seeking was the nervous
   system. I exclaimed: "The mind is the nervous system," with all the
   enthusiasm of Archimedes, and it only dawned on me later, with a
   curious burst of laughter at my naivete, that my great discovery
   amounted to a platitude.
   From this I came to another discovery: I perceived why platitudes were
   stupid. The reason was that they represented the summing up of trains
   of thought, each of which was superb in every detail at one time. A
   platitude was like a wife after a few years; she has lost none of her
   charms, and yet one prefers some perfectly worthless woman.
   I now found myself able to retrace the paths of thought which
   ultimately come together in a platitude. I would start with some few
   simple ideas and develop them. Each stage in the process was like the
   joy of a young eagle soaring from height to height in ever increasing
   sunlight as dawn breaks, foaming, over the purple hem of the garment
   of ocean, and, when the many coloured rays of rose and gold and green
   gathered themselves together and melted into the orbed glory of the
   sun, with a rapture that shook the soul with unimaginable ecstasy,
   that sphere of rushing light was recognized as a common-place idea,
   accepted unquestioningly and treated with drab indifference because it
   had so long been assimilated as a natural and necessary part of the
   order of Nature. At first I was shocked and disgusted to discover that
   a series of brilliant researches should culminate in a commonplace.
   But I soon understood that what I had done was to live over again the
   triumphant career of conquering humanity; that I had experienced in my
   own person the succession of winged victories that had been sealed by
   a treaty of peace whose clauses might be summed up in some such trite
   expression as "Beauty depends upon form".
   It would be quite impracticable to go fully into the subject of this
   vision of the Star-Sponge, if only because its ramifications are
   omniform. It must suffice to reiterate that it has been the basis of
   most of my work for the last five years, and to remind the reader that
   the essential form of it is "Nothingness with twinkles".
   I conclude this note, therefore, by quoting certain chapters of Liber
   Aleph, in which I have described various cognate forms of the vision.
   "De Gramine Sanctissimo Arabico."
   "Recall, o my Son, the Fable of the Hebrews, which they brought from
   the City of Babylon, how Nebuchadnezzar the Great King, being
   afflicted in his Spirit, did depart from among Men for Seven Years'
   Space, eating Grass as doth an Ox. Now this Ox is the Letter Aleph,
   and is that Atu of Thoth whose Number is Zero, and whose Name is Maat,
   Truth, or Maut, the Vulture, the All-Mother, being an image of Our
   Lady Nuith, but also it is called the Fool, who is Parsifal, 'der
   reine Thor', and so referreth to him that walketh in the Way of the
   Tao. Also, he is Harpocrates, the Child Horus, walking (as saith
   David, the Badawi that became King, in his Psalms) upon the Lion and

   the Dragon; that is, he is in Unity with his own Secret Nature, as I
   have shewn thee in my Word concerning the Sphinx. O my Son, yester Eve
   came the Spirit upon me that I also should eat the Grass of the Arabs,
   and by virtue of the Bewitchment thereof behold that which might be
   appointed for the Enlightenment of mine Eyes. Now then of this may I
   not speak, seeing that it involveth the Mystery of the Transcending of
   Time, so that in One hour of our Terrestrial Measure did I gather the
   Harvest of an Aeon, and in Ten Lives I could not declare it."
   "De quibusdam Mysteriis, quae vidi."
   "Yet even as a Man may set up a Memorial or Symbol to import Ten
   thousand Times Ten Thousand, so may I strive to inform thine
   Understanding by Hieroglyph. And here shall thine own Experience serve
   us, because a Token of Remembrance sufficeth him that is familiar with
   a Matter, which to him that knoweth it not should not be made
   manifest, no, not in an Year of Instruction. Here first then is one
   amid the Uncounted Wonders of that Vision: upon a Field Blacker and
   Richer than Velvet was the Sun of all Being, alone. Then about Him
   were little Crosses, Greek, overrunning the Heaven. These changed from
   Form to Form geometrical, Marvel devouring Marvel, a Thousand Times a
   Thousand in their Course and Sequence, until by their Movement was the
   Universe churned into the Quintessence of Light. Moreover at another
   Time did I behold All Things as Bubbles, iridescent and luminous,
   self-shining in every Colour and every Combination of Colour, Myriad
   pursuing Myriad until by their perpetual Beauty they exhausted the
   Virtue of my Mind to receive them, and whelmed it, so that I was fain
   to withdraw myself from the Burden of that Brilliance. Yet, o my Son,
   the Sum of all this ammounteth not to the Worth of one Dawn-Glimmer of
   Our True Vision of Holiness."
   "De quodam Modo Meditationis."
   "Now for the Chief of that which was granted unto me, it was the
   Apprehension of those willed Changes or Transmutations of the Mind
   which lead into Truth, being as Ladders unto Heaven, or so I called
   them at that Time, seeking for a Phrase to admonish the Scribe that
   attended on my Words, to grave a Balustre upon the Stele of my
   Working. But I make Effort in vein, o My Son, to record this Matter in
   Detail; for it is the Quality of the Grass to quicken the Operation of
   Thought it may be a Thousandfold, and moreover to figure each Step in
   Images complex and overpowering in Beauty, so that one hath not Time
   wherein to conceive, much less to utter, any Word for a Name of any
   one of them. Also, such was the Multiplicity of these Ladders, and
   their Equivalence, that the Memory holdeth no more any one of them,
   but only a certain Comprehension of the Method, wordless by Reason of
   its Subtility. Now therefore must I make by my Will a Concentration
   mighty and terrible of my Thought that I may bring forth this Mystery
   in Expression. For this Method is of Virtue and Profit; by it mayst
   thou come easily and with Delight to the Perfection of Truth, it is no
   Odds from what Thought thou makest the first Leap in thy Meditation,
   so that thou mayst know how every Road endeth in Monsalvat, and the
   Temple of the Sangraal."
   "Sequitur de hac re."
   "I believe generally, on Ground both of Theory and Experience, so
   little as I have, that a Man must first be Initiate, and established
   in Our Law, before he may use this Method. For in it is an Implication
   of our Secret Enlightenment, concerning the Universe, how its Nature
   is utterly Perfection. Now every Thought is a Separation, and the
   Medicine of that is to marry Each one with its Contradiction, as I
   have showed formerly in many Writings. And thou shalt clasp the one to
   the other with Vehemence of Spirit, swiftly as Light itself, that the
   Ecstasy be Spontaneous. So therefore it is expedient that thou have
   travelled already in this Path of Antithesis, knowning perfectly the
   Answer to every Griph or Problem, and thy Mind ready therewith. For by
   the Property of the Grass all passeth with Speed incalculable of Wit,
   and an Hesitation should confound thee, breaking down thy Ladder, and
   throwing back thy Mind to receive Impression from Environment, as at
   thy first Beginning. Verily, the Nature of this Method is Solution,
   and the Destruction of every Complexity by Explosion of Ecstasy, as
   every Element thereof is fulfilled by its Correlative, and is
   annihilated (since it loseth Separate Existence) in the Orgasm that is
   consummated within the Bed of thy Mind."
   "Sequitur de hac re."
   "Thou knowest right well, o my Son, how a Thought is imperfect in two
   Dimensions, being separate from its Contradiction, but also
   constrained in its Scope, because by that Contradiction we do not
   (commonly) complete the Universe, save only that of its Discourse.
   Thus if we contrast Health with Sickness, we include in their Sphere
   of Union no more than one Quality that may be predicted of all Things.
   Furthermore, it is for the most Part not easy to find or to formulate
   the True Contradiction of any Thought as a positive Idea, but only as
   a Formal Negation in vague Terms, so that the ready Answer is but
   Antithesis. Thus to White one putteth not the phrase "All that which
   is not White," for this is void, formless, and not clear, simple, and
   positive in Conception. But one answereth Black, for this hath an
   Image of his Significance. So then the Cohesion of Antitheticals
   destroyeth them only in Part, and one becometh instantly conscious of
   the Residue that is unsatisfied or unbalanced, whose Eidolon leapeth
   in thy Mind with Splendour and Joy unspeakable. Let not this deceive
   thee, for its Existence proveth its Imperfection, and thou must call
   forth its Mate, and destroy them by Love, as with the former. This
   Method is continuous, and proceedeth ever from the Gross to the Fine,
   and from the Particular to the General, dissolving all Things into the
   One Substance of Light."
   "Conclusio de hoc Modo Sanctitatis."
   "Learn now that Impressions of Sense have Opposites readily conceived,
   as long to short, or light to dark; and so with Emotions and
   Perceptions, as love to hate, or false to true; but the more Violent
   is the Antagonism, the more is it bound in Illusion, determined by
   Relation. Thus, the Word "long" hath no Meaning save it be referred to
   a Standard; but Love is not thus obscure, because Hate is its twin,
   partaking bountifully of a Common Nature therewith. Now, hear this: it
   was given unto me in my Visions of the Aethyrs, when I was in the
   Desert of Sahara, by Tolga, that above the Abyss, Contradiction is
   Unity, and that nothing could be true save by Virtue of the
   Contradiction that is contained in itself. Behold therefore, in this
   Method thou shalt come presently to Ideas of this Order, that include
   in themselves their own Contradiction, and have no Antithesis. Here
   then is thy Lever of Antinomy broken in thine Hand; yet, being in true
   Balance, thou mayst soar, passionate and eager, from Heaven to Heaven,
   by the Expansion of thine Idea, and its Exaltation, or Concentration
   as thou understandest by thy Studies in the Book of the Law, the Word
   thereof concerning Our Lady Nuith, and Hadith that is the Core of
   every Star. And this last Going upon thy Ladder is easy, if thou be
   truly Initiate, for the Momentum of thy Force in Transcendental
   Antithesis serveth to propel thee, and the Emancipation from the
   Fetters of Thought that thou hast won in that Praxis of Art maketh the
   Whirlpool and Gravitation of Truth of Competence to draw thee unto
   AL I,60: "My number is 11, as all their numbers who are of us. The
   Five Pointed Star, with a Circle in the Middle, & the circle is Red.
   My colour is black to the blind, but the blue & gold are seen of the
   seeing. Also I have a secret glory for them that love me."
   60. Nu = 56 and 5 + 6 = 11.
   The Circle in the Pentagram? See Liber NV.
   The uninitiated perceive only darkness in Night; the wise perceive the
   golden stars in the vault of azure.
   Concerning that Secret Glory it is not here fitting to discourse.
   The general significance of the number 11 is Magick, particularly that
   form of it which is Love under Will; for it unites the 5 and the 6.
   Thus Abrahadabra has 11 letters; and 418 = 11 x 38.
   This number must be thoroughly studied by the Qabalah. See Appendix
   {WEH NOTE: Appendix not yet recovered.}
   In the original MSS. the second paragraph begins "The shape of my star
   is" -- and then breaks off -- the Scribe was unable to hear what was
   being said. This was presumably because his mind was so full of
   preconceived ideas about the different kinds of stars appropriate to
   various ideas. An alternate phrase was subsequently dictated to the
   Scarlet Woman, and inserted in the manuscript by her own hand.
   This star is the pentagram, with the single point at the top. The
   points touch the parts of Nuith's body as shown in the Stele. The
   earth-point marks the position of her feet, the fire-point, that of
   her hands, the other three points -- air, spirit, and water
   respectively -- refer to "my secret centre, my heart, and my tongue."
   AL I,61: "But to love me is better than all things: if under the
   night-stars in the desert thou presently burnest mine incense before
   me, invoking me with a pure heart, and the Serpent flame therein, thou
   shalt come a little to lie in my bosom. For one kiss wilt thou then be
   willing to give all; but whoso gives one particle of dust shall lose
   all in that hour. Ye shall gather goods and store of women and spices;
   ye shall wear rich jewels; ye shall exceed the nations of the earth in
   splendour & pride; but always in the love of me, and so shall ye come
   to my joy. I charge you earnestly to come before me in a single robe,
   and covered with a rich headdress. I love you! I yearn to you! Pale or
   purple, veiled or voluptuous, I who am all pleasure and purple, and
   drunkenness of the innermost sense, desire you. Put on the wings, and
   arouse the coiled splendour within you: come unto me!"
   61. Practical and literal; yet it may be doubted whether "to lose all
   in that hour" may not refer to the supreme attainment, and that
   therefore to give one particle of dust (perhaps the Ego) or the
   central atom Hadit, her complement, is the act to achieve. (For 'dust'
   see Liber 418.)
   This ritual has been thoroughly worked out as an Official Instruction
   of A\A\ Liber NV, sub figura XI, see Equinox I, VII, page 11.
   # $k + AL I,62: "At all my meetings with you shall the priestess say
   -- and her eyes shall burn with desire as she stands bare and
   rejoicing in my secret temple -- To me! To me! calling forth the flame
   of the hearts of all in her love-chant."
   62, 63. Again practical and literal. Yet the "Secret Temple" refers
   also to knowledge incommunicable -- save by experience.
   It is evident that Our Lady, in her Personality, contemplates some
   more or less open form of worship suited for the laity. With the
   establishment of the Law something of this sort may become possible.
   It is only necessary to kill out the sense of 'sin', with its false
   shame and its fear of nature. P.S. The Gnostic Mass is intended to
   supply this need. "Liber XV". It has been said continuously in
   California for some years.
   AL I,63: "Sing the rapturous love-song unto me! Burn to me perfumes!
   Wear to me jewels! Drink to me, for I love you! I love you!"
   All those acts which excite the divine in man are proper to the Rite
   of Invocation.
   Religion, as understood by the vile Puritan, is the very opposite of
   all this. He -- it -- seems to wish to kill his -- its -- soul by
   forbidding every expression of it, and every practice which might
   awaken it to expression. To hell with this Verbotenism!
   In particular, let me exhort all men and all women, for they are
   Stars! Heed well this holy Verse!
   True Religion is intoxication, in a sense. We are told elsewhere to
   intoxicate the innermost, not the outermost; but I think that the word
   "wine" should be taken in its widest sense as meaning that which
   brings out the soul. Climate, soil, and race change conditions; each
   man or woman must find and choose the fit intoxicant. Thus hashish in
   one or the other of its forms seems to suit the Moslem, to go with dry
   heat; opium is right for the Mongol; whiskey for the dour temperament
   and damp cold climate of the Scot.
   Sex-expression, too, depends on climate and so on, so that we must
   interpret the Law to suit a Socrates, a Jesus, and a Burton, or a
   Marie Antoinette and a de Lamballe, as well as our own Don Juans and
   With this expansion, to the honour and glory of Them, of Their
   Natures, we acclaim therefore our helpers, Dionysus, Aphrodite,
   Apollo, Wine, Woman, and song.
   Intoxication, that is, ecstasy, is the key to Reality. It is explained
   in "Energized Enthusiasm" "The Equinox" I(9)) that there are three
   Gods whose function is to bring the Soul to the Realization of its own
   glory: Dionysus, Aphrodite, Apollo; Wine, Woman, and Song.
   The ancients, both in the highest civilizations, as in Greece and
   Egypt, and in the most primitive savagery, as among the Buriats and
   the Papuans, were well aware of this, and made their religious
   ceremonies 'orgia', "Works". Puritan foulness, failing to understand
   what was happening, degraded the word 'orgies' to mean debauches. It
   is the old story of the Fox who lost his tail. If you cannot do
   anything, call it impossible; or, if that be evidently absurd, call it
   It is critics who deny poetry, people without capacity for Ecstasy and
   Will who call Mysticism moonshine and Magick delusion. It is manless
   old cats, geldings, and psychopaths, who pretend to detest Love, and
   persecute Free Women and Free Men.
   Verbotenism has gone so far in certain slave-communities that the use
   of wine is actually prohibited by law!
   I wish here to emphasise that the Law of Thelema definitely enjoins
   us, as a necessary act of religion, to "drink sweet wines and wines
   that foam". Any free man or woman who resides in any community where
   this is verboten has a choice between two duties: insurrection and
   The furtive disregard of Restriction is not Freedom. It tends to make
   men slaves and hypocrites, and to destroy respect for Law. {WEH NOTE:
   Evidently Crowley wrote this around the time of the American
   Prohibition. He denies virtue in illegal use, but advocates vigorous
   effort to change law.}
   Have no fear: two years after Vodka was verboten, Russia, which had
   endured a thousand lesser tyrannies with patience, rose in Revolution.
   Religious ecstasy is necessary to man's soul. Where this is attained
   by mystical practices, directly, as it should be, people need no
   substitutes. Thus the Hindus remain contentedly sober, and care
   nothing for the series of Invaders who have occupied their country
   from time to time and governed them. But where the only means of
   obtaining this ecstasy, or a simulacrum of it, known to the people, is
   alcohol, they must have alcohol. Deprive them of wine, or beer, or
   whatever their natural drink may be, and they replace it by morphia,
   cocaine, or something easier to conceal, and to take without
   Stop that, and it is Revolution. As long as a man can get rid of his
   surplus Energy in enjoyment, he finds life easy, and submits. Deprive
   him of Pleasure, of Ecstasy, and his mind begins to worry about the
   way in which he is exploited and oppressed. Very soon he begins
   furtively to throw bombs; and, gathering strength, to send his tyrants
   to the gallows.
   AL I,64: "I am the blue-lidded daughter of Sunset; I am the naked
   brilliance of the voluptuous night-sky."
   64. The supreme affirmation.
   AL I,65: "To me! To me!"
   65. The supreme adjuration.
   # $ k AL I,66: "The Manifestation of Nuit is at an end."
   66. The end.


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