Liber al vel legis sub figura ccxx as delivered by xciii = 418 to dclxvi


This is the creation of the world, that the pain of division is as nothing, and the joy of dissolution all



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This is the creation of the world, that the pain of division is as nothing, and the joy of dissolution all."
THE NEW COMMENT
This verse is written for men who are still in division, and sore about it; the pain is only in their idea of it. One should compare this thought with the Freudian psychology, which regards all separation from the 'Mother' as heroic but painful. But has a hero really no compensations? Besides, separation is itself a relief, just so soon as the strain becomes irksome, as in parturition.

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

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

See the analysis of the Word LAShTAL in Liber V, and the following chapters of Liber Aleph: 119, 121-123, 145-147, 191, 194, 198, 199, 203, for some of the meanings of verses 28-30.

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

THE NEW COMMENT
Again we find the expression ‘fools of men’. Since not all men are fools, and since we, also, are men, the term obviously has a technical meaning. “Fools of men’ are imperfect initiates, not necessarily ‘Black Brothers’, but certainly including these. It is true that the Trance that most often leads Aspirants to the Path is the Trance of Sorrow; but it is necessary to be very hypocritical, or a Buddhist, or both, not to admit that what we seek in the Path is not ‘salvation’ for ‘others’, but our own salvation, meaning, in this case, Sorrow’s Ceasing! The following Commentary by A.C. is illuminating:

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

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

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

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

THE OLD COMMENT


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

THE NEW COMMENT


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

The above reference to Germany is to the Germany of the First World War.

As for the ‘organization’ referred to, there is the inherent difficulty that Thelemites abhor blind obedience just as much as they abhor automatic insubordination. Consequently, a Thelemic organization cannot be said to exist. The O.T.O., after several false starts, is dormant; the Order of Thelema at present has one single member; the A.’.A.’., by the very nature of its Method, cannot be said to be an ‘organization’ in the usual sense of the word. Nevertheless, it is the most efficient of the three!

For an ‘organization’ to appear, it would be necessary that a sufficient number of highly intelligent, willful and resourceful individuals resolved, spontaneously and simultaneously, to obey. Only the A.’.A.’. has been successful in this up to now. Organizations below the Abyss have in themselves the seed of their own destruction, and up to now this Will-to-Die has prevailed. That is as it should be: “who am I, that I should save this People?”

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'.



The reader is here referred to our previous warning on the matter of the Vampire of this Ordeal (Commentary in italics to verse 27). If you seek Her only, you cannot confuse any one of Her manifestations with Her. On the other hand, as long as a particular priestess shows Her to you, concentrate! See Liber Artemis Iota and Liber A’ash for further information ont his very difficult point.

Nor should Aspirants fall into the mistake of believing that it is their duty to aspire to Her. Their duty is to do their Will, and nothing else. If it is thy Will to seek Her, do so. If it isn’t, do thy will. The Grades are Three, and ‘they also serve who stand and wait’. Besides, She is everywhere! . . .

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. Nuit asked by 666 for full instructions in writing.

I asked Nuit to write the rituals, the ordeals, and the law.


THE OLD COMMENT
The prophet then demanded instruction; ordeals, rituals, law.

THE NEW COMMENT


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

A.C. is being unduly harsh in his judgment of the motivations of lawmakers in capitalistic countries; but at the time of writing, Russia had embarked on the road to revolution, and the sublime optimist had hopes of seeing a Thelemic society emerge. In point of fact, Russia was to become even more bourgeois than the bourgeoisie, which happens every time people who consider themselves inferior have an opportunity to emulate those whom they consider, openly or secretly, their betters.

The main enemy of the commonweal, in any type of society, is neither personal greed nor personal ambition, but general stupidity and inertia. Evolution of the human animal has just started; the ‘beastie’ is less than a few hundred thousand years old, and has barely learned to use one fifth of its new toy, the brain. You must expect error and inefficiency at every corner, and the attitude of the Adept towards his—fellows?--must be that of a patient, wary
and humorous keeper in an asylum. If he loses his patience, he will kill the inmates; if he stops watching, they will kill him; and if he loses his sense of humor, that is to say, his sense of perspective, he will go insane himself.

Whenever you grow fed up with the whole setup, as you no doubt will, it may help you to consider that Humanity does, after all, progress. The Promulgation of the Law of Thelema, and Its conscious or unconscious adoption by the leading minds of the planet, would have been impossible at any other known historical period. Men have whispered ‘Do what thou wilt’ in the past at other men’s ear; but they either chose carefully to whom they whispered, or pretended they spoke in jest.

'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. (Let etymologists keep their temper; this is a hint directed not at them, but at Babes of the Abyss.) In Hebrew, 'Law' is ThORA and equivalent to words meaning "The Gate of the Kingdom" and "The Book of Wisdom". (Heed well, O Children!)

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. She replies.

She bade me know that the ordeals may not be written, since each man must go through a furnace of his own kindling. The Rituals: some were fitted for all men: some are fitted to one person, each making his own; and also there are those whose virtue lies in the silence wherewith they are begirt.
34-5. The Book AL is the Law for All Mankind.

The Book AL, Liber AL vel Legis, which I wrote down as I heard the Voice of Aiwass mine Holy Guardian Angel, in the City of Cairo in the Spring (April 8, 9, & 10) of the year 1904 of the Vulgar Era, is the Law. This Law is the Law for all men alike.

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

(It has since been communicated)

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

The third is granted unconditionally.

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

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

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

The ‘other half’ of the Human Mystery is, of course, Woman.

Aspirants must not fret because the ritual are ‘half concealed’. Those who practice seriously attract the Attention of the Hierophant and the High Priestess, and what is concealed springs forth within them at the time it is needed. Also, this ‘hidden half’ may vary accoridng to individual idio9syncrasy. If any ritual had been ‘completely’ and ‘openly’ given, we would have Dogma, and no doubt a ‘Church orf Thelema’, complete with pope or popess or whatnot, by now. This ain’t at all what the doctor ordered, chillun.

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


OLD COMMENT
Definition of this book.
NEW COMMENT
Readers will please note that it is threefold; therefore, if statements in any one chapter seem to contradict statements in another chapter (or even within the same chapter), contradiction is apparent, and there is a hidden key. Unless this continuity of the Law within the chapters, and from a chapter to another chapter, is kept in mind, Aspirants will fall into a quantity of pitfalls that have been provided by the Author—Aiwass—to winnow out the chaff.
vs. 35-37 Each star is unique, and each orbit apart; indeed, that is the cornerstone 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 bellwether, who am born a lion! I will not be a 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!

This is again directed at the capitalistic system of the so-called democracies, and an outburst of enthusiasm unseemly in one who (see verse 15) was commanded to ‘gather my children into their fold’. One must remember, however, that he was then very young.

As to the ‘Socialist’ states from which he hoped so much, they have proved just as skillful in mutton-making as al the rest, if not more.

Now one more point about the obeah and the wanga, the deed and the word of magick. Magick 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 program. God: but it also includes every act whatsoever? 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 “remold 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 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 you 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 therefor 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 with is not a definite expression of your will counts against it indifference worse than hostility. You enemy is a t 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; therefor 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 dircted unto Nuit, 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 program:




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

  • Train you r body to obey your mind, and not to distract its attention.

  • Control you mind to devote itself wholly to discover your True Will.

  • Explore the course of that will till you reach its source, your Silent Self.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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. 666 identified with Ankh-f-n-Khonsu.

I am in some way, One and the same Man and Ankh-f-n-Khonsu, whose Stélè helped to bring about the writing of that Book.



AL: The MS. the sole authentic text: 666 to abstain from editing it.

I am not to change it in one letter; for not only was mine5 ear at the service of Aiwass, but also mine hand. The effect of this is made plain elsewhere.



666 to comment on AL to guard against false interpretations.

I comment on this Book, lest there be folly; for many are the Secret Sayings6 and obscure in the text thereof. It would be easy for the clever and the crafty to distort the true meaning of Aiwass so as to suit their own conceits, as hath been seen of old time in the cases of the Words of the Masters, the Q’uran, and the socalled Scriptures of the Christians.7



666: His Curse upon any that should seek to distort the Book, or His comment.

Thus as a safeguard against such, I, by the wisdom of Ra-Hoor-Khuit, do now foresee and guard against all fraud and false ways of reading the Book in simple and plain language. And I lift up my voice and curse with the Great Curse of a Magus of Power him that shall seek to turn my Word from its Truth.

OLD COMMENT
The first strict charge not to tamper with a single letter of this book. The comment is to be written "by the wisdom of Ra-Hoor-Khuit", i.e., by open, not initiated wisdom.
THE NEW COMMENT
Again we find the words Prince and Priest, but differently placed in their phrase.

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



Readers will please not that this Comment referred to it The Comment signed ANKH-F-N-KHONSU at the end of the Book. The Comment is short and to the point, and is in Class A. It must under no circumstances be confused with the Commentaries by A.C., which are printed in common type and are in Class B., or with the Commentaries ‘by another’, of which this is one, which are printed in italics and are in Class C.

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


37. 666: His task as Teacher.

I am also bidden to learn and teach the way of doing Magick by means of saying8 over many times certain Sacred texts, of writing words, symbols, figures, numbers and names of Power; – Magic by Speech, by secret Light of Darkness, by Deeds, by Acts which create Things or destroy them9, and so forth, as I define and expound in other writings.


THE OLD COMMENT
An entirely new system of magic is to be learnt and taught, as is now being done.
THE NEW COMMENT
Mantras may be defined as sentences proper to concentration of the mind by virtue of their constant repetition. (See Book 4, Part I, Chapter II).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To the beginner I would offer this programme.

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

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

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

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

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

6. Let this work freely from within, but heed not your environment, lest you make difference between one thing and another. Whatever it be, it is to be made one with you by Love.
----------------
Why am not I to learn and teach the work of the Cup and of the Disk? Is it because they are the feminine weapons? Shall the Scarlet Woman attend to these? The Book does not say so; the passives are ignored. I feel the omission as a lack of balance, the only case of the kind in the Book. This makes me certain that there is a special meaning. This wand and sword may not be the wand and sword, or rather dagger, of the elemental weapons. The Wand may be that of the Fool, the sword that of justice, whose letters are A & L; AL is the Key of the whole Book.

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

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

AL I.38: “



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