Aspiration or Materialism

Aspiration was effectively abolished many centuries ago. Those who seek initiation, even those whose desire is genuine, must relearn what aspiration means. That will not be easy for them to do. According to Liber AL, III: 43,

Let the Scarlet Woman beware! If pity and compassion and tenderness visit her heart; if she leave my work to toy with old sweetnesses; then shall my vengeance be known.

Aspiration or Materialism: Sebek Egyptian Crocodile GodThe weeding out of “old sweetnesses” is not done overnight. In magick you have to be careful what you ask for because you might get it. When Zeus appeared to Olympia, she was burnt to a cinder. Zeus had to appear; it was her wish. We may, for example, confuse aspiration through unknowing acceptance of materialism, which is the dominant force in the world today. Materialism prefers to substitute ‘personal development’ for spiritual aspiration, because that places the focus on the satisfaction of base needs and desires. Personal development is a subversive notion, especially when it is thought to be cognate with spiritual aspiration. If we think we can find a True Will through personal development, we are making that will-force subject to all the complex layers of false reason that fragment the truth, dividing it into unrelated figures of latent wish-desire.

The ancient Egyptians had a harsh and very fast way of dealing with those seeking personal development in relation to a mystery temple. First of all, the person was stripped naked, splashed with holy water and fumigated with perfumes. Then they were directed to a small door that opened into a courtyard surrounded by high walls. In the centre of the courtyard was a shrine in an enclosure built of stone, with an open doorway. They were told that in the shrine they would learn how to realise all their goals, fulfil their every wish and desire. The shrine was surrounded by a circular lake. On the other side was a large and very hungry crocodile. According to the (Egyptian) Book of the Law, II: 32,

Also reason is a lie; for there is a factor infinite and unknown; and all their words are skew-wise.

It is also declared in AL, I: 57,

Love is the law, love under will.

There is no love in self-isolating fragmentation, which is the end result of skewed reason. Without love there can be no truth—for the Monad or Self-Alone-God is a projection of ego. The Monad is such a persuasive notion that even the Advaitans proclaimed it and unknowingly paved the way for the invasion of the East by Western materialism. By that time, the Western world was conditioned by centuries of humanism.[1] Humanism, essentially atheist, places the self before all else, automatically excluding the possibility of anything beyond it. Aspiration is strictly limited to personal goals.

Aspiration and Will

The matter of personal development raises the whole question of the will. Psychologists have assumed that there must be an unconscious will. When the person thinks and acts against that will, then neurosis comes about. That is the theory. The problem is we then assume that we (or other people) are unconscious of the will, which Crowley termed the True Will. This is a presumptuous and very broad generalisation. We can take neurosis as particular to the human species, but does it arise from unconsciousness of the will? Is it not more the case that from birth we learn to work out reasonable but lying strategies about everything, because that is the way of the (human) world? Through the double-thinking power of the reason we learn that truth is adaptable according to circumstances, that it is ‘all relative’[2]. This notion has long existed but Descartes is known for putting it forward as a ‘truth’ in itself. This is a convenient truth for anyone whose primary wish is to dominate the will of others through power of reasoning. Reason does not require intellect or even thought, in any real sense. ‘Facts’ are selected and arranged to support the argument, however ignorant. Those who wish to control the minds and bodies of others do not want them to think, they want them to believe and obey.

Crowley accepted the notion of the relativity of truth (when it suited him to do so), and maintained that the True Will is ultimately a force of Chaos, which he called the ‘Beast’—and with which he self-identified. As a force of Chaos, it is unknowing of any truth.[3] It is all about impulse, action, doing. This is modified, in his scheme of things, by Babalon, Understanding (or Binah), but in his way and in spite of what he said to the contrary, he made Babalon (as woman) subservient to his idea of Will-Chaos. This notion is false; it comes from a condition of mind that owes to the threshold of the Abyss, where no truth is known, only relativity. No one is unconscious of the will-force. Instead, we have learned to divide and fragment it, in ever deepening layers of complexity. This complexity, this relativism, ultimately tends towards chaos and madness. We see this in the present world picture.

It is necessary then to seek truth above all else, and to seek that truth as wholly outside of and beyond the person, the self. Aspiration cannot, at the outset at least, be regarded separately from idealism. The ideal of the Order is, and always has been, selfless service given to others—without any hope or thought of reward. While that will not protect anyone from their own ignorance, it might at least discourage those whose aims are entirely self-serving. Aspiration is placed outside of and beyond the person.

Students and candidates for initiation are called ‘aspirants’. We must define our terms. What is aspiration? A modern dictionary is not much use here as the first definition will be something like ‘ambition of achieving something’, which is the materialist explanation of the word. Ambition throws the whole matter straight back on to the self, the perceived needs and desires of the person—the person who, in the present context, is not initiated. The Latin root, aspirare, suits our purpose much better, for it means to breathe. This may refer to both inhalation and exhalation, so we first must examine what kind of air we breathe.

Aspiration: Ra the Sun God (Egyptian Tarot Thelema)The ‘breath of Ra’ is not only the air that sustains life but is also light that forms and sustains the intellect. The intellect, in the real sense, is far more than reason, common to all. The air we breathe can therefore include language. Language shapes thought, and thought shapes the world we live in.[4] The very language used by materialists is corrupt, for it rests on the assumption that there is nothing beyond the material. Such information, which is no more than hypnosis through repetition of a single idea, carries an insidious message—a message wholly opposed to the work of initiation and what might be termed as ‘initiated thought’. That is to say, thought that might lead to initiation, or in other ways assist it.

Personal development is now applied by corporations in the work place, for the so-called ‘wellbeing’ of employees. That ought to give us a clue that there might be something wrong with both personal development and wellbeing—and yet these terms are also used in the Western world in relation to spiritual matters such as yoga. Yoga means ‘union’; placed in the traditional context, the word means ‘union with God’. If yoga is about the ambitions of the person, then what is there to unite with?

The present generations were born into the darkest of dark ages. They have been hypnotised from the day they were born. Materialism is the air they breathe, food they eat, and water they drink. They indoctrinate others without even knowing it. The very thoughts they have, which they imagine to be their own, are the death-dealing weapons of the force of that which Guénon termed anti-initiation.[5] They are the product of a wordless aeon, which means that generations are now born that have no logos, no mind in any real sense of the word.[6] Our so-called education systems suppress all independence of thought or expression, and yet they pretend to develop the individual. These systems are perpetuated because they are a reliable form of brainwashing, rigorously applied to every young person and continued through to so-called higher education. The sole aim is to produce efficient units of productivity. None of these systems encourage thought in any real sense. Humanities, which were once called liberal sciences, are taught with a rational humanistic bias, hence the name given. Nothing is considered to be of value unless it is seen to be of benefit to man. Everything of value is thus seen to be that which is the product of man. Man is therefore isolated from everything that could teach him to reach beyond himself, to aspire.

We are all born into generations that have a collective mind-set. We must first liberate ourselves from that mind-set before we can think and act independently of our generation’s influence. Most recently we have seen the emergence of a mind-set that will pretend to see both sides of any argument, switch from one side to the other depending on what company is kept, and in the end will deny the possibility of any truth existing at all. The sum product of this is sometimes called a ‘social revolution’, although the primary concern is individualism. Individualism means that everyone must conform to a lowest common denominator, formed by the base needs and desires of the majority. All true individuality is suppressed.[7]

It is a tragedy that the world we live in today discourages contemplation, even ruthlessly suppresses it. The machine-world of humans does not require that people think, only that they do as they are told, as obedient slaves. The most frequent complaint from our students is that they simply do not have enough time. And yet time is not a commodity, it is not even a thing in itself! What they really mean is that they are the slaves of a machine that controls every aspect of what they vainly think of as their ‘life’, from the moment they are born to the moment they die.

We sometimes hear of persons having a ‘career field’ in the realm of the occult. Such a person is either completely insane or is out to take money from fools. Most often, it is the latter case although there is ground for counting that as insanity too, only it happens to be a kind of insanity that is considered to be quite normal in the world today. That world has now reached the apotheosis of personal development, it is called isolationism. When we refer to the realm of the occult, we mean the Great Work—otherwise we are talking about ordinary hypnotism, the work of advertising agencies, media barons, governments and corporations.[8] That kind of ‘black magic’ is a perfectly ordinary thing in this final phase of the age of Kali Yuga.[9] If aspiration is to gratify the needs and wishes of the person, then it is a force of anti-initiation dressed up as something spiritual or holy. It is the worst kind of fraud. There is then, a pressing and urgent need for a Great Work. There is no real meaning in anything else.


Notes

1. Advaita means ‘Not Two’, Non-Dualism. As a rational philosophy its argument is a numerical one. As a polemic against the apparent dualism of the polymorphic gods of previous times, which philosophers no longer understood, Advaita affirms the ‘One’, the Monad. The ‘One’ is the false crown of the Abyss, put in Qabalistic terms—it is a rational supposition. Advaita is then not different from monotheism.
2. ‘Double-think’ was a term coined by George Orwell in his novel, 1984, based on the world situation of 1948. The novel has been misunderstood and misrepresented ever since. It was not a dystopian fantasy but a disguised factual narrative based on Orwell’s experience of working for the BBC propaganda department. In the novel, he called this the Ministry of Truth, because the department’s sole purpose was to disseminate misinformation. ‘Truth’ changed on a daily basis. That situation has not changed, in fact it has got worse, for it is greatly facilitated by new technologies.
3. Chaos is derived from the Greek for ‘vast chasm, void’ (καος). The modern useage, and that used in physics, is therefore an ignorant corruption, for it did not mean ‘random or disorganised force’ and was the name of a god (Egyptian neter, ‘principle’). We use the word in the sense that Crowley intended.
4. Schopenhauer proposed that thought shapes reality (The World as Will and Representation, 1818). It does not, but it cannot be argued that thought shapes the human world. See ‘Lapis Philosophorum’, Babalon Unveiled.
5. René Guénon, Crisis of the Modern World.
6. The ‘wordless aeon’ is a term coined by Kenneth Grant, and used extensively in his Typhonian Trilogies to describe the spiritual vacuum of the modern age.
7. We refer here in particular to the generation born when Pluto was in the sign of Libra, from about 1971 to 1984.
8. The Great Work is to restore the earth to her true place among the stars.
9. Kali Yuga is the Dark Age, and the end of a great cosmic cycle on earth.

Related articles: Crisis of the Modern World Revisited

© Oliver St. John 2020

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Leo the Lion: Egyptian Tarot of Thelema Sekhet XI

The Egyptian Tarot of Thelema trump for the 19th path of Leo is Sekhet XI. The Sun, the Solar Light, is the ruler of the sign of the Lion.

Leo: Egyptian Tarot of Thelema Sekhet XISekhet, the Egyptian lioness goddess of heat and fire, is depicted in the centre of the Tarot design. She is crowned by the solar disk from which projects the cosmic cobra serpent, the animating spirit and energy of the Occult Force or Kundalini. In her right hand she wields the ankh of eternal life and in her left the lotus sceptre. The lotus, as a symbol, combines the four classical elements. She has her roots in the fertile mud, floats upon the surface of the waters and grows upward through the air, opening her flower to the solar light or fire. Sekhet is the original type of the ‘woman of blood’, the Scarlet Woman as described in the (Egyptian) Book of the Law, I: 15.

Now ye shall know that the chosen priest and 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.

In Sekhet, Eve and the Serpent or Woman and Beast are combined in one image, for to her “is all power given”. The magick of transformation, by which the poisons of the Qliphoth or demon shells are purified and dispelled, is accomplished by the soul’s immersion in the underworld where Sekhet reigns with supreme power.[1] Her collar of grey rayed with amber declares the manifesting power of the true word or oracular utterance, which is symbolised by the cobra serpent emerging from a basket at the upper right of the Tarot card. The collar is also a type of protective shield, a further attribute of Sekhet, who protects the soul against the hostile forces of the underworld. The nemmys of Sekhet is purple, reflecting the 19th path at the level of Atziluth, the world of emanations.[2] Babalon or the Scarlet Woman is the material embodiment of Nuit; the Serpent is the embodiment of Hadit. According to Liber 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.

One of the many titles of Sekhet is ‘The Powerful One’, for that is the literal meaning of her name, derived from sekhem. Her name is thus spelled with the priestly sekhem sceptre hieroglyph in the lower left of the Tarot picture. As the Shakti power par excellence, there is some comparison to be made with Kali, adored by tantrik saints and yoginis.

The esoteric title of the Tarot trump, Daughter of the Flaming Sword, further indicates the close affinity between Sekhet and Ma’at. This is emphasised by the position of the 19th path of Leo on the Tree of Life, extending from the azure sphere of Jupiter to the fiery red of Mars. Jupiter is the natural sephira of Ma’at, nature’s Truth and Justice, while Mars is an apt station for Sekhet in her fiery and vengeful aspect. In many ways Sekhet and Ma’at are so close as to be interchangeable, and the 19th path of Leo combines the attributes.

The 19th path of Leo is called the Intelligence of the Secret of all Spiritual Activities or the Occult Intelligence. The path is the first that is wholly beneath the Abyss when descending, and the last before the Abyss when ascending the Tree. It is therefore the secret ruler and governor of all that is below, even as it receives the influence (mezla) from that which is above.[3]

The traditional magical power of the 19th path of Leo is the Power of Training Wild Beasts, which is the art of deriving oracles from snakes and women. Initiation in magick and yoga also requires the person to understand the Occult Force. As it is put by Hadit, the Serpent of Knowledge in Liber AL, II: 26–27:

I am the secret Serpent coiled about to spring: in my coiling there is joy. If I lift up my head, I and my Nuit are one. If I droop down mine head, and shoot forth venom, then is rapture of the earth, and I and the earth are one.
There is great danger in me; for who doth not understand these runes shall make a great miss. He shall fall down into the pit called Because, and there he shall perish with the dogs of Reason.

Those who work the path to the limits of reason may intuit the magical power of the Occult Intelligence, but there is great danger therein. Causal determinism has been with us since ancient times. It is resumed in modern times, more specifically as self-willed determinism. Unthinking acceptance of causal determinism means that Thelemic magicians become ensnared by the crapulous creed of scientism. The cults of self-love are also cast into the pit by the Daughter of the Flaming Sword, for the rational doctrine of the self as sole supreme leads to the self-confinement of Isolate Intelligence, and the “direful judgments of Ra Hoor Khuit”, as it is put in Liber AL, I: 52.[4]

If this be not aright; if ye confound the space-marks, saying: They are one; or saying, They are many; if the ritual be not ever unto me: then expect the direful judgments of Ra Hoor Khuit!

The power of hypnotism is also associated with the snake. The snake of light, or Lion-serpent, extends from the base of the spine to the medulla oblongata where the spinal column enters the brain at the back of the head. Occultly, the serpent then forms the third eye chakra.

Leo the Lion-serpent

Djet or Techa Serpent Hieroglyph

The letter of the path is Teth, the Serpent, shown on the lower right edge of the Tarot card. The serpent is one of the earliest magical images of Leo. Figures of Sekhet and the cat goddess Bast frequently showed a serpent spine or tail. The ancient Egyptian form of the serpent, techa, or djet, looks similar in shape to the letter lamed.

Indeed, the close relationship between Ma’a, the Lion of Truth, whose letter is the sickle or Egyptian sword of Ma’at, and the oracular serpent is already well established in the Tarot correspondences. The paths of Leo and Libra (19 and 22) effectively revolve around Virgo (Isis) and are interchangeable.[5] The serpent hieroglyph is both the root and phonetic of the name of Tahuti (or Thoth), god of magick, writing and words, especially the Word. The serpent is also closely identified with both Ra and his sun boat as both protector and antagonist, as explained with the previous trump in the series, Atet VII. The Lion-serpent is a very ancient image of Leo the Lion, the 5th zodiacal sign ruled by the Sun. It is the astral or magical image of Leo and the 19th path.

With this Tarot trump we have chosen to show Uranus as exalted in Leo, as glyphed on the lower left edge of the card. As the Daughter of Ra and the Eye of Ra, Sekhet sends forth flashing rays that incinerate the foe. Uranus is sometimes corresponded to Da’ath and the lightning bolts or arrows of Neïth that strike down through the Abyss, illuminating the matrix of Ma’at or Isis, as seated on a Throne (Aset) of Hollow Stone. In the works of Kenneth Grant, the throne is established by the lightning of Nodens, God of the Deep, reaching upward and beyond the transplutonic (or post-abysmal) voids.[6]

Ancient Lore of Sekhet

Sekhet or Sekhmet is a warrior goddess as well as protectress. According to ancient Egyptian lore, the desert was formed from her hot, fiery breath. She is the protector of kings and leads them into battle. Upon death, Sekhet assists their passage through the underworld to her perfumed garden of paradise, called Sekhet A’aru, the ‘blessed fields’, from which the Greeks took their ‘Eleusinian Fields’. Sekhet A’aru literally means, ‘Reed Fields’.

In a tale concerning the ending of Ra’s rule on the earth, Ra sends Hathoor in the form of Sekhet to destroy all those who conspired against him. Sekhet’s blood lust is not quelled at the end of battle and there is a danger of her destroying the entire human race. Ra then pours out beer dyed with red ochre or hematite so that it resembles blood. Mistaking the beer for blood, Sekhet becomes so drunk that she returns peacefully to Ra. Ra, the Sun, it is well to remember, is the ruler of the astrological sign of Leo the Lion. The Sun is the secret self of Sekhet, soul and daughter of Ra.

The priestesses of Sekhet performed a ritual before a different statue of the goddess on each day of the year. This has resulted in many well-preserved images of the goddess. Most of her statuettes are finely cut from solid granite, the most enduring stone—and very difficult to cut and work with.[7]

Feasts to Sekhet were celebrated at the end of battles, for the preservation of peace. During the annual festival held at the beginning of the year, the Egyptians danced and played music in celebration of the goddess. According to the few written accounts that have survived the ages, the celebrants drank great quantities of red beer and wine ritually to imitate the divine intoxication that calmed the wrath of the goddess when she almost destroyed humanity. The tale was at one time mirrored at the beginning of each year, when the Nile ran blood red with silt from up-stream. Some versions of the legend have it that Sekhet swallowed the overflow to save humankind from destruction.

There are historical records of tens of thousands attending the festival of Sekhet. The findings were made in the temple of Mut; when Thebes (Waset) rose to prominence, Mut absorbed some of the characteristics of Sekhet. Temple excavations at Luxor discovered a ‘porch of drunkenness’ built into the temple by Queen Hatshepsut, at the height of her twenty-year reign.

Such accounts have always delighted travellers and historians. However they reveal little if anything of the real mysteries of Sekhet, or of the occult powers of her path. As the ‘Old One’, Sekhet’s origins are lost in antiquity. Like Set, the only begotten son of Nuit, she is considered first of all Gods. Today, knowledge of Sekhet’s path exists in fragmentary form. Her followers, contrary to that which we would surmise from the writings of historians and Egyptologists, continue her rites in secret.


Notes

1. The importance of the feminine power in the underworld is explained in depth in Babalon Unveiled! Thelemic Monographs [Ordo Astri].

2. The name Atziluth, the divine world of emanations, is derived from the root etz, ‘source’, ‘essence’. The word is etymologically related to Etz Chaim, the Tree of Life from which the gods are sprung.

3. The full commentary on the Yetziratic attributions of the paths is given in The Flaming Sword Sepher Sephiroth, in two volumes [Ordo Astri].

4. Esoteric Thelema is fully set forth in Babalon Unveiled [ibid]. In particular, ‘Lapis Philosophorum’. An abridged form of the treatise can be read online here.

5. See Babalon Unveiled [ibid], ‘Daughter of the Lords of Truth. The essay can also be read online here.

6. Appendices, Aleister Crowley and the Hidden God, Kenneth Grant [Starfire Publishing].

7. It is thought that more than 700 statues of Sekhet once stood in the funerary temple of Amenhotep III, on the west bank of the Nile.

The Egyptian Tarot of Thelema is an entirely new concept in the field of practical magick, divination and Thelema. The 12 Zodiac trumps can be viewed here.

© Oliver St. John 2019, 2020

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Crisis of the Modern World Revisited

Five years ago we wrote an article inspired by the René Guénon 1927 essay, Crisis of the Modern World. Two years ago the article was further edited for publication in Babalon Unveiled! Thelemic Monographs.[1]

René Guenon Revisited 2020: Soul Prepared for ResurrectionEven two years ago (2018), it was impossible to forecast the extent of the somnambulism that has swept over the world. The René Guénon essay is a work of unparalleled prophetic genius. It is best studied and carefully considered in full.

This, from Chapter One, ‘The Dark Age’, is of vital significance to the path of Esoteric Thelema:

“Since that time [6000 years ago], the truths which were formerly within reach of all have become more and more hidden and inaccessible; those who possess them grow fewer and fewer, and although the treasure of ‘non-human’ (that is, supra-human) wisdom that was prior to all the ages can never be lost, it nevertheless becomes enveloped in more and more impenetrable veils, which hide it from men’s sight and make it extremely difficult to discover. This is why we find everywhere, under various symbols, the same theme of something that has been lost—at least to all appearances and as far as the outer world is concerned—and that those who aspire to true knowledge must rediscover; but it is also said that what is thus hidden will become visible again at the end of the cycle, which, because of the continuity binding all things together, will coincide with the beginning of a new cycle.”

—René Guénon

We give below Guénon’s concluding two pages, which were addressed directly to Initiates, and to those on the knowledge path.

VINCIT OMNIA VERITAS

Truth triumphs over all

A warning must be addressed to those who, because of their capacity for a higher understanding, if not because of the degree of knowledge to which they have actually attained, seem destined to become elements of a possible elite. There is no doubt that the force of modernism, which is truly diabolic in every sense of the word, strives by every means in its power to prevent these elements, today isolated and scattered, from achieving the cohesion that is necessary if they are to exert any real influence on the general mentality. It is therefore for those who have already more or less completely become aware of the end toward which their efforts should be directed to stand firm against whatever difficulties may arise in their path and threaten to turn them aside. Those who have not yet reached the point beyond which an infallible guidance makes it henceforth impossible to stray from the true path always remain in danger of the most serious deviations; they need to display the utmost prudence; we would even say that prudence should be carried to the point of distrust, for the adversary, who up to this point has not yet been definitively overcome, can assume the most varied, and at times the most unexpected, disguises.

“It can happen that those who think they have escaped from modern materialism fall prey to things that, while seemingly opposed to it, are really of the same order; and, in view of the turn of mind of modern Westerners, a special warning needs to be uttered against the attraction that more or less extraordinary phenomena may hold for them; it is this attraction that is to a large extent responsible for all the errors of neo-spiritualism, and it is to be foreseen that the dangers it represents will grow even worse, for the forces of darkness, which keep alive the present confusion, find in it one of their most potent instruments.”

It is even probable that we are not very far from the time referred to by the prophecy of the Gospel to which we have already alluded elsewhere: ‘For false Christs and false prophets shall arise, and shall show signs and wonders to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.’

The elect (‘the chosen’) are the elite in the fullness of its meaning, according to the sense in which we have invariably used the word: those who, by virtue of the inner realisation they have achieved, can no longer be seduced; but this is not the case with those who, as yet, possess only the possibilities of knowledge, and who are therefore, properly speaking, only the ‘called’; and this is why the Gospels say that “many are called, but few are chosen”.

“We are entering upon a period when it will be extremely difficult to separate the grain from the chaff and carry out effectively what theologians call the ‘discerning of spirits’, both because of the general confusion manifesting itself in intensified and ever more varied forms, and also because of the want of true knowledge on the part of those whose normal function should be to guide the rest, but who today only too often are no more than blind guides.”

We shall see whether the subtleties of dialectic are of any avail in such circumstances, and whether any philosophy, even were it the best possible, can have the strength to prevent the ‘infernal powers’ from being let loose; this also is an illusion against which some people need to guard, for it is too often supposed, in ignorance of what pure intellectuality really is, that a merely philosophical knowledge, which even in the best of cases is a bare shadow of true knowledge, can put everything to rights and turn the contemporary mentality away from its deviation; in the same way, there are those who think they can find in modern science itself a means of raising themselves to the higher truths, whereas this science is in fact founded on the negation of those truths. All these illusions are so many influences leading people astray, and by their means many who sincerely desire to react against the modern outlook are reduced to impotence, since, having failed to find the essential principles without which all action is in vain, they have been swept into blind alleys from which there is no escape.

Those who will succeed in overcoming all these obstacles, and triumphing over the hostility of an environment opposed to all spirituality, will doubtless be few in number; but let it be said once more that it is not numbers that count, for we are here in a domain whose laws are quite different from those of matter.

“There is therefore no cause for despair, and, even were there no hope of achieving any visible result before the modern world collapses under some catastrophe, this would still be no valid reason for not undertaking a work whose scope extends far beyond the present time.”

Those who might be tempted to give way to despair should realise that nothing accomplished in this order can ever be lost, that confusion, error, and darkness can win the day only in appearance and in a purely ephemeral way, that all partial and transitory disequilibriums must perforce contribute toward the greater equilibrium of the whole, and that nothing can ultimately prevail against the power of truth; their motto should be the one formerly used by certain initiatic organisations of the West: Vincit Omnia Veritas.

René Guénon, Crisis of the Modern World.[2]

Guénon and the Great Work

In 1927, Guénon and a handful of others still clung to the hope, though they did not put much store in it, that esotericism could exert an influence on “the general mentality”. We now know that hypnotic techniques, misinformation and other means of coercion as applied through today’s global information networks have confused and subjugated the masses to a degree that was never before possible. Nonetheless, Guénon adhered to the first principle of the Great Work, that it must involve service to others. How is this possible now? How can we triumph, as Guénon puts it, “over the hostility of an environment opposed to all spirituality”? We must go forward with unfailing conviction, knowing that Vincit Omnia Veritas declares spiritual reality, not temporal illusion. The oracle of Isis, given in ‘Liber 364 vel Lux Occulta’, tells us that Isis continues to pray for the soul in darkness.[3] If the soul should open to truth and hear her, then salvation is accomplished in that hour. The soul is thus prepared for resurrection.

I am the woman who gives light in darkness. I have come to lighten the darkness. I have lightened the darkness and overthrown the destroyers. Thrice times, the darkness is made light! I have prayed for all those who as yet dwell in darkness, who have hidden their faces, who have fallen and who weep. If they should only look upon me, then at last they shall know me! Then I shall raise them up. For I am the woman of whom the profane know not. I cannot speak for those who will not hear me.

We are all doomed to die as soon as we are born on this earth. Only love triumphs over all, even death. Isolationism is the absence of love. When love is entirely absent, death ensues for mind, body and soul. As for the ailments that afflict the soul, of which scientism knows nothing, these can be cured in an instant, by a word. There is nothing that can be done, though, to save those who will not hear it.


Notes

1. Babalon Unveiled! Thelemic Monographs [Ordo Astri]. The 2015 article can be read here at Tantrika Arts.
2. The italics are ours. The spelling has been standardised (‘English UK’) and some unnecessary single quotation marks removed to restore the immediacy of the 1927 text for the modern reader.
3. See ‘Spell 80’,  Babalon Unveiled! Thelemic Monographs [ibid].

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