January 3, 2022 TOLS

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law

The following notes are from a public talk I never gave. They summarise a lot of what my own teachers dinned into me in the first couple of years I was working a Thelemic system. I should know all this material by heart now, but sometimes I need to remind myself of it. Since maybe you do, too, I’m posting some of my notes below.

You will encounter many coincidences. Most of them are just that – coincidences, accidental and insignificant; or at best, simple indications that Life rhymes with itself. If you pay too much attention to them, you will soon leave Earth and migrate to the planet of the conspiracists. Exit visas from there are hard to come by. If a coincidence is more than two haphazardly aligned occurrences of similar characteristics, the Universe will make this abundantly clear.

Often today, people will tell you to be compassionate, and non-judgemental. I tell you to feel every attitude of anger and lust, greed and envy, cruelty and judgement that you have. But you must do this with consciousness. Why do you react this way, you need to ask, since no human reaction is pre-ordained in heaven. As you learn to examine your projections onto others, you will learn to trace the roots of your being, your individuality. You can discover your true power through this, provided you allow yourself to be ‘bad’. Then, you can enact the badness as you see fit – or not do so. Usually, it will be the latter. But avoid imposing morality within yourself. Underlying all of this, you will find what common people might call God, which is present in all things, working its Will.

As you discover parts of yourself that you did not know well, and learn more of the machineries of human beingness, you will formulate a philosophy of life, of meaning and of the aforementioned ‘God.’ It is important always to remember that your current understanding is simply your latest set of functional falsehoods, and not in any sense ‘the Truth.’ Doctrines and diagrams, teachers and techniques, are merely temporary tools. Whatever you think now, or whatever selection of social and political beliefs and policies you hold, is simply a thing of current value, and not at all the Truth. If the Truth finds you – for you cannot identify it without the Truth identifying itself through you – it will probably fail to claim any set of adjectives for itself. Poetic metaphors or clever illustrations might help you, but all your philosophies are simply temporary residences for Truth, not permanent homes. And your task is to help in their continual demolition.

Many people come to spiritual systems to ‘fix’ themselves. Meditation, mindfulness, affirmations, mantras, thinking positively: it’s all fuelled by the desire to make ourselves ‘right’.

This doesn’t necessarily come about.

What we do find is that, as we gradually come to know and accept ourselves, we have choice over which aspects of our immensely complex nature we can use at any given time. This, inevitably, tends to alter our relationship with the parts we find hard to manage, so that over time, the situation generally improves. But on a rainy Tuesday or Thursday morning after an interrupted night’s sleep, the old patterns can reassert themselves, and it can seem as if we have gained or learned nothing.

We have, of course, because we know these are patterns, and they will ebb as they have currently extended themselves.

What is truly transformative is the gradual growth and gained strength of what Jung called his second personality, what some people call their conscience, and what many Qabalists call Adept consciousness. Like a very soft-spoken friend, it sits there behind the personal mind, murmuring suggestions. “Wait,” it says; or “You need to get this done;” or “The answer here is the opposite of what you think.” This part of yourself (actually, this Beingness of which you are a part), is what gradually comes to prominence. The personal mind easily rebels against it, and we can endure long periods when our everyday selves are intransigent in the face of this seeming intruder. Still, those who persist in their practice eventually achieve mastery over the personal self, at least most of the time. But as humans, none of us ever have complete mastery all of the time.

As an extension of the last point, you will find that certain practices or rituals delight you, and you enjoy performing them. Others will bring out intense resistance. Nobody gets through the system without hating at least one or more of the requirements.

At some point, soon or late, you will learn to relax on this. You will need to accept that this sort of reaction is not a bad thing, but just your mind doing what it has programmed itself to do: that is, protect you from certain frightening ideas. The battle will resolve when you can feel gratitude for having learned this, and can incorporate respect for this resistance into your view of yourself in the world.

Dislike of the path might be a sign that is not the right one for you. Equally, it might indicate that you are truly engaged with it, and it is starting to bring up critical aspects of your nature. The only sure way to grasp which is happening is to persist with as much awareness as you can generate. If you are really on the wrong path, you will find the experience becomes empty. If you are on the right one, some degree of understanding, though not necessarily a pleasant one, will start to emerge.

To become initiated means including a teacher in your life. Your teacher knows more than you, can explain many things, and possibly has blind spots the size of a crosstown bus.

Finding the teacher has feet of clay, an unpleasant past secret or a hangup that you would least suspect in such a person, is part of the initiatory process. When it becomes your turn to teach, you too will discover that you have retained a lot of prejudices, areas of ignorance and simple anxieties. Until that time, try to remember you are learning from a wiser-than-usual human being, not a Gnostic saint. And if you can’t remember this, be prepared at some point to be whacked over the head by the discovery.

Love is the law, love under will,

Edward Mason

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