March 25, 2016 TOLS

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
I draft at least twice as many posts as I put here. Sometimes, I can’t support what I want to say, so I let the post sit for a few days, or years. Other times, I balance what I might say against what people applying to join our Temple probably expect, and find a misalignment. My private views can’t be excluded from the Temple’s realm, but they shouldn’t have excessive influence over its workings, and this is a Temple-related blog.
And other times, such as now, I look at the world and think … I’ve not posted in weeks, but have no words. I could take an easy out, and expound on this week’s Jian Ghomeshi acquittal, but that train-wreck has already been examined to death. And some of the most interesting (to me) topics can seem impossible to describe plausibly when I’m sitting in front of my keyboard: what’s clear to inner perception can’t be convincingly verbalised, because our best truths always goes beyond the verbal.
The longer I’m in this game, the more I find myself facing this paradox. That is, I believe in or care about less and less, while nurturing an ever-increasing conviction that the core of the whole business is an unfolding existential confrontation with the Ground of Being, to use Paul Tillich‘s phrase. Magick, my preferred methodology, can sometimes seem limited by being about particulars (sephiroth, spirits and other things from the symbolic realm) as much as transpersonal verities, and it’s easy to wonder if it’s taking me off-track.
Or, whether I might just need to get drunk. However, inebriation is only ever a temporary solution, however good the booze used to attain it, so let’s continue with existential enquiry for the moment.
Given that we’re incarnate, we’re always facing the issue of Malkuth: that is, we live in the material plane, which follows certain physical laws but is in many ways chaotic. Anything we truly know, in the sense of a conviction or realised truth, comes to us from a sephirah or path higher up the scheme of the Tree of Life, and is thus to some extent distinct from material reality. That might not be so for the Masters of the Temple, but they’re a pretty exclusive club, and I doubt many of them read this blog. For the rest of us, there’s a conceptual or vital gap between our deepest creed and our everyday lives.
Occultism is one attempt to bridge that gap, so that a Thelemic occultist is someone who might be an existentialist; just not one in the sense of Jean-Paul Sartre, who insisted on life’s ‘absurdity,’ and lack of meaning. I’m usually at the opposite extreme to a Sartrian, convinced life is meaningful, but increasingly unable to verbalise how or why I have that conviction. And, moreover, not at all inclined to change this, because anything that overwhelms my deepest skepticism or fear comes from outside of realms susceptible to rational anaylsis or plausible suspicion.
If I understand Crowley at all, his spiritual maturity came as he truly appreciated how each aspirant has a truth beyond any kind of system or symbology we might use, and that each must eventually let that truth hold the reins. This becomes increasingly critical, not less, as this Truth appears like it’s headed the wrong way up a one-day street, and without any working brakes, and we want to turn back. There’s no map at a certain point in the journey. There is a kind of inner GPS, but not one that’s conventionally intelligible.
Despite this, there does appear to be a destination, and a promising one at that. We just can’t always find words to say how that’s so.
Love is the law, love under will,
Edward Mason

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