Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
My visits back to Toronto are fun, but the dislocation takes a temporary toll. Coming back to central Mexico, even the one-hour time-difference throws me off for a day or so.
At least, that’s my excuse, and I’m sticking to it.
I’ve just re-learned for the umpteenth time that while Krishnamurti or Jung, Crowley or Fortune might be fine teachers, the greatest of masters is still Frater Stupidity, along with careful observation thereof. Wednesday night, my first night back here, I made an elementary magical error.
In my tiredness, letting myself be bothered by an individual who has been … well, bothersome, I added a short rite to my usual workout, establishing a protective shield to deflect his attentions. There were no curses or hate-filled imprecations, simply a rubric that, I hoped and intended, would stop this person infringing my life. And with that, I closed the temple for the night.
I didn’t sleep much. At the back of my mind was a half-formed recognition that rather than closing a portal, I’d just opened one. This individual, whose threats work more by a general vibe of menace than by actual violence, was now linked to me, and his chaos was my chaos. And he is plentifully chaotic, as I found next day.
Thursday started with me blinking at the light, and went downhill quite rapidly. I help my next-door neighbour look after her five dogs, the eldest of which, a cunning, manipulative old rogue I’m deeply fond of, has been ailing for some time. His lethargic condition, she felt, merited a visit to the vet in a town almost an hour from here. I dislike the journey, but he’s the best we’ve found, with a properly equipped lab and the skills to use it. And the dog was not looking good. All I needed to do was stop at the bank on the way to get some cash.
In town the bank machine was empty of cash, so I had to head elsewhere. Then I found I was overdrawn after my Toronto trip. When we arrived the vet was out on a house-call and came in apologising almost an hour late. The checkup included an ultrasound and took another tedious hour. And the verdict was that the dog had cancer and wouldn’t survive surgery. He has two months, maybe three or four, but no more.
Stare into those dark, trusting eyes, and cue the lump in the throat.
On the way back we stopped to buy water for the dog, and our old Ford decided not to restart (two times, the second when we had to buy gas). We had to pay local guys who knew more about cars than me to get us going. Then, buying the necessary meds became a frustrating round of hitting pharmacies that didn’t have what we needed, or had it in dosages way too high for a dog. I stopped at one point to buy wholegrain rice in the market in town, which of course I’d lost somehow when the trip was done.
We got home for lunch a little before 5:00 pm. It occurred to me it was just as well I don’t currently have a girlfriend, or she’d have dumped me by email by that point. I finally joined my neighbour to unwind by watching mindless TV, only to find the satellite connection wasn’t working. All I could do was banish rigorously, and call it a night.
Now, thus saith scripture:
“Let it be that state of manyhood bound and loathing. So with thy all; 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.” (CCXX, I, 42 – 44 ).
Says Crowley of verse 42, “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.” An apposite remark, especially given the dog’s condition.
He also remarks in a couple of places that a person doing his will enjoys the supportive inertia of the motion of the Universe. Such a person stays on course, in his passage through the cosmos, without interference.
Whereas, “If will stops and cries Why, invoking Because, the Will stops & does nought.” (CCXX, II, 30). Crowley observes of this verse:
“There is no ‘reason’ why a star should continue in its orbit. Let her rip! Every time the conscious mind acts, it interferes with the subconscious, which is Hadit. It is the voice of man, and not of a God. Any man who ‘listens to reason’ ceases to be a revolutionary.”
We need to spend the necessary amount of time caring for our physical survival and well-being, while our non-mundane magick is, if done properly, directed outwards and upwards. It isn’t about stopping and reinforcing existing positions, or warding off the dark wings, but about probing endlessly the unknown, the vastness of Nuit, step by tiny step (or sometimes a big one). We are automatically protected against real harm in life by doing magical work, unless there’s a specific karmic lesson or ordeal that’s necessary for our greater progress. The idea that we should defend ourselves against what we fear simply entrenches us in the very situation we’re trying to protect against. To resist something – a person, a potential situation, an idea – is to become subconsciously wedded to the idea of it, and maybe to more than just the idea. Will, as happened with me, stops.
Or, to quote my own title here, to sit at the feet of Severus Snape and learn to defend ourselves against the dark arts is to become entangled in paranoia; or at least its baby sister, ongoing anxiety. It’s counter-productive.
This morning I spent time in my temple considering and relearning all this. I then had to take the Ford to get the ignition fixed, and of course at first it wouldn’t start; but by heeding my own admonitions, letting go of residual frustration and reaching out to the Nuit perspective (i.e., potential is infinite, and only restricted by fear), lo – I made it start. I’m a clueless mechanic, but a moderately effective magician.
I can’t help our dying dog, beyond caring for him as he fades. But in the market in town, the man who’d sold me the wholegrain rice ran up and grabbed me, saying I’d left it on his counter and that he’d kept it for me overnight. And down the street, I was accosted by the mother of some young boys to whom I was recently teaching English, insisting that I restart the classes. That, while not highly lucrative, will help offset my fiscal deficit. I came home feeling the previous day’s reverses were, in large measure, neutralised.
This was all silly stuff, you might say, and yes – that’s my point. I couldn’t let go of a nagging concern before about an individual who was bothering me. A stupid action was necessary to make that concern bottom out, along with focused reflection on what had happened.
Despite what often seems to be the case, if we stay with the Great Work, we really do come constantly closer to the spiritual goals we set for ourselves.
Love is the law, love under will,