Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law
One of the things we’re all after in this Work – often the main thing – is words, signs or messages from the HGA. It’s good to have Crowley’s explanations and the other information that we’ve got, but the idea is to get direct info from the Source. All the written stuff is there to prime us, to point us in the right direction. But only when we get absolutely aligned with the signal coming from the Centre of our own Cosmos are we going to know and feel “Okay, I’m really on track.”
To keep working on this lifelong project brings us into and through a succession of points of view. Each successive one is more intense, more revealing of our own nature, and presents a different landscape. Each takes us further into the unique mystery that is ourselves. No-one else can make the trek for us – all we can do is collect as much counsel as possible from others around us, and as much information as possible from inner sources, and work consistently at our practices so that the matter clarifies over time.
But it isn’t a simple process of direct movement towards our central Light, because we have a lot of detours to make. We need to let go of a lot of ideas we’re convinced are correct, or that are only partly correct, in order to pick up the signals we’re after. And they are signals, like those a space probe picks up from distant objects. We need also to find the courage to listen to those signals when they contradict what we believe or want to believe; and we also need courage to live with the fact that Understanding is there, but it isn’t fully present in our lives. On this material plane of Assiah, life often feels like 8.30 on Monday morning, and the easy insight from a deeper World that perhaps came the previous eveing as we gazed quietly out the window is just a memory at such times.
So, the first thing to accept is that the signals must come through all the static – our blocking ‘atmosphere’ – that we produce for ourselves, and that limits them.
We put a lot of store in words, and we treasure them when they’re given. To receive your True Will formula, or perhaps the Name of your HGA, is a thrilling moment. But we need to remember at all times that subconsciousness is reflexive. If we want to receive a message intensely enough, subconscious will produce one to order. There are those sad cases online who proclaim – in capital letters usually – that they Know that they are Gods and so on. Why? Something inside said so, confirming an idea they’d always felt to be true. Mehhhh…
The closer we’re getting to our own truths, and the more stirred up our own psyches become, the more likely we are to get strange, partial, misleading messages. They will feed into areas of compulsive thought or deep-rooted hang-ups we have, so they might feel real or true. But words are, in most cases, deceitful things. They flatter, they tell us things we want to hear, and they reinforce the mundane ego and its functions.
If I have had valid verbal communications, beyond things that seem obvious and straightforward given the context in which I find myself – needing advice, trying to sort out conflicting emotions and so on – they’ve been like ideas that were planted in my psyche before I was aware anything was communicating with me. My mind then, as a secondary step, forms these ideas into language. But the whole thing has lacked any fanfares, any sense of a God approaching to announce something stupendous. It has been a simple “This is so” moment that the language structures of my mind verbalised. For other people, matters might be different, but I’d advise caution with any of the more colourful suggestions that come to us.
The HGA uses a different symbolic “vocabulary” to the words from our speech-centres. For example, we may have fixed or obsessional ideas. They’re there, they’re about something, and even if they’re wrong-headed, there’s something that underlies them, or lies within them, that’s important to us. I found myself recently thinking and dreaming about England constantly, a country where I was born yet haven’t wanted to live in for decades. It arose from a deep Ruach-level desire to re-root myself, recent experience having been disorienting, that was coming up in the ideas, and I had to work back from this to see the whole ‘your-true-country = your-soul’ business at work. And from there to feel out the significance of the yearning. Superficially, it was a message to go there, but only superficially. Fantasies, daydreams and such yearnings usually indicate a secondary, and deeper, level of communication than seems the case.
One thing that occasionally comes up for me is what I call immediacies. Something in the present moment seems clear, or still, or meaningful. It might literally be staring at my shoes and seeing the grain of the leather, or a stain on the fabric. But it’s a point where the mind has stopped for a while, or to a large extent, and I’m seeing directly, to however limited an extent, what the world is like when body-mind-soul are all lined up. The HGA is about Isness – the absoluteness and the completeness of Here and Now.
And to gaze at another person with love is to feel the HGA projecting itself onto that person (or people) as the embodiment of living holiness. ‘Love’ is maybe the most rejected word – and concept – in Thelemic discussion. ‘Power’ is much more popular in our circles. But one reason we need lovers is so that we can experience the HGA via the beauty of someone else – not just to raise energy for magical purposes, as some people assume. It’s not a coincidence that the Gateway of the Gnosis is Tiphereth, the sephirah called Beauty, after all.
Aesthetic experiences of different kinds are also HGA communications. Most of us have felt it with music, a few of us with what Robert Graves called Goddess poetry “because it makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up,” and others with paintings or sculpture. The first time I went to pass a rainy afternoon in the National Gallery in London, which has scores of paintings by J.M.W. Turner, I felt awe. One man had seen such effects of light and space so many times in his life, and painted them. And it was all here in front of me.
Awe, like love, is a ‘word’ in the vocabulary of the HGA.
Magick is done through paring down – we work with one sephirah or aethyr, and one aspect of that. But if we do click with what we’re invoking, we are seeing a part of the vast Whole. Over time, it all builds up, and like the paint-strokes in my Turners, the “painting,” which is as much an implication of light as a depiction of imagery, is completed. Ritual magical practices can become rote, but actual magick can manifest at any moment the HGA finds suitable.
Don’t expect, nor believe in, messages about how you are the chosen emissary of Ra-Hoor-Khuit. That’s almost certainly your subconscious feeding back to you what you’re telling it you want. Backing out of the reactive aspects of mind and mentality, and finding the stillness and Silence at the Centre is the real work of the mystery schools. Once we’ve found it, we can make all the motion and noise we want. Because the paradox in our work is always that Hoor-paar-kraat, Silence, is the truest speech of the HGA.
And learning to listen to the body, to our fantasies, to our inclinations and desires, without being swamped by them, is a major part of the way towards that Centre, and the discovery of the True Will.
Love is the law, love under will,