November 1, 2013 TOLS

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

In a piece written in September, Confusing the planes, I grumbled about people describing the Holy Guardian Angel as a form of their “higher self,” or some similar phrase.  If we use terminology like this at all, it should be to state that the HGA has a lower self, which is me – or you.

An analogy I once used successfully (but for which I always blew the punchline thereafter) was comparing a human existence to the Great Pyramid of Gizeh. I steered my questioner to the idea of striving to get to the very top from the base of human existence, then explained to her that in fact, it’s the opposite, and the pyramid is inverted. All each of us people is, is an apex, a point, and the HGA is the pyramidal totality. She went quiet for some time, so I assume the idea went in.

Mystery school training is, to put it simply, a matter of dragging people backwards through the brambles of their own ideas about themselves. It’s about pulling us away from that apex that is a base, not towards one. As each goal, as each piece of self-image, is seen as another fantasy, another provisional notion to be released, so the territory occupied by the entity we think of as our personal self shrinks. At the same time the conception of our total Beingness expands. Very few people who get as far as working a grade or degree relating to Netzach can be strict atheists, because at that point the sense of how much greater consciousness (and unconsciousness) is than our individual selves, becomes overwhelming. The usual vocabulary of atheism becomes inadequate to describe the emerging picture, as does the tired notion of “defining” the HGA. It defines us.

I spent half an hour this morning discussing a mutual friend with an acquaintance. The mutual friend has slumped into a depression. He is not only letting opportunities go by, but seems to be actually engineering life-failures and alienating people. It’s as if he’s decided to put himself through one of those dark initiatory phases where he finally hits the wall of his own intransigence. What he’ll do after this happens, no-one can say, but it appears to be an effort to either bounce himself back up with refreshed willpower, or … not. It isn’t true that we always end up making what others will see as positive (nice, easy to appreciate) decisions.

My acquaintance couldn’t see my point about him choosing his path, or preferred not to, and I didn’t push the argument. But at a certain stage, serious aspirants begin to see not only that we have a True Will operating through us, but that we have been expressing and living out a version of that Will all along. However, the scale and scope of it is frequently beyond our ability to observe and express in our lives, so we end up producing a lifelong series of spontaneous and messy negotiations with it that prevent us accepting its full extent. Actually to confront the fact that the New Age catch-phrase that “we create our own reality” is a truth, marks a point of no return.

Such an insight is immensely empowering, though it begins as a very lonely feeling, and a seemingly mad one. The Thelemite who comes to a full comprehension of this point is compelled to deal with the fact that such a realisation separates him from other people in a basic way. It’s no wonder, to quote The Book of the Law (II, v. 21), that compassion is the vice of kings. Held within inner understanding, knowledge of our ultimate causality over our own lives, while initially shocking, becomes a treasured and energising insight with the passing of time. But when that insight and understanding collide with the messiness of the consensual world, it’s easier, and seemingly more practical, to be forbearing and withhold the stark truth from someone unprepared to hear it, even in connection with a third party.

Once opened, that door leads in only one direction; just as the HGA, once perceived or somehow otherwise appreciated, can only seem to expand beyond whatever conception or definitions we place on it.

Love is the law, love under will,

Edward Mason

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