November 6, 2013 TOLS

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

Not much is written about Kether, the Crown of the Tree of Life. Sure, every primer on the Tree – Gray, Fortune, Knight, Regardie and on – has a chapter on it, but this sephirah is fundamentally baffling to the intellect, and most teachers leave it largely alone. It is, simply, The One, Hadit. Since it emerges from the Limitless Light (Ain Soph Aur), and hardly any practitioners make it that far up the Tree, there are almost no first-hand reports to cite on the subject.

A key fact about Kether is that its is oriented wholly outwards. It is totally about emanation. There is no self-regard or reflection possible on either the cosmic or the individual plane, because then we’d be in duality, which only emerges with the second sephirah, Chokmah. Kether is entirely incapable of self-consciousness, and this of course means it is utterly devoid of fear. And presumably, of courage, which is the defiance or overcoming of fear.

That in itself might be why many people are scared by it. The absence of fear in Kether means it can project itself outward to appreciate or behold anything, and manifest from within anything. It’s limitless, and we all privately prefer our safe boundaries.

Kether has the nine other sephiroth as its mirrors. It can know all it needs to from the experience of the vast number of monads, holons, consciousness units (choose your own phrase) that are, or are exploring and experiencing, the Tree, since it is, essentially, all of these things. But it, itself, is outside of time as we conceive it. No whither, no whence, to quote Liber LXV.

Because our God-conception for millennia has been, essentially, that of the God of Chesed (or maybe Chesed + Geburah; loving Father plus grumpy ole Dad), until recently the world beyond the Abyss was largely inconceivable. A few bodhisattvas, yogins or other mystics sent in their reports and trained one or two advanced students to follow them there, but the impersonal aspect of God was baffling and scary to everyone else. How could there be Understanding or Wisdom without a being to do the  understanding, or to be wise?

Even now, there are very few people who can live from the inside of these Supernal concepts and still share the regular world with us. However, a century of exposure to the deeper mystical ideas has made it possible for increasing numbers of them to appreciate such a world lying beyond individual identity. The few are … less few.

But Kether, surely, will remain unattainable, because to “attain” to Kether means there would be nothing left of the attainee. The medieval text called The 32 Paths of Wisdom says of Kether that “No created being can attain to its essence.” That is, to enter Kether is no longer to be human.  When Aleister Crowley took his Ipsissimus (Kether) initiation, he was scared he would be required to perform some terrible act to prove his total lack of attachment. That wasn’t needed, and while we have no known record of those 22 minutes of his life, he was apparently not asked to start killing disciples.

Perhaps, as a 10=1, with all his attention directed outward, his experience of other people would have been immediate and profound, to the point that he no longer saw them as significantly separate from himself anyway.

Love is the law, love under will,

Edward Mason

 

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