•April 20, 2010 • 1 Comment
It has often been said that one’s true opponent exists within their own mind. Doubtlessly, the illusion of the ego-concept allows all manner of psychological patterns and residues to masquerade as one’s true self, and the path of any seeker is thus as a perilous trail along a steep mountainside. To quote Jake Green from Guy Ritchie’s revolver,
“The greatest enemy will hide in the last place you would ever look. “
Erwin Hessle has posted a rigorous investigation of one of the most common deceptions the aspirant may fall prey to here.
Excerpt from Hessle’s “The path of least resistance”
What really happens here is that the mind seduces one with thoughts such as “wouldn’t life be so much nicer if you didn’t have to struggle like this to achieve your goals? Why not just let it go?” The mind seduces the self into something resembling a financial loan, where a significant amount of resistance is avoided up front but it ultimately paid for, with interest, by many cumulative small amounts of resistance in the days to come. Accomplishing the task, on the other hand, might require an upfront investment of effort, but this investment frees one of having to incur the greater cost of meeting those repayments, with interest, into perpetuity.
On a practical level, then, “discovering the will” involves discerning these genuine “urges” from the false urges presented by the mind. The mind tries to tell you that life would be better if you avoided this effort, but the mind’s misrepresentation can be discovered by simply observing the ongoing commitment of resistance that remains present after the decision to refrain from action. If one acts and finds that such residual resistance is no longer present, however, then one knows one is ahead. It is equally possible, of course, that one does not really want to create a masterpiece – to continue the example – at all, and that this is merely a phantasm created by the mind. In such a case, the accomplishment – if it is even possible – will not remove this residual resistance. Thus, by observing critically the effects of one’s actions on the amount of residual resistance – or restriction – remains, one can infer something about the will. If one is on the right track, then one would expect that, over time, the overall level of resistance and restriction in one’s life would decrease, even if physical and practical difficulties in accomplishing one’s tasks remain. It is the difference between the joyous exercise of energies, and the grudging exercise of them; even if the actual exercise of those energies does not seem particularly pleasant at the time, the satisfaction – or lack of it – which comes from completion will reveal the difference.
•April 20, 2010 • Leave a Comment
Magic of the Ordinary posted a great piece on what is often called “the dark night of the soul”, an unavoidable and perilous period in any seeker’s spiritual development. The piece is titled To reach the dark once more and I highly recommend it, though it does seem a tad bit too Judeo-Christian oriented for me to actually rave about.
There comes at least one occasion in everyone’s spiritual unfoldment when the darkness arises, the moon ceases to shine and the stars fail one by one. It seems we are cut off or even expelled from all our sources of grace, wisdom and beauty and there is nothing to stop the process. On a different arc, psychologically we accept and make terms with our Shadow, where there be buried as much gold as dragons. There are many names and terms for this process; confronting the Dweller on the Threshold, entering the Dark Woodland etc. But hey, when in the dark wood finding a name is the least of our concerns
•April 19, 2010 • 1 Comment
Time has passed. Thoughts and paradigms have been entombed beneath new layers of crystalline conceptual structures. Still, what is already known and what much be known should always be expressed succinctly. What must be done is performed not through script but through the fist which grasps the blade, held low.
I am no more. That haphazard amalgate of ill-fitted parts and tawdry relics saved like dirt under fingernaills — I stretched it out before me like a winged appendage — and cut. Hacking bespeaks unstill intent. Surgeons slice their mark with efficient movement and thus they preserve life. Nature abhors sloppy craftmanship.
A raven sits on a fencepost. Between you lies a field of wheat, painted white by the falling snow. You feel warm despite winter’s grasp. Beginning to walk, you feel a cold hand pull on your heel. You fall, and weakly rise back to your feet. One more step and the world warps and twists around you. You fall again and after this there is only the black.
Crushed like pale hands shielding paler face from the falling ceiling of a collapsing cavern. Torn like an atom in an atom bomb. An amnesiac with sweating hand writing in a book before sleep.
Look through the porthole. From where you were it looked so small, like you would barely be able to press your face against it. As you neared it grew. Soon stark stars sat around you rather than above, soon the outer edge of that ouroburos was lost into the night. Don’t look down, for only the abyss will greet you. Lay to rest on that narrow porthole edge, a curve reduced to a flat line. Let your feet dangle over the edge while you watch the moon transverse the sky. Feel your other eye begin to open.
•April 19, 2010 • Leave a Comment
Was it man or monster that moved in your bones
that placed you upon your iron throne
that grasped the reigns of majestic Rome
and held within a heart of stone
tyrant – genius – god and actor
dieing with smile and eerie laughter
an exit applauded by all those fools who
called themselves friends and thought they knew
what stirred behind those placid eyes
what terrible will dwelt deep inside
to shape world and defy the sky
to master the art of man and his lie?
a mask of plaster is brittle and breaks
but a mask of flesh is forever a face
and though beautiful it is never opaque
but may only reflect the soul encased
man, monster, beast and god
a nature blurred and a path singly trod
such words are but molds to rigid to hold
forces of fierce heat and inhuman cold
•April 18, 2010 • Leave a Comment
Prometheus Rising – Robert Anton Wilson
The Philosopher’s Stone – Israel Regardie
Liber 148 “The Soldier and the Hunchback” – Aleister Crowley
Are all now available for download from my box.net widget. These are all very good and informative texts. If you enjoy them and find them useful, please purchase a hard copy to support the author or their estate.
•April 18, 2010 • 2 Comments
If you’re into Thelema, the occult or consider yourself spiritual in general have a look of IAO 131’s interpretation of Thelemic philosophy over here
Each person must destroy their ego self and come to identify with the True Self. Every man and woman must “break down the fortress of thine Individual Self, that thy Truth may spring free from the ruins” (The Heart of the Master). This necessarily involves the death or dissolution of the ego (“thine Individual Self”) to which many people are strongly attached. This is why death is seen as catastrophic: people view losses as catastrophic and the greatest lost to people is the loss of their ego. In both the Old and New Aeons, the ego must experience death in process of Initiation. The difference is the view of this phenomenon: the Old Aeon views death as a cataclysmic event whereas the New Aeon views it as a necessary step in the progress of Growth. As Crowley explains, “The Ego fears to lose control of the course of the mind… The Ego is justly apprehensive, for this ecstasy will lead to a situation when its annhilation will be decreed… Remember that the Ego is not really the centre and crown of the individual; indeed the whole trouble arises from its false claim to be so” (Commentary to “Liber LXV” I:60). Before the individual personally experiences the dissolution of their own ego, they must assimilate this New Aeon idea that “there is that which remains” after this death. Each person then must come to directly experience and even embody this truth – that is, each individual must come to know this truth through their own experience. “Faith must be slain by certainty,” as Crowley wrote (The Book of Thoth). We might even say that each person is psychologically stuck in the Old Aeon paradigm until they have this experience of the death of the ego. Only then can they be “freed of the obsession of the doom of the Ego in Death” (Little Essays Toward Truth, “Mastery”). Only then can the individual identify with “that which remains,” which transcends but contains both Life and Death. In the New Aeon, each person “Let[s] the Illusion of the World pass over thee, unheeded, as thou goest from Midnight to the Morning. ” (The Heart of the Master).
This series is truly a great interpretation of Crowley’s thought
parts 2 and 3