Astron Argon

Philosophical Meditation



On Gnana Yoga
Frater Centaurus

Let the Adeptus Minor be standing in this circle on the square of Tiphareth, armed with his Wand and Cup; but let him perform the Ritual throughout in his Body of Light.

Let him now imagine, at the last Word, that the Head of his will, where his consciousness is fixed, opens its fissure (the Brahmarandra-Cakkra, at the junction of the cranial sutures) and exudes a drop of clear crystalline dew, and that this pearl is his Soul, a virgin offering to his Angel, pressed forth from his being by the intensity of this Aspiration. —Liber Samekh

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

`Gnana' means wisdom; it is akin to the Greek word `Gnosis,' which means knowledge. The path of Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel is a Gnosis, arrived at through a discriminating focus on and discernment of this central goal of one’s Aspiration. The connecting path for the Practicus is the Devil Atu (as the Art Atu was for the Zelator), presenting the image of Baphomet as a fixating archetype. The resultant concentration is valued in contrast with the transients in life that are revealed to the Practicus through his or her vacillations.

This is a Gnana Yoga that advocates a singular force of vision that leads the Practicus to discover that behind the dualities and multiplicities of life and living, there is that which is Ever-Conscious, Ever-Existent, and Ever-Blissful, (Sat-Chit-Ananda); the Holy Guardian Angel. The employment of a perceptive Will is the beginning of formulating the Angel as the image of Baphomet becomes engrained onto the conscious psyche and the Svadhishatana Chakkra is awakened. It is situated at the Coccyx region of the spine, just above the anus.

As a Gnana Yoga, and through the continual practice of what the Hindus call Viveka (Spiritual Discernment), the student is able to lift Kundalini to her highest realm. At the onset, the Aspirant may discriminate in a Spiritual way, but in the end, for him or her, the Angel exists as the one absolute reality in his or her existence. The singular force of this vision is to be realized above all else. Support for this is found in Liber 98; the Dog Rite.

The Practicus is given to study and Qabalistically reinterpret Liber Samekh. Note that the initial direction for the performance of this rite is that the Operator be armed with the Wand and the Cup. We have here the perfect allusion to the nature of Philosophical Meditation. The Will reaches out to the Angel (Wand) sending forth that pearl of consciousness (The congealed or crystallized awareness/ego) formulated in the SSS section of Liber HHH. But also, the other sections of Liber HHH were a prelude to this meditation; given to the Zelator.

Javitma is a Hindu term that we can equate with Universal Consciousness (Nuit) and Paramatma is a Hindu term that means the Higher Self (Hadit). The Gnana Yoga of this Grade is two understand the two as inseparable. And for this meditation, we include Crowley’s Star-Sponge Vision at Lake Pasquaney, New Hampshire:

The 'Star-Sponge' Vision

There is a vision of a peculiar character which has been of cardinal importance in my interior life, and to which constant reference is made in my magical diaries. So far as I know, there is no extant description of this vision anywhere, and I was surprised on looking through my records to find that I had given no clear account of it myself. The reason apparently is that it is so necessary a part of myself that I unconsciously assume it to be a matter of common knowledge, just as one assumes that everybody knows that one possesses a pair of lungs, and therefore abstains from mentioning the fact directly, although perhaps alluding to the matter often enough. It appears very essential to describe this vision as well as is possible, considering the difficulty of language, and the fact that the phenomena involve logical contradictions, the conditions of consciousness being other than those obtaining normally. The vision developed gradually. It was repeated on so many occasions that I am unable to say at what period it may be called complete. The beginning, however, is clear enough in my memory. I was on a retirement in a cottage overlooking Lake Pasquaney in New Hampshire. I lost consciousness of everything but an universal space in which were innumerable bright points, and I realized this as a physical representation of the Universe, in what I may call its essential structure. I exclaimed: "Nothingness, with twinkles!" I concentrated upon this vision, with the result that the void space which had been the principal element of it diminished in importance; space appeared to be ablaze, yet the radiant points were not confused, and I thereupon completed my sentence with the exclamation "But what Twinkles!" The next stage of this vision led to an identification of the blazing points with the stars of the firmament, with ideas, souls, etc. I perceived also that each star was connected by a ray of light with each other star. In the world of ideas, each thought possessed a necessary relation with each other thought; each such relation is of course a thought in itself; each such ray is itself a star. It is here that logical difficulty first presents itself. The seer has a direct perception of infinite series. Logically, therefore, it would appear as if the entire space must be filled up with a homogeneous blaze of light. This however is not the case. The space is completely full; yet the monads which fill it are perfectly distinct. The ordinary reader might well exclaim that such statements exhibit symptoms of mental confusion. The subject demands more than cursory examination. I can do no more than refer the critic to the Hon. Bertrand Russell's "Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy", where the above position is thoroughly justified, as also certain positions which follow. At the time I had not read this book; and I regard it as a striking proof of the value of mystical attainment, that its results should have led a mind such as mine, whose mathematical training was of the most elementary character, to the immediate consciousness of some of the most profound and important mathematical truths; to the acquisition of the power to think in a manner totally foreign to the normal (Motta: Normal, of course, in the sense of average) mind, the rare possession of the greatest thinkers in the world. A further development of the vision brought the consciousness that the structure of the universe was highly organized, that certain stars were of greater magnitude and brilliancy than the rest. I began to seek similes to help me to explain myself. Several such attempts are mentioned later in this note. Here again are certain analogies with some of the properties of infinite series. The reader must not be shocked at the idea of a number which is not increased by addition or multiplication, a series of infinite series, each one of which may be twice as long as its predecessor, and so on. There is no "mystical humbug" about this. As Mr. Russell shows, truths of this order are more certain than the most universally accepted axioms; in fact, many axioms accepted by the intellect of the average man are not true at all. But in order to appreciate these truths, it is necessary to educate the mind to thought of an order which is at first sight incompatible with rationality. I may here digress for a moment in order to demonstrate how this vision led directly to the understanding of the mechanism of certain phenomena which have hitherto been dismissed with a shrug of the shoulders as incomprehensible. "Example No. 1". I began to become aware of my own mental processes; I thought of my consciousness as the Commander-in-Chief of an army. There existed a staff of specialists to deal with various contingencies. There was an intelligence department to inform me of my environment. There was a council which determined the relative importance of the data presented to them — it required only a slight effort of imagination to think of this council as in debate; I could picture to myself some tactically brilliant proposal being vetoed by the Quarter-Master-General. It was only one step to dramatize the scene, and it flashed upon me in a moment that here was the explanation of 'double personality': that illusion was no more than a natural personification of internal conflict, just as the savage attributes consciousness to trees and rocks. "Example No. 2." While at Montauk I had put my sleeping bag to dry in the sun. When I went to take it in, I remarked, laughingly, "Your bedtime, Master Bag," as if it were a small boy and I its nurse. This was entirely frivolous, but the thought flashed into my mind that after all the bag was in one sense a part of myself. The two ideas came together with a snap, and I understood the machinery of a man's delusion that he is a teapot. These two examples may give some idea to the reader of the light which mystical attainment throws upon the details of the working of the human mind. Further developments of this vision emphasized the identity between the Universe and the mind. The search for similes deepened. I had a curious impression that the thing I was looking for was somehow obvious and familiar. Ultimately it burst upon me with fulminating conviction that the simile for which I was seeking was the nervous system. I exclaimed: "The mind is the nervous system," with all the enthusiasm of Archimedes, and it only dawned on me later, with a curious burst of laughter at my naiveté, that my great discovery amounted to a platitude. (Motta: But there is a great difference between intellectual awareness of a truth and actual experience of it. It is the difference between the man of letters and a sage.) From this I came to another discovery: I perceived why platitudes were stupid. The reason was that they represented the summing up of trains of thought, each of which was superb in every detail at one time. A platitude was like a wife after a few years; she has lost none of her charms, and yet one prefers some perfectly worthless woman. I now found myself able to retrace the paths of thought which ultimately come together in a platitude. I would start with some few simple ideas and develop them. Each stage in the process was like the joy of a young eagle soaring from height to height in ever increasing sunlight as dawn breaks, foaming, over the purple hem of the garment of ocean, and, when the many coloured rays of rose and gold and green gathered themselves together and melted into the orbed glory of the sun, with a rapture that shook the soul with unimaginable ecstasy, that sphere of rushing light was recognized as a common-place idea, accepted unquestioningly and treated with drab indifference because it had so long been assimilated as a natural and necessary part of the order of Nature. At first I was shocked and disgusted to discover that a series of brilliant researches should culminate in a commonplace. But I soon understood that what I had done was to live over again the triumphant career of conquering humanity; that I had experienced in my own person the succession of winged victories that had been sealed by a treaty of peace whose clauses might be summed up in some such trite expression as "Beauty depends upon form". It would be quite impracticable to go fully into the subject of this vision of the Star-Sponge, if only because its ramifications are omniform. It must suffice to reiterate that it has been the basis of most of my work for the last five years, and to remind the reader that the essential form of it is "Nothingness with twinkles".

(Motta: Readers should remember that at the time this was written the techniques of astronomic photography were still in their infancy. The Vision precedes by a decade, at least, the great telescopes. Modern photographies of the cosmos reflect notably the description given here.) I conclude this note, therefore, by quoting certain chapters of Liber Aleph, in which I have described various cognate forms of the vision.

De Gramine Sanctissimo Arabico.

Recall, o my Son, the Fable of the Hebrews, which they brought from the City of Babylon, how Nebuchadnezzar the Great King, being afflicted in his Spirit, did depart from among Men for Seven Years' Space, eating Grass as doth an Ox. Now this Ox is the Letter Aleph, and is that Atu of Thoth whose Number is Zero, and whose Name is Maat, Truth, or Maut, the Vulture, the All-Mother, being an image of Our Lady Nuith, but also it is called the Fool, who is Parsifal, 'der reine Thor', and so referreth to him that walketh in the Way of the Tao. Also, he is Harpocrates, the Child Horus, walking (as saith David, the Badawi that became King, in his Psalms) upon the Lion and the Dragon; that is, he is in Unity with his own Secret Nature, as I have shewn thee in my Word concerning the Sphinx. O my Son, yester Eve came the Spirit upon me that I also should eat the Grass of the Arabs, and by virtue of the Bewitchment thereof behold that which might be appointed for the Enlightenment of mine Eyes. Now then of this may I not speak, seeing that it involveth the Mystery of the Transcending of Time, so that in One hour of our Terrestrial Measure did I gather the Harvest of an Aeon, and in Ten Lives I could not declare it.

De quibusdam Mysteriis, quae vidi.

Yet even as a Man may set up a Memorial or Symbol to import Ten thousand Times Ten Thousand, so may I strive to inform thine Understanding by Hieroglyph. And here shall thine own Experience serve us, because a Token of Remembrance sufficeth him that is familiar with a Matter, which to him that knoweth it not should not be made manifest, no, not in an Year of Instruction. Here first then is one amid the Uncounted Wonders of that Vision: upon a Field Blacker and Richer than Velvet was the Sun of all Being, alone. Then about Him were little Crosses, Greek, overrunning the Heaven. These changed from Form to Form geometrical, Marvel devouring Marvel, a Thousand Times a Thousand in their Course and Sequence, until by their Movement was the Universe churned into the Quintessence of Light. Moreover at another Time did I behold All Things as Bubbles, iridescent and luminous, self- shining in every Colour and every Combination of Colour, Myriad pursuing Myriad until by their perpetual Beauty they exhausted the Virtue of my Mind to receive them, and whelmed it, so that I was fain to withdraw myself from the Burden of that Brilliance. Yet, o my Son, the Sum of all this ammounteth not to the Worth of one Dawn-Glimmer of Our True Vision of Holiness.

De quodam Modo Meditationis.

Now for the Chief of that which was granted unto me, it was the Apprehension of those willed Changes or Transmutations of the Mind which lead into Truth, being as Ladders unto Heaven, or so I called them at that Time, seeking for a Phrase to admonish the Scribe that attended on my Words, to grave a Balustre upon the Stele of my Working. But I make Effort in vein, o My Son, to record this Matter in Detail; for it is the Quality of the Grass to quicken the Operation of Thought it may be a Thousandfold, and moreover to figure each Step in Images complex and overpowering in Beauty, so that one hath not Time wherein to conceive, much less to utter, any Word for a Name of any one of them. Also, such was the Multiplicity of these Ladders, and their Equivalence, that the Memory holdeth no more any one of them, but only a certain Comprehension of the Method, wordless by Reason of its Subtility. Now therefore must I make by my Will a Concentration mighty and terrible of my Thought that I may bring forth this Mystery in Expression. For this Method is of Virtue and Profit; by it mayst thou come easily and with Delight to the Perfection of Truth, it is no Odds from what Thought thou makest the first Leap in thy Meditation, so that thou mayst know how every Road endeth in Monsalvat, and the Temple of the Sangraal.

Sequitur de hac re.

I believe generally, on Ground both of Theory and Experience, so little as I have, that a Man must first be Initiate, and established in Our Law, before he may use this Method. For in it is an Implication of our Secret Enlightenment, concerning the Universe, how its Nature is utterly Perfection. Now every Thought is a Separation, and the Medicine of that is to marry Each one with its Contradiction, as I have showed formerly in many Writings. And thou shalt clasp the one to the other with Vehemence of Spirit, swiftly as Light itself, that the Ecstasy be Spontaneous. So therefore it is expedient that thou have travelled already in this Path of Antithesis, knowning perfectly the Answer to every Griph or Problem, and thy Mind ready therewith. For by the Property of the Grass all passeth with Speed incalculable of Wit, and an Hesitation should confound thee, breaking down thy Ladder, and throwing back thy Mind to receive Impression from Environment, as at thy first Beginning. Verily, the Nature of this Method is Solution, and the Destruction of every Complexity by Explosion of Ecstasy, as every Element thereof is fulfilled by its Correlative, and is annihilated (since it loseth Separate Existence) in the Orgasm that is consummated within the Bed of thy Mind.

Sequitur de hac re.

Thou knowest right well, o my Son, how a Thought is imperfect in two Dimensions, being separate from its Contradiction, but also constrained in its Scope, because by that Contradiction we do not (commonly) complete the Universe, save only that of its Discourse. Thus if we contrast Health with Sickness, we include in their Sphere of Union no more than one Quality that may be predicted of all Things. Furthermore, it is for the most Part not easy to find or to formulate the True Contradiction of any Thought as a positive Idea, but only as a Formal Negation in vague Terms, so that the ready Answer is but Antithesis. Thus to White one putteth not the phrase "All that which is not White," for this is void, formless, and not clear, simple, and positive in Conception. But one answereth Black, for this hath an Image of his Significance. So then the Cohesion of Antitheticals destroyeth them only in Part, and one becometh instantly conscious of the Residue that is unsatisfied or unbalanced, whose Eidolon leapeth in thy Mind with Splendour and Joy unspeakable. Let not this deceive thee, for its Existence proveth its Imperfection, and thou must call forth its Mate, and destroy them by Love, as with the former. This Method is continuous, and proceedeth ever from the Gross to the Fine, and from the Particular to the General, dissolving all Things into the One Substance of Light.

Conclusio de hoc Modo Sanctitatis.

Learn now that Impressions of Sense have Opposites readily conceived, as long to short, or light to dark; and so with Emotions and Perceptions, as love to hate, or false to true; but the more Violent is the Antagonism, the more is it bound in Illusion, determined by Relation. Thus, the Word "long" hath no Meaning save it be referred to a Standard; but Love is not thus obscure, because Hate is its twin, partaking bountifully of a Common Nature therewith. Now, hear this: it was given unto me in my Visions of the Aethyrs, when I was in the Desert of Sahara, by Tolga, that above the Abyss, Contradiction is Unity, and that nothing could be true save by Virtue of the Contradiction that is contained in itself. Behold therefore, in this Method thou shalt come presently to Ideas of this Order, that include in themselves their own Contradiction, and have no Antithesis. Here then is thy Lever of Antinomy broken in thine Hand; yet, being in true Balance, thou mayst soar, passionate and eager, from Heaven to Heaven, by the Expansion of thine Idea, and its Exaltation, or Concentration as thou understandest by thy Studies in the Book of the Law, the Word thereof concerning Our Lady Nuith, and Hadith that is the Core of every Star. And this last Going upon thy Ladder is easy, if thou be truly Initiate, for the Momentum of thy Force in Transcendental Antithesis serveth to propel thee, and the Emancipation from the Fetters of Thought that thou hast won in that Praxis of Art maketh the Whirlpool and Gravitation of Truth of Competence to draw thee unto itself.

Philosophical Meditation is the establishment of a receptive state of mind for the purpose of attaining the prophetic or oracular mode of consciousness and by virtue of the Starry Gnosis that the Star-Sponge Vision provides the practice for1. It’s purpose for the Practicus is to learn to hear the voice of the Holy Guardian Angel or other spirits and even the Secret Chiefs through the Angel. Again, this practice is prepared after the Practicus has completed and performed his or her rewrite of Liber Sameck and Liber HHH and should not be undertaken until then.

The Practicus, having attained Hod and the plane of Peh is now moving towards Netzach; the last off-center move in the A.’.A.’. program under the Veil of Paroketh. Peh is the mouth or the oracular function. Note that halfway along with path, we come to the intersection with Samekh, which the Probationer is told to take on the performance of the Star Ruby. Samekh of course, reaches unto the Angel. And even in the performance of Liber Laiad, from Netzach the Angel is also reached, but in this case, energy is sent to the Angel.

It is with the consent of the Angel that all Magick is to be performed. This is the initial teaching of Our Order. And through the Angel comes contact with the Secret Chiefs, which the Zelator should have begun to surmise is more than a convenient abstraction. Liber Laiad approaches this work with the object of manifesting a healing elixir and from Hod & Netzach, the Priest & Priestess coagulate this Stone; placing the energy simultaneously above (the Angel by way of the Priestess) and below (the Stone/manifestation by way of the Priest). But here, we are concerned with speech, oracularity and the reception of prophecy.

We have seen in modern times, all sorts of attempts at this. Grant, Nema, Betieaux, Aquino and most particularly for our lineage, Greatly Honored Frater Zoel Dana Kaim/Chaim (with his DOzmt Index and EM transmissions) have shown success at this and we have their body of evidence by which to place faith in the successful execution of the work to be performed. Of course, as in the case of some of those mentioned above and others not mentioned, we have to be careful not to be seduced by the results of the work. Any prophecy received may and probably will have little more than a personal meaning. Indeed one’s first attempts at this are little more than practice at the Gnostic Dialogue that is the Knowledge & Conversation with one’s Holy Guardian Angel. It would be pompous to presuppose that any receptions would hold a generational or aeonic importance without applying the utmost scrutiny as Crowley did when examining Liber AL vel Legis.

At this point, we can solve the conundrum of Liber Samekh and Liber VIII. Why did Crowley have these two rites developed? And after the wide distribution of the former, is it that the latter is the one specifically indicated for the Grade of Dominus Liminis? It is because they serve two different functions. Liber Samekh is for the reception of the Voice of the Angel as we’ve been discussing so far in this document. Liber VIII is for the Union with the Angel that is the specific work of the Dominus Liminis.

In our present purpose, the first condition to be established by the mind is to become receptive and not negative in nature. Throughout the history of the Great White Brotherhood, Western Occultists have insisted most vehemently that the passive, negative meditation taught by many schools in the East and even some schools in the West that have been influenced by them is calamitously destructive to the ego and leads to the true death; dispersion. Since immortality and evolution requires the preservation of the individual’s consciousness, a perfect individuation can come only through the continued effort to hold the mind in a positive state. It is that perfected formulation of the ego that is the success of the Adeptus Minor.

Though the ego is technically destroyed upon crossing the Abyss, note that there is also a projection of that essence, which has been separated from the pile of dust, which crosses the Abyss and back down into the Ruach when one takes one’s place in the City of the Pyramids. This is the manner in which death is transcended while living. But be careful that you don’t presume such success in the Operation with the Angel. Remember that the Death Atu connects Netzach with Tiphareth. And we know of one who mistook this for the successful traversal of the Abyss. And note Crowley’s motto upon crossing the Abyss: V.V.V.V.V. ("By the force of truth, I, while living, have conquered the Universe"); truth requires the most careful scrutiny.

At this point in the development of the Aspirant, a lot of instruction has been given on the nature of Magickal Attack. From this, we can clearly see that negativeness also has its effects upon the physical body by its reflex action producing sickness and often dissolution. Such a disposition of one’s Khu most certainly opens oneself up to Magickal Attack. The careful fortifications of years of work that have led the Practicus to this point are one’s only armor. The investigations of the mind that will come for the Philosophus will aid in the scrutinization of this present Task.

A receptive condition of mind requires a quiet, listening, expectant attitude; not intense but patiently waiting for the object of one’s meditation, which in this case again, is the voice of the Holy Guardian Angel. Having placed oneself in this receptive condition, the desire body that is of the Ruach is influenced by the Invocation, which preceded it; Liber Samekh. Fortified by both the Cup and the Wand in as much as the Aspirant is in the Cup and projecting his or her Will, the H.G.A. represents the Universal Consciousness that is personified by the image of Adonai formulated from the Aethyr and projected as the Aspirant’s double; seated beside him or her.

All receptions must be tested by Qabalistic analysis. The mind is in an objective state and may not be able to tell the difference between impressions that it is sending to itself and those that are coming from the Angel. This can be mastered by repeated practice of Philosophical Meditation in conjunction with of course, Liber Samekh. Next, test the answer by your reason until your intuition has become fully awakened and can tell you that the reception has truly originated from your Angel. Note that it may be possible that you get no response at the time of the working and when you least expect it, a response floods your consciousness. This is the principal reason why a Magickal Retirement becomes necessary for this kind of working.

From Liber Samekh:

If the Adept is to be any wise conscious of his Angel it must be that some part of his mind is prepared to realise the rapture, and to express it to itself in one way or another. This involves the perfection of that part, its freedom from prejudice and the limitations of rationality so-called. For instance: one could not receive the illumination as to the nature of life which the doctrine of evolution should shed, if one is passionately persuaded that humanity is essentially not animal, or convinced that causality is repugnant to reason. The Adept must be ready for the utter destruction of his point of view on any subject, and even that of his innate conception of the forms and laws of thought.2 Thus he may find that his Angel consider his "business" or his "love" to be absurd trifles; also that human ideas of "time" are invalid, and human "laws" of logic applicable only to the relations between illusions.

Now the Angel will make contact with the Adept at any point that is sensitive to His influence. Such a point will naturally be one that is salient in the Adept's character, and also one that is, in the proper sense of the word, pure.3 Thus an artist, attuned to appreciate plastic beauty is likely to receive a visual impression of his Angel in a physical form which is sublimely quintessential of his ideal. A musician may be rapt away by majestic melodies such as he never hoped to hear. A philosopher may attain apprehension of tremendous truths, the solution of problems that had baffled him all his life.

Conformably with this doctrine, we read of illuminations experienced by simple-minded men, such as a workman who "saw God" and likened Him to "a quantity of little pears". Again, we know that ecstasy, impinging upon unbalanced minds, inflames the idolised idea, and produces fanatical faith fierce even to frenzy, with intolerance and insanely disordered energy which is yet so powerful as to effect the destinies of empires.

But the phenomena of the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel are a side issue; the essence of the Union is the intimacy. Their intimacy (or rather identity) is independent of all partial forms of expression; at its best it is therefore as inarticulate as Love.

The intensity of the consummation will more probably compel a sob or a cry, some natural physical gesture of animal sympathy with the spiritual spasm. This is to be criticised as incomplete self-control. Silence is nobler.

In any case the Adept must be in communion with his Angel, so that his Soul is suffused with sublimity, whether intelligible or not in terms of intellect. It is evident that the stress of such spiritual possession must tend to overwhelm the soul, especially at first. It actually suffers from the excess of its ecstasy, just as extreme love produces vertigo. The soul sinks and swoons. Such weakness is fatal alike to its enjoyment and its apprehension. "Wisdom says: be strong! Then canst thou bear more joy!" sayeth The Book of the Law.4

Love is the law, love under will.