Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
There is no more loathed a concept as the concept of the Bloody Sacrifice in Magick. It simply does not belong in the modern world. And for that matter, it was also removed from the ancient world with the onset of Christianity. The early Christians declared Jesus the last bloody sacrifice and the bloody sacrifice to end all bloody sacrifices. Crowley writes in Magick in Theory & Practice:
In the Hebrew religion we find the same thing inculcated. The first ethical lesson in the Bible is that the only sacrifice pleasing to the Lord is the sacrifice of blood; Abel, who made this, finding favour with the Lord, while Cain, who offered cabbages, was rather naturally considered a cheap sport. The idea recurs again and again. We have the sacrifice of the Passover, following on the story of Abraham’s being commanded to sacrifice his firstborn son, with the idea of the substitution of animal for human life. The annual ceremony of the two goats carries out this in perpetuity. And we see again the domination of this idea in the romance of Esther, where Haman and Mordecai are the two goats or gods; and ultimately in the presentation of the rite of Purim in Palestine, where Jesus and Barabbas happened to be the Goats in that particular year of which we hear so much, without agreement on the date.
Jesus was proclaimed to be the last bloody sacrifice; ending this practice with the establishment of a ‘new covenant’ with God. This was said to be foretold in the Book of Daniel:
9:20. Now while I was yet speaking, and praying, and confessing my sins, and the sins of my people of Israel, and presenting my supplications in the sight of my God, for the holy mountain of my God:
9:21. As I was yet speaking in prayer, behold the man, Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, flying swiftly, touched me at the time of the evening sacrifice.
9:22. And he instructed me, and spoke to me, and said: O Daniel, I am now come forth to teach thee, and that thou mightiest understand.
9:23. From the beginning of thy prayers the word came forth: and I am come to shew it to thee, because thou art a man of desires: therefore, do thou mark the word, and understand the vision.
9:24. Seventy weeks are shortened upon thy people, and upon thy holy city, that transgression may be finished, and sin may have an end, and iniquity may be abolished; and everlasting justice may be brought; and vision and prophecy may be fulfilled; and the Saint of saints may be anointed.
9:25. Know thou, therefore, and take notice: that from the going forth of the word, to build up Jerusalem again, unto Christ, the prince, there shall be seven weeks, and sixty-two weeks: and the street shall be built again, and the walls, in straightness of times.
9:26. And after sixty-two weeks Christ shall be slain: and the people that shall deny him shall not be his. And a people, with their leader, that shall come, shall destroy the city, and the sanctuary: and the end thereof shall be waste, and after the end of the war the appointed desolation.
9:27. And he shall confirm the covenant with many, in one week: and in the half of the week the victim and the sacrifice shall fail: and there shall be in the temple the abomination of desolation: and the desolation shall continue even to the consummation, and to the end.
The consummation and end of the temple and the efficacy of the rite of the bloody sacrifice; as if to suggest that its failure will be due to the failure of the victim that will prove in some way, unsuitable. Also, the failure of the sacrificial rite will cause the Lord to abandon his dwelling in the Holy of Holies and that there shall appear in the temple an “abomination of desolation.” Indeed any desecration of the temple would cause the Lord to abandon it. In Daniel 11:31, it is foretold that the Roman Emperor Antiochus would place the idol of Jupiter (said to be the “abomination of desolation”) in the “sanctuary of strength” and Daniel 12:11 refers to a time when the “continual sacrifice” will taken away and an “abomination of desolation” will be set up in its place.
Yet, for the emerging Christianity, the sacrificial lamb whose blood stained the temple was supplanted by the crucifixion of the savior as a rite to end this form of sacrifice, which is why it is their central mystery. Hence the spilling of his blood into the ground redeems the planet in a grand, vicarious atonement that eliminates any further need to please God in this manner. And Jesus becomes the object that is the “abomination” in Daniel’s prophecy; so that as the Son of God and ‘one in three’ with God (the mystery of the Trinity), his blood on the cross of life is the life of God raising we who are born of the Earth to a spiritual redemption that should restore humanity back to the Garden of Eden.
However, the vicarious nature of this rite robs the individual of the Gnosis of his or her divine nature, and forms the principal objection in Thelemic philosophy. And it is for this reason that the abomination of desolation of the Christians has been supplanted by an entirely different object; The Stele of Revealing. The abomination of desolation is explained as part of a larger teaching that starts with:
AL III.17: “Fear not at all; fear neither men nor Fates, nor gods, nor anything.
Money fear not, nor laughter of the folk folly,
nor any other power in heaven or upon the earth or under the earth.
Nu is your refuge as Hadit your light;
and I am the strength, force, vigour, of your arms.“
Crowley writes in his commentary:
The infinite unity is our refuge, since if our consciousness by in that unity, we shall care nothing for the friction of its component parts. And our light is the inmost point of illuminated consciousness.
And the great Red Triangle is as a shield, and its rays are far-darting arrows!
AL:III.18 “Mercy let be off: damn them who pity!
Kill and torture; spare not; be upon them!“
That “Mercy let be off” and the call against fear in AL:III.17, the petty ego s (“component parts”) and fractured nature of the psyche, with all its voices should be met with great force. These petty egos must be attacked without mercy or pity that they come under the yoke of the higher self. Mercy is also a desperate appeal to the king in ancient Jewish culture (similar to Habeas Corpus today); it being said that where there is mercy, there is God and where there is no mercy, there is no God. This should be read in light of Hadit’s proclamation in AL:II.23 “I am alone: there is no God where I am.“ So that having cast one’s star into the heavens; upon the attainment of Binah, we are embraced in the body of Nuit who is NOT, as in AL I.21: “With the God & the Adorer I am nothing: they do not see me. They are as upon the earth; I am Heaven, and there is no other God than me, and my lord Hadit.”
AL:III.19 “That stele they shall call the Abomination of Desolation;
count well its name, & it shall be to you as 718.“
Who are “they” in the above quote? They are the petty egos in our psyche that become united in the process of integration that is in Magickal terms, asar un nefer; being killed by that which is called “the inmost point of illuminated consciousness.” (This is reminiscent of what is said in Liber LXV:I.12-17) In his ‘New Comment’ to the verse, Crowley writes in his Magickal Diary at the Abbey of Thelema in Cefalu, Sicily (An XVII Sol in Gemini, Moon in Cancer, June 8, 1921 e.v.,):
…the actual name of the Stele, its ordinary name, the only name it ever had until it was called the “Stele of Revealing”, in the Book of the Law, itself, “its name” in the catalogue of the Museum at Boulak, was just this: “Stele 666″.
And so it was the Book of the Law that re-named Stele 666; calling it the Stele of Revealing—as if to give it a Magickal potency by the act of naming it. The stele was said to be “to you as” and given a subsequent value of 718. Crowley ultimately would identify with the Stele; itself an account of Ankh-af-na-Khonsu, the Prince-Priest, the Beast 666, as he discovered the Greek valuation of the word Stele:
I scribbled the word ΣΤΗΛΗ and added it up. The result is 546, when ΣΤ counts as 500, or 52, when ΣΤ (as F), is 6, a frequent usage, as in FΑΥΡΟΣ, whose number is thus 777.
Idly enough, my tired pen subtracted 52 from 718. I started up like a Magician who, conjuring Satan in vain till Faith’s lamp sputters, and Hope’s cloak is threadbare, gropes, heavily leaning on the staff of Love, blinking and droning along — and suddenly sees Him!
I did the sum over, this time with my pen like a panther. Too good to be true! I added my figures; yes, 718 past denial. I checked my value of Stele; 52, and no error. Then only I let myself yield to the storm of delight and wonder that rushed up from the Hand of Him that is throned in the Abyss of my Being; and I wrote in my Magical Record the Triumph for which I have warred for over seventeen years:
So therefore, to 666 (the solar beast, who is now, not slaughtered; there being no dying Sun at the end of the day), the stele; adding to 52 (a number of the Sun) became itself and him or 666+52, which equals 718. Crowley writes in his commentary to LXV:IV. 61 “I too am the Soul of the desert; thou shalt seek me yet again in the wilderness of sand.” —
The Angel declares Himself to be the Soul of the Desert. This remark may be taken generally as a reference to His attribution to the Path of Gimel which joins Kether and Tiphereth crossing the Abyss or Desert whose essential characteristic is the absence of a soul. See Liber 418, 10th Aethyr. Choronzon is defined as soullessness. Protean as are the forms of his appearance this quality is common to them all that there is no essence behind them. They are the Qliphoth (shells or husks), devoid of meaning or substance because mere categories uninformed by any individuality. Gimel incidentally means a camel `the ship of the desert’. Cf. Liber VII VII:22-23, and Cf, Liber 333 Chapter 73:
THE DEVIL, THE OSTRICH, AND THE ORPHAN CHILD.
Death rides the Camel of Initiation.
Thou humped and stiff-necked one that groanest in Thine Asana, death will relieve thee!
Bite not, Zelator dear, but bide! Ten days didst thou go with water in they belly? Thou shalt go twenty more with a fire brand at they rump!
Ay! All thine aspiration is to death: death is the crown of all thine aspiration. Triple is the cord of silver moonlight; it
shall hang thee, O Holy One, O hanged Man, O Camel-Termination-of-the-third-person-plural for thy multiplicity,
thou Ghost of a Non-Ego!
Could but Thy mother behold thee, O thou Unt! (Unt is Hinbdustani for camel. I.e., Would that BABALON might loon on thee with favour.)
The Infinite Snake Anata that surroundeth the Universe is but the Coffin-Worm!
V.V.V.V.V. (“While Living, I have conquered the Universe”) is the Motto of 666 in his Grade of Magister Templi. See Liber LXI 29-30. [29. Also he shall have made roses bloom thereon. 30. In the end he shall offer up the Vast Sacrifice, at the moment when the God licks up the flame upon the altar.] The function of the Magister Templi is to cause the desert to blossom by transmitting the Logos of the Aeon to those that are below the Abyss.
Apart from this general signification there is a personal allusion to 666 who is Alastor, the Spirit of Solitude. Foolish Rabbins have included this symbol in their list of demons. To the well-fed Pharisee as to the modern bourgeois nothing seems more frightful than solitude in which the mind is compelled to face reality. Such people fear nothing so much as the wilderness. The very legend of their tribe deals with the “land of milk and honey”, the Promised Land, the wish phantasm of the sensual.
Observe that this is merely a matter of point of view. V:59-62. What is to the smug Jew with his Oedipus complex the extreme abomination is to us a “land beyond honey and spice and all perfection,” though we call it `Naught.’ We consider them `weary ones’ and their ideal of comfort and civilisation as `old grey land’. De gustibus non est disputandum. But there is a criterion in this case by which we can determine whether we or they have chosen the better part. For it is evident that no condition of existence can be really satisfactory if its joy is liable to be disturbed. The question is whether its nature is harmonious with that of the Universe. For stability depends thereon. We should find consequently that the ideal of the bourgeois is repose and his conception of the Cosmos static. Now we find that this is not the case. The Universe is a constant flux. To desire repose is thus contrary to Nature herself. We accept this fact and define the Black Brothers directly as those who seek to check the course of events. The bourgeois is for us therefore a clumsy ignorant amateur Black Magician. Our idea of joy is unchecked free motion, and the stability of our joy is assured by our very conception of Yesod. We find the change the more fixed we are in our joy. (Refer to the 11th and 3rd Aethyrs, and several similar passages in the Holy Books.) We are guaranteedby the nature of things in themselves whereas the bourgeois is constantly upset by such trivial matters as the efflux of time and the rate of exchange.
The hardships of desert life and in particular its psychological horror indicate the correspondence emphatically.
Apart from this reference to Alastor the word again recalls the historic events of the 3rd of December, 1909 E.V. at Bou Saada when 666 ceremonial underwent the Initiation into the Grade of Magister Templi. This points the allusion. From this it is evident that the import of these verses is entirely practical. They are not to be taken in a mystical sense, but as definitely predicting a Great Magical Retirement, to be undertaken by 666 at some period in the future. There do not seem to be any clear indications as to the date of this journey, but its conditions are laid down with considerable precision and the actual place the `consummation’ is described in terms which should leave no room for doubt.
The student should refer to the accounts of such events as the finding of the Villa Caldarezzo if he would learn to interpret the instructions communicated by means of visions and oracles.
The psychological horror that must be confronted in order to take the leap into the Abyss is a horror that one must face alone, in desolation. It fulfills the dictum that states: Those who would save his life will lose it and those who would lose it shall be saved. The stele is a commemoration of the death of the Theban priest; Ankh-af-na-Khonsue, of whom, Crowley is said to be in Liber AL:I.36 (“My scribe Ankh-af-na-khonsu, the priest of the princes, shall not in one letter change this book; but lest there be folly, he shall comment thereupon by the wisdom of Ra-Hoor-Khu-it.”). Note also, AL:I.15 that also describes the prophet: ”Now ye shall know that the chosen priest & apostle of infinite space is the prince-priest the Beast; and in his woman called the Scarlet Woman is all power given. They shall gather my children into their fold: they shall bring the glory of the stars into the hearts of men.” And in Crowley’s commentary to Liber LXV:IV.59 “Thou dost faint, thou dost fail, thou scribe; cried the desolate Voice; but I have filled thee with a wine whose savour thou knowest not.”
The epithet ‘desolate’ attracts the attention immediately. The word is derivd from de-solare, de having an intensive force, so that desolate means ‘utterly alone’. The Hierophants have however been accustomed to communicate arcana in the presence of the profane by taking advantage of the similarity of sound between Sol and solus, especially in such parts of the declension as soli, which is genitive singular of sol and ablative plural of solus. The word desolate may therefore be intended to indicate the attribution of the Angel both to Kether (Solus) and to Tiphereth (Sol). The de may imply a reference to his relation with the Adept thorugh the Path of Daleth, Love, especially in view of the fact that His Word Thelema, 93, contains the idea of Agape, 93.
Being the “Angel [sic] to Kether,” the Supernals are implied, as Gimel leads first to the City of the Pyramids in Binah. Motta writes as a response to this:
While it is true that Initiates made use of Sola nd Solis as long as Latin was the courtesy-language in the West, the concept of God in a lonely place much precedes it. The Jews, ‘having the half, sensed this worship of God I high, lonely places. In the New Testament we find that “John the Baptist” called himself the “Voice in the Wilderness”. “Jesus” is said to have wandered int he desert. It is true that in this Aeon the Hermit is not to be found in the desert. Geographically speaking. For, “You can be lonely among men, too,” says the snake (the snake, no less!) in St. Exupery’s Little Prince.
There is a practical aspect to this whole question that had better be mentioned, and it consists of the Ordeal that might be called ‘Invoking Mercy’. Aspirants will occasionally try to blackmail Heru-ra-ha, or Aiwass, or 666, into ‘saving them’. Such Aspirants will deliberately get themselves into dangerous situations, into desperate straits, hoping for a last minute ‘rescue’ by “the Gods”. Such Aspirants usually die. When they do not die, they go insane. Let his be a warning. Heru-ra-ha shows no mercy. What He has to say to anybody in a desperate situation is this: “Success is your proof; courage is your armour. There is no law beyond Do what thou wilt.”
Or, in other words: Sink or swim.
Which brings us to Mr. Heschel’s very simple assertion of Jewish orthodox theology: “Wherever God is present, there is mercy. Wherever there is no mercy, God is absent and we are forsaken.”
It strikes at once any mind that has the seed of Thelemic endeavor that God can never be absent, since God is omnipresent. If God abstains from showing ‘mercy’, then, God must have a reason. And God being ‘good’, the reason must be a good reason. Sometimes a living father will refuse candy to a pleading child. And the mother bird pecks her adult offspring if they try to come back into the nest.
For fifteen hundred years, the Jews—the Chosen People, no less—prayed God for deliverance. For fifteen hundred years they prayed God to let them go back to Palestine. For fifteen hundred years they prayed God for the Messiah.
For fifteen hundred years the Jews were persecuted. For fifteen hundred years they were kept out of Palestine. For fifteen hundred years every nation had a Messiah of some sort.
Then came the Messiah of all, with a Law for all. The Chosen People at once sensed His Import, and indignantly denied His Message. Six million of them died without mercy. Then they stopped asking God for mercy and took matters in their own hands. They are back in Palestine. As “Promised Lands” go, it is no treat. But using their heads and their hands, they are raising flowers in the desert.
Still, old-line Rabbins will hardly recognize the Messiah. That is quite all right, gentlemen; we don’t need you; but you need us. And the true seers, the true poets, the true thinkers among you are waking up. Thelemites are of all cultures and of all races. Your young men and young women are beginning to sing new songs. If you don’t believe me, read the end of “Gideon”, that beautiful play by Paddy Chayefski.
We come at last to the move why the stele 666 shall be called—by the outcast and th unfit—the Abomination of Desolation. “Because of the fall of Because, that the is not there again.” The “Black Brother” makes himself a false crown of the horror of the Abyss, a crown which he places in Daath; but he abides in Chesed. Chesed is the Crowned King, Jupiter, the Lord of the Gods. It is to him that the profane and low initiates apply for mercy. He is the Father Image—the most insidious of all forms of Because, because it will assume any shape you may wish to worship. The mind is protean.
Readers are here referred to our Commentaries to AL II, vv. 27, 28, 32, 52, and to our comment on Joseph Smith, at the end of A.C.’s Commentary to verse 73.
Why does A.C. speak o the “smug Jew, with his Oedipus complex”? Because the story of Oedipus is symbolical of High Initiation. In order to become a Man—the riddle of the Sphinx—the boy Oedipus must kill his father (destroy the Father Image in his own psyche) and possess his mother (destroy the Mother Image in his own psyche). Readers will please notice that the whole story of Oedipus is a veil of the Mysteries of Eleusis.
Serious students are referred to LXV, v. 34-40; VII, vii, 22-24; CCCXXXIII, 26, and the Commentary thereon by A.C.
718 is the formula of Resurrection, which we can see applies to both major initiations; the K&C at Tiphareth and the MT at Binah. 718 is also the value of “six” (Tiphareth and Atu VI: The Lovers) in the English Qabalah. This formula is revealed in the Stele of Revealing ; the object being the only one of veneration in Liber AL. This indicates that the new formula is not one of the Dying God; but of a living God that destroys death. (cf. AL:II.23 “I am alone: there is no God where I am.“)
And with the attainment of the Grade of Magister Templi (the attainment of Binah); having crossed the Abyss, one is said to cast one’s star into the heavens to be embraced in the body of Nuit who is NOT (AL I.21: “With the God & the Adorer I am nothing: they do not see me. They are as upon the earth; I am Heaven, and there is no other God than me, and my lord Hadit.“). This is the desolation caused by the Formula of Resurrection. But it is the next verse explains that the “fall of Because” is the reason why the Stele of Revealing is the abomination of desolation:
“Why? Because of the fall of Because, that he is not there again.“
Motta writes in his commentary to the verse:
[This verse] should be read in connection with verses 18 and 19, because itis the explanation of them.
Why must “Mercy” “be off”? Why shall the stele be called “Abomination of Desolation”? What is “the fall of Because”?
We transcribe here a letter published in Newsweek, on February 26, 1968:
“At the service held at Arlington National Cemetery, I recited in Hebrew the opening words of Psalm 22, “Eli, eli, Lammah asavthani” (“My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me”), not “Eli, Eli, Lama Sabachthani,” which is an Aramaic transliteration.
“According to (Jewish) tradition, this psalm, a cry of supreme anguish, is customarily recited when one is about to make an appeal to a Head of State. Queen Esther recited it when she entered the court of the King to appeal to him for mercy. Wherever God is present, there is mercy. Wherever there is no mercy, God is absent and we are forsaken.”—Abraham Joshua Heschel
Jewish Theological Seminary, New York City
Serious students should remember the description of the initiation of the Master of the Temple in Liber 418. They should remember the Commentaries to AL II, vv. 5, 7, 8, 21, 23, 48, 49, 59, 60.
We quote now three passages from The Case of the Drowsy Mosquito, by Mr. Erle Stanley Gardner (Copyright 1943 Erle Stanley Gardner, William Morow and Co., Inc.):
“The desert is the best mother a man ever had. You do what she wants you to and she’s kind to you. She trains you to do your thinking for yourself, too, and that’s good; but just you forget about her laws, and you’ve got trouble on your hands—lots of trouble. A man don’t make a mistake only once in the desert.”
“Lots of people hate the desert. That’s because they’re really afraid of it. They’re afraid of being left alone with themselves. There’s lots of people you could put down in the middle of the desert, go away and leave ‘e for a week, and come back and find them completely crazy. I’ve seen it happen. Man sprained his ankle once, couldn’t travel. The party he was with had to go right on, but they left him with lots of water and food, plenty of matches, lots of wood. All he had to do was to just keep quiet for three or four days until he got so he could travel. He showed up in civilization just about half crazy. His ankle was all inflamed, said he’d rather have lost the whole leg than to have stayed on in that desert for another ten minutes.”
“I think it’s beautiful,” Velma Starler said.
“Sure it’s beautiful,” Salty agreed. “People get scared of it because out here they’re alone with their Maker. Some people can’t stand that.”
“You know, folks, the desert is the kindest mother a man ever had, because she’s so cruel. Cruelty makes you careful and self-reliant, and that’s what the desert wants. She don’t want any softies hanging around. Sometimes, when she’s blistering hot and the light burns your eyes out, you see only the cruelty. But then, along this time of day, she smiles back at you and tell you her cruelty is really kindness, and you can see it form her viewpoint—and it’s the right viewpoint.”
For more on the Abomination of Desolation, we look to Liber 418. In the 25th Aethyr, Crowley meets the Beast:
Now there comes an Angel with bright wings, that is the Angel of the 25th Aire. And all the aire is a dark olive about him, like an alexandrite stone. He bears a pitcher or amphora. And now there comes another Angel upon a white horse, and yet again another Angel upon a black bull. And now there comes a lion and swallows the two latter angels up. The first angel goes to the lion and closes his mouth. And behind them are arrayed a great company of Angels with silver spears, like a forest. And the Angel says: Blow, all ye trumpets, for I will loose my hands from the mouth of the lion, and his roaring shall enkindle the worlds.
Then the trumpets blow, and the wind rises and whistles terribly. It is a blue wind with silver specks; and it blows through the whole Aethyr. But through it one perceives the lion, which has become as a raging flame.
And he roareth in an unknown tongue. But this is the interpretation thereof: Let the stars be burnt up in the fire of my nostrils! Let all the gods and the archangels and the angels and the spirits that are on the earth, and above the earth, and below the earth, that are in all the heavens and in all the hells, let them be as motes dancing in the beam of mine eye!
I am he that swalloweth up death and victory. I have slain the crowned goat, and drunk up the great sea. Like the ash of dried leaves the worlds are blown before me. Thou hast passed by me, and thou hast not known me. Woe unto thee, that I have not devoured thee altogether!
On my head is the crown, 419 rays far-darting. And my body is the body of the Snake, and my soul is the soul of the Crowned Child. Though an Angel in white robes leadeth me, who shall ride upon me but the Woman of Abominations? Who is the Beast? Am not I one more than he? In his hand is a sword that is a book. In his hand is a spear that is a cup of fornication. Upon his mouth is set the great and terrible seal. And he hath the secret of V. His ten horns spring from five points, and his eight heads are as the charioteer of the West. Thus doth the fire of the sun temper the spear of Mars, and thus shall he be worshipped, as the warrior lord of the sun. Yet in him is the woman that devoureth with her water all the fire of God.
The lion (Beast) that proclaims to have “slain the crowned goat” is a direct reference to the sacrificial rite in the Jewish temple. And the “Woman of Abominations” is clearly a reference to Babalon. In other words, she is connected with the formula of the Stele of Revealing and of Resurrection, which is why she is a Guardian of the Abyss. And in the 21st Aethyr Crowley writes:
A mighty wind rolls through all the Aethyr; there is a sense of absolute emptiness; no colour, no form, no substance. Only now and then there seem as it were, the shadows of great angels, swept along. No sound; there is something very remorseless about the wind, passionless, that is very terrible. In a way, it is nerve-shaking. It seems as if something kept on trying to open behind the wind, and just as it is about to open, the effort is exhausted. The wind is not cold or hot; there is no sense of any kind connected with it. One does not even feel it, for one is standing in front of it.
Now, the thing opens behind, just for a second, and I catch a glimpse of an avenue of pillars, and at the end a throne, supported by sphinxes. All this is black marble.
Now I seem to have gone through the wind, and to be standing before the throne; but he that sitteth thereon is invisible. Yet it is from him that all this desolation proceeds.
He is trying to make me understand by putting tastes in my mouth, very rapidly one after the other. Salt, honey, sugar, assafoetida, bitumen, honey again, some taste that I don’t know at all; garlic, something very bitter like nux vomica, another taste, still more bitter; lemon, cloves, rose-leaves, honey again; the juice of some plant, like a dandelion, I think; honey again, salt, a taste something like phosphorus, honey, laurel, a very unpleasant taste which I don’t know, coffee, then a burning taste, then a sour taste that I don’t know. All these tastes issue from his eyes; he _signals_them.
I can see his eyes now. They are very round, with perfectly black pupils, perfectly white iris, and the cornea pale blue. The sense of desolation is so acute that I keep on trying to get away from the vision.
I told him that I could not understand his taste-language, so instead he set up a humming very much like a big electric plant with dynamos going.
Now the atmosphere is deep night-blue; and by the power of that atmosphere, the pillars kindle to a dull glowing crimson, and the throne is a dull, ruddy gold. And now, through the humming, come very clear, bell-like notes, and farther still a muttering, like that of a gathering storm.
And now I hear the meaning of the muttering: I am he who was before the beginning, and in my desolation I cried aloud, saying, let me behold my countenance in the concave of the abyss. And I beheld, and lo! in the darkness of the abyss my countenance was black, and empty, and distorted, that was (once) invisible and pure.
Then I closed mine eye, that I might not behold it, and for this was it fixed. Now it is written that one glance of mine eye shall destroy it. And mine eye I dare not open, because of the foulness of the vision.
herefore do I gaze with these two eyes throughout the aeon. Is there not one of all my adepts that shall come unto me, and cut off mine eyelids, that I may behold and destroy?
Now I take a dagger, and, searching out his third eye, seek to cut off the eye-lids, but they are of adamant. And the edge of the dagger is turned.
And tears drop from his eyes, and there is a mournful voice: So it hath been ever: so must it ever be! Though thou hast the strength of five bulls, thou shalt not avail in this.
And I said to him: Who shall avail? And he answered me: I know not. But the dagger of penance thou shalt temper seven times, afflicting the seven courses of thy soul. And thou shalt sharpen its edge seven times by the seven ordeals.
(One keeps on looking round to try to find something else because of the terror of it. But nothing changes at all. Nothing but the empty throne, and the eyes, and the avenue of pillars!)
And I said to him: O thou that art the first countenance before time; thou of whom it is written that “He, God, is one; He is the eternal one, without equal, son or companion. Nothing shall stand before His face”; all we have heard of thine infinite glory and holiness, of thy beauty and majesty, and behold! there is nothing but this abomination of desolation.
It is in the desert of the Abyss that one faces the abomination of desolation. In this sense, immortality is a forward and evolutionary motion that imitates the involutionary nature of the godhead. And as such, is an abomination to the Lord, of whom before him is desolation (the shame of Khem in cap. 2 of Liber LXV) in its outpouring as it seeks not to return, but to continue forward. (cf. Introduction to Thelemic Qabalah Part I) And in the 16th Aethyr, Crowley writes:
Blessing unto the name of the Beast, for he hath let loose a mighty flood of fire from his manhood, and from his womanhood hath he let loose a mighty flood of water. Every thought of his mind is as a tempest that uprooteth the great trees of the earth, and shaketh the mountains thereof. And the throne of his spirit is a mighty throne of madness and desolation, so that they that look upon it shall cry: Behold the abomination!
That the spirit becomes desolately alone it is held to be an abomination as it is without blood; without life in the desert of the Abyss. The madness is the path of the Fool that leads to Kether; it being the culmination of the initiation at Binah, as noted above. And in the 12th Aethyr, Crowley writes:
The charioteer speaks in a low, solemn voice, awe-inspiring, like a large and very distant bell: Let him look upon the cup whose blood is mingled therein, for the wine of the cup is the blood of the saints. Glory unto the Scarlet Woman, Babalon the Mother of Abominations, that rideth upon the Beast, for she hath spilt their blood in every corner of the earth and lo! she hath mingled it in the cup of her whoredom.
With the breath of her kisses hath she fermented it, and it hath become the wine of the Sacrament, the wine of the Sabbath; and in the Holy Assembly hath she poured it out for her worshippers, and they had become drunken thereon, so that face to face they beheld my Father. Thus are they made worthy to become partakers of the Mystery of this holy vessel, for the blood is the life. So sitteth she from age to age, and the righteous are never weary of her kisses, and by her murders and fornications she seduceth the world. Therein is manifested the glory of my Father, who is truth.
(This wine is such that its virtue radiateth through the cup, and I reel under the intoxication of it. And every thought is destroyed by it. It abideth alone, and its name is Compassion. I understand by “Compassion,” the sacrament of suffering, partaken by the true worshippers of the Highest. And it is an ecstasy in which there is no trace of pain. Its passivity (=passion) is like the giving-up of the self to the beloved.)
The voice continues: This is the Mystery of Babylon, the Mother of abominations, and this is the mystery of her adulteries, for she hath yielded up herself to everything that liveth, and hath become a partaker in its mystery. And because she hath made herself the servant of each, therefore is she become the mistress of all. Not as yet canst thou comprehend her glory.
Beautiful art thou, O Babylon, and desirable, for thou hast given thyself to everything that liveth, and thy weakness hath subdued their strength. For in that union thou didst _understand_. Therefore art thou called Understanding, O Babylon, Lady of the Night!
This is that which is written, “O my God, in one last rapture let me attain to the union with the many.” For she is Love, and her love is one, and she hath divided the one love into infinite loves, and each love is one, and equal to The One, and therefore is she passed “from the assembly and the law and the enlightenment unto the anarchy of solitude and darkness. For ever thus must she veil the brilliance of Her Self.”
O Babylon, Babylon, thou mighty Mother, that ridest upon the crownd
beast, let me be drunken upon the wine of thy fornications; let thy kisses
wanton me unto death, that even I, thy cup-bearer, may _understand_.
Now, through the ruddy glow of the cup, I may perceive far above, and infinitely great, the vision of Babylon. And the Beast whereon she rideth is the Lord of the City of the Pyramids, that I beheld in the fourteenth Aethyr.
Now that is gone in the glow of the cup, and the Angel saith: Not as yet mayest thou understand the mystery of the Beast, for it pertaineth not unto the mystery of this Aire, and few that are new-born unto Understanding are capable thereof.
The cup glows ever brighter and fierier. All my sense is unsteady, being smitten with ecstasy.
And the Angel sayeth: Blessed are the saints, that their blood is mingled in the cup, and can never be separate any more. For Babylon the Beautiful, the Mother of abominations, hath sworn by her holy cteis, whereof every point is a pang, that she will not rest from her adulteries until the blood of everything that liveth is gathered therein, and the wine thereof laid up and matured and consecrated, and worthy to gladden the heart of my Father. For my Father is weary with the stress of eld, and cometh not to her bed. Yet shall this perfect wine be the quintessence, and the elixir, and by the draught thereof shall he renew his youth; and so shall it be eternally, as age by age the worlds do dissolve and change, and the universe unfoldeth itself as a Rose, and shutteth itself up as the Cross that is bent into the cube.
And this is the comedy of Pan, that is played at night in the thick forest. And this is the mystery of Dionysus Zagreus, that is celebrated upon the holy mountain of Kithairon. And this is the secret of the brothers of the Rosy Cross; and this is the heart of the ritual that is accomplished in the Vault of the Adepts that is hidden in the Mountain of the Caverns, even the Holy Mountain Abiegnus.
And this is the meaning of the Supper of the Passover, the spilling of the blood of the Lamb being a ritual of the Dark Brothers, for they have sealed up the Pylon with blood, lest the Angel of Death should enter therein. Thus do they shut themselves off from the company of the saints. Thus do they keep themselves from compassion and from understanding. Accursed are they, for they shut up their blood in their heart.
They keep themselves from the kisses of my Mother Babylon, and in their lonely fortresses they pray to the false moon. And they bind themselves together with an oath, and with a great curse. And of their malice they conspire together, and they have power, and mastery, and in their cauldrons do they brew the harsh wine of delusion, mingled with the poison of their selfishness.
Thus they make war upon the Holy One, sending forth their delusion upon men, and upon everything that liveth. So that their false compassion is called compassion, and their false understanding is called understanding, for this is their most potent spell.
Yet of their own poison do they perish, and in their lonely fortresses shall they be eaten up by Time that hath cheated them to serve him, and by the mighty devil Choronzon, their master, whose name is the Second Death, for the blood that they have sprinkled on their Pylon, that is a bar against the Angel Death, is the key by which he entereth in.
The Angel sayeth: And this is the word of double power in the voice of the Master, wherein the Five interpenetrateth the Six. This is its secret interpretation that may not be understood, save only of _them that understand_. And for this is the Key of the Pylon of Power, because there
is no power that may endure, save only the power that descendeth in this my chariot from Babylon, the city of Fifty Gates, the Gate of the God On ilabab]. Moreover is On the Key of the Vault that is 120. So also do the Majesty and the Beauty derive from the Supernal Wisdom.
But this is a mystery utterly beyond thine understanding. For Wisdom is the Man, and Understanding the Woman, and not until thou hast perfectly understood canst thou begin to be wise. But I reveal unto thee a mystery of the Aethyrs, that not only are they bound up with the Sephiroth, but also with the Paths. Now, the plane of the Aethyrs interpenetrateth and surroundeth the universe wherein the Sephiroth are established, and therefore is the order of the Aethyrs not the order of the Tree of Life. And only in a few places do they coincide. But the knowledge of the Aethyrs is deeper than the knowledge of the Sephiroth, for that in the Aethyrs is the knowledge of the Aeons, and of Θελημα. And to each shall it be given according to his capacity. (He has been saying certain secret things to the unconscious mind of the seer, of a personal nature.)
Now a voice comes from without: And lo! I saw you to the end.
All of one’s blood should be poured into the Cup of Babalon; robbing the Hebrew temple and bypassing the Christian Jesus; that one makes one’s own sacrament and reaches God; even before the Gnostic Jesus as he stated in the Gospel of Thomas and as Jesus is only about Tiphareth; not about Binah. And the final statement from the voice that states: “I saw you to the end” becomes the completion of what was promised originally in Daniel: “…and there shall be in the temple the abomination of desolation: and the desolation shall continue even to the consummation, and to the end.”
The temple is the vacated physical body; the consummation, the union with Tiphareth and the end, the attainment of Binah in the City of the Pyramids. The final proclamation from “a voice that comes without” is that “I saw you to the end” where Nuit’s manifestation (the City of the Pyramids and infinite stars) exists and Hadit is hidden:
AL:I.66 ”The Manifestation of Nuit is at an end.“
AL:II.79 ”The end of the hiding of Hadit; and blessing & worship to the prophet of the lovely Star!“
Love is the law, love under will.