Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Ceremonial Magick, The Training For Meditation: Preliminary Remarks

December 29, 2009 by  
Filed under Evidence

Source: http://www.hermetic.com/crowley/libers/L_004p1n2.txt

CEREMONIAL MAGICK,1

THE TRAINING FOR MEDITATION

PRELIMINARY REMARKS

HITHERTO we have spoken only of the mystic path; and we have kept particularly to the practical exoteric side of it. Such difficulties as we have mentioned have been purely natural obstacles. For example, the great question of the surrender of the self, which bulks so largely in most mystical treatises, has not been referred to at all. We have said only what a man must do; we have not considered at all what that doing may involve. The rebellion of the will against the terrible discipline of meditation has not been discussed; one may now devote a few words to it.

There is no limit to what theologians call “wickedness.” Only by experience can the student discover the ingenuity of the mind in trying to escape from control. He is perfectly safe so long as he sticks to meditation, doing no more and no less than that which we have prescribed; but the mind will probably not let him remain in that simplicity. This fact is the root of all the legends about the “Saint” being tempted by the ‘”Devil.” Consider the parable of Christ in the Wilderness, where he is tempted to use his magical power, to do anything but the thing that should be done. These attacks on the will are as bad as the thoughts which intrude upon Dharana. It would almost seem as if one could not succesfully practice meditation until the will had become so strong that no force in the Universe could either bend or break it. Before concentrating the lower principle, the mind, one must concentrate the higher principle, the Will. Failure to understand this has destroyed the value of all attempts to teach “Yoga,” “Menticulture,” “New Thought,” and the like.

There are method of training the will, by which it is easy to check one’s progress.

Every one knows the force of habit. Every one knows that if you keep on acting in a particular way, that action becomes easier, and at last absolutely natural.

All religions have devised practices for this purpose. If you keep on praying with your lips long enough, you will one day find yourself praying in your heart.

The whole question has been threshed out and organized {53} by wise men of old; they have made a Science of Life complete and perfect; and they have given to it the name of MAGICK> It is the chief secret of the Ancients, and if the keys have never been actually lost, they have certainly been little used. <>

Again, the confusion of thought caused by the ignorance of the people who did not understand it has discredited the whole subject. It is now our task to re-establish this science in its perfection.

To do this we must criticize the Authorities; some of them have made it too complex, others have completely failed in such simple matters as coherence. Many of the writers are empirics, still more mere scribes, while by far the largest class of all is composed of stupid charlatans.
We shall consider a simple form of magick, harmonized from many systems old and new, describing the various weapons of the Magician and the furniture of his temple. We shall explain to what each really corresponds, and discuss the construction and the use of everything.

The Magician works in a “Temple;” the Universe, which is (be it remembered!) conterminous with himself.<> In this temple a “Circle” is drawn upon the floor for the limitation of his working. This circle is protected by divine names, the influences on which he relies to keep out hostile thoughts. Within the circle stands an “Altar”, the solid basis on which he works, the foundation of all. Upon the Altar are his “Wand,” “Cup,” “Sword,” and “Pantacle,” to represent his Will, his Understanding, his Reason, and the lower parts of his being, respectively. On the Altar, too, is a phial of “Oil,” surrounded by a “Scourge,” a “Dagger,” and a “Chain,” while above the Altar hangs a “Lamp.” The Magician wears a “Crown,” a single “Robe,” and a “Lamen,” and he bears a “Book” of Conjurations and a “Bell.”

The oil consecrates everything that is touched with it; it is his aspiration; all acts performed in accordance with that are holy. The scourge tortures him; the dagger wounds him; the chain binds him. It is by virtue of these three that his aspiration remains pure, and is able to consecrate all other things. He wears a crown to affirm his lordship, his divinity; a robe to symbolize silence, and a lamen to declare his work. The book of spells or conjurations is his magical record, his Karma. In the East is the “Magick Fire,” in which all burns up at last.<>

We will now consider each of these matters in detail.

  1. The old spelling MAGICK has been adopted throughout in order to distinguish the Science of the Magi from all its counterfeits.

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