KONX OM PAX
Essays In Light
by Aleister Crowley
LONDON AND FELLING-ON-TYNE
WALTER SCOTT PUBLISHING CO.
THIS ELECTRONIC EDITION
PRODUCED BY CELEPHAIS PRESS
JANUARY 2003 E.V.
DEDICATION AND COUNTER-DEDICATION
WITH A NOTE ON OBSCURITY
WHEN the Neophyte enters upon the Path of Evil, there confronteth
him the great angel Samael. In vain he saith that he is come from
between the pillars and seeketh the hidden Knowledge in the Name of
Adonai; the angel answers him:
“I am the Prince of Darkness and of
Evil. The wicked and rebellious man gazeth upon the face of Nature,
and findeth therein naught but terror and obscurity; unto him it is
but the darkness of the darkness, and he is but as a drunken man
groping in the dark. Return! for thou canst not pass by.”
Equally, when the Neophyte enters upon the Path of Good, doth the
great angel Metatron arrest him with the words: “I am the angel of
the Presence divine. The wise man gazeth upon the material world,
and he beholdeth therein the luminous image of the Creator. Not as
yet canst thou bear the dazzling brilliance of that Light. Return!
for thou canst not pass by!” These commonplaces of the bastard
mysticism of mountebacks, crude and imbecile as they seem to one who
has “passed by,” are curiously apt to mine intention of the moment.
Essays in Light! I hear somebody exclaim. The man was obscure enough
before, but now . . . !!! Very like. ‘Tis the first time I have
written careless of lucidity. By the usual paradox, I may expect
some solemn fool to assert that nothing ever was so plain, and (with
a little luck) the rest of the solemn fools—brief, all England—to
follow them: till Konx om Pax replace Reading without Tears in every
Yet, suppose this were to happen, how would the world be advanced?
In no wise. For the brilliance wherein we walk will be but thick
darkness to all those who have no become so blind that light and
darkness are akin. The light wherein I write is not the light of
reason; it is not the darkness of unreason; it is the L.V.X. of that
which, first mastering and then transcending the reason, illumines
all the darkness caused by the interference of the opposite waves of
thought; not by destroying their balance, and thereby showing a
false and partial light, but by overleaping their limitations.
Let not the pedant exclaim with Newman that I avoid the Scylla of Ay
and the Charybdis of Nay by the Straits of No-meaning.
A thing is not necessarity A or not-A. It may be outside the
universe of discourse wherein A and not-A exist. It is absurd to say
of Virtue that it is green or not-green; for Virtue has nothing to
do with colour. It is one of the most suggestive definitions of KONX—the
LVX of the Bretheren of the Rosy Cross—that is transcends all the
possible pairs of opposites. Nor does this sound nonsensical to
those who are acquainted with That LVX. But to those who do not, it
must (I fear) remain as obscure and ridiculous as spherical
trigonometry to the inhabitants of Flatland.
Kant and others have remarked on the similarity of our hands and
feet, and the impossibility of one replacing its fellow in ordinary
3-dimensional space. This to them suggested a space in which they
can be made to coincide.
Similarly, a constant equilibration of all imaginable opposites will
suggest to us a world in which they are truly one; whence to that
world itself is but the shortest step.
All our contradictories are co-ordinate curves; they are on opposite
sides of the axis, but otherwise are precisely similar, just as in
the case of the hands quoted above. If they were not similar, they
would no longer be contradictories, but contraries.
People who begin to think for themselves usually fall into the error
of contradicting normal ideas as taught by their seniors.
Thus, one learns that marriage is right and adultery wrong. One
thinks, and finds the beauty of the latter, the sordidity of the
former; perhaps ending, with a little wit, in defending marriage
because the delights of adultery are impossible without it. This
attitude is good enough, indeed, while one is talking to the
grovellers; but what educates the clergy (since miracles still
happen) is a truism to an actress.
If in the jungle two elephants fight lustily, he shall do little who
champions either; rather snare both, tame both, ride both, as the
charioteer of the Tarot with the opposing sphinxes, black and white.
Nor, O man, believe thou that finality is anywhere to be reached in
words. I balance A and not-A (a), and finding both false, both true,
transcend with B. But whatever B is, it is as false and true as b;
we reach C. So from C to c, and for ever. Not, as Hegel thought,
until we reach an idea in which no seed of self-contradiction lurks;
for that can never be.
The thinkable is false, then? (once more!) Yea, but equally it is
So also the old mystics were right who saw in every phenomenon a
dog-faced demon apt only to seduce the soul from the sacred mystery;
right, too, they who “interpret every phenomenon as a particular
dealing of God with the soul.” Yet the latter is the higher formula;
the narrowing of the Magic Circle to a point is an easier task than
the destruction of that circle (and all both within and without) by
the inrush of a higher dimension.
Alas! but either way is the Last Step; lucky are most of us if only
we can formulate some circle—any circle!
Nor avails it, O man, to transcend the reason by ignoring it. Thou
must pass through the fire to Adonai-Melekh, child of earth! Thou
canst not slip by on either side. Only when the Destruction of the
Babel-Tower of Reason comes as an actual catastrophe of thy career
canst thou escape from the ruins. Otherwise, what answer hast thou
(O perfect mystic!) to whom the doctor speaks of men
“self-hypnotized into cataleptic trances,” to whom the historian
denies thy Christ or Mahomet, to whom the ethicist flings his snarls
of “anti-social”; whom, indeed, all men, thyself the foremost,
charge with insanity, with ignorance, with error?
Naught but an infinite skepsis saves thee here. Do not defend thy
Christ; attack the place of thine opponent; challenge all his
premisses, dispute the validity of his most deepest axioms, impugn
his sanity, doubt his existence!
On thine own formula he is but a demon dog-faces, or God.
Destroy him, or be he: that is enough; there is no more to say.
Dear children of earth, long have you dwelt in darkness; quit the
night and seek the
day! Seek not to imitate the language of the wise; ‘tis easy. There
is no royal road to illumination; that which I say in Light is true
to the children of Light; to them of darkness is a confusion and a
Knew ye what agony the nimble acuteness of mine own dialectic was to
me, ye would not envy me, O dullards! For I fear ever, lest I be
replacing truth of thought by mere expertness of mechanic skill.
Then, seeing the thought as fear, I quench it masterly. Whence rise
other evil things; the thought “Is this too mere trickery of the
mind?” “Is this too cowardice?” and others by the score.
So answering one by one, and one and all, reason breaks down, and
either deep sleep loosens all my limbs, and darkness falls upon my
soul, or else—
But you know what else, dear children of the Light.
To you, Konx Om Pax—Light in Extension—is your natural home. You
have written these essays by my pen; not on you need I bestow them;
To all and every person
in the whole world
who is without the Pale of the Order;
and even to Initiates
who are not in possession of the Password
for the time being;
and to all those who have resigned
or been expelled
this Revelation of the Arcana
which are in the
Adytum of God-nourished Silence.
While, on the other hand:
St. Paul spoke up on the Hill of Mars
To the empty-headed Athenians;
But I would rather talk to the stars
Than to empty-headed Athenians;
It’s only too easy to form a cult,
To cry a crusade with “Deus Vult”—
But you won’t get much of a good result
From empty-headed Athenians.
The people of London much resemble
Those empty-headed Athenians.
I could very easily make them tremble,
Those empty-headed Athenians.
A pinch of Bible, a gallon of gas,
And I, or any otherguess ass,
Could bring to our mystical moonlight mass
Those empty-headed Athenians.
In fine, I have precious little use
For empty-headed Athenians.
The birds I have snared shall all go loose;
They are empty-headed Athenians.
I thought perhaps I might do some good;
But it’s ten to one if I ever should—
And I doubt if I would save, if I could,
Such empty-headed Athenians.
So (with any luck) I shall bid farewell
To the empty-headed Athenians.
For me, they may all of them go to hell,
For empty-headed Athenians.
I hate your idiot jolts and jars,
You monkeys grinning behind your bars—
I’m more at home with the winds and stars
Than with empty-headed Athenians.
THE WAKE WORLD
A TALE FOR BABES AND SUCKLINGS
(WITH EXPLANATORY NOTES IN HEBREW AND LATIN FOR THE USE OF THE WISE
MY name is Lola, because I am the Key of Delights, and the other
children in my dream call me Lola Daydream. When I am awake, you
see, I know that I am dreaming, so they must be very silly children,
don’t you think? There are people in the dream too, who are quite
grown up and horrid; but the really important thing is the wake-up
person. There is only one, for there never could be any one like
him. I call him my Fairy Prince. He rides a horse with beautiful
wings like a swan, or sometimes a strange creature like a lion or a
bull, with a woman’s face and breasts, and she has unfathomable
My Fairy Prince is a dark boy, very comely; I think every one must
love him, and yet every one is afraid. He looks through one just as
if one had no clothes on in the Garden of God, and he had made one,
and one could do nothing except in the mirror of his mind. He never
laughs or frowns of smiles; because, whatever he sees, he sees what
is beyond as well, and so nothing ever happens. His mouth is redder
than any roses you ever saw. I wake up quite when we kiss each
other, and there is no dream any more. But when it is not trembling
on mine, I see kisses on his lips, as if he were kissing some one
that one could not see.
Now you must now that my Fairy Prince is my lover, and one day he
will come for good and ride away with me and marry me. I shan’t tell
you his name because it is too beautiful. It is a great secret
between us. When we were engaged he gave me such a beautiful ring.
It was like this. First there was his shield, which had a sun on it
and some roses, all on a kind of bar; and there was a terrible
number written on it. Then there was a bank of soft roses with the
sun shining on it, and above there was a red rose on a golden cross,
and then there was a three-cornered star, shining so bright that
no-one could possibly look at it unless they had love in their eyes;
and in the middle was an eye without an eyelid. That could see
anything, I should think, but you see it could never go to sleep,
because there wasn’t any eyelid. On the sides were written I.N.R.I.
and T.A.R.O., which mean many strange and beautiful things, and
terrible things too. I should think any one would be afraid to hurt
any one who wore that ring. It is all cut out of an amethyst, and my
Fairy Prince said:
“Whenever you want me, look into the ring and call me ever so softly
by name, and kiss the ring, and worship it, and then look ever so
deep down into it, and I will come to you.”
So I made up a pretty
poem to say every time I woke up, for you see I am a very sleepy
girl, and dream ever so much about the other children; and that is a
pity, because there is only one thing I love, and that is my Fairy
Prince. So this is the poem I did to worship the ring, part is in
words, part is in pictures. You must pick out what the pictures
mean, and then it all makes poetry.
THE INVOCATION OF THE RING
ADONAI! Thou inmost
Self-glittering image of my soul
Strong lover to thy Bride’s desire,
Call me and claim me and control!
I pray Thee keep the holy tryst
Within this ring of Amethyst
For on mine eyes the golden
Hath dawned; my vigil slew the Night.
I saw the image of the One;
I came from darkness into L.V.X.
I pray Thee keep the holy tryst
Within this ring of Amethyst
Me slain, interred, arisen, inspire
T.A.R.O.— me glorified,
Anointed, fill with frenzied
I pray Thee keep the holy tryst
Within this ring of Amethyst
I eat my flesh: I drink my blood
I gird my loins: I journey far:
For thou hast shown
I pray Thee keep the holy tryst
Within this ring of Amethyst
Prostrate I wait upon thy will,
Mine Angel, for this grace of union.
O let this Sacrament distil
Thy conversation and communion.
I pray Thee keep the holy tryst
Within this ring of Amethyst
I have not told you anything about myself, because it doesn’t really
matter; the only thing I want to tell you about is my Fairy Prince.
But as I am telling you all this, I am seventeen years old, and very
fair when you shut your eyes to look; but when you open them, I am
really dark, with a fair skin. I have ever such heaps of hair, and
big, big, round eyes, always wondering at everything. Never mind,
it’s only a nuisance. I shall tell you what happened one day when I
said the poem to the ring. I wasn’t really quite awake when I began,
but as I said it, it got brighter and brighter, and when I came to
“ring of amethyst” the fifth time (there are five verses, because my
lover’s name has five V’s in it), he galloped across the beautiful
green sunset, spurring the winged horse, till the blood made all the
sky turn rose red.
So he caught me and set me on his horse, and I
clung to his neck as we galloped into the night. Then he told me he
would take me to his Palace and show me everything, and one day when
we were married I should be mistress of it all. Then I wanted to be
married to him at once, and then I saw it couldn’t be, because I was
so sleepy and had bad dreams, and one can’t be a good wife if one is
always doing that sort of thing. But he said I would be older one
day, and not sleep so much, and every one slept a little, but the
great thing was not to be lazy and contented with the dreams, so I
mean to fight hard.
By and by we came to a beautiful green place with the strangest
house you ever saw. Round the big meadow there lay a wonderful
snake, with steel gray plumes, and he had his tail in his mouth, and
kept on eating and eating it, because there was nothing else for him
to eat, and my Fairy Prince said he would go on like that till there
was nothing left at all. Then I said it would get smaller and
smaller and crush the meadow and the palace, and I think perhaps I
began to cry. But my Fairy Prince said: “Don’t be such a silly!” and
I wasn’t old enough to understand all that it meant, but one day I
should; and all one had to do was to be as glad as glad. So he
kissed me, and we got off the horse, and he took me to the door of
the house, and we went in. It was frightfully dark in the passage,
and I felt tied so that I couldn’t move, so I promised to myself to
love him always, and he kissed me. It was dreadfully, dreadfully
dark though, but he said not to be afraid, silly! And it’s getting
lighter, now keep straight forward, darling! And then he kissed me
again, and said: “Welcome to my Palace!”
I will tell you all about how it was built, because it is the most
beautiful Palace that ever was. On the sunset side were all the
baths, and the bedrooms were in front of us as we were. The baths
were all of pale olive-coloured marble, and the bedrooms had lemon-coloured
everything. Then there were the kitchens on the sunrise side, and
they were russet, like dead leaves are in autumn in one’s dreams.
The place we had come through was perfectly black everything, and
only used for offices and such things. There were the most horrid
things everywhere about; black beetles and cockroaches and goodness
knows what; but they can’t hurt when the Fairy Prince is there. I
think a little girl would be eaten though if she went in there
Then he said: “Come on! This is only the Servants’ Hall, nearly
stays there all their lives.” And I said: “Kiss me!” So he said:
you take is only possible when you say that.” We came into a
passage again, so narrow and low, that is was like a dirty old
tunnel, and yet
so vast and wide that everything in the whole world was contained in
saw all the strange dreams and awful shapes of fear, and really I
how we ever got through, except that the Prince called for some
strong creatures to guard us. There was an eagle that flew, and beat
wings, and tore and bit at everything that came near; and there was
a lion that
roared terribly, and his breath was a flame, and burnt up the
things, so that
there was a great cloud; and rain fell gently and purely, so that he
the things good by fighting them.
And there was a bull that tossed
his horns, so that they changed into butterflies; and there was a
man who kept
telling everyone to be quiet and not make a noise. So we came at
last in the
next house of the Palace. It was a great dome of violet, and in the
moon shone. She was a full moon, and yet she looked like a woman
quite young. Yet her hair was silver, and finer than spiders’ webs,
rayed about her, like one can’t say what; it was all too beautiful.
middle of the hall there was a black stone pillar, from the top of
a fountain of pearls; and as they fell upon the flood, they changed
marble to the colour of blood, and it was like a green universe full
and little children playing among them. So I said: “Shall we be
this House?” and he said: “No, this is only the House where the
carried on. All the Palace rests upon this House; but you are called
because you are the Key of Delights.
Many people stay here all their
lives though.” I made him kiss me, and we went on to another passage
which Via c v. Dens opened out of the Servants’ Hall. This passage
was all fire and flames and full of coffins. There was an Angel
blowing ever so hard on a trumpet, and people getting up out of the
coffins. My Fairy Prince said: “Most people never wake up for
anything less.” So we went (at the same time it was; you see in
dreams people can only be in one place at a time; that’s the best of
being awake) through another passage, which was lighted by the
Sun. Yet there were fairies
dancing in a great green ring, just as if it was night. And there
children playing by the wall, and my Fairy Prince and I played as we
and he said:
“The difference is that we are going through. Most
without a purpose; if you are travelling it is all right, and play
journey seem shorter.”
Then we came out into the Third (or Eighth,
it depends which way you count them, because there are ten) House,
and that was so splendid you can’t imagine. In the first place it
was a bright, bright, bright orange colour, and then it had flashes
of light all over it, going so fast we couldn’t see them, and then
there was the sound of the sea and one could look through into the
deep, and there was the ocean raging beneath one’s feet, and strong
dolphins riding on it and crying aloud, “Holy! Holy! Holy!” in such
an ecstasy you couldn’t think, and rolling and playing for sheer
joy. It was all lighted by a tiny, weeny, shy little planet,
sparkling and silvery, and now and then a wave of fiery chariots
filled with eager spearmen blazed through the sky, and my Fairy
“Isn’t it all fine?” But I knew he didn’t really mean
it, so I said “Kiss me!” and he kissed me, and we went on. He said:
“Good little girl, there’s many a one stays there all his life.”
forgot to say that the whole place was just one mass of books, and
people reading them till they were so silly, they didn’t know what
they were doing. And there were cheats, and doctors, and thieves; I
was really very glad to go away.
There were three ways into the Seventh House, and the first was such
a funny way. We walked through a pool, each on the arm of a great
big Beetle, and then we found ourselves on a narrow winding path.
There were nasty Jackals about, they made such a noise, and at the
end I could see two towers. Then there was the queerest moon you
ever saw, only a quarter full. The shadows fell so strangely, one
could see the most mysterious shapes, like great bats with women’s
faces, and blood dripping from their mouths, and creatures partly
wolves and partly men, everything changing from one into the other.
And we saw shadows like old, old, ugly women, creeping about on
sticks, and all of a sudden they would fly up into the air,
shrieking the funniest kind of songs, and then suddenly one would
come down flop, and you saw she was really quite young and ever so
lovely, and she would have nothing on, and as you looked at her she
would crumble away like a biscuit.
Then there was
another passage which was really too secret for anything; all I
shall tell you is, there was the most beautiful Goddess that ever
was, and she was washing herself in a river of dew. If you ask what
she is doing she says: “I’m making thunderbolts.” It was only
starlight, and yet one could see quite clearly, so don’t
think I’m making a mistake. The third path is a most terrible
passage; it’s all a great war, and there’s earthquakes and chariots
of fire, and all the castles breaking to pieces. I was glad when we
came to the Green Palace.
It was all built of malachite and emerald, and there was the
loveliest gentlest living, and I was married to my Fairly Prince
there, and we had the most delicious honeymoon, and I had a
beautiful baby, and then I remembered myself, but only just in time,
and said: “Kiss me!” And he kissed me and said:
“My goodness! But
that was a near thing that time; my little girl nearly went to
sleep. Most people who reach the Seventh House stay there all their
lives, I can tell you.”
It did seem such a shame to go on; there was such a flashing green
star to light it, and all the air was filled with amber-coloured
flames like kissed. And we could see through the floor, and there
were terrible lions, like furnaces for fury, and they all roared
out: “Holy! Holy! Holy!” and leaped and danced for joy. And when I
saw myself in the mirrors, the dome was one mass of beautiful green
mirrors, I saw how serious I looked, and that I had to go on. I
hoped the Fairy Prince would look serious too, because it is most
dreadful business going beyond the Seventh House; but he only looked
the same as ever. But oh! how I kissed him, and how I clung to him,
or I think I should never, never have had the courage to go up those
dreadful passages, especially knowing what was at the end of them.
And now I’m only a little girl, and I’m ever tired of writing, but
I’ll tell you all about the rest another time.
De Collegio Externo.
I WAS telling you how we started from the Green Palace. There are
three passages that lead to the Treasure House of Gold, and all of
them are very dreadful. One is called the Terror by Night, and
another the Arrow by Day, and the third has a name that people are
afraid to hear, so I won’t say.
But in the first we came to a mighty throne of grey granite, shaped
like the sweetest pussy cat you ever saw, and set up on a desolate
heath. It was midnight and the Devil came down and sat in the midst;
but my Fairy Prince whispered: “Hush! it is a great secret, but his
name is Yeheswah, and he is the Saviour of the World.” And that was
very funny, because the girl next to me thought it was Jesus Christ,
till another Fairy Prince (my Prince’s brother) whispered as he
kissed her: “Hush, tell nobody ever, that is Satan, and he is the
Saviour of the World.”
We were a very great company, and I can’t tell you all of the
strange things we did and said, or of the song we sang as we danced
face outwards in a great circle ever closing in on the Devil on the
throne. But whenever I saw a toad or a bat, or some horrid insect,
my Fairy Prince always whispered: “It is the Saviour of the world,”
and I saw that it was so. We did all the most beautiful wicked
things you can imagine, and yet all the time we knew that they were
good and right, and must be done if ever we were to get to the House
So we enjoyed ourselves very much and ate the most extraordinary
can think of. There were babies roasted whole and stuffed with pork
sausages and olives; and some of the girls cut off chops and steaks
from their own bodies, and gave them to a beautiful white cook at a
silver grill, that was lighted with the gas of dead bodies and
marshes; and he cooked them splendidly, and we all enjoyed it
immensely. Then there was a tame goat with a gold collar, that went
about laughing with every one; and he was all shaved in patches like
a poodle. We kissed him and petted him, and it was lovely. You must
remember that I never let go of my Fairy Prince for a single
instant, or of course I should have been turned into a horrid black
Then there was another passage called the Arrow by Day, and there
was a most lovely lady all shining with the sun, and moon, and
stars, who was lighting a great bowl of water with one hand, by
dropping dew on it out of a cup, and with the other she was putting
out a terrible fire with a torch. She had a red lion and a white
eagle, that she had always had ever since she was a little girl. She
had found them in a nasty pit full of all kinds of filth, and they
were very savage; but by always treating them kindly they had grown
up faithful and good. This should be a lesson to all of us never to
be unkind to our pets.
My Fairy Prince was laughing all the time in the third path. There
was nobody there but an old gentleman who had but his bones on
outside, and was trying ever so hard to cut down the grass with a
scythe. But the faster he cut it, the faster it grew. My Fairy
Prince said: “Everybody that ever was has come along this path, and
yet only one ever got to the end of it.” But I saw a lot of people
walking straight through as if they knew it quite well; he
explained, though, that they were really only one; and if you walked
through that proved it. I thought that was silly, but he’s much
older and wiser than I am; so I said nothing. The truth is that it
is a very difficult Palace to talk about, and the further you get
in, the harder it is to say what you mean because it all has to be
put into dream talk, as of course the language of the wake-world is
So never mind! let me go on. We came by and by to the Sixth House. I
forgot to say that all those three paths were really one, because
they all meant that things were different inside to outside, and so
people couldn’t judge. It was fearfully interesting; but mind you
don’t go in those passages without the Fairy Prince. And of course
there’s the Veil. I don’t think I’d better tell you about the Veil.
I’ll only put your mouth to my head, and your hand—there, that’ll
tell any body who knows that I’ve really been there, and it’s all
true that I’m telling you.
This Sixth House is called the Treasure House of Gold; it’s a most
mysterious place as ever you were in. First there’s a tiny, tiny,
tiny doorway, you must crawl through on your hands and knees; and
even then I scraped ever such a lot of skin off my back; then you
have to be nailed on a red board with four arms, with a great gold
circle in the middle, and that hurt dreadfully.
Then they make you swear the most solemn things you ever heard of,
would be faithful to the Fairy Prince, and live for nothing but to
better and better. So the nails stopped hurting, because, of course,
I saw that I
was really being married, and this was part of it, and I was as glad
and at that moment my Fairy Prince put his hand on my head, and I
honour bright, it was more wake up than ever before, even than when
to kiss me. After that they said I could go into the Bride-chamber,
but it was only the most curious room that ever was with seven
sides. There was a dreadful red dragon on the floor, and all the
sides were painted every colour you can think of, with curious
figures and pictures. The light was not like dream light at all; it
was wake light, and it came through a beautiful rose in the ceiling.
In the middle was a table all covered with beautiful pictures and
texts, and there were ever such strange things on it.
There was a
little crucifix in the middle, all of diamonds and emeralds and
rubies, and other precious stones, and there was a dagger with a
golden handle, and a cup full of the most delicious wine, and there
was a curious coin with the strangest writing on it, and a funny
little stick that was covered with flames, like a rose tree is with
roses. Beside the strange coin was a heavy iron chain, and I took it
and put it round my neck because I was bound to my Fairy Prince, and
I would never go about like other people till I found him again. And
they took the dagger and dipped it in the cup, and stabbed me all
over to show that I was not afraid to be hurt, if only I could find
my Fairy Prince. Then I took the crucifix and held it up to make
more light in case he was somewhere in the dark corners, but no! Yet
I knew he was there somewhere, so I thought he must be in the box,
for under the table was a great chest; and I was terribly sad
because I felt something dreadful was going to happen. And sure
enough, when I had the courage, I asked them to open the box, and
the same people that made me crawl through that horrid hole, and
lost my Fairy Prince and nailed be to the red board, took away the
table and opened the box, and there was my Fairy Prince, quite,
quite, dead. If you only knew how sorry I was!
But I had with me a
walking-stick with wings, and a shining sun at the top that had been
his, and I touched him on the breast to try and wake him; but it was
no good. Only I seemed to hear his voice saying wonderful things,
and it was quite certain he wasn’t really dead. So I put the
walking-stick on his beast, and another little thing he had which I
had forgotten to tell you about. It was a kind of cross with an oval
handle that he had been very fond of. But I couldn’t go away without
something of his, so I took a shepherd’s staff, and a little whip
with blood on it, and jewels oozing from the blood, if you know what
I mean, that they had put in his hands when they buried him. Then I
went away, and cried, and cried, and cried. But before I had got
very far they called me back; and the people who had been so stern
were smiling, and I saw they had taking the coffin out of the little
room with seven sides. And the coffin was quite, quite empty.
they began to tell us all about it, and I heard my Fairly Prince
within the little room saying holy exalted things, such as the stars
trace in the sky as they travel in the Car called “Millions of
Years.” Then they took me into the little room, and there was my
Fairy Prince standing in the middle. So I knelt down as we all
kissed his beautiful feet, and the myriads of eyes like diamonds
that were hidden in his feet laughed joy at us. One couldn’t life
one’s head, for he was too glorious to behold; but he spoke
wonderful words like dying nightingales that have sorrowed for the
fading of the roses, and pressed themselves to death upon the
thorns; and one’s whole body became a single eye, so that one saw as
if the unborn though of light brooded over an eternal sea. Then was
light as the lightning flashed out of the east, even unto the west,
and it was fashioned as the
By and by one rose up, then one seemed to be quite, quite dead, and
buried in the centre of a pyramid of the most brilliant light it is
possible to think of. And it was wake-light too; and everybody knows
that even wake-darkness is really brighter than the dream-light. So
you must just guess what it was like.
There was more than that too; I can’t possibly tell you. I know too
I.N.R.I. on the Ring meant: and I can’t tell you that either,
because the dream-language has such a lot of important words
missing. It’s a very silly language, I think.
By and by I came to myself a little, and now I was really and truly
married to the Fairy Prince, so I suppose we shall always be near
each other now.
There was the way out of the little room with millions of changing
colours, ever so beautiful, and it was lined with armed men, waving
their swords for joy like flashes of lightning; and all about us
glittering serpents danced and sang for joy. There was a winged
horse ready for us when we came out on the slopes of the mountain.
You see the Sixth House is really a mountain called Mount Abiegnus,
only one doesn’t see it because one goes through indoors all the
way. There’s one House you have to go outdoors to get to, because no
passage has ever been made; but I’ll tell you about that afterwards;
it’s the Third House. So we got on the horse and went away for our
honeymoon. I shan’t tell you a single word about the honeymoon.
De Collegio ad S.S. porta
YOU mustn’t suppose
the honeymoon is ever really over, because it just isn’t. But he
said to me:
“Princess, you haven’t been all over the Palace yet.
Your special House is the Third, you know, because it’s so
convenient for the Second where I usually live. The King my Father
lives in the First; he’s never to be seen, you know. He’s very, very
old nowadays; I am practically Regent of course. You must never
forget that I am really He; only one generation back is not so far,
and I entirely represent his thought. Soon,” he whispered ever so
softly, “you will be a mother; there will be a Fairy Prince again to
run away with another pretty little Sleepy head.”
Then I saw that
when Fairy Princes were really and truly married they became Fairy
Kings; and that I was quite wrong ever to be ashamed of being only a
little girl and afraid of spoiling his prospects, because really,
you see, he could never become King and have a son a Fairy Prince
But one can only do that by getting to the Third House, and it’s a
dreadful journey, I do most honestly assure you.
There are two passages, one from the Eighth House and one from the
Sixth; the first is all water, and the second is almost worse,
because you have to balance yourself so carefully, or you fall and
To go through the first you must be painted all over with blood up
to your waist, and you cross your legs, and then they put a rope
round one ankle and swing you off. I had such a pretty white
petticoat on, and my Prince said I looked just like a white pyramid
with a huge red cross on the top of it, which made me ever so glad,
because now I knew I should be the Saviour of the World, which is
what one wants to be, isn’t it? Only sometimes the world means all
the other children in the dream, and sometimes the dream itself, and
sometimes the wake-things one sees before one is quite, quite awake.
The prince tells me that really and truly only the First House where
his Father lived was really a wake-House, all the others had a
little sleep-House about them, and the further you got the more
awake you were, and began to know just how much was dream and how
Then there was the other passage where there was a narrow edge of
green crystal, which was all you had to walk on, and there was a
beautiful blue feather balancing on the edge, and if you disturbed
the feather there was a lady with a sword, and she would cut off
your head. So I didn’t dare hardly to breathe, and all round there
were thousands and thousands of beautiful people in green who danced
and danced like anything, and at the end there was the terrible door
of the Fifth House, which is the Royal armoury. And when we came in
the House was full of steel machinery, some red hot and some white
hot, and the din was simply fearful.
So to get the noise out of my
head, I took the little whip and whipped myself till all my blood
poured down over everything, and I saw the whole house like a
cataract of foaming blood rushing headlong from the flaming and
scintillating Star of Fire that blazed and blazed in the candescent
dome, and everything went red before my eyes, and a great flame like
a strong wind blew through the House with a noise louder than any
thunder could possibly be, so that I couldn’t hold myself hardly,
and I took up the sharp knives of the machines and cut myself all
over, and the noise got louder and louder, and the flame burnt
through and through me, so that I was very glad when my Prince said:
“You wouldn’t think it, would you, sweetheart? But there are lots of
people who stay here all their lives.”
There are three ways into the Fourth House from below. The first
is a very curious place, all full of wheels and ever such strange
monkeys and sphinxes and jackals climbing about them and trying to
the top. It was very silly, because there isn’t really any top to a
wheel at all;
the place you want to get to is the centre, if you want to be quiet.
was a really lovely passage, like a deep wood in Springtime, the
man came along who had lived there all his life, because he was the
of it, and he didn’t need to travel because he belonged to the First
really from the beginning. He wore a vast cloak, and he carried a
lamp and a
long stick; and he said that the cloak meant you were to be silent
and not say
anything you saw, and the lamp meant you were to tell everybody and
them glad, and the stick was like a guide to tell you which to do.
But I didn’t
quite believe that, because I am getting a grown-up girl now, and I
be put off like that. I could see that the stick was really the
with which the whole Palace was built, and the lamp was the only
had to build it by, and the cloak was the abyss of darkness that
covers it all
up. That is why dream-people never see beautiful things like I’m
about. All their houses are built of common red bricks, and they sit
all day and play silly games with counters, and oh! dear me, how
they do cheat and quarrel.
When any one gets a million counters, he
is no glad you can’t think, and goes away and tries to change some
of the counters for the things he really wants, and he can’t, so you
nearly die of laughing, though of course it would be dreadfully sad
if it were wake-life. But I was telling you about the ways to the
Fourth House, and the third way is full of lions, and a person might
be afraid; only whenever one comes to bite at you, there is a lovely
lady who puts her hands in its mouth and shuts it. So we went
through quite safely, and I thought of Daniel in the lions’ den.
The Fourth House is the most wonderful of all I had ever seen. It is
the most heavenly blue mansion; it is built of beryl and amethyst,
and lapis lazuli and turquoise and sapphire. The centre of the floor
is a pool of purest aquamarine, and in it is water, only you can see
every drop as a separate crystal, and the blue tinge filtering
through the light. Above there hangs a calm yet mighty globe of deep
sapphirine blue. Round it there were nine mirrors, and there is a
noise that means when you understand it, “Joy! Joy! Joy!” There are
violet flames darting through the air, each one a little sob of
happy love. One began to see what the dream-world was really for at
last; every time any one kissed any one for real love, that was a
little throb of violet flame in this beautiful House in the
Wake-World. And we bathed and swam in the pool, and were so happy
you can’t think. But they said: “Little girl, you must pay for the
entertainment.” [I forgot to tell you that there was music like
fountains make as they rise and fall, only of course much more
wonderful than that.]
So I asked what I must pay, and they said:
“You are now mistress of all these houses from the Fourth to the
Ninth. You have managed the Servants’ Hall well enough since your
marriage; now you must manage the others, because till you do you
can never go on to the Third House. So I said: “It seems to me that
they are all in perfectly good order.” But they took me up in the
air, and then I saw that the outsides were horribly disfigured with
great advertisements, and every singly House had written all over
This is his Majesty’s favourite Residence.
No other genuine. Beware of worthless imitations.
Come in HERE and spend life!
Come in HERE and see the Serpent eat his Tail!
So I was furious, as you may imagine, and had men go and put all the
proper numbers on them, and a little sarcastic remark to make them
ashamed; so they read:
Fifth House, and mostly dream at that.
Seventh House. External splendour and internal corruption and so on.
And on each one I put “No thoroughfare from here to the First House.
The only way is out of doors. By order.”
This was frightfully annoying, because in the old days we could walk
about inside everywhere, and not get wet if it rained, but nowadays
there isn’t any way from the Fourth to the Third House. You could go
of course by chariot from the Fifth to the Third, or through the
House where the twins live from the Sixth to the Third, but that
isn’t allowed unless you have been to the Fourth House too, and go
from there at the same time.
It was here they told me what T.A.R.O. on the ring meant. First it
means gate, and that is the name of my Fairy Prince, when you spell
it in full letter by letter.
There are seventy-eight parts to it, which makes a perfect plan of
whole Palace, so you can always find your way, if you remember to
T.A.R.O. Then you remember I.N.R.I. was on the ring too. I.N.R.I. is
short for L.V.X., which means the brilliance of the wide-wide-wake
Light, and that too is the name of my Fairy Prince only spelt short.
The Romans said it had sixty-five parts, which is five times
thirteen, and seventy-eight is six times thirteen. To get into the
Wake World you must know your thirteen times table quite well. So if
you take them both together that makes eleven times thirteen, and
then you say “Abrahadabra,” which is a most mysterious word, because
it has eleven letters in it. You remember the Houses are numbered
both ways, so that the Third House is called the Eighth House too,
and the Fifth the Sixth, and so on. But you can’t tell what lovely
things that means till you’ve been through them all, and got to the
So when you look at the ring and see I.N.R.I. and T.A.R.O.
on it that means that it is like a policeman keeping on saying “Pass
along, please!” I would have liked to stay in the Fourth House all
my life, but I began to see it was just a little dream House too;
and I couldn’t rest, because my own House was the very next one. But
it’s too awful to tell you how to get there. You want the most
fearful lot of courage, and there’s nobody to help you, nobody at
all, and there’s no proper passage. But it’s frightfully exciting,
and you must wait till next time before I tell you how I started on
that horrible journey and if I ever got there or not.
de Collegio Interno
Now I shall tell you about the chariot race in the first passage.
The chariot is all carved out of pure, clear amber, so that electric
sparks fly about as the furs rub it. The whole cushions and rugs are
all beautiful soft ermine fur. There is a canopy of bright blue with
stars (like the sky in the dream world), and the chariot is drawn by
two sphinxes, one black and one white. The charioteer is a most
curious person; he is a great big crab in the most lovely glittering
armour, and he can just drive! His name in the mysterious name I
told you about with eleven letters in it, but be call him Jehu for
short, because he’s only nineteen years old. It’s important to know
though because this journey is the most difficult of all, and
without the chariot one couldn’t ever do it, because it is so
far—much further than the heaven is from the earth in the dream
The passage where the twins live is very difficult too. They are too
sisters; and one is very pure and good, and they other is a horrid
fast woman. But that just shows you how silly dream language
is—really there is another way to put it: you can say they are two
sisters, and one is very silly and ignorant, and the other has
learnt to know and enjoy.
Now when one is a Princess it is very important to have good
manners, so you have to go into the passage, and take one on each
arm, and go through with them singing and dancing; and if you hurt
the feelings of either of them the least little bit in the world it
would show you were not really a great lady, only a dress lady, and
there is a man with a bow and arrow in the air, and he would soon
finish you, and you would never get to the Third House at all.
But the real serious difficulty is the outdoors. You have to leave
the House of Love, as they call the Fourth House. You are quite,
quite naked: you must take off your husband-clothes, and your
baby-clothes, and all your pleasure clothes, and your skin, and your
flesh, and your bones, every one of them must come right off. And
then you must take off your feelings clothes; and then your idea
clothes; and then what we call your tendency clothes which you have
always worn, and which make you what you are. After that you take
off your consciousness clothes, which you have always thought were
your very own self, and you leap out into the cold abyss, and you
can’t think how lonely it is. There isn’t any light, or any path, or
anything to catch hold of to help you, and there is no Fairy Prince
any more; you can’t even here his voice calling to you to come on.
There’s nothing to tell you which way to go, and you feel the most
horrible sensation of falling away from everything that ever was.
You’ve got no nothing at all; you don’t even know how awful it is.
You would turn back if you could only stop falling; but luckily you
can’t. So you fall and fall faster and faster; and I can’t tell you
The Third House is called the House of Sorrow. They gave me new
clothes of the queerest kind, because one never thinks of them as
one’s own clothes, but only as clothes. It is a House of utmost
Darkness. There is a pool of black solemn water in the shining
obsidian, and one is like a vast veiled figure of wonderful beauty
brooding over the sea; and by and by the Pains come upon one. I
can’t tell you anything about the Pains. Only they are different
from any other pains, because they start from inside you, from a
deeper, truer kind of you than you ever knew. By and by you see a
tremendous blaze of a new sun in the Sixth House, and you are as
glad as glad as glad; and there are millions of trumpets blown, and
voices crying: “Hail to the Fairy Prince!” meaning the new one that
you have had for your baby; and at that moment you find you are
living in the first Three Houses all at once, for you feel the
delight of your own dear Prince and his love; and the old King stirs
in his Silence in the First House, and thousands of millions of
blessings shoot out like rays of light, and everything is all
harmony and beauty below, and crowned about with the crown of twelve
stars, which is the only way you can put it into dream talk.
Now you don’t need to struggle to go on any more, because you know
already that all the House is one Palace, and you move about in your
wake world, just as is necessary. All the paths up to the Second
open—the path of the Hierophant with the flaming star and the
incense in the
vast cathedral, and the path of the Mighty Ruler, who governs
everything with his orb and his crown and his sceptre. There is
the path of the Queen of Love Via d v. Porta. which is more
beautiful than anything, and along it my own dear lover passes to my
bridal chamber. Then there are the three ways to the Holy House of
the Old King, the way by which he is joined with the new Fairy
Prince, where Via g v. Camelus dwells a moonlike virgin with an open
book, and always, always reads beautiful words therein, smiling
mysteriously through her shining veil, woven of sweet thoughts and
And there is the way by which I always go to the King,
my Father, and that passage is built of thunder and lightning; but
Via b v. Domus there is a holy Magician called Hermes, who takes me
through so quickly that I arrive sometimes even at the very moment
that I start. Last of all is the most mysterious passage of them
all, and if any of you saw it you would think there Via a v. Bos was
a foolish man in it being bitten by crocodiles and dogs, and
carrying a sack with nothing any use in it at all. But really it is
the man who meant to wake up, and did wake up. So that it is his
House, he is the old King himself, and so are you. So he wouldn’t
care what any one thought he was. Really all the passages to the
first Three Houses are very useful; all the dream-world and the
half-dream world, and the Wake-world are governed from these
I began to see now how very unreal even the Wake-world is, because
there is just a little dream in it, and the right world is
Wide-Wide-Wide-Wake-World. My lover calls me little Lola Wide-awake,
not Lola Daydream any more. But it is always Lola, because I am the
Key of Delights. I never told you about the first two houses, and
really you wouldn’t understand. But the Second House is gray,
because the light and dark flash by so quick it’s all Domus II v.
blended into one; and in it lives my lover, and that’s all I care
about. Sapienta The First House is so brilliant that you can’t
think; and there, too, is my Domus I v. lover and I when we are one.
You wouldn’t understand that either. And the Corona Summa last thing
I shall say is that one begins to see that there isn’t really quite
a Wide-Wide-Wide-Wake-World till the Serpent outside has finished
eating up his tail, and I don’t really and truly understand that
myself. But it doesn’t matter; what you must do is first to find the
Fairy Prince to come and ride away with you, so don’t bother about
the Serpent yet. That’s all.
de Collegio Summo.
ALI SLOPER; OR, THE FORTY LIARS
Practicable Drawing-room littered with innumerable sheets of double
Elephant Whatman paper, about to be an impracticable Table of
Correspondences. A roaring fire. Sofas and Chairs.
In presenting this play before a British audience, the Manager
should come forward and say: “Ladies and Gentlemen, owing to the
severe indisposition of the Author, no obscene jests will be found
to occur in the dialogue of this play. The actors have, however,
been instructed to pause and wink at frequent intervals, when you
are at liberty to imagine an unusually profound and peculiarly foul
double entendre. We have also gone to the expense of hiring people
to sit in the stalls and start the laughs, so that there is no
excuse whatever for any of you to complain of having passed an
The scene rises. The BONES FAMILY and MR. BOWLEY sitting round the
fire. Up stage, MRS. P..TR..CK C..MPB..LL chased by MR. M..RT..N
H..RV..Y runs off R. and barks her shin on a chair.
Mrs P. C. I am not happy! I am not happy! O Glwyndyvaine, what shall
Mr. M. H. Most people would say Damn, ma belle Mygraine!
Mrs. P. C. [Aside.] If Maeterlinck gives me a name like a headache,
will not Shaw
call me simply a cough-drop? [Exit.
Prompter. [Angrily.] The Truth!
Mr. M. H. The Truth! The Truth! The Truth!
[Exit. Blare of Trumpets.
Mrs. Bones. A truce to this theatrical folly! More coffee, Mr.
Bowley. Please. I hope you will forgive me, Mrs. Bones, but in
honour of the
festive season, and as relaxation of our severe labours upon the
Table of Correspondences, I have taken the liberty of engaging Dr.
Waistcoat’s celebrated troupe of Variety Artistes to perform at
intervals during the evening.
Mrs. Bones. I’m sure we’re very much obliged by your kindness; I
trust it did not cost you too much.
Bowley. Waistcoat is an old friend of mine, you know; connected with
the Straights—the Dover Straights—on the mother’s site. Non Omnis
Moriar is his motto. Very likely; but on the other hand, he’s never
really quite alive; so one can bargain with him to great advantage.
Mrs. Bones. Well, I’m sure it will all be most delightful. We get
very little of the old-fashioned Christmases now.
Bones. Two thousand years hence we shall all be saying the same
Bowleymas Day in the sunset of Bowleyanity.
Bowley. Respect my modesty—Pyrrho-Zoroastrianism, if you please.
Mrs. Bones. More coffee?
Bowley. Please. You do not ask what your husband means.
Mrs. Bones. I give you two up.
Bones. To-day we celebrate Christ’s birth; then, Bowley’s.
Bowley. I hide my blushes in thy breast, O babe! [Does so; the child
Take it, for God’s sake! [Done. The child smiles.
Mrs. Bones. But I thought your birthday was in October.
Bowley. It is; and why did I arrange it on that date? Because I knew
that I was the Messiah—pass the baby, please!—and that people would
celebrate the day according to my word.
Mrs. Bones. But why? [BONES signals wildly to her, but in vain.
Bowley. Because children born in summer thrive best.
Mrs. Bones. But why?
Bowley. Brother, you waste alarm. They have ears and hear not. But I
am not talking; I am making my Table of Correspondences. I drink to
my Table of Correspondences.
[Drinks. BONES picks up a book on Indian Mysticism. Thunder. Slow
Bowley. More coffee, please. I attribute the Baby to Malkuth. Mrs.
Bones, may I paint the baby bright yellow all over? Heedless of
Mother’s sighs and groans He painted blue the Baby Bones, in the
well-known porphyrean of the late John Keats, on whom be peace. At
this stage in my career—drop that silly Babu twaddle!—I offer you
the following desperate alternative, greatly honoured Frater! We
will go on with the Table, or I will read you my latest glorious
masterpiece entitled Amath. The Hebrew for Truth, Baby! Reflect, O
bat-eyed child, upon the circumstance that Amath adds up to 441,
which is the square of 21, Eheieh, divine name of Kether, also
mystic number of Tiphereth—vide Tiphereth clause in “J”—“I will
devote myself to Great Work,” etc., you remember—meaning Truth is of
Kether the end and of Tiphereth the means, also Aleph is the Fool,
Kether, Mem the Hanged Man, Tiphereth; and Tau the Sign of the Cross
and the Virgin of the World. May be read by Tarot (McGregor Mathers)
Fools hang Virgins! What about wise men? Hush, baby dear! Wait till
you’re an Arahat on Ararat, and then you’ll know all about it, you
beetle-headed little bitch! Nothing like early and clear
instruction, Mrs. Bones. Train up a child and a moustache—why don’t
you get Cecil some Pommade Hongroise? I attribute Pommade Hongroise
to Gemini; and it is called the Waxen or Sticky Intelligence,
because it sticketh together everything that is stuck together, and
disposeth in right conformation the hairs that are beneath the
supernals in that Orifice of the Nose of the Most Holy Ancient One
which is called His Nose, and distributeth tens of thousands of
severities upon the Inferiors. This is that which is written.
Psalms, xcix, 4. “The nose which is not a Nose.” And again “His
Nose”; wherein no mention is made of the Most Holy Ancient One, but
only of Tetragrammaton. Also we have heard in Barietha that this is
spoken of the Shells—
Qliphoth you would call them, Baby! As it is written, She sells sea
shells. Nay, Mrs.
Bones, if I be drunken, it is of the Wine of Iacchus, the Dew of
Lustral Fountain in the chalice of the Stolistes or Stolistria. Or
rather attribute it to
your own Mince Pie, and its Awful and Avenging Punitive Currants!
But as I say,
your alleged husband trains neither his child nor his moustache; and
I will contend
with him, I will fight and overcome him; yea, I will inflict upon
him my celebrated
essay upon Truth—and he shall never rise again! It is written in the
manner of Immanuel Kant? Ay, but of Immanuel Kant in bed with Bessie
Bellwood. The hands are the hands of Schopenhauer, but the voice is
the voice of Arthur Roberts.
Listen to the Jataka, O child of wonder and the innocent eyes, and
if you yell you will be deposited in the coal-hole. Superlatively
Honoured Fratres and Sorores of the Order of the Tin Sunset—compare
Charles Baudelaire our Lord!—assist me to open the temple—my mouth,
Mrs. Bones—Mouth is part of body, and body is Temple (Colossians,
iv, 15), you may say I need no assistance—in the Grade of Ten equals
One and don’t you forget it! [Reads from MS.]
The views in this essay have been deliberately left as they were
originally written on 18th
December, 1906, by Aleister Crowley. The discussion which follows
represents with great essential
fidelity the actual argument which was held after its perusal on
Christmas Day. The stage directions in
the essay represent the facts.
An essay upon Truth by the boy O.M., Member of the Order of the A\A\
To the first paragraph of “Ascension Day” (dearly beloved brethren),
it is written as a Fingerpost—and worthy is it to be graven with a
needle upon the eye-corners so that whoso would be warned should be
warned! “What is Truth? said jesting Pilate; but Crowley waits for
He did more than wait: he took active measures to discover; and
though an answer in the Key of Affirmation would, in its very
exordium, beggar human language, yet we may do a certain amount to
destroy some of the minor fallacies that obscure the vision of our
weaker brethren, not, alas! veiling their eyes from Truth, but from
the perception of the Great Falsehood. Just as in chemistry the
schoolboy blunders over the law of Combining Weights, and finds
difficulty in accepting it, only to discover that the real
difficulty of the chemist is that the law is not true; just as the
golfer painfully corrects his pull and his slice, only to learn that
the pull and the slice are the master-strokes of the game; just as
the brilliant and studious person arrives at the summit of his
academic career, only to discover (if he have sufficient wit left
over from the process) that the qualities required for success in
life are a set different from, and even incompatible with, those
which gave him his fellowship; so also we may help those weaker
brethren who animadvert scornfully upon the circumstance that a
poet, a philosopher, an adept, an emancipated man of any sort,
rarely speaks the truth in the sense that the witness in a divorce
case is expected to, by indicating to them the true nature of those
sparks of light shaken off from the invisible Crown of Glory, sparks
which they have mistaken for corpse-lights or marsh-vapours,
surrounding—they think it an inexplicable paradox!—one who, in all
other respects, is so high and pure a being.
The first point is, it takes two to make a lie.
A. says to B.: “I have emptied all the water from the bottle,” and
tells the truth.
Student C. says the same words to Professor D., and lies. The bottle
contents being the same in each case. [BONES laughs contemptuously
and is frowned
at.] Because B. wants a drink and Professor D. a bottle free from
moisture. This is a malicious lie if Student C. is trying to excuse
his slackness, and the accident of his having truly emptied the
bottle would not absolve him.
This is Confusion of the Matter of Speech.
[BONES opens his mouth—and shuts it again with a severe effort.
E. says to F.: “John the Baptist had red hair,” and lies (whether in
point of fact his hair was red or not), because he has no just
ground for saying so.
Confusion of the Modality of Assertion.
When the Auditor is in an inferior position as to knowledge, this
ranks as a malicious lie.
Mrs. G. says to Father H. in the confessional, “I have not flirted
with Mr. I.,” and lies, because (on the theory) Father H. has a
right to know. [BONES interjects, “Flirted! Autres temps, Autres
mots! You’re improving, Frater!” Reader replies “Pig!”] But she says
the same words with truth to Mrs. J., who is merely asking out of
curiosity. For if she changes the subject, or is rude, it is
tantamount to a confession, and Mrs. J. has no right to trick or
force one from her.
This is called Keeping the Vow of Secrecy which one has sworn to
one’s own Soul. [BONES protests violently, and is reminded that
discussion follows, never interrupts, the Paper.] But why insist?
The so-called casuists of the Christian Church have exhaustively
investigated this subject; and all they say is none the less true
because it is subtle or immoral, as the stupid and puritan pretend.
Cardinal Newman may have had his faults, but he is at least a
pleasant contrast to Gladstone and Kensit. If my truth is not the
truth of the Divorce Court, it is because my world (thank God!) is
not the Divorce Court. I prefer Christ to Sir Gorell Barnes as an
authority on the Seventh Commandment; and the Spiritual
Interpretation of facts is the formula “Solve” of the Theurgic
What is a poet? What are his powers?
He can watch from dawn to gloom
The lake-reflected sun illume
The yellow bees in the ivy-bloom;
Nor heed, nor see, what things they be . .
Let Mr. Straightforward and Mr. Veracity and Mr. Scorn-to-tell-a-lie
and Mr. George Washington Redivivus reflect that there are people in
the world with sensoria sighted to a different range from
themselves! There is such a thing as a point of view.
The Kingdom of Heaven is like unto the Man in the Moon, who stood on
shores of Lake Copernicus and said: “What a beautiful earth-rise!
are the dark shadows on yon silver globe! They are like a hare, like
a dog, like a
bally great rabbit with its tail in its mouth. One would say a young
virgin in pink
sandals with her hair in curl papers.” (For the man in the moon has
Maeterlinck and the divine Oscar.)
The Angel replied: “O Man in the
Moon, this is
an error which is spoken concerning silver globes, hares, dogs,
rabbits, Virgins, pink
slippers, and the ubiquitous products of the immortal Hinde. Let us
closely!” Tucking forthwith the Man under his wing, the Angel flew
earthward. “The globe is bigger than I thought,” said the Man.
“Curious illusion: it is a concave bowl of blue,” said the Man.
“Nay! but it is a vast plain; and there go the ships; no doubt, were
it only August I should see that great Leviathan, whom Thou
(addressing the Almighty) hast made to play therein. But the silly
season is long past.” And he cursed it for a barren ocean. Luckily
he was not Christ, or Mr. Swinburne would have found it difficult to
find similes for everything he writes about; from Blake and Byron to
Dekker, Dickens, Dionysius, Dio Chrysostom, and Diogenes.
Then said the Man: “It is not blue but gray; it is far-resounding
and makes an anarithmical gelasm; it is salt; it is wet; it is a
generator of ozone, or my olfactory organs are deceived—and oh! but
my bowels are stirred within me like the young lady in the Song of
Solomon when the young gentleman—” “Hush!” said the Angel. “All this
is delusion; examine more closely!” “It is a universe of living
things!” exclaimed the Man, for it was Thames Water that he examined
through the Angel’s 90 h.-p. Mercédès Pocket Microscope. “And oh! if
God thought that they were good, what peculiar tastes He must have!”
“Look more closely!” said the Angel, handing him a pair of
Spectacles from the firm of Kelvin, Boscovitch, Son, and Haeckel.
“Nothing is now visible,” said the Man, “but a purely geometric
conception of the mind, and a self-contradictory one at that.” “Go
back to the moon,” said the Angel, throwing him thither with the
supple yet powerful jerk which had won him the Cricket Ball event in
the Celestial University Athletics, and entitled him to wear a Dark
Blue ribbon round his crown (for “As above, so Beneath”—
Oxford produces Angels and Cinaedes, Cambridge only men). Go back to
the Moon—and mind! No Travellers’ Tales!”
The question of the point of view leads us naturally to a
consideration of the speech of those for whom the Master of Samadhi
has radically changed the aspect of the Universe. How shall a god
answer a man?
Frater Neophyte K. asks our S. H. Frater L. 8°=3°.
“Are there such things as elemental spirits in the scientific
Now Frater L. knows that there are (just as Professor Ray Lankester
would assure a Hottentot of the reality of microscopic objects), but
he also knows that there are not, seeing that all is but an illusory
veil of the Indicible Arcanum in the Adytum of God-nourished
Frater L. will therefore reply Yes! if he thinks Frater K. in danger
of scepticism. He will reply No! if he thinks Frater K is a
curiosity-monger. In neither case will he consider the fact of the
question, unless (with a secret smile) he for his own sake wishes to
affirm the illusion of all thoughts. In this event he is really
nearer “untruthfulness” than otherwise, even though his answer
chance to coincide with fact.
This is called Perception of the Illusion of the Opposition of
Again, Professor M. will reply truthfully to his disciple N.’s
question, “Master are you hungry?” “I do not know,” or cast gloom
, or even
. Because he is sceptical of the instrument of
knowledge. But he would lie in saying the same words (taking the
second instance) to a common soldier of the 10,000 who did not know
who he was but took him for a person acquainted with the locality.
He would not, however, care an obolus whether he was lying or
not—unless he happened to be making experiments involving the
subject. What he would care about was whether or no his answer
showed that he was thinking as a sceptical philosopher. If so, good.
This brings us—how subtly!—to a statement which I do not wish to
support by proofs. I imagine that he who is able to receive it will
This is Truth, that one should be concerned with one’s own business,
and with nothing else whatever. If I enter thy laboratory, O Fellow
of the Institute of Chemistry, who protestest that thou dost aspire
to the Great White Brotherhood, and demand of thee, “What art thou
doing?” wilt thou reply, “I am extracting the enzymes from this
ferment,” or rather, “I am aspiring to the Great White
Brotherhood.”? And if that question puzzle thee, as well it may,
seeing that either answer is in some sense or other a lie—then see
to it, I say, that thou lie not to the Holy Ghost!
Shakespeare is perhaps thought by some (may it be credited?) to have
written the lines:
To thine own self be true,
And it will follow as the night the day
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
‘Tis a worthy aphorism. Let the consciousness be ever directed
towards the Self— by whatever Name I call Thee, Thou art Nameless to
all Eternity!—and the possibility of lying is avoided.
For one speaketh not, nor, if one spake, is there any to hear. Know
that the greater the Adept, the more truthful; should he—in
error—speak, the more must he appear a liar to those of his fellows
who hear his voice. For he speaks, as beholding the Face of God;
they hear, as idols the work of men’s hands that have ears and hear
not, neither have they any understanding. Therefore, have the chance
words of Adepts been ill-heard throughout the ages; therefore, has
the world run red with blood because the Adepts have spoken Truth,
and the falsehood thereof has rung its sepulchral summons down the
Halls that men call Time.
[BONES boils over. MRS. BONES strokes his marble brow.
Now it hath occurred that some of the younger Adepts, the
light-hearted and foolish of the Great White Brotherhood, those who
slip back oftenest to normal consciousness of the Universe, so that
even their pure wings are soiled in the mire of sense, perception,
reason, and their foul kind, some of those boys, I say, forget the
Writing on the outer Veil of the Indicible Arcanum, that rune which
is written, “No separate existence!” in golden letters on the silver
of the veil (just as within is written “No existence” in silver
letters upon the gold of the veil).
[BONES smiles, seeing the way to destroy the argument of the Paper.
That rune these boys forget, miserable ones!
Therefore, lost in the unthinkable depths of their depravity, do
they dream evil dreams called “Others,” “Fellow-men” and the like
(Fellow-men is really a nightmare so appalling that only the
“pass-men” of the G. W. B. ever dream it, since it implies the
ghastly and horrible phantasm of “mankind”).
Now in their better selves is a certain force whose troubled
reflection is called “Love.” This tinctures the dream, and they
instantly feel compassion for the “Others”—who, being merely
unpurified parts of the consciousness, simply need annihilating—and
set to work (if you please!) to redeem these “Others,” to initiate
these “fellow-men,” to emancipate these “separate beings.”
[The bitterly sarcastic tone of this passage chills the blood of
MRS. BONES, and she hastily prepares more coffee.
Therefore they determine to announce Truth to men, that Truth may
make them free—it is but a step to Jonah’s Whale.
Now the process of waking from these dreams of evil, of arising into
the Dawn of Glory that is the true consciousness of the Adept, of
annihilating these disturbed phantasms, may involve some symbolic
dealing with them; but I should be inclined to assert that it need
never go so far as to postulate their reality, though one might
possibly conceive of them as credulous to that extent.
One could only harm them, though, by allowing them to possess such
thoughts (involving further discrimination) as the perception of the
pairs of opposites as real. In fact, my thought “Bones” may be
allowed to believe that he is real, and that there is no other God
but he—for such a thought is hardly an illusion—but Bones must not
and shall not think that there is an opposition of black and white,
good and evil, truth and falsehood.
One of our weaker brethren (and I alas! had relied on him as strong
among the strong!) recently plumed himself vastly on this perception
of the Illusion of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil—though
“Why in the name of Glory was he proud?” considering that he had the
authentic dictum of very Tikkunim for referring that Tree to Malkuth,
the first and easiest broken of the false fires of Loki that
surround the Virgin of the World!—and yet a week or so passed by,
and he was found carping at a question of mere verbal accuracy.
[BONES, conscience-smitten, protests feebly.] Truth and falsehood in
the British “I’m a plain man, sir, and I like a plain answer to a
plain question” sense are, on the lowest grounds, but details of
Morality: Morality is but a branch of that Tree of Knowledge; and
yet so far may the Adept fall from his Samadhic consciousness that
he is found with atavistic ardour recalling his father’s last
instructions ere he left home for school—“and, Talbot, mind you
always tell the truth, whatever comes of it!” the “Talbot” itself
being a deliberate lie told under the sacred seal of baptism in the
silly snobbish hope of persuading strangers that his ancestors were
all Talbots, and that it is but by some complication of the loi
Salique that his surname is Stubbs—even though that is notoriously
but an honest British corruption of St. Hubert.
Once leave The Truth, however the mind interpret that Aleph of the
Samadhic Language, and it seems there is no road back to it. Thus
Samadhi comes as a shock, as a negation, as a cessation; because
only by destruction can one attain thereto. Samadhi is never the
idea House of Cards one thinks to build; but the toppling over of
such a house may mean somewhat. The toppling over of Babel by
Temurah (in the mode Athbash) is Sheshak (Jeremiah, xxv, 26) 620,
Kether. One cannot construct an Adept, train, breed, or even imagine
or create one; but by destroying all the thoughts of a man—what
David, we conceive, entered into no intrigues to obtain the Crown of
Israel; on the contrary, he slew a lion and a bear1 that rose up
against him; and when he had further destroyed Goliath,2 the prophet
sought him out and anointed him King over Israel.
Surely who is anointed shall be crowned. Verily; but when? When not
only Saul the usurper, but Jonathan whom he loved more than his own
soul, are Dead.
We do not hear of the resurrection of Jonathan; we do not read of a
Jonathan Memorial Ward in the Jerusalem Lock Hospital; no word has
come down to us through the ages of a Honeycomb Day, in view of the
fact that the primrose is not indigenous to Palestine.
[Laughter and cheers.
Jonathan was dead, and David probably let the dead bury him. Come
Thou, and follow Me! adds Christ to a similar exhortation, and while
we pass with a pitying smile over the antithesis, or allow that it
is but a talking-down to the level of his hearer, we must adoringly
recognize the One-pointedness of the command. Let everything die,
and stay dead. Let there be one thing, which is No thing. Enough.
Such is the foolish attempt of the boy O.M. to instruct the adults
with whom he is thrown by the force of the Great Falsehood. Let him
become as a little child!
He has sought to write Truth; is any ready to receive it? Will he
not be misunderstood? Will not one set of fools cry “Casuist!” and
their twin brethren exclaim: “Here, indeed, at last shine wisdom,
and virtue, and multiscient truth!”?
No: for the Essay, and the Hearer, what are they but dog-faced
demons, that manifest no sign of Truth, but seduce ever from the
Sacred Mysteries? Affirm their identity with the One that is None,
or destroy them—these are the two aspects of the supreme Ritual, and
these two are one, which is None. Thus far the authentic voice of
O.M. [Respectful silence.
The Chairman. Now, Mr. Bones, with the accent on the Now, we shall
be glad to hear any remarks you may have to make.
Mr. Bones. We have all listened, I am sure, with great attention to
Mr. Bowley’s valuable paper. At this late hour, however, it would
ill become me [No! No!]—it would little accord with the disposition
of this meeting were I to [A voice: “Cut the cackle, man, and come
to the ’osses.”]—I am sure our greatly honoured Frater [A voice:
“Speak up!”]—I thunder in your ears! It’s a fine paper, but it’s all
R. O. T.
Rot. [Christmas waits outside begin the hymn:
In the hospital bed she lay
Rotting away—Rotting awa-a-y!
Sortie of MRS. BONES to disperse them.] What I principally wish to
point out is the element of contradiction in the valuable paper to
which we have all I am sure listened with remarkable pleasure. [Oh!
chuck it!] Was I called upon, or were you?
The Chairman. Order, if you please, greatly honoured Fratres. Mr.
Bone has the floor.
A Voice. What will Mrs. Bones say to that?
The Chairman. [Sternly.] If I have any more unseemly interruptions
of this kind, I shall clear the Court.
Mr. Bones. Thank your, sir. The very valuable paper to which I am
The Chairman. All those below the grade of Lords of the Absence of
Paths in the Abyss of the Great Gulf Fixed will kindly leave the
Court. I will myself set the example.
[Exeunt. BONES and BOWLEY soli.
Bowley. Your method of keeping silence is a good one. Dialogue is
the best form, after all. But hush! who comes?
Enter the YONLY YEATS, with druid apple-blossom in his hair, and the
druid casting-net of the stars in one hand. Does his turn and exit.
Bones. To continue—True! And saying “true,” let us discuss “truth.”
In the lower worlds, where are we? Take this frivolous Mrs. I. Why
does she elude Mrs. J.? From fear.
Bowley. Fear is failure.
Bones. More, G. H. Frater! It is the forerunner of failure.
Bowley. I certainly recommend people to be without fear.
Bones. The more so that in the heart of the coward virtue abideth
Bowley. Pass thou on!
Bones. I take in my hand page 39 of your able monograph and follow
my guide Axiokersos, the Second of the Samothracian Kabeiri, to the
Portal on whose veil is written “No separate Existence!” If I assert
my own point of view, I deny the Unity—But hush! who comes here!
Enter WHITEHEAD, equilibrist, does his turn, makes a Long Nose, and
Bowley. Re what you just said now, you can’t play at Kether down in
Bones. I scorn the remark. Wait! By answering the fool according to
Bowley. You degrade yourself to his level. But hush! who comes here?
My little bit of sweet-stuff!
[She exhibits her External Splendour and Internal Corruption, and
exit. Bones. As to levels though, all levels are one. If I cancel
out a and –a, the result is the same as if I cancel 1000ª and
–1000ª. I am only concerned to cancel. Bowley. All right, my gay
10=1—in Kether its all very well. In the Ruach one must do as the
[MRS. BONES, without, screaming, “My spoons! My silver spoons!
Where are my spoons?”
Bones. Then what becomes of the Great Work?
Bowley. Ignore the fool and his silly questions is as good a formula
as yours. But hush! Who comes here?
Enter the MYSTERIOUS MATHERS, but, failing to borrow the necessary
properties, is unable to give his performance, and exit.
Bones. This action does interrupt the dialogue.
Bowley. Go to! Do you think I’ve studied British Drama for years for
[Voices without, complaining of material loss.
Bowley. As I was saying, I would rather destroy the fool by ignoring
him and his silly questions. But hush! who comes here?
Enter NEHUSHTAN, and performs Serpentine Dance. Exit.
Bones. In answer to your last remark, you and I are near enough to
the Halls of the Great Order to know how secret is the Brotherhood.
What if your fool with his silly question should be a Master of the
Temple talking to you in Samadhic language?
Bowley. My dear man, I will destroy him as soon as the rest. ÑÚ m»
is my reply to Binah as well as to Jesod. But hush! who comes here?
Enter SHADDAI L. HYE, sings his songs and exit.1
Anyway, all this is a silly bit of morality. It arose from my trying
to save my wife pain by concealing from her the fact that she was
not, in the grand phrase of Emerson—
Bones. Washington Irving, I think—
Bowley. Some Yankee—the only oyster in the stew.
Bones. Who told you, Supreme Magus of our Ancient Order! [with
profound sarcasm] to go about saving people pain?
Bowley. I give in. But really I tell you that you will never attain
to the Brotherhood until you have genuinely conquered the Illusion
of the Pairs of Opposites. Truthfulness and Lying are just as much
opposites as white and black, good and evil—
Bones. I sometimes doubt if any of these are opposites at all. Next
time you run up to Kether, look down the Tree and see what Truth
looks like from up there! Take the case of heat and cold, at one
time the typical opposites. Nowadays we conceive of a hot body as
one in violent internal motion, a cold body as in moderate motion.
Bowley. Fast and slow.
Bones. Or even (to allow the enemy every advantage, let us say)
moving and reposing. But these are not opposites. Zero and unity are
Bowley. Yet in another sense any two things are opposites.
It needs little creative genius to introduce dextrously the various
members of Dr. Waistcoat’s troupe. I therefore leave the rest of it
to Stage Managers to arrange as they will.
Bones. That is in Kether again. If you wish to cancel a number,
however, zero is no use to you; you need a minus quantity.
Bowley. Which (you are no doubt going to say) demands a geometrical
interpretation, and a very conventional one at that.
Bones. Yes; even the Ruach can in a sense get rid of the Opposites.
How much more then when we observe the matter from the point of view
Bowley. Then what is the converse of Truth?
Bones. My dear Pilate, it certainly is not falsehood. A crooked line
is not the contradictory of a straight one. Curves and corners alike
exclude the straight line and—
Bowley. No proposition can possibly have two logical
Bones. There I pass.
Bones. I should certainly have brought it in justifiable homicide
had the remark been Abel’s.
Bowley. Our old friendship—
Bones. All very well—you know I should never have made such a remark
in real life and it’s dam bad form to give it me in a dialogue where
I can’t help myself, but have to say exactly what you like.
Bowley. Oh, come! I’ve given you all the best speeches. The Lord
hath given— look out!
Bones. I trust to your honour. Where were we? Anyway, I tell you
this: it’s a ripping good formula as such.
Bowley. Now we come down to the Black Magician and his circle again;
all right, I am with you. I can never help suspecting you of
morality, though; you’re a devilish deep Johnny, but the atavism
comes through. As long as you wear a tie that the Neanderthal cave
man would have discarded as out of date I can never quite class you
with this century.
Bones. Before Abraham was, I am.
Bowley. [Taking no notice.] I call it a Christian tie. Faith in your
wife’s affection surviving it; charity, which is not ashamed;
hope—no, only Hope Brothers.
Bones. This is in some ways a digression—
Bowley. I can prove—
Bones. I know you can. Don’t.
Bowley. Well, about truth. Surely I am right in saying that “I don’t
know” and keeping silence—both subjective formulas—are equal in
value to yours of telling truth to a man in the sense he
Bones. Yes; I may grant so much: but my formula is a good one too.
Bowley. I promise to try it.
Bones. You have two advantages. One is the common or Garden Magic;
you acquire the habit of telling truth in the low material objective
sense, and nature is bound (as Levi says) “to accommodate herself to
the statement of the magician.” Thus, one may take hold of a hot
iron, or coal, saying “It does not hurt” and it doesn’t.
Bowley. I have tried that. But I thought it a question of courage
The Hindus have a game they call the Act of Truth. I remember one
time King Brahmadatta or some ass wanted to cross the Ganges with
his army and like a fool hadn’t brought pontoons; so he damned
around for a hell of a time like a cat when you pepper her nose, and
by and by up comes “well, I won’t say a ——, but a lady of no
reputation,” and says, By Gosh, king, why don’t we go and give
long-armed Bhishma and that crowd Johnny up the Orchard? All right,
saucy! says Brahmadatta, ‘ow are we goin’ to cross the bloomin’
Keep your hair on, old cock, chirps the darling of India’s teeming
but unsaved population. Step aside a mo, and let the Dauntless Daisy
of the Deccan Drains perform. See here, boys, I’m a—well, what a
flapper grows up to be if she’s good!— and I’ve given every son of
a—what’s—tut! tut! this story is a very difficult story to
tell—flirted with me his dollar’s worth, and Lord knows how many
cents change, not to mention a rare lot of things which I will not
specify, thrown in. Any one in this army who denies this can come
round any time and get square free of charge.
So the river rolled back and Brahmadatta walked across and gave
long-armed Bhishma the Togo Touch, and wiped the maidan with Brer
Bhima, and biffed Greatly Honoured Frater Dritirashtra in the eye,
and mopped up Old Man Saraswati, and clave Sir Jnanakasha from the
nave to the chaps, and generally made a Grand Slam in Swords. Any
one but a benighted Hindu would have declared Hearts and sent the
girl across on a raft!
Bones. I don’t see it, quite.
Bowley. Nor do I. It’s the story, though.
Bones. I suppose devotion to one’s profession is a form of Truth.
But even if, as you say, it is often a question of courage and will,
these are the very qualities which this truth telling stimulates.
It’s a V.C. touch to reply to a lady who asks how her hat suits “Not
Bowley. It seems to me mere boorishness.
Bones. No! the lady is none the worse for the stab to her silly
vanity; and though she may be angry or sulky, she will remember it
in your favour when anything serious turns up.
Bowley. You dog! You devil! You Machiavellian satyr! On my word,
sir— words fail me.
Bones. One thing more—it’s the first truth that’s difficult to tell;
the habit is easily acquired.
Bowley. You know what an expert liar I have always been. You know my
capacity for making a full and true confession of countless crimes
without enlightening a soul. You know my shameless maxim, “Tell the
truth, but lead so improbable a life that the truth will not be
believed.” To try your formula I must control not only my words, but
my tones, the shape of my mouth, the mirth of my eyes, the ready
ambiguity of my shoulders.
Bones. A good exercise, Frater.
Bowley. Another point. I am, after all, a Poet. That’s right about
the lake-reflected sun illuminating the blooming bees. I often hold
long conversations with people and discover long after that I wasn’t
there at all. I often dream and am honestly puzzled whether the
events of it have or have not happened.
Bones. Consciously refuse to admit that your sensorium is not
another’s—that is all. About my second advantage—Brother, what is a
Bowley. A bold bad man, brother.
Bones. What does he do, brother?
Bowley. He buys eggs without haggling, and the horns of a goat cum
quo, and parricide’s skulls, and wands, and daggers, and Sanitary
Bones. Then what does he do, brother?
Bowley. He gets a beautiful big circle—
Bones. [In a voice of thunder.] Stop! do not parody the most
formidable words that agony ever wrung from the lips of initiation.
He works in a circle, brother. He says: I am inside, and you can’t
get at me. He says One and One are Two!
Bowley. The blaspheming Jew! I want his liver.
Bones. For your own cauldron, deboshed child of Belial that you are!
Bowley. I see. When you are up in 10=1 or thereabouts, and see that
dog-faced demons are only illusions (with the rest of Maya), there
is no sense in keeping them out. Once you realize the Universe as
Infinite L.V.X., why, to Hell with the Circle— let it rush in!
Bones. Good boy!
Bowley. Very good: we are agreed; but the trouble is that you seem
to me to rush up to Kether for an attitude, and then bring it down
to Malkuth. You take the Virgin of the World and swear she has a
Venerable Beard with thirteen Fountains of magnificent oil running
down it. All being one, why not brush your hair with a pitchfork?
Bones. It is a very difficult matter to deal with in speech; in
practice there is never any doubt or hesitation. What I say about
Kether is of course not true; I cannot even know the truth unless I
am actually in Kether. If I describe Samadhi, I fail. You understand
enough (may be) to feel sure that I was there; but how is an
outsider to judge?
Bowley. True; Buddha, Christ, Mohammed, all try to describe it—how
great is the contradiction of their teaching!
Bones. Especially as interpreted by followers absolutely wallowing
Bowley. Shall we leave it at that? That Bones finds objective truth
a Way up the Tree, and a Fruit in the topmost bough?
Bones. I am more positive than that.
Bowley. Less Zoroaster and more Pyrrho, please Lord, for Brother
Bones! else you will fall into the way of Paul, and perish in the
gainsaying of Mohammed.
Bones. You are obstinate about the necessity of scorning the
objective results of illumination. But let us consider the perfect
Bowley. Oh, brother, this is fulsome.
Bones. Ass! . . . He lives (it is true) in Kether; but his mind and
body, perfect though they are, work, as it were automatically, in
their own plane. At present I am quite unconscious of my heart
beating; it is not even a illusion! Yet it maintains its just
relation to the other illusory things. So, no doubt, an adept is
quite unconscious of the acts and thoughts performed by him, acts
and thoughts which seem to imply conscious volition. What about your
Bowley. Certainly, I am never—very seldom—very very seldom—aware of
what I am going to write, am writing, have written. I know, for
example, roughly, that we have been talking about Truth to-night.
But Heaven help me if I should try to reproduce the arguments or
apportion the speeches! A great deal of my verse is the mere
reflection of my rapture—a rapture, may be, of dissimilar nature. I
fall in love, and write “The God-Eater”; see Citlaltepetl, and out
comes “Night in the Valley!” “What he poured in at the mouth o’ the
mill as a 33rd Sonata (fancy now!) Comes from the hopper as bran-new
Sludge, naught else, The Shakers’ Hymn in G with a natural F Or the
Stars and Stripes set to consecutive Fourths.” I am not a poet; I am
a typewriter. A very complex machine, and one capable of
self-adjustment and improvement; but I can’t dictate as much as a
business letter. The machine needs the Operator before a single key
can be pressed. If Bowley goes mad (the quartos have “madder”), or
dies, our Superlatively Honoured Frater so and so has lost his
machine and must find another; and that’s the view from Binah; but
the view from Chesed is “Let me keep this machine in perfect order,
in case our S.H. Frater wants to dictate.”
Bones. Just so; and if Brother Bowley goes on lying, our S.H. Frater
will one day strike the A key and find a B on the paper. Then he
will probably say: Damn the machine!—and do it.
Bowley. We are leaving exactitude and wallowing in analogy. We have
run up and down the planes till we are less like Exempt Adepti thank
monkeys on sticks; we—
Bones. We had better go to bed.