Karma, Emptiness & Liber ABA

Karma and Emptiness

When I studied under a monk of the Dalai Lama’s lineage, we were all focused on the concept of Karma. In our school of Buddhism (and I’d imagine in all schools) Karma was keenly tied to the concept of Emptiness.

Emptiness within the Buddhist frame of mind refers to our perception of reality – that our reality is not necessarily being “correct,” but rather the result of being influenced by our karma. For example: A person see’s themselves living in a middle class neighborhood in California – do to past actions. The cause and effect nature of karma, indicates that these past actions influence our perceptions, which create the reality that we believe we live in. To the Mahayana Buddhist, this is evident in how two beings can see the same object entirely differently. Example: a pencil can be perceived by a rational adult human as being a writing instrument, but to a dog it is perhaps a chew toy. The only difference in this object is simply the perception of the individual. The object itself is not transformed into a “chew toy” or “writing instrument” based on use. It just exists. It is one perceptions that color the object. In this sense, they are both right and wrong about the same object. This can be extrapolated to people, society, and in fact all things in life.

It is believed in Buddhism, that true reality, can be seen by one who has ascended to an Enlightened state. Glimpses of this true reality can be seen from time to time, as one practices such things as Mahamudra Meditation – but for the most part we live in our flawed perceptions, until we gain the perfection of wisdom, to see clearly how all things exist.

Some have pondered, that if it is simply our perceptions, then why should we get involved in any aspect of improving life. If someone is suffering, why not let them suffer, since it is just a perception. The answer to that, from a Buddhist perspective is if you see suffering and do nothing about it, then that has a karmic consequence. A consequence which ultimately returns to the perceiver. This return yet again coloring the perceptions of one’s world. In essence, even though it’s a perception, one must act accordingly with wisdom.

How does wisdom determine the right action? In Buddhism, it is taught that the action that best returns to you is right action. What is our ultimate goal? Is it to be worried, fearful and angry? Or be enlightened? Or be at peace? Buddhism would encourage a person to know their true will – and perform those acts in accordance with the laws of Karma and Emptiness, so that the goal is achieved Karmically.

I came into the work Liber ABA (by Crowley) recently. In one chapter, Crowley discusses Karma. In much part I do agree with him, but in some part I disagree. Crowley’s view of Karma was that it is a law of Cause and Effect, but he also believed that inert actions of individuals (unconscious acts) nullify most negative Karma. He states, “With the majority of people their actions cancel each other out; no sooner is effort made than it is
counterbalanced by idleness.” We see people’s actions (which are the product of a thought), causing much disruption, pain and suppression all around us. Evidently their thoughts are not being nullified, not even in the slightest. As an action is the product of a prior thought, which is the product of a past cause.

Further, does Unconscious action have a superior edge over Conscious? Crowley states in Liber ABA, “The dead weight of the original conditions under which we were born has counted for far more than all our striving. The unconscious forces are incomparably greater than those of which we have any knowledge.” Yet that seems to undermine the power of one’s will. While unconscious action has a return, it is the conscious act that works out the greatest of return. Perhaps I misread Crowley. But if he is speaking of unconscious in reference to the individuals unconscious mind, having greater power then the conscious act of the individual – then I see this as a flawed argument.

In Buddhism: For one to negate their perceived “negative” karmic return, one would have to consciously deal with it. Not unconsciously. If we worked best in an unconscious state of mind, then the answer to life would be complete sedation. Buddhism actually does have an answer to handling ones past karma… and it’s consciously recognizing the ill act performed: a) Understanding with Wisdom, that the act was an ill act, as defined as being outside one’s True Will or ultimate goal. This ill act, has slowed one down on their own individual path b) this act is then regretted as it has detoured the individual from their path/goal/will c) the individual devises some sort of act of restoration (and accomplishes this act in a timely manner) d) the individual vows to not return to this act again (if the act is a compulsion or obsession, then the individual needs to put daily activities of mental training into effect to retrain the mind.)

Where Crowley is correct in his view of Karma is that it isn’t the “tit for tat” that he describes some as teaching. But really Buddhism doesn’t accept that either. What some are not aware of, is that Buddhism teaches it’s doctrine to the level they feel a recipient is ready for. In other words, if a Buddhist Lama or Monk feels the listener won’t get Emptiness – they’ll neglect it. They’ll teach a simplified version of Karma – the Tit For Tat, most likely. So, in his example of unknowingly killing a thousand lice – won’t necessitate himself being killed a thousand times by lice. However, this is relegated by one’s motivations. Motivations in Buddhism are key, as is scope. A person can do the same act for a variety of motivations, and the cause/effect is completely different. If Crowley had no motivation about killing lice – then the return is far less, then if he desired to inflict harm and destruction to a life form. Regarding scope, according to the core teachings of the East, it is the human condition that has superior function of reaching enlightenment. This scope would suggest that it is superior for a human to live at the expense of lice.

Crowley says that return based karma in proportions is ludicrous. He indicates that Karmic proportions would indicate that killing a thousand lice means one would be killed a thousand times by lice. Incorrect. Proportion indicates scope. If a man willfully kills lice, then he is duly getting a return, but in proportion to the act. In Buddhist thought lice are not equal to man – in the sense that a human has the ability to become enlightened. The lice massacre, will return, but based on the motivation of the individual and the scope of what is taken. The life of a lice, is small scope (similar to a bee bee being shot from a gun at a target – there is less impact, then say a .45 caliber being shot at the same target), so the return is smaller to the human. But if a person willfully and permanently blinds another person – then that act has great return. It may not be the exact blindness that was given, but surely the attacker will have their “empty” perception colored by the karma of the action they performed – in essence, to have something in their life taken away. Similarly the blinded person, had the past karma to become blinded. Thus the cycle, and interconnectedness of all things.

This bit isn’t to say Crowley was off base on Karma. For the most part I do believe him to be giving some good meat to a discussion that is oft neglected in the mystical paths of the West. I’ve had several Western Mystery students/magicians argue with me regarding Karma as either a) not existent, so their actions have no return b) that it exists, but only a physical manifestation of cause and effect.

Here are some highlights, where I think Crowley espouses some deep truths regarding Karma:

“The Karma of a man is his ‘ledger.’ The balance has not been struck and he does not know what it is; he does not even fully know what debts he may have to pay, or what is owed him; nor does he know on what dates even those payments which he anticipates may fall due.”

“Many of the entries in his ‘ledger’ are for the ordinary man necessarily illegible; the method of reading them is given in that important instruction of the A.’.A.’. called “Thisharb,” Liber CMXIII.”

Point of fact, Liber Thisharb is quite valuable, in my opinion. It is a method by which a person can find, discover and ultimately nullify past karma.

What I just don’t understand, is that if Crowley had such a keen insight into Karma – knew of the existence of Past Lives – Understood the necessity of building positive karma to cross the abyss – the need to destroy karma in the end… is how he dismisses Karma in certain aspects.

If one’s goal is to accomplish the Great Work – or perhaps otherwise state, become enlightened – then how can this be achieved if one does actions that karmically will return to slow one on the path? Then by simple deduction, those actions which do not karmically benefit one would form one’s personal ethical doctrine. I say personal, as one individual may have a different goal then another – and thus their own personal guideline of ethics. While Crowley does state, that “Do what thou Wilt shall be the Whole of the Law” meaning, to do your True Will, he also backs it up a bit seeming to suggest that most karma doesn’t return to us, but is nullified by unconscious action. If he’s wrong, and most action and thought is not nullified so easily – then we should be even more observant of our thoughts and actions – and more importantly our true will. To know our true will, and to only do those things to assure it’s rapid establishment.

A weekend of Dreams

This past weekend I have had interesting spiritually charged dreams each night.

I'll detail the dreams here for future reference.

Dream 1:
On Sat. night, the last night of a 7 day Aurum Solis ritual - I had a interesting dream. It started as a dream, but then my mind became more aware and it felt like a astral separation from the body... yet dreamlike.

There was a being, who moved me out of the room... and began to take me farther away. it was like a shadow of a man. But at one point, along this ride, I stated, "Stop." The being stopped dead in the air. We hovered over towers of a city below.

I asked the name of this being, and got no response.

I called an Enochian Angel I knew would assist me... and he appeared instantly. He came in the clouds of fire. I asked this Enochian angel if this being could be trusted.

"you should banish" said the Enochian and so I did.

I began the banishing - and simply awoke from my state.

Dream 2:
From Sunday Night:
Quite different. It started out so interesting. I was in a home. A new home. A dream home. A home that was amazing. It was a mansion. It towered on an amazing estate. The backyard, had a walkway that went down to a lake. The whole place was amazing. But there was a spirit in the house... or spirits. But it didn't bother me at all.

I walked in the home. No one was there, but me. I walked over to an ornate fireplace and wrapped my hands around it (which was odd) and I said, "I love this house, and all the spirits in it." Again very odd to say.

Now, part of the dream is lost... but i recall being in my bedroom. There I was in the room and I was in the middle of demanding a spirit leave the house (so something must have happened.) I drew (with my fingers) the Tetragramaton in the air and spoke it's name... like thus: "Spirit in the name of [Tetragramaton] I demand you leave." As I said that, the Hebrew letters appeared on the wall I faced... they glowed with energy. As they glowed, I looked around the room and saw dozens of another name written by another person or creature.

The name was oddly written. It was written in English letters, the first letter had a slash through it. The name had six letters. In my dream I made certain to remember them. The name was a simple English name: Leslie - but the first letter had slash through it.

The name was repeated around the walls and was more concentrated over the bed where I slept. It was very disconcerting to me in the dream.

Now, out of the dream I am trying trying to understand it.

Six letters, and one is lost with a slash... 6 becoming 5.

OR it could be in Hebrew:
Lamed Shin Lamed Yod Or perhaps Lamed Samech Lamed Yod
Four letters that are also 3.

This idea is more interesting, notice it follows the same formula of the Tetragramaton... four letters and one is repeated twice. Reading right to left it spells: YLSL

But what would that mean...?

I'll still keep looking and searching.

Opposites and Union

I've been reading a lot of Crowley's work, in it is this idea of knowing or becoming opposites. Knowning one's boundaries, is another way of saying that I suppose.

From Liber XC comes this phrase, "33. I reveal unto you a great mystery. Ye stand between the abyss of height and the abyss of depth. 34. In either awaits you a Companion; and that Companion is Yourself."

Here again, two extremes are described, an abyss of height and an abyss of depth. The union of the two is the totality of these extremes, which is - in this passage - the aspirant themselves.

Union in Thelema is an aspect of love.

Several years ago, a angel made known to me a similar idea, "To find opposing views and reconcile their differences."

Today, while driving to work, I noticed a pickup truck in the carpool lane to my left. In the back bed was a cabinet, with an unlatched door. In the stop and go traffic, I watched the door of the cabinet swing open and close. It dawned on me that the door has two states. The first state could be said to be "closed" and the other state (opposite in fact) would be "open." If the door only existed in one state, it couldn't really function as a "door." It is the union of these two oposite states that creates the "door."

Extrapolating, one could find the boundaries of anything, and from that, know by it's union comes the totality of the thing. Or in reverse, start with the concept or goal, and find it's boundaries - to know the path of becoming the thing.

So then, what are the boundaries of the enlightened?

Poem: Twelve Petals

I wrote this poem last year... within it I told a method of combining Enochian with a Gnostic meditation of a lotus upon the Ajna chakra.

I figured it might go nicely in my blog:

Twelve Petals
Brian Warner

A lotus of twelve petals rests
Upon Ajna, upon the door
Displaying the colors of it’s nest
Four tones inscribe this score.

Green, white, black and red
These tones play round the lotus’ rim
And upon each petal a word is said
Calling the Light that will never dim.

One word, inscribed at each part
Of the Lotus’ outer edge
While a receiving light at it’s heart
To above, it makes it’s pledge.

As above, and so below
Words of Angels’ written down
Are called upon so as to sow
The Living Lotus into the crown.

From the ether of above
Comes the many call and key
Descending as the mystical dove
Providing the way for one to See.

It should be said very clear
Each petal itself is as a gate
To pass through, as the seer
Moving through to powers great.

All this said for one real task
To reign myself to will, so true
Removing my dark ego mask
Becoming … Becoming… New.


Recently I recieved an email from a mundane source... and it upset me... it upset me greatly. It felt like a personal restriction. That someone else was trying to restrict my rights - specifically for medical attention.

I was privately upset... and dealt with it in private, but my thoughts were vexed all night.

As I read that excerp from Soror Meral (previous post of mine), I began to realize... I was projecting a restriction... but why was I projecting one? what was the source cause of this projection?

Then I realized... my restrictions of others.

Karma had returned to me.

I restrict others. I have in the past. Either mentally or verbally. I've often fallen prey to this bad behavior. Telling people what's best. What's right. How they're doing something wrong. Mostly these are thoughts - on occasion, especially with those I have in close confidence, I verbalize it.

Now I project a restriction being placed upon me.

This realization has caused me some relief. But it's also put me on guard to watch my behavior and thoughts more closely.

Soror Meral on Perception and my recognition of my own failures


I was reading the above PDF publication, and came across a article by Soror Meral (Phyllis Seckler).

I find it quite interesting as it touches my Buddhist background on the concept of what the Mahayana Buddhist's call - Emptiness. Emptiness in Buddhism, goes back to the classic quote, "Form is Emptiness and Emptiness is Form."

Much was wrote on this subject in later Buddhist commentaries by such notables as Master Shantideva. As I understand the concept, Emptiness is a way of saying that nothing exists as we see (or think we see) it. That the angry man, may not be angry. The sad woman may not be sad. The corrupt official may not be corrupt.

Instead of believing in what we see, Emptiness says that these things we percieve are projections of our Karma. We see a violent world, as we have the karma to see it that way. Just as a "dog" has the Karma to see a pencil as a chew toy. A simple change in Karma will result in a shift in perception.

It is the Buddhist contention that one who sees Emptiness directly, would be near Enlightenment... as they would see all possibilities of all things, at every moment. They would see all realities and in fact know the True Reality.

But I degress.

Regarding Soror Meral, she writes:
"Along this line, let me remark that every person when they have but a small amount of development sees the world and others through a narrow window. Thsi window is the own nature. As aspirants to Initation they formulate an idea in themselves of what an Initated person out to be like. This idea is none other than the idea of the own Higher Self which has broken through into the mental and conscious life. We could also use Jungian terms and lable them the Anima and Animus which Jung states is a bridge to the knowledge of the Divine. They are the ideas of all that is good or true or beautiful or of the highest that we may know. The student who has found a guru or a teacher immediately begins to project his own idea of his Higher Self on to the guru and begins to demand that the guru live up to this idea! If the guru is quite different from the student's ideas of him there is bound to be much disappointment. Worse, the student may be seriously hampering the guru in his function, for if the guru says not what the student expects to hear, there is much trouble. Still worse, the student is not allowing another to live in Freedom. Is not Thelema a Law of Freedom? For this reason the position of teacher or gurucould be a very dangerous position for anyone not firmly set in his own Will."

Further Soror Meral continues, "....Such a person never grows to the point where he can face himself. In the case of the search for a proper guru who will combine in himself all the ideals the student wishes for himself, this may lead the student to join one Occult Order after another in the hopes that, finding himself in another, he may then attain Initiation more quickly."

And now Soror Meral gives an antidote to the problem:
"What is needed in all such situations is a more thorough understanding of the own nature and a mturing process which leads one to know and to be one's own Higher Self. It is the path of a slave and of a coward not to realize that the ideals one projects upon another are one's own and do not necessarily belong to the other. Further, it is a serious attempt to enslave and hamper another person in their true nature to demand or even to think that he or she should live up to one's own formulated ideals. Here we see the root of the reason why the lower levels of mankind wish to pull the genius down to their own levels. The undeveloped person cannot recognise his own projections, be they of the higher or lower variety, and so when he learns of others who live above the laws of his herd mind, he becomes afraid of such freedom and desires to pull the genius to his own level of thinking. This is one reason why the Book of the Law states, 'Ye are against the people, O my chose!' Cap. II, v. 25. For ramifications of this problem it might be very profitable for you to study Nietzsche and especially his 'Thus Spoke Zarathustra.'"

With all that said, I find that Soror Meral's words have convicted my heart. In reading them, in typing them out, I see back down my recent years and see I've behaved similarly as she describes.

I have been guilty of this same attitude of projecting my ideals onto the guru/teacher of my past. In finding not the corresponding resonance, I left.

If only I understood Emptiness more clearly... or better yet, saw it directly, perhaps my path would have had less variation. Or perhaps where I've been, is exactly where I should have been.

Either way, my future direction should be one of no projections. I can't simply "do that" right now, but I can strive to try.

Past Lives

There was a time, when this subject might have evoked a laugh from me.

In fact I didn't really consider this as a possibility, till my introduction into Buddhism. Interestingly enough, even after taking my Buddhist vows in 2004, I didn't believe in Reincarnation or other incarnations.

My lama was gentle about it. He just asked that I take my time and try and keep an open heart.

In time, as I learned more about Reincarnation I realized it wasn't what I had thought it to be. Slowly I came to accept it for myself.

In the magick community, there is a division on those who accept it, those who don't and those who see a mix of reincarnation and non-reincarnation... I suppose I fit into the later at this point, but my perspective is prone to change.

My personal take - is that when a person dies, their karma rippens, and the natural tendancy is to be pulled back to form. However, the pull can be resisted for a time - or even nullified by the works of the spirit (enlightenment, nivrana, crossing the abyss, etc.)

That aside though - I've been reading into the Western Mysteries on this. In the Golden Dawn order that I was a member of, there was no definate answer to this. People choose one way or another on this topic. However in Thelema... Crowley is clear. He certainly believed in reincarnation... but more then that... he found it necessary to deal with our past lives in order to cross the abyss.

You might be wondering why I'm fixing my attention on Thelema for this dicusssion. I suppose it comes down to Crowley's direct teachings, whereas other orders of the West seem more open to interpretation and personal perspective.

Source Materials
For the purpose of this entry I'll be referencing the following Liber's:
- Liber II
- Liber Thisharb

After mentioning the goals of a Thelemic magician, Liber II adds, "The obvious practical task of the magician is then to discover what his will really is, so that he may do it in this manner, and he can best accomplish this by the practices of Liber Thisarb (see Equinox I(7), p. 105) or such others as may from one time to another be appointed."

What Liber Thisharb is, is a practice of training the magician to move back down their past lives. The process starts with special training that involves thinking, behaving and acting backwards. This is further developed into going into one's past and penetrating beyond birth. A collection of lives and events are recorded and analyzed.

But why? What's so important about past lives?

Crowley raises that himself, "He was put to death by Calvin, or stoned by Hezekiah; as a snake he was killed by a villager, or as an elephant slain in battle under Hamilcar. How do such memories help him?"

He answers it with this, "Until he have thoroughly mastered the reason for every incident in his past, and found a purpose for every item of his present equipment.... he is not ready to swear the Oath of the Abyss."

I would like to offer further possibilities. I believe Crowley understand that to cross the abyss, one must have a culmination of very good (good meaning, pertaining to one's True Will) Karma. He indicates this early in Liber Thisharb, "2. For in the Abyss no effort is anywise possible. The Abyss is passed by virtue of the mass of the Adept and his Karma...."

Further he states in verse 5, "Let then the Adept who finds the result of these meditations unsatisfactory refuse the Oath of the Abyss, and live so that his Karma gains strength and direction suitable to the task at some future period. "

It seems, as at least I deduce, that it is the work of Liber Thisharb that accumulates good Karma. I realize the terms "good" and "bad" are relative, I merely mention them to indicate movement in the direction of one's True Will. It appears to me, that to pass the Abyss one must have the fuel of massive Karma that is cleared from this and past events (past lives.)

So how Does it Work?
But still, how does knowing your past life, help you in any way at all? This is a common Golden Dawn question. I've heard it raised by a Golden Dawn Adept, who believed in past lives, yet found no good of it. The answer can be found elsewhere, but let's first see it in Crowley's Liber Thisharb, verse 30 (regarding the second method of this Liber): "30. This being accomplished, let him trace his own history with special reference to the causes of each event. And in this practice he may neglect to some extent the universal forces which at all times act on all, as for example the attraction of masses, and let him concentrate his attention upon the principal and determining or effective causes. For instance, he is seated, perhaps, in a country place in Spain. Why? Because Spain is warm and suitable for meditation, and because cities are noisy and crowded. Why is Spain warm? and why does he wish to meditate? Why choose warm Spain rather than warm India? To the last question: Because Spain is nearer to his home. Then why is his home near Spain? Because his parents were Germans. And why did they go to Germany? And so during the whole meditation."

Notice the "why"'s. By asking "why," we gain a concept of Karma. I'm an American... why? i was born this way. why? ultimately Why is answered with, "because of my past actions." I might convince myself of this, but I can't truly know this to be so, until I have experienced my past lives and see the causes for why I was born in America...

By going back through one's past, taking in the greatest of detail, I believe two things are accomplished:

First, one realizes that ALL things they have ever experienced are occurances by past causes they initiated. Karma becomes realized. It's no longer a concept. How does this help? By seeing how everything in one's past has created one's present - the magician can glimpse their True Will. Or in the least, the blocks to knowing Their True Will, by knowing this they can make new choices which will return the greatest of result (gaining their True Will or Exercising it.) They now know the process - by doing those acts that will return to that result.

Second, another thinker (although quite controversial) named L. Ron Hubbard hypothesized that if a person were to go back to a past painful event, and relive it - over and over and over... they gain control over it. It no longer has power of the person. This is similar in concept to a person who has a broken knee bone. They avoid contact with that part of their body - even to the extent of avoiding their mind from connecting with it... for it hurts. But by getting closer and closer mentally and physically to the sore area they dread, they come into communication with it. It (the pain) no longer has power over them. Instead, they have power over it. To use a mundane example: A current state of Asthma, might be the result of a past drowning. By handling the past, the present can clear. Instead of a mundane example, imagine a spiritual one... imagine if one knew that one has been murdered thousands of times, all due to a way of thinking. Imagine if that knowledge caused one to change their thinking - clearing the reoccuring incidence... thereby assisting one to get closer to realizing their True Will (without the affect of being stopped, murdered, failing.)

In other words - by knowing the past, we can end the cycle of it. This is logical in thinking of our current life. But most of us fail to see the cause of things we didn't create in this life. "Why did this bad thing happen to me?" the consuming thoughts that keep people from their clear path to total Enlightenment. Perhaps the cause can't be seen in a single lifetime, so they keep repeating it. But what if the person went back down and saw the cause and how it's repeated over 5000 lifetimes? Now armed with the knowledge... they can make changes in behavior and stop the cycle. Get closer to their True Will... to Enlightenment.

I believe that by doing rituals like this, in the way Crowley describes will allow one to possible glimpse their True Will, definately find a way to get the results of gaining a closer walk with their True Will, and will also release the person from past Karmic bonds.

Let's Look at this from a Buddhist Perspective
I've covered a lot of ground here, mostly Thelemic in nature, but now let me tie it inot something a bit more mainstream - Buddhism.

What is the "crossing the Abyss" in Buddhist terms? In my opinion, it's a similar reference to the Mahayana concept of Total Enlightenment. Becoming a Buddha, if you will. It is the end of suffering. The conclusion of cycle of life. But most of all, it is the embodiement of one's purpose. True Will is found in the home of Total Enlightenment.

In Mahayana Buddhism, the goal is to gain Total Enlightenment - this is achieved in meditation and by living an Ethical life.

The Ethical lifestyle of Buddhism is the gain of positive Karma. By Ethics, I simply refer to the Buddhist ideal of doing those acts that reflect back to your greast good.

The Meditation is used to focus the mind on overcoming barriers and obsticales.

The Buddhist practice also encorporates ideas of using rituals to stop past Karmic seeds from fireing.

By putting the Buddhist work to practice, the Buddhist hopes to shed the cycle of suffering, and gain perfection.

But for one to overcome their karma, they must know where it comes from. For one to transform their karma alchemically - they must know it's source. By knowing the source, the antidote is fashioned. The antidote is then put in place. This antidote for the Buddhist, will take the form of Ethics and Meditation rituals.

This set of Buddhist processes has a goal of ending the negative returns in the future, and cultivating the positive returns. The past can be handled as well - similarly as Crowley describes - by revisiting the events of the past in great detail and handling them.

There is of course a difference in Crowley's writings and Buddhist doctrine. But they do have some common overlap here.

The end result is a similar state in both schools of though: the perfected person.

Further, what Crowely describes is similar to what some in Mahayana (such as Shantideva) Buddhism has called the Direct Perception of Emptiness. Seeing Karma directly. Seeing cause and effect over the Aeon's of one's life. Seeing that, places one directly in the path of Enlightenment.

Back to Magick
By gaining the positive (that which leads to our True Will) Karma - we gain the fuel to assist us in the oath of the abyss... or ascending above Da'at. For some it is the 'becoming one with the creator' for others 'becoming an Enlightened being.' Perhaps it's all the same thing, just termed differently.

We can gain this positive Karma by new actions - as well as handling the old.

By seeing our Karma directly, we situate ourselves into seeing our own perfection. We can become the programmers of our own destiny.

Conversely, without this, we might wonder for more and more lifetimes, still stuck in the cycles of revenge, pain and desire.

Self == Selflessness

From Liber B Vel Magi:

"16. Let the Magus then contemplate each in turn, raising {8} it to the ultimate power of Infinity. Wherein Sorrow is Joy, and Change is Stability, and Selflessness is Self. For the interplay of the parts hath no action upon the whole. And this contemplation shall be performed not by simple meditation --- how much less then by reason! but by the method which shall have been given unto Him in His initiation to the Grade."

According to the Kybalion - all opposites ultimatley resolve - it is called the Law of Polarity:
"Everything is dual; everything has poles; everything has its pair of opposites; like and unlike are the same; opposites are identical in nature, but different in degree; extremes meet; all truths are but half-truths; all paradoxes may be reconciled."

So how is the Selflessness Self?

Mahayana Buddhism teaches at times, that "Selfishness" creates "Selflessness" - that Selfishness and Self meet. The teaching is sublime - but comes to a concept that if we want the best things for ourselves, we must give the best things to others. To gain peace, we must give peace. To have wealth, we must give wealth. To procure love, we must love others. Some might find this not very altruistic - but does it matter? For behaving this way, one melts the self into selflessness.

With this frame of reference, perhaps a key can be constructed to unlock Liber NV:
"9. Let the Aspirant beware of the slightest exercise of his will against another being. Thus, lying is a better posture than sitting or standing, as it opposes less resistance to gravitation. Yet his first duty is to the force nearest and most potent; e.g. he may rise to greet a friend.This is the third practice of Ethics (ccxx. I. 41).
10. Let the Aspirant exercise his will without the least consideration for any other being. This direction cannot be understood, much less accomplished, until the previous practice has been perfected.This is the fourth practice of Ethics (ccxx. I. 42, 43, 44). "

It seems to me at first glance, to opposites here... to beware of the slightest exercise of one's will against another... Then in the next verse, to exercise one's will without the least consideration for any other being. The clue here is the end of verse 10, that this can't be understood or acomplished until the previous practice has been perfected.

If I were to perfect being aware of the slightest exercise of my will against another - I would perfect my behavior to such a degree to work to my best return. Selfless, as it were. Once perfected, my true will could be established without the consideration of any other being. But if I were to attempt to exercise my will first (without consideration of any other being), I would become unbalanced - egotistic, hostile perhaps. But with the first part, my will would guide my love.

Verse 3, from The Spiritual Guide

Lately there's been various bad news going around.

I thought this might cheer some up. It's from The Spiritual Guide by Molinos. The following quote is from Chapter I, verse 3:

"Be constant, and cheer up thine heart in whatsoever disquiet these tributlations may cause to thee. Enter within it, that thou may overcome it; for therein is the Divine Fortress, which defends, protects and fights for thee. If a man hath a safe Fortress, he is not disquieted, though his enemies pursue him; because, by retreating within it, these are disappointed and overcome. The strong Castle, that will make thee triumph over all thine enemies, visible and invisible, and over all their snares and tribulations, is within thine own Soul, because in it resides the Divine Aid and Sovereign Succour. Retreat within it and all will be quiet, secure, peaceable and calm."

An excerpt from Liber PORTA LVCIS

An excerpt from Liber PORTA LVCIS:

"19. To you who yet wander in the Court of the Profane we cannot yet reveal all; but you will easily understand that the religions of the world are but symbols and veils of the Absolute Truth. So also are the philosophies. To the adept, seeing all these things from above, there seems nothing to choose between Buddha and Mohammed, between Atheism and Theism.

20. The many change and pass; the one remains. Even as wood and coal and iron burn up together in one great flame, if only that furnace be of transcendent heat; so in the alembic of this spiritual alchemy, if only the zelator blow sufficiently upon his furnace all the systems of earth are consumed in the One Knowledge.

21. Nevertheless, as a fire cannot be started with iron alone, in the beginning one system may be suited for one seeker, another for another."

This rings true for me. Although I could see how some might take offense to it. I first got this idea, when after years and years of growing up in the home of a minister... one day, well into my adulthood, I walked from Christianity and stood in a Buddhist Temple. I felt there, the same peace, I had sometimes felt in the Christian surroundings at church. In that moment I came to believe that perhaps all religions are linking back to the same source.

Liber Librae verse 6

I was re-reading Liber Librae from Equinox Vol. 1 Nos 1

Another verse has caught my attention:
"6. Be not hasty to condemn others; how knowest thou that in their place, thou couldest have resisted the temptation? And even were it so, why shouldst thou despise one who is weaker than thyself?"

It reminds me of the Mahayana Buddhist practice of exchanging self with others. A practice that Master Shantideva goes into great commentary on.

In fact Crowley's writing style here reminds me of Shantideva - it's similar here with giving alternatives, and then answering each one in turn.

Here we have two possibilities: a) don't condemn others because you don't know if you'd fail at the same situation and b) if you wouldn't fail, don't condemn another who is weaker then you.

It's not just good advice, but it's very important to my life. I find often, various people that I become frustrated with. I shouldn't. I should realize that what has frustrated me is their lack of strength in a situation... and i dont know if I would succeed or fail, if the same situation presented itself to me.

Pour Breathing: Elemental Forces

There's this wonderful thing, when we find that someone who came before us, of vastly more experience, teaches something we already came into knowledge of. It validates our work. In my case, it was the drawing in of elemental energy into my physical form - and then expelling it out, for magical purpose.

Awhile back, I created a magical servitor to protect my house. It came about out of necessity, which I won't get into here. But none the less it was created and required a fuel, a vital life force for it's power into the physical world. This is covered in many great books on the matter (ie. this one is a modern approach, which works well.) At any rate, the purpose of this post, isn't to get into the details of how I or others create magical servitors. But rather, to talk about something Bardon discusses and how I found I was already doing it.

When I created the servitor, I called it from a specific elemental force.

But such a creation needs vital force to survive, to accomplish it's usefulness, and so forth. My method for "feeding" the servitor - is to draw in the elemental force used in it's creation - via what Franz Bardon (and possibly others) call Pore Breathing of Elemental Energy.

Bardon teaches a method in Step III of Initiation Into Hermetics. I just moved into Step III this past weekend. As I began to read it, I was happy to see he taught something I was already doing. Pore Breathing of elemental energy.

It's a method of drawing in energy, by the breath, but through the entire body. As though the body itself is a lung, taking in this elemental force.

I won't go into methodology here, but suffice to say, what he teaches in Step III, is oddly close to what I'm doing. The only twist to my work, is that I tie almost all my magical work into Enochian magic. My only addition is opening a gateway through to an Enochian realm of an element I desire. I "breathe" the element in via pore breathing. Once gained, I expel it to the servitor.

Of course "expelling it to the servitor" is more then just breathing it out. There's a variety of other things that were done in the creation of the servitor that are then repeated at this point, to connect to it - and then the energy is expelled on the out breaths to the magical creature.

It was quite encouraging to see that my methodology was taught by a far greater magician, quite some time ago. How I came to the same conceptual method... I'm not sure. It may have been instructions from Enochians I work with on a regular basis. Or it could have been pure inspiration.

Raja Yoga Passage (Sun Energy and Body Limitations)

I found this passage from Raja Yoga (by Vivekananda) quite interesting:

"....Physiologically, the eating of food means assimilation of energy from the sun. The energy first enters the plant, the plant is eaten by an animal, and the animal by a man. This means, in the language of science, that we take an amount of energy from the sun and make it part of ourselves. If that be so, why should there be only one way of assimilating energy? The plant's way is not the same as ours; the earth's process of assimilating energy differs from our own. But all assimilate energy in some way or other. The yogis contend that they are able to assimilate energy by the power of the mind alone, that they can draw in as much of it as they desire without recourse to the ordinary methods. As a spider makes its web out of its own substance, and becomes bound by it, and cannot go anywhere except along the lines of that web, so we have projected out of the material of our bodies this network called the nerves, and now we cannot work except through the channels of those nerves. The yogis say that we need not be bound by them."

I suppose what I find fascinating is Vivekananda's reference to beings feeding from the Sun. The second aspect I find interesting, is Vivekananda's idea on the body being an artificial barrier of the self.

From my Mahayana past, I came to terms that the body is not the self. This, in agreement, makes an interesting analogy that the body is to a person's self as a web is to the spider. But to recognize the body as the self, limits the person. For we are not bound by the body, and should seek to understand that.

My moving outside the body - one realizes the spiritual nature of life. That it isnt only mundane shells and meat bodies. It is here, outside the shell, that the true self can be realized.

Regarding the Sun, it's an interesting and perhaps auspicious reference to the modern occultist. To some, it might be a reference to the Qabbalistic concept of Tipheret. To others, it might be more linked to the Square of the Sun - whose numbers sum to an interesting number that is often feared, or reveared.

Is it coincidence that the Thelemic reference to "93" also correspondes to 93 million miles from the Earth to the Sun? Or is that evidence of a truth?

How important is the Sun to the occultist of today? If important, then the passage above would indicate methods of drinking the energy of the Sun, that are non corpreal in nature.

Crowley on Correspondences

In Magic Without Tears, page 34 (Chapter IV): Crowley answers a letter of a student on the topic of the correspondences of the Qabbalah.

"("How many sets of attributions?"—Well, certainly, the Hebrew and Greek Alphabets
with the names and numbers of each letter, and its mean- ing: a couple of lists of Godnames,
with a clear idea of the character, qualities, functions, and importance of each; the
"King-scale" of colour, all the Tarot attributions, of course; then animals, plants, drugs,
per- fumes, a list or two of archangels, angels, intelligences and spirits—that ought to be
enough for a start.)
Now you are armed!"

Further, on the next page, Crowley goes on:
"You must construct your own Qabalah!
Nobody can do it for you. What is your own true Number? You must find it and prove it
to be correct. In the course of a few years, you should have built yourself a Palace of
Ineffable Glory, a Garden of Indescribable Delight. Nor Time nor Fate can tame those
tranquil towers, those Minarets of Music, or fade one blossom in those avenues of

I really connect with this idea.

When I first entered the worlds of occult orders - I came to a Golden Dawn society (based on the orriginal HOGD), but referred to as EOGD. There they presented a wonderous work of study - but it wasn't to be deviated. It wasn't to be changed.

Later, in my own personal studies, I came across a personal mentor for a time (Athena of www.enochian.org) who relayed the importance of making our own correspondences. Crowley starts the student off on a set of known correspondences - but then seems to suggest at some ponit the student will need to discover themselves - via their own set of correspondences. Their Own Qabbalah as it were.

This has been my own personal belief and I enjoy seeing it reflected more elequent then I could possibly state it.

As to why one would even attempt to write their own Qabbalah, Crowley posits:
"why should you do all over again the work that I have already done for you? Reason: simple.
Doing it will teach you Qabalah as nothing else could. Besides, you won't be all cluttered
up with words that mean nothing to you;"

Beyond that, I personally believe that magick speaks to us differently - each to his own. Your perception of the world is different then mine. This is how one man can attribute Fire in the East, and another Fire to the South - and both get results of equal merrit. But if one attributes Fire to the South - when their own inner machinery will's it to the East - the result isn't as strong. To sum: To find and obey the Will of one's self in regards to magick correspondences will be most effective as it deals with your machinery to the core.

What's all this Bickering and Arguing?

In the spiritualist communities it seems this is the norm.

Perhaps it's not indicative of spiritualism, but rather the Internet as a whole...

I came to a conlusion in the last year, that I wont get involved in pointless bickering and arguing. I'm not talking about discussion, where you might present an idea in opposition - to gain some insight or to provide insight... rather I'm talking about the pointless arguing going on throughout the mystical/magickal/spiritual societies and communities.

While I've tried to express my feelings on the matter, I think I might not be clear enough. Recently, while reading Raja Yoga (one of the books of required reading for student of the A.'.A.'. - but you needant be following Thelema to appreciate the wisdom of the book), I came across these quotes:

From Raja Yoga (by Vivekananda) page 144 (the chapter on Concentration):
"Do not answer any argument but go away calmly, because arguments only distrub the mind. The only use of argument is to train the intellect. When that is accomplished, what is the use of disturbing it further?"

Vivekananda's commentary is to say - sure it's fine to discuss something... maybe argue a concept to learn from it. But when that is accomplished (no more learning) why disturb the mind further? So when does it become accomplished? When a person you are arguing with, or perhaps yourself, no longer ads anything to the dialogue. When the same principals are repeated over and over. Another sign, is when you or your partner in the discussion begins to ignore your words - perhaps even misrepresenting ideas, in order to "best" or "win."

Further on the next page Vivekananda states, "Every argument throws his mind out of balance, creates a disturbance in the chitta; and a disturbance is a drawback. Argumentation and reasoning are only preliminary stages; there are things beyond them. The whole of life is not for schoolboy fights and debating societies."

I love that passage. Here the commentary is we grow through learning stages... first by arguing.. and then later we learn by going beyond the intellect. I love the passage about debating societies.

Perhaps this is the best advice (taken from page 144): "Do not argue, he says; if anyone forces arguments upon you, be silent."

I've recently put that into practice. In deed arguments distrub the mind. I began to see my mind becoming vexed with arguments last year. Once the argument is put out there, especially on the internet, part of our mind is on that argument. Ever thinking and pondering what others are saying. How to respond.

For me I've determined it's best to remain silent... or if possible, very humble in the posting... so humble that no evil intent will respond back to the post. This is especially true when the other person you are discussing with is inconsiderate, cocky, disrespectful, or modifying your statements to suit their argument. Such a one, will only take your mind off your work - causing disruption.