We will advance further. Methods of Invocation and Evocation are related to the Sephiroth of Mercury and Venus. Again, those are two types or two aspects of one Path. In other words, Invocation is the same as Evocation, but from a different point of view. The formula of Adept, where the Microcosm and Macrocosm are in similarity, in Reality is like the relation between the pentagram and hexagram. Where Evocation involves extracting things from the innermost parts of our beings, Invocation means the creation of projections which are interpreted as external. There are only two formulas of Magick. One which is within, and one which is without. But the greatest skill by far is to cross the frontiers, where external encounters with those which is inside. By the expansion of consciousness, we become aware of the increasing number of objects and processes. Therefore, Magister Templi does not need Invocation. Instead of Duality, now for the first time, we have an idea of Trinity. We have what is inside, we have what is outside and we have a limit those could not be conceived as such without it. These three aspects are the embodiments of the three main ideas from Liber AL: Nuit, Hadit, and Ra-Hoor-Khuit. What is important now is not to confuse the Mark of the Beast, which is a cross within a circle, with a sign of NOX. They are similar icons only by image, but not by meaning. Mark of the Beast is actually a Sign of LVX. It is the cross on which “Christ” was crucified, what we spoke about in our last lecture. Sign of NOX, like Swastika, on the other hand, is that same cross, but in motion, and in Change.
Nuit, Hadit, and Ra-Hoor are, in a way, integral factors of the Cross so I will make a note at this point of an idea of Ordo Thelema, which has only three ranks and where the Man of Earth was left entirely to all the dispersal from Malkuth to Tiphareth. It is quite difficult to work with the formula of NOX, without realizing LVX formula previously in its fullness. But I am not saying that is not possible. We can talk about it casually, but I think that is more appropriate for our program to discuss the LVX formula. The relationship between these two formulas leads us to a rule which has no exception in Argentum Astrum, and that is the relationship between Superior and Student. NOX and LVX. And that link just imitates and represents a relationship with your Angel. In your life you have three kinds of senior teachers, so to say. It is your Superior, your Guardian Angel, and your diary. These are the only three lights that can truly light your way when dark clouds appear over you, and such times will come more often as you climb higher to the Sun.
Method of Evocation is a method of fascination. We’ve talked about it already and I just want to add to it briefly. When the ceremony is being performed, after countless barbarous names and endless effort, you expect something to appear in the triangle, and it is quite certain that something will appear eventually. Here we come to the heart of the whole Magick. Our mind, which has already changed and fell into a kind of trance, awaits the appearance of anything that would overcome our Ruach. And then what happens? Somewhere outside, you will suddenly hear the sound of a car siren or shattering of glass, and your obsessed mind will transform it into a yell of a demon. It is completely irrelevant whether it was objective appearance or just subjectively imagined, what is important is that when you turn your attention to listen to that sound, you’ll be on the other side already. And there is everything possible. Here we come to the definition of trance which I would state as: too far from here, not too close to there. That is the path of the Universe which is a prerequisite for all other paths.
Each ritual has its introductory section. The brilliant example is Liber Samekh or preliminary invocation to Goetia. What is it all about? Each one of us got some burden and pressure in the mind, from the everyday life that brings worry and uncertainty: unpaid bills, exams, work, family and obligations, and we need time to push those things away in order to devote ourselves entirely to our work. That is the space between the Earth and the Moon. It’s too far out there, but so close to here, it is a transitional area. You had a chance to see it at the end of a long ritual, the practice of ritual knocking which fully gets you back into the reality of Malkuth. Preliminary invocation is just like the Qabalistic Cross, which has two functions, and where one cannot exist without the other. The first is a pure energy phenomenon that balances you and makes you stronger. The second function is psychological, a subtle Change in consciousness and it is the entry into the Path of the Universe. Ritual of Pentagram is, in fact, impossible without the Qabalistic Cross, as any Ritual is impossible without its preliminary work. You cannot expect the force of an Archangel or Elements to abide in you if you are not capable to bring thyself into order.
There are two kinds of trance. The one when your attention increases, and one when your attention decreases. The cause of all your problems and failures in our Art is the wrong usage of these two principles. So, to do astral projection, instead of becoming calm, you too often increase your awareness and concentration, thereby preventing the mechanism of projection to come into force. From so much visualization and exercises you just become more alert. It is like the expectation to sleep; you could become so awake due to waiting for sleep to come, that you could never fall asleep. Similarly, when you perform an invocation, from great fear and amazement by the ritual itself, instead of increasing your awareness of what is happening, you are going down and instead of getting a vision of God, sleep may catch you first. And God doesn’t dwell in that place often. In fact, all of our mistakes are simply the consequences of putting the wrong mechanism in action. Remember that the entire work is established upon your choice to increase or decrease the concept of attention. As the radio waves function, you can choose a higher or lower frequency, depending on the nature of the work. It is like if I tried to touch TV with my head, expecting to see my thoughts on the screen. In practical magical terms, success is only possible if the frequency of the receiver is aligned with the frequency of the transmitter.
What happens when things get out of control? When you open your field for foreign influences, it may happen to start receiving from a force that you have not called. Someone can still remember coughing the police and taxi frequency by their cheap Walkie-Talkie. Herein lays the case of possession. That is the only danger that exists there. Depending on the thoughts inside of your head, the results can be catastrophic. Do not try any of this if you are not sure of your own purity. This will tell you every skillful Magician. But an experienced Thelemite will tell you this is actually good to do this every day. It is up to you to choose. Thelema is sometimes difficult to be accepted from the Magickal point of view. Because of our progress on the Tree of Life, by changing our being, we change our moral and ethics. This is also very present, as we said earlier, in Yoga – after Āsana and Prāṇāyāma there is a period when the Aspirant categorizes his moral and ethical laws, and one by one he transcends them. What I mean is, in addition to work with energies, in addition to work with the body, you must work on your ethics too. Morality and ethics are similar to strategy and tactics. A tactic is to win a battle; strategy is to win a war. Think of this relationship. And sometimes, when you lose a battle, you actually win the war. As the strategy is a grace of a true general, exalted ethics features an Adept. Worst tortures during the war were realized without bloodshed; torture which hits morality and ethics is the worst kind. I heard a story in my childhood which moved me a lot. During the World War II, the Army of Nazi Germany Reich captured a Jewish family, and a German soldier came up to the father and gave him the handgun with only one bullet, saying: “You have your two daughters before you. Congratulations. You’ll be the one who will decide which one will be killed, and which one will be left to live. You have one bullet. If you kill yourself, we will kill them both. If you do not kill anyone of them, we will torture them before you and then we will kill you all, first them and then you. You have a minute to choose”. Those are terrifying things. Those are infinitely terrifying things. This shows your Thelema more than anything else. Now, what would you do on father’s place? He felt that something must be done. He had to break his system of values and make a tough decision that would be the best at that time. And for about some time, he doesn’t have it. Unfortunately, the vast majority of people would have made the worst mistake, but somehow understandable. He would kill himself. Think about it. In this sad story, you can find a lesson on morality and ethics. The aspirant must learn how to act immediately, as fast as properly, according to a new situation. In one place it was written: “Is there something valuable for human life, and which could fit on a single thought? Yes, there is. Let him endure suffering. Without exception”.
When working with Deities, do not be fooled that you will be able to talk with God as bravely as you do with me. Knowledge and Conversation will become Talk and Stutter. Knowledge and Conversation is the most unexpected thing which an aspirant can experience. It is something that will leave him mute and surprised. For me, two traits embellish a Thelemite and every righteous man. Courage, and most of all, truthfulness. Do not think that I am stressing the Christian morality, but that also does not mean that in Christian way of life you cannot find pieces of the highest morality and system of ethics. So far, I have not met a single Thelemite, nor anyone Aspirant in our Art who died for his belief, like Christians and Muslims who died in millions.
In the third chapter of Liber AL you can find instruction for specific kinds of morality and spiritual strategy, as follows: “Lurk! Withdraw! Upon them! this is the Law of the Battle of Conquest […]”. Thelemic strategy and tactics require demolition of your old morality and ethics. During all wars in human history, we could learn very instructive examples of how people react to seemingly impossible situations. In the First and the Second World War, there was one small nation that stood up and said “No” to much stronger occupiers, and it is inconceivable to assume how the world would look like without its sacrifice, especially during World War II.
Question: Why they were the only one who said “no” to Hitler?
Answer: Because it seems they were the only who had the balls for that. Also, because others had an interest in it. I will not go further into a political and social debate. You know that Ford built its motor into Germany war vehicles during the Second World War? Did you know who designed the Nazi SS uniform? Hugo Boss. People are protesting today and do not wear chinchilla fur because of the killing of those wonderful creatures. Somehow I do not believe they refuse to wear Boss clothes, likewise. I do not care about the deeper reason for all this, but I know these facts which are irrefutable and which may slightly change our point of view on history and on morality. Adapt to new times and new spaces. Do it constantly and every day. Personalize your fight in accordance with the environment, rather than in relation to the enemy. Let me remind you of the battle of Thermopylae. It does not matter whether there were actually 300, or 1000, brilliant men. The point is what was written on the board at Thermopylae and that is: “Go tell the Spartans, stranger passing by … that here, obedient to their law, we lie”. Show respect wherever few stand against many. That Law is: never retreat. It is the moral of Argentum Astrum. No retreat. Always advance forward.
I advise you to work on your morality and ethics as much as on any other discipline in our Art. This type of work you cannot find in Libri, it is in your everyday life. Always be on the side of the weaker. Weaker and stronger, like 5○=6□ formula. You are always weaker in wrestling with your Angel. The story of Jacob is actually a reference to the moral implications and understanding of the Great Work. Jacob was able to transform himself and to win the Angel. This is the crucial difference between an Adeptus Minor and an Adeptus Major. In a Qabalistic sense, it was said that for each Adept exists a pressure upon his soul and it is called intimidation of Tiphareth by Geburah. What is it? Once the knowledge of true nature is attained, your morality and ethics are shaken that this was the only thing left to do. This fearfulness from Geburah which threatens us to work cannot be found in the lower ranks, but only after Practicus, and it is openly present in the grade of Philosophus. This part of our discussion is perhaps the most important. There are not enough words to emphasize how much each of you should be honest and have respect for others, but mostly for yourself. Healthy respect is a condition for all of you. Therein lays the relationship with your Angel. It is not even in love, but respect. Jacob gained Knowledge and Conversation by wrestling with his own Angel. He didn’t beg him to come, he forced him to come. And the Angel wisely let him win. Jacob’s method is perhaps a little bit outdated, but it is as successful as any other. Do not think that old æonic principles are inapplicable today. Lives are now given and taken as fast as 2000 years before. Æons are leaning on each other, as the floors of the house. While spiting on the patriarchate, someone could actually spit on the Æon of Horus. When you spit on your neighbor’s door, you spit on your home too. Think about it.
Question: What is the connection between morality and spiritual development?
Answer: I think the better question is whether morality is a condition for spiritual progress? But since you did not ask it, we will not discuss it. Maybe this kind of talk is the answer to the question.
Morality is a set of agreed rules and, as we said earlier, the relationship of morality to ethics is like the relationship between strategy and tactics. An agreed set of rules which was agreed without you. Therefore, Thelemites usually have a problem with morality rather than with ethics. On the contrary, Thelemites have very strong ethics. While common morality is an issue in Thelema. However, most of the Thelemites still feel extremely lonely. The best indicator of your spiritual life is simply your relationship with society and with your partner. This is not a romantic fairytale, but I was truly shocked by a number of brave Thelemites who cannot establish a normal relationship. This shows that the Path connecting Netzach and Hod, instead of being flat, is bending on one side or the other. As an individual develops socially, so his Tree is bending more and more. As far as morality and our spiritual growth concern, it is entirely similar to the analogy of Jacob and the Angel. The only question is whether you will experience the fate of Jacob or the fate of the Angel. In a literal sense, every Thelemite is Jacob, and his way is wrestling. He will have no mercy from anyone. He will not have the understanding from people around him. Morality and Ethics are sometimes and somehow completely opposite from the Truth. What I underlined before, is the method of Blue Triangle – a method of True Nature. Jacob’s method, however, is the method of specific reality and it must be accepted and understood in regard to that reality. Morality and Ethics are conditioned by fears. You will constantly encounter contradictions during your workout. I noted that the whole of Tree of Life is established on contradictions, except in one place. Think about that, often.
Frater Aureus 273∴
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