Practicus and Philosophus. On Jñāna and Bhakti Yoga. Also, on IAO formula.


This part is dedicated to Jñāna and Bhakti Yoga. We made a turn towards East in the last two hours; we will use what is learned and return to the West, uniting the two opposites. These two types of Yoga are actually the work of Practicus and Philosophus. The way of brilliant Mind and Mercury and the fiery path of Love and Venus. Those two directions are clearly contained in these two instructions: invoke often and inflame thyself in prayer. Consider this.

All the practice that you ever had and will ever have can be categorized by rough division into one of those two principles. Invoke often – as the motto of Practicus, and enflame thyself – as the motto of Philosophus. But in fact, in their highest sense, these two directions point to the two crucial Grades in our Work: to the Adeptus Minor who will inflame himself, and Babe of the Abyss who will invoke often, infinitely often.

In one, there is an emphasis on repetition, which has to do with the mind, where we try to break the mind by endless rehearsal. If established properly the mind is regulated to work at a certain mode of frequency, and our method is to stop its oscillations. But not by stillness, but by accelerating the oscillations, until the “wire” or a mind that oscillates simply breaks. Silence is not achieved by suppressing the sound, but by the destruction of the oscillatory device. Mantra Yoga is a perfect example of this principle. We will return to Mantra Yoga when we talk about methods of Trance.

Mercury is actually a projection of the neighbouring Chokmah. Why? If you noticed, both Mages have wings. But the lower Mage, Mercury, has wings on sandals. Magus, however, has wings on his head. What is the explanation of this? When I told you that mind is like wire, in terms of Thelema it means that each of us vibrates at a certain frequency of our Guardian Angel’s name. On this frequency, since the sound is transmitted through the air – or by Ruach – which is the most widespread plane on the Tree of Life, the only way by which you can fly is, of course, if you have wings. So, Mercury and Magus have them on sandals and helmet. But what is the difference between them? Mercury flies under the vibration of someone else’s Word – as all of us who are influenced by the Word of Æon. In contrast, Magus himself proclaimed the Word of Æon, he does not follow others. Both are actually the projections of Tiphareth, because without the Sun there would be no enough Adepts who would follow the Will of him who has spoken the Word of Æon. There are many Adepts, but a few Magi.

Magus proclaims the Word, and Adepts accept that Word as the Truth and fly under the vibration of that Word. They do not walk but fly – because their actions are in Ruach. This is a difficult and demanding idea for contemplation. I do not know any of you personally, but I truly wish to congratulate each one of you on your level of knowledge and ability to understand this subject. We are speaking here about two methods – a method of mind and a method of heart. One is shorter but more dangerous, which is inflame thyself in prayer. The second is safer but slower, and that is invoke often. None of you individually have perfectly balanced your left and right body side. As nobody can use both hands with equal skill. In a spiritual sense, some of you are right-handed, others are left-handed. Some have a natural inclination to Bhakti; others are inclined to Jñāna Yoga.

What this has to do with the Argentum Astrum? Remember, there are only two ways to become a master. Specialising in the craft which is easy for you, or permanent work on things which are hard for you. When you work with your Superior, you should both consider techniques about which you feel comfortable, and those about which you feel insecure. Nobody should prevent you to deal with higher topics, but as far as Argentum Astrum norm is concerned, perfection in all aspects and disciplines is absolutely necessary. As it was stated very well in our notes: “They have taken the only proper course; to train aspirants to this attainment in the theory and practice of the whole of Magick and Mysticism, so that each man may be expert in the handling of all known weapons, and free to choose and to use those which his own experience and instinct dictate as proper when he essays the Great Experiment.” In some way, this is indeed safer than the slower path, the path of gradualism – which is the essence of Argentum Astrum. Basically, all the works with Mercury, which are extremely practical and mostly mental, among other things, represent your first deflection from the Middle Pillar of the Tree of Life. Your first move to an extreme.

Of course, this turn is not negative nor bad, it is equally your destiny and your intention. Withdrawal from Order is not advised for an Aspirant, as long as he rests on the side Paths and Achievements, but it can be done while he abides on the Middle Way, as a Neophyte or Adept Minor for example. The question remains, whether the Adept could or wanted to withdraw from the Path? That is reserved only for Magister Templi. Maybe not even to him.

As much as we diverted to Chokmah, so we will need twice as much force to leap upon Netzach. And there is a great distress in it.

Question: Is this the same with all the Grades and deviations from Tree of Life, or is it only like that with Practicus?

Answer: I do not know what is above Adeptus Major. But as we have only 10 Sephiroth available, I assume that the same model is present everywhere.

Question: Is it part of the other Argentum Astrum ranks?

Answer: I do not know.

From your point of view, the point of Yesod, Mercury and Venus, as grades of Practicus and Philosophus, are equally distant. But once you’ve entered the realm of Practicus and took his Oath, your path to Philosophus will be twice as longer than the turn from Yesod to Hod. Because you cannot go back to the Middle Way, you must advance further to another extreme. All horizontal paths have very specific temptations. Also, take a note that the sum of all horizontal Paths is 93. When talking about the length of a Path, I actually think about the quality of temptation, not just about the time needed for exercises or any other quantitative label. This Path is something most dreadful an Aspirant experienced so far.

Could anyone say the name of this Path?

Response: “The Tower”.

The correspondent planet?

Response: “Mars”.

In fact, Practicus is attracted by Mars, as Geburah from above – from Sephira – but which is also in front of him, as an invitation of Mars, but this time in form of Path of “Tower”. His way is so difficult, that he understands this power as a force of pure destruction – the destruction of the “Towers” – what was presented on the Arcana.

Crowley claimed that this experience is not so horrible at all. The beautiful Path of Arrow and letter Samekh is the one which balances and directs the Path of Tower. On the left and right sides of Tower lay the essences of Water and Fire, as much as the Path of Arrow synthesizes the Sun and Moon. Think about these things. As much as you will suffer on this Path, the way to the Sun will be easy. This part of the Tree of Life was established in opposites. Think about the following: the centre of Ruach is Tiphareth, as the Sun, but beneath it lays directly Yesod, as Moon, and this is one pair of opposites. The second lies beneath, in the form of the first horizontal Path, at which ends we find Sephiroth Hod and Netzach, like your Cup and Wand. Finally, the third opposite is expressed in a pair of Geburah and Chesed in the form of Severity and Grace. At first glance, the sphere of Ruach indicates anything but the harmony and unity. But reconsider the way you think, do you actually see the unity of your thoughts at all? Is unity the nature of any part or aspect of your mind? As Qabalists, can we conclude that the unity of the whole of Tree of Life resides in only one place? Where?

Response: Tiphareth.

The opposite of such ideas is a Method, not Achievement. Attempts to define the concept of the union of the opposites existed for centuries. Was it successful I do not know. Is it correct, I would say not. The unity of opposites is a clumsy expression in our Art, which only brings unnecessary confusion. If there is a path to eradicate slavery, it certainly would be to destroy the concept of Liberty first. Because only an imprisoned man seeks freedom. A free man, however, does not aspire to that which he already has. Only a prisoner yearns for freedom. Consider this thought.

The first principle that I have put forward for you is the achievement of the Knowledge and Conversation of Holy Guardian Angel, and to awaken the True Nature. Do not think that these are two separate expressions, they are just synonyms for better discerning of specific experiences from different planes, I would say. Knowledge and Conversation is the nature of Great Work expressed on Macrocosmic level, while True Nature is the same process through breaking the Paroketh veil, down to the Microcosmic reality. Let us define this with simple words and it will be much easier to understand. Within the first case we find: this True Will here, and in second: that Holy Guardian Angel there. The Great Work is accomplished without disarrangement of where is the Will, or where is the Angel. Instead, the truth lies in the answer to which Will and which Angel. Who, not what. Think about this, that the truth of Being is nothing else but the authenticity of that same Being.

The first Path, or last, is the Path of “Universe”. Which planet is attributed to this Path?

Response: Saturn.

Neophyte sees no further than this. He literally understands death in the physical and terrible sense. He literally understands that the entire life in the universe begun with his own birth, and will end with his own death. The Path of the Universe is your step and your projection of the Path which lies behind it. An Arrow has to be fired. It is no coincidence that earth element is assigned to the Path of Universe, as the Sephira Binah and Saturn are too. Thus, the move of Neophyte from Malkuth through Universe and to Yesod is actually the birth of an Aspirant. A large number of Neophytes, including me, had near-death experience during this Grade. As we have noticed, Neophyte can have reflections of the Sun as Tiphareth; but he may also have a reflection of Binah in the form of death experienced in the body. In Yoga, there is a practice similar to Liber HHH vel CCCXLI, going through the process of your death – from the moment of death to burial. This is a very important practice. However, no one has gone through it and came back. Luckily.

Knowledge of what lies behind Death is in Daath, followed by Binah, the great black Ocean of Binah.

Both Practicus and Philosophus perform the practice of Liber HHH, so they can fully pass through the Path of the Universe, on the inner plane. Everyone will pass through this Path; just because you were born, just because you will die. I always suggest that each Neophyte should study symbols of this Path very carefully. An apprehension of this Path is very important for Neophyte’s progress.

What else is important regarding these two Grades? The construction of Cup and Wand.

This is your first horizontal Path, where Mars represents your Phallus. I need to make a brief overview of the INRI formula. Let us not repeat the boring way of converting the IAO into INRI. There are two ways of understanding the formula. Thelemites identify old æonic and new æonic version of it. As far as I am concerned, INRI formula is much better established in the old way, and the everlasting legend of Isis and Osiris. I will explain why. Crowley was very inflamed about what he was teaching and for what he believed to be true. The Law of Thelema. Indisputably, he had a tendency to transpose and translate into the language of Thelema everything that he discovered, as if before Thelema nothing has existed. Think about what is or what is not old æonic here. It is a good practice for morality and ethics within our Arts. Do divine principles have a definition in space or time? Where is the plane from which they exert their influence? Maybe something is old æonic, but the big question is what? Think for yourself.

INRI is not an old æonic formula. Could anyone say what the formula is about?

Response: The death and resurrection. Spiritual death and spiritual resurrection.

Indeed. When Isis revived Osiris, she managed to collect all of his body parts that were scattered upon the Earth, except one. Which? She failed to find his phallus.

As we talk about phallus, and the essence of IAO formula – Osiris slain and Osiris raised – what is raised then? Phallus. Orgasm is, in some sense, an allegory of dying and death. The element of death is not solely related to physical death, but to disappearance in the peak of orgasm too. Thus, the Wand becomes a Spear. Spear is a very important weapon which admittedly is not found in our practical work. It is a well-known story about the famous Spear of Destiny by which the Christ was pierced. It was said that many scientists and rulers, including Adolf Hitler, were inspired by this weapon.

Notwithstanding this historical speculation, let us consider this idea philosophically. Where is the Christ on the Tree of Life? Who or what killed Christ? Just to put a remark, I did not say Jesus, but Christ. Christ was a title, just as Dominus Liminis. At that time, there were a lot of Christos. I will gently remind you about the document titled: Postcard to Probationers. Your death, when we look back to our story about arcane Universe, is actually the realization of Tiphareth.

Christ is not Christ until he does not die on the Cross. Think about it.

Therefore, the Spear is the condition for Christ’s resurrection. We talk in metaphors, but I am trying to discredit all these ideas and stimulate your own thinking. Is it historical or not, I think it is totally irrelevant to us. It is poetic and spiritual imperative: Every Christ must die on the Cross. The point is, as history has shown, that Christianity was not a peaceful sect at all, but a militant movement within the Roman Empire. Christ, by his words, came to bring us a sword, and not peace. Think about it.

Question: Do you think that history will be interpreted differently in 2000 years?

Answer: You can interpret history differently already; you do not need 2000 years for that. What you need is one camera, ten actors, one director and you can have a cause for any existing war on Earth.

Simple manipulation. If this is being done in today’s life, can you even imagine what it was like 2000 years ago? When the eyes were removed and hand cut to anyone who has not abide in accordance with the interests of empire or kingdom. Manipulation is one of the highest talents of an Adept. It’s something he unknowingly develops. Or, at least, as it was perceived by those below him, by the people of Malkuth, by the Men of Earth. As he is a man who persuades other people to follow his way. And they will believe him, as if they believed in themselves, then that would be a sign of some sense of Liberty and Freedom, that would be a sign of Adepts, who follow their own path, and not someone else’s.

Today we can easily say that the Christ, or Crowley, manipulated the people, as in the writings of Crowley we can find maybe 20 percent of true facts. The rest is partly half-true, partly complete lie. Now you must find for yourself what is what.

The essence of this story is that as Adept Minor receives projections from Binah, he also receives projections from Chokmah. Qabalists have done this very cleverly, so there is no Path from Tiphareth to Binah or Chokmah. Adept has no possibility to attain each Sephira by his will. For what he was revealed as Adept, he has no choice to avoid. Time or space, as Binah and Chokmah, cannot affect his progress. Path of Tower is the destruction of all those models that do not correspond to the Truth. Unfortunately, it is 90 percent of things in our lives. Therefore, it is seen as a negative path. For those who watch from below.

Does anyone have a question?

Question: Do you think that Crowley manipulated with others?

Answer: I would bet on that without hesitation. If you read all holy books and other publications, do you really see something else than Crowley speaking through it? If you want to see it, well it is another matter then, but I’m interested in how confident you are, in fact, that all those books were written by a higher intelligence? The Book of the Law is a very good marketing. He wrote even the other books in the same style and manner. Take The Book of the Law; it was still Aiwass who was His personal Holy Guardian Angel, not mine. So why this Book of the Law should be my, or your book if there aren’t any of my or your Laws in it at all? Period. Crowley manipulated with others from a simple fact that he could do it. And there is nothing wrong in that. Quite contrary.

I just want to provoke your system of thinking and believing. I am not smarter than you. I just have a wider source of information than you, nothing more. This seminar is just an exchange of views, rather than convincing you into something. It would be really unfair to you, to tell you what you should or what you shouldn’t do.

I have never turned in my life towards Boleskine, and I bet my results are neither better nor worse because of that. I am trying to look at and understand not only Crowley, but the time in which he wrote and worked. Time which was very conservative, so try to figure out where was his magic act, and where was the social and marketing circus. Be suspicious of everyone.

Crowley has to be understood in accordance with the global picture, in accordance with his time and people who worked and contributed in that time, upon which we now base our work and our system. Crowley was part of a mosaic, although quite a large piece, he was just a part of it.

To return to our program. The fact that someone wrote Liber AL, or that it has been received through a higher intelligence, does not diminish the beauty and value of that book. This applies to all documents. One said – “the goal justifies the means”. We know what Crowley took as means, but with all due respect, we cannot be sure what his ultimate goal was. So, I think it’s best to maintain a healthy, sceptical attitude. And to doubt everything. Be sure about all the details. Everything is interconnected.

Frater Aureus 273∴

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