On the Angel and the Abyss

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David Chaim Smith

The Neophyte must be a skeptic in his own faith, always thinking that ours is the method of science and the goal of religion. But we must be careful not to choose either of these two; we are not here to choose; we are chosen by the gods and forces of nature as the result of all actions around us and within ourselves to be what we are, in a completely natural and spontaneous, by no means occult, esoteric, or spiritual way. In his work John St. John, Aleister Crowley said the following:

“I further take this opportunity of asserting my Atheism. I believe that all these phenomena are as explicable as the formation of hoar-frost or of glacier tables. I believe ‘Attainment’ to be a simple supreme sane state of the human brain. I do not believe in miracles; I do not think that God could cause a monkey, clergyman, or rationalist to attain. I am taking all this trouble of the Record principally in hope that it will show exactly what mental and physical conditions precede, accompany, and follow ‘attainment’ so that others may reproduce, through those conditions, that Result.”

In this lies a very appropriate instruction to interpret all things as a unique dialogue of God with our own Soul. But that dialogue is always more a whisper and a call than the lyrics of the subtlest foreign languages; this instruction has an extremely simple solution, and that is the cognition of all processes within us, as well as externally, as part of one and the same nature, completely open, simple and logical. All secrets are just our inability to grasp the simplicity of those secrets by Neurosis; the point of the ultimate experience is by no means in barbaric names, nor in the hours spent in Dharana. Both the Knowledge and Conversation, as well as the crossing of the Abyss, do happen at a single moment – our Neurosis makes all this a month-long Abramelin or imagining a kilometer-deep Abyss. The first phenomenon is the phenomenon of time, the second is the phenomenon of space – together, they completely suffocate every sense of occult science and skill making it possible at any moment of life or a single breath for the human soul to capture both things without any pre-established standards or preparation. This movement is as mystical as a movement of the lungs to take a breath, or the movement of the heart muscle that pumps the blood inside us – both conditioning life with a completely simple mechanical reaction – and yet making that same simple life full of complications, absurdities, and emotional nebulae due to our completely natural tendencies to believe that we do not understand. Both an ugly and a handsome man are equally neurotic about their own appearance – their appearance seems to have nothing to do with the experience of themselves at all; they both think that beauty is completely unattainable and complex and such a remote thing for them who are so repulsive and miserable. An unenlightened and enlightened man are by no means opposites, enlightenment in itself has no counter position. Enlightenment itself is a negation, it cannot be not-experienced. One may think that we are not enlightened – that is a correct counter-thesis, but that is the whole point of human enlightenment – not that he reaches, but that he remembers that he has already attained it. That phenomenon of time, which is the condition of all neuroses, as well as the condition of the creation of the Angel and the Abyss, is the only hidden teacher to whom humanity aspires. It is that immeasurable unit, which means to the selfness as much as that pumped blood for the heart, or that inhaled air for the lungs.

Frater 273

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