Sacred texts  Thelema 

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Behold now nature, how prodigal is She of her Forces! The evident Will of every Acorn is to become an Oak; yet nigh all fail of that Will. Therefore one Secret of Magick is Oeconomy of thy Force; to do no Act unless secure of its Effect. And if every Act has an Effect on every Plane, how canst thou do this unless thou be connected with all Planes? For this Reason must thou know thoroughly not only thy Body and thy Mind, but thy Body of Light and all its subtler Principles soever. But I will have thee consider most especially what powers thou hast within thee which are certainly capable of great Effects, yet which are constantly wasted. Think then whether, if these Powers, frustrate of their End upon one Plane, might not be turned to high Purpose and assured Success upon another. For an hundred Acorns, rightly set in Conditions fit for their true Growth, will become an hundred Oaks, while otherwise they make but one Meal for one Hog, and their subtle Nature is wholly lost to them. Learn then, o my Son, this Mystery of Oeconomy, and apply it faithfully and with Diligence in thy Work.

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Here then I must write concerning Talismans for thine Instruction. Know first that there are certain Vehicles proper for the Incarnation of the Will. I instance Paper, whereon by thine Art thou writest a symbolic Representation of thy Will, so that when thou next seest it, thou are reminded of that Will, or it may be that another, seeing it, will obey that Will. Here then is a case of Incarnation and Assumption, which, before it was understood, was rightly considered Gramarye or Magick. Again, thy Will to live causeth thee to plant Corn, which in due Season being eaten is again transmuted into Will. Thus thou mayst in many Ways impress any particular Will upon the proper Substance, so that by due Use thou comest at last to its Accomplishment. So general is this Formula, in Truth, that all conscious Actions may be included within its scope. There is also the Converse, as when external Objects create Appetite, whose Satisfaction again reacteth upon the physical Plane. Praise thou the wonder of the Mystery of Nature, rising and falling with every Breath, so that there is no Part which is not mystically Partaker of the Whole.

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O my Son, there is that within thee of marvellous Puissance which is by its own Nature the Incarnation of thy Will, most ready to receive the Seal thereof. Therein lie hidden all Powers, all Memories, more than thou hast teen thousand fold! Learn then to draw from that great Treasure-House the Jewel of which thou art in any present Need. For all things that are possible to thy Nature are already hidden within thee; and thou hast but to name them, and to bring them back into the Light of thy Consciousness. Then squander not this Gold of thine, but put it to most fruitful Usury. Now then of the Art and Craft of this most Holy Mystery I write not, for a Reason that thou already knowest. Moreover, in this Matter, thou shalt best learn by thine own Experience, and thine Observation in true Science shall guide thee. For this Secret is still of Magick, and Occult, so that I know not certainly if thy Will lieth with my Way or no.

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But concerning the Medium by whose sensitive Nature our Magick Force is transmitted to the Object of our Working, doubt not. For already in other Galaxies of Physics have we been compelled to postulate an Aethyr wholly hypothetical in order to explain the Phenomena of Light, Electricity, and the like; nor doeth any Man demand Demonstration of the Existence of that Aethyr other than its Conformity with general Law. Thou therefore, Creator and Transmitter of thine own Energy, needest not to ask whether by this or by some other Means thou performest thy Work. Yet I know not why this Aethyr of the Mathematicians and the Physicians should not be one with the Astral Light, or Plastic Medium or Aub, Aud, Aur (these three being a Trinity) of which our own Sages have spoken. And this Meditation may bring forth much Knowledge physical, which is good, for that which is above is like that which is beneath, and the Study of any Law leadeth to the Understanding of all Law. So mayst thou learn in the End that there is no Law beyond Do what thou wilt.

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And how then (mayest thou) shall I reconcile this Art Magick with that Way of the Tao which achieveth all Things by doing nothing? But this have I already declared to thee in Part, showing that thou canst do no Magick save it be thy Nature to do Magick and so the true Nothing for thee. For to do nothing signifieth to interfere with nothing so that for a Magician to do no Magick is to commit Violence on himself. Yet learn also that all Action is in some sense Magick, being an essential Part of that Great Magical Work which we call Nature. Then thou hast no free Will? Verily, thou hast said. Yet nevertheless it is thy necessary Destiny to act with that free Will. Thou canst do nothing save in accordance with that true Nature of thine and of all Things, and every Phenomenon is the Resultant of the Totality of Forces; Amen. Then thou needest take no Thought and make no Effort? Thou sast sooth; yet, art thou not compelled to Thought and Effort in the Way of Nature? Yea, I, thy Father, work for thee solicitously, and also I laugh at thy Perplexities; for so was it fore-ordained that I should do, by Me, from the Beginning.

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So, therefore, o my Son, count thyself happy when thou understandest all these Things, being one of those Beings (or By-comings) whom we call Philosophers. All is a never ending Play of Love wherein our Lady Nuit and her Lord Hadit rejoice; and every Part of the Play is Play. All pain is but sharp Sauce to the Dish of Pleasure; for it is the Nature of the Universe that hath devised this everlasting Banquet of Joy. And he that knoweth not this is necessary as an Ingredient even as thou art; wouldst thou change all and spoil the Dish? Art thou the Master-Cook? Yea, for thy Palate is become fine with thy great Dalliance with the Food of Experience; therefore thou art one of them that rejoice. Also it is thy Nature as it is mine, o my Son, to will that all Men share our Mirth and Jollity; wherefore have I proclaimed my Law to Man, and thou continuest in that Work of Joyance.

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Learn also of my wisdom that this Vision of the Cosmos whereof I have written unto thee is not given unto thy Sight at all Times; for in that Vision is all Will fulfilled. Thou seest the Universe as None, and as One, and as many, and the Play thereof; and therewith art thou (who art no longer thou) content. For in one Phase art thou also None, in another One, and in the third an organised and necessary Part of that great Structure, so that there is no more conflict at all in thy whole By-coming. But now will I make Light for thine Eyes in this Matter as thou gropest, asking: but of them that see not this, what sayst thou, o my Father? But in that Vision thou sayst not thus, my Son! Learn then of me the Secret Mystery of Illusion, and how it Worketh, and other Holy Law that is its Nature, and of thine Action therein; for this is an Arcanum of the Wisdom of the Magi, and proper unto thee that dwellest in the Land of Understanding.

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Consider for an Example the Game and Play of the Chess, which is a Pastime of Man, and worthy to exercise him in Thought, yet by no means necessary to his Life, so that he sweepeth away Board and Pieces at the least Summons of that which is truly dear to him. Thus unto him this Game is as it were an Illusion. But insofar as he entereth into the Game he abideth by the Rules thereof, though they be artificial and in no wise proper to his Nature; for in this Restriction is all this Pleasure. Therefore, though he hath All-Oower to move the Pieces at his own Will, he doth it not, enduring Loss, Indignity, and Defeat rather than destroy that Artifice of Illusion. Think then that thou hast thyself created this Shadow-world the Universe, and that it pleasureth thee to watch or to actuate its Play according to the Law that thou hast made, which yet bindeth thee not save only by Virtue of thine own Will to do thine own Pleasure therein.

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Moreover this Matter touches the Nature of Truth. For although to thee in thy True Self, absolute and without Conditions, all this Universe, which is relative and conditioned is an Illusion; yet to that Part of Thee by which thou perceivest it, the Law of its Being (or By-coming) is a Law of Truth. Learn then that all Relations are true upon their own Plane, and that it would be a Violation of Nature to adjust them skewwise. Thus, albeit thou hast found thy Self, and knowest Thy Self immortal and immutable beyond Time and Space, free of Causality, so thoroughly that even thy Mind partaketh constantly thereof, thou hast in no wise altered the Relations of thy Body with its Syndromics in the World whereof it is a Part. Wouldst thou lengthen the Life of thy Body? Then accommodate thou the Conditions of thy Body to its Environment by giving it Light, Air, Food, and Exercise as its Nature requireth. So also, mutatis mutandis, do thou cherish the Health of thy Mind.

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Of this will I speak further with thee, for here behold a great Rock of Ignorance on the one Hand, and on the other a Whirlpool of Error; in this Strait are many Wrecks of Magick Ships. Knowest thou not that Riddle of old, whether it be lawful to pay Tribute to Caesar or no? Give therefore to the Body the Things of the Body, and to the Mind the Things of the Mind. Yet because of the interior Harmony of all Things that proceedeth from their Original One Nature, there is Action and Reaction of the one upon the other, as I have already set forth in this mine Epistle. But Law is universal, and between these two Kinds of Illusion there is an ordered Proportion, and it is proper to thy Science to delimit and describe this Law of Interaction, for to deny it wholly (as to extend it to Infinity) is Folly, born of Ignorance, Idleness, and Incapacity to observe Fact.

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Consider Drunkenness, how by Variation of bodily Conditions thou mayst alter its Effect upon the Mind, and the Contrary, remembering the Discipline of Theophrastus Paracelsus, how, opposing Wine to bodily Exercise, he obtained a certain Purification and Exaltation/ Yet, were he seven times greater, he had not done this with Oil of Vitriol. Learn then that there are certain definite Channels of Action and Reaction between Body and Mind; sound these, and trim thy Sails accordingly, not thinking that thou art in the open Sea. And if so be that thou in thy sounding findest new Channels, rejoice and map them for the Profit of thy Fellows; But remember always that to find a new Way up a Precipice removeth not the Precipice. For where thou, o Angel and yet Man, hast trod delicately albeit without Fear, Fools will rush in to their Destruction.

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Study Logic, which is the Code of the Laws of Thought. Study the Method of Science, which is the Application of Logic to the Facts of the Universe. Think not that thou canst ever abrogate these Laws, for though they be Limitations, they are the rules of thy Game which thou dost play. For in thy Trances though thou becomest That which is not subject to those Laws, they are still final in respect of these Things which thou hast set them to govern. Nay, o my son, I like not this Word, govern, for a Law is but a Statement of the nature of the Thing to which it applieth. Nor nothing is compelled save only by Nature of its own true Will. So therefore human Law is a Statement of the Will and of the Nature of Man, or else it is a Falsity contrary thereunto, and becometh null and of no Effect.

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Think also, o my Son, of this Image, that if two States be at Peace, a Man goeth between them without Let; but if there be War, all Gateways are forthwith closed, save only for a few, and these are watched and guarded, so that the Obstacles are many. This then is the Case of Magick; for if thou have brought to Harmony all Principles within thee, thou mayst work easily to transmute a Force into its semblable upon another Plane, which is the essential Miracle of our Art; but if thou be at War within thyself, how canst thou work? For our Master Hermes Tresmegistus hat written at the Head of His Tablet of Emerald this Word: That which is above is like that which is below, and that which is below is like that which is above, for the Performance of the Miracle of the One Substance. How then, if these be not alike? If the Substance of Thee be Two, and not One? And herein is the Need of the Confession of a pure Heart, as is written in the Book of the Dead.

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See to it therefore, o my Son, that thou in thy Working dost no Violence to the whole Will of the All, or to the Will common to all those Beings (or By-comings) that are of one general Nature with thee, or to thine own particular Will. For first of all thou art necessarily moved toward the One End from thine own Station, but secondly thou art moved toward the End proper to thine own Race, and Caste, and Family, as by Virtue of thy Birth. And these are, I may say it, Conditions or limits, of thine own individual Will. Thou dost laugh? Err not, my Son! The Magus, even as the Poet is the Expression of the true Will of his Fellows, and his Success is his Proof, as it is written in The Book of the Law. For his Work is to free Men from the Fetters of a false or a superannuated Will, revealing unto them, in Measure attuned to their Needs, their true Natures.

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For this Reason is the Poet called an Incarnation of the Zeitgeist, that is, of the Spirit or Will of his Period. So every Poet is also a Prophet, because when that which he sayeth is recognized as the Expression of their own Thought by Men, they translate this into Act, so that, in the Parlance of he Folk vulgar and ignorant, "that which he foretold is come to pass". Now then the Poet is Interpreter of the Hieroglyphs of the Hidden Will of Man in many a matter, some light, some deep, as it may be given unto him to do. Moreover, it is not altogether in the Word of any Poem, but in the quintessential Flavour of the Poet, that thou mayst seek this Prophecy. And this is an Art most necessary to every Statesman. Who but Shelley foretold the Fall of Christianity, and the Organisation of Labour, and the Freedom of Woman; who by Nietzsche declared the Principle at the Root of the World-War? See thou clearly then that in these Men were the Keys of the Dark Gates of the Future; Should not the Kings and their Ministers have taken heed thereto, fulfilling their Word without Conflict.

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Now, o my Son, the Incarnation of a Poet is particular and not Universal; he sayeth indeed true Things but not the Things of All-Truth. And that these may be said it is necessary that One take human Flesh, and become a Magus in our Holy Order. He then is called the Logos, or Logos Aionos, that is to say, he Word of the Aeon or Age, because he is verily that Word. And thus may be be known, because He hath it given unto Him to prepare the Quintessence of the Will of God, that is, of Man, in its Fullness and Wholeness, comprehending all Planes, so that his Law is simple, and radical, penetrating all Space from its single Light. For though His Words be many, yet is His Word One, One and Alone; and by this Word he createth Man anew, in an essential Form of Life, so that he is changed in his inmost Knowledge of himself. And this Change worketh outwards, little by little, unto its visible Effect.

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It may be unto thy Profit, o my Son, if I relate unto thee the secret History of those who have gone before me in this Grade of Magus, so far as their Memory hath remained among Mankind. For what would it avail thee should I recount the deeds of those whom I indeed may know, but thou not? Thou knowest well how I keep me from all Taint of Fable, or any Word unproven and undemonstrable. First then I speak of Lao-Tze, whose word was the TAO. Hereof have I already written much unto thee, because His Doctrine has been lost or misinterpreted, and it is most needful to restore it. For this Tao is the true Nature of Things, being itself a Way or Going, that is, a kinetic and not a static Conception. Also He taught this Way of Harmony in Will, which I myself have thought to show thee in this little book. So then this Tao is Truth, and the Way of Truth, and therefore was He Logos of His Aeon, and His true Name or Word was Tao.

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Whom Men call Gotama, or Siddartha, or the Buddha, was a Magus of our Holy Order. And His Word was ANATTA; for the Root of His whole Doctrine was that there is no Atman, or Soul, as Men ill translate it, meaning a Substance incapable of Change. Thus, He, like Lao-Tze, based all upon a Movement, instead of a fixed Point. And His Way of Truth was Analysis, made possible by great Intention of the Mind toward itself, and that well fortified by certain tempered Rigour of Life. And He most thoroughly explored and Mapped out the Fastnesses of the Mind, and gave the Keys of its Fortresses into the Hand of Man. But of all this the Quintessence is in this one Word Anatta, because this is not only the foundation and the Result of his whole Doctrine, but the Way of its Work.

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Krishna has Names and Forms innumerable, and I know not His true Human Birth, for His Formula is of the Major Antiquity. But His Word hath spread into many Lands, and we know it to-day as INRI with the secret IAO concealed therein. And the Meaning of this Word is the Working of Nature in Her Changes; that is, it is the Formula of Magick whereby all Things reproduce and recreate themselves. Yet this Extension and Specialisation was rather the Word of Dionysus; for the true Word of Krishna was AUM, importing rather a Statement of the Truth of Nature than a practical Instruction in detailed Operations of Magick. But Dionysus, by the Word INRI, laid the Foundation of all Science, as We say Science to-day in a particular Sense, that is, of causing external Nature to change in Harmony with our Wills.

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Tahuti, or Thot, confirmed the Word of Dionysus by continuing it; for he showed how by the Mind it was possible to direct the Operations of the Will. By Criticism and by recorded Memory Man avoideth Error. But the true Word of Tahuti was AMOUN, whereby He made Men to understand their secret Nature, that is, their Unity with their true Selves, or, as they then phrased it, with God. And He discovered unto them the Way of this Attainment, and its Relation with the Formula of INRI. Also by His Mystery of Number He made plain the Path for His Successor to declare the Nature of the whole Universe in its Form and in its Structure, as it were an Analysis thereof, doing for Matter what the Buddha was decreed to do for Mind.

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The Follower of Tahuti was an Egyptian whose Name is lost; but the Jews called Him Mosheh, or Moses, and their Fabulists made Him the Leader of their Legendary Exodus. Yet they preserved His Word, and it is IHVH, which thou must understand also as that Secret Word which thou hast seen and heard in Thunders and Lightnings in thine Initiation to the Degree thou wottest of. But this Word is itself a Plan of the Fabrick of the Universe, and upon it hath been elaborated the Holy Qabalah, whereby we have Knowledge of the Nature of all Things soever upon every Plane of By-coming, and of their Forces and Tendencies and Operations, with the Keys to their Portals. Nor did He leave any Part of His Work unfinished, unless it be that accomplished three hundred Years ago by Sir Edward Kelly, of whom I also come, as thou knowest.

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Behold! In these Chapters have I, thy Father, restricted myself, not speaking of any immediate Echo of a Word in the World, because, there Men being long since withdrawn into their Silence, it is their One Word, and that Alone, that resoundeth undiminished through Time. How Mohammed, who followeth, is darkened and confused by His Nearness to our own Time, so that I say not save with Diffidence that His Word ALLH may mean this or that. But I am bold concerning His Doctrine of the Unity of God, for God is Man, and he said therefore: Man is One. And His Will was to unite all Men in One reasonable Faith: to make possible international Co- operation in Science. Yet, because He arose in the Time of the greatest possible Corruption and Darkness, when every Civilisation and Every Religion had fallen into Ruin, by the malice of the great Sorcerer of Nazareth, as some say, He is still hidden in the Dust of the Simoom, and we may not perceive Him in His true Self of Glory.

Nevertheless, behold, o My Son, this Mystery. His true Word was LA ALLH, that is to say: (there is) No God, and LA AL is that Mystery of Mysteries which thine own Eye pierced in thine Initiation. And of that Truth have the Illusion and Falsehood enslaved the Souls of Men, as is written in the Book of the Magus.

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DE SE IPSO {Tau }{Omega }{Iota } {Mu }{Epsilon }{Gamma }{Alpha }{Lambda }{Omega }{Iota }
{Theta }{Eta }{Rho }{Iota }{Omega }{Nu }{Omicron}{Iota }, {Tau }{Omega }{Iota } {Lambda }{Omicron }{Gamma }{Omega }{Iota }
{Alpha }{Iota }{Omega }{Nu }{Omicron }{Sigma } CUJUS VERBUM EST {Theta }{Epsilon }{Lambda }{Eta }{Mu }{Alpha }.

O my son! me seemeth in certain Hours that I am myself fallen on a Time even more fearful and fatal than did Mohammed, peace be upon Him! But I read clearly the Word of the Aeon, that is ABRAHADABRA, wherein is the whole Mystery of the great Work, as thou knowest. And I have The Book of the Law, that was given unto me by Him thou wottest of; and it is the Interpretation of the Secret Will of Man on every Plane of his By-coming; and the Word of the Law is THELEMA. 'Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law." Now because "Love is the law, love under will." do I write this Epistle for thee, that thou mayst fulfil this inmost Will of Mankind, making them capable of Light, Live, Love and Liberty by the Acceptance of this Law. And the Hindrance thereunto is but as the Shell of its Egg to an Eaglet, a Thing foreign to itself, a Protection till the Hour strike, and then --- no more!

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Here I reach forth mine Hands against thee in the Sign of the Enterer, o son of my Bowels, for with all my Magical Might I will that thou fight manfully and labour with Diligence (with Sword and Trowel; say I) in this Work. For this is the first and last of all, that thou bid every Man do What he will, in accord with his own true Nature. Therefore also blast thou that Lie that Man is of a fallen and evil Nature. For the Word of Sin is Restriction, the Doubt of his own Godhead, the Suppression of, which is the Blasphemy against, his own Holy Spirit. Saith not "The Book of the Law" that "...It is a lie, this folly against self. ..."? Therefore to every Man, in every Circumstance, say thou: Do what thou wilt; and teach him, if he yet waver, how to discover his true Nature, earnestly and with Ardour, even as I have striven to each thee --- yea, and more also!

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Do what thou wilt! be this our Slogan of Battle in every Act; for every Act is Conflict. There Victory leapeth shining before us; for who may thwart true Will, which is the Order of Nature Herself? "...thou hast no right but to do thy will. Do that, and no other shall say nay." For if that Will be true, its Fulfilment is of a Surety as Daylight following Sunrise. It is as certain as the Operation of any other Law of Nature; it is Destiny. Then, if that Will be obscured, if thou turn from it to Wills diseased or perverse, how canst thou hope? Fool! Even thy Turns and Twists are in the Path to thine appointed End. But thou art not sprung of a Slave's Loins; thou standest firm and straight; thou dost thy Will; and thou are Chosen, nay, for this Work wast thou begotten in a Magick Bed, that thou shouldst make Man free.

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Listen attentively, my Son, while I with heavy Heart make Confession to thee of mine own Frailty. Thou knowest that I made Renunciation of my Wage, taking this Body immediately after my Death, the Death of Eliphas Levi Zahed, as Men say, that I might attain to this great Work. It is now twenty Years, as Men count years, that I came to my first Understanding of my true Nature, and aspired to that Work. Now then at first I made no Error. I abandoned my chosen Career; I poured out my whole Fortune without one Thought; I gave my Life utterly to the Work, without keeping back the least imaginable Thing. So then I made swift Strides along the Path. But in the Dhyanas that were granted unto me in Kandy, in the Island of Lanka, I used up my whole Charge of Magical Energy; and for two Years I fell away from the Work.