I'm struck with odd insights often, as if a vastly older and wiser me were to at times insert thought into the conscious slot within my mind. These thoughts don't arise from correlations and cross-references of information; they are more like insights. Epiphanies even. They seem to easily cross vast spanses of time. These thoughts seem too large to have originated with me, and too abstracted for me to firmly grasp. Glimpses through a glass darkly.
The other day I realized that this farm house, sitting on 160 acres of wilderness in the Appalachian Mountains - this is Aaron David's Boleskine House. Even better than Crowley had, I have a hunting shed furnished with an old fireplace and spring bed that stands at the foot of the mountain which I could disappear to for months at a time in meditation retreats, or even the Abramelin working, if I chose to undertake it.
It too has become more and more obvious that Kelly is my Scarlet Woman, or rather, my Edward Kelly, my own Benn... I mean my seer of course, my magical partner. I could not ask for better information to come through any more consistently than it does through her. And we have not even attempted to work together purposefully - it just consistently happens; likely because in all things we have a very deep intimacy, of the sort that does not have to be spoken. I often wonder if my dreams stopped being so consistently spectacular because the spirits shifted their attention to communicating with Kelly via vision. A possibility as well is my use of CBD Cannabis flowers repressing my dream state and/or recollection...
At any rate, I don't know how much time I have left here in this body, or here at this house. I feel the urgency at 38 years old to throw everything into the Work. I mean, lots of people don't even live to my age. That's always weird to think about, because I feel like I'm just now beginning to stand on two feet. Just beginning! It struck me that my dad died at 68 without having found any great purpose other than my mother and myself. This is true I believe for most people who die. Life goes by very quickly, filled with the most mundane of chores that leave one simply wishing to put their feet up, to relax, to take time to comfort oneself with the inertness that television allows. And then you get cancer or hit by a car, or die in a nursing home at 98 wondering what the hell happened - you were just 40 a decade or so ago wasn't it? Where did the time go?
I find nearly everything unbearable. I always have. There is no meaning in it. I've lived my entire life trying desperately to believe in something, but never having the staying power in what was to me so very soon perceived to be, and quite transparently so, institutional creeds devoid of any individual experience other than the nostalgia of tradition and of fitting somewhere. Does Neil de Grasse Tyson make you feel smart? Become an atheist! Repeat the lines! But I could not fit anywhere! Never could I shut my mouth! My mind has been from birth nothing but a mass of criticisms. What is Christianity but a literal damning criticism of everything outside of itself? Any inconsistency to be spotted I will spot a mile away. And the world of men is nothing but inconsistency after inconsistency! This! This is why I'm so angry! I am inconsistent! I have to find a place to BE. Where can I find rest for my head? What is there with any foundational solidity in this world?
I feel I have only now developed some context for what in the fuck the Work even is, and how even to go about it. There is no road map. There is this sort of tree thing, that really is a living and expanded book of sunthemata. There are really only dictionaries of symbol, and degrees of depth in understanding symbol, or what is the coming to knowledge by initiation of the ambiguous liquid Mercury which symbol is the container for, and which guides us along the way, in its Mercurial fashion of the language of form.
The Yod, the Ying Yang, the Vesica Piscis, Shiva and Shakti, the Ouroboros. These express essentially what that tree thing expresses: Positive and Negative. Fire and Water. The Hexagram. When they come together - in that instant there is a 3rd transliminal state. This is the place where the serpent's tail meets the serpent's mouth. This is the equilibrium of the Middle Pillar. Yes, yes - we grasp those symbols and the abstracted truth they all point to, I hear you say... But how can it be expressed in a utilitarian way beyond the columns of magical books? I would say the expressions mean nothing until time is spent within the transliminal state. Until then there is duality. Until then, your mind is fractured, and within that fracture, imbalance breeds.
Positive, Neutral, Negative. Three expressions: The action, the experience and the intellectual and/or intuitive grasping of that experience—these three things cycle. Action, Experience, Reflection, Action, Experience, Reflection. It is a consciousness engine. Let me digress a bit, and the picture will become clearer.
Modern readers of ancient philosophy refer to Socrates' daimon as a metaphor for a spirit of critical self-reflection. They don't mean an actual "spirit". Of course, I do. The Agathos Daimon, Holy Guardian Angel, Higher Self, Bodhisattva, Buddha dharma—whatever your favorite term for it is—it is this inner-communion that the magician cultivates. Buddha dharma is a particularly good term for it, because within Buddhism the term dharma denotes "upholding the natural law of the Universe". Within Hinduism dharma is understood as "sacred duty".
I read that Gurdjieff—which this farm house was the headquarters for the WNC Gurdjieff Foundation—I read that he once angrily told Aleister Crowley at a dinner parter at Gurdjieff’s house, that Crowley was leaving from, that Crowley was filthy inside, and to never return to his house. Some things stick with me. Crowley's early adherents to the Law of Thelema at times perceived Crowley as a monster. That is incredible that there is more than one account of this. I mean they saw him with their eyes as something inhuman. The ones that did not flee from him, considered it a testing of some sort. Crowley himself says that upon invoking Aiwass, his HGA, or "the devil Aiwass" as he calls him at times in his magical journals, he was shown a phantasm of Baphomet and that he "determined to perceive Baphomet as Aiwass". He determined, meaning that this was not explicit.
Now, as we all know by now, my first magical experience was a face to face encounter with the very image of Baphomet, who removed his goat face, and showed me eternal darkness and said, "They are all liars". In my work on the Agathos Daimon, I have to as well examine the Evil Genius. Remember that Eliphas Levi called Baphomet "the sign of initiation". That works for me. But what the fuck was it? The Devil? The Guardian on the Threshold? The Evil Genius? Yes to all and more. Jung would likely say it is the deity lost in the darkness of matter in need of redemption. What is the Evil Genius but the shadow of the Holy Guardian Angel?
What I am getting at is so far beyond the rational mind of man to grasp—it's largely uncharted territory—but it is the duty of the rational mind to transmute “it” into exactly that. I love Hermetic qabalah, as it so excellently is a container for so many big ideas. So too is the Avatamsaka sutra, which has been part and parcel with my Solar initiation.
I myself was later shown Baphomet's image turning into a cow-headed or bull-headed figure. I'm not sure which as I'm not a cattle expert. Let me tell you my suspicions:
Aleister Crowley and I are not the only mystics experiencing Baphomet, or the Sabbatic Goat. Many people are. It is a living symbol in today's world. You could say, the image of the Beast is even worshiped. I suspect that Goat, or Baphomet is the archetypal Devil (as Chaos magick directly states is his image is this Aeon), or the name John Dee used for the Devil, Coronzon, or as Crowley spelled it Choronzon. The demon of dispersion. Chaos, or the Son of Chaos as Crowley names him. Most certianly the Christian Anti-Logos. The manifestation of flies after my experiencing him was clue to his nature - that of wroughting rot, decrepitude, putrefaction. The very demon of dissolution. Note that entropy is a factor of heat yet has no measurability. The Black Flame. Only the very first process of Alchemy. Everyone is caught here, in this black iron cauldron.
Hindu philosophy has a word, called Tamas, which is one of—get this—3 gunas, or virtues or attributes. The three gunas are Sattva (balance), Rajas (passion) and Tamas (imbalance). Tamas then is the quality disorder, chaos, anxiety, impurity, destruction, delusion, negativity, dullness or inactivity, apathy, inertia or lethargy, violence, viciousness, ignorance. Just as in Jungian thought, in Hindu philosophy these three gunas or virtues or tendencies are not either/or. Everyone and everything has within them all 3 qualities, though in different configurations. They could be personified as Evil Genius, Man and Holy Guardian Angel. Or, Shadow, Ego and True Self in Jungian terms. Positive, Neutral, Negative. Salt, Sulfur, Mercury.
As I hiked up the mountain in the backyard further than I had ever gone before, I thought these thoughts. It felt as if the sky and the earth and the spirits of the plants and trees and grasses were spurring me onward. Further up! Further yet! Keep going! I felt such a love for all that was around me, and I felt their love for me. I am become Shakyamuni Buddha, with the Earth as my witness. This I know is the compassion of Venus, of The Empress, of Green Tara, who stood with me as I watched a crescent object in the sky move off into the distance. A story to find in the archives of CtW...
I find a spot high atop a ridge underneath a tree that I do not know what the name for—I must later identify it. With the koummya dagger granted me from my Solar initiation I cut a circle into the earth. I stand in the midst of it and perform the Lesser Invoking Ritual of the Pentagram - invoking the element of Earth. As I close my eyes, I consciously exist in three of the qabalistic worlds. Assiah is literally the world of action, the world around me, the earth my feet stand upon. I can with my inner eye see far down into the mountain’s depths, the deep quiet places where forgotten creatures reside in aquatic reservoirs. I also retain consciousness in the world of Yetzirah, the world of Pure Mind, where it is that my astral form stands within my astral temple, with the Archangels Raphael before me, Gabriel behind me, Michael at my right hand and Uriel at my left hand. I also retain consciousness in the world of Briah. Here I am but a cross of light with a golden center in the vastness of space, drawing down the Light of Kether, and extending it out across the Universe. The 4th world is yet beyond me, the world of Shakti and Shiva, Nuit and Hadit— this world is the bliss of their embrace. I see their symbol shining above the pillars. It is the Hexagram. I know how to reach their world. I know that the mystics can experience samadhi. I as well know that when I began those practices, it was Kali who revealed herself to me in her wrathful aspect. I know that to continue further up the mountain, there are imbalances within myself that are going to have to be brought into balance.
Luther noted that the Devil is God’s Devil, ordained to a purpose. It is my opinion that Gurdjieff was right about Crowley, a heroin addict, not of his own fault, and a man whose attachment to vice brought much pain and suffering into his life and those in his care. I am not judging Crowley, only observing that his measure of Tamas in his incarnation was significant. Chaos is dynamic, killing off what is, so to make allowance for the birth what will be. Crowley embraced his darkness, quite publicly, and I think he would agree, paid dearly for it throughout his life. Did he become a black brother upon evoking Choronzon? I think of Christ in the wilderness, and how he answered the Devil, never losing sight of the transcendent Father. Unlike Crowley, he was not sodomized by his disciple after the encounter - this perceived transgression hurtling Crowley deeper into the gnosis of Choronzon; but nevertheless Christ as well stood there in the wilderness face to face with the Devil. Christ’s life was filled with demonic encounters. Indeed he was the Crowley of his age, the Pharisses having decided he worked in the power of Belzeebub...
I know so much more than I did when I started all this weird shit. I'm going back to basics—Pentagram rituals, Middle Pillar rituals, Hexagram rituals, Pranayama and Asanas, development of Astral Vision, and I'm adding very powerful rituals following the Lunar calendar, and especially the 2nd Lunar day honoring the Agathos Daimon; as well, going back to my Lunar initiation, I'll be especially observing the times of the 4 Quarters of the Moon. The initiations have shown Kelly and I so much. I know that this is my place. In more than once sense. I know that I visited this land long before I began my magical career, long before I met Kelly. That story has been told on CtW, and the original telling of it, immediately after the experience in 2015 can be found here. The last words spoken to me in the dream haunt me beautifully: