Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.


Friday, April 10, 2015

Happy Third Day of the Writing, 2015


But terrible Orc, when he beheld the morning in the East, 

 
Shot from the heights of Enitharmon, 

And in the vineyard of red France appear’d the light of his fury, 

 

The Sun glow’d fiery red!       

The furious Terrors flew around 

On golden chariots, raging with red wheels, dropping with blood! 

The Lions lash their wrathful tails! 

The Tigers couch upon the prey and suck the ruddy tide; 

And Enitharmon groans and cries in anguish and dismay        

 

Then Los arose: his head he rear’d, in snaky thunders clad; 

And with a cry that shook all Nature to the utmost pole, 

Call’d all his sons to the strife of blood.
 
--William Blake, Europe

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Happy Second Day of the Writing, 2015


Los is by mortals nam'd Time, Enitharmon is nam'd Space:

But they depict him bald & aged who is in eternal youth

All powerful and his looks flourish like the brows of morning:

He is the Spirit of Prophecy, the ever apparent Elias.

Time is the mercy of Eternity; without Time's swiftness.

Which is the swiftest of all things, all were eternal torment.

All the Gods of the Kingdoms of Earth labour in Los's Halls:

Every one is a fallen Son of the Spirit of Prophecy:

He is the Fourth Zoa that stood around the Throne Divine.

--William Blake, Milton

 

 

 

And this is the manner of the Sons of Albion in their strength;

They take the Two Contraries which are calld Qualities, with which

Every Substance is clothed, they name them Good & Evil,

From them they make an Abstract, which is a Negation

Not only of the Substance from which it is derived,

A murderer of its own Body : but also a murderer

Of every Divine Member: it is the Reasoning Power,

An Abstract objecting power, that Negatives every thing.

This is the Spectre of Man: the Holy Reasoning Power,

And in its Holiness is closed the Abomination of Desolation.

 

Therefore Los stands in London building Golgonooza,

Compelling his Spectre to labours mighty; trembling in fear

The Spectre weeps, but Los unmov'd by tears or threats remains.

 

I must Create a System, or be enslav'd by another Man's

I will not Reason & Compare: my business is to Create.

 

So Los, in fury & strength: in indignation & burning wrath

Shudd'ring the Spectre howls, his howlings terrify the night.

He stamps around the Anvil, beating blows of stern despair,

He curses Heaven & Earth, Day & Night & Sun & Moon,

He curses Forest Spring & River, Desart & sandy Waste,

Cities & Nations, Families & Peoples, Tongues & Laws,

Driven to desperation by Los's terrors & threat'ning fears.

 

Los cries, Obey my voice & never deviate from my will

And I will be merciful to thee: be thou invisible to all

To whom I make thee invisible, but chief to my own Children,

O Spectre of Urthona: Reason not against their dear approach

Nor them obstruct with thy temptations of doubt & despair;

O Shame, O strong & mighty Shame I break thy brazen fetters;

If thou refuse, thy present torments will seem southern breezes

To what thou shalt endure if thou obey not my great will.

 

--William Blake, Jerusalem

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Happy First Day of the Writing, 2015

And this is the Song of Los, the Song that he sings on his Watch.

 

O lovely mild Jerusalem! O Shiloh of Mount Ephraim!

I see thy Gates of precious stones ; thy Walls of gold & silver.

Thou art the soft reflected Image of the Sleeping Man,

Who stretch'd on Albion's rocks reposes amidst his Twenty-eight

Cities; where Beulah lovely terminates, in the hills & valleys of Albion.

Cities not yet embodied in Time and Space: plant ye

The Seeds, O Sisters, in the bosom of Time& Space's womb

To spring up for Jerusalem: lovely Shadow of Sleeping Albion.

 

Why wilt thou rend thyself apart & build an Earthly Kingdom,

To reign in pride & to opress & to mix the Cup of Delusion,

O thou that dwellest with Babylon! Come forth, O lovely-one!

I see thy Form, O lovely mild Jerusalem, Wing'd with Six Wings

In the opacous Bosom of the Sleeper, lovely Three fold

In Head & Heart & Reins, three Universes of love & beauty.

Thy forehead bright: Holiness to the Lord: with Gates of pearl

Reflects Eternity beneath thy azure wings of feathery down,

Ribb'd delicate & cloth'd with feather'd gold & azure & purple,

From thy white shoulders shadowing, purity in holiness!

Thence feather'd with soft crimson of the ruby bright as fire

Spreading into the azure Wings which like a canopy

Bends over thy immortal Head, in which Eternity dwells.


--William Blake, Jerusalem

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Video of the Day: Sam Harris on the Illusion of Self


Today's video of the day is a short clip of Sam Harris talking about how neuroscience helps to reveal how what we call "self" is an illusion: the sense that there is a "center" to our experiences, that there is a self that is more or less continuous and permanent, that there is a "thinker" in addition to thoughts. These are illusions.
You can watch the video here.

I reflect briefly on this video below the jump.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Paths on the Tree of Life: Sephiroth 7-9

This post continues a series of essays about the paths connecting the Sephiroth on the Qabalistic Tree of Life. This essay addresses paths 27 (linking Hod and Netzach) 28 (linking Netzach and Yesod) and 30 (linking Hod and Yesod).


Read on for more.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Paths on the Tree of Life: Sephiroth 7-10

The Tree of Life is a Qabalistic symbol to which anything and everything can be attributed. Because of its versatility, it is incredibly useful for categorizing experience, conceptualizing virtually any situation, and analyzing the relationship between ideas.



Much has been written about the Tree of Life, and it is not the intention of this post to reinvent the wheel or even discuss the symbols exhaustively. Many resources exist that will introduce the symbol, and one very useful primer is Erwin Hessle’s "Qabalistic Framework" the first chapter of his excellent book on the small cards of the Tarot.

Since Erwin has done such a fine job elucidating the Sephiroth by means of his discussion of the small cards of the Tarot, I thought that it would be useful if I explored the subject of the paths connecting the Sephiroth (to which are attributed, among other things, the Tarot trumps). If I come even close to doing half as good a job as he did with the Sephiroth, I will be most satisfied with this post (and the ones hopefully to follow) as an introduction to the subject that will get readers thinking about the Tree of Life and that will spur their own investigations.

Read on for more.

Friday, January 2, 2015

True Will and Privilege

The term “privilege” is often used to designate the social advantages arbitrarily given to members of particular groups in a particular society, advantages that are largely invisible to members of the groups in question.


While the concept of privilege can certainly be abused and misapplied (often by people with good intentions but poor thinking skills), it also is useful for thinking about certain social issues. More important for the subject of Thelema and Skepticism, the concept of privilege can be useful in helping us see the unarticulated assumptions that underpin our rational judgments. If the work of discovering the True Will is, as I have argued on this blog, the work of identifying the ways in which the mind veils reality from an individual, one of the most difficult veils to pierce are the assumptions that often do not register themselves as conscious thoughts.


Read on for a discussion of privilege and its application in Thelemic practice.