Liber CL



Of Life

I pray you, be patient with me in that which I shall write concerning Light: for here is a difficulty, ever increasing, in the use of words. Moreover, I am myself carried away constantly and overwhelmed by the sublimity of this matter, so that plain speech may whirl into lyric, when I would plod peaceably with didactic, expression. My best hope is that you may understand by virtue of the sympathy of your intuition, even as two lovers may converse in language as unintelligible to others as it seemeth silly, wanton, and dull, or as in that other intoxication given by Ether the partakers commune with infinite wit, or wisdom, as the mood taketh them, by means of a word or a gesture, being initiated to apprehension by the subtlety of the drug. So may I that am inflamed with love of this Light, and drunken on the wine Ethereal of this Light, communicate not so much with your reason and intelligence, but with that principle hidden in yourself which is ready to partake with me. Even so may man and woman become mad with love, no word being spoken between them, because of the induction (as it were) of their souls. And your understanding will depend upon your ripeness for perception of my Truth. Moreover, if so be that Light in you be ready to break forth, then Light will interpret to you these dark words in the language of Light, even as a string inanimate, duly adjusted, will vibrate to its peculiar tone, struck on another cord. Read, therefore, not only with the eye and brain, but with the rhythm of the Life which you have attained by your Will to Love quickened to dancing measure by these words, which are the movements of the wand of my Will to Love, and so to enkindle your Life to Light.
In this mood did I interrupt myself in the writing of this my little book, and for two days and nights sleeplessly have I made consideration, wrestling vehemently with my spirit, lest by haste or carelessness I might fail toward you.
In exercise of Will and of Love are implied motion and change, but in Life is gained an Unity which moveth and changeth only in pulse or in phase, and is even as music. Yet in the attainment of this Life you will already have experienced that the Quintessence thereof is pure Light, an ecstacy formless, and without bound or mark. In this Light naught exists, for It is homogeneous: and therefore have men called it Silence, and Darkness, and Nothing. But in this, as in all other effort to name it, is the root of every falsity and misapprehension, since all words imply some duality. Therefore, though I call it Light, it is not Light, nor absence of Light. Many also have sought to describe it by contradictions, since through transcendent negation of all speech it may by some natures be attained. Also by images and symbols have men striven to express it: but always in vain. Yet those that were ready to apprehend the nature of this Light have understood by sympathy: and so shall it be with you who read this little book, loving it. However, be it known unto you that the best of all instruction on this matter, and the Word best suited to the Aeon of Horus, is written in The Book of the Law. Yet also the Book Ararita[1] is right worthy in the Work of the Light, as Trigrammaton in that of Will, Cordis Cincti Serpente[2] in the Way of Love, and Liberi[3] in that of Life. All these Books also concern all these Four Gifts, for in the end you will see that every one is inseparable from every other.
I wish to write to you with regard to the number 93, the number of Θελημα,[4]. For it is not only the number of its interpretation Αγαπη,[5], but also that of a Word unknown to you unless you be Neophyte of our Holy Order of the A∴A∴ which word representeth in itself the arising of the Speech from the Silence, and the return thereunto in the End. Now this number 93 is thrice 31, which is in Hebrew LA, that is to say NOT, and so it denieth extension in the three dimensions of Space. Also I would have you to meditate most closely upon the name NU that is 56, which we are told to divide, add, multiply, and understand. By division cometh forth 0.12, as if it were written Nuith! Hadith! Ra-Hoor-Khuith! before the Dyad. By addition ariseth Eleven, the number of True Magick: and by multiplication Three Hundred, the Number of the Holy Spirit[6] or Fire, the letter Shin, wherein all things are consumed utterly. With these considerations, and a full understanding of the mysteries of the Numbers 666 and 418, you will be armed mightily in this Way of far flight. But you should also consider all numbers in their scales. For there is no means of resolution better than this of pure mathematics, since already therein are gross ideas made fine, and all is ordered and ready for the Alchemy of the Great Work.
I have already written to you of how, in the Will of Love, Light ariseth as the secret part of Life. And in the first, the little, Loves, the attained Life is still personal: later, it becometh impersonal and universal. Now then is Will arrived, may I say so, at its magnetic pole, whence the lines of force point alike every way and no way: and Love also is no more a work, but a state. These qualities are become part of the Universal Life, which proceedeth infinitely with the enjoyment of the Will, and of Love as inherent therein. These things therefore, in their perfection, have lost their names, and their natures. Yet these were the Substance of Life, its Father and Mother: and without their operation and impact Life itself will gradually cease its pulsations. But since the infinite energy of the whole Universe is therein, what then is possible but that it return to its own First Intention, dissolving itself little by little into that Light which is its most secret and most subtle Nature?
For this Universe is in Truth Zero, being an equation whereof Zero is the sum. Whereof this is the proof, that if not, it would be unbalanced, and something would have come from Nothing, which is absurd. This Light or Nothing is then the Resultant or Totality thereof in pure Perfection; and all other states, positive or negative, are imperfect, since they omit their opposites.
Yet, I would have you consider that this equality or identity of equation between all things and No thing is most absolute, so that you will remain no more in the one than you did in the other. And you will understand this greatest Mystery very easily in the light of those other experiences which you will have enjoyed, wherein motion and rest, change and stability, and many other subtle opposites, have been redeemed to identity by the force of your holy meditation.
The greatest gift of the Law, then, cometh forth by the most perfect practice of the Three Lesser Gifts. And so thoroughly must you travail in this Work that you are able to pass from one side of the equation to the other at will: nay, to comprehend the whole at once, and for ever. This then your time-and-space-bound soul shall travel according to its nature in its orbit, revealing the Law to them that walk in chains, for that this is your particular function.
Now here is the Mystery of the Origin of Evil. Firstly, by Evil we mean that which is in opposition to our own wills: it is therefore a relative, and not an absolute, term. For everything which is the greatest evil of some one is the greatest good of some other, just as the hardness of the wood which wearieth the axeman is the safety of him that ventureth himself upon the sea in a ship built of that wood. And this is a truth easy to apprehend, being superficial, and intelligible to the common mind.
All evil is thus relative, or apparent, or illusory: but, returning to philosophy, I will repeat that its root is always in duality. Therefore the escape from this apparent evil is to seek the Unity, which you shall do as I have already shewn you. But I will now make mention of that which is written concerning this in The Book of the Law.
The first step being Will, Evil appears as by this definition, "all that hinders the execution of the Will." Therefore is it written: "The word of Sin is Restriction." It should also be noted that in The Book of the Thirty Aethyrs[7] Evil appears as Choronzon whose number is 333, which in Greek importeth Impotence and Idleness: and the nature of Choronzon is Dispersion and Incoherence.
Then in the Way of Love Evil appears as "all that which tends to prevent the Union of any two things." Thus The Book of the Law sayeth, under the figure of the Voice of Nuit: "take your fill and will of love as ye will, when, where and with whom ye will! But always unto me." For every act of Love must be "under will," that is, in accordance with the True Will, which is not to rest content with things partial and transitory, but to proceed firmly to the End. So also, in The Book of the Thirty Aethyrs, the Black Brothers are those who shut themselves up, unwilling to destroy themselves by Love.
Thirdly, in the Way of Life Evil appears under a subtler form as "all that which is not impersonal and universal." Here The Book of the Law, by the Voice of Hadit, informeth us: "In the sphere I am everywhere the centre". And again: "I am Life and the giver of Life" … "‘Come unto me’ is a foolish word: for it is I that go." "For I am perfect, being Not". For this Life is in every place and time at once, so that in It these limitations no longer exist. And you will have seen this for yourself, that in every act of Love time and space disappear with the creation of the Life by its virtue, as also doth personality itself. For the third time, then, in even subtler sense, "The word of Sin is Restriction."
Lastly, in the Way of Light this same versicle is the key to the conception of Evil. But here Restriction is in the failure to solve the Great Equation, and, later, to prefer one expression or phase of the Universe to the other. Against this we are warned in The Book of the Law by the Word of Nuit, saying: "None" … "and two. For I am divided for love's sake, for the chance of union", and therefore, "If this be not aright: if ye confound the space marks, saying: They are one: or saying, They are many;" … "then expect the direful judgments" …
Now therefore by the favour of Thoth am I come to the end of this my book: and do you arm yourselves accordingly with the Four Weapons: the Wand for Liberty, the Cup for Love, the Sword for Life, the Disk for Light: and with these work all wonders by the Art of High Magick under the Law of the New Aeon, whose Word is Θελημα,[8] will.

[1] Liber 813

[2] "Heart girt with a serpent", the title of Liber 65

[3] Liber 7

[4] "Thelema", will

[5] "Agape"

[6] "Ruach Elohim", the breath of God.

[7] Liber 418

[8] "Thelema"

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