The Book of Lies





There is a Swan whose name is Ecstasy: it wingeth from the Deserts of the North; it wingeth through the blue; it wingeth over the fields of rice; at its coming they push forth the green.


In all the Universe this Swan alone is motionless; it seems to move, as the Sun seems to move; such is the weakness of our sight.


O fool! criest thou?


Amen. Motion is relative: there is Nothing that is still.


Against this Swan I shot an arrow; the white breast poured forth blood. Men smote me; then, perceiving that I was but a Pure Fool, they let me pass.


Thus and not otherwise I came to the Temple of the Graal.


This Swan is Aum. The chapter is inspired by Frater P.'s memory of the wild swans he shot in the Tali-Fu.

In paragraphs 3 and 4 it is, however, recognised that even Aum is impermanent. There is no meaning in the word, stillness, so long as motion exists.

In a boundless universe, one can always take any one point, however mobile, and postulate it a point at rest, calculating the motions of all other points relatively to it.

The penultimate paragraph shows the relations of the Adept to mankind. Their hate and contempt are necessary steps to his acquisition of sovereignty over them.

The story of the Gospel, and that of Parsifal, will occur to the mind.


[1] This chapter must be read in connection with Wagner's "Parsifal".

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