John St. John


The Second Day

The Stroke of Twelve found me duly in my Asana, practising Pranayama.

Let me continue this work; for it is written that unto the persevering mortal the Blessed Immortals are swift…

What then should happen to a persevering Immortal like myself?

Trying meditation and mantra.
I find thoughts impossible to concentrate; and my Asana, despite various cowardly attempts to "fudge" it, is frightfully painful.
In the Hanged Man posture, meditating and willing the Presence of Adonai by the Ritual "Thee I invoke, the Bornless One" and mental formulæ.
I'm hopelessly sleepy! Invocation as bad as bad could be — attention all over the place. Irrational hallucinations, such as a vision of either Eliphaz Levi or my father (I can't swear which!) at the most solemn moment!

But the irrational character of said visions is not bad. They come from nowhere; it is much worse when your own controlled brain breaks loose.

I will therefore compose myself to sleep: is it not written that He giveth unto His beloved even in sleep? "Others, even in sleep, He makes fruitful from His own strength."
Woke and forced myself to rise. I had a number of rather pleasing dreams, as I seem to remember. But their content is gone from me; and, in the absence of the prophet Daniel, I shall let the matter slide.
Pranayama. 13 cycles. Very tiring; I began to sweat. A mediocre performance.
8.0 - 8.20
Breakfast. Hatha Yogi — a pear and two gaufrettes.
Have been meditating in Hanged Man position. Thought dull and wandering; yet once "the conception of the Glowing Fire" seen as a planet (perhaps Mars). Just enough to destroy the concentration; then it went out, dammit!
Have attended to correspondence and other business and drunk a citron pressé.

The Voice of the Nadi began to resound.

Have done "Bornless One" in Asana. Good; yet I am filled with utter despair at the hopelessness of the Task. Especially do I get the Buddhist feeling, not only that Asana is intensely painful, but that all conceivable positions of the body are so.
Still sitting; quite sceptical; sticking to it just because I am a man, and have decided to go through with it.
Have done 10 P.Y. cycles. A bit better, and a slight hint of the Bhuchari Siddhi[1] foreshadowed. Have been saying mantra; the question arises in my mind:
Am I mixing my drinks unduly? I think not; if one didn't change to another mystic process, one would have to read the newspaper.
This completes my half-hour of Asana. Legs very painful; yet again I find myself wishing for Kandy (not sugar candy, but the place where I did my first Hindu practices and got my first Results) and a life devoted entirely to meditation. But not for me! I'm no Pratyeka-Buddha; a Dhamma-Buddha every inch of me![2]

I now take a few minutes "off" to make "considerations."

I firmly believe that the minutest dose of the Elixir would operate as a "detonator." I seem to be perfectly ready for illumination, if only because I am so perfectly dark. Yet my power to create magical images is still with me.

11.40 - 12.0.
Hanged Man posture. Will invoke Adonai once more by pure thought. Got into a very curious state indeed; part of me being quite perfectly asleep, and part quite perfectly awake.
Have slept, and that soundly, though with many dreams. Awaking with the utmost horror and loathing of the Path of the Wise — it seemed somehow like a vast dragon-demon with bronze green wings iridescent that rose up startled and angry. And I saw that the littlest courage is enough to rise and throw off sleep, like a small soldier in complete armour of silver advancing with sword and shield — at whose sight that dragon, not daring to abide the shock, flees utterly away.
Lunch, 3 Garibaldis[3] and 3 Gaufrettes.[4] Wrote two letters.
Going out walk with mantra.
This walk was in a way rather a success. I got the good mantra effects, e.g., the brain taking it up of its own accord; also the distaste for everything but Adonai became stronger and stronger.

But when I returned from a visit to B—e on an errand of comradeship — 1½ hours' talk to cut out of this mantra-yoga — I found all sorts of people at the Dôme, where I drank a citron presse: they detained me in talk, and at 6.30 Maryt turned up and I had to chew a sandwich and drink coffee while she dined.

I feel a little headache; it will pass.

She is up here now with me, but I shall try to meditate. Charming as she is, I don't want to make love to her.

Mixed mantra and caresses rather a success. (At her request I gave M. a minimum dose of X.)
Asana and Meditation with mantra since 8.40. The blackness seems breaking. For a moment I got a vague glimpse of one's spine (or rather one's Sushumna) as a galaxy of stars, thus suggesting the stars as the ganglia of the Universe.
To continue.
Not very satisfactory. Asana got painful; like a worm I gave up, and tried playing the fool; got amused by the New Monster, but did not perform the "Vajroli Mudra."[5]

However, having got rid of her for the moment, one may continue.

10.24 - 10.39.
P.Y.[6] 14 cycles. Some effort required; sweating appears to have stopped and Bhuchari hardly begun.

My head really aches a good deal.

I must add one or two remarks. In my walk I discovered that my mantra Hua allahu, etc., really belongs to the Visuddhi Cakkram; so I allowed the thought to concentrate itself there.[7]

Also, since others are to read this, one must mention that almost from the beginning of this Working of Magick Art the changed aspect of the world whose culmination is the keeping of the oath "I will interpret every phenomenon as a particular dealing of God with my soul" was present with me. This aspect is difficult to describe; one is indifferent to everything and yet interested in it. The meaning of things is lost, pending the inception of their Spiritual Meaning; just as, on putting one's eye to the microscope, the drop of water on the slide is gone, and a world of life discovered, though the real import of that world is not apprehended, until one's knowledge becomes far greater than a single glance can make it.

Having written the above, I shall rest for a few moments to try and get rid of my headache.

A good simile (by the way) for the Yogi is to say that he watches his thought like a cat watching a mouse. The paw ready to strike the instant Mr. Mouse stir.

I have chewed a Gaufrette and drunk a little water, in case the headache is from hunger. (P.S. — It was so; the food cured it at once.)

I now lie down as Hanged Man and say mantra in Visuddhi.
I must really note the curious confusion in my mind between the Visuddhi Cakkram and that part of the Boulevard Edgar Quinet which opens on to the cemetery. It seems an identity.

In trying to look at the Cakkram, I saw that.

Query: What is the connection, which appeared absolute and essential? I had been specially impressed by that gate two days ago, with its knot of mourners. Could the scene have been recorded in a brain-cell adjoining that which records the Visuddhi-idea? Or did I at that time unconsciously think of my throat for some other reason? Bother! These things are all dog-faced demons! To work!

Work: Meditation and Mantra.
No good. Went off into a reverie about a castle and men-at-arms. This had all the qualities of a true dream, yet I was not in any other sense asleep. I soon will be, though. It seems foolish to persist.

And indeed, though I tried to continue the mantra with its high aspiration to know Adonai, I must have slept almost at once.


[1] Siddhi of translocation of men or objects, by which one can make oneself or a distant object cover great distances in no time.

[2] A Pratyeka-Buddha attains the Supreme Reward for himself alone; a Dhamma-Buddha renounces it and returns to hell (earth) to teach others the Way. — Ed.

[3] Probably this fish.

[4] A wafer of crisply fried potato cut to resemble a small waffle

[5] For this see the Shiva Sanhita, and other of the Holy Sanskrit Tantras. — Ed.

[6] Prana Yama. — Ed.

[7] The Visuddhi-Cakkram: the "nerve centre," in Hindu mystic physiology, opposite the larynx. — Ed.

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