John St. John


The Seventh Day

I began this great day with Eight breath-cycles; was stopped by the indigestion trouble in its other form. (P.S. — Evidently the introduction of the Cascara into my sensitive aura made its action instantaneous.) My breathing passages were none too clear, either; I have evidently taken a chill.

Now, O, my Lord Adonai, thou Self-Glittering One, wilt Thou not manifest unto Thy chosen one? For see me! I am as a little white dove trembling upon thine altar, its throat stretched out to the knife. I am as a young child bought in the slave market … and night is fallen! I await Thee, O my Lord, with a great longing, stronger than Life; yet am I as patient as Death.

There was a certain Darwesh whose turban a thief stole. But when they said to him, "See! he hath taken the road to Damascus!" that holy man answered, as he went quietly to the cemetery, "I will await him here!"

So, therefore, there is one place, O thou thief of my heart's love, Adonai, to which thou must come at last; and that place is the tomb in which lie buried all my thoughts and emotions, all that which is "I, and Me, and Mine." There will I lay myself and await thee, even as our Father Christian Rosenkreutz that laid himself in the Pastos in the Vault of the Mountain of the Caverns, Abiegnus, on whose portal did he cause to be written the words, "Post Lux Crucis Annos Patebo." So Thou wilt enter in (as did Frater N. N. and his companions) and open the Pastos; and with thy Winged Globe thou wilt touch the Rosy Cross upon my breast, and I shall wake into life — the true life that is Union with Thee.

So therefore — perinde ac cadaver[1] — I await Thee.

I wrote, by the way, on some previous day (IV. 12.57 A.M.) that I used the Supreme formula of Awaiting…. Ridiculous mouse! is it not written in the Book of the Heart that is girt about with the Serpent that "To await Thee is the End, not the Beginning"?

It is as silly as rising at midnight, and saying, "I will go out and sleep in the sun."

But I am an Irishman, and if you offer me a donkey-ride at a shilling the first hour and sixpence the second, you must not be surprised at the shrewd silliness of my replying that I will take the second hour first.

But that is always the way; the love of besting our dearest friends in a bargain is native to us: and so, even in religion, when we are dealing with our own souls, we try to cheat. I go out to cut an almond rod at midnight, and, finding it inconvenient, I "magically affirm" that ash is almond and that seven o'clock is twelve. It seems a pity to have become a magician, capable of forcing Nature to accommodate herself to your statements, for no better use to be made of the power than this!

Miracles are only legitimate when there is no other issue possible. It is waste of power (the most expensive kind of power) to "make the spirits bring us all kinds of food" when we live next door to the Savoy; that Yogi was a fool who spent forty years learning to walk across the Ganges when all his friends did it daily for two pice; and that man does ill when he invokes Tahuti to cure a cold in the head while Mr. Lowe's shop is so handy in Stafford Street.

But miracles may be performed in an extremity; and are.

This brings us round in a circle; the miracle of the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel is only to be performed when the magus has rowed himself completely out; in the language of the Tarot, when the Magus has become the Fool. But for my faith in the Ritual DCLXXI. I should be at the end of my spells.

Well? We shall see in the upshot.

I really almost begin to believe IT will happen.

For I lay down quite free of worry or anxiety (hugging myself, as it were), perfectly sure of Him in the simple non-assertive way that a child is sure of its mother, in a state of pleased expectancy, my thoughts quite suppressed in an intent listening, as it were for the noise of the wind of His chariot, as it were for the rustle of His wings.

For lo! through the heaven of Nu He rideth in His chariot — soon, soon He will be here!

Into this state of listening come certain curious things — formless flittings, I know not what. Also, what I used to call "telephone-cross" voices — voices of strange people saying quite absurd commonplace things — "Here, let's feel it!" "What about lunch?" "So I said to him: Did you —" and so on; just as if one were overhearing a conversation in a railway carriage. I beheld also Kephra, the Beetle God, the Glory of Midnight. But let me compose myself again to sleep, as did the child Samuel.

If He should choose to come, He can easily awaken me.

I have been asleep a good deal — one long dream in which P—t, Lord M—y of B—n and my wife are all staying with me in my mother's house. My room the old room, with one page torn out — for I conceived it as part of a book, somehow! Oh such a lot of this dream! Most of it clearly due to obvious sources — I don't see where Lord M—y comes in. Very likely he is dead. I have had that happen now and again.[2]

The dream changed, too, to a liner; where Japanese stole my pipe in a series of adventures of an annoying type — every one acted as badly as he knew how, and as unexpectedly.

Waking just now, and instantly concentrating on Adonai, I found my body seized with a little quivering, very curious and pleasant, like

trembling leaves in a continuous air.

I think I have heard this state of Interior Trembling described in some mystic books. I think the Shakers and Quakers had violent shudderings. Abdullah Haji of Shiraz writes: —

Just as the body shudders when the Soul
Gives up to Allah in its quick career

It is the tiniest, most intimate trembling, not unlike that of Kambhakham or "Vindu-siddhi"[3] properly performed; but of a female quality. I feel as if I were being shaken; in the other cases I recognize my own ardour as the cause. It is very gentle and sweet.

So now I may turn back to wait for Him.

The Voice of the Nadi has changed to a music faint yet very full and very sweet, with a bell-like tone more insistent than the other notes at intervals.
Again awake, and patient-eager. The dreams flow through me ceaselessly.

This time a house where I, like a new Bluebeard, have got to conceal my wives from each other. But my foolish omission to knife them brings it about that I have thirty-nine secret chambers, and only one open one in each case.

Oh, yards of it! And all sorts of people come in to supper — which there isn't any, and we have to do all sorts of shifts — and all the wives think themselves neglected — as they are bound to do, if one is insane enough to have forty — and I loathed them all so! it was terrible having to fly round and comfort and explain; the difficulty increases (I should judge) as about the fifth power of the number of wives… I'm glad I'm awake!

Yea, and how glad when I am indeed awake from this glamour life, awake to the love my Lord Adonai!

It is bitter chill at dawn. A consecrating cold it seems to me — yet I will not confront it and rejoice in it — I am already content, having ceased to strive.

Again awake, deliciously rested and refreshed.
Again awake, ditto.
I will now break my fast with a sandwich and coffee, eaten Yogin-wise.

I seem like one convalescent after a fever; very calm, very clean, rather weak, too weak, indeed, to be actually happy: but content.

I spent the morning posing for Michael Brenner, a sculptor who will one day be heard of. Very young yet, but I think the best man of his generation — of those whose work I have seen. By the way, I am suffering from a swollen finger, since yesterday morning or possibly earlier. I have given it little attention, but it is painful.

I want to explain why I have so carefully recorded the somewhat banal details of all I have eaten and drunk.

  1. All food is a species of intoxicant; hence a fruitful source of error. Should I obtain any good result, I might say "You were starved" or "You were drunk." It is very easy to get visions of sorts by either process, and to delude oneself into the idea that one has attained, mistaking the Qliphoth for Kether.
  2. In keeping the vow "I will interpret every phenomenon as a particular dealing of God with my soul" the mere animal actions are the most resistant. One cannot see the nature of the phenomenon; it seems so unimportant; one is inclined to despise it. Hence I enter it in the record as a corrective.
  3. If others are to read this, I should like them to see that elaborate codes of morality have nothing to do with my system. No question of sin and grace ever enters it.

If a chemist wants to prepare copper sulphate from its oxide, he does not hesitate on the ground that sulphuric acid, thrown in the eyes, hurts people. So I use the moral drug which will produce the desired result, whether that drug be what people commonly call poison or no. In short, I act like a sensible man; and I think I deserve every credit for introducing this completely new idea into religion.

That function of my brain which says "You ought to be willing Adonai" sometimes acts. But I am willing Him! It is so active because all this week it has been working hard, and doesn't realise that its work is done. Just as a retired grocer wakes up and thinks "I must go and open the shop."

In Hindu phrase, the thought-stuff, painfully forced all these days into one channel, has acquired the habit[4] I am Ekâgrata — one-pointed.

Just as if one arranges a siphon, one has to suck and suck for a while, and then when the balance in the two arms of the tube is attained, the fluid goes on softly and silently of its own act. Gravitation which was against us is now for us.

So now the whole destiny of the Universe is by me overcome; I am impelled, with ever-gathering and irresistible force, toward Adonai.

Vi Veri Vniversvm Vivvs Vici!

Back home to illuminate my beautiful Ritual.
Two pages done and set aside to dry. I think I will go for a little walk and enjoy the beautiful sun.

Also to the chemist's to have my finger attended to.

The chemist refused to do anything; and so I did it myself. It is the romantic malady of ingrowing nail; a little abscess had formed. Devilish painful after the clean-up. Will go the walk aforesaid.
I ought to note how on this day there is a complete absence of all one's magical apparatus. The mantra has slowed down to (at a guess) a quarter of its old pace. The rest in unison. This is because the feeling of great power, etc. etc., is the mere evidence of conflict — the thunder of the guns. Now all is at peace; the power of the river, no more a torrent.

The Concourse of the Forces has become the Harmony of the Forces; the word Tetragrammation is spoken and ended; the holy letter Shin is descended into it. For the roaring God of Sinai we have the sleeping Babe of Bethlehem. A fulfilment, not a destroying, of the Law.

Am at home again. I will lie down in the Position of the Hanged Man, and await the coming of my Lord.
Arisen again to go out to diner. I was half-asleep some of the time.
Dinner — Hors d'OEuvre — Tripes à la Mode de Caen — Filet de Porc — Glace — ½ Graves. Oh, how the world hath inflexible intellectual rulers! I eat it in a semi-Yogin manner.
I am wondering whether I have not made a mistake in allowing myself to sleep.

It would be just like me, if there were only one possible mistake to make, to make it! I was perfect, had I only watched. But I let my faith run away with me…. I wonder.

Dinner over, I go on as I am in calm faith and love. Why should I expect a catastrophic effect? Why should not the circumstances of Union with God be compatible with the normal consciousness? Interpenetrating and illuminating it, if you like; but not destroying it. Well, I don't know why it shouldn't be; but I bet it isn't! All the spiritual experience I have had argues against such a theory.

On the contrary, it will leave the reason quite intact, supreme Lord of its own plane. Mixing up the planes is the sad fate of many a mystic. How many do I know in my own experience who tell me that, obedient to the Heavenly Vision, they will shoot no more rabbits! Thus they found a system on trifles, and their Lord and God is some trumpery little elemental masquerading as the Almighty.

I remember my Uncle Tom telling me that he was sure God would be displeased to see me in a blue coat on Sunday. And to-day he is surprised and grieved that I do not worship his god — or even my own tailor, as would be surely more reasonable!

How is it that I expect the reward at once? Surely I am presuming on my magical power, which is an active thing, and therefore my passivity is not perfect. Of course, when IT happens, it happens out of time and space — now or ten years hence it is all the same. All the same to IT; not all the same to me, O.M. So O.M. (the dog!) persists irrationally in wanting IT, here and now. Surely, indeed, it is a lack of faith, a pandering to the time-illusion … and so forth. Yes, no doubt it is all magically wrong, even magically absurd; yet, though I see the snare, I deliberately walk into it. I suppose I shall be punished somehow … Good! there's the excuse I wanted. Fear is failure: I must dare to do wrong. Good!
It has just occurred to me that this Waiting and Watching is the supreme Magical strain. Every slight sound or other impression shocks one tremendously. It is easy enough to shut out sounds and such when one is concentrating in active magic: I did all my early evocations in Chancery Lane. But now one is deliberately opening all the avenues of sense to admit Adonai! One has destroyed one's own Magic Circle. The whole of that great Building is thrown down…. Therefore I am in a worse hole that I ever was before — and I've only just realized it. A footfall on the pavement is most acute agony — because it is not Adonai. My hearing, normally rather dull, is intensely sharpened; and I am thirty yards from the electric trams of the Boulevard Montparnasse at the busiest hour of the evening….

And the Visconti may turn up! …

Eli, Eli, lama sabacthani!

I went out to the Dôme to drink my final citron pressé and to avoid the Visconti. Am returned, and in bed. I shall try and sleep now, waking in time for midnight and the quiet hours.
I have endured the supreme temptation and assault of the Enemy.

In this wise. First, I found that I did not want sleep — I couldn't stop "Waiting." Next, I said "Since last night that Black Ritual (see entry 10.55) did at least serve to turn all my thoughts to the One Thought, I will try it again…"

Then I said: "No; to do so is not pure 'waiting.;'"

And then — as by a flash of lightning — the Abyss of the Pit opened, and my whole position was turned. I saw my life from the dawn of consciousness till now as a gigantic "pose"; my very love of truth assumed for the benefit of my biographer! All these strange things suffered and enjoyed for no better purpose than to seem a great man. One cannot express the horror of this thought; it is The thought that murders the soul — and there is no answer to it. So universal is it that it is impossible to prove the contrary. So one must play the man, and master it and kill it utterly, burying it in that putrid hell from which it sprang. Luckily I have dealt with it before. Once when I lived at Paddington J—s and F—r were with me taking, and, when they went, thoughtfully left this devil-thought behind — the agony is with me yet. That, though, was only a young mild devil, though of the same bad brood. It said: "Is there any Path or Attainment? Have you been fooled all along?"

But to-night's thought struck at my own integrity, at the inmost truth of the soul and of Adonai.

As I said, there is no answer to it; and as these seven days have left me fairly master of the fortress, I caught him young, and assigned him promptly to the oubliette.

I put down this — not as a "pose" — but because the business is so gigantic. It encourages me immensely; for if my Dweller on the Threshold be that most formidable devil, how vast must be the Pylon that shelters him, and how glorious must be the Temple just beyond!

It seems that there was one more mistake to make; for I've made it!

I started to attempt to awaken the Kundalini — the magical serpent that sleeps at the base of the spine; coiled in three coils and a half around the Sushumna; and instead of pumping the Prana up and down the Sushumna until Siva was united with Sakti in the Sahasrara-Cakkram, I tried — God knows why; I'm stupider than an ass or H… C…. — to work the whole operation in Muladhara — with the obvious result.

There are only two more idiocies to perform — one, to take a big dose of Hashish and record the ravings as if they were Samadhi; and two, to go to church. I may as well give up.

Yet here answers me the everlasting Yea and Amen: Thou canst not give up, for I will bring thee through. Yet here I lie, stripped of all magic force, doubting my own peace and faith, farther from Adonai than ever before — and yet — and yet —

Do I not know that every error is a necessary step in the Path? The longest way round is the shortest way home. But it is disgusting! There's a grim humour in it, too. The real Devil of the Operation must be sitting with sardonic grin upon his face, enjoying my perplexity —

For that Dweller-of-the-Threshold-thought was not as dead as I supposed; as I write he comes again and again, urging me to quit the Path, to abandon the unequal contest. Luckily, friend Dweller, you prove too much! Your anxiety shows me that I am not as far from attainment as my own feelings would have me think. At least, though, I am thrown into the active again; I shall rise and chant the Enochian Calls and invoke the Bornless One, and clear a few of the devils away, and get an army of mighty angels around me — in short, make another kind of fool of myself, I wonder?

Anyway, I'll do it. Not a bad idea to ask Thoth to send me Taphtatharath with a little information as to the route — I do not know where I am at all. This is a strange country, and I am very lonely.

This shall be my ritual.

  1. Banishing Pentagram Ritual.
  2. Invoking ditto.[5]
  3. "The Bornless One."[6]
  4. The Calls I — VI with the rituals of the five Grades. [From Dr. Dee's and the G∴ D∴ MSS. — Ed.]
  5. Invocation of Thoth.
  6. (No: I will not use the New Ritual, nor will I discuss the matter.) An impromptu invocation of Adonai.
  7. Closing formulae.

To work, then!

The ceremony went well enough; the forces invoked came readily and visibly; Thoth in particular as friendly as ever — I fancy He takes this record as a compliment to Him — He's welcome to it, poor God!

The L.V.X. came, too but not enough to pierce the awful shroud of darkness that by my folly I have woven for myself.

So at the end I found myself on the floor, so like Rodin's Cruche Cassée Danaide Girl as never was … As I ought to have been in the beginning! Well, one thing I got (again!), that is, that when all is said and done, I am that I am, and all these thoughts of mine, angels and devils both, are only fleeting moods of me. The one true self of me is Adonai. Simple! Yet I cannot remain in that simplicity.

I got this "revelation" through the Egyptian plane, a partial illumination of the reason. It has cleared up the mind; but alas! the mind is still there. This is the strength and weakness both of the Egyptian plane, that it is so lucid and spiritual and yet so practical. When I say weakness, I mean that it appeals to my weakness; I am easily content with the smaller results, so that they seduce me from going on to the really big ones. I am quite happy as a result of my little ceremony — whereas I ought to be taking new and terrible oaths! Yet why should Tahuti be so kind to me, and Asar Un-nefer so unkind? The answer comes direct from Tahuti himself: Because you have learned to write perfectly, but have not yet taught yourself to suffer.

True enough, the last part!

Asar Un-nefer, thou perfected One, teach me Thy mysteries! Let my members be torn by Set and devoured by Sebek and Typhon! Let my blood be poured out upon Nile, and my flesh be given to Besz to devour! Let my Phallus be concealed in the maw of Mati, and my Crown be divided among my brethren! Let the jaws of Apep grind me into poison! Let the sea of poison swallow me wholly up!

Let Asi my mother rend her robes in anguish, and Nepti weep for me unavailing.

Then shall Asi being forth Hoor, and Heru-pa-kraat shall leap glad from her womb. The Lord of Vengeance shall awaken; Sekhet shall roar, and Pasht cry aloud. Then shall my members be gathered together, and my bonds shall be unloosed; and my khu shall be mighty in Khem for ever and ever!

I return to he place of the Evil Triad, of Ommo Satan, that is before the altar. There to expiate my folly in attaching myself to all this great concourse of ideas that I have here recorded, instead of remaining fixed in the single stronghold of Unity with Myself.
And so this great day draws to its end.

These are indeed the Qliphoth, the Qliphoth of Kether, the Thaumiel, twin giant heads that hate and tear each other.

For the horror and darkness have been unbelievable; yet again, the light and brilliance have been almost insupportable.

I was never so far, and never so near … But the hour approaches. Let me collect myself, and begin the new day in affirmation of my Unity with my Lord Adonai!


[1] "as well as the body"

[2] — this was not the case.

[3] see the Shiva Sanhita. — Ed.

[4] i.e., of flowing naturally in it. — Ed.

[5] These will appear in No. 2, "Liber O." — Ed.

[6] See the "Goetia." — Ed.

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