Original key entry Bill Heidrick, T.G. of O.T.O.
Extracted from EQ-I-1.AS1 by Fr. Nachash

This format (c) O.T.O.

P.O.Box 430
Fairfax, CA 94930

(415) 454-5176 ---- Messages only.


! AND ?

"Expect seven misfortunes from the cripple, and forty-twofrom the one-eyed man; but when the hunchback comes, say 'Allah our aid.'"


INQUIRY. Let us inquire in the first place: What is Scepticism?The word
means looking, questioning, investigating. One must passby contemptuously
the Christian liar's gloss which interprets "sceptic"as "mocker"; though
in a sense it is true for him, since to inquire intoChristianity is
assuredly to mock at it; but I am concerned to intensifythe etymological
connotation in several respects. First, I do not regardmere incredulity
as necessary to the idea, though credulity is incompatiblewith it.
Incredulity implies a prejudice in favour of a negativeconclusion; and the
true sceptic should be perfectly unbiassed.
Second, I exclude "vital scepticism." What's the goodof anyfink?
expects (as we used to learn about "nonne?") the answer,"Why nuffink!" and
again is prejudiced. Indolence is no virtue in a questioner.Eagerness,
intentness, concentration, vigilance --- all these Iinclude in the
connotation of "sceptic." Such questioning as has beencalled "vital
scepticism" is but a device to avoid true questioning,and therefore its
very antithesis, the devil disguised as an angel of light.
[Or "vice vers", friend, if you are a Satanist; 'tisa matter of words
--- words --- words. You may write "x" for "y" in yourequations, so long as
you consistently write "y" for "x". They remain unchanged--- and unsolved.
Is not all our "knowledge" an example of this fallacyof writing one
unknown for another, and then crowing like Peter's cock?]
I picture the true sceptic as a man eager and alert,his deep eyes
glittering like sharp swords, his hands tense with effortas he asks, "What
does it matter?"
I picture the false sceptic as a dude or popinjay, yawning,with dull
eyes, his muscles limp, his purpose in asking the questionbut the
expression of his slackness and stupidity.
This true sceptic is indeed the man of science; as Wells'"Moreau"
tells us. He has devised some means of answering hisfirst question, and
its answer is another question. It is difficult to conceiveof any
question, indeed, whose answer does not imply a thousandfurther questions.
So simple an inquiry as "Why is sugar sweet?" involvesan infinity of
chemical researches, each leading ultimately to the blankwall --- what is
matter? and an infinity of physiological researches,each (similarly)
leading to the blank wall --- what is mind?
Even so, the relation between the two ideas is unthinkable;causality
is itself unthinkable; it depends, for one thing, uponexperience --- and
what, in God's name, is experience? Experience is impossiblewithout
memory. What is memory? The mortar of the temple of theego, whose bricks
are the impressions. And the ego? The sum of our experience,may be. (I
doubt it!) Anyhow, we have got values of "y" and "z"for "x", and the values
of "x" and "z" for "y" --- all our equations are indeterminate;all our
knowledge is relative, even in a narrower sense thanis usually implied by the
statement. Under the whip of the clown God, our performingdonkeys the
philosophers and men of science run round and round inthe ring; they have
amusing tricks: they are cleverly trained; but they getnowhere.
I don't seem to be getting anywhere myself.


A fresh attempt. Let us look into the simplest and mostcertain of
all possible statements. "Thought exists", or if youwill, "Cogitatur".
Descartes supposed himself to have touched bed-rock withhis "Cogito,"
"ergo Sum."
Huxley pointed out the complex nature of this proposition,and that it
was an enthymeme with the premiss "Omnes sunt, qui cogitant"suppressed. He
reduced it to "Cogito;" or, to avoid the assumption ofan ego, "Cogitatur."
Examining more closely this statement, we may still cavilat its form.
We cannot translate it into English without the use ofthe verb to be, so,
that, after all, existence is implied. Nor do we readilyconceive that
contemptuous silence is sufficient answer of the furtherquery, "By whom is
it thought?" The Buddhist may find it easy to image anact without
an agent; I am not so clever. It may be possible fora sane man; but I
should like to know more about his mind before I gavea final opinion.
But apart from purely formal objections, we may stillinquire: Is this
"Cogitatur" true?
Yes; reply the sages; for to deny it implies thought;"Negatur" is only
a sub-section of "Cogitatur".
This involves, however, an axiom that the part is ofthe same nature
as the whole; or (at the very least) an axiom that "A"is "A".
Now, I do not wish to deny that "A" is "A", or may occasionallybe "A".
But certainly "A is A" is a very different statementto our original
The proof of "Cogitatur", in short, rests not upon itselfbut upon the
validity of our logic; and if by logic we mean (as weshould mean) the Code
of the Laws of Thought, the irritating sceptic will havemany more remarks
to make: for it now appears that the proof that "thoughtexists" depends upon
the truth of that which is thought, to say no more.
We have taken "Cogitatur", to try and avoid the use of"esse;" but "A is
A" involves that very idea, and the proof is fatallyflawed.
"Cogitatur" depends on "Est;" and there's no avoidingit.


Shall we get on any better if we investigate this "Est"--- Something is
--- Existence is --- HB:Heh HB:Yod HB:Heh HB:Aleph HB:ReshHB:Shin HB:Aleph
HB:Heh HB:Yod HB:Heh HB:Aleph ?
What is Existence? The question is so fundamental thatit finds no
answer. The most profound meditation only leads to anexasperating sense
of impotence. There is, it seems, no simple rationalidea in the mind
which corresponds to the word.
It is easy of course to drown the question in definitions,leading us
to further complexity --- but

"Existence is the gift of Divine Providence,"
"Existence is the opposite of Non-Existence,"

do not help us much!
The plain "Existence is Existence" of the Hebrews goesfarther. It is
the most sceptical of statements, in spite of its form.Existence is just
existence, and there's no more to be said about it; don'tworry! Ah, but
there is more to be said about it! Though we search ourselvesfor a
thought to match the word, and fail, yet we have Berkeley'sperfectly
convincing argument that (so far as we know it) existencemust mean
"thinking existence" or "spiritual existence".
Here then we find our "Est" to imply "Cogitatur;" andBerkeley's arguments
are "irrefragable, yet fail to produce conviction" (Hume)because the
"Cogitatur;" as we have shown, implies "Est".
Neither of these ideas is simple; each involves the other.Is the
division between them in our brain a proof of the totalincapacity of that
organ, or is there some flaw in our logic? For all dependsupon our logic;
not upon the simple identity "A is A" only, but uponits whole structure from
the question of simple propositions, enormously difficultfrom the moment
when it occurred to the detestable genius that invented"existential
import" to consider the matter, to that further complexityand
contradiction, the syllogism.


"Thought is" appears then (in the worst case possible,denial) as the
conclusion of the premisses:
There is denial of thought.
(All) Denial of thought is thought.
Even formally, 'tis a clumsy monster. Essentially, itseems to
involve a great deal beyond our original statement. Wecompass heaven and
earth to make one syllogism; and when we have made it,it is tenfold more
the child of mystery than ourselves.
We cannot here discuss the whole problem of the validity(the surface-
question of the logical validity) of the syllogism; thoughone may throw
out the hint that the doctrine of distributed middleseems to assume a
knowledge of a Calculus of Infinites which is certainlybeyond my own poor
attainments, and hardly impregnable to the simple reflectionthat all
mathematics is conventional, and not essential; relative,and not absolute.
We go deeper and deeper, then, it seems, from the Oneinto the Many.
Our primary proposition depends no longer upon itself,but upon the whole
complex being of man, poor, disputing, muddle-headedman! Man with all his
limitations and ignorance; man --- man!


We are of course no happier when we examine the Many,separately or
together. They converge and diverge, each fresh hill-topof knowledge
disclosing a vast land unexplored; each gain of powerin our telescopes
opening out new galaxies; each improvement in our microscopesshowing us
life minuter and more incomprehensible. A mystery ofthe mighty spaces
between molecules; a mystery of the ether-cushions thatfend off the stars
from collision! A mystery of the fulness of things; amystery of the
emptiness of things! Yet, as we go, there grows a sense,an instinct, a
premonition --- what shall I call it? --- that Beingis One, and Thought is
One, and Law is One --- until we ask What is that One?
Then again we spin words --- words --- words. And wehave got no
single question answered in any ultimate sense.
What is the moon made of?
Science replies "Green Cheese."
For our one moon we have now two ideas:
"Greenness," and "Cheese."
"Greenness" depends on the sunlight, and the eye, anda thousand other
"Cheese" depends on bacteria and fermentation and thenature of the cow.
"Deeper, even deeper, into the mire of things!"
Shall we cut the Gordian knot? shall we say "There isGod"?
What, in the devil's name, is God?
If (with Moses) we picture Him as an old man showingus His back
parts, who shall blame us? The great Question --- "any"question is
the great question --- does indeed treat us thus cavalierly,the
disenchanted Sceptic is too prone to think!
Well, shall we define Him as a loving Father, as a jealouspriest, as
a gleam of light upon the holy Ark? What does it matter?All these images
are of wood and stone, the wood and stone of our ownstupid brains! The
Fatherhood of God is but a human type; the idea of ahuman father conjoined
with the idea of immensity. Two for One again!
No combination of thoughts can be greater than the thinkingbrain
itself; all we can think of God or say of Him, so longas our words really
represent thoughts, is less than the whole brain whichthinks, and orders
Very good; shall we proceed by denying Him all thinkablequalities, as
do the heathen? All we obtain is mere negation of thought.
Either He is unknowable, or He is less than we are. Then,too, that
which is unknowable is unknown; and "God" or "There isGod" as an answer to
our question becomes as meaningless as any other.
Who are we, then?
We are Spencerian Agnostics, poor silly, damned SpencerianAgnostics!
And there is an end of the matter.


It is surely time that we began to question the validityof some of
our data. So far our scepticism has not only knockedto pieces our
tower of thought, but rooted up the foundation-stoneand ground it into
finer and more poisonous powder than that into whichMoses ground the calf.
These golden Elohim! Our calf-heads that brought us notout of Egypt, but
into a darkness deeper and more tangible than any darknessof the double
Empire of Asar.
Hume put his little ? to Berkeley's God-!; Buddha his? to the Vedic
Atman-! --- and neither Hume nor Buddha was baulked ofhis reward.
Ourselves may put ? to our own ? since we have foundno ! to put it to; and
wouldn't it be jolly if our own second ? suddenly straightenedits back and
threw its chest out and marched off as !?

Suppose then we accept our scepticism as having destroyedour
knowledge root and branch --- is there no limit to itsaction? Does it not
in a sense stultify itself? Having destroyed logic bylogic --- if Satan
cast out Satan, how shall his kingdom stand?
Let us stand on the Mount, Saviours of the World thatwe are, and
answer "Get thee behind me Satan!" though refrainingfrom quoting texts or
giving reasons.
Oho! says somebody; is Aleister Crowley here? --- Samsonblinded and
bound, grinding corn for the Philistines!
Not at all, dear boy!
We shall put all the questions that we can put --- butwe may find a
tower built upon a rock, against which the winds beatin vain.
Not what Christians call faith, be sure! But what (possibly)the
forgers of the Epistles --- those eminent mystics! ---meant by faith.
What I call Samadhi --- and as "faith without works isdead," so,
good friends, Samadhi is all humbug unless the practitionershows the glint
of its gold in his work in the world. If your mysticbecomes Dante, well;
if Tennyson, a fig for his trances!
But how does this tower of Samadhi stand the assaultof Question-time?
Is not the idea of Samadhi just as dependent on all theother ideas
--- man, time, being, thought, logic? If I seek to explainSamadhi by
analogy, am I not often found talking as if we knew allabout Evolution,
and Mathematics, and History? Complex and unscientificstudies, mere
straws before the blast of our hunchback friend!
Well, one of the buttresses is just the small matterof common sense.
The other day I was with Dorothy, and, as I foolishlyimagined, very
cosy: for her sandwiches are celebrated. It was surelybad taste on the
part of Father Bernard Vaughan, and Dr. Torrey, and AnandaMetteyya, and
Mr. G. W. Foote, and Captain Fuller, and the ghost ofImmanuel Kant, and
Mr. Bernard Shaw, and young Neuburg, to intrude. Butintrude they did; and
talk! I never heard anything like it. Every one withhis own point of
view; but all agreed that Dorothy was non-existent, orif existent, a most
awful specimen, that her buns were stale, and her teastewed; "ergo," that I
was having a very poor time of it. Talk! Good God! ButDorothy kept on
quietly and took no notice; and in the end I forgot aboutthem.
Thinking it over soberly, I see now that very likelythey were quite
right: I can't prove it either way. But as a mere practicalman, I intend
taking the steamer --- for my sins I am in Gibraltar--- back to
Dorothy at the earliest possible moment. Sandwiches ofbun and German
sausage may be vulgar and even imaginary --- it's thetaste I like. And
the more I munch, the more complacent I feel, until Igo so far as to offer
my critics a bite.
This sounds in a way like the "Interior Certainly" ofthe common or
garden Christian; but there are differences.
The Christian insists on notorious lies being acceptedas an essential
part of his (more usually her) system; I, on the contrary,ask for facts,
for observation. Under Scepticism, true, one is justas much a house of
cards as the other; but only in the philosophical sense.
Practically, Science is is true; and Faith is foolish.
Practically, 3 x 1 = 3 is the truth; and 3 x 1 = 1 isa lie; though,
sceptically, both statements may be false or unintelligible.
Practically, Franklin's method of obtaining fire fromheaven is better
than that of Prometheus or Elijah. I am now writing bythe light that
Franklin's discovery enabled men to use.
Practically, "I concentrated my mind upon a white radianttriangle in
whose centre was a shining eye, for 22 minutes and 10seconds, my attention
wandering 45 times" is a scientific and valuable statement."I prayed
fervently to the Lord for the space of many days" meansanything or
nothing. Anybody who cares to do so may imitate my experimentand compare
his result with mine. In the latter case one would alwaysbe wondering
what "fervently" meant and who "the Lord" was, and howmany days made
My claim, too, is more modest than the Christian's. He(usually
she) knows more about my future than is altogether pleasant;I claim
nothing absolute from my Samadhi --- I know only toowell the worthlessness
of single-handed observations, even on so simple a matteras a boiling-
point determination! --- and as for his (usually her)future, I content
myself with mere common sense about the probable endof a fool.
So that after all I keep my scepticism intact --- andI keep my
Samadhi intact. The one balances the other; I care nothingfor the vulgar
brawling of these two varlets of my mind!


If, however, you would really like to know what mightbe said on the
soldierly side of the question, I shall endeavour tooblige.
It is necessary if a question is to be intelligibly putthat the
querent should be on the same plane as the quesited.
Answer is impossible if you ask: Are round squares triangular?or Is
butter virtuous? or How many ounces go to the shilling?for the "questions"
are not really questions at all.
So if you ask me Is Samadhi real? I reply: First, I prayyou,
establish a connection between the terms. What do youmean by Samadhi?
There is a physiological (or pathological; never mindnow!) state
which I call Samadhi; and that state is as real --- inrelation to man ---
as sleep, or intoxication, or death.
Philosophically, we may doubt the existence of all ofthese; but we
have no grounds for discriminating between them --- theAcademic
Scepticism is a wholesale firm, I hope! --- and practically,I challenge
you to draw valid distinctions.
All these are states of the consciousness of man; andif you seek to
destroy one, all fall together.


I must, at the risk of appearing to digress, insist uponthis
distinction between philosophical and practical pointsof view, or (in
Qabalistic language) between Kether and Malkuth.
In private conversation I find it hard --- almost impossible--- to
get people to understand what seems to me so very simplea point. I shall
try to make it exceptionally clear.
A boot is an Illusion.
A hat is an illusion.
"Therefore," a boot is a hat.
So argue my friends, not distributing the middle term.
But this argue I.
All boots are illusions.
All hats are illusions.
"Therefore" (though it is not a syllogism), all bootsand hats are
I add:
To the man in Kether no illusions matter.
"Therefore:" To the man in Kether neither boots nor hatsmatter.
In fact, the man in Kether is out of all relation tothese boots and
You, they say, claim to be a man in Kether (I don't).Why then, do
you not wear boots on your head and hats on your feet?
I can only answer that I the man in Kether ('tis butan argument) am
out of all relation as much with feet and heads as withboots and hats.
But why should I (from my exalted pinnacle) stoop downand worry the headed
and footed gentleman in Malkuth, who after all doesn'texist for me, by
these drastic alterations in his toilet? There is nodistinction whatever;
I might easily put the boots on his shoulders, with hishead on one foot
and the hat on the other.
In short, why not be a clean-living Irish gentleman,even if you do
have insane ideas about the universe?
Very good, say my friends, unabashed, then why not stickto that? Why
glorify Spanish gipsies when you have married a clergyman'sdaughter?
Why go about proclaiming that you can get as good funfor
eighteenpence as usually costs men a career?
Ah! let me introduce you to the man in Tiphereth; thatis, the man who
is trying to raise his consciousness from Malkuth toKether.
This Tiphereth man is in a devil of a hole! He knowstheoretically
all about the Kether point of view (or thinks he does)and practically all
about the Malkuth point of view. Consequently he goesabout contradicting
Malkuth; he refuses to allow Malkuth to obsess his thought.He keeps on
crying out that there is no difference between a goatand a God, in the
hope of hypnotising himself (as it were) into that perceptionof their
identity, which is his (partial and incorrect) idea ofhow things look from
This man performs great magic; very strong medicine.He does really
find gold on the midden and skeletons in pretty girls.
In Abiegnus the Sacred Mountain of the Rosicrucians thePostulant
finds but a coffin in the central shrine; yet that coffincontains
Christian Rosencreutz who is dead and is alive for evermoreand hath the
keys of Hell and of Death.
Ay! your Tiphereth man, child of Mercy and Justice, looksdeeper than
the skin!
But he seems a ridiculous object enough both to the Malkuthman and to
the Kether man.
Still, he's the most interesting man there is; and weall must pass
through that stage before we get our heads really clear,the Kether-vision
above the Clouds that encircle the mountain Abiegnus.


Running and returning, like the Cherubim, we may now resumeour
attempt to drill our hunchback friend into a presentablesoldier. The
digression will not have been all digression, either;for it will have
thrown a deal of light on the question of the limitationsof scepticism.
We have questioned the Malkuth point of view; it appearsabsurd, be it
agreed. But the Tiphereth position is unshaken; Tipherethneeds no telling
that Malkuth is absurd. When we turn our artillery againstTiphereth, that
too crumbles; but Kether frowns above us.
Attack Kether, and it falls; but the Yetziratic Malkuthis still
there .... until we reach Kether of Atziluth and theInfinite Light, and
Space, and Nothing.
So then we retire up the path, fighting rear-guard actions;at every
moment a soldier is slain by a hunchback; but as we retirethere is always
a soldier just by us.
Until the end. The end? Buddha thought the supply ofhunchbacks
infinite; but why should not the soldiers themselvesbe infinite in number?
However that may be, here is the point; it takes a momentfor a
hunchback to kill his man, and the farther we get fromour base the longer
it takes. You may crumble to ashes the dream-world ofa boy, as it were,
between your fingers; but before you can bring the physicaluniverse
tumbling about a man's ears he requires to drill hishunchbacks so devilish
well that they are terribly like soldiers themselves.And a question
capable of shaking the consciousness of Samadhi could,I imagine, give long
odds to one of Frederick's grenadiers.
It is useless to attack the mystic by asking him if heis quite sure
Samadhi is good for his poor health; 'tis like askingthe huntsman to be
very careful, please, not to hurt the fox.
The ultimate Question, the one that really knocks Samadhito pieces,
is such a stupendous Idea that it is far more of a !than all previous !'s
whatever, for all its ? form.
And the name of that Question is Nibbana.
Take this matter of the soul.
When Mr. Judas McCabbage asks the Man in the Street whyhe believes in
a soul, the Man stammers out that he has always heardso; naturally
McCabbage has no difficulty in proving to him by biologicalmethods that he
has no soul; and with a sunny smile each passes on hisway.
But McCabbage is wasted on the philosopher whose beliefin a soul
rests on introspection; we must have heavier metal; Humewill serve our
turn, may be.
But Hume in his turn becomes perfectly futile, pittedagainst the
Hindu mystic, who is in constant intense enjoyment ofhis new-found Atman.
It takes a Buddha-gun to knock "his" castle down.
Now the ideas of McCabbage are banal and dull; thoseof Hume are live
and virile; there is a joy in them greater than the joyof the Man in the
Street. So too the Buddha-thought, Anatta, is a moresplendid conception
than the philosopher's Dutch-doll-like Ego, or the rationalartillery of
This weapon, too, that has destroyed our lesser, ourillusionary
universes, ever revealing one more real, shall we notwield it with divine
ecstasy? Shall we not, too, perceive the inter-dependenceof the Questions
and the Answers, the necessary connection of the onewith the other, so
that (just as 0 x is an indefinite) we destroy theabsolutism of either ?
or ! by their alternation and balance, until in our series? ! ? ! ? ! ?
... ! ? ! ? ... we care nothing as to which may provethe final term, any
single term being so negligible a quantity in relationto the vastness of
the series? Is it not a series of geometrical progression,with a factor
positive and incalculably vast?
In the light of the whole process, then, we perceivethat there is no
absolute value in the swing of the pendulum, thoughtits shaft lengthen,
its rate grow slower, and its sweep wider at every swing.
What should interest us is the consideration of the Pointfrom which
it hangs, motionless at the height of things! We areunfavourably
placed to observe this, desperately clinging as we areto the bob of the
pendulum, sick with our senseless swinging to and froin the abyss!
We must climb up the shaft to reach that point --- but--- wait one
moment! How obscure and subtle has our simile become!Can we attach any
true meaning to the phrase? I doubt it, seeing what wehave taken for the
limits of the swing. True, it may be that at the endthe swing is always
360 so that the !-point and the ?-point coincide; butthat is not the same
thing as having no swing at all, unless we make kinematicsidentical with
What is to be done? How shall such mysteries be uttered?
Is this how it is that the true Path of the Wise is saidto lie in a
totally different plane from all his advance in the pathof Knowledge, and
of Trance? We have already been obliged to take the FourthDimension to
illustrate (if not explain) the nature of Samadhi.
Ah, say the adepts, Samadhi is not the end
, but the beginning. You
must regard Samadhi as the normal state of mind whichenables you to begin
your researches, just as waking is the state from whichyou rise to
Samadhi, sleep the state from which you rose to waking.And only from
Sammasamadhi --- continuous trance of the right kind--- can you rise up as
it were on tiptoe and peer through the clouds unto themountains.
Now of course it is really awfully decent of the adeptsto take all
that trouble over us, and to put it so nicely and clearly.All we have to
do, you see, is to acquire Sammasamadhi, and then riseon tiptoe. Just so!
But there there are the other adepts. Hard at him! Little
brother, he says, let us rather consider that as thependulum swings more
and more slowly every time, it must ultimately stop,as soon as the shaft
is of infinite length. Good! then it isn't a pendulumat all but a
Mahalingam --- The Mahalingam of Shiva ("Namo Shivayanamaha Aum!") which is all I ever thought it was; all you have to do isto keep swinging hard ---
I know it's hook-swinging! --- and you get there in theEnd. Why trouble
to swing? First, because you are bound to swing, whetheryou like it or
not; second, because your attention is thereby distractedfrom those lumbar
muscles in which the hook is so very firmly fixed; third,because after all
it's a ripping good game; fourth, because you want toget on, and even to
seem to progress is better than standing still. A treadmillis admittedly
good exercise.
True, the question, "Why become an Aarhat?" should precede,"How
become an Arahat?" but an unbiassed man will easily cancelthe first
question with "Why not?" --- the How is not so easy toget rid of. Then,
from the standpoint of the Arahat himself, perhaps this"Why did I become
an Arahat?" and "How did I become an Arahat?" have buta single solution!
In any case, we are wasting our time --- we are as ridiculouswith our
Arahats as Herod the Tetrarch with his peacocks! We poseLife with the
question Why? and the first answer is: To obtain theKnowledge and
Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel.
To attach meaning to this statement we must obtain thatKnowledge and
Conversation: and when we have done that, we may proceedto the next
Question. It is no good asking it now.
"There are purse-proud, penniless ones who stand at thedoor of the
tavern, and revile the guests."
We attach little importance to the Reverend Out-at-Elbows,thundering
in Bareboards Chapel that the rich man gets no enjoymentfrom his wealth.
Good, then. Let us obtain the volume entitled "The Bookof the Sacred
Magick of Abramelin the Mage"; or the magical writingsof that holy
illuminated Man of God, Captain Fuller, and carry outfully their
And only when we have succeeded, when we have put a colossal! against
our vital ? need we inquire whether after all the soldieris not going to
develop spinal curvature.
Let us take the first step; let us sing:

"I do not ask to see
The distant path; one step's enough for me."

But (you will doubtless say) I pith your ? itself withanother ?: Why
question life at all? Why not remain "a clean-livingIrish gentleman"
content with his handicap, and contemptuous of card andpencil? Is not the
Buddha's goad "Everything is sorrow" little better thana currish whine?
What do I care for old age, disease, and death? I'm aman, and a Celt at
that. I spit on your snivelling Hindu prince, emasculatewith debauchery
in the first place, and asceticism in the second. A weak,dirty, paltry
cur, sir, your Gautama!
Yes, I think I have no answer to that. The sudden apprehensionof
some vital catastrophe may have been the exciting causeof my conscious
devotion to the attainment of Adeptship --- but surelythe capacity was
there, inborn. Mere despair and desire can do little;anyway, the first
impulse of fear was the passing spasm of an hour; themagnetism of
the path itself was the true lure. It is as foolish toask me "Why do you
adep?" as to ask God "Why do you pardon?" "C'est sonmtier."
I am not so foolish as to think that my doctrine canever gain the ear
of the world. I expect that ten centuries hence the "nominalCrowleians"
will be as pestilent and numerous a body as the "nominalChristians" are
to-day; for (at present) I have been able to devise nomechanism for
excluding them. Rather, perhaps, should I seek to findthem a niche in the
shrine, just as Hinduism provides alike for those capableof the Upanishads
and those whose intelligence hardly reaches to the Tantras.In short, one
must abandon the reality of religion for a sham, so thatthe religion may
be universal enough for those few who are capable ofits reality to nestle
to its breast, and nurse their nature on its starry milk.But we
My message is then twofold; to the greasy "bourgeois"I preach
discontent; I shock him, I stagger him, I cut away earthfrom under his
feet, I turn him upside down, I give him hashish andmake him run amok, I
twitch his buttocks with the red-hot tongs of my Sadisticfancy -- until he
feels uncomfortable.
But to the man who is already as uneasy as St. Lawrenceon his silver
grill, who feels the spirit stir in him, even as a womanfeels, and sickens
at, the first leap of the babe in her womb, to him Ibring the splendid
vision, the perfume and the glory, the Knowledge andConversation of the
Holy Guardian Angel. And to whosoever hath attained thatheight will I put
a further Question, announce a further Glory.
It is my misfortune and not my fault that I am boundto deliver this
elementary Message.

"Man has two sides; one to face the world with,
One to show a woman when he loves her."

We must pardon Browning his bawdy jest; for his truthis ower true!
But it is your own fault if you are the world insteadof the beloved; and
only see of me what Moses saw of God!
It is disgusting to have to spend one's life jettingdirt in the face
of the British public in the hope that in washing itthey may wash off the
acrid grease of their commercialism, the saline streaksof their
hypocritical tears, the putrid perspiration of theirmorality, the
dribbling slobber of their sentimentality and their religion.And they
don't wash it! ...
But let us take a less unpleasing metaphor, the whip!As some
schoolboy poet repeatedly wrote, his rimes as poor asEdwin Arnold, his
metre as erratic and as good as Francis Thompson, hisgood sense and frank
indecency a match for Browning!

"Can't be helped; must be done ---
So ..."

Nay! 'tis a bad, bad rime.
And only after the scourge that smites shall come therod that
consoles, if I may borrow a somewhat daring simile fromAbdullah Haji of
Shiraz and the twenty-third Psalm.
Well, I would much prefer to spend my life at the rod;it is wearisome
and loathsome to be constantly flogging the tough hideof Britons, whom
after all I love. "Whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth,and scourgeth
every son that He receiveth." I shall really be gladif a few of you will
get it over, and come and sit on daddy's knee!
The first step is the hardest; make a start, and I willsoon set the
hunchback lion and the soldier unicorn fighting for yourcrown. And they
shall lie down together at the end, equally glad, equallyweary; while sole
and sublime that crown of thine (brother!) shall glitterin the frosty Void
of the abyss, its twelve stars filling that silence andsolitude with a
music and a motion that are more silent and more stillthan they; thou
shalt sit throned on the Invisible, thine eyes fixedupon That which we
call Nothing, because it is beyond Everything attainableby thought, or
trance, thy right hand gripping the azure rod of Light,thy left hand
clasped upon the scarlet scourge of Death; thy body girdledwith a snake
more brilliant than the sun, its name Eternity; thy mouthcurved moonlike
in a smile, in the invisible kiss of Nuit, our Lady ofthe Starry Abodes;
thy body's electric flesh stilled by sheer might to amovement closed upon
itself in the controlled fury of Her love --- nay, beyondall these Images
art thou (little brother!) who art passed from I andThou, and He unto That
which hath no Name, no Image. ...
Little brother, give me thy hand; for the first stepis hard.


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