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De Thaumaturgia


De Thaumaturgia enlarges on the ethical basis of the magicalpraxis for initiates-in-training, and underscores an important principlethat is all too often overlooked. It first appeared in The International
(New York, February 1918).--H.B.

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

IT IS NOT POSSIBLE for the Master, o my brethren, whohas fought so long with those things within Himself which have hinderedHim, to expect that if toys be given to children they will not play withthem. But watch may rightly be held lest they injure themselves therewith;this paper therefore, as a guard.

O, My Brethren, even as every dog is allowed one bite,so let every wonder-worker be allowed one miracle. For it is right thathe should prove his new power, lest he be deceived by the wile and maliceof the apes of Choronzon.

But with regard to the repetition of miracles the causeis not similar. Firstly cometh forth the general magical objection. Thebusiness of the aspirant is to climb the Middle Pillar from Malkuth toKether; and though the other Pillars must be grasped firmly as aids toequilibrium, he should in no wise cling to them. He aspires to the
Knowledge and Conversation of his Holy Guardian Angel,and all other works are deviations. He may however perform miracles whennecessary in order to carry out this main work; thus. he may perform adivination to assist him to discover a suitable house for the purpose,or even evoke a planetary spirit to guard him and aid him during the timeof preparation, if it be necessary. But in all such works let him be wellassured in himself that his sole object is really that Knowledge and Conversation.Otherwise, he has broken concentration, and the One work alone being WhiteMagick, all others are Black Magick.

Secondly ariseth a similar objection derived from considerationsof Energy. For all miracles involve loss; as it is said ``she perceivedthat virtue had gone out of him.'' The exception is therefore asfollows,that such miracles as tend to the conservation or renewal of Energy arelawful. Thus the preparation of the Elixir of Life is
blameless; and the practices of the IX of O.T.O. ingeneral, so far as they have for object the gain of Strength, Youth, andVitality.

It may further be considered just to perform miraclesto aid others, within certain limits. One must consciously say: I deliberatelysacrifice Energy and my own Great Work for this Object. Therefore the Magicianmust first of all calculate whether or no the object be worthy of the sacrifice.Thus, in the first year of the Path of the
Master Therion, he, with V.H. Frater Volo Noscere, evokedthe Spirit Buer to save the life of V.H. Frater Iehi Aour; saying in themselves:The life of this holy man is of vast importance to this Aeon; let us giveup this small portion of our strength for this great end. The answer mighthave been made: Nay, nothing is ever lost; let him rather work out thisevil Karma of ill-health, and die and incarnate anew in youth and strength.It is hard even now to say if this had been better. The holy man did indeedrecover, did attain to yet greater things, did awake a great people toaspiration; no operation could ever have been more successful: Yet stillthere remaineth doubt as to whether the natural order of things had notconceived a finer

But this is a general objection of the sceptical sortto all miracles of whatever kind, and leadeth anon into the quagmire ofarguments about Free Will. The adept will do better to rely upon The Bookof the Law, which urgeth constantly to action. Even rash action is betterthan none, by that Light: let the magician then argue that his folly ispart of that natural order which worketh all so well.

And this may be taken as a general license to performany and every miracle according to one's will.

The argument has therefore been swung to each extreme;and like all arguments, ends in chaos.

The above concerning true miracles; but with regard tofalse miracles the case is altogether different.

Since it is part of the Magick of every one to cause bothNature and man to conform to the Will, man may lawfully be influenced bythe performance of miracles. But true miracles should not be used for thispurpose; for it is to profane the nature of the miracle, and to cast pearlsbefore swine; further, man is so built that he will credit false miracles,and regard true miracles as false. It is also useful
at times for the magician to prove to them that he isan imposter; therefore, he can easily expose his false miracles, whereasthis must not be done where they are true; for to deny true miracles isto injure the power to perform them.

Similarly, none of the other objections cited above applyto false miracles; for they are not, properly speaking, magick at all,and come under the heading of common acts. Only insofar as common actsare magick do they come under consideration, and here the objection maybe raised that they are, peculiarly, Error; that they simulate, and soblaspheme, the Truth. Certainly this is so, and they must only be
performed for the purpose of blinding the eyes of themalicious, and that only in that peculiar spirit of mockery which delightsthe initiates in the Comedy of Pan.

The end of the matter then is that as in Comedy and Tragedyall things are lawful, live thou in Comedy or Tragedy eternally, neverblinding thyself to think Life aught but mummery, and perform accordinglythe false miracles or the true, as may be Thy Will.

Love is the law, love under will.

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