Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Life Extension - Magick

Unity uttermost showed!
I adore the might of Thy breath,
Supreme and terrible God, Who makest the gods and death.
To tremble before Thee: -- I, I adore thee!

This comes from of Aleister Crowley's translation of an ancient Egyptian funerary text called the Stele of Revealing, which serves as the central altar piece in the school called Thelema. Some of the text on the Stele directly quotes the Egyptian Book of the Dead. At the moment, I'm not sure if that includes the passage above. Crowley did insert this paragraph and a few others from the Stele of Revealing into the Book of the Law, the Thelemic bible. This text above clearly suggests a contactable level of consciousness, or field of energy if you like, that transcends death. Crowley calls this transcendental level of consciousness Horus, the Crowned and Conquering Child. In a ritual he wrote called The Great Invocation, intended to contact and draw down the energies of Horus, Crowley has you repeat this passage after every line in the first section.

As mentioned earlier, Horus represents a twin god with an active, or exoteric aspect and a passive, or esoteric side known as Ra Hoor Khuit and Hoor Pa Kraat, respectively. In my eyes, this indicates an archetype, or pattern that shows up in other ways. Speaking very broadly, I would say that the exoteric side of Thelema has to do with the individual discovering their True Will and learning how to apply it, if they wish. On a societal level it tries on some level to create T.A.Z's (Temporary Autonomous Zones) where liberty can flourish and allow individual growth to do the same. In my opinion, the esoteric side of Thelema has a largely hidden agenda to survive death. The esoteric side of Magick seems all about prolonging life beyond biological limits, space migration and intelligence increase.

Magick can get considered as a unique approach to bardo training. Crowley borrowed liberally from the Egyptian Book of the Dead when composing his rituals and exercises. In the Book of the Law, dictated to him from a nonhuman Intelligence by his account, the line:

I:56 ...But thou hast all in the clear light, and some, though not all, in the dark.

appears. This suggests the Clear Light of the Bardo Thodol.

Golden Dawn and/or Crowley's exercises and rituals (often modified G.'. D.'. rituals) focus your attention in a particular way which strengthens it. Your presence also comes into play in a different way, and that gets strengthened as well. Presence and attention comprise the two primary qualities of the death-survivable bardo voyager.

An exercise found in the AAA section of Liber HHH in Magick Book 4 p. 589 comprises a practice that recreates the death/bardo/rebirth journey along the lines of the Egyptian Book of the Dead scenario. I can't recommend this exercise highly enough. Just to give you an idea . . . Crowley starts out quoting one of the Holy Books and then goes right into the meditation:


"These loosen the swathings of the corpse;
these unbind the feet of Osiris, so that the flaming God may rage through the firmament with his fantastic spear."
Liber Lapidis Lazuli. VII. 3.

0. Be seated in thine Asana, or recumbent in Shavasana, or in the position of the dying Buddha.

1. Think of thy death; imagine the various diseases that may attack thee, or accidents overtake thee. Picture the process of death, applying always to thyself.
(A useful preliminary practice is to read textbooks of Pathology, and to visit museums and dissecting-rooms.)

Crowley gives the whole exercise which includes 2 rebirths, the second one an identification with the Hawk-headed Horus. He then suggests learning to practice it incrementally before finally saying:

Then being prepared and fortified, well fitted for the work, perform the whole meditation at one time. And let this be continued until perfect success be attained therein. For this is a mighty meditation and holy, having power even upon Death, yea, having power even upon Death.

You find this mindset showing up all over Crowley's writings. In the Book of the Law, Thelema's central sacred text according to Wikipedia, Crowley's muse describes what I call the master key for immortality. It's from chapter 1:

24. I am Nuit, and my word is six and fifty.

25. Divide, add, multiply, and understand.

26. Then saith the prophet and slave of the beauteous one: Who am I, and what shall be the sign? So she answered him, bending down, a lambent flame of blue, all-touching, all penetrant, her lovely hands upon the black earth, & her lithe body arched for love, and her soft feet not hurting the little flowers: Thou knowest! And the sign shall be my ecstasy, the consciousness of the continuity of existence, the omnipresence of my body.

Before commenting I just want to say that these are my own opinions/speculations/interpretations and don't in any way suggest that other interpretations are equally or perhaps more valid. I'm also looking at this from the unique angle of instructional life extension.

I'm going to look at the 6 and 50 both numerically and from the viewpoint of very basic qabalistic associations. 6 denotes the key number of Tiphareth. 50 = Nun = Death in the tarot.

6/50 = 0.12 - interpret that as you will, I'm going to look at it backwards in a second. Tiphareth divided by Death reminds me of the line that occurs 3 lines later:

29. For I am divided for love's sake, for the chance of union.

50/6 = 8.3333333333 ad infinitum. 8 = the number of communication. 3 = Nuit = Infinite Space. Death divided by Tiphareth seems a life extension goal.

6 + 50 = 56 = Nu (Nuit) . Ch 56 in The Book of Lies is worth reading in regard to this. Tiphareth + Death recalls Crowley's mention of the Dying Buddha posture above.

6 x 50 = 300. 300 = mystic number of key 24 = Death in the tarot. 300 also = Shin - associated with the element Fire and with the tarot card The Aeon, a pictorial glyph of Crowley's Cosmology as told in the Book of the Law. It has Horus in the foreground in the posture of silence.

Tiphareth multiplied by Death and vice versa suggests a very basic formula for a personal transformation timeline.

The result of all this: "the consciousness of the continuity of existence."(My emphasis above)

Out of the office for a few days. More on magick and life extension when I get back.

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