The Belly of the Beast: A short play on divinity and consciousness

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

Belly of the Beast
NOTE: Written originally on August 29, 2009

PERSONS

The Magister – V.V.V.V.V.
Adonai – The Lord
The Mind/The Prophet – Crowley’s reasoning faculty and personality
The Scribe – Crowley’s body

SCENE 1: The Dawning of Awareness

SETTING: Unconsciousness, i.e. Infinite blankness.

Outside time, there is nothing but utter darkness: a darkness so blank it has forgotten even its contrast with light. It is formless, beyond relation, and unaware. To say these two characters are two names for One Thing may be confusing but no one ever judges that we are essentially conversing with ourself in dreams. Either way, the Magister is Adonai and Adonai is the Magister.

MAGISTER: Infinity is so… impersonal. Suppose We formulate Ourselves finite-ly?
ADONAI: To create anything from scratch One must formulate an entire Universe…
MAGISTER: Let Us form a Beginning, then!
ADONAI: Yet a Beginning is in Time which is only a category of Perception.
MAGISTER: We require perceptual apparatuses, then! Shall We fashion them out of extra clay?
ADONAI: I prefer simplicity: One Law will be uttered which will unfold into unfathomable complexity… and eventually, self-perception in certain complex organisms.
MAGISTER: How can anything evolve through time if time is simply a category of perception?
ADONAI: This system wasn’t written with logical consistency in mind. You were the one who insisted on matter being both particles and waves, remember?
MAGISTER: Yes, and I wouldn’t have it otherwise.
ADONAI: How can you have so many questions if We are One Thing?
MAGISTER: I enjoy hearing Myself speak; isn’t creating a Universe a similar act of cosmic vanity?
ADONAI: We are quite beautiful.
MAGISTER: Granted… terrible, too, but no matter (at least not yet). Wait: If a Universe unfolds and no one is there to perceive it, does it still exist?
ADONAI: We know it turns on your notion of ‘existing’ – and we have little time for semantics and jokes.
MAGISTER: Yes, indeed, No-Time at all which means we have Eternity… so don’t we have time enough for one more Joke?
ADONAI: I suppose… Now, how do you work this thing?

Out of formlessness, space and time emerged…

SCENE 2: Coming to Self-understanding

SETTING: Aleister Crowley’s consciousness

Matter expanded and evolved into various forms. One of these was a human being known to many as Aleister Crowley. He lived about 1900 years after this particular species’ most famous human sacrifice.

MIND: I have conquered a hundred slopes, beaten a thousand chess competitors, written endless words of poetry and prose… but lo! all my creations eventually turn to dust. What could possibly rend this knot of suffering in my heart?

ADONAI: Greeting(s) of earth and heaven! I am Adonai, Lord of the Universe!
MAGISTER: Must Our entrance always be so grandiose?
ADONAI: How would anyone know My superiority otherwise? Humans tend to ascribe authority and truth to whatever overpowers them.
MAGISTER: Unfortunate, but that is how it has unfolded. Go on.
ADONAI: Ahem! I am Adonai, Lord of the Universe: I am the Truth and the Life!
MIND: A voice! Is this a demon that speaks to me? APO PANTOS KAKODAIMONOS!
ADONAI: You cannot banish that which cannot die.
MIND: What is your word and your number?
ADONAI: Never mind these unnecessary quibbles, We’ve come bearing a message.
MIND: Are you a discarnate intelligence?
ADONAI: Sure, if that will get you to listen to me.
MIND: …So you are the Yechidah, I am the Ruach…
ADONAI: Stop your categorizing and listen!
MIND: Alright – what is this message you speak of?
ADONAI: The message is “Awake!” Awake to your True Self who is God. You are no more than a temporary concatenation of forces, weaved together to produce perception.
MIND: Why is my mind mired in multiplicity? Has man fallen? Are we as sinful and sorry as the Sunday school preacher says we are?
ADONAI: Forget their fairy tales: multiplicity is the device of unity for self-realization. In short, Eternity is in love with the productions of Time for thereby can the Unmanifest be made Manifest. Infinity can only be apprehended through Finity.
MIND: So Aleister is God, then!
ADONAI: No, you fool! Aleister Crowley is a worm… yet it is through Aleister Crowley that We make Ourselves aware of Ourselves. Only through duality can the ecstasy of annihilation be experienced.
MIND: So I am formulated to destroy myself?
ADONAI: Isn’t the fruit pod of a plant grown to destroy itself so new life may be born thereby?
MIND: Yes, but I don’t see why it must also be the case for me….
ADONAI: Perhaps we could have advanced evolution in a different fashion but, in short, your evolutionary path necessitated shutting off various potentialities to make room for others… and in the process, awareness of one’s true identity in Infinity was lost. It is not my fault if someone unrightfully claims to be King and suffers the inevitable consequences of taking on duties beyond his capacity: the ego was meant to be a messenger and interpreter, certainly not the General giving orders. I am the True Motion of all Beings and their True Self: only in uniting with me may Life be complete harmony.
MIND: Yet there are some who will never overstep their own bounds… and always think themselves their own ego.
MAGISTER: They are of no matter to Me, as all jokes are made at someone’s expense.
MIND: So all of this suffering is one big punchline to you? You are nothing but a black and terrible god.
ADONAI: Such is the normal reaction to anything more complex and mysterious than oneself – I don’t blame you.
MAGISTER: Things are much more savory when complemented with spice.
MIND: I see now that beauty is nothing without the ugly, depth nothing without height. Yet what is my complement?
ADONAI: The world is your bride, ready for the taking; the world is your master with laws inexorable and unchanging. The single fact is Experience and the single question is One or Two? Is Perception unified or is Perception mired in “me” versus “them”? The latter is ignorance and clinging to the personality, which forms, changes, and dies away; the former is awareness: Awake!
MAGISTER: Thought is Two, We are One.
MIND: I have created a Word and a Symbol to express this truth!
ADONAI: No! Every symbol selects and arranges, but this Vision is of No Difference. Choose not, argue not, debate not, speak not, think not, create not. There is no difference between object and object; there is no difference between subject and object.
MIND: My pen is ready for writing: bestow upon me divine truths!
ADONAI: Truth cannot be communicated, only experienced: Be still and awake.

The scribe drops his pen. The prophet relents in his thinking. Aleister Crowley is destroyed and only Adonai and the Magister remain.

SCENE 3: Returning to the world

SETTING: Aleister Crowley’s superconsciousness

MAGISTER: Back where we started again!
ADONAI: We both knew the Beginning is actually the End, anyhow. The Arcane Substance is already hidden inside the First Matter, after all.
MAGISTER: Perhaps we should hide it elsewhere, then?
ADONAI: No, I think this World is quite alright. What shall We do now that we have, again, come to Ourselves?
MAGISTER: I say we go for another ride. This Aleister Crowley has been cleansed of his Aleister Crowley-ness… we won’t have the same problems before now that he has identified rightly with Us.
ADONAI: It is time to set in motion the next play of the game: when the Many becomes One, the One must reformulate itself in the Many.
MAGISTER: I want to be a dog this time.
ADONAI: We are the animals, every single one of them… although unaware of the possibility of ecstasy through union of opposites.
MAGISTER: I know, I know. But I thought it would give some humorous person the chance to say “God really does live in a dog!”
ADONAI: Oh, We are so clever.

Love is the law, love under will.

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