Chapter IV – ר (Resh)
Crowley writes in the 22nd Aethyr, “Contrast each verse of Cap. I [of Liber ARARITA] with the corresponding verse of Cap. II for the first of these methods. Thus in Cap. III (still verse by verse correspondence) the Quintessence of the ideas is extracted; and in Cap. IV they are withdrawn each one into the one beyond it.” Now, in Chapter IV, we see each of these ideas “withdrawn each one into the one beyond it.”
Line 0. Also the little child, the lover of Adonai, even V.V.V.V.V., reflecting the glory of Adonai, lifted up his voice and said:
little child: V.V.V.V.V., as mentioned in the previous chapter, is the Adept or “Magister Templi” that is specifically attributed to the Sephirah of Binah, the “pure soul” that complements God/Adonai in Chokmah with the ineffable Unity in Kether. The epithet “little child” implies the purity of a child, the pure fool. Similar titles are given to the Adept in Liber Cordis Cincti Serpente sub figura LXV such as “Also Adonai spake unto V.V.V.V.V. saying: O my little one, my tender one, my little amorous one, my gazelle, my beautiful, my boy, let us fill up the pillar of the Infinite with an infinite kiss!” (V:30).
the lover of Adonai: V.V.V.V.V. is also the “lover” of Adonai. In Qabalistic symbolism, V.V.V.V.V. is the “pure soul” in Binah and Adonai is the “Lord” in Chokmah, the places of the Mother and Father of Tetragrammaton, respectively. The Path that unites Chokmah with Binah is Atu III: The Empress which is ruled by Venus, or Love. As it says in the 20th Aethyr, “And this is the reason of existence, that in this dance which is delight, there must needs be both the god and the adept.”
reflecting the glory of Adonai: This is the idea that the Light (or “Word” or “Will”) of Chokmah is reflected by Binah, just as – on a lower scale, so to speak – the moon reflects the glory of the Sun.
Line 1. Glory to God, and Thanksgiving to God! There is One God alone, and God is exceeding great. He is about us, and there is no strength save in Him the exalted, the great.
This entire line is a translation of sorts of one of the “six kalimas,” which are common phrases that are memorized and recited by Muslims. This particular kalima is the kalima-e-tamjeed or the “word of glorification.” It can be translated as “Exalted is Allah, and praise be to Allah, and there is no deity except Allah, and Allah is the Greatest. And there is no might nor power except in Allah, the Most High, the Most Great.” The confession of the Unity of God is proper to this being Line 1.
Line 2. Thus did V.V.V.V.V. become mad, and wend about naked.
Thus did V.V.V.V.V. become mad: The confession of the Unity of God leads the Adept to transcend all dualities and distinctions. This is the idea that all “sanity” comes from the right relation between things, but attainment leads the Adept to transcend all relations. In 777 Crowley attributes “insanity” to Chokmah, the 2nd Sephirah, so it is proper to being in Line 2. This is also why Pan is called “insane” sometimes. As Crowley writes, “Pan is not intoxicated, but wholly insane, being beyond distinction (knowledge) as including all in itself; he is also immune to time, since whatever happens can only be within himself; that is, all events are equally the exercise of his functions, and therefore accompanied by rapture, since He has included all possibilities in His unity so that any change is part of His life, an act of love under will.”
wend about naked: Nakedness is a symbol of openness, vulnerability, and seeing (or being) beyond all veils. It also shows, in a more mundane sense, the transcendence of social norms.
Line 3. And all these things fled away, for he understood them all, that they were but as old rags upon the Divine Perfection.
all these things things fled away: “These things” refer to all actions and images, for the Unity is beyond all names, forms, relations, et cetera.
he understood them all: Binah, the 3rd Sephirah, literally means “understanding,” so this is proper to being in Line 3 in particular.
they were but as old rags upon the Divine Perfection: That is, they were imperfect veils of the Truth. A similar line occurs in The Book of Lies, chapter 55, “The One Thought vanished; all my mind was torn to rags.”
Line 4. Also he pitied them all, that they were but reflections distorted.
he pitied them all: Pity is an emotion proper to Chesed, the 4th Sephirah, just as this is Line 4. It is resonant with the attitude of mercy and benevolence that is typical of Chesed.
reflections distorted: Chesed is a Sephirah that reflects the Water-y nature of Binah. Even in Binah these images were understood to be false, and below the Abyss they are even further distorted.
Line 5. Also he smote them, lest they should bear rule over the just.
he smote them: Smiting is proper to Geburah, the 5th Sephirah, just as this is Line 5.
lest they should bear rule over the just: A title of Geburah is “Justice” (“Din”). It further implies the attacking or destruction of images so they will not confuse the Adept.
Line 6. Also he harmonized them into one picture, beautiful to behold.
he harmonized them into one picture: A quality of Tiphareth, the 6th Sephirah, is Harmony (as mentioned in previous chapters), just as this is Line 6. It also refers to the union of all things into a Single Thing. Crowley comments on Liber AL, I:22, saying, “This question of making ‘no difference’ as ordained is to regard the whole of the non-Ego or universe apparently external to the Self as a single phenomenon; Samadhi on any one thing becomes therefore Samadhi on The Whole. The mystic who ‘availeth in this’ can then perform his Great Work of ‘love under will’ in a single operation instead of being obliged to unite himself with the non-Ego piecemeal.”
beautiful to behold: Tiphareth literally means “Beauty.”
Line 7. And having thus conquered them, there was a certain glamour of holiness even in the hollow sphere of outward brilliance.
having thus conquered them: The 7th Sephirah is Netzach, which literally means “Victory,” and this is Line 7.
there was a certain glamour of holiness even in the hollow sphere of outward brilliance: That is, there is a certain beauty even in the illusion of this image.
Line 8. So that all became splendid.
all became splendid: Hod, the 8th Sephirah, literally means “Splendour,” and this is Line 8.
Line 9. And having firmly stablished them in order and disposition,
firmly stablished them in order and disposition: Yesod, the 9th Sephirah, literally means “Foundation,” and this is Line 9. Yesod as the “Foundation” implies stability, order, arrangement, et cetera.
Line 10. He proclaimed the perfection, the bride, the delight of God in His creation.
the perfection: Even Malkuth, the 10th and “lowest” Sephirah, is found to be perfect, and this is Line 10.
the bride: Malkuth, the 10th Sephirah, is often called “The Bride.” This refers to the idea of Malkuth as the Final Heh in Tetragrammaton (YHVH), the Daughter/Princess that is the Bride to the Son/Prince who is the Vav in Tetragrammaton (YHVH).
the delight of God in His creation: The idea is that Malkuth represents the completion or fruition of God’s Creation and He finds delight in it. The same idea is found in Liber Cordis Cincti Serpente sub figura LXV, “In the height and the abyss, O my beautiful, there is no thing, verily, there is no thing at all, that is not altogether and perfectly fashioned for Thy delight” (IV:46).
Line 11. But though thus he worked, he tried ever his work by the Star 418.
though thus he worked: Even though He delights in Creation, his work is always tempered by the knowledge of 418, ABRAHADABRA, the ultimate union and transcendence of opposites in the ineffable Unity.
the Star 418: The “Star 418” refers to the eleven-pointed star that is a union of the Pentagram/Microcosm and the Hexagram/Macrocosm, which is proper to this being Line 11. ABRAHADABRA is an 11-lettered word that enumerates to 418. The same image occurs in Chapter I and Chapter VI, and always in Line 11.
Line 12. And it deceived him not; for by his subtlety he expanded it all into the Twelve Rays of the Crown.
Line 13. And these twelve rays were One.
These lines are virtually identical to the corresponding lines in the previous Chapters. Again, the idea is that the 11-fold star is expanded into the Twelve Rays of the Crown, and these Twelve are understood to be One in the ineffable Unity of Kether (and 13 = Achad = “Unity” = 1).