Chapter V – י (Yod)
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 IV they are withdrawn each one into the one beyond it. In Cap. V they have disappeared into the Method itself.” Now, in Chapter V, we see each of these ideas “withdrawn each one into the one beyond it.”
Line 0. In the place of the cross the indivisible point which hath no points nor parts nor magnitude. Nor indeed hath it position, being beyond space. Nor hath it existence in time, for it is beyond Time. Nor hath it cause or effect, seeing that its Universe is infinite every way, and partaketh not of these our conceptions.
In the place of the cross the indivisible point: Line 0 begins with an intellectual explication of the “indivisible point.” This “indivisible point” may be said to be identical with Hadit, who is “perfect, being Not” (Liber AL, II:15), and this “Not” is resonant with this being Line 0. This is proper to the Chapter being attributed to “Yod,” the Spark or Quintessence that is identified with Hadit. “In the place of the cross” implies that the Adept is speaking about the center of the universe, which is the core of oneself. This is the point at the center of one’s Being. The “cross” implies “extension” outward from the central point, but this point is “indivisible” and has “no points nor parts nor magnitude,” implying the mathematical conception of a point. This reinforces the identification with Hadit as he says of himself in Liber AL, II:2, “I, Hadit, am the complement of Nu, my bride. I am not extended, and Khabs is the name of my House. In the sphere I am everywhere the centre, as she, the circumference, is nowhere found.”
Nor indeed hath it position, being beyond space: “Position” and “space” both requires at least two points to refer against one another, therefore this “indivisible point” cannot have position or be within “space.”
Nor hath it existence in time, for it is beyond Time: Time implies change and a single point cannot possibly change as it has nothing but itself with which to interact and therefore constitute some kind of change.
Nor hath it cause or effect: Causality requires both space and time for there to be causes and effects. This denies the “indivisible point” any extension in space, time, or causality, which is a typical philosophical explanation of the Monad.
seeing that its Universe is infinite in every way, and partaketh not of these our conceptions: “its Universe” is itself, the infinitely contracted point. This is Hadit, the “Not,” which is infinite, and “0” is a symbol of infinity insofar as it is a circle as well as it being the resolution of all opposites (x + [-x] = 0). It does not partake of “these our conceptions,” which means It does not partake of space, time, or causality which are all human conceptions.
Line 1. So wrote οὔ μή the Exempt Adept, and the laughter of the Masters of the Temple abashed him not.
So wrote οὔ μή the Exempt Adept: “οὔ μή” is Greek, often translated as “OU MH” and sometimes shortened as “O.M.,” and it is Aleister Crowley’s motto as an Exempt Adept. It means “No, certainly not!” This is the particular grade in the A∴A∴ that is attributed to Chesed, sometimes called “7=4,” which is the last grade before plunging into the Abyss and emerging in the Supernal Triad in Binah as a Master of the Temple. This implies that this is spoken by someone still limited to the Ruach, the conceptual mind. “OU MH” means “No, certainly not!” according to Crowley, and it generally refers to the practice of denying the reality of any rational-conceptual thought in order to break through to the “superconscious” way of knowing that is above the Abyss (i.e. beyond duality). This is similar to the Hindu idea of neti, neti (“not that, not that”). Crowley explains as much when he writes, “There is one method of meditation in which the Student kills thoughts as they arise by the reflection, ‘That’s not it.’ Frater P. [Crowley’s motto] indicated the same by taking as his motto, in the Second Order which reaches from Yesod to Chesed, ‘OU MH,’ ‘No, certainly not!'”
and the laughter of the Masters of the Temple abashed him not: The Exempt Adept is still below the Abyss and still uses the dualistic mind to describe and understand things. “Masters of the Temple” refer to those who have crossed the Abyss; it specifically refers to the grade of the A∴A∴ in Binah (called “8=3” sometimes or “Magister Templi”), i.e. those who have “drained out their blood” (sense of separateness). Earlier, we saw the use of Crowley’s motto for the grade of Magister Templi, V.V.V.V.V.. In short, the use of the motto “OU MH” implies a consciousness below the Abyss and the use of the motto “V.V.V.V.V.” implies a consciousness (or “supeconsciousness”) above the Abyss. The Masters of the Temple laugh at OU MH because they understand the futility of using speech, which is inherently dualistic, to describe that which is beyond all duality and relation. Nonetheless, it does not “abash” or embarrass the Adept.
Line 2. Nor was he ashamed, hearing the laughter of the little dogs of hell.
the little dogs: As we see in Liber AL vel Legis, “dogs” are symbols of those who are stuck in “the pit called Because,” where one “shall perish with the dogs of Reason” (II:27). That is, they symbolize the naggings of the rational-conceptual mind. Both the Masters of the Temple above the Abyss and the “little dogs” below the Abyss laugh at the attempts of OU MH to explain Truth. An almost identical symbol is used in Liber Cordis Cincti Serpente sub figura LXV, the “little crazy boy.” This “little crazy boy” represents Reason questioning the initiated awareness of the Adept who rides the Swan of attainment. As it is said in Liber LXV, II:19-26, “Then the swan flew and dived and soared, yet no whither we went. A little crazy boy that rode with me spake unto the swan, and said: Who art thou that dost float and fly and dive and soar in the inane? Behold, these many æons have passed; whence camest thou? Whither wilt thou go? And laughing I chid him, saying: No whence! No whither! The swan being silent, he answered: Then, if with no goal, why this eternal journey? And I laid my head against the Head of the Swan, and laughed, saying: Is there not joy ineffable in this aimless winging? Is there not weariness and impatience for who would attain to some goal? And the swan was ever silent. Ah! but we floated in the infinite Abyss. Joy! Joy! White swan, bear thou ever me up between thy wings! O silence! O rapture! O end of things visible and invisible! This is all mine, who am Not.”
of hell: Hell is here a reference to dualistic consciousness, the awareness of multiplicity as opposed to that of Unity or non-duality above the Abyss. This connection between Hell and normal consciousness is explained in chapter 10 of The Book of Lies, “The Abyss of Hallucinations has Law and Reason; but in Truth there is no bond between the Toys of the Gods. This Reason and Law is the Bond of the Great Lie. Truth! Truth! Truth! crieth the Lord of the Abyss of Hallucinations. There is no silence in that Abyss: for all that men call Silence is Its Speech. This Abyss is also called ‘Hell,’ and ‘The Many.’ Its name is ‘Consciousness,’ and ‘The Universe,’ among men. But THAT which neither is silent, nor speaks, rejoices therein.”
Line 3. For he abode in his place, and his falsehood was truth in his place.
he abode in his place: “His place” is specifically the sphere of Chesed, standing before the Abyss but also at the “crown” of the rational mind or “Ruach.”
his falsehood: “his falsehood” refers to the explication of Line 0.
was truth in his place: In his place below the Abyss, the explication of Line 0 is “true.” That is, it is true within a certain context and for certain purposes, but it is, nonetheless, not True in any kind of ultimate sense. Both the little dogs of Reason can attack it and laugh at it as well as the Masters of the Temple laugh at its attempt to describe what is ineffable.
Line 4. The little dogs cannot correct him, for they can do naught but bark.
the little dogs: The “little dogs” are the workings of Reason, which ask for “Why” and “Because.”
they can do naught but bark: That is, the dogs can only make more noise with their rational machinations. They cannot “correct” the formulation to make it Truth, for Truth is beyond Reason.
Line 5. The masters cannot correct him, for they say: Come and see.
the masters cannot correct him, for they say: Come and see: The masters cannot “correct” the formulation to make it Truth, for they have transcended Reason. They know that Truth cannot be approached through the rational mind, but only directly, experientially. The masters therefore say “Come and see,” which is to say experience the gnosis directly for yourself, as that is the only way to understand Truth.
Line 6. And I came and saw, even I, Perdurabo, the Philosophus of the Outer College.
Perdurabo: “Perdurabo” is Crowley’s motto that he took as a Neophyte. It means “I will endure unto the End.”
the Philosophus of the Outer College: The “Outer College” refers to the “Outer Order” of the A∴A∴, which is called the “Golden Dawn” (not to be confused with The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn). The Philosophus is the last grade of the Outer College, or the Order of the G∴D∴, being positioned at Netzach (sometimes called “4=7”). The Exempt Adept (or “Adeptus Exemptus,” sometimes called “7=4”) is the last grade of the Inner College, or the Order of the R∴C∴ (Rose-Cross). The Order of the S∴S∴ (Silver Star) is in the Supernal Triangle, with the Masters of the Temple in Binah being the first grade thereof. The structure of the A∴A∴ is simply a reflection of the Tree of Life and therefore are technical terms to refer to certain grades of attainment or states of consciousness. More can be learned about its structure in Crowley’s essay “One Star in Sight,” if you Will. Crowley is referring to himself as a “Philosophus of the Outer College,” showing even his less initiated awareness (represented by OU MH, the Exempt Adept) sees the truths expounded in this Chapter. Also, Philosophus is the specific grade assigned to study and memorize a chapter of this particular Holy Book.
Line 7. Yea, even I the man beheld this wonder.
even I the man: “I the man” refers to Perdurabo the Philosophus, as opposed to the Adept “OU MH” or the Master of the Temple “V.V.V.V.V.”
beheld this wonder: This language is resonant with this being Line 7, as the 7th Sephirah is Netzach to which is attributed “The Vision of Beauty Triumphant” and generally the idea of appreciating sensual or aesthetic beauty.
Line 8. And I could not deliver it unto myself.
I could not deliver it unto myself: That is, Perdurabo could not have given this “wonder” of truth to himself. It came from outside of his conscious awareness. The word “deliver” is resonant with this being Line 8, as the 8th Sephirah is Hod who is Mercury the messenger.
Line 9. That which established me is invisible and unknowable in its essence.
That which established me: “That” is a name of the ineffable Unity, which is used repeatedly in The Book of Lies. It is also a name for Brahman, the undifferentiated Godhead of the Upanishads. For example, in chapter 10 of that book (previously mentioned in Line 2 above), it says, “This Abyss is also called ‘Hell,’ and ‘The Many.’ Its name is ‘Consciousness,’ and ‘The Universe,’ among men. But THAT which neither is silent, nor speaks, rejoices therein.” The word “established” is resonant with this being Line 9, as the 9th Sephirah is Yesod, which means “Foundation.”
invisible and unknowable in its essence: “That,” the ineffable Unity, is “invisible” because It transcends the senses. It is also “unknowable” because it transcends the mind. The “essence” is Kether itself, the Unity. This basically asserts the idea that the ineffable Unity is beyond sense/matter and Reason/mind. Qabalistically, It is beyond Nephesh (Malkuth) and Ruach (Tiphareth and the surrounding Sephiroth), which is to say that It is above the Abyss.
Line 10. Only they who know IT may be known.
IT: “IT” is a word for the ineffable Unity. “IT” is used in chapter 31 of The Book of Lies where Crowley explains, “A new character is now introduce under the title of IT, I being the secret, and T being the manifested, phallus. This is, however, only one aspect of IT, which may perhaps be defined as the Ultimate Reality. IT is apparently a more exalted thing than THAT. This chapter should be compared with Chapter 11; that method of destroying the reason by formulating contradictions is definitely inculcated.” In the last sentence we have Crowley mentioning the same exact “method” that is given in this Holy Book and the word “ARARITA,” i.e. that of “destroying the reason by formulating contradictions.” The phrase “they who know IT may be known” is similar to the idea of the mystic Meister Eckhart who said, “The eye through which I see God is the same eye through which God sees me; my eye and God’s eye are one eye, one seeing, one knowing, one love.”
Line 11. For they have the genius of the mighty sword 418.
genius: Genius is a word that Crowley equates with the Holy Guardian Angel and God Itself at various times. It comes from a term that originally meant “generative power,” and all these meanings are most likely meant to be understood together.
the mighty sword 418: As this is Line 11, another reference to the 11-lettered word ABRAHADABRA is being made. Now it is being likened to a “mighty sword.” This relates specifically to the idea of the sword cutting away illusion, and the sword might be said to be identified with the method of identifying opposites that is being expressed repeatedly in this Holy Book.
Line 12. And they are not deceived by any of these things; for by their subtlety do they expand them all into the Twelve Rays of the Crown.
Line 13. And these twelve rays are One.
These lines repeat the same idea of Line 12-13 in the previous Chapters. The 11-fold word ABRAHADABRA is expanded into the 12 Rays of the Crown, and then the twelve rays are united into the One (13 = Achad = Unity = 1).
[ ← Chapter IV – ר (Resh) ← | → Chapter VI – ת (Tav) → ]
OU MH equals 518, not 418
93 – Good catch. I always get that confused with TO MH.
I’ve made the same mistake myself, for the same reason 🙂