sorrow

Psychology of Liber AL – pt.6: Psychological Model of Failure

Psychology of Liber AL

Psychological Model of Failure

Thelema constructs a completely practical psychological system, and it is established among familiar physiological lines. In the body, if all is working harmoniously – if the body is healthy, that is – the consciousness continues to operate undisturbed by the functions of the various organs and systems of the body. It is only when there is a malady of some sort – e.g., a malfunction of an organ, the skin is pierced by a knife, stress and anxiety, et cetera – that consciousness is disturbed and made aware of the body’s functioning. In a physiological sense, the body conveniently notifies the consciousness of its trouble by issuing signals of pain. Liber AL vel Legis has applied this to the functioning of the psyche:

Dost thou fail? Art thou sorry? Is fear in thine heart? Where I am these are not.”1

Crowley comments, “This verse brings out what is a fact in psychology, the necessary connection between fear, sorrow, and failure.”2 In the same sense that the appearance of pain signals a certain failure of the harmonious functioning of the body, the appearance of sorrow and fear signal a certain failure in the harmonious functioning of the psyche. Crowley writes, “Sorrow, pain, regret, are symptoms of diseased thought; those only who have ceased to be able to adjust themselves rightly and gladly to all Change, and to grow thereby, or those who still react, but only feebly and vainly, take Sorrow, pain, and regret to be Real”3 It is understood in Thelema that “existence is pure joy; that all the sorrows are but as shadows; they pass & are done; but there is that which remains.”4 Therefore, any kind of sorrow, pain, or regret necessarily implies some kind of failure to truly understand this perspective.

In another Holy Book of Thelema it is written, “Only if ye are sorrowful, or weary, or angry, or discomforted; then ye may know that ye have lost the golden thread, the thread wherewith I guide you to the heart of the groves of Eleusis.”5 This reaffirms the notion that the appearance of sorrow, pain, regret, weariness, anger, and discomfort are all, just as they are in the physiological sense, signs of some error in the functioning of the psyche of the organism. They are signals being sent to the psyche that “love under will” is not being performed properly, so to speak. Crowley confirms this once again when he writes, “Sorrow thus appears as the result of any unsuccessful – therefore, ill-judged – struggle. Acquiescence in the order of Nature is the ultimate Wisdom.”6

This notion of sorrow appearing as an unsuccessful assimilation of experience parallels the propositions from Carl Rogers’ client-centered therapy. In an earlier segment of this essay, it was seen how the Thelemic maxim of “love under will” is essentially the same concept as that of “psychological adjustment” from Carl Rogers’ nineteen propositions (the assumptions that underlie his client-centered therapy), i.e. assimilation of experience in accordance with one’s self. Whenever this fails, there is what Carl Rogers called “psychological maladjustment.” Rogers writes has as fifteenth and sixteenth propositions,

Psychological maladjustment exists when the organism denies awareness of significant sensory and visceral experiences, which consequently are not symbolized and organized into the gestalt of the self structure. When this situation exists, there is a basic or potential psychological tension.

Any experience which is inconsistent with the organization of the structure of the self may be perceived as a threat, and the more of these perceptions there are, the more rigidly the self structure is organized to maintain itself.”7

This “psychological tension” is the same “sorrow” or “pain” that Crowley mentions, but it is applied specifically to the psyche (as opposed to physiological sorrow or pain). If experiences are not assimilated, they generate “psychological tension” and may also be “perceived as a threat” which causes the self-structure to become even more rigid and unadaptable; this will therefore cause further unsuccessful acts of “love under will” or “psychological adjustment.”

Essentially, sorrow, pain, regret, fear, anger, discomfort, and one other psychological phenomenon – pity – are all signals of “failure” to perform an act of “love under will” properly – that is, assimilate an experience in a harmonious way.

In regards to pity, in the second chapter of Liber AL vel Legis it is written, “Pity not the fallen! I never knew them. I am not for them. I console not: I hate the consoled & the consoler”8 and also in the third chapter it is written, “Mercy let be off; damn them who pity!”9 Crowley comments on this saying:

It is several times shewn in this Book that ‘falling’ is in truth impossible. ‘All is ever as it was.’ To sympathize with the illusion is not only absurd, but tends to perpetuate the false idea. It is a mistake to ‘spoil’ a child, or humour a malade imaginaire. One must, on the contrary, chase away the shadows by lighting a fire, which fire is: Do what thou wilt!” Crowley asserts that pitying another is akin to “sympathiz[ing] with the illusion,” for it is said in Liber AL that “Existence is pure joy,” and “all the sorrows are but as shadows; they pass & are done; but there is that which remains.”10

One can only pity someone that is in a situation that one perceives to be “unfortunate,” but if one truly understands the dictum of “Existence is pure joy,” they know that even this pity is based on a false perception of things and therefore “sympathyz[ing] with the illusion.” It also implies “looking down” on someone, thinking oneself better rather than recognizing the unique sovereignty of each individual, each being a King or Queen in his or her own Kingdom. This echoes the sentiments that Friedrich Nietzsche expressed when discussing Christianity as a religion of pity. He writes,

Pity stands in opposition to all the tonic passions that augment the energy of the feeling of aliveness: it is a depressant. A man loses power when he pities. Through pity that drain upon strength which suffering works is multiplied a thousandfold. Suffering is made contagious by pity; under certain circumstances it may lead to a total sacrifice of life and living energy–a loss out of all proportion to the magnitude of the cause.” 11

Nietzsche also identifies pity as the “contagious source” of even more of “that drain upon strength” than what normally is experienced from suffering or sorrow “multiplied a thousand fold.” Nietzsche continues,

Pity thwarts the whole law of evolution, which is the law of natural selection. It preserves whatever is ripe for destruction; it fights on the side of those disinherited and condemned by life; by maintaining life in so many of the botched of all kinds, it gives life itself a gloomy and dubious aspect. Mankind has ventured to call pity a virtue… Let me repeat: this depressing and contagious instinct stands against all those instincts which work for the preservation and enhancement of life: in the role of protector of the miserable, it is a prime agent in the promotion of decadence–pity persuades to extinction… Aristotle, as every one knows, saw in pity a sickly and dangerous state of mind, the remedy for which was an occasional purgative: he regarded tragedy as that purgative… Nothing is more unhealthy, amid all our unhealthy modernism, than Christian pity.” 12

Pity not only causes more identification with the “shadows” of suffering, but it “preserves whatever is ripe for destruction” because it is a “contagious instinct [that] stands against all those instincts which for the preservation and enhancement of life” – something that one obviously should have to maintain physiological and psychological health. Nietzsche was especially concerned with maintaining these instincts that preserve and enhance life, and he was therefore on guard against all sentiments that would obstruct this natural process.

Aside from these appearances of sorrow, pain, regret, fear, anger, discomfort, and pity being treated as signs of maladjustment – or “love” being performed not “under will” – there are also the considerations of sin and reason that are mentioned in previous segments of this essay. The thought of oneself as sinful is a misperception in Thelema; reason must be kept in its rightful place as interpreter and helper of the Will, which must be performed with tireless energy, without regard to purpose, and unattached to any lust of result. Any diversion from this necessarily restricts the Will, and not only is “the word of Sin… Restriction,”13 but “thou hast no right but to do thy will. Do that, and no other shall say nay.”14 We now have a more complete sense of how the Thelemite ideally views and oeprates within the world: Free of the sense of sin, free of reason’s stranglehold upon our behavior, and aware of sorrow, pain, regret, discomfort, and pity as signals of our failure to perform “love under will.”

Fear not at all; fear neither men nor Fates, nor gods, nor anything. Money fear not, nor laughter of the folk folly, nor any other power in heaven or upon the earth or under the earth.” 15

>>PART 7>>

1 Crowley, Aleister. Liber AL vel Legis, II:46-47.

2 Crowley, Aleister. The Law is For All, II:46.

3 Crowley, Aleister. “Djeridensis Working,” II:17.

4 Crowley, Aleister. Liber AL vel Legis, II:9.

5 Crowley, Aleister. Liber Tzaddi vel Hamus Hermeticus, line 23.

6 Crowley, Aleister. The Law is For All, II:9.

7 Rogers, Carl. Client-Centred Therapy, ch.11.

8 Crowley, Aleister. Liber AL vel Legis, II:48.

9 Crowley, Aleister. Liber AL vel Legis, II:18.

10 Crowley, Aleister. Liber AL vel Legis, II:9.

11 Nietzsche, Frierich. The Antichrist, ch.7.

12 Nietzsche, Frierich. The Antichrist, ch.7.

13 Crowley, Aleister. Liber AL vel Legis, I:41.

14Crowley, Aleister. Liber AL vel Legis, I:42-43.

15Crowley, Aleister. Liber AL vel Legis, III:17.

>>PART 7>>

The Manifesto of Ra-Hoor-Khuit

The Manifesto of Ra-Hoor-Khuit

There is no law beyond Do what thou wilt.

INTRODUCTION

This is a manifesto for every man and every woman who recognizes their own right to Divine Kingship, those who recognize themselves to be Stars.

The aim is the complete establishment of the Kingdom of Ra-Hoor-Khuit upon earth. That is, the permeating and infiltration of all facets of life with the sublime Word of Thelema.

This is the establishment of Life, Liberty, Love, and Light in the hearts of all men.

Let those who wish to aid the Crowned and Conquering Child in his manifestation first write the words “Do what thou wilt” upon their heart and soul. Now in this light let them read this Manifesto and bring “fresh fever from the skies.”

“Help me, o warrior lord of Thebes, in my unveiling before the Children of men!”  – Liber AL vel Legis I:5

ON THE PROPER SPIRIT

Let our actions not be out of regret, pity, malice, envy, jealousy, weariness, hate, or sorrow.

The proper spirit of this revolution is an overflowing of joy and strength.

See all obstacles, all threats, all intimidations, all criticisms as chances to Grow and exert your Will.

Life is a joyous battlefield wherein We Soldiers of Horus rejoice in conflict and strife. Could the artist’s statue be created and perfected without chiseling away the dross?

“Remember all ye that existence is pure joy… Beauty and strength, leaping laughter and delicious languor, force and fire, are of us… Let the rituals be rightly performed with joy & beauty! A feast every day in your hearts in the joy of my rapture! A feast every night unto Nu, and the pleasure of uttermost delight!  Aye! feast! rejoice! there is no dread hereafter.”  – Liber AL vel Legis II:9,20,35,42-44

ON RELATIONS WITH THE WORLD

The knight-monks – the prince-priests and the hermit-soldiers – are the body of Ra-Hoor-Khuit’s Army. They are not the cloistered and emasculated hermits of old.

Although we too attain to the truth of Mystic Solitude wherein All is One and we proclaim, “I am alone: there is no God where I am” (AL II:23), we immerse ourselves into the fecundity of the world instead of retreating therefrom.

Work your jobs, do your duties, raise your children, laugh with friends, but let all these things, from the most important to the most trivial, be to the Glory of Ra-Hoor-Khuit!

“Behold! these be grave mysteries; for there are also of my friends who be hermits. Now think not to find them in the forest or on the mountain; but in beds of purple, caressed by magnificent beasts of women with large limbs, and fire and light in their eyes, and masses of flaming hair about them; there shall ye find them. Ye shall see them at rule, at victorious armies, at all the joy; and there shall be in them a joy a million times greater than this.”  – Liber AL vel Legis, II:24

ON MATERIAL THINGS

We are not to shun material objects, wealth, and power. They are not inherently evil nor are they “un-spiritual.”

Express your overflow of joy and beauty with fine robes, wine, headdresses, or whatever you will.

Feel no regret, guilt, or shame in your reckless expression of being Drunk with the Glory of Ra-Hoor-Khuit!

“Be goodly therefore: dress ye all in fine apparel; eat rich foods and drink sweet wines and wines that foam! Also, take your fill and will of love as ye will, when, where and with whom ye will! But always unto me… Ye shall gather goods and store of women and spices; ye shall wear rich jewels; ye shall exceed the nations of the earth in splendour & pride; but always in the love of me, and so shall ye come to my joy… Be strong, o man! lust, enjoy all things of sense and rapture: fear not that any God shall deny thee for this.” – Liber AL vel Legis, I:51, 61; II:22

ON THE WORK OF EACH SOLDIER

Every man, woman, and child who consciously accepts the word of the Law, “Do what thou wilt,” is certainly a warrior in the Army of Ra-Hoor-Khuit. Simply by existing and enacting the Law of Thelema in every circumstance, the stars of Force & Fire (each one of you) will spread the Law by their own example.

We must see the sublime beauty in Thelema’s answers to the conundrums of ethics, reasons, and metaphysics. Therefore must we constantly study the Holy Books of Thelema, especially Liber AL vel Legis, the Book of the Law.

The most important thing is to exude your overflow of strength, beauty, force and fire in a natural way. Do what thou wilt and let all around you see the joy you have in doing so!

“The excellence of the Law must be showed by its results upon those who accept it. When men see us as the hermits of Hadit described in [Liber AL], they will determine to emulate our joy.”  – Khabs am Pekht

A DAILY REGIMEN

One must make Thelema the center of one’s life, the locus of all meaning and motion. We may remind ourselves through rituals and feasts of all sorts.

But a truly effective Warrior of Life & Light must be strong and healthy in both mind and body.

“Wisdom says: be strong! Then canst thou bear more joy. Be not animal; refine thy rapture!”  – Liber AL vel Legis, II:70

Every warrior of Ra-Hoor-Khuit needs to exert themselves physically and mentally. We have no room for arm-chair dwellers who manipulate intellectual facts endlessly. Therefore every person should have a fair amount of physical exertion throughout their days.

“Establish at thy Kaaba a clerk-house; all must be done well and with business way.’”  – Liber AL vel Legis, III:41

Your Kaaba, your starry heart and essence of consciousness, must be established within a mind of great power and conciseness, arranged like a business with orderliness and detachment. Therefore practice meditation to make the mind a perfect instrument of the Will: perfect the skills of concentration and nonattachment.

Exercise your body and your mind with diligence but always strive unto higher goals and ideals. Never tire of competition and exceeding your own perceived limits.

“But exceed! exceed! Strive ever to more!” – Liber AL vel Legis, II:71-72

ON DEALING WITH OTHER FELLOW SOLDIERS

Fresh Fever From the Skies: The Collected Writings of IAO131Every person must be a pyramid: flawless from base to apex, sufficient unto themselves. Yet each Star is part of the Body of Infinite Space. Therefore make friends and enemies as ye will.

Our attitude to one another must be one of great respect like the chivalry from the West or bushido from the East. Thrill with the joy of vigorous competition and conflict yet always out of overflow of Will, strength, beauty, love, and rapture.

Therefore do not cover yourself to mask your true brilliance. Let the Sun of your Will shine effulgently on all things: care not that it will inevitably nourish some and destroy others.

But also do not fear losing your supposed “freedom” by banding together with other stars. Verily, a galaxy is an inconceivably potent source of gravitational force although it is, in reality, made up of individual stars…

Therefore make camps and lodges and groups and propagate the Spirit of Freedom, enshrined in the Word of the Law: Thelema.

“But the keen and the proud, the royal and the lofty; ye are brothers! As brothers fight ye!”  – Liber AL vel Legis, III:58-59

 

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