Collage by Coyote 305
Certainly one of the most frequently encountered objectives in Magick is that of discovering ones "true" Will. This has been discussed exhaustively by "old" aeon authors like Aleister Crowley. In fact, he spent his entire magickal career focused obsessively on this theme. Crowley's personally developed magickal system, Thelema, means just this---To Will. Simple enough unless one uses the Beast's own techniques to accomplish such a thing. When approaching the overwrought and bloated corpus of his work, one may get the impression that this is some remarkably difficult mission to embark upon. And due to this, many whose "initiation" begins here face a very steep upward battle indeed.
The picture may be made a bit clearer if one "reduces" Crowley's own exceptional canon of work to something that was necessary for him to produce in order to break thru his own substantial programming. If one merely wishes to consider his approach as the "standard" by witch such a thing may be accomplished---one will be saddened to find that this cannot be done in any truly Magickal way. It is amusing to this author that anyone who considers themselves a magickian would so readily swallow his prescription for success as "The Way"---does this not smack of dogma and perhaps a little practical joke played by the Master Therion?
Fortunately a prolonged investigation into his Work and methods for attaining Will reveal a very different "voice" speaking thru his otherwise hypertrophied ego. Hidden there in plain view are all the "tricks" one may utilize to discover and effectively wield Will. They are all methods of manipulating and directing the "faculty" of belief.
While it may be true that Crowley required the hyper-intellectualized approach he inherited from the Golden Dawn to get his Mojo on, we need not follow him in our own striving towards attainment.
Rather, it may be fruitful to examine some of his ideas that really may prove useful to us NOW.
Some may question why he wrote so voluminously on the subject of Magick and focused his energy exclusively on thee attainment of the "Great Work"---could it be merely that HE required this approach for his own "unshackling" from Samsara? We tend to think that YES---this is the case. Crowley cannot be understood properly without recognizing his techniques as all being somehow grounded in meta-programming; although his methods may appear antiquated NOW.
However, in considering where he was at in his life and at his Time, it becomes a bit more clear that he was utilizing the available tools to accomplish his de/re-programming within the World he traveled. One of the most effective ways to loosen "reality" consists in the practice of examining multiple belief structures and utilizing these in ones own Life. The problem for Crowley appears to be that the entirety of these alternate belief systems were almost exclusively inherited from the Golden Dawn and its particular "elitist" posturing and overt RHP leanings. This is something that never seemed to exit his thinking.
Well enough background on that fat fucker. We will NOW take some time to consider some of his truly useful techniques and ideas. What has always inspired me about Crowley has never been his awful, overblown poetry or his lenghty imitation "holy tracts" but rather his ability to construct a worldview suitable to the type of madman he was---this is MAGICK. As magicians we take responsibility for our own Perception and have the ability to Bend any situation to our advantage---granted, the advantage cannot always be easily seen at the time, but ultimately our Willed decisions unerringly lead us into situations that test and illuminate us.
I have chosen 5 main themes that run thru Crowley's work that I feel cast light on what might be called, thee attainment of Will. As researchers in TOPY, we focus on de-mystification and set our sights on what practical knowledge may be gleaned from these otherwise obscure tidbits left over from our predecessors. The five main points we shall look at are:
Although I described him as an old aeon mage, Crowley still carried along with his Work thee seed of modern magickal thought. This can most readily be observed in his own insurrection in the face of the rapidly unraveling Golden Dawn of the time. He seemed to clearly perceive the secrecy employed by the GD as counterproductive to original and innovative magickal thought and also as an obstacle to a wider range of attainment among his fellow beings. He appeared to recognize that this occult inbreeding led to stagnation and a steady drop-off in the quality of candidates---most of whom were drawn from the cultural "elite" of the time. His rebellion against the questionable leadership of S.L.Magregor Mathers set the stage for his own personal quest and subsequently to the document that defined the remainder of his magickal career---this being, of course, Liber Al Vel Legis or The Book of the Law.
The Book of the Law, whether one considers it a legitimate transmission from an "alien" intelligence or as a channeling device tapping his own inmost Will---as many in TOPY have chosen to do, still laid down a method of attainment quite at odds with much occult literature that came before it. This peculiar little book presents an approach to Will that places the candidate firmly in control of hir own Path. Rather than outline the "proper" worship of this god or that goddess, we are told that "existence is pure Joy" and that essentially our responsibility lies in discerning our own Path thru the wilderness via repeated experimentation in many and varying directions. The core obstacle to attainment is presented as being something akin to losing the forest for the trees. The Way, perhaps, is that there is No Way. No particular method will suffice unless it is personally valid. This small realization renders all systematic thought dead other than as utilized as yet another tool in ones bag o‘ tricks. This may seem to be no big deal to our modern day psycho-pathic chaos magickian but, at the time, it was powerful spiritual heresy. Suddenly someone had proclaimed, "There is NO god but man." (perhaps some may consider that Nietzche put forth a similar thought but he was not a self proclaimed *magickian*.)
Rebellion is often the first and most important step in reclaiming our True Will. This is primarily because this causes us to abandon our prescribed and zombie like apprehension of incoming signals and to Awaken to new possibilities and vastly different perspectives. Upon realizing these potentialities we may also realize that the mechanism that creates them is not something objective, concrete, or even "Real" in any commonly considered sense but rather lies in the implicit powers of the Human Mind witch, in itself, might be considered a mirror or analog of the Universe and as close to "Reality" as we may hope to come. With this realization we also come to See that our own responsibility and potential Freedom is firmly in our own hands.
When the farce of existence is clearly perceived there is a tendency to question everything. All belief systems and modes of existence are scrutinized as to their effectiveness in Our Lives. A strange thing often occurs when this is diligently followed through---we find that the vast majority of what we think and "believe" is not of our own making but rather the background "noise" of the civilization we live in. Many nodes of reality, industry and various schools of thought compete actively for our energy and Time. It is up to us to decide what we Will put our energy into and to what end.
Magick has long been associated with "the devil", lucifer,Set or Set-an, and other adversarial symbols. This, we think, has everything to do with the pure rebellious spirit of Magick. We rebel against the hypocrisy and self limitation of the world we exist in. We push boundaries and explore forbidden worlds as our Work may require. We Reject the perpetual narrowing of our own potential and champion the Fire of the Human Spirit---Sacred keepers of the flame. We refuse to hand our lives over to the vampiric machine of human civilization. We Refuse the patronization of the domesticates in our lives and reject their fear and control based laws. It is this ability to say "non serviam" that plants the seed of Will.
So, Now that you have cut through most of the world's little blinds and distortions, what do you do? If you have successfully navigated the total collapse of your belief structures you most likely will have arrived at a species of energized silence. A space to move within has been cleared. You have put your time into a ruthless analysis of your world and this rebellion against other minds doing your thinking for you should have also quieted your own thinking processes a bit. What remains is Will. This may not be clearly perceived at first. However, utilizing the same approach we used in dissecting the world, we now use in dissecting ourselves. Starting where we are at NOW, we examine our lives until we can begin to see how everything we are currently experiencing is a function of some earlier decision or decisions on our part. Continuing this self examination should begin to reveal our "natural" tendencies and aversions---both are fertile ground for investigation and lead to the knowledge that All is Will.
2) The Scientifick Method
Crowleys proclamation of his way being scientific could be said to directly presage the current trend of "results based" magick that we associate directly with the Chaos Magick current. It seems such a logical development to abandon theory and embrace practice. Indeed, anyone who has invested belief in any paradigm with enough force can attest to the results. They always conform to the symbol set being utilized and point towards some "formless chaos" informing all things and apparently infinitely malleable. In Crowleys own occasionally "exalted" states his advice makes it very clear that each being or Star has its own proper course---from this one may readily divine that any truly effective magickal practice must be personally valid. The scientific method then is one of trial, error and continuous refinement. "Success" in this pursuit may be indicated by what Crowley called "Knowledge and Conversation". When our experiments reveal our latent powers and inherent natural wisdom we may feel that we are in contact with what some call Genius and others Daemon---for me they are one and the same. As human beings, the thrill of discovery appears to be an aspect of that process we call evolution. The thrill of discovering what odd powers we may possess and the means by witch they are activated for us causes inspiration. When we claim "meaning" as our own the fire is fanned and we feel swept along in that same mystery that moves all things. For me that un-namable but infinitely experience able is the very heart of the 23rd Current if I may be permitted a moment to indulge my own favored paradigm. The sole criteria for judging any method or technique may be "does it work for me"? The Sigilization process is just such an experiment. In the beginning I always felt as though I was somehow adding to myself---gaining powers, gaining worldly things etc. Now, after nearly ten years it seems so much more like eliminating obstacles---perhaps this is why I find Thanateros such a useful concept. Death of self image perpetually opening the flow of vital force witch in turn is continuously attracted to its vehicle of manifestation--could this be the "Great Work" of witch Crowley spoke? Perhaps what we are we must be and the process by which we disentangle ourselves from all "false" belief patterns (and in this sense I mean those beliefs witch serve no useful purpose in the realization of our inherent essence) comprises our bag of tricks as magicians ---although we are by no means limited to such notions of ourselves. One knows when this liberation of Self is attained----there is an uncanny sense of flowing and being connected to all things. This experience of synchronicity that we might call the Current 23.
Another way to put this in our current language may be "power of belief" and there is a very useful technique herein. Crowley had a vast menagerie of "disembodied intelligences" and "prater human beings" that he had communication with. I believe this was his method of dealing with "lust of result." Not for himself (read: "the little self"---ego) but for this ancient lineage of masters did he do his Will. For him it was apparently necessary to construct such a worldview to discover his inherent Will and much is revealed about the man in his choice of belief patterns. The Temple is indeed built from the very substance of the Initiate. The skill of the architect can be discerned from that witch she builds. Lead may be turned to Gold by embracing ones life as it is at this very moment and discarding all irrelevancies and developing all latent powers until the very jewel of one’s Self is realized. Did Crowley realize that all of these communications he experienced were quite possibly within his own occult being? I think he must have---it was he who, in some sense, uttered; "There is no God but Man."
So then, the Process of discovering Will can be likened to Self-Deification---utter devotion to Self or Kia. Previously I mentioned the "scientific" method of trial and error and thru this we may learn of our natural attractions and aversions. We may start thru devotion to that witch attracts. This is the easy part and merely a preliminary step. The task becomes a little tougher when we tackle the practice of overcoming and absorbing our aversions but a glorious thing happens thereby. Thru devotion to what attracts us we may establish a starting point for deprogramming. How much of what we find easy to love is conditioned and how much is essential in shaping power and wisdom? Were we to stop with the first step we would terminate our development right off. Here we encounter some of the confusion regarding ego. This author feels that a healthy and strong ego is a fine Tool indeed and can prove as an excellent magnification device but can be a terrible obstacle to overcome when "it" is allowed to take over the other facets of Self; limiting their expression and shaping all into conformity with self image and identity. However, examination of that witch repels with an open and unbiased mind will reveal that all that we reject is akin to fertile soil from witch we grow. When we can see this inter-relationship; duality, to some extent, is overcome. There are no straight lines in nature only circles and spirals too large to be perceived as such. When we realize this interconnectedness within our own lives, we are able to see that all of life appears in this way and a unified field of awareness begins to develop wherein all things appear to rely upon all "other" things as a means to their seeming differentiation and subsequent individuation within our perception. Thru this Knowledge may be gained. All of witch is absolutely necessary to have any experience whatsoever. The individual owes hir individuality to those oppositional forces that move across the surface of the play and shape lead into gold when responded to thru initiated, willed action. Along the way what is "not-self" becomes another aspect of Self. The magickian sees all opportunities, whether "good " or "bad," for the ephemeral phenomena that they are and as potential teachers and instruments of refinement. A strange paradox is encountered when one sees that the greatest of individuals are those who have abandoned their individuality as a constraint. Like a plant best left to its own natural function without interference, ones "ego" is best left in its proper place as a medium of trance-mission-a tool. Another way of stating this paradox is that the strongest "egos" eventually encompass the whole thru seeing ego maintenance as yet another limitation of Self-Expression. Our Devotion then is best aimed at Existence and all that it includes. This worship of Kia completely changes our perception of Life. In this model Kia can be likened to Will and the experiences of our multi-selves to Love. Being individuals each one of us will arrive at our own personal style of devotion to our lives. This is the formula of our Will and our lives will become nothing but Magick as each variable is known, examined, realized and assimilated. Our devotion shall lead us to the Power to Believe at Will.
The traditional Western Magick Reality TunnelTM is grounded in the system of correspondences witch, in turn, is grounded in the fairly ancient notion of sympathetic magic. This appears to be the result of our natural tendency to think analogically and also as a reflection of our species’ psychological/intellectual development. Uncle Al writes of developing a type of "background concentration" as a means to attaining Will. Most of the thought technology employed by the control structure utilizes a species of subliminal conditioning known as NLP or Neuro-linguistic programming. (a subject I will write at length upon in our next CCT) . Just as this technique's name implies, it is a tool that programs the mind thru liguistic means. This can include all forms of communication from choice of word, cadence, tone of voice and subtle body cues to highly sophisticated enchantments based on complex interlocking symbol sets. The technique may be applied to others or to oneself. I will give two examples of this, both of them I consider related to "the old bait and switch" routine. The first deals with commercial marketing. Company X wants to sell as much of their product as possible so they contact someone with knowledge of these strategies (say maybe Grant Morrison) and learn that if they can make their target consumer audience associate some desirable trait, ability or result with the purchase of their product then they will become wildly successful. They are in the business of selling deodorant (and what a trick that was, convincing people that the natural scent of their pheromones was really bad!) and decide that, since they want the broadest possible appeal, they will create a commercial with an "average" joe who miraculously in using their product becomes utterly irresistible to women. This commercial plays over and over and eventually doesn’t appear to register consciously to the viewer but the target has made a subliminal association that will cause them to "choose" to buy this product with their own "free will." The second example is much more insidious and uses NLP along with what might be called a "meme cluster." I realize not all of my readers are Americans but all will be familiar with what I am about to write of. The U.S Government was able to take advantage of the typical American’s mistaken notion that the name of the piece of land they live upon somehow is deeply associated with and often confused for their own existence and experience. Many cannot see that what they have lived has taken place on Earth in a certain section of a Galaxy somewhere in a vast Universe and so a whole lifetime of sunsets, lovemaking, wild times etc is associated with being an American and not with being human or the human experience. In the wake of the whole terrorist debacle many were tricked into taking an attack on a control structure as a personal attack directly upon their own existence. And so, in a barely concealed sleight of hand, the U.S government furthered its own agenda by taking the opportunity to exploit this error in thinking by implementing further control under the subterfuge of protecting its people. Now we have "The War on Terror," the great meme known as 9/11, and many others as additional conditioning for the masses.
All of these techniques can be used as tools by the magickian seeking Will. In "The Grey Book" we read of "discarding all irrelevancies"---removing obstacles. So, we begin with examining our own lives and eliminating all programs, systems, and agendas not of our Willing. We destroy all those influences which steer us from our objective and drain us of valuable Energy. We reclaim our existence and surround ourselves with those symbols, strategies, modes of thought, culture and beings that fit with our Work. The background concentration written of by the Great Beast is just this type of Self Enchantment or Self NLP. We learn to structure our lives in such a way as to continually re-mind ourselves of our Will. Intentionally acting certain ways, choosing how we dress , what we read, what we listen to, how we construct our personal symbols and acts of power, what we eat…….continuously refining this Art until all things point to our Will. When all has been chosen and intentionally integrated all that remains is Will for all has been Willed in this Process. It matters not what you Will---It matters that you Will.
5) Sexuality, Sacrament, and Alchemy
This last section shall be the shortest paradoxically because there is so much to say here that the subject merits another essay all on its own. This I will provide in our next Trance-mission. For the Temple this is our central technique---a species of left-handed eroticism aimed at supercharging our experience. The Great Beast was the first western magickian to fairly explicitly present the mingling of "religion" with potent sexuality as The Key to magical transformation. He made it quite clear that sex could be utilized as a means to attaining Will. This simple and pure drive to be and to perpetuate the human experience can be elevated to a higher vibration to touch Self and to feel Self deeply. When Sexuality becomes sacramental and is utilized for the realization of Will then all of the previous techniques I have briefly outlined come directly into operation. To reclaim this power is the ultimate rebellion. We explore our sexuality more and more deeply--rejecting our conditioned roles and destroying taboos as we approach Self. We find that Everything is permitted and desirable and we may directly unite in the flesh with anything or anyone we choose. This sex drive is without direction and is identical to Self Love. Because this species of rebellion is so potent it is always the first factor to be seized by any power/control structure. We begin with allowing it to flow and many of us break free initially thru abundance and variety of experience. Eventually we raise this power above its more banal expression and attempt to exalt it. Further still we come to know it as Sacred. In the end we bring it back "down" and unite the Sacred and the Profane in one potent elixir eventually abandoning such terms all together. Thru our scientific method we refine and sharpen and learn to transmute this power into other forms. Thru our devotion to Self Love is our experience deepened and made into Ex-stasis. By this power may we reprogram ourselves in the deep trance of orgasm and bliss. Crowley once said that he had made a certain "sacrifice" of a young child of perfect intelligence etc nearly 200 times per year. That old Wanker knew what he was doing. I make my sacrifice daily and with particular reverence upon the 23rd of every month. Blessings to you All in the attainment of your Will.