The Body of Light must be developed and trained with exactly the same rigid discipline as the brain in the case of mysticism. The essence of the technique of Magick is the development of the Body of Light, which must be extended to include all members of the organism, and indeed of the cosmos The object is to possess a Body which is capable of doing easily any particular task that may lie before it. There must be no selection of special experience which appeals to one's immediate desire. One must go steadily through all possible pylons.
Crowley explains that the most important practices for developing the Body of Light are:
1. The fortification of the Body of Light by the constant use of rituals, by the assumption of god-forms, and by the right use of the Eucharist.
2. The purification and consecration and exaltation of that Body by the use of rituals of invocation.
3. The education of that Body by experience. It must learn to travel on every plane; to break down every obstacle which may confront it.
The benefit of astral travel is essentially one of education...it is akin to exploring one's own spiritual universe ("Every Magician possesses an Astral Universe peculiar to himself") and Understanding the fundamental components, so that the adept can eventually master it. The general object is the "control of the Astral Plane, the ability to find one's way about it, to penetrate such sanctuaries as are guarded from the profane, [and] to make such relations with its inhabitants as may avail to acquire knowledge and power, or to command service". Also, "one's apprehension of the Astral Plane must be accurate, for Angels, Archangels, and Gods are derived therefrom by analysis. One must have pure materials if one wishes to brew pure beer." It is vital to understand that all this must be in service to the Great Work of discovering one's True Will:
Let the Magician therefore adventure himself upon the Astral Plane with the declared design to penetrate to a sanctuary of discarnate Beings such as are able to instruct and fortify him, also to prove their identity by testimony beyond rebuttal. All explanations other than these are of value only as extending and equilibrating Knowledge, or possibly as supplying Energy to such Magicians as may have found their way to the Sources of Strength. In all cases, naught is worth an obol save as it serve to help the One Great Work"
Crowley was also willing to admit that what was experienced during "astral travel" was not relevant in terms of what is "real" or "unreal." Ultimately, the only value to this practice is in the utility it provides to the adept.
The 'reality' or 'objectivity' of these symbols is not pertinent to the discussion. The Magician must not accept [my] account of the Astral Plane, [my] Qabalistic discoveries, [my] Instructions in Magick. They may be correct in the main for most men; yet they cannot be wholly true for any save [myself], even as no two artists can make identical pictures of the same subject [...] What one sees and hears is 'real' in its way, whether it be itself, or distorted by one's desires, or created by one's personality [...] The true, the final test, of the Truth of one's visions is their Value. The most glorious experience on the Astral plane, let it dazzle and thrill as it may, is not necessarily in accordance with the True Will of the seer; if not, though it be never so true objectively, it is not true for him, because not useful for him.
The Body of Light is more important than simply for astral travel — it is the storehouse of all experiences.
In Magick, on the contrary, one passes through the veil of the exterior world (which, as in Yoga, but in another sense, becomes "unreal" by comparison as one passes beyond) one creates a subtle body (instrument is a better term) called the Body of Light; this one develops and controls; it gains new powers as one progresses, usually by means of what is called 'initiation': finally, one carries on almost one's whole life in this Body of Light, and achieves in its own way the mastery of the Universe.
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