"Bind nothing! Let there be no difference made among you between any one thing for thereby there cometh hurt."
- "Liber Legis", 1:22.
DO WHAT THOU WILT SHALL BE THE WHOLE OF THE LAW.
One of the most important of Thelemic doctrines, right up there with the doctrine of atheistic Self-Gnosis, is that of Ardent Detachment -- or positive indifference. This doctrine is absolutely fundamental to any religious approach solidly based upon "Liber L vel Legis", "The Book of the Law". Yet so few genuinely understand it, much less actually put it into practice, with complete success, in their daily lives.
In order to come at all close to one's own Supernal Perspective -- which none, not even the most exalted of Ipsissimi can ever achieve "fully" while locked in the temporal mind -- it is essential for the Thelemite to overcome his or her burden of personal emotion, as thoroughly as possible, yet without sacrificing enthusiasm. It is essentially the Buddhist position without the withdrawal from passionate involvement. While this may at first glance seem to be an impossible marriage of contrary positions, a more careful analysis shows it to be otherwise.
Basically, the position that one must take to be successful at this difficult practice is to adopt an impassioned view towards the work that one must accomplish, or the obstacle in the way thereof, without being driven by the compulsion of emotion or being swayed or bothered in the least by the outcome, whether fair or foul. Easier said than done! Yet it is not only possible but effective -- moreso perhaps than any other attitude, when done right -- in tilting one's perspective better in line with the Supernal View, setting one upon the wavelength -- or Current -- of the Mindset of the Loftier Genius, or Augoeides.
In a way, this is an alchemical formula: get it just right, and you achieve pure gold; but fail to mix one ingredient or the other properly and you fail miserably. In this particular case, the first ingredient is extreme enthusiasm sans lust of result; and the second ingredient is perfect detachment minus the irresponsibility of a neglectful attitude. Let's take a closer look at these two ingredients in our alchemical formula of Ardent Detachment.
* ENTHUSIASM WITHOUT LUST OF RESULT. One's determination to succeed must be an unstoppable force, unrelenting in the face of the greatest adversity without at all being contaminated with a compulsive obsession to succeed. I.e., one must drive at full force of will along the way of one's mission, getting up and going again whenever one is knocked down by circumstance, yet completely at peace with inevitable failure. The joy is in the doing, not in the achieving. But more importantly, success is not to be measured in mere concrete terms -- for in time, concrete breaks up and is shattered -- but rather in ways the temporal mind, fixed as it is always in the moment, cannot fully appreciate. Yet man's mind is ultimately beyond temporal constraints; and he has only to push the lever, as it were, by means of these devices of Thelemic practice, to effect the shift to the Praeternatural Perspective.
* DETACHMENT WITHOUT NEGLECT. Detachment is the real key to a successful performance of this practice; but at the same time, it must be so perfectly balanced with unstoppable enthusiasm that it doesn't lead to neglect. Clearly, this is a formula of the universal polar Contraries, or the Supernals of Mind, referred to in "The Book of the Law "as Nuit and Hadit, known in the Qabalah as Binah and Chokmah, and manifest on the material plane as Passive and Active. Here they are Detachment and Passion. In religious terms, this is a fusion of the two main varieties of religious approach: the Eastern withdrawal from all, and the Western striving towards all (or "God"). It is perfected in practice by distancing oneself from oneself at all times while simultaneously dedicating all of one's ardor in the direction of the task at hand.
Emotion is an accident of limited existence. It is certainly present in even the most enlightened Magister Templi; but it doesn't bother him or her as it did when he or she was mired in the profane mind. This is the essence of the matter: one transcends the compulsion of emotion not by eliminating it, but rather by putting it beneath one's perspective. And this is possible because one really is so much more than ordinary realization hints at. That is what the techniques of mysticism and magick -- stripped of their petty superstitions and dogmatic theistic notions -- techniques such as the magical, or outwardly-directed Aspiration to Initiation into the Current of one's own Supernal Genius and the critical Augoeides Operation to fully effect the same, as well as the mystical, or inwardly-directed regimen to master and quiet the mundane mind -- are for. These active and passive devices are themselves useless, however, if one fails to apply the more fundamental instructions of Thelemic doctrine and ritual, as found in "The Book of the Law", to one's everday life.
Let's take some hypothetical examples, to illustrate exactly what is meant here. You have few mundane skills of any value, your opportunities are virtually non-existent, and you lose your job. The ordinary response is desperation and exasperation; but one must recall the benefits of countless hours of meditative calm in such an event so as to release the troubled mindset and regain the perspective at peace. What does worry, fear and emotional agitation gain you? Such petty forces are the enemies of Thelema hinted at in verse 2:21 of "Liber Legis", which reads:
"We have nothing with the outcast and the unfit: let them die in their misery. For they feel not. Compassion is the vice of kings: stamp down the wretched & the weak: this is the law of the strong: this is our law and the joy of the world."
The "outcast and the unfit" here aren't individuals at all, but rather unfavorable qualities and tendencies. Crowley taught that we should beware our feelings, for they are the factors not of the infinite equation but of limitation: "they pass but there is that which remains." ("L", 2:9) Emotion is fractured passion, focused as it is not on the eternal but on the fading moment: it is therefore "wretched" and "weak".
"These are dead, these fellows; they feel not. We are not for the poor and sad: the lords of the earth are our kinsfolk." ("L", 2:18) These "fellows" -- i.e. the forces of dispersion within our inferior nature -- are the chains that bind us to the madness of the moment. Yet we have it within us to free ourselves of these chains, merely by adopting the loftier View, along the lines of our formula of Ardent Detachment.
Now -- and this is important -- I am not saying that one should suppress one's urges: far from it; but one should, rather, direct one's passion rightly. If you're enraged, don't keep it inside, but don't misdirect it at your loved ones either. Instead, channel it constructively and intelligently so that, at some length, your motivation is satisfied. Purge yourself of the compulsion of your inferior feelings, achieve the greater perspective, and act passionately and responsibly yet without any care as to whether one is ultimately successful or not in any measurable way.
"This teaching seems all well and good in theory," one might argue, "but just try it in the event of a real tragedy". I have done -- it works. The simple fact is, one cannot master this in a day. Achieving the Loftier Mindset requires a long and arduous process of patient, determined effort. But it can be done! As one gets more and more enlightened, through these processes of Self-Gnosis, one becomes gradually better equipped to successfully apply these ideas in practice in even the most difficult of circumstances. One might lose a loved one, or fall prey to grievous misfortune, without unsettling the inner Mind in the least, while the turmoil of the suffering outer mind is observed and guided by that superior Mind, so that its tumultuous energies aren't holding one's life hostage to their momentary misery but are instead redirected to resolving the matter and proceeding beyond it in a healthy manner.
It can be done. It "has" been done. All it takes is never giving up. Recall Aleister Crowley's first motto: Perdurabo, which is Latin for "I shall endure unto the end". But it also takes intelligent analysis and synthesis; and this synthesis is effected by applying the formulae of our core Holy Book to one's manner of living, not idly or whimsically but thoroughly, with serious, unrelenting dedication -- no matter what ordeals are thrown your way.
Whenever you find yourself troubled in any way, simply remember first to detach, and second, to never relinquish your passion to proceed. Consider that you're not just a man or woman on earth, but also a star far out in space, impervious to any goings-on on some small satellite such as Earth. But never, ever lose your desire to pursue your bliss, no matter how rough it temporarily gets. In this is true and total mastery.
No one is perfect, however, and even the best of the best at this will stumble on occasion -- such is human nature, to suffer a little the urges of the beast in the throes of momentary anguish. But one can avoid becoming a slave thereof, by detaching from it and proceeding with certain knowledge that one can overcome it.
LOVE IS THE LAW, LOVE UNDER WILL.
Suggested ebooks:Helena Petrovna Blavatsky - The Secret Doctrine Vol Ii Anthropogenesis
Arthur Edward Waite - The Secret Doctrine In Israel
Eliphas Levi - The Doctrine Of Transcendental Magic
Keywords: astral projection experiences liber aba the dons magic ritual and witchcraft astral project quem foi aleister crowley tarocchi aleister crowley easy love spells that work free learn the tarot real black magic meditation retreats