Archive for January, 2014

On Emptiness

Monday, January 27th, 2014

First of all, it is of paramount importance to understand the concept of Emptiness and why it is valuable in Magick. This understanding must be not intellectual, though, but empirical.

The influence of Taoist, Buddhist and Hindu ideas in Spare’s system is evident, even if (sometimes) in an antithetical manner. His criticism is more specifically towards unnecessary morality and dogma, like “Quietism, Buddhism, and other religions, everything which denies the flesh—is the great inferiority to God in ourselves, an escapism seeking sanctuary through fear of life and inability to accept ‘this reality’. They were hurt? Or was the odalisque unsatisfactory or too expensive? They expected too much for too little, or were too mean to pay—therefore: ‘All is illusion’…” but on the other hand his concept of Kia is variously comparable to Tao, Brahman (the unchanging reality amidst and beyond the world), Jiva and Atman. Spare describes Kia as “the absolute freedom which being free is mighty enough to be ‘reality’ and free at any time: therefore is not potential or manifest (except as it’s instant possibility) by ideas of freedom or ‘means’, but by the Ego being free to receive it, by being free of ideas about it and by not believing. The less said of it the less obscure is it. Remember evolution teaches by terrible punishments-that conception is ultimate reality but not ultimate freedom from evolution” (The Book of Pleasure).

Isn’t that the Pure Awareness of Dzogchen?

In the classical Liber Null, Peter Carroll further explains that “Will and perception are not separate but only appear so to the mind. The unity which appears to the mind to exert the twin functions of will and perception is called Kia by magicians. Sometimes it is called the spirit, or soul, or life force, instead”. And he continues: “Kia cannot be experienced directly because it is the basis of consciousness (or experience), and it has no fixed qualities which the mind can latch on to. Kia is the consciousness, it is the elusive ‘I’ which confers self-awareness but does not seem to consist of anything itself”

Another of Spare’s concepts, Neither-Neither (does not matter-need not be), the state in which the mind has gone beyond conception, total vacuity, resembles a lot the Neti Neti (not-this not-this) of the Upanishads. “Purge thyself of belief: live like a tree walking! Take no thought of good or evil. Become self-active causality by Unity of thine, I and Self. Reality exists but not in consciousness of such: this phenomenal ‘I’ is noumenal and neither-neither. Now thus is concentration explained: ‘The will, the desire, the belief; lived as inseparable, become realization’”.

Needless to say, but Crowley too has been highly influenced by Eastern ideas of consciousness. Hadit, for instance, identifies himself as the point in the center of the circle, and declares “I am alone: there is no god where I am”. Hadit is the flame that burns in every heart of man, and in the core of every star, which is essentially identical with the Rigpa of Dzogchen – said to lie at the heart of all things. Interesting enough, Atiyoga is synthesized in three principles:

1. Direct introduction to one’s own nature;
2. Not remaining in doubt concerning this unique state;
3. Continuing to remain in this state.

And isn’t it the Great Work of western Magick resumed in three?

1. Attainment of the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel;
2. The Great Work of the Probationer Grade of the A.:A.: is considered to be the pursuit of self-knowledge to obtain the knowledge of the nature and powers of his own being. (The Confessions of Aleister Crowley);
3. The Great Work should also be something that is integrated into the daily life of all.

Crowley says “The Great Work is the uniting of opposites. It may mean the uniting of the soul with God, of the microcosm with the macrocosm, of the female with the male, of the ego with the non-ego” – Magick Without Tears. And he concludes in his Little Essays Toward Truth: “The Quest of the Holy Grail, the Search for the Stone of the Philosophers—by whatever name we choose to call the Great Work—is therefore endless”.

Here we can have a glimpse of the interconnectedness of Eastern and Western schools which aim the same Gnosis. There is also the eastern concept of Siddhis (magickal powers arising from the Gnostic Sadhana), but this is a subject for another post…