Of all the magical and mystical virtues, of all the graces of the Soul, of all the attainments of the Spirit, none has been so misunderstood, even when at all apprehended, as Silence.
It would not be possible to enumerate the common errors; nay, it may be said that to think of it at all is in itself an error; for its nature is Pure Being, that is to say, Nothing, so that it is beyond all intellection or intuition. Thus, then, the utmost of our Essay can be only a certain Wardenship, as it were a Tyling of the Lodge wherein the Mystery of Silence may be consummated.
For this attitude there is sound traditional authority; Harpocrates, God of Silence, is called "The Lord of Defence and Protection".
But His nature is by no means that negative and passive silence which the word commonly connotes; for He is the All-Wandering Spirit, the Pure and Perfect Knight-Errant, who answers all Enigmas, and opens the closed Portal of the King's Daughter. But Silence in the vulgar sense is not the answer to the Riddle of the Sphinx; it is that which is created by that answer. For Silence is the Equilibrium of Perfection; so that Harpocrates is the omniform, the universal Key to every Mystery soever. The Sphinx is the "Puzzel or Pucelle", the Feminine Idea to which there is only one complement, always different in form, and always identical in essence. This is the signification of the Picture of the God; it is shown more clearly in His adult form as the Fool of the Tarot and as Bacchus Diphues, and without equivocation when He appears as Baphomet.
When we enquire more closely into His symbolism. The first quality which engages our attention is doubtless His innocence. Not without deep wisdom is He called Twin of Horns: and this is the Aeon of Horus: it is He who sent forth Aiwass His minister to proclaim its advent. The Fourth Power of the Sphinx is Silence; to us, then, who aspire to this power :as the crown of our Work, it will be of utmost value to attain His innocence in all its fulness. We must understand, first of all, that the root of Moral Responsibility, on which man stupidly prides himself as distinguishing him from the other animals, is Restriction, which is the Word of Sin. Indeed, there is truth in the Hebrew fable, that the knowledge of Good and Evil brings forth Death. To regain Innocence is to regain Eden. We must learn to live without the murderous consciousness that every breath we draw swells the sails which bear our frail vessels to the Port of the Grave. We must cast out Fear by Love; seeing that every Act is an Orgasm, their total issue cannot be but Birth. Also, Love is the law: thus every act must be Righteousness and Truth. By certain Meditations this may be understood and established; and this ought to be done so thoroughly that we become unconscious of our Sanctification, for only then is Innocence made perfect. This state is, in fact, a necessary condition of any proper contemplation of what we are accustomed to consider the first task of the Aspirant, the solution of the question. "What is my True Will?" For until we become innocent, we are certain to try to judge our Will from the outside, whereas True Will should spring, a fountain of Light, from within, and flow unchecked, seething with Love) into the Ocean of Life.
This is the true idea of Silence; it is our Will which issues, perfectly elastic, sublimely Protean, to fill every interstice of the Universe of Manifestation which it meets in its course. There is no gulf too great for its immeasurable strength, no strait too arduous for its imperturbable subtlety. It fits itself with perfect precision to every need; its fluidity is the warrant of its fidelity. Its form is always varied by that of the particular imperfection which it encounters: its essence is identical in every event. Always the effect of its action is Perfection, that is, Silence; and this Perfection is ever the same, being perfect; yet ever different, because each case presents its own peculiar quantity and quality.
It is impossible for inspiration itself to sound a dithyramb of Silence; for each new aspect of Harpocrates is worthy of the music of the Universe throughout Eternity. I have simply been led by my loyal Love of that strange Race among whom I find myself incarnate to indite this poor stanza of the infinite Epic of Harpocrates as being the facet of His fecund Brilliance which has refracted the most needful light upon mine own darkling Entrance to His shrine of fulminating, of ineffable Godhead.
I praise the luxuriant Rapture of Innocence, the virile and pantomorphous Ecstasy of All-Fufilment; I praise the Crowned and Conquering Child whose name is Force and Fire, whose subtlety and strength make sure serenity, whose energy and endurance accomplish the Attainment of the Virgin of the Absolute; who, being manifested, is the Player upon the sevenfold pipe, the Great God Pan, and, being withdrawn into the Perfection that he willed, is Silence.
[From Little Essays toward Truth.]
ii. DE SAPIENTIA ET STULTITIA
O, my Son, in this the Colophon of mine Epistle will I recall the Title and Superscription thereof; that is, the Book of Wisdom or Folly. I proclaim Blessing and Worship unto Nuith our Lady and her Lord, Hadith, for the Miracle of the Anatomy of the Child Ra-Hoor-Khuit, as it is shewed in the design Minutum Mundum, the Tree of Life. For though Wisdom be the Second Emanation of His Essence, there is a path to separate and to join them, the Reference thereof being Aleph, that is One indeed, but also an Hundred and Eleven in his full Orthography; to signify the Most Holy Trinity. And by metathesis it is Thick Darkness, and Sudden Death. This is also the Number of AUM, which is AMOUN, and the Root-Sound of OMNE or, in Greek, PAN; and it is a Number of the Sun. Yet is the Atu of Thoth that correspondeth thereunto marked with ZERO, and its Name is MAT, whereof I have spoken formerly, and its Image is The Fool. O, my son, gather thou all these Limbs together into one Body, and breathe upon it with thy Spirit, that it may live; then do thou embrace it with Lust of thy Manhood, and go in unto it, and know it; so shall ye be One Flesh. Now at last in the Reinforcement and Ecstasy of this Consummation thou shalt wit by what Inspiration thou didst choose thy Name in the Gnosis, I mean PARZIVAL, "der reine Thor", the True Knight that won Kingship in Monsalvat, and made whole the Wound of Amfortas, and ordered Kundry to Right Service, and regained the Lance, and revived the Miracle of the Sangraal; yea, also upon himself did he accomplish his Word in the end: "Höchsten Heiles Wunder! Erlösung dem Erlöser!" This is the last Word of the Song that thine Uncle Richard Wagner made for Worship of this Mystery. Understand thou this, O my Son, as I take leave of thee in this Epistle, that the Summit of Wisdom is the Opening of the Way that leadeth unto the Crown and Essence of all, to the Soul of the Child Horus, the Lord of the Aeon. This is the Path of the Pure Fool.
DE ORACULO SUMMO
And who is this Pure Fool? Lo, in the Sagas of Old Time, Legend of Scald, of Bard, of Druid, cometh he not in Green like Spring? O thou Great Fool, thou Water that art Air, in whom all complex is resolved! Yea, thou in ragged Raiment, with the Staff of Priapus and the Wineskin! Thou standest upon the Crocodile, like Hoor-pa-Kraat; and the Great Cat leapeth upon Thee! Yea, and more also, I have known Thee who Thou art, Bacchus Diphues, none and two, in thy name IAO! Now at the End of all do I come to the Being of Thee, beyond By-coming, and I cry aloud my Word, as it was given unto Man by thine Uncle Alcofribas Nasier, the oracle of the Bottle of BACBUC. And this Word is TRINC.
iii. DE HERBA SANCTISSIMA ARABICA
Recall, O my Son, the Fable of the Hebrews, which they brought from the City Babylon, how Nebuchadnezzar the Great King, being afflicted in his Spirit, did depart from among Men for Seven Years' space, eating Grass as doth an Ox. Now this Ox is the letter Aleph, and is that Atu of Thoth whose number is Zero, and whose Name is Maat, Truth; or Maut, the Vulture, the All-Mother, being an Image of Our Lady Nuith, but also it is called the Fool, which is Parsifal, "der reine Thor", and so referreth to him that walketh in the Way of the Tao. Also he is Harpocrates, the Child Horus walking (as saith Daood, the Badawi that became King, in his Psalmody) upon the Lion and the Dragon; that is, he is in Unity with his own Secret Nature, as I have shewn thee in my Word concerning the Sphinx. O my Son, yester Eve came the Spirit upon me that I also should eat the Grass of the Arabians, and by Virtue of the Bewitchment thereof behold that which might be appointed for the Enlightenment of mine Eyes. Now then of this may I not speak, seeing that it involveth the Mystery of the Transcending of Time, so that in One Hour of our Terrestial Measure did I gather the Harvest of an Aeon, and in Ten Lives I could not declare it.
DE QUIBUSDAM MYSTERIIS, QUAE VIDI
Yet even as a Man may set up a Memorial or Symbol to import Ten Thousand Times Ten Thousand, so may I strive to inform thine Understanding by Hieroglyph. And here shall thine own experience serve us, because a Token of Remembrance sufficeth him that is familiar with a Matter, which to him that knoweth it not should not be made manifest, no, not in a Year of Instruction. Here first then is one amid the Uncounted Wonders of that Vision: upon a Field blacker and richer than Velvet was the Sun of all Being, alone. Then about Him were little Crosses, Greek, overrunning the Heaven. These changed from Form to Form geometrical, Marvel devouring Marvel, a Thousand Times a Thousand in their Course and Sequence, until by their Movement was the Universe churned into the Quintessence of Light. Moreover at another Time did I behold all things as Bullae, iridescent and luminous, self-shining in every Colour and every Combination of Colour, Myriad pursuing Myriad until by their perpetual Beauty they exhausted the Virtue of my Mind to receive them, and whelmed it, so that I was fain to withdraw myself from the Burthen of that Brilliance. Yet, O my Son, the Sum of all this amounteth not to the Worth of one Dawn-Glimmer of Our True Vision of Holiness.
DE QUODAM MODO MEDITATIONIS
Now for the Chief of that which was granted unto me; it was the Apprehension of those willed Changes or Transmutations of the Mind which lead into Truth, being as Ladders unto Heaven, or so I called them at that Time, seeking for a phrase to admonish the Scribe that attended on my Words, to grave a Balustre upon the Stele of my Working. But I make Effort in vain, O my Son, to record this Matter in Detail; for it is the Quality of this Grass to quicken the Operation of Thought it may be a Thousandfold, and moreover to figure each Step in Images complex and overpowering in Beauty, so that one hath not Time wherein to conceive, much less to utter any Word for a Name of any one of them. Also, such was the Multiplicity of these Ladders, and their Equivalence, that the Memory holdeth no more any one of them, but only a certain Comprehension of the Method, wordless by Reason of its Subtility. Now, therefore, must I make by my Will a Concentration mighty and terrible of my Thought, that I may bring forth this Mystery in Expression. For this Method is of Virtue and Profit; by it mayst thou come easily and with Delight to the Perfection of Truth, it is no Odds from what Thought thou makest the first Leap in thy Meditation, so that thou mayst know how every Road endeth in Monsalvat and the Temple of the Sangraal.
SEQUITUR DE HAC RE
I believe generally, on Ground both of Theory and Experience, so little as I have, that a Man must first be Initiate, and established in Our Law, before he may use this Method. For in it is an Implication of our Secret Enlightenment, concerning the Universe, how its Nature is utterly Perfection. Now every Thought is a Separation, and the Medicine of that is to marry Each One with its Contradiction, as I have shewed formerly in many Writings. And thou shalt clap the one to the other with Vehemence of Spirit, swiftly as Light itself, that the Ecstasy be Spontaneous. So therefore it is expedient that thou have travelled already in this Path of Antithesis, knowing perfectly the Answer to every Griph or Problem, and thy Mind ready there with. For by the Property of this Grass all passeth with Speed incalculable of Wit, and an Hesitation should confound thee, breaking down thy Ladder, and throwing back thy Mind to receive Impression from Environment, as at thy first Beginning. Verily, the Nature of this Method is Solution, and the Destruction of every Complexity by Explosion of Ecstasy, as every Element thereof is fulfilled by its Correlative, and is annihilated (since it loseth separate Existence) in the Orgasm that is consummated within the Bed of thy Mind.
SEQUITUR DE HAC RE
Thou knowest right well, O my Son, how a Thought is imperfect in two Dimensions, being separate from its Contradiction, but also constrained in its Scope, because by that Contradiction we do not (commonly) complete the Universe, save only that of its Discourse. Thus if we contrast Health with Sickness, we include in their Sphere of Union no more than one Quality that may be predicted of all Things. Furthermore, it is for the most Part not easy to find or to formulate the true Contradiction of any Thought as a positive Idea, but only as a Formal Negation in vague Terms, so that the ready Answer is but Antithesis. Thus to "White", one putteth not the Phrase "All that which is not White", for this is void, formless; it is neither clear, simple, nor positive in Conception; but one answereth "Black", for this hath an Image of his Significance. So then the Cohesion of Antitheticals destroyeth them only in Part, and one becometh instantly conscious of the Residue that is unsatisfied or unbalanced, whose Eidolon leapeth in thy Mind with Splendour and Joy unspeakable. Let not this deceive thee, for its Existence proveth its Imperfection, and thou must call forth its Mate, and destroy them by Love, as with the former. This method is continuous, and proceedeth ever from the Gross to the Fine, and from the Particular to the General, dissolving all Things into the One Substance of Light.
CONCLUSIO DR HOC MODO SANCTITATIS
Learn now that Impressions of Sense have Opposites readily conceived, as long to short, or light to dark; and so with Emotions and Perceptions, as Love to Hate, or False to True; but the more Violent the Antagonism, the more is it bound in Illusion, determined by Relation. Thus the Word "Long" hath no Meaning save it be referred to a Standard; but Love is not thus obscure, because Hate is its twin, partaking bountifully of a Common Nature therewith. Now, hear this: it was given unto me in my Visions of the Aethyrs, when I was in the Wilderness of Sahara, by Tolga, upon the Brink of the Great Eastern Erg, that above the Abyss, Contradiction is Unity, and that nothing could be true save by Virtue of the Contradiction that is contained in itself. Behold, therefore, in this Method thou shalt come presently to Ideas of this Order that include in themselves their own Contradiction, and have no Antithesis. Here then is thy Lever of Antinomy broken in thine Hand; yet, being in true Balance, thou mayest soar, passionate and eager, from Heaven to Heaven, by the Expansion of thine Idea, and its Exaltation, or by Concentration as thou understandeth, by Virtue of thy Studies in the Book of the Law, the Word thereof concerning Our Lady Nuith, and Hadith that is the Core of every Star. And this last Going upon thy Ladder is easy, if thou be truly Initiate, for the Momentum of thy Force in Transcendental Antithesis serveth to propel thee, and the Emancipation from the Fetters of Thought that thou hast won in that Praxis of Art maketh the Whirlpool and Gravitation of Truth of Competence to draw thee unto itself.
DE VIA SOLA SOLIS
This is the Profit of mine Intoxication of this holy Herb, The Grass of the Arabs, that it hath shewed me this Mystery (with many others), not as a New Light, for I had that aforetime, but by its swift Synthesis and Manifestation of a long Sequence of Events in a Moment. I had Wit to analyze this Method, and to discover its Essential Law, which before had escaped the Focus of the Lens of mine Understanding. Yea, O my Son, there is no True Path of Light, save that which I have formerly made plain; yet in every Path is Profit, if thou be cunning to perceive it and to clasp it. For we win Truth oftentimes by Reflexion, or by the Composition and Selection of an Artist in his Presentation thereof, when else we were blind thereunto, lacking his Mode of Light. Yet were that Art of none avail unless we had already the Root of that Truth in our Nature, and a Bud ready to flower at the Summoning of that Sun. In Witness, nor a Boy nor a Stone hath Knowledge of the Sections of a Cone, and their Properties; but thou mayest teach these to the Boy by right Presentation, because he hath in his Nature those Laws of Mind that are consonant with our Art Mathematical, and hath Need only of Fledging (I may say this), so that he apply them consciously to the Work, when, all being in Truth, that is, in the necessary Relations that rule our Illusion, he cometh in Course to Apprehension.
[From Liber Aleph: The Book of Wisdom or Folly.]