9 Feb 1950
You will now have a part of Part 4 of Magick and I suggest your turning to the section on the Holy Graal which pertains to Babalon, and to the section called Astarte vel Berylli, which pertains to your method of work. Now hints on the nature of a god.
1. A god is a barrier. No unready person can pass (i.e. know) a god or his temple. Of course physical and mental contact is possible – but the spiritual – the essential part must remain outside until one has partaken somewhat of the nature of the god.
2. A god is a gateway. The conversation and knowledge of the god confers initiation – allows one to pass beyond all the opposites thereof that the god presents.
3. A god is a universe, i.e. the god includes, reconciles, and transcends all the classes of his class, and all the opposites thereof. He is therefore a complete cosmos, or the macrocosm expressed – as man. ‘A microcosm is a macrocosm implied.’
It is essential to grasp the dual nature of a god and its function. The good and evil, well and ill defined aspect, since it is the god’s position as reconciler that is most important. The terrible gods – Hitzilipoctly, Kali, Baal, Moloch and Jahve are intended to portray the diversity – the rightness – of the appearance of evil just as the good, mild gods portray and reconcile the other aspects. The reconciliation annihilates the split schizoid ego, which has divided the aspects of the parental image into a split, warring, and disastrous cosmos. The evil gods do not demand blood sacrifice – that is the grisly error of the partial soul.
They only demand the perception of eternity behind even the appearance of evil. The acceptance of trans- human and trans-logical values for the standards of impurity. The blood sacrifice in society is a national [cleavage?] of the split ego, but even Mars himself always offers the kindly alternative of a transcendent union wherein the god is otherwise – Mars Venemis (?), the God of the Wood.
When you visit a god on his appropriate plane (country) in the astral, you may find that the country is also the god. This is the experience of some rare types of nature mystics, who, adventuring in a familiar place come suddenly upon a landscape of Arcady, a brief intrusion of the upland meadows of forever in the plainer fields we know. The place is the God, the God is the place, the seen and the seer are one.
My dear, do not think you are alone. The legions are with you that tried and hoped, those now trying and typing – the unborn to come, dreaming of a world to be – all, all are with you. The gods themselves bend and whisper at your doorway, and your windows are portentous with the possible hour. I have heard Aldeberan speak to you of Rigel, and the Pleiades whisper your name that is to be. All that I have and all that I am am flared up in the birth fires that time and left me just three tasks: to guide in infancy, to counsel in adolescence, to renounce in maturity – to go onwards whence I came.
If I was the one you could love, yet it was needful for you to learn contempt and hatred, and to equilibrate those again with love. You have done it, and passed that fine passing. You have needed to know loneliness and terror and despair. You burn there, and it is passing. And now you come to the last unspeakable barrier, the ultimate thule, that you may labour long and painfully to kindle a small spark that will consume all you have – that will burn down the heavens as a torch until even the black stars burn with furious joy.
If you only knew the ache to dissolve, to pass away, to go, to be one – to drink utterly of the cup men call death or madness – to be away, at rest, at peace. But I will endure. I will do what must be done to the last [moment?] of putrefying flesh, to the last pulsation of the dying brain. Not for myself, not for you, but for the vision that I saw once – that is for ever.
One day my hands will fall away, and you will go alone into the regions that I cannot follow – take the sky in wings I have only known in dream.
God knows, it is not my body that now speaks to you, that is a tedious thing of days – of dim awareness in the half-shadow. It is my spirit – that spoke to you in the beginning, that speaks to you again now, that will always be with you, until we meet and fuse in the darkness of which light is a shadow.
P.S. You can see that you must some time renounce all reliance upon me, that that is a critical point in the adventure. I do not mean that the time has come – but will you will know when it comes. In the great acts of creation and destruction, timing is of the essence. A teacher, like a god, must be surpassed. He is something to come up to, but who, for the adept in his critical moment steps aside, or is pushed aside, so that the initiate can go beyond – into the void. Once you are at that point, the problems are how to pass over into the deep world, how to dwell there, and how to return. Here the individual can only rely on his own supernatural [sic], it is a purely individual matter.
C.G. Jung has explained it all in great detail. As he himself says, he will not be understood for nearly 100 years. 40 years of the period has passed and the Bollingen Society has done much to hasten the day. Crowley’s hints on techniques and viewpoints are invaluable, and Joseph Campbell has done an excellent job of simplifying Jung’s concept of the nature and function of the hero- adept in the cosmic myths cycle.
However, it may be possible to know too much on these matters. The important thing is to get to work and find your own way. You will find the information you really need is usually available. Of course, there have been people – like Joan of Arc, Mary Baker Eddy, and even Aimee Semple Macpherson. But in these cases also the quality of the force and mentality was commensurate with the spiritual state. There is a balance that goes far deeper than appearances.
One trouble is understanding and explaining all this in the abstract quality of speech and thought. No speech or thought can describe or communicate the deep creative and destructive processes that go on within the organism, let alone the ultimate force that lies behind them both. Even objectively there is no description of the growth of a bean, much less a man. It is all by analogy – if we have felt the same we know what the other person means. But even the feeling is done with an unknown and indescribable organ or field of organs.
But some kinds of speed, actions, situations can touch the deep forces, and there you see the awesome spectacle of an individual or a group – or sometimes an entire race, moving in the supernal rhythms of a cosmic circle.
Civilization is an […], the animal is in the culture – he is the culture. Touch that and he moves. But all the intellectual – the reasonable approaches elicit no more response than would sucking on a rubber prick.