6 Feb. 50
I saw David today, and found him somewhat more mature and thoughtful than I remembered. I found him quite perceptive when I mentioned the malignant ossification of the facade.
Your art books are at your mother’s – you asked me not to send anything except the Golden Bough. There are some other books you should have – The King and the Corpse by Heinrich Zimmer – The Hero with a Thousand Faces – and a new novel called Rock Pool. I will get you a copy of The Book of Lies, which is a sort of official manual of the Abyss, utterly meaningless in duality, however. Also I am sending Liber 7, which is a sort of song from the other side, also without meaning in the lower Sephiroth. David’s description makes it sound to me (a skrying between the lines) like Tin Man Beo [?] a dream world with good and evil countercharged upon a field of azure. It may be well.
Let us look for a moment at the other side – assuming we have passed the last outposts above the abyss – Binah (= sorrow = understanding) and Chokmah (= wisdom = power) and so come to Kether, the Crown. Here, in the gardens of eternity, only two views are possible – Indifference (Nibbana) and Comedy (N.O.X. = Pan). Of the first, the great expositions are the Bhagavadgita and the Life of Lord Guatama Buddha, the noble twofold path. Of the second, the Life of Christ and the works of the great western adept, Francois Rabelais.
From this view Christianity is simply hilarious. The idea of God being unable to communicate with his creations, and said creations proceeding to murder each other in the name of his Love, is high vaudeville. Rabelais’ description of the sheer ecstasy of taking a shit in the midst of the serious projects of life is on the same par. In eternity, you can take nothing seriously, and All turns out to be a bonem [bonum?], so you deliberately limit yourself just for the fun of it, for the adventure. It is the Graal told in inverse. Tragedy is the privilege of mortality, and the whole thing trembles on the verge of a grin, and often a howl.
Thinking is a language, language is words and the world is a literary creation. That is why a dash of humbug is necessary for any real success, humbug raised to the pitch of fine art. That is why art finally gets bored with its own perfection and winds up deliberately distorting itself – seeing how far it can go in the ludicrous and still keep touch with perfection.
It is all a question of spiritual vitality – of maintaining contact with the secret center that assures us that everything is really a high lark. The weaker sink down and are absorbed, the stronger may sink, but they pop up again with a new and better angle.
The secret strength is actually in death, in the link with eternity we wear in our bones. Our true self moves in life and death, in eternity and duality, as we move in sunlight and shadow, and with as much concern. We dance to the pipe of Pan, whether we know it or not we dance, and the last and greatest truth is the joy – the pure, sheer joy of the dance. On the face of the Dancing Shiva at Delhi someone has carved it – some music – some words open a window on infinity and we look suddenly on Arcady. Only the cry – the whine of the self keeps us from it – forgetting that, and we step into it as easily as across the door. Remember this, my dear – what your Karma has put upon you no one knows but your deep self. It may be to set the world on fire, or to know – to keep your counsel, and be at peace and in joy.
But none of these are to be sought after. It is only to know yourself – to find yourself – to be yourself. That and that alone is the way.
6 Feb. 1950
I mailed you the Goetia and received your letter of Feb. 2. Yes, I walk on the brink. We all do, but I know it. Sometimes that knowledge is a terror. But sometimes it is a joy. Regardless of this, I have a job to do, and will see that it is done. All I ask of you is that you do your part. Be true to yourself.
If you decide to return here, you could probably do designing or other work that would allow you the necessary retirement – in a pinch I could help you, but you should not be dependent on me in that way. Perhaps others will help you – when you move with determination something usually turns up.
Regardless of what you do or what happens to me, my spirit is with you, and will never fail you so long as you have the courage and the faith to be true to yourself. When you do, your work must be your decision. I think I have explained my part about the best I can.
Perhaps you will understand something about Freya from my astral notes. She is at present the image of your animal self, your body of desire, sterilized at a time when you yourself decided to be sterile. She is your familiar on the astral but not the sexual sense and represents both a source of danger and a source of power.
Someday you will have to destroy (i.e. absorb) her, for by this means she gains a soul and you discharge your responsibility. This is the need of her elemental soul which has attached itself to you in order to gain immortality. Someday I shall send you a secret MSS on the subject, but it is not time yet.
Be patient! You are now going about as fast as you can. Magick is growth, you cannot force it. I will directly send you a valuable MSS which will fill in most of the details you need to know at present. In fact, here it is.
As far as the screaming [?] goes, I don’t know. It may be the only way to wake some people up, but I never cared much for it myself, of course I know nothing of what your way may be. I can only tell you how to look. Kali is Mother Ganges – Hindu Goddess of Destruction and Creation. She is black, murderous and horrible, but her hand is uplifted in blessing and reassurance. The reconciliation of opposites, the apotheosis of the impossible. Inanna, the Babylonian Isis, going down to Hell to redeem the Christ Tammuz. The Sophia – the feminine counterpart of God, descending through the Eons to redeem Matter (Ialdeboath = Jehovah) as the bride of Christ (Horus) is the milder Christian doctrine. (But be patient, and I will show you all.)
I am glad you are painting – it seems to be your material will and although the path destroys (equilibrates) the partial wills, the long test is always results.
My work will keep me here at least until early summer – after that – we shall see. I want to build up a small cash reserve between now and then, in case it is needed.
Re paint. I suggest coarse pigment dispersed in mineral oil, or paint on a skin tight costume. If you use pigment, be sure it is coarse enough not to stick in your pores, and is non-toxic also. You could try dusting it on over oil or cream.
I will send you all the MSS you need. Do you have a photograph. Bear it, my darling. That is the supreme ecstasy – to bear the unbearable.
P.S. I have asked my lawyer to send you a complaint and waiver of appearance, so you will know the score.