Lecture given during the Detroit period.
"Builder of Tower of Babel & Nebuchadnezzar's huge Gardens,
Architect-Lord of Great Egypt, its pyramids, temples, the sphinxes,
Maker of Grecian Marbles and Rome's indestructible city-
Prophet and Priest of Jerusalem's Pride and Dome of 'Saint Peter's,'-
Singer of Troy & Ulysses, Æneid and Thor and fierce Woden,
Wizard of 'Symphony Ninth' and 'Tannhauser' and 'Saul' and 'Elijah,'-
Spirit of virile Science and Founder of awful Religions,-
Forger of Age of Iron, Inventor of Marvels Mechanic,-
Writer of Constitutions, Conserver of Governments, Nations,-
Magnate of populous world marts, Wielder of values enormous,-
Monarch of Cosmic Kingdoms, the Sovereign Fact of Creation,
Energy mystic of Sex-life, Oh, that which abides on forever!-
Essence Magnetic that crowns thee in triumph a Man born of Woman,
Heart-throb of Infinite Being, the Climax of Psychic Desire:
Thy Personal Self, Thy Divinity, Soul of the Spirit, arouse thee!"
1. A human person is a product of ages of evolution on this planet. The climax on this earth of Nature's tendency to develop all her possibilities is Man. The result reveals the purpose, man is the highest thing on this earth, and the meaning of life on this earth; he has risen up out of the dust and slime to become a being organized out of all the elements of earth and possessing a soul capable of directing further growth. Whatever further progress nature makes in the direction of higher organisms must be thru humanity as an instrument.
The central core of every man and woman is the starry part of the human nature & the divine soul of the Universe. Starting at this centre which is the inmost self of every being and working outwards thru mind & body and the whole arena from which life is drawn one can continue & include the whole universe. The real man is the whole universe & in ages to come he will become more and more conscious of this fact. His nervous system will be enlarged and subtly ramified so that all things whether of matter or spirit reach his consciousness and become personal.
The Khabs is in the Khu; the universe is within or identical with the real entity of man. So that when you look on a stone, or a flower, or a star, you may say truly -"I am That." The statement that the macrocosm is identical in image and nature with the microcosm is not a mere symbolical fable -it is an absolute fact.
2. Astrology teaches that each organ of man corresponds to a sign of the Zodiac. Hindu physiology shows that the forces that make up a man are identical with those that build the universe -it demonstrates the solar & lunar currents in the human body, & how these pranic currents follow the same cycles of seasons. When a person banishes the outer senses and sinks back into his subconscious mind he is able to realize the whole universal life; his mind mirrors the ebb and flow of everything that is and moves and has being. This universal consciousness was possessed by prehistoric man, but only in a vague, dreamlike manner, and it is possible to regain it by mystical processes. It is a sublime thing -to know that one is all that one knows and feels and sees.
3. There is a sacred system of classification of the nature of the Universe and the nature of Man, called the Kabalah. By use of the Map called the Tree of Life, one obtains perfect comprehension of the nature and powers of one’s own Being. It has other uses to which I will refer later. The point I wish to emphasize now is that everything in man and the universe has its place on the Tree of Life -every element, and every spirit, every object and every thought, every force and every entity. A knowledge of this wonderful system is essential to a real understanding of the experiences met with on the Path to Freedom. Eliphas Levi has composed a Kabalistic invocation which comprehends the whole Tree of Life which I shall now read to you.
“POWERS OF THE KINGDOM BE BENEATH MY LEFT FOOT AND WITHIN MY RIGHT HAND. GLORY and ETERNITY touch my shoulders and guide me in the paths of VICTORY. MERCY and JUSTICE be ye the EQUILIBRIUM and SPLENDOR of my life. UNDERSTANDING and WISDOM give unto me the CROWN.
Spirits of MALKUTH conduct me between the two columns whereon is supported the whole edifice of the temple. Angels of NETZACH and of HOD strengthen me upon the cubical stone of YESOD. O,GEDULAH-EL, O,TIPHERETH. BINAH-EL, be thou my love. RUACH CHOKMAH-EL be thou my light. Be that which thou art and that which thou wilt be, O, KETHERIEL.
ISOHIM assist me in the name of SHADDAI. CHERUBIM be my strength in the name of ADONAI. BENI-ELOHIM be ye my brethren in the name of the SON and by the virtues of TZABAOTH. ELOHIM fight for me in the name of TETRAGRAMATON. MALACHIM protect me in the name of SCHECHINAH ARALIM act ye. AMPHANIM revolve & shine. CHAIOTH HA-QADOSCH cry aloud, speak, roar and groan.
QADOSCH. QADOSCH. QADOSCH. SHADDAI. ADONAI. YOD CHAVAH. EHEIEH. ASHER. EHEIEH. HALELU-YAH. HALELU-YAH. HALELU-YAH. AMN.”
You see this invocation includes the whole course of the sephiroth, the ten emanations from the GODHEAD, the Archangels and the Spirits, together with the great names of God on all the planes.
4. As one advances on the Tree of Life, one passes thru several distinct planes of being, which are divisions of the magical entity of man. For instance: you close your eyes and endeavor to imagine yourself rising. At first you see nothing but darkness -black. This is on the mental plane the lower part of Malkuth. As you succeed in raising your consciousness, more and more light enters your vision: russet, lemon, olive and so on, depending on which path you are, and which pillar. The system of the Kabalah has minutely classified these different regions and the inhabitants thereof; practice will prove the truth of the classification.
5. The magical entity of man is also called the Sphinx. As such it is composed of the elements earth, air, water and fire, which have each their correspondence among the senses and faculties, in fact, a certain definite correspondence on every possible plane of being. An understanding of the powers of the Sphinx throws considerable light on practical magick and the methods of attainment.
Everything in Nature must be overcome by Man before he can enter his true Kingdom. For real man is superior to material things and even spiritual things; all things are created to be his slaves, and must be considered as his enemies until he has subjected them to his true will. Man, himself is the only true God, all other Gods, even the most sublime, can be but eidolons that He has created. The practice of Magick brings a man at last to realization of his essential dignity.
6. Individuals are specializations of the nature of man. They are bound by the ties of blood and spirit to family, nation and race. Each individual, and family, and nation, and race, has a definite work to perform before the universe as a whole can progress. The first duty of a man is therefore to raise each of these units -his individuality, his clan, his national soul, & his racial spirit, in their order, to its highest state of existence. He is forced to deal with each of these units, and if he fail to assume this obligation he will find himself cut off forever from the universe, will continue to progress without him, leaving him behind.
The blood of an individual is a complex structure and climacteric product of the work of his ancestors, his race, and the whole earth. It synthesizes the good and evil Karma of all the factors that go to make it up. It is therefore his business to purify & elevate his nature, by working upon that blood, and thus contribute to the purification and elevation of the whole of humanity.
Man is the universe. An individual is a permutation of one of the particular ways the universe has of being and doing. His core or central idea determines his individuality, and his will. His blood mirrors to his soul his own interpretation of the universe, and just what he knows of that universe thru his blood is his ego. You can see how this makes the self and the not-self identical and also provides for the myriad permutations which are the myriad individual beings. Each individual is responsible for his own universe, for his own "I", and if he discharges that responsibility with the whole of his will, that is all he needs to do, nature will take care of the rest. For the whole will of any individual is the whole will of the universe, and the universe will pay any price for the whole service of a sound soul.
7. You must get this relation of the individual to the universe into your mind. There is only one material channel thru which you can come to know the universe and that is your blood. All that you will ever know of the universe is your own self. There is no real division; apparent separation is only in the consciousness. What you see and feel and know and think are you, your "I". The material things about you, your environment and arena, are your own activity. The perception of them is their reaction in your consciousness. You will never get outside of yourself, nor the real universe. It is your self and your home, your path, so you have got to make the best of it. Every event goes on inside of yourself. You have in you all the forces of the universe, and all the possibilities of everything you will ever be. You have as much creative force and as much omnipotent power as is attributed to God. Commence to work and find these powers within yourself and start the universe working for you along the lines of your true will.
8. Draw a line from the center of the earth, up through your body and your skull to the zenith, and on it you will find your personality, your consciousness, your subconsciousness, your Holy Guardian Angel and your God. That is the vertical line of aspiration and the path of the Great Work. Every step on that path is a link with God and can never be retraced.
9. The goal of the Universe is toward its best estate, which means universal happiness, and complete freedom for every atom and every living thing in the universe. Everything has a self or ego, whether it is conscious of the fact or not. That self is the center thru which the universe organizes and dictates its forces. Everything that has a purpose has a center. The self of a thing has no desire. It is merely the organizing and directing factor of that thing. That self in action is the Will of that thing. The sole function of that self is to achieve the fullest expression of the nature of the elements out of which that thing is organized. These elements seek what corresponds to their nature. The self combines these elements and cultivates that nature. In order to serve the universe you must give it full opportunity to unfold its highest possibilities thru you. You are the instrument to achieve this end. You are in charges of the highest and best organized instrument in the universe, whose sole end is harmony and happiness.
When a thing is free to realize its own true nature and its own true will it manifests the nature of God. The free, man, if he is absolutely and rightly free is God. The true will of a man is his only God. His highest ideal is to make his God conscious King of his Actions and Will.
The Great Work is to obtain a scientific knowledge of the use of the powers of your ones own being. The Great Work is to unite with the God in yourself. Then you become the High-Priest of the universe, and induce the world to do the will of its God.
10. Do what thou will shall be the whole of the law. The will of a person is the way he has of being and doing. His whole will is a complex bundle of ideas determined by his moods, his education, his individual nature, his individual character, customs, civilization, and his essential humanness. In Will the universe has achieved the climax for its provisions for directing its own unfoldment, and also the dynamic or controlling idea of its own meaning which is Freedom, in person. Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law, and the whole formula of magick.
11. THELEMA is a word that reveals the whole formula of Magick. The way of attainment in this, the New Aeon, and the appointed way to accomplish the Great Work, is by Magick. The Gods have consecrated the whole universe to the Great Work; everything in it is at the disposal of man; and everything is his to use in accordance with his true will. The nature of everything is magical, and each thing has its own magical effect. You can act on the whole universe by your will and make it a mighty talisman to force you to the vertical path. But because, love is the law, love under will, you can only achieve power by granting freedom. You can only use a thing as you help it to do its true will. Thou hast no right but to do thy will - thy will is in truth, the will of the universe, therefore the will of the thing you use is your will. So if you opposed its will, there would be a division in your own will, and a house divided against itself cannot stand. It is said that Kether is in Malkuth; that means that in all operations of magick (or of anything else) you must keep in mind the viewpoint of Kether, which comprehends things as they really are. It is a mystical fact that existence is existence, and everything is identically the same, so you see that if you acted on the assumption that were separated from the thing you wished to act upon, you operation would not stand the test of Kether, which is the highest Sephiroth, and would be unbalanced, and likely to fail in some particular, if not in all.
12. Every step on the vertical path has a divine reason for it. Every magical operation has the consent of the universe, or it cannot be done. Because the laws of magick are the laws of nature, which cannot be violated, every magical operation is a natural process. Every magical operation is predestined. It is something that must be, and you are the instrument to bring it about. The universe is in the process of accomplishing its will. In the same manner your true will is already being accomplished; you must assume this, if you are to obtain that divine confidence in the success of your work, which is essential to its success. Assume that everything you undertake is already accomplished, and the mind you have will do the rest. It is the duty of the mind to obey the will. The mind is your slave to find the means and method to accomplish your will - dominate it with your real purpose. The surest way to secure sublime confidence in yourself is to make it a rule never to break your word given in secret to your inmost self. Action is the final affirmation of will; the cycle of a thing is not complete until it has materialized and incarnated. You will find that confidence is a dynamic reality and a real force, as your inmost self learns that you always mean what you say.
Everything in the universe has a purpose and a will. That purpose is usually significant in the thing itself. Everything that is made is dedicated to a specific purpose, and should only be used for that. So when you use anything in magick you must first declare the purpose for which you use it. If it has ever been used for any other purpose, you must first purify it, before you can use it for your own. You must get rid of the spirit or elemental that already inhabits it, and incarnate in it as an element of your own will. Consecration makes a thing one-pointed, and anything that is one-pointed never fails to achieve its end. The first big thing in the Great Work is to consecrate yourself: purify yourself and banish every discordant element in your own being. Destroy every enemy of your true will.
You must incarnate your will in the whole of your life. Every magical operation is a formula of will - or of love under will. In the first case it is a formula of invocation, in the second a formula of unity. In the first it is evocation, in the second invocation. In the first you travel westward, in the second case eastward.
The first operation of will is an oath. You must also incarnate that oath in a sign and in words. If you are invoking you will discover that the god you invoke has a characteristic attitude which is a sign of that oath. In evocation you will find that the will of the material basis you work with is that oath. If you recall what I said about oaths in relation to confidence you will realize that the oath is almost the whole thing in a magical operation, and must be the symbol of the operation.
The ritual which you now perform is a concrete picture of the force which you invoke or evoke. You really concentrate your mind on symbols or things which correspond to that particular part of your own universe with which you wish to identify your consciousness, or which you wish to have presented to your consciousness, or which you wish to have presented to your consciousness as a being or as an event. If your symbols are all one-pointed, all consecrated to one end, your ritual is adequate, and must affect its end. You must see to it that this is the case, that everything you use has taken the oath that you take, without making any bones about it. And it must be an 'a la mort'; oath. If you stand up, and with supreme dynamic daring, declare your will to do or die, you infallibly set up a current of force that is going to smash things; you make the whole universe your slave right at that point, and the success of your operation depends only on your power to stick with it. One of the greatest masters has said that "persistence is the only law of success." Courage under will never fails; your whole will is only the will of the universe. And if you have honor you need not fear to will. The word of the law is Thelema.
Every true magical operation initiates. You initiate not only yourself but everything you use in your operation. The more balanced your ritual, the higher will be your initiation. A perfectly balanced ritual or talisman is symbolic of the highest and has corresponding power. The supreme initiation is that which is beyond all nature, all time, all space, that which is neither human nor divine, that which is in the heart of every man, and also includes every planet and every star. Every act is symbolic of the ritual of this initiation. Every act is symbolic of the ritual of this initiation. Every act is a sacrament that partakes of the nature of the highest. The Great Work is an eidolon of this initiation. Every eidolon must be destroyed at the end when the reality is destroyed. Please bear in mind that he most splendid eidolon, or being you can imagine, or see, or know, is but a demon and a dream. Initiation is a process that reveals reality, and there is no mistake about it, it transcends the mind, and makes a permanent and indelible impression on the soul.
I assume that every person in this room is seeking initiation. So I have indicated in this lecture the important things to know and do at the beginning of the path, and you will find at the end of the path these same things. I have told you what man is and what an individual is, and what their relations to the universe are. I have shown how the kabalistic Tree of Life is a perfect map of the Path and of the Goal. I have pointed out the things you have to overcome and the things you have to harmonize. I have indicated that direction in which you have to travel. I have proclaimed the law of the Aeon and described the essential formulas of Magick. I have told you what will is, and how it is to be used. I have described the formula of initiation in terms of Will, and I will close with a brief summary of the whole matter.
By means of the Kabalah you can interpret every force either of your own being or of the Universe in a word. That word will be the name of a God. There is no part of man that is not a God, and there is no event that is not a particular dealing of God with man. It is your privilege and duty to discover the truth of these two statements. When you have done that you will have in your presence a word whose utterance will dissolve the universe like a flash of lightning. Every man and every woman has within them a creative force which is more than a counterpart of the creative force of the universe. Every man and every woman is an incarnation on this planet of a particular will. That will is your sole business. You have built from the elements of the universe of a body for that will. If another will has taken possession of your body it is up to you to drive it out and let your true will take possession. You have undertaken the Karma of the personality you possess, and you must fulfill it, but you need the force of initiation or your task will not end in a million years. The first step is hard work, and all the steps thereafter are work, until you have broken down the barrier to your true will, and the initiation goes on of itself within you, without your attention. Whatever magical operation you undertake, bear in mind that will is the whole thing, if it is your whole will, and practice the thing you do until it does itself thru you. Do the thing for the sake of doing it, without lust of result, and there will inevitably come a time when you realize the endless joy of the path, and the rhythm, and the harmony and beauty of everything that is and was and is to come.
~ C.F. Russell