MY CRAPULOUS CONTEMPORARIES

                                    NO. IV

                            WISDOM WHILE YOU WAITE


   [The hibernation of A. Quiller, senior, and the approaching marriage of A.
Quiller, junior, have prevented either of them from contributing their columns
as usual. --- ED.]






                            WISDOM WHILE YOU WAITE

           THE BOOK OF CEREMONIAL MAGIC.   A. E. WAITE.  Wm. Rider
                              & Son, Ltd., 15s.


IT would ill become us to review this book; which, when it was called "The
Book of Black Magic and of Pacts," was dismissed by the Editor of the "Goetia"
as "a farrago of twenty-fifth-rate shoddy schoolboy journalism."  And we are
glad to see that in the new edition Mr Waite has corrected his logic by that
Editor's light.  But the introduction is new, and deserves comment.
   Mr Waite still talks as if his mouth were full of hot potatoes.  The length
and obscurity of his archaisms renders him almost unintelligible to me, an
affectation which I find intolerable.  Such fools as it may impress are not
worth having as followers, unless on is a swindler.  In fact (let me whisper
in Mr Waite's ear) no follower is worth having.
   Mr Waite's central doctrine appears identical with that to which I
personally assent; but I think he ruins its simplicity by his insistence on
sectarian symbols and on the literalism which he would be the first to condemn
in a Methodist.
   As to the rituals of ceremonial magic which he condemns, he is right.  But
the Mass itself is a Magical Ceremony, {135} and he does not condemn the Mass.
The ceremonies which might be practised by, say, a neophyte of the A.'.
A.'. would be as sublime as, and less tainted than, the services of the
Church.  Of such rituals Mr Waite is ignorant, more ignorant than the author
of "The King's Dole" should be, unless such ignorance be the result of envy,
malice, and all uncharitableness.
   Further, ceremonial magic, even of the low angelic order, may be a sort of
divine trap.  The utterance of the Logos is one, but he is heard by divers
nations in divers languages.  Cannot God deal with a soul even by allowing him
to pass through the "Houses of Sin"?  Mr Waite blasphemes if he denies it.
   As a practical example, I know of a man who took up the blackest magic from
sheer hatred of God and Christ, a hatred Shelleyan and Thomsonian.  What
happened?  He found by practice that to call forth an evil spirit you must
identify yourself with the god that commands him.
   he then saw no use for the demon, and continued with the god.  Reason next
said: " If with the small god, why not with the great God of all?"  And in the
upshot he found himself practising exactly the same method as Molinos, St
Teresa, Buddha, Father Poulain, St Paul, Meredith Starr, A. E. Waite, Aleister
Crowley, and the rest --- and getting the very same results.
   Oh, my dear sir, a man is a man, and if you give whisky to A, B, and C,
they all get drunk, with minor variations for the personal equation; and god
is one, and when A, B, and C pray, meditate, concentrate, invoke, chant,
utter, watch, resign themselves, it is all one thing in different words.  One
is a little better, perhaps, for A; and another suits B.  But God rewards all
alike, in The End.  {136}
   Mr Waite's grammar is as slovenly as ever: "The said three persons will
draw lots among each other."
   Mr Waite's scholarship is as slovenly as ever.  He refers to Molinos as a
Jesuit.                                                             I. Biss.
                *        *        *        *        *        *
   I am learning Scotch (for legal purposes) at present.  I know the meaning
of "lovite," "compear," "furthcoming," "reponed," "Edictal," "the matter
libelled," "effeirs," "teind," "condescendence," "decderned," "arrestments
have been used," "diligence of arrestment," "addebted," "averments," "proof
was led," "oath of calumny," "sist," "mandatory," "runrig and rundale," "the
Record has been placed in the Roll for adjustment" (Not said of a Pianola).
   So that I have no time to learn Waitese, such as "palmary," "the imputed
standpoint," "scattermeal," "a writer of my known dedications," "in respect of
diluted views," "in respect of the mystic term," "in fine," "signal
presentations," "it offers an experiment in integration," "casually literate,"
"some more withdrawn condition," "ineffable typology," "an essence so
uttermost," "anywise," "dilucid," "hypostatic," "super-incession," "all
antecedents and warrants of precursors," and so on.
   but where I can understand Mr Waite I am surprised to find him (as soon as
he wishes to speak of the high states) borrowing without acknowledgment from
my published works.

              WAITE (1911)                          CROWLEY
   The act or "state of being lost"        Man's vision goes, dissolves in
in God is that which I have else-     God's.                "AHA!" 1909.
where described in a perfection of       All the illusion gone, behold The
all similitudes --- which is of my    One that is.                Ib.  {137}
adaptation but not of my making       "Thou fastenest on
(Is this his apology to me? A.C.)     This soul of mine, that it is gone,
 when Christ delivers up the King-    Gone from all life, and rapt away." Ib.
dom of each soul to His Father,       "This I know, that I am gone
and God is all in all.                To the heart of God's great diamond."
                                                       "The Ladder," 1909.
                                      "I climbed still inwards.  At the
                                        moveless point.
                                      Where all power, life, light, motion
                                        concentrate.
                                      I found God dwelling ...
                                           He drank my breath,
                                      Absorbed my life in His, dispersed me,
                                        gave me death."
                                                         "Aceldama," 1898.
                                        "The First House ("i.e." the Father's
                                      House) is so brilliant that you can't
                                      think; and there, too, is my lover (the
                                      Son) and I (the soul) when we are one.
                                                   "The Wake-World," 1907.
_____________________________________________________________________________
   This is the state beyond the       "reverent gaze
state when it is said that "they"      Upon the ancient One of Days,
shall see His face"                   Beyond which fancy lies the Truth."
                                                       "Pentecost," 1902.
                                      "to us the rites of Eleusis should open
                                      the doors of Heaven, and we shall enter
                                      in and see God face to face!
                                                        "Eleusis," 1906.
                                      "ye also shall see God face to face."
                                                                        Ib.
                                      "they do lead one to the Vision of God
                                      face to face."                    Ib.
                                      "initiates --- men who have themselves
                                      seen god face to face, and lived." Ib.
                                      "the three ways to the Holy House
                                      of the Old King ... so that is his
                                      House, he is the Old King himself, and
                                      so are you."
                                                   "The Wake World," 1907.
{138}                                   Leaping all the lesser bars, I shall
                                      become the One and All ... and lose
                                      myself.      "Konx Om Pax," 1907.
                                      This were my guerdon; to fade utterly
                                      Into the rose-heart of that sanguine
                                          vase,
                                      And lose my purpose in its silent sea,
                                      And lose my life, and find my life, and
                                          pass
                                      Up to the sea that is as molten glass.
                                                       "Tannh„user," 1901.
                                      "the ego is altogether abased,
                                      absorbed, in the Beloved."
                                                        "Time," 1906.
_____________________________________________________________________________
"In that love and in that joining     (Of Dhyana)
together there is "no passage longer"     "The absolute identity
"from subject to object."  But this is    Of the beholder and the Vision."
the Godhead."                                            "Pentecost," 1904.
   "The Most Secret, Most Holy          "If a single state of consciousness
Temple, into which God and the        persist unchanged for a period
soul go in (sic! I don't acknowledge  exceeding a very few seconds, its
Mr Waite as a disciple in grammar)    duality is annihilated."
and only one comes out."                     "Science and Buddhism," 1904.
                                        The object ("scil." of meditation)
                                      disappears; in its stead arises a great
                                      glory, characterised by a feeling of
                                      calm, yet of intense, unimaginable
                                      bliss ... it might be absurd to assert
                                      that either subject or object
                                      disappears in Dhyana to the
                                      disadvantage of the other.
                                               "Time," 1906.
                                        He (the Black Magician) works in a
                                      circle. ... He says: I am inside, and
                                      you can't get at me.  He says One and
                                      One are Two!  (By the "Black Magician"
                                      is here symbolised any person with the
                                      normal dualistic consciousness.)
                                                 "Ali Sloper," 1907.
                                        "Destroy him, or be he!  That is
                                      enough; there is no more to say."
                                                  "Konx Om Pax," 1907.
                                        "Prostrate I wait upon Thy will,
                                          Mine Angel, for this grace of
                                             union."              Ib.
                                      "nothing is                   {139}
                                      But the intensity of bliss.
                                      Being is blasted.  That exists."
                                                       "Aha!"  1909.
                                      "All thoughts are evil. Thought is two:
                                       The seer and the seen.  Eschew
                                       That supreme blasphemy, my son,
                                       Remembering that God is One."
                                                      "Aha!" 1909.
                                        "In the astral visions the
                                      consciousness is hardly disturbed; in
                                      magical evocations it is intensely
                                      exalted; but it is still bound by its
                                      original conditions.  The Ego is still
                                      opposed to the Non-Ego. ... all true
                                      mystical phenomena contradict these
                                      conditions.  In the first place, the
                                      Ego and the Non-Ego unite explosively
                                      ... &c., &c."
                                      --- "The Psychology of Hashish," 1909.
                                        Samadhi (is) that state of mind in
                                      which subject and object, becoming One,
                                      have disappeared."            Ib.
                                        "The uniting of subject and object
                                      which is Samadhi."            Ib.
                                      "O thou sun
                                       Of thought, of bliss transcending
                                          thought,
                                       Rise "where division dies!"  Absorb
                                       In glory of the glowing orb
                                       Self and its shadow!"
                                                   "Pentecost," 1904.
                                        He (Huxley) denies the assertion of
                                      duality; he has no datum to assert the
                                      denial of duality.  I have.
                                              "Science and Buddhism," 1904.
_____________________________________________________________________________
  "Whosoever goes inward to find      "Miracles follow as a dower.
anything but the Divine in his         But ah! they used the fatal power
centre is working on the side of his   And lost the Spirit in the act."
own loss ... those who are seek-                  "Pentecost," 1904.
ing to exercise the powers of the       "Let then the student contradict
soul apart from its graces are tread-  every vision and refuse to enjoy it."
ing the downward path."                    "Postcards to Probationers," 1909.
                            {140}    
"the quest of miraclous power           "It is waste of power (the most
(pertains to) the sciences of the     expensive kind of power) to 'make the
abyss."                               spirits bring us all kinds of food,
                                      etc."    "John St John," 1908.
   "The tradition … rebours is de-    "divination should be discarded from
finitely and clearly that of mira-    the start."                     Ib.
culous power in the quest and         "to use the spiritual forces to secure
attainment thereof."                  health is the vilest black magic." Ib.
                                      "He asked him (i.e. the Adept)
                                      frequently to dine,
                                       Forgetting purposely the wine
                                       (Though the Arcana of Nibbana
                                       Ignore the very name of Cana).
                                       He could not pass a heard of swine
                                       Without a hint; in fact, in fine,
                                       He took His Silence as a sign:
                                       This is an enemy of mine!"
                                              "Konx Om Pax," 1907.
                                         "Fifth House, and mostly dream at
                                      that."  (The Fifth House is that of
                                      Geburah, the house of Magical Power).
                                                                    Ib.
_____________________________________________________________________________
  "But after all these wonders,         "Then subtly, easily, imperceptibly
rank after rank of the Blessed        gliding, I passed away into nothing.
Angels, after all visions of the      And I was wrapped in the black
Great White Throne, it is as if a     brilliance of my Lord, that
quiet centre opened unawares and      interpenetrated me in every part,
through an immeasurable silence       fusing its light with my darkness, and
drew down the soul --- from one       leaving there no darkness, but pure
many splendours into the one          light.  ... At once, automatically, the
splendour ... as if the soul saw      interior trembling began again, and
there the one God and itself as the   again the subtle brilliance flowed
one worshipper.  But after a little   through me.  The consciousness again
while the worshipper itself has       died and was reborn as the divine,
dissolved, and from henceforth and    always without shock or stress. ...
for ever it has the consciousness of  Being entered into the Silence, let me
God only. ..."                        abide in Silence!"
                                                       "John St John," 1909.
                                      "O petty purities and pale,
                                       These visions I have spoken of!
                                       The Infinite Lord of Light and Love
                                       Breaks on the soul like dawn. ...
                                       In that fire the soul burns up. {141}
                                          One drop from that celestial cup
                                          Is an abyss, an infinite sea
                                          That sucks up immortality."
                                                         "Aha!" 1909.
                                      "Lie open, a chameleon cup,
                                        And let Him suck thine honey up." Ib.

   Dozens and scores of other parallel passages could be adduced; but I have
sat up half the night already.
   It follows that: "either" Mr Waite is a disciple of my own, "or" "the devil is
quoting Holy Writ."
   I'll risk a bob that he would rather be the devil!
                                            ALEISTER CROWLEY.

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