Category Archives: Typhonian Tradition

Everything Takes Forever

Things can take so much longer than we’d think at the get-go…

We began taking pre-orders on the (seemingly imminent) METAMORPHIC TAROT OF THE SPIRITS over a year ago. It is only this past WEEK that the finished deck and book are (at last!) being sent out.

Similarly, we wrote the book ORBIT some time before offering The Metamorphic Tarot. It is has only just recently seen print and is available for Order now.

orbit

By the time such Labors manifest, we find we are already deep into the Next Phase of The Work.

What Work?

THE GREAT WORK.

The same deal those Alchemists of Old were after.

The leaves of the calendar fall and we keep grinding at the Eternal Wheel.

Until we become The Wheel…the Wheel we ever Were and Are (see Crowley’s “Pilgrim Talk” from The Book of Lies).

Conversation at Space Hoodoo HQ this evening veers into the Game of Life…

New Thought Pioneer Neville Goddard reverse engineers our existential crisis. We are God…God incarnate to experience and redeem this Human Life. Not playing, not pretending or wearing a mask. God actually and really becoming the Human Being, really and truly dying in the Flesh. Playing, as Goddard says, every single role in The Play.

And God is no less God for it.

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“Reader Meet Author”-from The Spacebuddhaa Angelic Contact Tarot

Knowing that the End Game is waking to this fact, emerging from The Play, we can assess just where we’re at in the Script.

There is a natural and needed Next Step to be made-and we, as individuals, are the ones to perform the task. Our strength, vision and resolve may draw from the Knowing (or Gnosis) of our True Being.

Michael Bertiaux states our situation in the most plain and hopeful fashion in his “Vudu Cartography” when he says that in our Vudu we are right where we need to be-or not too far from it. Our concern is simply the task at hand. The challenge is to see it clearly.

In various Occult Schools we are introduced to tables of Initiation. Take Crowley’s A.A., for example. It’s not unique in this regard but serves our purpose.

At the bottom, there’s the Neophyte and at the top, there’s the big bad Magi-and, above that, the Ipsissimus, Beyond Will or Condition, with a variety of Grades-and Magical Tasks-between.

At the beginning of the Quest, our eyes are blinded with Stars. We have big ideas of attaining to some “Higher Grade.” We work hard to get there, thinking “Neophyte” is a clumsy start to the “Mastery” we may achieve.

Chogyam Trungpa, between bottles, was able to give a lovely little Key in this matter. He simply observed that what could be Attained or Gained could be Lost or taken away. But our Real Nature remains what it is (“Deem not of change”). It’s not contingent upon our efforts and remains Adamantine all the Way.

trungpa

“Ride a Camel through the Eye of a Needle…or, at least, smoke one.”

Hence, Kenneth Grant wrote of “Non-Mobile Becoming” in his Wisdom of S’lba.

If we can but GLIMPSE this, we hold the Philosopher’s Stone.

How to USE it?

Apply it in its own Light to the situation at hand.

We go to the Next Step as God writes, acts in and directs “The Play,” “We” being no less than Blake’s “Jesus…The Human Imagination.” This is the Word of God, the Power of God and the Glory of God…which are all ONE with God.

But if God is no less God in this scenario, we are no less HUMAN as participants.

Yeats saw the crisis quite clearly when he wrote:

“The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.”

It’s true-and it’s so STUPID.

Do you really think the idiots who run (and ruin) the planet with their arrogance and greed are better than yourself? Or any OTHER than yourself?

Do we actually check out at the supermarket, look to the rag-rack and think US Magazine is anything other than Mind Control, Inc fighting to keep our own Divinity held at bay?

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Reminding you that Sock Swine are Important People, one checkout at a time.

I can recall waste of life cocktail parties where someone asked the micro-tribe: “Have you ever met someone FAMOUS?”

Recollections sputter over mixed drinks and the speakers all fade into the background.

It’s akin to asking if you’ve ever met ANYONE!

The Key is waking up in the Game, lucid dreaming in the Flesh, remembering that there is an Operator behind the Virtual Reality. This Operator is none other than Ourself in Eternity.

The smallest dose of this Knowledge can empower a radical readjustment of one’s terrestrial lifespan.

Our next project will not be offered via any sort of pre-order. This is the SPACE BUDDHAA ANGELIC CONTACT TAROT. When we announce it, it will be ready for immediate shipment. Between Now and Then is the Pilgrimage.

ORBIT: An Introduction to the Principles and Practices of Bardo-Gaming on the Propserity Path is available from Gateways Books and Amazon.com.

The Metamorphic Tarot is available from Spacebuddhaa.com

angelstar

“We who dwell on Earth can do nothing of ourselves, everything is conducted by Spirits” -William Blake from Jerusalem

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WITTGENSTEINCRAFT

block opsA peaceful stroll through nature…

This evening I played BLOCK OPS for Android.

The opening level was very simple, very easy-which suited me just fine as I’m not, by any means, a great touchscreen gamer. I probably took three hits to the head while trying to get my enemy into the crosshairs.

The simplicity of this shooter, however, had me thinking of Wittgenstein.

I’ll explain:

With a background in “Spiritual Gaming,” I, along with many others who regard Gamespace as a rich field for personal growth, development and help for others, automatically began relating to BLOCK OPS in these terms. Each foe on the battlefield could be “read” in a number of ways. If we see them as obstacles in our life, a run through the game is akin to riding with Ganesh and knocking down walls. If a more meditative stance can be held, each target is a score increasing a desired quality in the area of Personal Power, a prayer bead being slipped along a string. One could even move through this Gamespace on behalf of another person, shooting down (or building up) aspects of their lives as needed.

block

This semi-automatic Vajra is gonna pop a cap in the ass of your assumptions 

This approach to gaming is certainly not my “invention.” I worked for a long time in the Prosperity Path video games known as “Orbs” for a variety of purposes. These games constitute a type of “practice” which is guided by the “theory” behind how and why they work.

Simplified down to the bone, we have the technology of sympathetic magic at work here. We have before us an image and this image is linked to something not immediately connected to it in a direct cause and effect relationship. Take the image of a Voodoo Doll, for example. It’s just a figurine. But it gets “named” and “dressed up” in such a way to be associated with a person you wish to help or harm. So our little mannequin gets christened Tom, Dick or Harry (or Mr. Thomas Richard Harry) and you drive a nail through its chest. The goal is to give Mr. Harry a heart attack (or maybe just a bad case of heartburn-because as vindictive as you are, you’re not homicidal).

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Tom would soon be needing some Pepto

There is a difference between just wishing a rock would fall on Harry’s head and taking this sort of action to actively magnetize an event. But there HAS to be a link whereby such action in the “ritual room” can replicate itself in Harry’s life, yes?

This is where the “theory” end of things empowers action toward a desired end.

First, there must be an “agreement” between the Magician and his Method. And here’s where, playing BLOCK OPS, I recalled the words of Wittgenstein:

“Whether a proposition can turn out true or false after all depends on what I make count as determinants for that proposition.”

Utilizing video games and virtual environments as magical tools and spaces requires an adjustment of determinants whereby the proposition that this is a workable method can be acted upon with effect.

witthouse

Ludwig Wittgenstein designed and built this house the first time he played Minecraft  

A magician working in the field of Radionics recently commented that machines and procedures do not have to be overly complicated. The whole idea of a “magical machine” is to serve as a “labor saving device.” But some folks simply can’t accept this. As this magician noted, they NEED a lot of complexity to feel like they are actually doing something. In this case, elaborate ritual becomes a tool to give the thinking self enough “stuff to do,” allowing the intuitive self to operate outside this mental block.

However, the more the intuitve self engages with manipulating forces and forms outside of “standard” cause and effect scenarios, the more that personal technique will be sharpened toward establishing transmissive links.

If it were really this easy, one might ask, then we should be able to find a treasure chest in some Xbox game and expect our check to be in the mail. In my experience, it can actually work like this at the beginning. I’ve seen it with Spiritual Gaming and I’ve seen it in ritual and religion. For example, the Nichiren Buddhists extol the chant Nam Myoho Renge Kyo. It’s the answer to everything. Many in this sect will encourage members to “chant for stuff” (a new job, getting laid, whatever…see the movie “The Last Detail” with Jack Nicholson for a wonderful depiction of this). I was personally told that one should never chant for Enlightenment (Buddha say WHAT???). The logic was that the chant is ITSELF total Enlightenment. Don’t waste time trying to attain what’s right there. Improve your “Life Condition” (however you are thus inclined).

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Buddowsky determines Determinants

So, with the genie out of the bottle, newbies go in for their “heart’s desires.” And suddenly STUFF HAPPENS! Bing badda boom. If this isn’t encouragement to keep going, I don’t know what IS!

I was once faced with a severe financial difficulty and utilized a video game to change up the situation. Miracles ensued overnight. I actually had the fleeting thought that I was ready to quit the day job and just keep the udders on the cash cow flowing.

The udders dried up pretty fast.

Why?

Because the dynamics of the situation changed. The mindset which forged the initial link wasn’t sufficient to keep that particular line of communication endlessly open. It’s like taking out a loan that saves your life…but the bank stops doling out the cash at a certain point.

It WORKED-but to keep it working requires a “leveling up” into the next phase of operation.

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All Grunts lead us to a BOSS

Genies grant 3 wishes. How about wishing the Genie to tell you of his ORIGINS? Reverse engineer the machine and find out how it works!

Now here come the Siddhis, the magical powers spoken of in Buddhist Sutras. Each Siddhi is linked to a new stage of awareness, what we can call Gnosis (direct knowing) of a larger arena of consciousness. And this is something of a safeguard against the abuse of magical powers. It’s not foolproof as there remain plenty of magi higher up on the food chain who will eat you up and shit you out. But there does seem to be a natural link between unfolding states of consciousness and the powers attributed to them. Certain states of consciousness eradicate what might be regarded as the goals and needs of “black magic.” It’s hard to maintain a selfish agenda when one’s sense of self is dissolving.

With this in mind, it is, in my opinion, ideal to transfer outward gestures of Sadhana (spiritual practice) into the realms of image through virtual reality. This involves a questioning of the nature of “knowing” (and the quote above from Wittgenstein is taken from his notes “On Certainty,” something we tend to readily assume we possess but seldom examine).

WHAT, precisely, are our “determinants” for “knowing?”

And HOW might these change?

For some, this is a scary step. It requires going beyond the “tried and true” assumptions which have kept our physical bodies alive since we first learned that “the stove is hot.” The stove doesn’t exist. But going with this notion, we might conclude that the wall against which it is set doesn’t exist, either. So we try to walk through it and break our (equally non-existent) nose.

All elements of this experience say “You dumb ass, the wall exists and you’re an idiot for trying to be the kid with the spoon in The Matrix!”

Some determinants are hard to shake. So you accept them and they give rise to a proposition (“There’s a fucking WALL THERE!”).

nose

Highly regarded Philosophy Professor scorns Solipsism before Freshman Class 

But this may very well be a case of the proverbial Cart and Horse.

Just because you “know” doesn’t mean such “knowledge” reveals anything true about the situation. The wall against which you just bloodied your face has already moved through space with the revolution of the globe and won’t return to that location for another solar year. And even THEN, the space, itself, will have changed. The event has already passed into non-existence and cannot be demonstrated in and of itself. You remember it-but your remembering is a function of consciousness which can only occur in the present. It is only labeled “in the past.” No one else can remember it FOR YOU. If a “witness” was present, they can only evoke their OWN recollection. An agreement upon the “Objectivity” of the event rests in mutually shared associations communicated through language. But it remains an “agreement,” not a demonstration of objective reality.

crazy

“I’m going crazy-but I can’t be SURE that I am…and it’s driving me CRAZY!”

This descent into epistemology is not meant to be a circuitous game, good for intellectual parlance over two pots of coffee. It is a key to working Gamespace as a Shaman. By regarding sense impressions as ultimately (or immediately) insubstantial (and yet somehow experienced), we come into a space whereby virtual objects may be related to as what we can call “actual objects.” This entry into liminal space begins when we can start to understand “actual objects” as “virtual objects,” when we can enter into a contemplative zone and examine how we perceive, categorize, “know” and relate. We are doing more than just looking at how the “gears of the mind” work. We are getting at the Source from which those gears manifest and into which they dissolve.

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This Source we call Space Buddhaa. It is both Transcendent and Immanent. In 2015 we will be publishing the Space Buddhaa Sutra which will be a supportive text for the LAMAL Tarot. This text is a conglomerate fusion of impressions from T’ien T’ai Buddhism, Kenneth Grant’s Mystic Extraterrestrialism, Zen Reactivity, Christic Vudu and Mediumistic Magic. Any complexity of form or system is brought back to several simple tenets whereby the Sutra is intended to engender offspring.

LAM is the LAMA, the Guru Within, the Silence which subsumes “Determinants of Restriction” in a Da’athian Double Vortex. It’s not so esoteric. It’s just a bit outside the typical way humans live and die. Upon accepting the dissolution of form into space, we may feel more inclined to do as the band TOOL admonishes:

Push the Envelope…
…watch it BEND.

This is Hyperdimensional Origami. The Space Buddhaa Sutra is not a “received text” nor is it a “grimoire” or “new revelation.”  It is form of Bushido for the Ronin doubling as a Monk without a Monastery, a visionary voyage intended to create as much as it destroys. A breath in. A breath out.

And the Awareness of the Fire silently burning between.

-Hoodoo Pilot

SPACEBUDDHAA-History & Mission Part One

exemplar 4

In the early 1990’s, Kyle Fite filled a sketchbook with various drawings, studies and notes revolving around comic book and illustration projects. A simple sketch found its way into those pages, entitled “Space Buddha.” It was just a scrawl, a little bit of sci-fi and, truth be told, Kyle didn’t really know much, if anything, about Buddhism. He just liked the idea of some meditation master floating in a space pod.

In 2012, Kyle found this old sketchbook and wrote to a fellow esotericist of a series of letters he had recently sent to an Occult Master:

“The content of those letters addresses Buddhism and my interest in several sections in the Voudon-Gnostic Workbook which deals with Buddhism and the Nemirion Race from the Orion Constellation (which I suggest are related). It’s funny-many many years ago in a sketch book from college, I drew a small image called “Space Buddha” with a seated figure in an egg-shaped pod. At the time, I knew nothing of LAM or Buddhism, really. This is no great drawing but I am finding increasingly that small and seemingly inconsequential things are sometimes more powerfully prescient with greater connectivity than our endeavors to do so consciously.”

Between the drawing and this communication, Kyle would, in fact, take a keen interest in Buddhist Practice, studying and practicing with two different organizations over the years, Tibetan and Japanese.

It would be during the “Japanese Years” that practice would open to a series of telepathic events linking to Aleister Crowley’s Book of the Law. However, Kyle’s previous “Thelemic Self-Identification” was giving way to a new field of experience, indicating an extraterrestrial source of communication. Turning to the works of Kenneth Grant, everything began flowing into the Vortex of LAM. This was followed by 15 months of practicing the LAM SERPENT SADHANA as written by Mr. Michael Staley.

serpent sadhana

“Serpent Sadhana”-Linocut based on experience with Trans-Yuggothian Pyramid (cover artwork for for STARFIRE Vol. 2 No. 3)   

It was also during this general timeframe, that Kyle and several others formulated what might be deemed a “Micro Order” to investigate the ongoing stream of communication and exploration. Short lived, the Order was given it’s name by Kyle who relinquished his own “Motto” to bestow it upon the group. That Name was A-Sh-A and was understood to mean “The Fire which Burns Between Beginnings.”

The striking power of the Double A had already been well-lodged in Kyle’s mind (as with many others) who had read of a certain Secret Order in the works of Crowley.

The fascination with A.’. A.’. grew in lieu with its claims to have existed long before Crowley announced its activity to the World. This is the mystique of History. It was Voltaire who wrote that “History is a Pack of Tricks played by the Dead upon the Living.” Did this particular Occult Order really exist BEFORE Crowley or had he just slapped a bunch of mythic “credentials” on his new gig? This seems to be an old game (“Hello, Fama Fraternitatis!”).

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John the Con…Gettin’ It On.

Kyle would buy into many of these games, driven by desire to find the Secret Sanctuary kept clean and safe from this soiled world. Along the way, he would discover a book by a certain “Rosicrucian” who lived and died ere Crowley was born-and in this book was an allusion to secret Order known as…the A.A.”

Research met brick walls and, in the end, it was the Mystique which carried the most power. It wasn’t so much the OBJECT of the Quest but the Inner NEED to set about it.

A.A. lived. We are not speaking of the several groups using this name and carrying Crowley’s work forward. The power of the Letters themselves, which are symbols conveying IDEAS, was of value to adopt as a Magical Name. There was tremendous energy in this and it always evoked the passionate voice of Jaz Coleman as he sung:

“I want to be in a place of beginnings…not endings.”

jaz

Jaz Coleman-One ounce of Honest Angst is worth a Pound of Pretend Piety

Kyle would later meet his partner who was, unbeknownst to him, already identifying herself as SPACEBUDDHAA.
All of the above anecdotes are a smattering of the MYRIAD events, people and connections which have colored the Voyage of Hoodoo Pilot (“The Artist formerly known as [insert one of a dozen Magical Names]”).

Knees have been bruised as many times as insight has been gained. The “Spiritual Path” is not a pretty one. After all, it’s a human affair-and people have a marvelous ability to disappoint. However, it was Crowley who observed that a magical diary filled with a record of errors was more valuable than a few furtive moments of “success.” This is Edison with all his light bulb failures. Kyle & Space have been down many dead ends and the maps we want to share are those which cut a Path through the snares. This is no “Word from on High” but rather (as Burroughs wrote) a “Word to the Wise Guy.”

What is happening now involves a double vortex, pouring in and spilling out, calling forth a new Tarot Structure and Sutra. Elements are magnetized, pushed into the Slipstream of Time and set on Fire. Dross and Slag bubble, movement vaporizes folly.

But there is “That Which Remains.” Incandescent Bones of a Form assembling itself in the Fiery Flesh of Time.
SpaceBuddhaa and Hoodoo Pilot were magnetized beyond geographic locale and through karmic fields of tremendous opposition to give birth to the Entity Space Hoodoo.

The Mission Statement of Space Hoodoo is very simple. Ala the Masonic Rite, the Inner Tekton has “long been in darkness and now seeks to be brought to LIGHT.” We are producing material meant to serve this purpose. There is an underlying picture or map upon which the Eternal Hunger of the Being in Time seeks Home. This Being in Time comes crippled into the World, readily sucked into the Tractor Beams projected by those who have understood Spiritual Need in the same way that the Kraft Corporation understands hunger.

It’s been said that one should never try to “wise up the marks.” It is also true that not all “marks” remain so. There is an inward hunger for Truth beyond all stop-points and we believe this Fire Between Beginnings is a Singular Flame burning in the Core of all Consciousness.

dharmakara

DHARMAKARA ENTERS THE LIGHT OF WORLD FREEDOM KING (Birth of Amida Butsu)-graphite on paper, 8 ½” by 11” (private collection)

On this evening, December 26th, 2014, Space Hoodoo dropped three consecrated Crystals into the middle of Kooteny Lake, British Columbia. This was-and is-a Magical Act, meant to serve as a vital Beacon System for the forth-going Work wherein we wish to serve as a Co-Creative Support System for Tektonia Emergent.

Just as there exists an interconnected crystalline network of energy and communication within the vicinity of our HQ, we have been working around the clock to assemble our material, ranging from writing to artwork to magical objects for use in contacting spaces beyond those ascertained by the senses, each offering connection to a vision wherein the Human and Cosmic may know themselves as One Thing. From this vision we will continue our history and it’s projection forward into all Timezones.

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“Buddha Smokes The Myo Pipe”-which holds much more than the Opium of the People

ORISONS OF THE OBLIQUE

As I continue to work on several upcoming book and art projects, I would like to use this blog to share previously published pieces which are not easily obtained. 

The following is an essay composed for Scarlet Imprint’s compendium “DIABOLICAL.” 

This book collected essays focusing on Received Texts and the Grimoire Tradition, pages penned from contact with Sources seemingly outside the individual mind.

After many years, perhaps a lifetime, of fascination with such writings (from the Bible to Liber AL), I had entered a place where I began to make such contact myself. The delivery of such material didn’t come about with the same poetic flair we find in many established works in this field. It would be Kenneth Grant’s S’lba & OKBISh that would  give me great understanding as to the nature of such texts. These two writings not only transmitted “Communication from Beyond” but expressly acknowledge the role played by the human receiver.

It is through understanding this dynamic that we can most effectively touch the Current informing such texts.

With this essay, I endeavored to explore this phenomena with an eye toward removing preconception and encouraging receptivity on part of the psychic magician.  

baptism

Orisons of the Oblique

By Kyle Fite

The tradition and fascination of the Magickal Grimoire has been enjoying an enthusiastic resurgence in modern occultism. Taking its place amongst the mouldering leaves and time-stained sheets of famed and fearful folios from bygone eras is a new breed of cryptic conveyance, no less potent or portentous in its arcane artistry. Oracular orisons still hot with the breath of utterance have emerged and are emerging, providing fresh fields of word and image whereby the very forces which gave rise to their antiquated predecessors move into new times, new minds and carve out new pathways upon the ever-receding, ever beckoning and always broadening vistas of a magickal universe.

Unlike those pages the possession of which may have required uncommon wealth, connection and exposure of the owner to great peril of life, if not soul, we find that new works might arrive at our doorstep, delivered with the daily mail. This ease of acquisition would have astounded our antecedents of esoteric inquiry. Some of these purported “Talismanic Tomes” are bound to disappoint, penned by pretenders to the throne of “Philosopher King.” Others artfully articulate, in picture and prose, a type of Key which twists and turns its way into a deeper strata of the human mind, unlocking hidden doors to hidden spaces, giving testimony to their terrors, conveying clues and making maps meant to manifest the treasures therein.

There is a magic to how such a book speaks in silence to its reader. It has been said that when the student is ready, the Teacher appears. Sometimes that “Teacher” is not in human guise at all but arrives in a body built of language, symbol and image. The Intelligence back of this expression is living and mutable. It is not the book itself but may be accessed by means of this mode, which is not to be confused with some commonplace conglomeration of text, for the content of the Grimoire, and its attendant imagery, is a machine meant to move in the hands of its operator, its application determined in very specific and precise ways, its nature synergistic.

It may be observed that we all have a natural gravitation toward certain patterns of energy, unique fields of endeavor, with corresponding experiences resultant. A Grimoire is not a book of universalized dogma meant to instruct the species. It emerges from a concentrated zone of arcane power and employs a very human means of communication as the medium between that zone and the individual mind. Thus, eschewing a pigeon hole of medieval demonology, we find the “Modern Grimoire” embracing ever widening branches of supersensual exploration. From the influx of Haitian Voudoo through the mind of Michael Bertiaux to E.J. Gold’s postmodern rewrite of Tibet’s guide to the Bardo, his “American Book of the Dead,” we find cultures crossed and cross-bred with new routes rising.

We furthermore find that these Grimoires, as we still refer to them, are not merely a phenomena penetrating our present environment in the form of new books on old subjects. When such a work emerges, it is not simply another addition to the annual outpouring of exotic divergence for our hungry, yet shallow, consumerist culture. These books also bear witness to the sources from which they have arisen and taken form, sources they are intended to put us in touch with directly and from whence further outpouring may ensue.

Aleister Crowley had this in mind when he considered the “praeternatural” authorship of his received text, Liber AL, in his writing entitled “On the Reception of the Book of the Law.” After examining many of the facts surrounding the channeling of this revelatory document, Crowley, a skeptic to the last, soberly concludes:

“…I have positively opened up communication with one such Intelligence; or, rather…I have been selected by Him to receive the first message from a new order of beings.”

The reader is referred to this particular essay for personal examination of the strange and, in many ways, startling events surrounding the writing of this text. We will, for the moment, observe that Crowley not only served as the vehicle whereby this astounding book (described by Kenneth Grant as “the supreme grimoire of the present Aeon”) came into existence but that he would also see it as a phenomena indicating extension into human experience via further communications and corresponding expression of such contact.

We may disagree with Crowley that his message was the “first” but our emphasis is on the declaration that it is not the last. In the history of religion, Crowley is a unique character in that he does not present what was, for him and many others, a truly phenomenal and transhuman event as something to be enshrined to the detriment of further exploration or revelation. Were Liber AL to follow the sales pitch trailing after the history of many “Holy Books,” the reader would be exhorted to take it on faith that its source was genuine and therefore its message true. Despite a residual “Cult of Crowley,” which seems to cling to the “Master’s words” with puritanical devotion, Crowley indicated that the Way was not merely to be traversed but PAVED. He would continue throughout his life establishing such “traffick” with “disincarnate intelligences” as he sought to penetrate, with ever increasing depth, the mysteries of that initial revelation. His technical writings on magickal practice would expand the consciousness into greater degrees of sensitivity to the influx of such communications, while curbing the tendency towards an obsession which has, for so many religious movements born in states of inspiration, transformed Tongues of Fire into Pillars of Salt.

Of all Crowley’s students, Kenneth Grant would follow this line of investigation most thoroughly, the opening up of such “contact” being a primary theme in his own contributions to occult literature. His works (most notably the nine volumes comprising the “Typhonian Trilogies”) would take on the function of Grimoires themselves, while indicating ways in which the magician could work this same current of power and intelligence, not as a scholar or devotee, but as a Gnostic, as one stepping into the same space of receptivity we observe in Crowley and others.

A received text and a Grimoire are not the same thing. They MAY however incorporate each other and it should be noted that the element of inspiration, be it from one’s Gnosis or the Channeling of an Intelligence whose communication can stimulate and feed the fire of that insight, is crucial for composition of the Grimoire. This Light of Inspiration transcends wholly rational thinking and thereby expresses itself in a language whose nature is NOT solely didactic. It is a language which forms a bridge between our conscious rational thought processes and the transcendental realms by bringing together elements of both realities in its delicate dance. Inspired by forces and an Intelligence beyond the normal operating range of the conscious human psyche, Liber AL was regarded by Kenneth Grant as the “Ultimate Grimoire of this Aeon.” He would describe its pages as “containing…the secret formula which unseals the cells of cosmic consciousness.” Grant, however, was not confined in his explorations to the simple notion of a single linear progression of time. His work would open into multiple Aeons, spheres of action and energy running beside, into and out of each other. His vision, in this regard, is very similar to the T’ien T’ai school of Buddhism which envisions the vast multiplicity of worlds within worlds (3000 Realms total!) all present in a “single moment of life.” William Blake described this as “Infinity in a grain of sand.” And in Kenneth Grant’s vision, the sprawling colorful components of this “multiverse” would be presented in a manner whereby the latent correspondences within the human psyche might resonate and assemble themselves into a grand mandala, reflecting the Enlightenment behind all the activity within the Spheres of which the Grimoire would serve as Gateway.

We want to get our hands on such a book, something far beyond the paperback pocket-guides to supernatural powers, pandering to a populous whose ravenous curiosity is only matched by its attention deficit disorder. There is a romance to the “dreadful book,” an object which contains a power independent of the hands which hold it, a tome which is as much a Gateway as it is a “book.” Hence the title “Talismanic.” Yet we shall be compelled to inquire into the nature of any such “power” should we become convinced that it appears present in conjunction with the book in question. For some, the antiquated guides to goetic working have brought about results of compelling intensity. For others, they offer little more than a coughing jag in the dust of superstitious times. Why does something work for one and not for another? And what exactly does it mean for such a book to “work?”

We have described above the Grimoire as a unique type of book, one which manipulates language and image to bridge worlds, offering a map to those elusive realms and the tools whereby one may not only enter but extract the Gnosis therein and return, as a transformed being. When presented with such a tome, there is evoked a certain reverence for its role as such. It is as if the sheets are shamanic and we feel in them a link to a Mystery not yet touched in our souls. The danger is in revering such a work to the detriment of what it would lead us to become. There are many who embrace Crowley’s Liber AL as a book which cannot be surpassed in power. It is regarded as not only a revelatory work but the ultimate revelatory work, despite Crowley’s indication that it was an opening, a prelude to what was to come.

It is worth quoting here a passage from Michael Bertiaux’s Voudon-Gnostic Workbook, itself a “Grimoire of Grimoires,” where he offers a suggestion to students pursuing this line of investigation:

“It would be very useful to your magickal development if you would begin to write your own magickal mythos. Get in touch with your own Zothyrius or your own AIWAZ in your own ontic sphere. You have such a universe right in your mind. Why not write your own cosmic mystery drama, your own magickal book of revelations, your own holy books. As we know, Crowley practiced this method when he created his own mythos. Freud and Jung did the same thing. All magicians have to begin with their own bibles…

“For those who are interested in cosmic mystery drama, why not create something based on your favorite figure or symbol or image…

“…try to get more mileage out of your ontic sphere.”

This may seem, to some, as an affront to the sanctity attributed to texts such as Liber AL. We find the same phenomena within the Christian Church. The Bible is regarded as a “closed canon” and those who would contribute to its content are seen as threats to the perfection which has been embraced. So long as such an attitude prevails, those texts themselves remain as something isolated from our deepest core. If we cannot be as those authors (or “scribes,” if you will) then we can only look upwards towards something which exists outside of our own experience, something we must take on faith. THEY are “Prophets,” “Magi” and the like. WE are the followers, disciples, devotees. Yet William Blake, getting “more mileage” out of his own “ontic sphere,” would cite Numbers 11:29 at the opening of his Prophetic Epic, “Milton”:

“Would to God that all the Lords people were Prophets.”

Blake would also declare: “I must create my own system or be enslaved by another man’s.” This may have influenced Aleister Crowley, who would later regard Blake as a spiritual brother, when he wrote “I…am convinced in myself that to no great man can it be possible to work in any existing system. If he has followers, so much the worse for them.” Those words were penned in Crowley’s diary, 1903, just prior to the revelatory experience which brought through what would become HIS Bible and Grimoire, Liber AL.

We have here a drive within the human soul towards direct contact with its centre. If a Grimoire, a “magic book,” cannot lead us to this very place where we stand alone and touch the mystic flame ourselves, it is a testament to something we do not know and dare not surpass. We will have stopped and set up house on the Bridge Between Worlds, a structure erected not for our residency but passage.

Fortunately, Crowley had students who did more than hang on his every word as authoritative and superior to their own inspiration. Kenneth Grant would develop Crowley’s model of the Aeons to go beyond linear time and describe a state of consciousness in which a thousand facets rise and fall and dance within the “Wordless Aeon.” One neither exalts nor is restricted by the characteristics of the “Zeitgeist” but goes Beyond, manipulating the stuff of Maya, or Illusion, according to Will.

There have been several authors who have written in such a manner with the intent of opening the reader to spaces where the division between subject and object begins to dissolve. E. J. Gold’s “American Book of the Dead” is one such example. Gold perpetually challenges his reader to avoid the pitfall of adulation for the messenger at the expense of enlightenment. To simply suspend any disbelief and enter into his text is to experience an opening of consciousness. There is no pretentiousness in his approach. In fact, he is comical and blunt more often than not. Yet not only does he present the “map” of energetic zones in which consciousness is often battered to and fro, he reveals that he is not the revelator:

“…if you’re wondering about the source of this book, it comes directly from the source of all books. In the labyrinth, you’ll notice-if you notice anything at all-that all books are the same book, and they all say the same thing. Don’t look around for someone else to hang it on…You are the source.”

The only way to understand such a statement is to realize its veracity in a transcendental experience, moving through and beyond mere mental comprehension of the concepts.

Michael Bertiaux takes a similar approach in his progressive lessons for the Monastery of the Seven Rays, where he explains that the reader is, essentially, sending these lessons to him or herself!

In my own study of this material, I found myself gravitating towards a “meta-spatiality” in which I began to feel and visualize each lesson as being more than a set series of ideas communicated to the mind for intellectual understanding. The material of the lesson was a framework through which the energies that informed it could be tapped and entered into. I was no longer “reading lessons” but “entering” them. These “chambers” of spiritual intelligence and energy would be related to in a very specific ways, relative to my own thought-structures, needs and aspirations.

The experience of the “one source” of all books is not one of centering the world of experience around the individual ego. We enter into a cognizance of the Cosmic Mind, of which our transient human lives are a passing part. This can be a very despairing vision if we retain our sense of separateness from this Mind. The Gnosis of this experience lies in the wholeness of the Mind Itself and allowing the Mind to freely flow into our individuality without self-preserving resistance. Our consciousness then becomes that portion of the Cosmic Mind in operation through the unique channel of its own individuality. Yet this “portion” is an expression of the entirety of Cosmic Life Force and therefore it is an Illumination and Transformation of the selfhood which has previously functioned, in perception and action, as if it were an isolated thing.

This consciousness-or Gnosis-allows “the scales to fall from one’s eyes” whereby we can not only entertain the notion but experience that “oneness of all books” and thereby the relationship of the book to our individual mind. This is the “Magickal Link” which opens “Jacob’s Ladder” between Heaven and Earth. We are now within the God-space whereby the Cosmic Mind is uniting its components within our experience and opening up lines of communication within itself.

These lines of communication may be understood as mapwork. This is the root of sigil-craft, veves, seals and signs. When the lines of communication open, the symbols become living things and unfold power and intelligence. They may be employed as types of “magickal machines” through which specific results are generated. Hence, we find the Goetic Magician who is moving within a very vital and effectual universe of awakened energies as opposed to the experimenter who concludes the Lesser Key of Solomon to be an irrelevance of little application.

Our “Classic Grimoires” have set the pace for traditional terminologies, now evocative of an antiquated atmosphere. This atmosphere may be useful in offsetting one’s dominant mode of filtering perception of personal and modern experience, just as the angelic and horrific elements therein could offset our rooting in the material universe by stimulating subtle yet powerful components of the inward and intrapsychic self. If this “self” is the projecting agent whereby perceived reality assumes its form, to delve deeply into its mechanisms is to cut into an understanding of what lies behind superficial assumptions about what our lives “are.” Having passed through the vision whereby All is seen as Illusion, we are no longer “deceived” by the Unreality in which we move. Instead, we find in it the plastic medium whereby our Will may assume form. This is absolutely more than a metaphysical go at “wish-fulfillment.” To unmask “Reality” is to also unmask our desires, to liberate them from the containment of the ego and realize their activity in context of the Cosmic Mind. Thus, Crowley would make frequent allusion to the “Tao” as essential to understanding “Thelema” or the “Will.”

The philosophy of Thelema, as detailed by Crowley, would emphasize a sexual source at the Heart of the Mysteries. The description of Hadit and Nuit, the underpinning principles of organic life in Liber AL, would be conveyed via an erotic poetry and the practices of Thelemic Magick would not only embrace the ceremonial and meditative but the sexual. Documents such as Liber A’ash vel Capricorni Pneumatici would express these mysteries in poetry and symbol, serving as types of “Grimoires” whereby the sexual “technology” could be apprehended and then applied to various operations.

We are well aware of the great restrictions set around a frank and open discussion of such things in times past. It was a scenario which Crowley was forced to contend with and thus he would write in “code” of certain matters. Yet we must ask if that was SOLELY the reason for such “cloaking.” In the present era, there is, perhaps, freer talk and description of sexual-magickal thought and practice than ever before. It would seem that the path of “purple prose” has become both unnecessary and an encumbrance. This would, perhaps, be accurate if we were simply dealing with material descriptive of physical mechanics found to be objectionable by a given culture or era. The scope of this “sex-magick,” however, extends beyond the outward operations which function as one of its means.

In his lessons for The Monastery of the Seven Rays, Michael Bertiaux states that the entire purpose of sex magick is “evolution.” This necessitates the projection of the limited human psyche into the spaces of what Carlos Castaneda calls the “Nagual.” The “Nagual” is everything which is unknown and unexperienced and is contrasted to the “Tonal,” a word comprising the sum total of all available knowing and understanding contained in a given psyche. The drive and impetus towards this often threatening darkness is well expressed in a song by Killing Joke, where Jaz Coleman boldly proclaims:

“I saw restrictions of mortal lifespan…and hurled the lance beyond.” (“Twilight of the Mortal”)

A workable Grimoire is therefore a guide to the Nagual. At the very least, it provides a path to gateways whereby the Nagual is entered and mapped, assimilated into the ever evolving Tonality of consciousness. Crowley describes each human being, each localized expression of the Divine Mind, as an “aggregate of experience.” Some will become vast aggregates and yet “accumulate” on one plane only, a monstrous shape of singular dimension, dominating a flickering flatland and sinking into its surface with the passage of time. Reproduction, replication and expanse, as such, cannot be considered “evolution.” It is when the experience entered into constitutes an “upgrade” of one’s being that its assimilation results in a dimensional distortion, the form of which may provide the matrix for a true outflowing growth into the Cosmic Mind’s self-awareness or, conversely, the crumbling of that matrix downward into the psyche, a retributive reflex rendering the “small mind” ineffectual even in its own “territory.”

Such an occurrence has been described by Kenneth Grant as a “Tangential Tantrum.” Hardly a tantalizing situation to call upon oneself. In fact, the survival mechanisms of the body, linked to those of the ego and its Skandha constructs, described in Buddhist literature, recoil at the prospect of willfully evoking such an environment to contend with. It is ironic, then, that the only other option would be rested in and reinforced: stabilization of the existent Tonal construct upon the sinking ship of its limitation and finitude.  Risk is shirked in favor of certain doom. This absurdity requires continuous submersion in an opiate, the administration of which formulates all control dynamics in human society. Thus, we have the overwhelming reach of religions ordering the populous by pandering protection from an encroaching Nagual Nightmare which will, never the less, subsume the Tonal upon mortal extinction.

The multi-media experience of modern life thus becomes an “Anti-Grimoire.” Its language is self-supporting and serves to seal the Gates which may now be seen as vital escape routes. It is interesting, in this context, to look at how much sealing, binding and locking away plays its part in mythology. Satan is bound and locked in the “bottomless pit” of Revelations for rebelling against God. Loki is bound to a rock and tortured for breaking the ordered bounds of acceptable behavior. Prometheus suffers the same fate for extending the bounds of human knowledge. Adam and Eve push beyond the stasis of their lives and the Gates of Eden are crossed with a flaming sword. The Old Ones are held behind Cosmic Gates, erected by the Elder Gods, in the Necronomicon. “Good” binds “Evil” and we are taught to side with the so-called “Good.”

There is a reactionary impulse to this situation, where the human being turns in rebellion and embraces the archetypes of “evil,” which are now intuited as essential to the unfolding of a repressed force. This conflict, however, can be altogether superseded by a reinterpretation of the mythology. The language embodied in myth is of the same nature as that by which the multidimensionality of the Grimoire is known directly and experientially as a transformative experience. Myth is not simply “allegory” but the expression of abstract yet living verities whose influence is apprehended in human experience according to their qualities. Thus, Michael Bertiaux, when discussing the Loa, the Gods of Voodoo, states that they, the Loa, are “Laws.” Yet they are “Laws” which function, and may be (or MUST be) related to as Gods. We differentiate between “physical laws” and personalities on this “starting plane” of awareness. Gravity or Magnetism may be natural “Laws” but we are “people.” On the higher planes, this sort of differentiation does not exist within the forces we call “Preternatural Intelligences.” It is a mistake to overly anthropomorphize these Intelligences and yet it is equally erroneous to reduce them to a mere abstraction. They are not static concepts. They are living things which have their place in the Body of God as do we. Our communion with them expresses a new line of force lighting up and moving the components of Cosmic structure into a more refined and unified whole.

If successful work with the patterns laid out in a Grimoire result in the above dynamic, we find the book being “read” by the Cosmic Mind as it utilizes our individuality as an essential part of its process. The meditative techniques (of which there are many) made use of in modern magick, as a fusion between Eastern and Western tradition, serve to stimulate and vitalize this dimension of our existence.

The passage cited above, in which Kenneth Grant describes Liber AL as the “supreme Grimoire of the present Aeon,” is from an especially insightful segment found in his book “Outside The Circles Of Time.” He goes on to describe Liber AL, as such, containing “the keys to the gates of extra-terrestrial worlds which constitute universes parallel to our own, and which-by some mysterious perichoresis-sometimes impinge upon our own, transforming it in a way that also transforms the magician and prepares him for an existence that must appear totally alien to his mundane consciousness. For it is in the dimensions of magical and controlled dreaming that he meets with entities with which it is not only the aim of the grimoires to establish contact, but which in many cases have actually inscribed the grimoires upon the astral substance of the earth’s aura…”

This image of the earth englobed in such a hieroglyphic network of ingress points is truly evocative. One is reminded of the shattering of the Pleroma and its collapse into the “fallen universe,” where the primordial body of Adam Kadmon is rent asunder, not unlike Osiris, and buried or hidden away in matter, the shadows of the Nile or the “mind forg’d manacles” so detested by William Blake.

Matter has no fundamental “existence” in terms of absolute reality. It resides in the realm of subjective experience. When exalted into a space of dominion over the subjective experience, “matter” can become a “spiritual darkness” in which the ego, reacting against the impinging threat of the Nagual, is bound and tied to a pillar of stasis, a reference point, a bulwark against the cracking gates which open to the “Beyond.” To be “liberated from matter” is not to polarize some vague and whispy notion of the “spiritual universe” against the portions of experience we typify as the “material world.” Rather, it is to dissolve the perceived opposition into the cauldron of Will, recognizing, through a Gnostic-Vision, the immanence of Godhead. The individual Will is allowed to conjoin with the Cosmic Will and its energetic path is illumined, This Path burns through a myriad of Initiations, a razor thin and infinitely bright line cut between potentiality and actuality in any and every given moment. It is a Path of Transformation and Revelation. The “hieroglyphs” are lit from within yet this is achieved by the Light which resides in the Magician Himself. They vivify and add to the “aggregate of experience” which he is, even as he uncovers, evokes and breathes new life into their form. It is a Conjunction, a Unification between seemingly disparate parts which belong to the same great Unity.

It is a Dispensationalist Dogma which traces these sequences of events in terms of Time. Alchemy, however, condenses these stages into the context of its Operations, detailed in its own sundry Grimoires and belonging to the experience of the Alchemist. The Sacred Laboratory becomes a zone in which the appearance of the Macrocosmic March is manifested in the Microcosmic Mind, the “parts” brought into the unity of the “whole.” Its expression is Mandalic and reveals an equidistance of events, understood from the singularity of a position, or point, outside of time. One does not “escape from the Circles of Time” as much as one reveals the nature of time and space within the Dualistic Universe, entering INTO it, with a new awareness of the scenario.

From the vantage point of this center, one is both moving and standing still. One has become the Winged Globe of Hadit and is full flux of its Going. Time converges on this center from all angles and the “astral plasma” of the earth is seen to receive its encoding from past, present and future. Not only is the Magician able to rightly read the Grimoires of Antiquity which have been drawn from this plasmic sphere but he is able to WRITE the grimoires whose matrix trembles on the surface of this circumference by directly entering their form, allowing them to become a linkage point between the ego-self and that portion of the comic mind to which it, the “Astral Grimoire,” corresponds.

It is in this context that Crowley wrote of how Magi would arise after him, each with their own Word. Yet this did not indicate a closure to the “Aeon of Horus,” of which Crowley served such a vital role in opening or revealing. Rather, Crowley indicated that all such Magi with their corresponding Words would be in harmony with the Word he declared. This might be regarded as subservience to his self-proclaimed authority but when distinctions between our fluctuating and temporal personalities gives way to the broader vision of the Gnosis, we might observe that Crowley, as Magus, Master of the Illusions, very artfully became an Alchemic Agent within the Grand Operation or Great Work through a unique form of Guru Yoga. This method is detailed in Kenneth Grant’s Cults of the Shadow, where he states:

“The candidate for initiation approaches the guru (spiritual guide) with awe and reverence as if he were superior to all others. This distinction is false and the cause of bondage, and the false image of difference (duality) projected on to the guru becomes transformed into a demon that appears to mock the candidate…the devil, diable, or double, is merely the personification of the duality projected onto the guru by the candidate. The guru appears as a demon because his job is to destroy the candidate’s ego. The “Demon Crowley” therefore appeared as soon as an individual sought contact with the 93 Current over which Crowley presided as supreme Initiator. If a candidate’s aspirations were destroyed or swayed in the slightest degree by the impact of this experience, his moment of initiation had not arrived, nor was it likely to arrive until the “vision” had been banished by the power of the candidate’s unswerving dedication to the Work, and by his total indifference to the personality of either Crowley or himself.”

The Vision expands as the “candidate” is no longer “seeking” contact with the “93 Current” but actually entering it. This “Current” is often regarded as the energy matrix back of the Aeon of Horus. Horus, however, gives expression to a formula transcending the linear dispensationalist developments in human history, which might be regarded as an exoteric interpretation of the “Aeons.” Horus is a dual-god in Liber AL, the vengeful Ra Hoor Khuit of the 3rd Chapter having his reflex in Harpocrates or Hoor Paar Kraat, the Silent One. Silence indicates that no Word is uttered and thus we find in Grant’s “Outside The Circles Of The Time,” the suggestion that the Aeon of Horus, regarded as “the present aeon” is “itself the Wordless Aeon the advent of which has been dreaded and abhorred by the prophets of the past.”

Why would such a thing be “dreaded” and “abhorred?” Quite simply, it is because the last vestige of any point of reference is destroyed. All Words condense formulas, doctrines, ideas, ways of cloaking the void in form. The Wordless Aeon is the reflex of this process. To use Crowley’s metaphor, it is the draining of the last drop of blood into the Cup of Babalon. Subject and Object have become one and this fusion itself has dissolved into the cauldron. What rises is the “Babe of the Abyss” which grows in the Womb of its Mother. The maturation of this “Babe” endows it with the creative power whereby a Word may come forth, whereas beforehand, there were only Words to enter into.

Horus thus stands as Gateway to the Wordless Aeon and also an Aeon from which the Magickal Word ABRAHADABRA emerges, itself a glyph of dual power, fusing Macrocosm with Microcosm. From Silence, the Word emerges and pouring forth from the Word are its outcroppings, the “branches of Eternity.” Instead of Isis giving way to Osiris and so on, the symbolic pantheon unfolds from its center as a Mandala of Simultaneity.

“We” are portions of this Mandala and yet, like a hologram, the parts each contain the whole. Thus, the Cosmic Will unveils itself in our flesh and surges forward as individual action perfectly poised in the totality of the Mandala. ABRAHADABRA transcends Words of temporal application and expresses the foundation of all phases of the Great Work. The Void of the Silence and the Manifest World of Appearances become One.

There are languages which serve to communicate this Unity. They are, as described at the beginning of this essay, “human” modes of communication. Word. Image. These touch and resound with the perceiving and thinking faculties of the human being. They put forth their hooks and link into the mind. But this specific use language does not conform to the requirements of the rational mind or the limited being, whereby it may maintain the illusion of its supremacy. They form holes in the fabric of consciousness, become pictographs formulated in negative spaces, form openings into the “Outer Spaces” of the Nagual which may gush with terror or unspeakable beauty. Between the Tonal and the wholly unknowable void are all possibilities. All that is unimagined resides in this space. The Imaginal Manifestation is ever present at the Gate or Crossroads between these two states. To be at this juncture is to be Hadit. Self-awareness as “Being” gives way to Self-awareness as “Going.”

The Grimoire may pull us into this zone and offer its unique roadmap to the alien terrain. Conversely, we are faced with the great challenge of understanding, mapping and communicating the spaces we have entered. We cannot remain still nor can we rely on the old stand-by of models which speak only to limited apprehension of appearances. Our own creations spin off and mutate, forming vessels for the transmission of further information. Angels rush up and down that ladder. We are Jacob Dreaming. We are the Sphinx atop the Wheel. And at the same time, we are the Dream Itself. We are that Wheel.

We are creating even as we are being created.

William S. Burroughs would observe, during his career, that writing was lamentably lagging behind advances made in visual arts. This observation, however, would arise in the midst of Burroughs’ work to rectify the situation and bring things up to speed. Burroughs would slice, dice and splice the basic structure of language itself to get at new modes of utilizing the word as a means of liberating both reader and writer from the constraints imposed by a preprogrammed perceptive field. This “reality tunnel” was seen to be linked to language as a mechanism of control and restraint. Outside the confines of this prison reside the forces which Kenneth Grant describes as “alien.” The goal of the Magician (and for Burroughs, the writer IS a species of Magi) is to become, as described by Grant, “receptive to the influx of certain concepts that can, if received undistortedly, fertilize the unknown dimensions of his consciousness.” Grant goes on to emphasize: “In order to achieve this aim a new manner of communication has to be evolved; language itself has to be reborn, revivified, and given a new direction and new momentum.”

In this context, it is very interesting to read Burroughs’ thoughts on the pursuit for “Enlightenment” in the modern era. He would spend two weeks at Chogyam Trungpa’s Buddhist retreat in Boulder, Colorado, detailing the experience in the journal known as “The Retreat Diaries.” In the preface to these entries, Burroughs expressed a strong affinity between the Warrior motif of Carlos Castaneda and the Writer. He also saw this stance as being irreconcilable with the aims of Buddhism, as he understood it. Asked to relinquish his typewriter during this fortnight stay, Burroughs would argue with Trungpa on this point. Trungpa saw the setting aside of the “tool” as prerequisite to getting at an awareness of what resides behind our day to day activities, comparing it to a cook setting aside his utensils. Burroughs could not accept the comparison and wrote:

“A good percentage of my characters come from dreams, and if you don’t write a dream, in many cases, you forget it. The actual brain trace of dream memory differs from that of waking memory.”

Burroughs conceded his typewriter but refused to part with pen and paper. Cautioned that the dream images and unusual effects evoked by the meditative experience were distractions from the ultimate goal of enlightenment, he would state, as Warrior-Writer:

“The purposes of a Bodhisattva and an artist are different and perhaps not reconcilable…any writer who does not consider his writing the most important thing he does, who does not consider writing his only salvation…’I trust him little in the commerce of the soul’. “

Burroughs is finding the Writer and the Writing to be one and the same, the path of “True Will.” Thus he can state, from his position:

“I feel that I get further out through writing than I would through any meditation system. And so far as any system goes, I prefer the open-ended, dangerous and unpredictable universe of Don Juan to the closed, predictable karma universe of the Buddhists. Indeed, existence is the cause of suffering and suffering may be good copy. Don Juan says he is an impeccable warrior and not a master; anyone who is looking for a master should look elsewhere. I am not looking for a master; I am looking for the books. In dreams I sometimes find the books where it is written and I may bring back a few phrases that unwind like a scroll. Then I write as fast as I can type, because I am reading, not writing.”

This does not indicate that the pursuit of the “Bodhisattva” is erroneous. It does, however, overthrow a particular tyranny of ideas which would view the “Buddhist” objective as being superior to another field of action. In other words, the “Enlightenment” reveals the nature of the “space” in which any and all perceived phenomena is taking place. Within that “space” is the movement and directions which our individual lives have emerged to embody and exemplify. The relationship between the two is perfectly represented in Crowley’s work as Nuit, the Goddess of Infinite Space, and her consort, Hadit, the ever moving, dynamic and winged globe. Hadit typifies the Sun and as such, “Every Man and Every Woman is a Star.” Our individuality functions as the sovereign center of a solar system and yet each system takes its place in the grand matrix of the Body of Nu. The “ecstasy” of Nuit, the Gnosis of Cosmic Consciousness, is known by its reflex in the world of minute activity, perfected in the full flowing of its Nature.

The “New Aeon” may now be seen as the “Nu Aeon,” the Wordless Aeon or Primordial Silence from which all creative utterances arise to shed their radiance over unique Aeonic spheres, sectors and spaces. Aleister Crowley transmitted a multi-layered matrix and model of this Vision. Within this spectrum, we trace our Way. Our time is limited and we want to maximize each moment as we Become what we Are. The inward voyage cultivates our intuition, allowing it to resonate with those zones most attuned to its nature through the expressive and communicative mediums sharing its nature. We then find in the Grimoire a mirror, reflecting our deeper and most authentic self, describing the means by which it may rise and infiltrate our conscious mind, if we read it rightly.

To encounter the Grimoire in this fashion, which is to unlock its potentiality and activate its corresponding power zones, is emphatically NOT an intellectual processing of the material in question. In some instances, we will operate along the lines of ceremonial magic and utilize an outward and physical method of “opening the doors.” On other occasions, the methodology employed may be less apparent to an observing eye yet no less potent. Hence, Aleister Crowley would caution those working with Liber 231 to take care and not leave the sigils lying about, as he considered them, “dangerously automatic.”

The Grimoire occasions an interface whereby communication is intended to occur. Language and pictograph act as transmitters, transcending barriers of time, space and even dimension. What travels along these passageways has the potential to impact, enter into and fuse with the psychostructure of the magician, whether “encouraged” by ritual and recitation or not. In fact, the traditional ceremonial work of western magic is intended to reconstruct the psychosphere so that it may operate with greater receptivity and adaptability to the Incoming Current and Intelligence. Rather than remaining a “requisite methodology,” we find ritual taking its place with, as well as flowing into, a wide variety of techniques and idiosyncratic inventions as individual artistry arises from the foundational “set-up work.”

To conclude this introductory essay, we may observe that the traditional literature and methods of magic “stretch” our human faculties into a new perceptive territory. To use Castaneda’s terminology, magic “displaces the assemblage point,” or habitual mode of interacting with a multi-dimensional universe. Very much like the initial “spur” to the Enlightenment of Buddhism, we survey the scene and find that “life is suffering.” Something within us finds this unsatisfactory and stirs, yearns for something behind the limits of our present condition and is intuitively aware of a different and better Way of Being. Magic begins to open the blinds, turning the lock on the door and expanding, ultimately transforming, our comprehension and interaction with the larger spectrum of consciousness, of which we are part. Our previous vision will be seen as a narrow and confining prison and as one passes through Gateway after Gateway of Initiatory experience, the push towards “Freedom” will be understood as continuous. As Crowley remarked in The Book Of Lies, we will have BECOME The Way as opposed to simply moving along its course.

The work with Grimoires and Sutras, Channeled Writing and Inspired Writing, the continued manipulation of language and image, the passing into and out of chambers and cells, the communion with Gods and Devils, the “splendid adventure” whirls and burns as connections form within the Mega-Structure of the Body of God. The shattered Pleroma of the Gnostics reintegrates and, in doing so, reveals that it was never split asunder, merely perceived to be so through a small hole in a prison wall. This “Cosmic Drama” sings ABRAHADABRA as it is realized within the body, mind and soul-self of the magician who has become an expression of the Totality through the route of Individuality.

INSIDE OUTER SPACE-An Appreciation of Kenneth Grant

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Anyone conversant with the work of Kenneth Grant cannot help but associate his name with the word Extraterrestrial. His books are surrounded and permeated by an alien aura, fashioned from-and hidden within-layers and levels of an unfolding dimensionality of consciousness. The language and symbolism employed in his writing simultaneously circles into and out of the ‘Weird.’ From the surreal sensuality of Austin Spare’s artistry to the visionary voudoo of Michael Bertiaux to his own arcane appropriation of Lovecraftian Lore, Grant is ever evoking the presence of the ‘Otherworldly.’ As his writing progresses, the substance of magical tradition and history moves forward into an intensifying fusion with science-fictional futurism. The remote past is projected against, and then into, a backdrop of starry space, opening into a cognizance of ‘Outer Gateways,’ contact points with areas of Being and Non-Being increasingly identified as Non-human. UFOs streak into the ordered march of heavenly bodies and Modern Magi maneuver through the fantastic fluctuations of the Incoming Current. Where Gods and Men once held parlance, Starships assail the fabric of Time, the Oracle marking a midpoint betwixt the human being and Entities whose origin can only be described as ‘From Beyond.’

Grant makes his motivation for this thematic focus clear in a 1990 interview with the Skoob Occult Review:

 

Skoob: What is the purpose of your books?

Kenneth Grant: The main purpose is to prepare people for encounters with unfamiliar states of consciousness.

S: Do these include extraterrestrial encounters?

KG: Yes, extra-, sub-, and ultra-terrestrial encounters.

S: You think such events are imminent?

KG: They are likely at any time, but whether now or at some future period, their occurrence is certain and it is necessary to be prepared for such events.[i]

Grant’s nine volume series of books, collectively known as The Typhonian Trilogies, are works of particular interest and application to those involved in the ‘93 Current,’ a philosophy and life pulse rooted in and springing from the ‘Law of Thelema,’ as proclaimed and codified by the British Magician and Prophet, Aleister Crowley. In fact, without considerable grounding in- and understanding of-Crowley’s work, Grant’s creative compilations will be largely inexplicable and impenetrable. It would be erroneous, however, to approach Grant as a mere expositor. His writing develops, extends and evolves the life work of his former teacher into arenas alien even for many who have embraced and set their feet upon the Path promulgated by the ‘Great Beast.’ As such, it is not unusual to meet with some perplexity, confusion and apprehension when first entering this strange terrain. If any thought Crowley to be ‘too concentrated, too abstruse, too occult for ordinary minds to apprehend,’[ii] his student and friend, having entered into his own as one of the Magi, would turn the volume up to 11, riding its stellar soundscape into dimensions of which Crowley would only hint in his writings. If The Great Beast shook the popular mindset with his talk of angels and demons, or recommendation of rites and ritual culled from a more medieval aesthetic, Grant shakes those who have arrived at some understanding and familiarity with the language and forms of that Magickal Milieu.

From one perspective, Crowley sought to modernize archaic forms, revealing the kernel of truth hidden therein and applying the methods and means of an antiquated art to our evolved and scientific sensibility. Grant, having passed through his own ‘discipleship’ with Crowley, did the same. He was not, however, destined to rest on the top rung of that ladder.

Some critics have accused Grant of neglecting the Heights for the Depths. Such a view expresses the most superficial survey of his work. In his book Remembering Aleister Crowley, Grant states, ‘My main interest was (and still is) in Oriental Mysticism.’[iii] This is crucial to bear in mind when venturing through the veils and sinister shades of his esoteric explorations. It is also essential to the essence of the Extraterrestrialism of the Typhonian Tradition.

Within the Supernal Triad of the Qabalistic Tree of Life, we find the transmundane and primordial principles of Chokmah and Binah fused into the Unity of Kether, The Crown. The so-called ‘False Sephira’ of Daath embodies a dangerous depth (an Abyss) separating this Transcendent Triad from the lower realms of ordinary human consciousness. The Trilogies place great emphasis on this particular realm and have thus been met with some confusion in those identifying this atmosphere as an ‘evil’ to be evacuated in the progressive ‘ascent’ of Initiatory Consciousness. If one envisions the Summit of Spiritual Striving as an all encompassing globe of Light, Grant’s energy would drive his chariot beyond even this, seeking the Sun Behind The Sun.

One is here reminded of Crowley’s words, describing the ascent of the ‘imaginary body’ through the successive strata of Space and Mind, in ‘Liber O’:

Let him continue in this so long as the breath of life is in him. Whatever threatens, whatever allures, though it were Typhon and all his hosts loosed from the pit and leagued against him, though it were from the very Throne of God Himself that a Voice issues bidding him stay and be content, let him struggle on, ever on.[iv]

 The arena of Daath was thereby penetrated and the realms it opens to systematically explored.

We will momentarily discuss the significance of this theme in Grant’s work, as it provides a profound Key to his Occult Alienology. It is not our intent to explain Grant but rather to examine elements infused in his work which may be understood as a definite development of the ‘Oriental Mysticism’ forming the bedrock of his life and message.

Involved with O.T.O. in the United Kingdom, Grant also orchestrated an experimental sub-group called the Nu-Isis Lodge. This collective not only pursued magickal workings in a group context but followed the threads of a very specific Path, one which led to realms outside the areas traditionally explored by those involved with Western Hermetic Schools.

Just as The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn had claimed contact with overseeing and discarnate entities known as the ‘Secret Chiefs,’ Crowley directed the Order of which he was Outer Head based on his own communication with a ‘Praeternatural Intelligence’ called Aiwass. Intensely investigating these and other such contacts, Grant conducted extensive experimentation with the techniques taught by Crowley and others. The result was a collection of communications from Entities heralding, not from the Astral Realms or Ancient Egypt, but distant dimensions, oblique to the observation of the objective mind.

Crowley had stated, towards the end of his life, that such contact was the only hope for mankind, as a whole, to advance. While some sought to limit their experimentation with such ‘Outer Limits,’ calling on the Crowleyan Corpus as a canonized ‘ring-pass-not,’ Grant was the Elisha catching the Mantle of his Master. Crowley wrote of his firm conviction that the reception of his ‘Divinely Inspired’ Book of the Law was the FIRST of such communications from its Source. Either he was mistaken or his words heralded what Kenneth Grant would realize in both his life and literary output. In following this lead, Grant has not only remained faithful to the Vision Crowley devoted his life to but has taken his own place amongst the Company of the Masters. It is of little consequence that small and sectarian minds have found objection to Grant’s Vision. The Legacy of Aleister Crowley itself continues to meet such resistance and yet persists. Similarly, Grant remains a Man for the Future.

This is not an issue of anticipating some historical vindication for we can see how history perpetuates the memory of the base and ignorant alongside genius. Our society is yet enamored with vanity over beauty and symbolism over substance. No, Kenneth Grant’s work is a Gateway to our best potential, distant and unthought of possibilities, which we may yet realize in this lifetime. As humans, we are the hope and future of our Simian past. We are also underdeveloped creatures who have our own future toward which we turn our gaze. This can only appear as alien in both form and feel. For those who shrink from the change and shock of metamorphic mutation, this is, indeed, a threatening proposal. The appearance of the Future Self signifies the obliteration of what we are (or perhaps, more accurately, how we seem to be). Is it any wonder that accounts of Alien abduction are often typified by terror and a sense of personal violation? The hardwired survival instinct within each of us cannot help but recognize the implications of what it, often unwillingly, has intersected with.

On the other hand, for those who will dare, the Englishman Kenneth Grant assumes his Transcendental Role as our Frater Aossic Aiwass, human emissary of an Extradimensional Influx and Power at the periphery of our own perceptive parameters. His artistry augments our ascent by means of an unconventional usage of language as the vehicle whereby we interface with, and are transformed by, an Intelligence and Life radiating from beyond our present state of affairs.

When I first read Kenneth Grant, I was perplexed, unnerved and, at the same time, mystified. His writing was extraordinarily dense. The numeric symbolism was overwhelming. Within a single paragraph, he would reference a tremendously diverse multitude of ideas with which I was unfamiliar. He would also allude to very sinister and disconcerting practices. I found it hard to ‘stick with it’ and would put his work down to pursue something with more clarity. Despite this derailing, I would repeatedly return to his books. I was disorientated and, at times, disturbed. Yet, I found myself irresistibly fascinated. And every time I would enter his ‘world,’ I wanted to be a ‘fly on the wall’ of Nu-Isis Lodge. He would speak of fantastic and outrageous happenings and I wanted to witness, for myself, the events he described. Doubt and desire would alternate. Ultimately, both would be extinguished in a sudden and unforeseen Gnosis which led me back to these strange books with an unprecedented passion. My awareness of what Grant calls the ‘Alien’ awoke and a sense of urgency, as opposed to mere curiosity, drove me back to his words.

I had been practicing a form of Japanese Buddhism when it occurred. Crowley’s Thelema and Grant’s difficult work was far from my mind. After years of involvement with this school or that, I thought I had ‘found my way’ and was not anticipating any sort of ‘return’ to my former fascination with the Message of the Master Therion.

This is how it happens. Intrusion. Invasion. The ‘stars are aright’ and the conditions propitious. If one is ‘unprepared,’ such an influx may be traumatic, shattering the reference points upon which one has staked their self-understanding. St. Paul is about ‘business as usual’ when knocked off his horse and struck blind, forced to confront the Christ with whom his whole existence has been at enmity. He ‘kicks against the pricks’ until finally opening to the deeper reality which will not be denied. The result is his Conversion, Transformation and Evolution.

Personally, I remain cynical of many accounts of ‘alien contact.’ As a culture, we tend to encounter such stories only as they offer an economic gain to the media moguls who deliver them to us. What comes through our TV screen is, undoubtedly, bound up in commercial interest and the ceaseless hunger for diversion and entertainment we crave as a society. UFO sightings may as well take their place with the wholly unconvincing ‘Ghost Hunters’ and Psuedo-psychics contacting deceased relatives for a ‘live studio audience.’ Consider how often we cut to ‘commercial break’ and note what is being sold.

Despite the cant of commercial media, the phenomena itself is not so easily dismissed, especially when it ‘intrudes’ into one’s experience. The science fiction writer Philip Dick was not seeking to confirm any preexisting religious beliefs when he encountered ‘God.’ His was a disconcerting experience and not one embraced with hungry credulity. Navigating through his intellect’s defense mechanisms, Dick was able to meet this ‘Incoming Current’ halfway. The information it bestowed crushed his previous grasp on reality, transformed his work and, quite literally, saved his child’s life.

For myself, a series of events, wholly unsought after, entered my life and disrupted its ‘reality tunnel.’ I was thrown into a zone I had never before encountered, despite many previous years of esoteric endeavor. An Intelligence outside of myself began to communicate information in a very sequential and patterned fashion. This Intelligence indicated an origin in the Sirius Star System. I was, honestly, at a loss as to how I should make sense of what was occurring. Despite my focus on Buddhist practice and teaching, what came through was an unmistakable reference to Crowley’s Book of the Law. I can distinctly recall thinking ‘I am way out of my depth! I don’t know what is happening! I need someone to help…!’ The first person I thought of was that elusive Englishman, Kenneth Grant. He had written about this sort of thing! I recall bounding up the stairs to a bookshelf where Aleister Crowley and the Hidden God was tucked away. Reentering this text, I felt as if I was reading a completely new author. The ‘Kenneth Grant’ who was previously difficult and daunting suddenly seemed sharp and simple. Where I once thought ‘he must be putting me on,’ I now thought ‘My God! This man has BEEN where I’m AT!’ I devoured the book. Unaware of the collector’s market, I underlined and scrawled in the margins. This book was not some rarity of resale value. It was a lifeline, cast into the Labyrinth and winding towards new portals and access points. Rather than showing the way OUT, it began showing the Way IN.

The intervening years have found me voyaging further into this Mystery, sometimes lost, other times hot on the trail. What is clear to me is that I passed through a Gateway and the Door sealed behind me. I had imagined what it might be like to be present at the events described in Grant’s books. Just when it was all furthest from my mind, I fell through.

When we catapult into the ‘Beyond,’ all we have known and been until that point comes trailing after us. This portion of our Being is forced to confront those unfamiliar states of consciousness Grant said his books were meant to prepare people for. Our confrontation does not automatically assure successful assimilation. We may attempt to fit the forms of the Incoming Current into preexisting portions of deep seated mental mechanisms, clustered about and supporting the fierce drive to survive. The result is confinement of the Current, its boundless energy pressing against its prison. The explosive expression of its nature through such ‘mind forg’d manacles’ gives birth to monstrosities. The Sermon on the Mount is turned into the Spanish Inquisition.

We have alluded to Crowley making modern the archaic language of magic. Carl Jung would deeply explore the mythic and magical realms as an upsurge from the Collective Unconscious into the psyche of the individual. This has certainly been more palatable to the modern mindset than the literalism of previous generations grappling with the same areas of the mind. From this viewpoint, things may be analyzed, docketed and dealt with. There is a tendency, however, to stunt the experience by perpetual relation to a psychoanalytical view. The need to explain based on previous understanding prohibits a full launch into that which we have yet to understand.

Grant, on the other hand, does not attempt to capture the unsettling emergence of the unfamiliar by relating it to a precise system of explanation. This has caused some of his more superficial readers to believe he is speaking in literal and physical terms when describing phenomena of an ‘alien’ nature. Having stated this, we must add that Grant is not simply repackaging psychological insights in the symbolic garb of pulp fiction. As much as his work should not be read as ‘literal,’ neither should one try to decipher some symbolic code and get at what might ‘really’ be finding expression. The language of The Trilogies is neither literal nor metaphorical. It is Magickal.

In his book How to read Wittgenstein, Professor of Philosophy, Ray Monk, comments:

Wittgenstein once wrote: I think I summoned up my attitude to philosophy when I said: philosophy ought to be written only as a poetic composition… If philosophical understanding is to be conveyed—i.e. stated directly in literal language—it must be through something more analogous to poetry. The philosopher has to bear in mind always that what he or she wants to say cannot be said, and, therefore, it has to be conveyed another way; it has to be shown. In this way… the unutterable will be, unutterably, contained in what has been uttered.[v]

This is exemplified in Kenneth Grant’s writings. Through the medium of language, he is showing that which cannot otherwise be expressed. Likewise, he focuses, perhaps more so than any other occultist, on the medium of visual art as possessing this power. Dali, Ernst, Tanguy and others all take their place with the most learned and dedicated of magicians, often surpassing them in effectiveness of methodology.

Visual depiction of that which evades the logic of the layman’s language is not, however, the only medium whereby one may give expression to the ineffable. Although we may find examples of Grant’s drawing and painting throughout the Trilogies, he is first and foremost a writer. Confronted with the limitations of language, Grant has single-handedly invented his own ‘genre,’ dissolving the demarcations between fact and fiction and opening his readership into an awareness where such tidy categorizing cannot be clung to.

In the truly significant volume Outside the Circles of Time, Grant makes this observation:

A new manner of communication has to be evolved; language itself has to be reborn, revivified, and given a new direction and a new momentum. The truly creative image is born of creative imagining, and this is-ultimately-an irrational process that transcends the grasp of human logic.[vi]

Thus it is that Grant calls upon the writers and poets who have done with the written word what the most modern of artists have done with the visual image. I have yet to read a single criticism of Grant that acknowledges the ‘poetic composition’ of his work, let alone displaying any understanding of what a ‘poetic composition’ might be.

William Blake would call attention to the distinction between Allegory and Vision. Allegory is a metaphoric medium. Vision occurs when distinction between the symbol and what is symbolized collapses, melds and is understood within the union betwixt the Perceiver and that which is Perceived. This is the Gateway whereby we may rightly read Grant. It is not a zone we might waltz into without risk. Sanity itself is set upon and we expose ourselves to the possibility of being torn asunder and sucked into the vortex of the ‘irrational process’ we have opened ourselves to.

Despite the danger of first testing and then pushing the action of the mind beyond the limits of its ‘safety zone,’ we acutely feel the danger and ultimate entropy in stasis. If there is risk before us, it offers a better chance than sitting on the certainty of dissolution rising beneath our feet. Our nature is to go, to move, to live.

Therefore we are driven by a fundamentally irrational force toward that which exists on the outskirts of whatever safe haven our minds have constructed. This impetus is not some senseless flailing about nor is it courting disaster without heed for its own interest. Rather, it IS what IS, wholly Itself, something which cannot be described as having a ‘nature,’ for it IS that nature. It utilizes reason as a type of vehicle to assist its movement and yet is, itself, beyond the bounds of reason. We might view it as the force which is both calling us from The Beyond and propelling us into its Alien Territory, all at once.

As reason is ridden into these zones, beyond the normal range of its function, it enters into a crisis. It screams for some framework whereby it might maintain control of the situation. However, ‘If Will stops and cries Why, invoking Because, then Will stops and does nought.’ (Liber AL II: 30)

But Will does NOT stop. It is only reason which cries ‘Why.’ Perhaps one of the best replies to this desperate inquiry is given by Grant in his essay ‘The Adamantine Way.’ Grant, treating of the nature of all phenomena as a creation of consciousness, writes:

The reason why we create such a universe of name and form is as inexplicable as why the artist paints his pictures. It may be sheer joy; a compulsion springing from unknown depths; it may be that as art is the nature of the artist, so also the production of name and form is the nature of the mind. And so events, peopled with infinite individual and illusory selves, unfold upon the screen of the One Consciousness and imagine a cycle of life and death, until there is realization by these illusory selves of the real substratum of their being.

It should be remembered that such an answer as this springs from the reasoning mind, and so from the start it is part of the illusion it sets out to explain; so also is the question, which likewise rises from the ignorant assumption that there is such an ego with its desires and vasanas to explain away whereas in fact there is no such thing.[vii]

Gaining in proximity to such a realization, the ego cannot help but spasm and feel abject terror at the proposition of its dissolution. It recoils.

In the pages of Outside the Circles of Time, Grant speaks of an Extraterrestrial Entity called Lam. Amongst the considerable amount of commentary offered in conjunction with this Being, he states plainly:

Lam is the Gateway to the Void. Its number, 71, is that of Alil, ‘Nothing’, ‘an apparition or image’. Lam is the image of the void.[viii]

We can begin to see why Lam is a figure whose appearance may be perceived as emitting a malevolent or menacing aura to those who are not adequately prepared for such an encounter. The emergence of the image of Lam is a unique collision between its essence and the content of the human mind which is opened to such an influx. Although the Typhonian Order embodies an on-going exploration of the worlds to which this Gate leads, the average human being tends to be ignorant of such realms or is unwillingly exposed to them, with accompanying traumatic impressions of hostile or antagonistic force.

One may ask why forces from Outside the Gate would thus enter into human consciousness, ‘invading’ it, as it were. The answer, as much as we can provide such a thing, is found in the aforementioned Will. We have spoken of how the Will is movement, action, going. We have also indicated that this action, although irrational, is not some senseless spinning in a circle. Rather, the Will is the life pulse and movement of the Cosmic Evolutionary Current. It is growing into Itself. The extensions made outward are simultaneously swimming inward, formulating the Masonic Point Within the Circle—or the Globe which is Hadit within the Infinitude of the Body of Nuit.

As the Word becomes Flesh, the Flesh is awakened to the sounding of the Word, which can only be heard as the Voice of the Silence. The Mind rises to fuse with Anti-Mind and this intersection marks the contact point between what we identify as Human and Alien. When such a Union occurs, the horizontal and vertical forces evoke The Point-or the Going Globe of Liber AL, now radically vitalized and unleashed by the polarities of this contact.

Blake writes that ‘Without Contraries is no progression, Attraction and Repulsion, Reason and Energy, Love and Hate, are necessary for human existence.’ Read from a Cosmic vantage point, this is not so dissimilar from the Buddhist declaration that ‘Samsara is Nirvana’ or the Qabalistic statement that ‘Kether is in Malkuth.’ Some schools of religious and mystical bent teach a linear approach to the ideal of ‘Progression.’ One is identified as being somehow at the ‘bottom,’ as it were, and makes successive steps to get to the ‘top.’ For some, the notion of the ‘top’ is equated with the extinction of whatever qualities persist at the ‘bottom.’ Regardless of how much progress one makes along such a line, they will remain limited within this linear consciousness. The two realms are opposed and divided, one considered good (or desirable) and the other evil (or not so desirable). One doesn’t escape the wheel of duality by further emphasizing this opposition. Rather, one must come into The Point, a singularity which is in no wise hostile to the multiplicity.

Lam is the Gate to this Gnosis as well as the Key which opens the Gate. We cannot say that Lam is a symbol for a psychological event, personified as an Entity for, as we steadily unsheathe this Mystery, we go far beyond the typical terrestrial modes of cognition and categorization. Coiled within the constraints of the human mind, we distinguish between phenomena, calling one thing ‘real’ and another ‘unreal.’ We recognize this thing as an ‘entity’ and this other thing as a ‘non-entity’ (an object, an idea, a relationship and so on). Yet all such categorizations are really relative value judgments we are placing on our experience of an endlessly shifting flux of happening. Inasmuch as it is possible to push the limit of our ability to perceive and receive, we may enter into a greater comprehension (or better put, Communion) with Intelligences of which we were previously ignorant.

This Communion is an Opening of the Gate whereby the Cosmic Mind both incarnates and disincarnates all at once. As long as we are holding to modes of perception which are bound up in the time-space logic of our mammalian and planetary life, we cannot hope to envision, let alone experience, this Union. As Grant states, to even talk this way about it ‘springs from the reasoning mind, and so from the start it is part of the illusion it sets out to explain.’ Despite this, the Gnosis embodied in the Opening of the Gate reveals that both the Void and the Manifesting World of ‘Illusions’ are not at odds. In fact, they are both, essentially, the same thing.

What we have been discussing is a profoundly mystical state of awareness. This mysticism will prove to be an absolutely essential key to grasping Grant’s magick.

In her book, Initiation: Human and Solar, Alice Bailey writes:

We must recognize also that danger lies in dogma and in the hide-bound facts of textbooks, and that safety lies in flexibility, and in a shifting angle of vision. A fact, for instance, looked at from the standpoint of humanity (using the word ‘fact’ in the scientific sense as that which has been demonstrated past all doubt and question) may not be a fact from the standpoint of a Master. To Him it may be but part of a greater fact, only a fraction of the whole. Since His vision is fourth and fifth dimensional, His realization of the place of time in eternity must be more accurate than ours. He sees things from above downwards and as one to whom time is not.[ix]

 

It is not the province of the ‘Master’ to impart a Gnosis we lack. It is the arrival at Gnosis, unfolded from our own deep core, which allows us to open our field of perception to a degree capable of cognition within the ‘fourth and fifth dimensions.’ Having passed through and dispensed with the notion of rejecting the so-called ‘lower world’ for the higher, our mystical extension of consciousness finds a new field of action whereby the Will acclimates, assumes its direction and Goes further. This shifting into increasingly comprehensive states of being is embodied in the ritual work of the Freemasons, where the soul which has ‘long been in darkness’ seeks and finds Illumination only to return to the Lodgeroom in search of ‘more Light.’

Initiation after Initiation follows. We are social creatures, whose very language has evolved from a desire and need to communicate. Contact in these realms beyond the terrestrial calls forth the same necessity. We err when we conceive of these possibilities as duplicating the dynamics of human intercourse with the addition of some exotic ornament or form. This is precisely where Grant eludes many readers, although he is often speaking in terms as clear as possible.

The capstone to Grant’s Trilogies is the monumental volume The Ninth Arch, which opens with the text of Liber OKBISh. This text struck me from the very first reading as a genuine account of traffick with the sort of entities we are discussing. OKBISh is not as immediately poetic or coherent as Liber AL. This is an important thing to note. When I read Liber AL as a young man, I imagined that, were a preternatural intelligence to thus communicate with myself, it would be characterized by the same sort of poetic tone. Years later, I would understand how such communications filter through the thought-structures of the medium and are colored thereby. If a student of this neo-Thelemic school of thought and research is perplexed by Liber AL’s more cryptic and encoded passages (such as II: 75-76), OKBISh gushes with raw energy, at times taking form only in the most guttural of sounds, if sound is manifest at all.

The text of OKBISh evokes a cadence beyond its word or meter. One can feel the pulse of consciousness itself rising, sinking and bobbing through unchartered regions of cognition. It is as if the medium dips down into a depth from which no connection may be formed with the conscious mind. Statements and sentences fragment, coherent components of communication dissolve into non-human vibratory emanations and, where the biomechanism of the medium is insufficient for translation, Silence ensues.

This Silence, however, is a Selah, broken by the mind’s return from the Void Realms, magnetizing to itself the impress of all that may be conveyed by word and image. The opening page of this mysterious missive from Beyond states:

To begin…Lam is Okbi Spider Writing. Number of the Great Star and the three tentacles. Walking backwards only then it meets its own Light. (OKBISh 1:4-6)[x]

 

The utterance of these words comes swimming upwards through a wyrd webwork of incomprehensible star-speech. Concise and to the point, these verses utilize the native language and symbol structures employed by the Nu Isis Lodge to convey the Nature of their origin, thereby announcing the quality of mind requisite to reading-and engaging with-that which is to follow.

What is ‘Spider Writing?’ It is web weaving. Mandala making. The elements of communication are not assembled in a sequence of separate symbols. Rather the whole is interconnected, each point linked with the rest in a staggering complex of combinations. This web of arcane geometries is alive in an ever shifting series of vibratory undulations. The three tentacles would seem to signify an inverse of the Supernal Triad, the reflex of L.V.X. in N.O.X.. The number of The Great Light is equated with its opposite. As we ascend to the Light of the Supernals, this Light descends into the Depths and the two are made one. Lam, Gateway Guru betwixt the Manifest and Void, walks ‘backwards,’ evokes the opposite of that which is beyond opposites. The place where this conjoining occurs is in the zone of Daath, an environment which not only distinguishes between the human and transhuman but connects them as well.

Returning to Grant’s Outside the Circles of Time, we find this poignant observation:

Owing to humanity’s exclusive traffic with dayside phenomena, and the use of the front of the Tree by initiates of the Aeons of Isis and Osiris, a lopsided situation has arisen which may be corrected only be systematic invocation of the qlipoth, or nightside equivalents of the power-zones, cosmic and mundane. This is the reason for so much attention being directed by initiates today to the subconsciousness in the human being, and to extra-dimensional consciousness in the planetary and cosmic organism.[xi]

This paradoxical verity has been expressed by various individuals and schools through a variety of terms. Lao Tzu’s ‘Tao.’ Austin Spare’s ‘Neither/Neither.’ The Buddhist concept of ‘Esho Funi.’ Advaita Vedanta’s ‘Non-Duality.’ Kenneth Grant does not simply expound such a postulate, however. His books are a detailed exploration of the mechanics involved in unleashing this Gnosis.

He continues:

Each individual magician should discover his own peculiar modes of access. These cannot be contrived artificially for they are suggested directly from the subconsciousness by chance occurrences of nervous stimulation which engender the atmosphere necessary for creative work in any sphere.[xii]

It is not within the scope of this essay to examine this particular area of action in detail. Suffice to say, the ‘nervous stimulation’ of which Grant writes has correspondence on the corporeal, chemical and metaphysical planes, forming connective networks between then. The ‘chance occurrences’ not only open one to the unfamiliar states of consciousness, alluded to earlier in the Skoob Interview, but inform the magician of what must be developed to transition into full facility in such realms. The displacement of thought-structures immersed in ‘dayside phenomena’ also entails an intense precision of attentiveness.

Applying this approach to OKBISh and other texts like it we are no longer faced with a code to be cracked but a web-song permeating the cosmic topography wherein our Will flows from form to form. The investigation of the text then becomes a true tapping of the intelligences which informed it, as opposed to attempting a capture of trans-rational communications in the net of the mind.

In the short story, From Beyond, H. P. Lovecraft’s character, Crawford Tillinghast, speaks, from a place wavering betwixt impassioned genius and maniacal madness:

What do we know… of the world and the universe about us? Our means of receiving impressions are absurdly few, and our notions of surrounding objects infinitely narrow. We see things only as we are constructed to see them, and gain no idea of their absolute nature. With five feeble senses we pretend to comprehend the boundlessly complex cosmos, yet other beings with a wider, stronger, or different range of senses might not only see very differently the things we see, but might see and study whole worlds of matter, energy, and life which lie close at hand yet can never be detected with the senses we have. I have always believed that such strange, inaccessible worlds exist at our very elbows, and now I believe I have found a way to break down the barriers.[xiii]

 

Compare this passage to Aleister Crowley’s words, from ‘On The Reception of the Book of the Law’:

 

I frankly accept the most materialistic conceptions of Victorian science. I yell with unholy glee that consciousness is a function of the brain. I merely add that nature is continuous, and that it is therefore absurd to suppose that any special group of phenomena and no other should exhibit unique qualities…. all matter is to some extent conscious; and so there may be, all over the Universe, individuals of many orders-only the shallowest salvationists would sneer “why don’t we see them?” The Unknown-from “Australia before it was discovered” (as the child’s riddle says), to bacilli, Hertz rays and electrons-had the impudence to exist without our formal recognition.

I hope the above remarks have destroyed the a priori denials of the possibility of the existence of discarnate intelligences. Nay, more, I trust that I have established a strong probability that they are everywhere.[xiv]

 

What Lovecraft envisioned in his fiction and Crowley described with the language of reason, Kenneth Grant evokes, maps, and presents to his readership as an investigator of the Unknown, a Pioneer of the outermost fringe of Modern Magickal practice and a profound Mystic, whose incarnation into Space-Time has been irradiated by an influx of Energy and Gnosis from the Outer Spaces.

Emphasizing in his work that it is not his purpose to ‘try to prove anything’ but rather to ‘construct a magical mirror’ by means of the ‘inbetweeness concepts’ whereby we may access ‘unknown dimensions of…consciousness,’[xv] Grant eludes the scrutiny of the scientific mind as well as its counterpart in the credulity of the wishful. Both categories may be considered as expressions of a terrestrial consciousness. Approaching the Typhonian Trilogies as neither fact nor fiction but rather as that ‘magical mirror’ of which Grant wrote, we may find the ‘the unutterable… contained in what has been uttered.’

This is the Voice of the Silence and the Gateway to Lam, Itself a Gateway to Realms yet unimagined. To reach out and touch this mirror is to enter it, to read these writings with more than the intellect’s means and modes of definition and to, at last, be Inside Outer Space.

-Kyle Fite

[i] ‘Interview with Kenneth Grant,’ in Skoob Occult Review, Autumn 1990, Issue 3, 5.

[ii] A. Crowley, Magick: Liber ABA (York Beach, Maine: Samuel Weiser, 2002), 3.

[iii] K. Grant, Remembering Aleister Crowley (London: Skoob Books Publishing Ltd., 1991), v.

[iv] Crowley, Magick, 626.

[v] R. Monk, How to read Wittgenstein (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2005), 27.

[vi] K. Grant, Outside the Circles of Time (London: Starfire Publishing Ltd, 2008), 12.

[vii] K. Grant, At the Feet of the Guru (London: Starfire Publishing Ltd. 2006), 41.

[viii] Grant, Outside the Circles of Time, 154.

[ix] A. Bailey, Initiation Human and Solar (New York: Lucis Publishing Company, 1997), 5.

[x] K. Grant, The Ninth Arch (London: Starfire Publishing Ltd., 2002), 1.

[xi] Grant, Outside the Circles of Time, 236-237.

[xii] Ibid, 258.

[xiii] From Beyond, from Necronomicon, The Best Weird Tales of H.P. Lovecraft (Orion Publishing Group, 2008) p. 388

[xiv] Crowley, Magick, 700.

[xv] Grant, Outside the Circles of Time, 12.