Passed while trekking through a village in Nepal
Michael Staley’s essay The Resurgance of Cosmic Identity (published in the Jeruslaem Press edition of Austin Osman Spare’s Book of Pleasure) is inspired and insightful. This part in particular struck a deep cord:
“When assessing the body of work of an adept of whatever means of expression — be it in the graphics arts, writing, or music — we should not expect always to find a steady progression with consistent themes and gradual development. Rather, we often find abrupt changes of direction: projects taken up and then lain aside, unfinished. This is because an adept -in whatever medium the genius is expressed – is driven primarily by currents of inspiration which are caught — often fleetingly — and articulated through his or her work. some of these currents of inspiration can lead to long and extraordinarily fruitful phases of work. Others yield little, either proving to be cul-de-sacs, or simply giving way to yet another inspiring current. Thus it is that in retrospect we can examine particular phases of the adept’s career, and wonder why some apparently fruitful line of working was dropped, or not fully developed. The body of work is living, abounding with loose ends, and open to further development by others.”
It is not enough to only preserve what has come before, as though it were some great commandment etched in stone and never to adapt or grow. Rather than sit tight, holding fast to “what has come before” and chanting the droll mantra “it has always been this way”, we should rise to the opportunity as the successors and heirs of the many great masters, to pick up the subtle threads and hints of their work and tend to them, developing new and often inspired works. Life is ever evolving and growing in new and often unexpected directions.
“Esoteric Buddhism teaches that Reality presents two aspects, one relative finite and conditioned, and one absolute, infinite and unconditioned. Seen with the eye of the unenlightenend being who is turned about on the wheel of existence these two aspects appear separate and irreconcilable, but to the Eye of the Buddha (butsugen) at the unmoving hub they are the inseperable facts of a single truth. In the partial view from the periphery all things are seen as transient and in momentary transformation, lacking an abiding self-nature; but in his total, all-encompasing view from the centre a Buddha sees that the imperfect, ephemeral and mutable dharmas merge with perfect, eternal and immutable Suchness (tathata, shinnyo). He sees that the world of fleeting, impermanent forms and the Buddha’s world of adamantine durability are non-dual.” – The Matrix and Diamond World Mandalas of Shingon Buddhism (Adrian Snodgrass)
From the tantrik commentary by Curwen (quoted in Beyond the Mauve Zone):mamsa still continues to be flesh; meena still floats like fish in the water by which it is surrounded; mudras are secrets to all but initiates and cannot be communicated ecept by word of mouth and face to face with the Guru; and maithuna alone can rejuvenate her after the exaustion of the Puja.
Grant continues:The wine or madhya is the urine of the Suvasini after the Fire Snake has absorbed the amrita or nectar of the ultimate chakra, Sahasrara. This nectar or soma is the ‘moon-juice’ of ancient Vedic lore. The flesh, mamsa, is the lunar emanation embodined in the menstrual fluid at a certain stage of its flow; and the fish (meena) is a secretion that swims in the waters of the lotus-pool. The maithuna is the mystical congress of Shiva and Shakti — Consciousness and its Power — in the Sahasrara Chakra.
[…]For the fully initiated Kaula Adept, the universe is a manifesation of perpetual joy, bliss, Amrita (deathlessness), from which he distils the elixir of immortality. Liber AL, today, echos his paen of rapture: Remember all ye that existence is pure joy; that all the sorrows are but as shadows; they pass & are done; but there is that which remains.
[…]The final bija, Krim, is the bija-mantra of Goddess Kalika, the hidden Principle of Creation described in the Ratrisukta as ‘Night.’ She it i who reveals the universe as a shadow (chaya). She is the reflex of all colours (kalas), Herself ‘without colour’; black. Yet is She the background of light, and the crescent (shashi-kala) on Her brow denotes that She is the originator of nada-bindu-kala, the trikona at the center of the Sri Chakra. When fully self-expressed She appears as Uma, with the glamout of the full moon, and is then known as Sri Vidya. Her essence, however, is always Ama (darkness). Uma (light) and Ama (darkness) are the twin poles between which flashes the vibration AUM. As Japa of the bija-mantras leads the Fire Snake progressively higher, do do the energies released in the lower chakras, bordering the subconsciousness, become increasingly active.
“As the western adept is required to have established contact with his ‘Holy Guardian Angel’ (in Tiphareth) before achieving initation into the Greater Mysteries, so the eastern chela has to have raised the Fire Snake to the Place of the Guru (Âjna chakra) with whom he renews contact in each incarnation in order to maintain continuity of magical consciousness in the waking-state. A further comparison: during sadhana, the Self (Atma) assumes an external form and appears as the Guru, or inwardly as the Angel. The Fire Snake also appears outwardly and assumes the form of the Suvasini or of the Scarlet Woman.”
I finally “got” Bagalamukhi, as a protector and warrior against all that distracts from the True Will and the Work. She and her retinue are fierce beyond all means. Waves of radiance and bliss from Union with Kali encircled by the fiery daggers of Bagala radiating outwards in all directions.
The panchatattva is ultimately kundalini. The symbols speak on multiple levels. Outwardly the Homa ritual; secretly the Panchatattva; in the Hidden Shrine the Fire Snake and her ascent up the chakras.
The dhuni or fire pit is the cremation ground. The cremation ground is the yoni of the goddess. This is in the Heart of the Master. The ashes of the flames are indeed the radiance of the kalas, the dew of light emitted from the wetness of the Goddess. Let that wetness direct (Tripura gayatri).
“There is neither creation nor destruction,
Neither destiny nor free will,
Neither path nor achievement;
This is the final truth.”
Reflecting back on a post from the other day, I was reminded of this wonderfully simple description:
“The main Ethics of the Book of the Law. Man is asked to act as if it were true that he is a spark of that great light of God. Those who insist on making that assumption, on basing all their lives on it, are the Thelemites.” (Churton quoting unpublished AC)
This is the practice of Divine Pride as taught in the tantras, wherein the personal self is given over completely to the chosen deity such that it for a time lives inside of the practitioner. The Goddess then sees with your eyes, hears with your ears, tastes and speaks with your mouth, feels with your heart. Your very body becomes the temple of the divine and allows the infinite to experience the finite.
Through practices of purification, dedication and self exploration, the personality may be tuned such that it is able to open up to this Divine Pride. Generation stage practices for example, where the deity is visualized in great detail as external to the operator, are part of this process of training. Another approach is given in the western practices of “assumption of God forms,” although without much of the explanatory and supporting practices unless one is careful to follow a detailed training regimen of foundational exercises in yoga, meditation and ritual.
Live life according to Thy Will is the First Step, and the Last Step. For many that may be the entire Journey, and as such there is no greater reward.
(As a side note, Churton’s biography of the Old Man has a post from last year in the Telegraph)
“The essence of independence has been to think and act according to standards from within, not without.”
Recently saw a post on facebook with the above quote by Crowley, and was reminded again of the simplicity of the core message of spiritual enlightenment. The essence of the teaching, the first step or first grade, is to learn who one is, free from external influence. Once this knowledge is gained, you need to put it into practice.
Live life according to your Will. This is the essence of the tantrik word svecchachara. This compound word is made up of the three shaktis. These three Goddesses are Iccha Shakti (Goddess of Will), Jnana Shakti (Goddess of Knowledge), and Kriya Shakti (Goddess of Action). The term Shakti represents Power itself; specifically the divine feminine power that is the essence of the Goddess Kundalini.
In the tantras these primary Shaktis may be worked with by means of ritual or visualization practices possibly involving mantra, yantra and mudra. Outer court systems in the Western Mysteries may also work with these in the form of alchemical symbolism such as the elemental grade workings.
Whatever system is used, the basic tenet of discovering who one is, and then living that Truth of Self remains the same. “All you have to do is be yourself, to do your will, and rejoice.” – The Law of Liberty
Victory to Kali, Victory to the Mother, the Savior of souls!
Salutations again and again
to the Devi who abides in all beings in the form of consciousness;
to the Devi who abides in all beings in the form of intelligence;
to the Devi who abides in all beings in the form of sleep;
to the Devi who abides in all beings in the form of hunger;
to the Devi who abides in all beings in the form of power;
to the Devi who abides in all beings in the form of modesty;
to the Devi who abides in all beings in the form of peace;
to the Devi who abides in all beings in the form of faith;
to the Devi who abides in all beings in the form of loveliness;
to the Devi who abides in all beings in the form of compassion;
to the Devi who abides in all beings in the form of contentment;
to the Devi who abides in all beings in the form of mother.
May that Devi, the Mother, who appears in the form of all things,
bring forth benefits for all who sing Her praises.