Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law –AL I:40
by J. Edward Cornelius
Beginning on Saturday, August 9th, 2009 I posted the following on my blog – “Here is the task for all my students and readers for the week of August 9th thru the 16th. Magicians love to pontificate on how they’re in touch with their Holy Guardian Angel, and they will argue endlessly of the great ‘guidance’ that they’ve been receiving since childhood, but their lives are often devoid of spirituality and wallowing continually in questing for Malkuthian things justified in a Pit of Because. … All things, I repeat, all things on the horizontal plane are Wants; or shadows of our True Will. This is basic Magick 101. Our True Will always lies within, vertically, always off this plane, never to manifest except as fleeting shadows and according to the Tao: Will-lies within-Yin / Wants-lies without-Yang and everything must be Balanced, everything in its place. Don’t cross the planes. … Thus: money, a piece of ass, job, family, nice clothes, drugs, booze, EVERYTHING on this plane is rooted in our wants; which are ok to seek because the world is our playground of experiences that we have chosen for our incarnation … and so my question for the upcoming week is this: since according to the sacred art of Abramelin the Mage all mortals are given both an Angel and Demon, how can a magician distinguish between which one is giving him ‘guidance’ … or whether or not he or she is simply fooling themselves as a slave on the horizontal plane … or if they’re really a King moving vertically? Send me an email letting me know what you think.
J. F. C. Fuller wrote – “Life is shrouded in a mystery;
this is the fundamental fact which confronts us. We live in a cave
with our backs to the light, and, as Plato said, our knowledge is
nothing more than the shadows which play upon its walls.”
…. Here is what was received:
Sunday, August 9th, 2009 – 6:50am Under the subject – “Angels et Demons”, Ricky sends us this email – “Jerry 93, Interesting that you should post this question today. Over the past month or so I have been pondering this same question in regards to my past. And though I think there may be certain instance’s where my Angel may have guided me or nudged me in the right direction it is nearly always preceded by an obvious yank in the other by the Demon.
I think if we take an example this might be easier. People may be drawn to the path of scientific illuminism for may reasons but the true seekers nearly always have one thing in common, the drive to Know Thyself. This is the Great Work for us here in Malkuth and it is in line with the True Will of a person because it is the first necessary step to realizing it. This ‘drive’ then can be said to be the pull of the Angel. Adversely, anything that strays one away from this, all the ‘wants’ that are not necessary to, and in all likely hood distract one from, this ‘drive’ is in essence the pull of our Demon. So personally we must each of us harshly analyze what we do as either a hindrance (Demon) or helpful (Angel) to our current Work.
93 93/93 Ricky .”
Reply: I suspect that this will be a very interesting topic this week. Remember this clue; according to Aleister Crowley in Magick in Theory & Practice – “A man whose conscious will is at odds with his True Will is wasting his strength. He cannot hope to influence his environment efficiently” and “A man who is doing his True Will has the inertia of the Universe to assist him.”
7:00 am On the Angel and the Demon, Joe writes – “93 – Jerry – I hope this email finds you WELL !
hmmm – You ask: “Can a magician distinguish between which one is giving him ‘guidance’?”
I am thinking of experiences done with intent – especially the ones which exercise the “Will” – calling them “useless will exercises” – something I have explored and taught – after reading the classic book “The Dice Man” and from doing certain A.’.A.’. exercises as a young man. – seeing how long. I could remain awake without sleeping (could only get to day two without collapsing) and seeing how much I can drink and then finding that balance (This changes with time I am an expert drinker now at the young age of 42 and could USE a Guinness right about NOW)
I feel that a WANT is something which arises out of the self which is in the Trance of Life – and becomes an addiction – an addiction is always a sign and a way to see where one is at – to see who is in “control” the so called Demon or the so called Angel.
If one’s position is that the Demon is not the genius but a distraction from ones “common sense” then it becomes like that third Martini or that really really inexpensive whore who shows up just when ones shoelace breaks – or if the Demon being a “distraction” or a “break” may manifest in order to give experience in order to know the difference, then it is of course up to the individual.
” I ” know when I’m addicted to something – I know when there is imbalance – I know how I feel when I am deprived of something- like that after work cigarette, or the cold beer on a summer day due to lack of money or some other means of deprivation – If there is a craving for that thing – then I think that there is an imbalance going on and I have to realign myself to my self.
It is interesting that one may not notice something until it is gone – that one does not see oneself or even manifest unless one hides from oneself.
I have a difficult time thinking in terms of an ANGEL and a DEMON being these two separate things – but know full well we are stuck in Duality – and see both as the same part of ONE thing- but in order to understand the two there must be some form of comparison of what motivates the self to get up in the morning and what to do with that TIME.
Therefore the idea of addiction – of being in a TRANCE – and knowing how to create and break Trances as a key to distinguish which ONE gives us guidance. I think both inform each other and are not at odds – but at evens.
I hope you are HEALTHY and HAPPY – I can and will be drinking a BEER in One hour and seven minutes give or take a minute.
JOE from Beverly 93 93/93
Reply: Actually the Angel and the Demon are one and the same thing or as the Greeks called him – the ‘daimon’. It was the advent of Christianity that saw this entity divided into two separate beings. Magicians like to refer to him as the Holy Guardian Angel; or the one whom we seek to place our lives under his guidance … but also in The Sacred Magic of Abramelin it tells us how to ‘control’ his counterpart, the Demon, a part of the book which magicians usually tend to ignore. Anyway, by dividing the entity [he says with snicker] we can blame the ‘demon’ for corrupting us rather than taking any responsibility for our own actions; like having been the one who originally told the ‘demon’ to assist us in our Malkuthian wants; whether we did it consciously or unconsciously.
Be that as it may, the daimon was simply a reference to that tenuous something which chatters guidance inside our head, which does not appear to anyone else, but only to the thinker himself. The Greeks believed the daimon is neutral; neither male, nor female but both at the same time; the seed of All possibilities of both good and evil. It was believed to be a totally independent entity from us which merely assumes the responsibility of helping our Soul accomplish the type of incarnation (i.e. True Will) that we had chosen; both before birth and of seeds planted prior to puberty.
Still, although our general incarnation was said to be predetermined, by our own feeble actions we could clearly influence our incarnation to either occur as planned or curse ourselves for all eternity for the blunders we invoked through Free Choice (i.e. ‘blunders’ always occur due to our Wants on Malkuth).
Never forget, since the daimon is a neutral entity, it ‘listens’ to all our Wants and desires on Malkuth and whether they are bathed in a horizontal or vertical calling, the daimon will try to help us to fulfill them. But the daimon is below us on the evolutionary ladder. He has no spiritual authority to ‘tell’ us to do anything, anymore than we do to the Angels. The daimon is merely to assist us in fulfilling what we discern “between good and evil”, this being the twin poles of his own nature. … This is the problem and the question I’ve posed; how do we know if what we ‘discern’ is correct?
Tuesday, August 11th, 2009 – 6:35 am Andy sent this email on Angels and Demons, he writes:
Here’s some thoughts I had on determining whether daimonic guidance is coming from the Angel or the Demon. The Angel seems to personify Will. The Demon then represents Want. If everything on this plane is but a shadow of Will, and ultimately only Wants, then it seems any daimonic guidance that is dependent on this plane for its fulfillment comes from the Demon. Any guidance that is independent of this plane (i.e. helping with vertical progress up the Tree) then seems to come from the Angel.
In Abramelin the magician puts the Demon(s) under their control after having successfully Invoked the Angel. It seems that we’re not to shun our Wants and experience of this plane then but to put them in their proper place of subordination. The Angel always has to come first. Like Crowley says, any goal but the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel is black Magick.
It’s just common sense when you think about it. You can’t put the cart before the horse and expect to move up the Holy Mountain. This seems even more important to remember as you move higher up and the roads get narrower and steeper. Unhook your cart there, even for a moment, and it will likely come crashing down.
93,93/93 – Andy
Reply: Very good. We require a Demon; he, according to The Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage. The Demons are creators of all reality and matter; not the Angels. This is why they can effectuate change in us or our surroundings so quickly, so easily and without our notice; it’s their World. We’re just visiting. And long after we’re dead, they will still be here. … The key to success is always rooted in the phrase ‘one you control, while the other controls you.’ … this is the END goal. Both must be perfectly balanced in the ‘circle squared.’ At no time does Abramelin tell us that the Angel will control only us if we vanquish, kill or destroy the Demon and send him back to Hell. That is the Christian solution. It’s why the World is so screwed up. It fails to adequately find the solution to the age-old questions; can Light exist without Darkness? Are they not part of the same Universe? And are not the Angel and the Demon two poles of the same thing too? Yea verily, below the Abyss in the realm of Duality, how can you get rid of one and keep the other?
6:40 am Under the subject “Bipolar Daimons” Ricky sent this email in regards to this week’s question about Angels and Demons. He writes:
So I’ve been pining over what you have said about the Daimon and have come to sort of a conclusion. It’s got bipolar disorder. BUT the cure to this dis-ease is seems to be within our power. The Diamon is neither an Angel or a Demon but it is both at the same time. It is up to our mind set, our consciousness to determine the ‘guidance’ we get. If one is consciously aimlessly pursuing the wants of this plane and listening to that little voice inside their head that gives the go ahead and even encourages one to do this, ‘obstacles instantly arise’ but on the other hand if we know what we are striving toward, we know what will distract us from it and to give into that instead of what we know we should do is to let the demon of the Daimon take control.
AC said: “A man whose conscious will is at odds with his True Will is wasting his strength. He cannot hope to influence his environment efficiently.” A person knows (I know I do) when they have a force working against their actions and decisions. You cannot ‘force’ nature to go the way you think it should, but you can work with it if you are within your Nature because a part can influence the whole.
93 93/93 Ricky
Reply: A “bipolar disorder” ? I never quite heard it put this way but I’d have to say, no … although a funny word play, it’s definitely not the case and if so, a person would have far more difficult issues than magick can help him with. Anyway, over all your thoughts are very good, but a bipolar disorder is a phrase used to imply different states of mood disorders from mania to depression; bound together by bouts of normalcy would imply that you consider the poles of ‘Mania” and ‘Depression’ to reflect either the Angel and Demon. Ouch!
6:50 am And Ricky sent a second email under the subject “Bipolar Daimons Addentum” He writes – “Jerry 93, One final thought. Hillman brings up an interesting thought when he says, “Maybe our human task is to bring our behaviour into line with its intentions, do right by it for its sake.” You have said before that the Daimon is not so advanced as a human, it is an elemental. What if our task is to redeem this creature? To see maybe if we can follow the ‘Angelic’ guidance over the ‘Demonic’ and thus rectify it in its quest!? Thereby rectifying us in the same action!? 93 93/93 Ricky.”
Reply: Don’t go Christian on me.
7:45 pm Ah, regarding the Angel and the Demon, Jay sent this email subject title – “May Because be accursed forever!” – where he writes – “93 Jerry, I think there’s an important distinction to be made here when pondering the demon or this plane. It seems to me that this plane can and very often does serve as an instrument of the Will. As an example, it was presumably Crowley’s Will to impart spiritual guidance to humanity and one instrument he used was the books he wrote. This, of course, required pen and paper (or a typewriter) and eventually a publishing house and their representatives etc. I think we get into the wants when we’re dealing with this plane as an end unto itself. I think anyone would be hard pressed to justify how a beer serves as an instrument of the Will, the same with drugs, cake, sex (unless you’re seriously practicing 9th degree magick) und so weiter… Where the subject gets difficult to discuss– for me anyway– is when we look into the subtle little cues one receives when pondering whether or not one is doing his/her Will. In my personal experience, I can describe the Will as like a sudden flash, when you receive a sign or a little shard of gnosis accompanied by “praise Nuit! This seems important!” Conversely, if you have to run something round and round your mind, constantly intellectualizing it and picking it apart, trying to find an angle from which you can safely say, “ah, this is my Will,” you’re probably dealing with a want. I think there’s a reason why the Devil is often depicted as an intellectual (here I take the Devil as the demons who rule this plane); he convinces you through the faculty of reason that the things you want on this plane are justifiable: “yeah, go ahead and take that $100 bill from Ms. Crabtree. She has a lot of money and won’t even notice. Besides, you’ll put it to better use than she will. What’s she going to spend it on? new designer boots for her poodle? Psh!” I suppose what I’m getting at is that the Will doesn’t come through reason at all. Reason is a whore. Reason is too easily Hod drooping onto this plane, falling into the pit of Because. Be he damned for a dog! Love, Jay 93 93/93.”
Reply: Very good, grasshopper … but there is a wild card never to be forgotten; yonder beggar might be a King. His True Will, or reason for incarnating might be to experience what it means to an alcoholic bum on the streets. Would beer, which is a want to most, not be part of his True Will? This is why Crowley advises us not to judge other people’s True Will. As long as they, as individuals, do not interfere in other people’s Universes their Star may very well be fixed in the heavens of Nuit and in its proper place and thus they’re following their True Will. So, be careful not to stereotype too quickly.
Wednesday, August 12th, 2009 – 7:20 am I received this email from Jerri in Sacramento about the Angel and the Demon. I didn’t add a comment to it because, in truth, what she says I can add nothing better. It is one of those gems that I receive every now and then devoid of intellectual ‘fact’ vomiting and purely written from the Heart.
Although, in all honesty, I really don’t think that she actually wrote it. I think two little guys were whispering in either of her ears and she was simply listening. 🙂
Again, a very subtle and slippery subject that I’m only scratching the surface of…I’m honestly not entirely happy with this, but I think you’ll understand what I am trying to say…
Everybody has a Daemon. It has always been with us and it is constantly whispering its guidance to us. It has been doing so since the beginning of our incarnations and this is true for everyone and everything. Our Daemons operate entirely differently for every individual Star—mine is the exact mirror image of me. It was birthed at the exact same time as me—it is a Pisces…blah, blah, blah…it’s just like me, it’s all over me and within me. In a way, it knows me better than I even know myself, yet it is not me…but I could hardly live without it.
The Daemon has a dual fold nature-one Demonic, the other Angelic. Is it not a surprise, considering the very quality of our existence; our Macrocosms and Microcosms are equal but dual fold in nature. Our Kundalini only mirrors this reality of the Universe. I remember quite a while back, I sent you this rant about how somewhere I mistakenly believed that I would Want my Will. Silly rabbit! What an absurd and childish notion … performing our True Wills can be very difficult and extremely painful (to our Egos) sometimes. Many times the Ego cries and throws its fits when it doesn’t get what it Wants. If it were so freaking easy to perform our True Will, everybody would be doing it! As Thelemites, our entire quest is in it’s honor, for Nuit’s sake.
I remember having this conversation with someone once about the nature of free choice. Therein we discussed the natal chart and the fact that since we do have free choice we could change our very natures, as magicians do. I am beginning to see now just how much I disagree with the spirit of that statement. Its premise is exactly correct, though. We can do just that…but should we? I say no. Absolutely not! We are to understand ourselves and our charts are the map. Understanding and embracing our natures (our incarnations) and that self is the purpose. That is the Sun we seek–and that is our True Will. First, we seek Knowledge and Conversation… To try to change our nature, is to simply Want…
Clearly though, we have come to incarnate to gain some type of experience—perhaps even experiences that appear negative or unhealthy to others. How can we tell what is Want (Demonic) or what is Will (Angelic)? What messages are coming from where? My thoughts are, that one is always spiritual in nature; reflecting our Spiritual selves–asking us to get in line with our true nature (our Word) this is the Angelic side, the other represents reflections of those wishes that our individualized Egos Want–everything on this plane could be described in this light–this is the Demonic side, the divided shadow nature.
Intellectually, I find it is very important to understand and reflect upon the mundane events of my life. This is one of the purposes of the Magickal journal–therein I find patterns and signs. Those facts do not lie (like we can lie to ourselves in our minds). Not only do we see the positives, but also the fuck ups. Where in our lives can we see the things that always go wrong? Why do they go wrong? Something always tells us inside…the messages that our Angels provide each of us as individuals is different as night and day, but somewhere, perhaps we could call it intuition or our gut, something always knows where we are going ‘wrong’ (denying our Will trying to fulfill our Want).
…Sometimes we are lost, though. We can’t see the forest for the trees. We are blinded by the lust of our Wants. The Daemon is childlike by nature-and it seeks to please. It is a neutral force-it simply carries messages to the Gods for us, and in turn provides us messages from the Gods. We must control the Demonic aspect of the Daemon by directing it properly. We also must understand and decipher the higher messages it brings us-this is where we allow the Angelic aspect to guide us… If we ask it for what we Want, it seeks to fulfill that–and it will propel us to our wishes inception in an obsessive, maniacal, and eventually tragic fashion…if we direct it toward our Will though, our Soul is rewarded by the Spirit.
The problem is not the “things” on this plane…someone’s Will as a female Sagittarius would look different than the Will of a male Libra, for example. One might be an alcoholic musician on Malkuth another a businessman. Nothing is wrong with either of those things–the problem is when you are the alcoholic musician pretending to be the business man…that is an example of our Want. We become enamored by these Wants, or shadows-which are simply those horizontal attachments that are illusion. This is oftentimes exactly how our lower Ego defines itself intellectually and emotionally (our bodies, our jobs, relationships, family, money, friendships, stature in society…blah, blah, blah…). Our true nature is that of Spirit.
Sometimes when we do get what we Want (and it’s not what we Will), we lose ourselves, forget our quest as we play with the Kundry, and then along comes our Angels to slap us upside the head (cause we’ve been ignoring it’s messages)!! Wake up, asshole!!! When an experiment (of life) blows up in our faces, clearly something has gone wrong in our internal process, and our Angel seeks to correct our orbits–those signs come in the form of failures, perhaps.
When our conscious Will and our higher Will work in concert however, there is no conflict within. Will is united and not divided. When things are going right in our lives we feel like nothing can stop us…and nothing can. The Universe is behind us. We are living our Word. Our Stars are traveling along the perfect orbit and success is our proof!
Our Will isn’t always easy…but, neither is it easy to be constantly disappointed when trying to fulfill the transitory Want. It will never satisfy…we are wired to fulfill our Wills…the Daemon is our guide. We decide which direction to point it in…so we must be careful what we wish for because it just might come true…and then what?
93 93/93 Jerri
5:00 pm I received this email from Ben of Leaping Laughter Clerk house. I read it, smiled and thought to myself … “Damn, we got thinkers in our lineage!” Anyway, I hope you all enjoy Ben’s email and that it offers you food for thought, it sure did for me!
I hope all is well since we last talked (all both hours). I’m still trying to catch up on the Blog, but I’m enjoying it immensely. Nice and meaty of late.
Anyway, I ran across this quote today (while looking for something completely different), but I thought it was a nice response to Andy and pertinent to this week’s discussion.
“Genius is composed of two sides; the active and the passive. The power to execute the Will is but blind force unless the Will be enlightened. At every stage of a Magical Operation it is necessary to know what one is doing, and to be sure that one is acting wisely. Acute sensitiveness is always associated with genius; the power to perceive the universe accurately, to analyze, coordinate, and judge impressions is the foundation of all great Work. An army is but a blundering brute unless its intelligence department works as it should.” (MTP, cap. 18).
I think it is even more topical if we remember that the Latinate idea of the Angel was called the ‘Genius’ (or ‘Daimon’ in Greek). This of course would contain the combined dualistic ideas of Angel and Demon that are now commonly espoused separately.
Now to further shove my foot up my own ass I may as well throw my two cents in. I would say the simple answer to determining the difference between the two (which are really the same ‘Genius’) would be the focus of the whisperings. I mean that anything that prompts us to move vertically would appear to be of the Angel (moving beyond Malkuth – Will) and anything that keeps us horizontal (Malkuth – restriction of Will) would appear to be of the Demon. Or, “When men fear not that which is to be feared, that which they fear cometh upon them.” (Tao Te King, 72,1).
Love is the law, love under will. – AL I:57