“For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”Mark 8:36
Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. – AL I:40
The second stage within our A.’.A.’. Lineage is known as the grade of The Lovers. It is within this grade where an Adept establishes a Clerk House. This structure has a dual nature in that it’s not only one’s body or reality but also their Adytum or Inner Temple. This is why “all must be done well and with business way,” because to examine the workings of the Outer is to know the workings of the Inner. Let the Adept take heed of this warning. It is equally important to keep in mind that the Tarot card known as The Lovers rules the zodiac sign of Gemini, or the twins. This implies the two-fold nature behind many aspects of this grade.
Aleister Crowley informs us that this card “ought not to be called The Lovers but The Brothers.” In this way the card teaches us many Mysteries. For example, it instructs us of the inherent dangers as is seen in the history of Cain and Abel; of betrayal, murder and of wanting mundane things over spiritual. Although hard as Cain tried, he never knew God as did his brother and according to Crowley, when Cain slew his brother it meant that he “sacrificed living things to his demon.”
Like all lineages, we have had our share of fallen Adepts who, like Cain, found it necessary to justify their own failure by attempting to slay all things within the lineage (metaphorically) in an attempt to prove that they were better than Abel (i.e. their older brother, teacher and Superior). To preempt any impending exposure one lashed out, “… whether or not you expel me from your lineage, we both know that it will not change any attainment I have made” … But there is a lesson in their behavior that all Lovers can learn from.
First, it is an outright magickal misnomer to think that spiritual accomplishments can not be lost or affected by one’s actions, this is common sense Magick 101, and such an attitude clearly portrays the lowest of magickal understanding of how Universal Laws work.
If an Adept has issues and is either expelled or resigns in disgrace they suffer what is called the Curse, or “From Malkuth You’ll Rise No Higher.” … According to the Second Aethyr of ARN, “… there is a legend of Eve and the Serpent, for Cain was the child of Eve and the Serpent, and not of Eve and Adam.” If an Adept becomes as Cain any and all claims become rooted in the Serpent of Knowledge and thereby false. Can the Adept name one single person who has ever fallen from an Inner School who went on to achieve above Malkuth? No. Or does the Adept think that they are so great that they can defy the Laws of Nature by lying, abusing their superiors, their lineage and even the Gods and then walk away claiming glorious ‘spiritual attainments’ while asserting that they are untouchable? Usually at this stage the Adept’s writings clearly imply such but these foolish children forget that their loyalties were never to any given person or even to a lineage. These are things which pass and fade away on Malkuth and this is where they often cross the planes. Their loyalties lies with themselves and the Gods of the Aeon. I wish Phyllis Seckler were still alive, I’d have her call such Adepts and set them straight. I can still hear her talk about ‘when fruit falls off a branch, it doesn’t fall up.’ This is why, according to Phyllis, when the A.’.A.’. calls it calls only once. It’s because fruit (i.e. true Adepts) cannot reattach itself, or retain the height where it was once attached. Its common sense on all planes – As Above, So Below.
Vivekananda also said it best when he wrote – “… we must always remember that external practices have value only as they help us develop internal purity.” However, if a person’s external actions are bathed in treachery and dishonesty, especially toward an Inner School which taught him access to the Tree, can we consider this an adequate foundation stone in developing or keeping internal purity? In the past I have attempted to explain Aleister Crowley’s views on whether or not a person who is expelled, or leaves an Inner Order in an act of disgrace can keep their magickal and spiritual attainments. In this light I’d like to remind the Adept that their Ruach, centered in the Lover grade, has a lower and higher EGO pulling them in opposite directions. These two qualities of EGO are rooted within the Magickal Degrees of a Lesser (outer) and Greater (inner) Adept; which are both centered in the Qabalistic sphere of Tiphereth (Sun).
The higher EGO is always humble and in constant struggle to be neutral in all actions and thoughts in preparation for the Ordeal which moves it toward the Abyss. The source of the ‘pull’ of the higher Ego is rooted in Kether. At this stage an Adept should embrace the Laws of Bhakti yoga and should ‘Love’ above all else. Especially toward their teachers, their Superiors and the Order itself.
The lower EGO is what guides us in our reality; it is rooted in the Laws of Karma Yoga. If a person’s EGO turns away from the above and looks downward toward Malkuth they more often than not create phantoms of grandeur. Only the Adept themselves can reverse this behavior, but I personally feel that being humble and neutral in thought and action toward anything ‘Above’ is something beyond their capability when a person begins tumbling off the Sacred Mountain of Abiegnus. To such people, with swollen EGO, their inability to approach anyone in order to simply say “I’m Sorry” for any transgressions is, it itself, very telling. Phyllis Seckler herself was often stuck in lower Tiphereth but at least she admitted to this folly saying that she could not transcend its pull (rooted in Malkuth) which ate her up alive with her hatred toward her ex-husband Grady McMurtry. Most of her life she had this insatiable urge to bring him down. I was glad that she got to read my bio on the old man, I think it helped resolve some critical issues which made her death less karmic.
It must also be remembered that Tiphereth and the grade of the Lovers is bathed in the Angel and the Demon pulling the Adept in two different directions [Note: The Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage]. The Laws of these two entities is best summed up: “One you control, the other controls you.” In many ways Cain and Abel are mundane reflections of our internal Demon and Angel. If an Adept is failing at the Lover stage, more often than not, their Demon (i.e. lower HGA/daimon) is taking control. This entity when left unchecked truly feeds our worst nightmare as it did with Cain. It is imperative to remember that the Demon rules the four-fold forces of Malkuth and if it is left to control us, instead of the other way around, it will endeavor to keep us upon this sphere. The Adept must learn to control this Demon so that he or she can force it to guide them spiritually off Malkuth and upward toward Tiphereth. The number one clue in failing to control the Demon on Malkuth according to most Qabalistic and spiritual teachings is a swollen EGO, or being as Cain; having to be right and perfect even if it means slaying your brother.
Oddly, such fallen Adepts may be right when they utter that we cannot take away their ‘attainment,’ but they have utterly forgotten the very basics of Qabalah and even Magick where it acquaints us with the fact that in our climb upon the sacred Tree we are never 100% in our most lofty attainments all the time. We must function daily, or most of the time, out of Malkuth. On that note; being expelled means that the Gods will make sure you’ll never obtain to that heights again. Has such an Adept not studied magickal history to realize what it meant to those whom Crowley evoked the Laws of expulsion? All spiritual claims become earthed-out in Malkuth. In other words; the Gods ask, “How can you now claim, of all things, spiritual attainments when your actions are rooted in the most vile and malicious of Malkuthian behavior while trying to chop down the Tree?”
The bottom line is that if an Adept in an Inner School resigns in disgrace or is expelled the only thing that they’ll be left with is fleeting memories of what they previously achieved. But with swollen EGO such foolish children may never realize this until old age and if they becomes reflective. Then, looking back over their life, they will point to their great moment of attainment and maybe, just maybe, they’ll realize that beyond that particular point in their life all of their accomplishments were rooted in Malkuth and no higher. Yes, such foolish little rabbits forget that the betrayal of an Oath sworn within an Inner Order is the most serious of all magickal offenses and you simply cannot walk away without karmic repercussions. Do not such Adepts remember the lessons regarding the Mysteries of inner initiations, or IAO? There are only three ways to go once you’ve begun the path up the Sacred Mountain and these can only be evoked by the Adept themselves due to their ‘actions.’
In brief, at a “decisive moment of doubt” …
I – (ISIS) You can resign in writing and withdraw honorably back to your old haunts at the
base of the mountain subject to the Laws of your previous birth.
A – (APOPHIS) You resign disgracefully or are expelled whereas you tumble down the
Sacred Mountain bathed in the death of your spiritual quest to wallow on Malkuth, with
O – (OSIRIS) Or you can persevere upward in quest of a continual new incarnation.
I have always hoped that if an Adept is unhappy that they will simply resign honorably because this will give them ‘hope’ in that someday they will ‘get it.’ But sadly, if ‘they’ evoke Apophis, the karma is final and often irrevocable. Still, if a person has fallen or tumbled down the Sacred Mountain can we consider their quest for spirituality over for this incarnation? The proper answer to this question is to ask whether or not we believe that such a person is able to face their phantoms, take control of the Demon and repay Karmic debt to the Gods? Success is their proof.
Still, it would be neglectful of me if I were not to the mention that there is a fourth alternative up the Tree. This is where the Adept swears the Oath of the Abyss and is thrown beyond Malkuthian Laws … but in doing this ‘karma’ gets really heavy if such an Oath is unjustifiably taken or rooted in a false Ego where blood is kept from the Chalice of Babalon. Failure is inevitable, especially if the Adept jumps from either Left or Right Hand Pillars in the lower Ruach because they’re leaping while in an unbalanced state. No one has ever succeeded in doing such foolishness … but the Adept will always try to convince you that they have.
Love is the law, love under will. – AL I:57