Sunday, June 19, 2016

The Oath of the Abyss Part I

This is my take on the famous Oath of the Abyss. I have no doubt someone out there will read it and think ‘that is not what Crowley meant’. Good! That means you’ve read the original and thought about it. As for me, I am working my own path and interpreting my own life and understanding of the process. Feel free to comment with your interpretation.

Aleister Crowley wrote the Oath of the Abyss.

1. I, ___________, a member of the Body of God, hereby bind myself on behalf of the Whole Universe, even as we are now physically bound unto the cross of suffering:
2. that I will lead a pure life, as a devoted servant of the Order:
3. that I will understand all things:
4. that I will love all things:
5. that I will perform all things and endure all things:
6. that I will continue in the Knowledge and Conversation of my Holy Guardian Angel
7. that I will work without attachment
8. that I will work in truth:
9. that I will rely only upon myself:
10. that I will interpret every phenomenon as a particular dealing of God with my soul. And if I fail herein, may my pyramid be profaned, and the Eye closed to me

This is an oath that you should not take. Unless, of course, you should. I took it way too early in my occult career. More on that later. Let’s go through this one line at a time.

I, ___________, a member of the Body of God, hereby bind myself on behalf of the Whole Universe, even as we are now physically bound unto the cross of suffering:

Just say your name here. Dump the whole artifice of a magickal name.  A magickal name or motto may be of a minor help. In retrospect, in may even be enlightening to see how your path was influenced by your name. For the most part it is an exercise is self-importance. I am not He Who Gloriously Wanders in the Light. I am Robert. I will use my full name as a symbol of my whole being. I, Robert Alan Hager…etc.

a member of the Body of God

A member…God’s phallus? Damn right you are. You are the creative force in your universe. Congratulations, you are a dick! Rise up and be proud! No, I am not kidding. You have every right to create your universe. Own that right.

a member of the Body of God

Yes, you are part of the Body of God.* I am going to skip a long treatise on theology which would be too boring to write, worse to read and reveal my lack of philosophical education. I will simply say that “God” created everything as one big thing. Since you are part of it, you are part of the body of God. What is bigger than God? Nothing!** There is nothing bigger than you. Own that too.

hereby bind myself on behalf of the Whole Universe

Anyone who binds himself is an idiot. This means your freedom of choice will be limited from the moment you take this oath. By definition binding is restriction. But here, we are binding oneself on behalf of that sounds dangerously close to in the service of. Isn’t that why we are here?

even as we are now physically bound unto the cross of suffering

I understood this when I took this oath. Now, I think this was written by a fellow that hasn’t seen what I have seen. There is no cross of suffering. We create that and we can discard it as well. I am in physical pain most of the time due to a very bad back. I do not suffer in the least. Sometimes I feel severe pain. Sometimes I feel less pain. That is all.

That said, until you see your version of what I have seen, it is pretty easy to think we are bound to a cross of suffering. This oath does not bind you to that cross but uses it as an indicator that the binding you are performing is an all-compassing permanent state. You damn well better be sure you are ready for what you are doing. As Donald Michael Kraig said, “There is no such thing as magickal white out.”

that I will lead a pure life, as a devoted servant of the Order:

Pure life? Pure means freedom from contamination. We are not talking about Flint drinking water. We are talking about what you are and what you are not. Purity is living a life true to yourself. Impurity is doing things that are not you. The holiest man on earth should not hold open the door for a little old lady, if doing so is against his nature. A nun should get laid if not doing so is against her nature. How do you know what is against your nature? Do everything. That stuff that makes you sick is not you. The stuff that makes you feel bad long term is not you. The stuff that brings you long term joy is. The rest is more subtle but you will figure it out. Once you figure out some part of this, live by it.

Purity is also piousness. Pious means, having or showing a dutiful spirit of reverence for God or an earnest wish to fulfill religious obligations. In my world, I would change that like this: having or showing a dutiful spirit of reverence for Aaoz , one’s spirit or deity of choice or an earnest wish to fulfill spiritual purposes.

Regardless, living like this is a perpetual act of theurgy. I cannot imagine claiming to be a theurgist and not being pious or at least striving to be.

as a devoted servant of the Order:

I do not know exactly which order he is speaking of here. His religion, Thelema, the OTO, the general college of adepts, pious men or something else. I am sure it is there in his writings, if I cared to look it up. What Order is this referring to for you? Well, if you have your HGA***, ask it! If you don’t, you may want to assume that you are being (or will be) a loyal servant of a group of holy people.

Is that arrogant? Maybe but if you succeed in living within the confines of this oath, you are a holy person. Doubt it not.

3. that I will understand all things:

This line is brought to you by the Master of Arrogance himself. No one can understand all things using the conventional meaning of understanding. Perhaps he means this qabalistically as in living in Binah, the third sephira of the Tree of Life. Perhaps the meaning here is that you will seek to understand all things or that there is a belief that a moment of enlightenment will occur in which you understand.

4. that I will love all things:

Ain’t that a bitch? Anyone that thinks it is easy to love all things has not tried to love an enemy. Have you ever stubbed your toe and screamed, “I love stubbing my toe!” and really meant it?

Here is the trick.

Lon DuQuette once said, “Yes, it is symbolic of sex but what is sex symbolic of?” Same here. Love is another word for the desire for unity and the ability to unify. Reject nothing from your greater universe. See the role of the jerk and the saint in your life. Unify with how they serve you in your journey and how you serve them. Warning: When you first do think these thoughts you will be very prone to deceiving yourself.

When it comes to stubbing your toe, feel the pain. Do not reject it. Love the fact that your nerves work. They keep you safe. Love that you have a toe to stub in the first place.

5. that I will perform all things and endure all things:

I might change this to “that I will fulfill all my tasks and endure all things.” I cannot say that I will perform all things as that would eventually obligate me to perform a gynecological exam on a rhino. That just isn’t happening! However, we all have tasks and duties on the road to enlightenment, shirk them not.

Enduring all things means a couple of things. One is that you will not foist your pain on someone else. You will not allow another to suffer for you.**** You will also persistently work through every challenge upon the road. Every challenge.

Part II of this post will be up Monday or Tuesday.


*Lon Milo DuQuette said that.
** Aaoz is a term I use to replace the word God. Aaoz is made up of the first and last letter of the English alphabet with the first and last of the Greek sandwiched between them. This means basically the beginning and ending of all things. It removes any connotation that may come with the word God.
***If you do not know what your HGA is, see the post that deals with line six of this oath.

****Yes, that has implications for members of a certain popular religion.

1 comment:

WAR said...

I have always thought of this oath as one to the divinity contained within, and the alignment of Personal Will with that of the Universal Will or Will of the Collective; whatever your personal nomenclature may be.