Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Labyrinth and Liber Al

"Don't tell me the truth hurts little girl, because it hurts like hell." 

The 1986 Movie Labyrinth still commands respect as a mythical classic to this day, as people continue to watch it and rediscover it.  I remember watching it when I was six years old (yeah, I'm that old) and being completely absorbed by the story, the characters and some of the ideas presented that I was able to grasp. With that being said, it was only after rewatching it with my daughter that I realized that the story itself is a treasure trove of magickal wisdom waiting to be garnered by initiates.  

From my perspective, the plot outlines the path of initiation perfectly for those who work with The Book of The Law and the initiatory system of the A.'. A.'.  and the story seems to be almost a commentary on Crowley's play the 'Wake World,' a play that he wrote as a theatrical outline of initiation.  

Of course Lewis Carol's Alice in Wonderland, another classic that is actually on the A.'. A.'. syllabus is said to have been a major influence on Labyrinth.  To add further credence to the idea that Labyrinth is really outlining initiation and the path to magical power, it is well known that the the Producer George Lucas, was deeply influenced by Joseph Campel's 'Power of Myth Series,' not to mention the fact that George Lucas was well read in both Eastern and Western mystery traditions.  

So in this short essay I will summarize the insights that continue to stand out for me every time I contemplate this story.  First, there is the title itself: Labyrinth.  Again keeping in mind George Lucas's interest in mythology, the title alone is striking.  The labyrinth is a well known meditation device in antiquity, going back as far as 3000 years and used all over the world, often as a type of walking meditation with the aim of producing creative inspiration, and spiritual transformation.  

CF: See 'A Brief History of Labyrinths' on the Monroe College Website for further information:$FILE/A%20Brief%20History%20of%20Labyrinths.pdf

While records show this being used for multiple purposes related to contemplation around the world, ranging from medieval France to the Hopi Native Americans, the Western imagination may recall also the labyrinth built by Daedalus for King Minos to contain the deadly Minator.  Here the Minator can be the unconscious self , unactualized and manifesting as the unintegrated and deadly shadow.  In this way of viewing it, the golden thread that guides Theseus through the maze is his aspiration, the inner call of the Neschemah to step outside one's current self orientation. 

The current self oreintation here, would be the persona that characterizes unintegrated and unoriented ego, an ego that is not aware of, nor integreted with it's center, but only the external mask it has developed as a participant in one's community, detached and oblivious to most of the more subtler impressions that emanate from the center of one's being.  

According to Psychology Today, the Minotaur is a Symbol of the Primal Fear of the Unconscious

This of course leads to a conflict between the center of one's being, the self and this persona, thus the emergence of the unconscious shadow, which acts as either an antagonist to the ego for transformation or consumes the ego.  Keep in mind, that in our tradition we do not seek to get rid of the ego, this is seen as an impossibility and probably the biggest 'ego trip' that self proclaimed gurus engage in. 

Alas, I digress, so lets look at how this applies to the movie itself. 

In the movie the unintegrated shadow of the protagonist, Sarah manifests in her impulsive wish to have her baby brother and her responsibility taken away by the Prince of the Goblins who resides in a palace at the center of the Labyrinth.  Much to Sarah's amazement and horror, her wish comes true.  Now it's also of value to note that the Goblin Prince played by David Bowie also manifests as an Owl which is present right from the beginning of the movie.  

The Owl as a classic symbol of wisdom, corresponds to Thoth the God of Magick, Wisdom and Writing

Of course the owl, an animal commonly associated with wisdom and as a psychopomp is really Thoth, the overseer of initiation and the one who records the weighing of the heart when the initiate and or the 'dead' undergo judgement.  Also Thoth the god of wisdom and writing, is also the god of macick. 


Thoth the Egyption God of Writing and Magic Symbolizes the Power of the Written and Spoken Word

The ability to use the work as both creative force as well as a representational medium.

So Gereth, the Goblin Prince, much  like the minator has animal and human elements. In fact portrays an array of opposite elements united in one character.  He is the lord initiating Sarah and likewise plays the dual role of savior and the devil, or as some Egyption religious texts say Horus the savior and Set the destroyer are really one.  He threatens, Sarah, but simultaneiously proclaims her love for her, which is verified by the fact that he turns the whole world upsidedown to fulfill her commands, i.e. her command that the Goblins take her brother away.  He is the lord of initiation, in that his challenge to Sarah by refusing to return her baby brother which facilitates Sarah's transformation into a liberated and responsible being by the end of the movie.

A.'. A.'. Initiates are instructed to explore the astra plane/ the unconscious through 'skrying' which often involves crytal gazing. So here Jareth is taking Sarah into her unconscious.

If we take this idea seriously we will see that it fits well with Campel's description of tribal initiations into adulthood where a drama is enacted in which the initiator, the father plays the role of a 'destroyer' who declares that he will kill the child.  In the movie Labyrinth, this is definitely the net result of Sarah's ordeal of passing through the labyrinth and confronting the Goblin Prince Gareth.  However unlike the common ordeal marking adulthood, Sarah is given much more as I will discuss near the end of this essay, the fact that the Owel corresponds to Thoth is a clue to what Sarah really gets from this ordeal.

On one Level Sarah Having to Win the Child Shows Her Struggle for Maturity

An Immature Youn Woman Cannot Properly Care for a Child.

 The name of the antagonist, the Goblin King is Jareth, also a curious choice of name.  This is a Biblical name of the father of Enoch in the part of the Bible preceding the flood.  He was of the sixth pre-flood generation between Adam and Noah.  Being the 6th is important here Qabalistically, since that is the number of Tiphareth, actualized human consciousness where the union with the holy guardian angel takes place in the A.'. A.'.  However, this all does seem fanciful and we may be content to note simply that the name Gareth is a British name based on the Welsh word for gentleness.  So this devilish figure, Gareth, is no devil at all, but the Sarah's saviour in disguise.

In the Wake World by written by A.C. the initiate is the princess in Malkuth who marries her Prince, the Holy Guardian Angel in order to become the Queen in Binah understanding, who then revivifies the creative Father All, the wisdom of the creative mind and thus transforming and renewing the universe. So he is really Sarah's inner self, the holy guardian angel manifesting in her unconscous as a projection of her own shadow.  He has all the power to grant her wishes, but she is not integrated so he manifests as a threatening power, who reflects all of the defects of her ego, since it is who ego that determined Gareths actions, that is until Gareth wants to teacher her a lesson, or rather the self moves in the process of unification. 

The name of the protagonist, Sarah is also important here.  The name means 'princess' or 'noblewoman' in Hebrew and was the name of Abraham's wife in the Bible, so a direct reference to Bina and Malkuth.  If we cross reference this with 'The Wake World', we have have Lola which also means in Greek, 'Lady of Sorrows, or Strong Woman'.  Again a reference to the Sorrow of Binah as the Great Mother, the Scarlet Woman, and also Babalon in the Thelemic Mythos outlined on Crowley's Liber Al and Liber 418. 

Sarah is a reference to Binah in the Qabalah, and Babalon in the Thelemic Mythos presented in Liber 418, Yet, the protagonist has yet to realize this part of her identity hence the ordeal of the Labyrinth.

Furthermore the age of 16, the transition into adulthood is a reference to the menstruation, the blood in the cup of Babalon, and the transition into womanhood. This is the number of the Tower Atu in The Book of Thoth, thus the violent destruction of obsolete structures, and this coresponds with the Hebrew letter Peh, the utterance of the word as prophecy, which Biblically is the precursor the the destruction of the corrupt in order for a spiritual renewal.  So the nature of the conflict of the central character Sarah is fortold here, life as she knows it gets broken down in order that she can see clearly, hence Siva Dharshana which is commonly associated with this Tarot Trump.

The awakening happens only at the climax of the movie when she remembers her lines when confronts Gereth to reclaim the child. She says: 'You have no power over me'.  Very similar to the climax in Alice and Wonderland where Alice declares: 'Your all just a pack of cards'.  Finally, it must be noted that the name Toby is itself  from Tobyias, of an amalgamation of the Greek word  Tob, meaning good, and Hebrew word for God, Yahweh.  So Toby means 'God is Good'.  So the whole plot and climax can be said to revolve around her recovering her own innocence and divinity, the goodness of God, and once her own goodness is recovered she becomes like a god herself in that she acquires the power that Jareth had held over her all along, as the two become as one.  

Thus like in the picture above, Babalon rides astride the creative force of the Beast, the male and female are conjoined and self realization takes place.

The famous Penrose Staircase painting 'Relativity'.  This is at the scene of the climax and cements the union of opposites as Sarah confronts Jareth and unites with herself.

The majority of the plot however takes place in the realm of dreams, or rather the astral plane as evinced by the fact that many of Sarah's dolls and props in her bedroom as well as the play she is studying comprise much of the material of the main setting: the Labryrinth itself and her quest to recover Tobey, her baby brother.  This corresponds also with Yesod referred to in Crowley's 'The Wake World' as: "the place where the work is done...".  

In this realm Lola sleepy head is accompanied by 'the wake up person' also referred to as the dark 'fairie prince'.  Sarah and Gareth reflect this archetypal love story in a similar manner: Gareth is dark, in that Sarah fears him, and he is the antagonist, but he is also in love with her, and through the conflict facilitates her self actualization as she wakes up to her true self, the sole creator of her own world.  

Another way to look at it is that her friend Hogel is a manifestation of the 'The Fairy Prince / Holy Guardian Angel' being an emissary of Jareth, where Jareth is in fact the Beast, or the Elder King spoken of the in Qabalistic tradition. 

Now I could do a micro analysis of all the names and go into depth regarding the supporting characters and scenes; however I will not, since that would be too large a task for my main goal here, which is simply to explore what I believe to be the central Theme that can be drawn from Labyrinth based on a Thelemic and Occult perspective.  

A few recurring and important ideas present themselves throughout the movie which are relevant for people interested in initiation.  These ideas are as follows: the power of the word, the spiritual sovereignty of the individual, and implicit responsibility as a condition for self realization (living as a fully conscious being).  Another theme entailed by all of these ideas is the danger and perpetual lure of bad faith, basically self deception to aviod the painful necessities that are entailed by our own freedom and power.  This last idea is a notion put forward by Jean Paul Sartre his book Being and Nothingness, but I see it as a more apt description of what is entailed by the demonic world and the Qliphot, the shells spoken of in Qabalah and Thelema.  Also the work by R.D. Laing 'The Escape From Freedom' comes to mind here and is a recommended book for initiates in the A.'. A.'.

I will now explore these central ideas in reference to the film and other relevant works that I am familiar with. 

First, we have the power of the word, which is both how Sarah triggerred her ordeal of having to return her brother Toby from the labyrinth.  In a fit of anger and ignorance, she foolishly wishes, actually commands the Goblin King to take her brother away.  She does this with intent, yet acts as if she is not serious, this last bit would imply the idea of 'bad faith' that I just spoke about.  In Heidegger's Introduction to Metaphysics, he points out how the word as Logos has been denegrated from it's use as a creative force of reality to that of a flawed representation of reality, and through this misuse of language, it has in some respects lost it's potency and power, much like a currency that is debased from inflation loses it's purchasing power.  In this framework, we can say that Sarah is misusing the word and abusing the power of her own Logos.  She is mistakenly using the word to express emotional whims, and lacks the true understanding of the word as a creative force, but a creative force with the limitations of rational necessity as Logos is also the Greek word for 'reason'.  

In Geneses we are told that the world is created 'Ex Nihilo' from from the word.
Sarah utters the word with creative intent, but her utterance was a perversion of the word of her whole being, hence the ordeal.

Language is not merely a copy representing reality, it is not merely passive, but simultaneously an active creative force, but it's meaning and creative power implies an inherent limitation and necessity, so responsibility and intelligence is entailed by this force of freedom and magickal power.  This is further alluded to in the reference to Thoth, when Garth manifests as the owel.   

This is a well known occult teaching in Thelema and in the Qabalah.  The sepheroth of Chokmah, wisdom, is also the word, and the realm of archetypes and emanation spoken of in the teachings of Qabalah.  Of course the Bible also speaks directly of the universe being created ex nihilo by the word.  In Liber Al vel Legis, the holy book of Thelema, every man and woman is a star, so the word and the universe are not the emmanations of some remote being separate from ourselves, but emmanations from the centere of our own being, which is the unknown secret self. 

We are unconsciously emanating our own universe in each moment as the universe is nothing more than our stream of consciousness forming a complex web of thought, feeling, infinite subtle impressions and sensory experiences.  The word, both conscious and unconscious plays an integral role in shaping, orienting and directing the nature of our experience.  

In psychology, it is the word, our internal dialogue of thoughts which determines what we think is important and what we focus on, and ultimately our experiences.  There is nothing fantastic about this.  The experience that we call the world is an infinite flow of impressions and we can only process and engage a limited number of them in our conscious attention.  Our language and our values implicit in both the structure and use of that language determine which impressions will be ignored and which ones will be focused on.  Thus, the impressions that we do focus on at the expense of others determines the nature of the experiences that we have.  

So if I'm driving, I might only pay attention to the things relevant to driving, the car, the rules, the cars on the road, the map or the gps etc.  This increases the chance of me actually having experiences that fit my value judgements, i.e. getting to point b without dying or being in a hospital.    So I have to think in my language of the car and the road, all words in a mental dialogue interwoven with impressions and giving realization to those impressions.  

It is also important to consider that these value judgements inherent in the use and formation of language and reason as logos also emanates from my intention as will.  So the will as intention which is the ultimate determining source of the logos and the arrangement of impressions... i.e. 'the world that I live in'.  And this is all traced back to the self. 

A possibly fruitful digression may be to reconsider Arisotles four causes, the material, mechanical, fromal, and final cause.  Easily dismissed by conventional material science, but may show their relevance in light of the psychophysical nature of reality and our experience of reality in its realationship to the psyche and the self.

Aristotle's four causes: material, efficient, formal, and final cause, correspond with the emanation of the word as a formulation of the will through the four Qabalistic worlds: Atziluth, Briah, Yetzirah, and Assiah.  And these make up the forbidden name of God symbolized as YHWH.

So Sarah was mispronouncing the name of God as the correct pronunciation is that wihich emmanates from the centre of the self as Pure will.  

'For pure will, unassuaged of purpose, delivered from the lust of result, is in every way perfect." -Liber Al ch.I l.44

So going back to the driving analogy, if while driving I foolishly stop valuing the relevant words and impressions and focus on something else unrelated, I no longer experience the road and my driving. Instead I experience something else, say a cherished memory, and if I continue to indulge in that memory, the chances in an undesirable change of experiences now goes up, ie I could end up dead, in a hospital, or being sued for damages.  These are all implicit ideas contained in intending to drive and then breaking my own word for a momentary whim.  The later is what is happening to Sarah in her ordeal as she explores herself in the astral realm. 

Various chapters from Liber Al ch.II present these facts in a start manner:


If Will stops and cries Why, invoking Because, then Will stops & does nought.


If Power asks why, then is Power weakness.

Power asking 'why' is weakness in the context of being a distraction, there is no why for the totality of things, we are just here, there is being manifest as will.  End of story.  These are distractions and abuse of the creative function of the word, say in the context of driving because they don't serve the will.  i.e. We get killed if we don't focus on the road.  

The same can be said for Sarah's 'old sweetnesses,' i.e. her childhood toys, and her Teddy bear which was a partial catalyst for wishing the baby to be taken away.  Libal ch. 3 says:


Let the Scarlet Woman beware! If pity and compassion and tenderness visit her heart; if she leave my work to toy with old sweetnesses; then shall my vengeance be known. I will slay me her child: I will alienate her heart...'

Sarah, has at an earlier point taken an oath, that is, she has made a commitment in her consciousness via language to be who she is, in the family she has to deal with all the responsibility that implies based on the time and place that she exists.  She is oblivious to the active role she is playing in all of this throughout the flow of her thoughts and impressions mediated by this internal language.  

In this ignorance, she allows her emotions to make a whimsical intention of not having her brother.  And to her horror, her consciousness and the whole sphere of her experience (sphere of sensation), as the universe conspires to make this happen.  The astral plane as the imaginative and emotional realm of consciousness responds almost immediately to our declarations and the logos as word, luckily for her the sphere of sensation called the 'world', or by others as the material world or plane responds often much more slower.  So this astral vision in her dream is giving her the opportunity to see the implications of her secret intentions and use of language, and to wake up into someone who can use her thoughts and feelings in a consciousway that is inline with her true self and her true will. 

In this sense the goblins are the different drives and fragmentary selves in the stream of consciusness that is her mind.  Jareth, the Goblin King, is the centre of her mind, the holy guardian angel and the creative beast uttering the word of her will, operating in the unconscious, who wanting to unite with Sarah as a self realized consciousness, he appears as the devil.  Since her ego as persona is split against herself in the beginning of the movie, the centre of ther mind, the angel must appear as an antagonist.  As Sartre says, 'hell is the Other'.  Yet, the angel is truely her innermost self and loves her due to the desire for self unification and self actualization. 

Another recurring idea in the movie this the idea of being fair.  Sarah repeatedly claims that her situation in the Labyrinth is not fair, and there are many situations where the Jareth, the Goblins, and the Labyrinth itself 'cheat'.  They either change the rules such as when Jareth speeds up the time, use deception such as the optical illusion of the wall in the beginning, and even drugs as when Hogel passes Sarah the enchanted peach.  Yet, it is hinted that this entire situation was conjured up for Sarah as indicated by Jareth when he says '...I have reordered time, I have turned the world upside down and I have done it all for you...'.  (Sarah's final confrontation with Jareth)

Sarah confront's Jareth, the creator of her world, and realizes he has no power over her.

In another sense we might consider that Sarah is the one that is attempting to be unfair by reneging on her agreement with Jareth about the child, and that this whole Labyrinth is a direct result of that, a web of lies and conflicting inclinations mobbing her mind, distracting her from her true self.  Jarteh hints at her immaturity and naivity when he answers: 'You say that a lot [it's not fair]... I wonder what your basis of comparison is.'  And we can consider Crowley's statement on the Adjustment Atu when he writes: 'The problem isn't that the universe is unfair, but the fact that it is fair...'  The human heart and the untrained mind wants what it wants and these conflicting desires surpass the limits of balance, fairness, and justice, and Sarah's predicament is an illustration of this point.    

From this I have concluded that Sarah experiences an initiation into adulthood and into the occult power of the word and imagination as a creative force while simultaneously meetinig her true self.   It is here that she aligns her conscious ego and persona with this new found center, which is not a power outside, but her own power within her.  This transformation comes at the cost of an ordeal, but having said that it is only fair to quote David Bowie in his song: 'Don't tell me truth hurts little girld, becasse it hurts like hell.'   




Thursday, July 8, 2021

Every Number Is Infinite: Squaring the Circle


Hello my fellow gnostics and Thelemites!

It's been a long Hiatus, since the last issue of Nu Gnosis Magazine was published in 2018.Unfortunately due to other projects I had to halt this project indefinitely.  But now since I've reclaimed a fraction of the time that I had, I decided to revive Nu Gnosis in spirit by continuing with this blog.  Simply sharing my thoughts and those of my gnostic partners in crime as they come up.  

"If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, Infinite.  For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro' narrow chinks of his cavern."

Every Number is Infinite

My latest thoughts have been focused line 4. in Chapter 1 of Liber Al vel Legis:

"Every number is infinite; there is no difference." 

This line often struck me as odd and counter intuitive, yet it never haunted my mind for an answer.  It just felt right, in my heart there was a feeling of 'knowing it to be true'  but this is something I would never say publicly.  My mind and my pride would not allow it.  

Mainly because I had no sensible way of articulating why I thought it was right, other than some specious notions I had of Zeno's paradox.  Which as you will see later on, isn't too far from the mark once we explore this question further.  

The bottom line is that I never felt a personal need to explore this question further.  It seemed as true as the fact that 'I love to play drums', or that 'I am irritated by people who say obvious and irrelevant information'.  There is a direct intuition, an inner experience of this truth that cannot be readily articulated or necessarily proven, but whose truth was immediately apparent to my reflective consciousness. 

This was the case until a few days ago, where I stumbled upon a video about Aristotle's Wheel Paradox taken from his text: 'Mechanica'.  In short this is a problem where one has a model wheel with smaller wheel drawn closer to it's center as in the image below:

The paradox can be discerned by marking both the inner and outer circle by a radial line proceeding from the center of the disc to the the outer circumference and rolling out the circle to measure it:

If the larger outer circle rolls one revolution without any slips until the radial line that it started at, it will have made a line the length of it's circumference.  This can be seen in the image above by observing the line between P and Q.   So far this makes logical sense and can be demonstrated with any wheel even that of a toy car.  

Albeit, things begin to get weird when we examine the smaller inner circle in the image above.  For simplicity sake we will say that the circumference of the outer circle is 2X while that of the inner circle is 1x.  How can it be that a smaller circle and a larger circle produce a line the same distance in length while both turning only one revolution each? 

On the surface there is a logical paradox here, nevertheless there are two plausible solutions:

The first explanation is that outer circumference of the wheel moves much faster than the inner smaller circumference since the outer wheel has a greater distance to travel in the same moment of time.  However, this doesn't adequately explain how the smaller circle is able to travel greater than it's own circumference in one revolution.  This problem dissipates once we understand that while the outer circle and it's circumference is rolling, the inner circle cannot: it must be both sliding and rolling in one revolution.  

This must be the case because physically if you cut out the smaller wheel and rolled it along it would travel a much shorter distance.  Half the distance of 2x in this example.  It's when the smaller circle is affixed to the larger wheel that we get the illusion of it surpassing the limits of it's circumference: in actuality it is sliding. 

The second explanation is that all the points of the wheel have in fact traveled a smaller distance but with identical displacements as seen in the diagram below:

When Galileo reproduced this experiment using polygons instead of circles the skips of the inner polygon are readily apparent, especially when each is coated with paint and simultaneously rolled along two surfaces.  

This lead Galileo to the conclusion that the circle must be akin to a polygon with an infinite number of sides making an infinite number of skips.  If this is so, using the reference to Liber Al, each number, (the circumference) of each circle is paradoxically infinite.  

How is this possible? Well we will continue to look further.  But going back to Al, and with the tentative assumption that this is the case, we see that each circle is infinite in quantity, but finite in quality in relationship (relative) to others. 

Today many see Galileo as being partially right, but the inner circle is not actually skipping or slipping since we can still roll it along: rather it must be sliding.  

In spite of this insight, modern mathematicians still hold this to be unsatisfactory since there is still a one to one correspondence between the two different sized circles as the outer rolls along in one continuous motion.  So we are still at the beginning of the problem!  But at least now we have distilled the question to a more relevant one:  

'How can two lines of unequal length correspond?'

Still further:

'What does it mean to be equal?'

We can approach this question by unrolling the circumferences of the two circles into two 
differently sized lines:




We can begin by making a one to one correspondence between the two lines by drawing a triangle:
Each vertical line represents a point of contact between the inner circumference 1X and the outer circumference 2X.  So this is one way of illustrating the one to one correspondence between the inner circle and the outer circle.  No matter where you place the line, (the point of contact) it will always connect the inner circle with the outer circle. 

We can proceed to fill in the circle or triangle with lines indefinitely making complete contact between the two different lengths of line or two different sizes of circle.  Each sized line or circle being a number, in this respect we see the assertion quit clearly that says in Al:  '...there is no difference...'

'...there is no difference'

So using the common sense 'correspondence' approach to equality, we see that there is no difference in the sums of each line in respects that they have a seamless one to one correspondence.  

So the socialists may run in horror or gun me down as equality in quantity seems to be inherent in all things, the only inequality would be in the quality of the things themselves, at least in nature.  (I will save my political economic thoughts for another day  :-)

The other option here is to consider that a one to one correspondence does not always mean two things are equal.  A two inch line might correspond perfectly to a one inch line as shown above, but does not necessarily mean they are equal.  At least not in all respects.  

The implications of this deepen further when we consider that numbers themselves are represented on a line...

But to explore these implications we need to understand one flaw in this last consideration of correspondence between lines.  While distinct objects like marbles can be split up into discreet numerical packages; circles and lines cannot because they are continuous.  Sound familiar?

"... that men speak not of Thee as One but as None; and let them speak not of thee at all, since thou art continuous!" Al ch.1 l.27

Numbers themselves however, are very different in quality than discreet objects such as apples or marbles.  Whole positive numbers 12345... are discreet because there are spaces between them, so they are best represented as a dot rather than a line, yet there is an infinity of them.  

The same can be said about negative whole numbers, they are also an infinity and they are an equal infinity to that of positive numbers, meaning they both correspond perfectly and have an infinite supply.  It's rather strange to say an 'equal infinity' here, but my math geek friends assure me that this is the correct way of saying it!

But these numbers are artificial and incomplete and do not compose a true number line.  To do that we would need to add all the other numbers: fractions, decimals, irrational numbers, transcendental numbers ect  Every conceivable number needs to be added to fill in the gaps to create what is referred to as 'the real number line'.

Now the real number line is completely different in quality: it is continuous like the line and circle in our paradox.  The real number line is a continuous stream flowing from negative infinity to positive infinity.  

On the number line there will always be a specific number no matter where you point your finger.  If you make a segment of 0 to +1 and from 1 to +1000 0000.

And just like the circle and triangle examples from before you can draw a perfect correspondence between these two different numbers.  

This leads to the conclusion that there are an equal amount of numbers between the number 0 to 1 as there are between 1 and 1000 000.  In this respect there truly is 'no difference' as stated in Liber Al. 

Furthermore, and to really nail this coffin shut, we must now concede that there is in fact the same quantity of numbers between 0 to 1 as there are between zero and infinity.  

Thus every number is infinite.

For a concrete example we might ask: what is the number after zero?  

We could say: .01

But why not: .001, or .0001, or .00000001?  

It doesn't end. 

This also leads us to two types of infinities: a countable infinity and an uncountable infinity.  Much of this is but the beginnings of the bizarre and groundbreaking work of the controversial mathematician George Cantor 1845, who created Set Theory which is now an accepted and fundamental theory in modern mathematics. 

So it's not such a new theory.  But what I like about the circle paradox, is the with it we can see how this statement in liber Al vel Legis is true and how it is reflected in a concrete day to day phenomenon. 

What would be of further interest is to examine how this fact is relevant for the human being as a whole entity, and the soul so called.  What does this mean about people?  

What does this mean about equality?

And perhaps most relevant, what might the implications of this be when orienting one's self in a meaningful way in relationship to being, the universe, and life as a whole?  

One answer might be just to be and understand that you and the world you live in is perfect just the way it is, and to recall that:  

"If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, Infinite."

NOTE: The author Ryhan Higgins Orshalev is an initiate of the A.'. A.'.
If you would like ot learn more about the A.'. A.'. and mentorship
please visit:

To apply for membership:

If you would like to learn more about Cantor and the Infinity Paradox, you might enjoy this video:

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Sneak Peek-- Nu Gnosis Vol 3 No.2: An Exegesis of Adam Kadmon

Hello again everyone.  First I must thank everyone again for all the support they have given continued support to Nu Gnosis magazine and this blog.  It's been a while since I have checked in, mainly because by day I'm a school teacher and I've been fried from over work.  (I know! Lots of fun-- but I'm sure most can relate)  Anyways, it's been a blast to be exposed to such creative and original work from our contributors over the past three years.  In Vol 3 No. 1 we had a sneak peak at revelations in relation to Thelema with special attention given to Babalon and the Beast. 

 In No 3, there Paul Rovelli did a wonderful a follow up article on Genesis where we look at creation in terms of a holographic projection.  And once again he really dives deep into this and makes Genesis truly a fascinating qabalistic narrative connecting it with the holy books of Thelema and the alchemical tradition.  In another sense the Thelemic canon is a not yet corrupted third testament of the western mystery traditions. 

So you can read this short teaser here and if you have the heart and mind for it you can read the rest in  Vol 3 No. 2 which you can purchase here:  The rest of it of course is available through our latest issue which you can purchase here:  Nu Gnosis V3 N2  

An Exegesis of the Adam-Kadmon:
The Gnostic Syzygy

The qabalistic Adam-Kadmon is paralleled in the concept of the Gnostic Syzygy; a dual-gendered hologram from which the human race is generated.  It also provides for us the concept of the biune god; celebrated in the Gnostic Church of L.V.X.  The Divine or that which is called God is ITself, ineffable and cannot be described or comprehended in any way by the human mind. 

Yet in qabalistic teaching, this God reflects ITself into the aethyric substance of light (L.V.X.) that forms the material Universe; Herself.  Hence, the Goddess, also celebrated in our church is the material body of the God that is ineffable spirit.  Thus, we have the archetype of the biune God that then finds substantiation in the Earth and Her men and women that are generated by Her.  And not from one initial pair of human beings; the Adam and Eve of Genesis, but of all human births.

The mystery of creation is hidden in the opening verses of the Book of Genesis from which the Qabalah itself is derived.  And of interesting note, chapter one of this book contains thirty-one verses; thirty-one being the key to Liber AL vel Legis.  As these verses unfold, we can find in them the mystery of creation that on an exoteric level has but a weak parallel and is relatively incomprehensible from any denotative point of view; being the reason why theologians have basically refrained from any analysis of the document.  Verses seem to repeat themselves, but in a slightly different manner; providing a rationale for this difficulty.  But also, to the exoteric mind, the overt explanation seems straightforward, as if the esoteric mystery is hidden in plain sight.  So, let us proceed to take a look at these verses:

Genesis 1

1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

When the upper world was created; the Ain Soph was filled and became pregnant by the Ain and brought forth two children; being Heaven and Earth.  The upper world was symbolized by the first two letters of the name of God (Tetragrammaton); Yod and Heh, so that the lower world; the children were then symbolized by the last two letters; Vau and Heh-final. Tetragrammaton of course, gives us the transliterated name of God in English—Jehovah.

The male and female symbolism is here reinterpreted, as parent and child to demonstrate the involution of spirit (the Divine) into manifestation.  We find this well capitulated in the Court Cards of the Holy Tarot; the Knight mating with the Queen to generate the Prince and Princess, who then mate that the Princess is set on the throne of the Queen to awaken the eld of the King.  For more on this, see Crowley’s Book of Thoth.

From this it is said that the Earth is fed from the waters of Heaven, which in the ancient world were called Gaia and Uranus; respectively.  And from the view of the Ruach, the Heaven or upper most point is Da’ath, which is why in the Thelemic Qabalah, Uranus is attributed to Da’ath and not Saturn.  But what we are addressing here is the height of the spiritual realm, where the ineffable; the Ain is said to be casting a reflection of ITself, or pouring  ITself into the Ain Soph, which would ultimately produce the Magickal Childe or the Aur (L.V.X.) that we call Kether—the crown and known exoterically, as God the father.  The Ain is then essentially male in relation to the Ain Soph; that is female in this relation; producing the trinity of spirit that is the Ain Soph Aur.

2  And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

The qabalah recapitulates this verse by saying countenance beheld not-countenance.  It is as if the two counter-charged forces met at a point of agitation (the desire of Babalon); like two sticks rubbed together to create a spark of fire; the L.V.X. that is Kether; the center of force that is the product of Ain concentrating ITself, so that it might come to know ITself and emanate into manifestation.  This center is the Yechidah of the human soul, which is why the next verse flows naturally from this verse.

3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

The whole of the Tree-of-Life is contained in this concentrated center that is ITself but a reflection of the Ain and the Ain Soph; the NOT that is without limit, thus ITself being a limitless light (L.V.X., Ain  Soph Aur) that must contain all the subsequent emanations of the Sefirot.  This is the divine fiat generated by that desire (Babalon) to come to know ITself in the formulation of Kether; the head of Macrorosopus.

4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.

In thelemic parlance, the Ain and Ain Soph are the N.O.X., as the Ain Soph Aur is the L.V.X.  Thus the NOT becomes the ONE; existence (“the light” or L.V.X.) being separated from non-existence (“the darkness” or N.O.X.).  By separating the Ain SophAur from the Ain Soph, the force that would impel emanation is set in motion; Agape.

To read the full article and access several other wonderful articles in this issue you can get  our magazine Nu Gnosis V3 N2.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Sneak Peek of Nu Gnosis Vol 3 No 1 'An Exegesis of Babalon and The Beast'

Hi everyone, I have two things to mention to all my readers today: First thank you to everyone who has been supporting Nu Gnosis magazine and the Gnostic Church of LVX.  We've managed to put out some exciting issues over the past couple years and we couldn't have done it without your support.

Second thing: I'm reviving this blog by starting a new tradition.  Every equinox/solstice I will give a sneak peek of one of our featured articles in Nu Gnosis.  This issue of Volume 3 Number 1 we have many excellent essays and some magickal records to boot; but to wet your pallet a bit I will share Paul Rovelli's thought provoking article titled: 'An Exegesis of Babalon and The Beast'  in this article he skillfully researchers and analyses references to Babalon and the Beast as they occur in the Old and New Testament, and then compares and contrasts these references with Crowley's Visions in Liber 418.  The research and insight are though provoking and will definitely aid in ones understanding and meditation on these important deities in our magickal system.  

So here is a short teaser of the article if you will.  The rest of it of course is available through our latest issue which you can purchase here:  Nu Gnosis V3 N1  

An Exegesis of Babalon& the Beast

Noting that the Jews have the half and that the Hebrew Qabalah is of integral importance to Thelemic Doctrine, I have often written in my qablistic thoughts, finding equivalence in the number 13, as a ThRShRQ of 31.  And this is certainly valuable in its own rite.  But there seems also a way to show 13 as the Jewish half with 31 (Key to Liber AL), as the Thelemic half.  In the Hebrew qabalistic text, the Book of the Concealed Mystery, the beard of the Macroprosopus is divided into 13 sections.  Kether, as the head of Macroprosopus is given seven conformations from which the beard hangs.  The whiteness of the beard is said to be the radiance of the Divine; reaching into the lower emanations and covering the body of the Ruach: 7+6=13, which by AIQ BKR, reduces to 4 (the Tetragrammaton: IHVH).

We find a source for this in Daniel 7:9 of the Old Testament with his description of the Divine:

"As I looked, thrones were set in place, and the Ancient of Days took his seat.  His clothing was as white as snow; the hair of his head was white like wool.  His throne was flaming with fire, and its wheels were all ablaze."

We also find intimations of this in Crowley’s vision of the 9thAethyr:

“Now then we are passed within the lines of the army, and we are come unto a palace of which every stone is a separate jewel, and is set with millions of moons. And this palace is nothing but the body of a woman, proud and delicate, and beyond imagination fair. She is like a child of twelve years old. She has very deep eye-lids, and long lashes. Her eyes are closed, or nearly closed. It is impossible to say anything about her. She is naked; her whole body is covered with fine gold hairs, that are the electric flames that are the spears of mighty and terrible Angels who breast-plates are the scales of her skin. And the hair of her head, that flows down to her feet, is the very light of God himself.”

The seven conformations from which the beard of Macroprosopus hangs are:
1st Conformation: The head is prepared in the likeness of a cranium.
2nd Conformation: The cranium is filled with a crystalline dew.
                This is the radiant L.V.X. that we call RHK.
3rd Conformation: The aethyr is formed--skin, clear and congealed.
4th Conformation: The hair (covers the ears; that aren't mentioned in the text).
5th Conformation: The forehead.
6th Conformation: The eye (one non-closing eye; akin to the eye atop the pyramid).
7th Conformation: The nostrils--that breath the breath of the Divine into Malkuth;
                giving life/consciousness to matter.

The Microprosopus comprises the Sefirot of the Ruach that represent the body of the Macroprosopus; Geburah is the left arm, Chesed is the right arm, Tiphareth is the body or torso, Netzach is the right leg, Hod is the left leg and Yesod is the genitals.  But in terms of the Macroprosopus, these Sefirot are but a reflection in the Ruach (part of the Microprosopus) and in the supernal world are pure Sefirot; all being contained therein.

If we take these six Sefirot and their reflection, as twelve[1] and add Kether, then we get 13.  And in like fashion, if we work with the Microprosopus and take these six, as twelve and add Malkuth, we also get 13.  So that this number has a recursive quality of which its secret nature can be said to be the 4 of the Tetragrammaton.  This is important in that though the Jews apparently attribute the Divine to the male gender, in actuality, IT is a biune god.  As well, the 13th word in Genesis is HMIM; “of the waters,” which suggests the attribution of 13 to the Daughter.

The first two letters, IH (Yod, Heh) are the male and female; Father and Mother.  If we add their values, 10+5, we get 15, which reduces to 6; V (Vau) the Son (Tiphareth at the center of the Ruach and the body of the biune God) and third letter of the Tetragrammaton.  The supernal Vau is said to be Da'ath (Knowledge) and the inferior Vau is said to be the Heh-final of Tetragrammaton; the Bride. So that even the Son is said to have this dual or biune nature; Vau illuminating the Daughter (Bride), as Yod illuminates the Mother.  And the Vau, as Da'ath shows us why it is from Tiphareth, we proceed to the Abyss; demonstrated by the bow (the Veil of Qesheth) & arrow (Sagittarius, as the path that leads to Tiphareth and has Tiphareth as its point) on the Tree-of-Life.

Yod illuminating the Mother in the Tetragrammaton explains the covenant with the Daughter or Bride of Microprosopus (Malkuth, the Kingdom).  This illuminates her, as it passes into the woman (her womb) and she becomes hidden; the Tetragrammaton now being expressed as IHVI and the I-final no longer then, signifies the Bride, as IT ascends to the Supernals, which we can then surmise creates the need for the descent of the Shekinah or Holy Spirit.  This leaves us with IHV, as we discussed, above.  And put on a square, this Tetragrammaton becomes expressed as: IHVI, IHV, IH & I.
Crowley gives a vision of this in the 9th Aethyr:

The Seer is lost in wonder, which is peace. And the ring of the horizon above her is a company of glorious Archangels with joined hands, that stand and sing: This is the daughter of BABALON the Beautiful, that she hath borne unto the Father of All. And unto all hath she borne her. This is the Daughter of the King. This is the Virgin of Eternity. This is she that the Holy One hath wrested from the Giant Time, and the prize of them that have overcome Space. This is she that is set upon the Throne of Understanding [Binah]. Holy, Holy, Holy is her name, not to be spoken among men. For Kor they have called her, and Malkuth, and Betulah, and Persephone. And the poets have feigned songs about her, and the prophets have spoken vain things, and the young men have dreamed vain dreams; but this is she, that immaculate, the name of whose name may not be spoken. Thought cannot pierce the glory that defendeth her, for thought is smitten dead before her presence. Memory is blank, and in the most ancient books of Magick are neither words to conjure her, nor adorations to praise her. Will bends like a reed in the temptests that sweep the borders of her kingdom, and imagination cannot figure so much as one petal of the lilies whereon she standeth in the lake of crystal, in the sea of glass. This is she that hath bedecked her hair with seven stars, the seven breaths of God that move and thrill its excellence. And she hath tired her hair with seven combs, whereupon are written the seven secret names of God that are not known even of the Angels, or of the Archangels, or of the Leader of the armies of the Lord.

So that leaves us to discuss IH with their values multiplied; instead of added.  This gives us a value of 50; representing the 50 Gates of Understanding (Binah, the Mother).  But also, 50 is the value of Nun and the Death Atu, of which it is said of the IH in the Book of the Concealed Mystery, "...if closely bound together then out of the dead, the pentad originates."  IHVHI then shows more clearly how the Bride becomes hidden, as the I surrounds the letters.  And it shows how these 50 Gates are of Understanding; the Father (I) combined with the Mother (H) in Binah, and that these two are combined, Understanding becomes imbued with Supernal Wisdom.  But in the Tetragrammaton itself, the Daughter (Heh-final) is left unprotected; not being shut up by any succeeding letter.  In this way, it is said that Wisdom is opened out into her gates, as the Daughter and the Mother are both reflections of each other; both being H.An excerpt from the 27thAethyrehoes this:

And she cries: Lonely am I and cold in the wilderness of the
stars. For I am the queen of all them that dwell in Heaven, and the
queen of all them that are pure upon earth, and the queen of all the
sorcerers of hell.
I am the daughter of Nuit, the lady of the stars. And I am the Bride
of them that are vowed unto loneliness. And I am the mother of the
Dog Cerberus. One person am I, and three gods.
And thou who hast blasphemed me shalt suffer knowing me. For I am cold
as thou art cold, and burn with thy fire. Oh, when shall the war
of the Aires and the elements be accomplished?

Liber AL velLegisalso takes hold of this in these verses: 

AL:I.24 "I am Nuit, and my word is six and fifty."
AL:I.25 "Divide, add, multiply, and understand."

The 6, as we've shown above, is also the Bride (Heh-final) and the 50 is the Mother (Understanding/Binah).  In this, we get a whole new set of mathematics.  Six times fifty gives us 300, the number of Shin and the trinity of spirit; even IHV (the three flames shown on this letter), as shown above.  And six plus fifty gives us NV (Nu, the essence of Nuit or the firmament).  However, the division remains somewhat of a riddle, as we don't end up with a whole number.  0.12 however, can be said to show that from the Ain Soph (0) the L.V.X. or Aur is placed into Kether (1), which then transmits to both (2) of the other Supernals.  And so it is the Hebrew Qabalah that opens up for us, the Thelemic Qabalah.

To read the full article which includes graphics and indepth analysis from the old and new testament access our magazine Nu Gnosis V3 N1.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

The Big Bang, Qabalah, and Quantum Physics

This is an interesting and insightful video put together by Phil Harris.  It not only gives some basic teachings on the qabalah and physics, but he presents some thought provoking comparisons and provides good food for thought for the modern occultist.

There hasn't been much work done on this topic since the works of Fritjof Capra's work called:        The Tao of Physics, a must read for all advanced and serious occultists.

Since then there has been a more recent book published about the Book of the Law and modern physics and modern science in general.  I bought this book last year and it is quite a gem. It is called Scientific Illuminism.  Its just under 400 pages long and covers about everything in physics and biology relating it to NOX, the Night of Pan, Levi's Aethyr, to the LVX and the magick lamp. This is another must read especially for Thelemites.

Nu Gnosis Magazine V1 N1

Nu Gnosis Magazine Vol 1 No. 1

This is the part of the blog where we plug our own material!  Yes... we have no shame, but this magazine (actually its really a quarterly periodical) contains samples of current word from other people within the Thelemic community, mostly whom are A.'. A.'. members.  

This magazine is issued every equinox and this first issue made it's premier on September 20th 2015.  Every issue so far contains a smattering of social criticism, philosophy, reflections on various occult topics from yoga to qabala, and experiments either astral and magickal, or those based on creative work.  

In addtion to this we also throw in some poetry and when possible visual arts.  Its a fun way to keep up with the development of Thelemic thought in the gnostic community and this magazine has been proving to be a fun and interesting way to bring our disparate community closer together.  

You can find it on Amazon or at our Store

The cost is $15

Labyrinth and Liber Al

"Don't tell me the truth hurts little girl, because it hurts like hell."  The 1986 Movie Labyrinth still commands respect as a...