So in my last post about the great work I talked about the three main stages of the work. The first being an introduction to the subtle realities and energies and spirits and such represented on the tree of life by Yesode, Hod, and Netzach. The second stage is where you find your HGA which Frater R.O. wrote about very capably here as well as some other places. This stage begins at Tiphareth when you attain the K&C of HGA, and moves to Geburah and Hesed. In Geburah the Mage sets out into the world with his Angel like a knight on a quest and effects the changes on the outer that he wishes to make. In Hesed the knight retires from his journeys and builds his stronghold, building strength for the next stage.
In Daath, the magician crosses the abyss and find himself in Binah where he is united with his angel in perfect non-duality with the all. The problem is that once he begins to realize this, he falls back down the tree to whatever sphere his work is most naturally aligned with. In Chokmah, according to Crowley, he utters his word. While there are some who interpret this literally, I tend to think of the work of this stage as stabalizing trans-abyssal consiousness so that you dont fall back down below the abyss. The final stage Ipsissimus is enlightenment, and I wont discuss it, especially on a blog.
Now get ready because I am about to do something I very rarely do: praise Aliester Crowley. Actually I like AC just fine, its his followers and the rediculously exalted position they place him in that I can't stand. I am a Thelemite, just not a Crowleyite.
Anyway. As Charles pointed out at his excellent lecture on Thelema two weeks ago at the DVPN Summer Social, Crowley felt that the GD was a bit to "arts and crafts" and that there was a lot of good work being done in the east that wasnt represented in the western ceremonial magick of his day. I think he was right about that. I think he did a good job of incorporating the two given the access to knowlege that he had.
That said, given the access to knowlege that we have today, if you hold Crowley as th ebest source on Yoga, Buddhist thought, Tantra, Meditation, Taoism or anything like that you need to pull your head out of your ass and go read books that have been printed on eastern magick or mystecism in the last 50 years. But still, he had the right general idea...
Why was this important? First, meditation will assist at all stages of the path of any kind of magick. If I had to trade ALL magickal and spiritual practices for just one, I would choose Dzogchen, which to me is the pinnacle of meditation methods the world over.
Second, and more important for this discussion, is because western ceremonial magick is actually pretty BAD at dealing with trans abyssal consciousness or even getting you there. This is why the GD for the most part viewed that third order as something unattainable while in a human body.
More on this in PART 2