Dark Lilly Archive - Occult Power The First Steps





“Know Yourself” is an ancient maxim which will remain valid as long as any form of being possesses an individual brain. It is not the only achievement necessary but it is the first and one of the most difficult.


At an early stage, the pupil is asked to draw up a page with two columns: on one column he/she is to list faults or character defects, in the other column good qualities. And when the pupil looks back at this early effort, months or years later, how much will have changed? Or how much will he think has changed?


The ego is one of the first problems to be encountered and defined. The ego has nothing to do with taking normal care of one’s appearance, standard of work or performance in other respects. The ego does not relate to what you think of yourself; it is concerned about what other people think of you and the ego is what makes you concerned with other people’s opinions. This is the reason for the widely-known (and true) saying “an Adept has no ego”. An Adept cannot waste his time pleasing other people; he has advanced beyond the rules of convention. This does not imply that he deliberately sets out to offend. Anyone who has to live and work in the world must, to some extent, conform or appear to conform. Neither should that enforced conformity prove irksome to him. Nothing has the power to affect him. He does not need followers to reassure him that he is the greatest. He knows what he is, and he can only spare time for those who are useful to him and/or those who have the potential for real achievement.


The ego is a dangerous thing to an Occultist. It can lead him astray from his purpose, so the understanding and control of the ego is a task which must be accomplished in the early stages of Occult endeavour. The obliteration of the ego will take place at a much later stage in one’s development.


Another aspect of self is the subconscious. This too, is often misunderstood and misrepresented as an almost automatic gateway to enlightenment. In fact, the uncontrolled subconscious is a fraud, a phoney which will give you false information. It is a separate entity, an atavistic and undeveloped section of the brain which does not wish to be aroused from its lethargy. As long as it remains in charge, it will feed you false information, use your basic emotions and desires to control you, anything to delude you into leaving it alone. It must be recognised and exposed. The subconscious must be mastered, for it has mastered you since the beginning of your life.


The control of the subconscious is, like the control of the ego, not a task to be accomplished in one effort, but is a continuing endeavour throughout one’s Occult development. Start by recognising it; evaluate its communications and realise how much of a disadvantage to the host body the subconscious in its present for is.


The enterprise is far from easy, yet seekers for wisdom have always existed. Those who attempt to break out from the comfortable lethargy of the subconscious mind’s rule. Describing the situation of those who have not comprehended their thraldom, the cliché is “blissful ignorance”. Blissful because one is never aware of the ignorance. To win the war against the subconscious means that you will never be blissful again.



From the Dark Lily Journal No 2, Society of Dark Lily (London 1987).