Dialogue Between Adept and Novice
PUPIL: You can see everything in the future, so why do you need me as a Tarot-reader?
MASTER: I have to guard against seeing everything. I don’t need that kind of input. And it would be a waste of your considerable talents in the matter of Tarot if they were not utilised. A genuine psychic cannot be selective about what he receives. If he is turned on, then he is turned on. As well as receiving what he is looking for, he will also be receiving absolutely everything else. That is why I spend all my time turned off, because I do not want to know. One cannot tune it to one station.
PUPIL: I know it is dangerous to be clairvoyant without the ability to control that power. Are there any pitfalls in trying to see the future at all?
MASTER: Normally you need an aid to clairvoyance and the Tarot works well for you. That is no problem. But in everyday life you use intuition more than logic. At this stage, you don’t know whether your subconscious is lying to you, so it makes sense to use logic.
PUPIL: Crowley said that, as one progressed and developed further abilities, one lost some of one’s earlier skills. He mentioned clairvoyance and healing.
MASTER: No, that is not true. One retains all one’s abilities. But, with advancement, comes the knowledge when those abilities should not be used, as in the case of healing which I referred to earlier.
PUPIL: Is it necessary to have an acolyte or “Scarlet Woman” or is that just another of the myths?
MASTER: If you have to have anything, you are not an Adept. If Crowley needed an assistant or a Scarlet Woman, he was not an Adept. The only way to be an Adept is to be all things but to choose to be nothing.
If he was serious, assuming that he was a responsible person, he could not visit upon anyone else the things that he had to live with. If he needed someone, he was not secure enough to risk becoming an Adept. One cannot share that burden. Judging by his writings, just getting close was more than he could handle. If he wanted to explore that pathway, he should have made more of what you don’t need. What Crowley found out was not wrong, but he couldn’t handle it. Like the wrong way to find electricity is to put you hand on the wire.
A new house is wired up, as we all are, awaiting connection to the mains. There will always be people who stumble around and stick their fingers into the socket.
No-one could do what Crowley did without developing a willpower that was above the average. But it doesn’t alter the fact that his willpower ran out when it came to facing a life without his drugs.
I am not saying that you should not use drugs. I am saying that it is not worth the risk. You cannot control the way the drug does the job. It may get you there, but not the right way and you cannot see what is on the route. The drug does not care how ready you are for the various stages involved. It is like a car whose brakes have failed; the only way to stop it is to run it into a wall.
If you use drugs you have not mastered your subconscious.
You will behave as the puppet you have always been. If you stop doing that, your subconscious gets agitated, if has been used to control and it won’t give up easily. Its manifestations vary from person to person; ideas, excuses, a double dose of so-called rationalisation which has nothing rational about it at all. It is totally despotic. Like so many things in the everyday physical world, it hides behind what it is not.
PUPIL: Have you ever used drugs?
MASTER: When I was still experimenting, I used to east unsafe pate. It is difficult to judge how much to eat. It stops you thinking logically, you rationalise less. Most Occultists have a lot of fun, but, at the end of the day, they stay the same. Being an Adept is a bit like going to sea, because you are up to your neck. You do it but you don’t want or seek to do it. People think that, when you get to be an Adept, that’s it. It is just the start.
PUPIL: How do you know when you have become an Adept?
MASTER: The minute you whish you weren’t. I can understand only too well why Crowley and many others found drugs their only escape.
PUPIL: Just one more question about Crowley. He said that an advanced Occultist had to be bisexual.
MASTER: He may have been misquoted. An advanced Occultist should have tried all forms of sexual behaviour, or almost all, but he – or she – cannot force himself to be what he is not. The important thing is to know what it is all about, so you know exactly where you are. If people, from puberty onwards, follow one mode of sexuality only, they cannot be in complete control of themselves because they cannot be certain that another mode would not suit them better.
There will always be a kind of sexual activity which will be more productive to you than any other. If your sexuality is not between your legs, it is somewhere else for a good reason. There is no such thing as an accident in the universe. Sex does not have to manifest itself as fucking. If that is not enjoyable, you have got to go for other paths. Using the same force, find out where else it will manifest itself. It depends on the way the link-ups take place between neurones. If they link-up in a certain way, this induces a certain mode of behaviour. It does not affect anything else you do in your life.
And, once you have established your ideal mode of sexuality, you should accept it, however unorthodox it may be. No guilt, no hang-ups, no militancy. Leave the militancy to the non-Occultists who feel the need to be accepted. A person aiming for Adepthood is aware that he will never be accepted and he does not wish for acceptance or understanding.
The militants are too busy trying to convince everyone else that what they are does is right. They have got into a battle they don’t need.
They rode over the hill, saw the fight and joined in. The intelligent thing to do is to ride back over the hill. It does not matter what anyone else is, as long as it is he who has to live with it and not you.
PUPIL: If there is nothing wrong with sex, in any form that feels right for the individual, why have I been forced into celibacy?
MASTER: You have not been forced into celibacy. You are an attractive woman, you could have any man you wanted. You have chosen not to.
PUPIL: I have considered it, of course. Then I remembered what you once said: ‘you have to talk to them afterwards’. What possible communication could I have now with ordinary men? And without communication, the whole thing would be a waste of time.
MASTER: Celibacy is one of the ways to face your subconscious and overcome it. Even the Christians realised that, though naturally they do not now know why it is necessary or how to deal with the results.
PUPIL: And, at the moment, I don’t understand, either!
MASTER: If I took you into a nuclear power station, you would not expect to understand its working. This is a million times more complex, so why should you expect to understand this yet? Nuclear physicists do not have the lies to contend with, the lies which emanate from your subconscious, even though they will someday realise that nuclear physics is a million times more complex than they at present know.
Continuing the analogy with nuclear physics, you could forge suitable qualifications and be put in charge of a power station; sooner or later you would kill yourself and a lot of other people. You have to work to gain the knowledge to do the job completely. The way to Adepthood is hard. It has to be.
Put questions in different ways. What you do not know is as valuable as what you do know. How the mind should be working, based on a little or a lot or no information at all.
There are no examinations but there are assessments. You have made progress in various ways, some of which you recognise and some of which you do not know about.
Ask yourself how much you know about me. If you are not satisfied, start from the basis of how little you know about me. You do not have to quantify. An amount will suffice. This underlines the advice that you should not ask questions to which you do not need to know the answer, in the same way that there are many decisions which never have to be made.
You know enough about me to know there is a good reason for what I am doing. You do not yet understand that reason but you know that it exists.
One level of your mind is asking questions. Encourage other levels of your mind to ask questions. No-one asks a question backwards; it does not come naturally. This is the subconscious being lazy. Another bonus when you do this is that you start to argue positively and negatively with equal belief and dedication. You are getting further away from a stance.
There is no instruction book. I can switch on a light so that you see something in a different way.
As soon as you discover sex, you have given a new and powerful tool to your subconscious, a major weapon which it can use against you. You are using the subconscious’s attack with its big guns. It has to come out into the open. The you can question why it does it, you refuse to do what you are being urged to do. Children have not yet triggered the big guns, whish is one of the reasons why they are getting less hassle from their subconscious; children are natural and adults are not.
PUPIL: Does that mean that paedophilia is wrong?
MASTER: If the other party’s experience is not commensurate with your own, you are doing it to them rather than with them. Because of their own immaturity, sex is something paedophiles prefer to do to others, therefore they have to have an inexperienced person.
PUPIL: I want to ask you why I gave up drinking wine. I didn’t really feel any need to give up; I could afford it, I wasn’t drinking enough to damage my health. Yet I suddenly lost all desire for it, it ceased to be pleasant. I have a feeling you had something to do with that. I knew you didn’t approve, though you never forbade me to drink.
MASTER: Would you have stopped if I had told you to stop?
PUPIL: I don’t know. I’m not sure if I could have done. But I didn’t even know that you knew I was drinking. I never left any bottles lying around.
MASTER: You were drinking enough to change your aura. Alcohol is debilitating to the intelligence. Therefore it was better that you should cease entirely.
PUPIL: Why did you do that? You said that no-one aspiring to Adepthood could be helped on the climb.
MASTER: Continuing to describe it as a climb up a mountain, no, you cannot be assisted on the climb, but, before you set out, you can be provided with suitable clothing and equipment. That equipment will not get you up the mountain if you are not a skilled climber, but, without it, even the best climber would not stand a chance. To stop drinking alcohol is part of that equipment.
PUPIL: I still don’t understand why you gave me the easy way. Why you stopped me instead of making me do it myself.
MASTER: Even a moderate amount of alcohol reduces the intelligence. I did not wish to waste my time talking to someone whose level of understanding was less than it should be.
PUPIL: Shouldn’t it have been a matter of personal responsibility?
MASTER: Are you feeling annoyed about being manipulated?
PUPIL: Yes, but I suppose you have manipulated me in a lot of other ways that I’m not even aware of. And now I’m wondering if there are certain things which I thought were my own achievements, which you have, in fact, done for me. Still, if I asked you is this ability or that ability something which I have attained though my own efforts or something which you have done for me, I don’t think you’d tell me, and why should you? Because I would simply be asking out of curiosity. As you said, there are questions which do not need to be answered, even if I would like to know what you have done.
MASTER: Things that you could have achieved yourself if there had been time. Do you understand personal responsibility, since you used the term? It is not simply a matter of achieving things by yourself. People were responsible before law came along to order their lives. But, even then, people were separated into two different types. This is nothing to do with conscience, because conscience is you being manipulated by outside forces. Personal responsibility depends largely upon honour. Being told to do something but there is no-one checking on whether or not you have done it. People are good at lying to themselves. If you lie to yourself, you will make no progress along the spiritual path. You will always be the servant, the puppet, of your own subconscious. You should never do something you cannot live with. Personal responsibility sorts the men from the boys. All wars are started by politicians too old to fight in them.
Consider a chemical tanker. It carries vast numbers of drums containing gases such as cyanide and its derivatives. Ruptured drums can give off fumes more toxic than those used in warfare. And the ferocious intensity with which these chemicals can burn is almost beyond description. A fire in a chemical tanker can melt steel bulkheads like wax – the ship just melts into gobs of metal. If a fire starts in a chemical tanker, your chances are better in the sea. Having said that, you get into the realms of discipline.
PUPIL: From the way you described it, it’s obvious that it happened to you. How many of your crew jumped into the sea?
Pupil: You referred to discipline, but it seems more like personal responsibility. The sailors’ fear of the fire would naturally be far greater than their fear of the captain. The fact that they all stayed seems to indicate that they realised that a reduction in the number of men to fight the fire would reduce the chances of survival for the ship and everyone in it. What is the difference between discipline and personal responsibility in that context?
MASTER: There is a Japanese word “gi”. It can be approximately translated as “obligation”. It has nothing to do with external influences. If you feel it, it exists. What you do with it is up to you. The minimum requirements are courage and honesty.
The nearest Western equivalent is “noblesse oblige”. Westerners are very good at responsibility-shifting and this is typical. In the Japanese version, there is no-one else to blame. That is why they do not tie the word to any social status.
In the crew of my ship, I knew which men I could trust and which I could not. Willingness without ability is a non-starter.
From the Dark Lily Journal No 3, Society of Dark Lily (London 1987).